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Saturday, December 7, 2019

A Tree That Loves Water

Missouri, at least the way we crossed it (south and west from Hannibal), is a watery state. Almost every piece of country property has at least one pond, often more, and the land is criss-crossed by rivers and creeks. Flooding along the legendary Missouri River was stunning and eerily beautiful (as unusual and frightening scenes can be), but I was driving then and could not photograph the scenes. The Artist and I were constantly aware, however, of impressive trees in the landscape, and I couldn't help snapping while he drove (above). Seeing the many sycamores across Missouri and southern Kansas, my mind leapt ahead in anticipation to sycamores along creeks near Chiricahua National Monument in Cochise County, Arizona. Striking bone-white against blue sky, giant sycamores are a sure sign of water, and when we detoured off our two-lane highway onto an unpaved road to get out of the car for a walk, we found the sycamore below with its feet in a creek.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Last Year's Tree

We drove the same long, diagonal two-lane road this year that we traveled last year, and, once again, the prairie's dominant daytime colors were dun, brown, and black. Not a cloud in the sky. And this year no sparkling frost. But once again, after the sun went down below the horizon, the prairie played its ace in the hole, silhouettes, and I recognized several individual trees along the way from last year -- and so, searched out this old photo, as I was at the wheel yesterday and could not be driver and photographer simultaneously. Imagine the tree drawn in blackest ink, every branch faithfully reproduced and presented against a surreal watercolor sky whose rainbow hues fade imperceptibly and seamlessly into one another. I called last year's Books in Northport post "Its Own Kind of Beauty." Other than trees, the prairie offers stark groupings of farm buildings, clean geometrical shapes connected by elaborate systems of chutes and pipes. Farmhouses themselves are often surrounded by sheltering evergreens planted long ago. But it is the lone trees along the highway that speak to me most clearly of beauty, and "I think that I have never seen" a tree until I see it against the evening prairie sky.

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Michigan Road Less Traveled

Who wants to fight expressway traffic at 80 miles an hour when Michigan's beauty is so much more richly enjoyed on two-lane blacktop? We drove from Northport to south of Newaygo on Monday, sailing through a magic, sparkling corridor of wonder. We couldn't stop exclaiming, and I couldn't stop lifting my camera to the car windows.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Fields in Snow with Cable

These fields of corn, with sunflowers in the foreground and a tree-covered hill as backdrop, have been particularly beautiful since our recent (unexpectedly early) snow.

The challenge to photographing these fields is a heavy power cable that interrupts the scene.

This is a situation where I miss Photoshop and vow to return to it. Because to my eye the full effect of the sweep of sunflowers depends on the background trees.