Blossom XXXIV: First Iris

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“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful,
full or wonder and excitement.
It is our misfortune that for most of us
that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct
for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring,
is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.
If I had influence with the good fairy
who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children,
I should ask that her gift to each child in the world
be a sense of wonder so indestructible
that it would last throughout life,
as an unfailing antidote
against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…
the alienation from the sources of our strength.”
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Rachel Carson

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“It is a wholesome and necessary thing
for us to turn again to the earth
and in the contemplation of her beauties
to know the sense of wonder and humility. ”
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Rachel Carson

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Dwarf Iris riticulata open the season for Iris blooming in our garden.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018

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“In nature nothing exists alone.”

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Rachel Carson
Blossom XXXIII:  October Blues

 

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Emergent

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“The dark and the light, they exist side by side,
Sometimes overlapping, one explaining the other.
The darkened path is as illuminated as the lightened,
Only the fear of the dark keeps us from seeing our way.”

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Raven Davies

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“Love, I’m pretty sure, is light.”

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Jan Zwicky

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“The language of light

can only be decoded by the heart.”

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Suzy Kassem

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“Love is a weapon of Light,

and it has the power to eradicate

all forms of darkness.

That is the key.

When we offer love even to our enemies,

we destroy their darkness and hatred…”

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Yehuda Berg

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“No, you don’t shoot things.

You capture them.

Photography means painting with light.

And that’s what you do.

You paint a picture only by adding light

to the things you see.”

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Katja Michael

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

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“There is light in the world, and it is us!”

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Eliezer Yudkowsky

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WPC: The Road Taken

Jones Millpond

Jones Millpond

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“You never know what’s around the corner.

It could be everything. Or it could be nothing.

You keep putting one foot in front of the other,

and then one day you look back

and you’ve climbed a mountain.”

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Tom Hiddleston

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march-2-2017-road-traveled-015

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Do you often find roads you love so much, you travel them again and again?

We love the Colonial Parkway, and often find ourselves turning towards its quiet beauty.  It stretches from Jamestown Island to the Yorktown beaches; 23 scenic miles of Virginia history linking the earliest settlements in our area.

This is a place where you feel the presence of the past.  Earthworks stretch away on both sides of the road, along the same creeks navigated by the First Nations.  Historic homes, some crumbling and some restored, still stand along the way.  Teams of archeologists continue to dig up clues about the people who also called this place ‘home.’

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Much of the Parkway rolls across bridges, through tunnels, and along the quiet banks of the James and its tributaries.  There is always something beautiful to find, no matter the season.

We watch the trees bud and bloom in spring.  Months later we see them turn bright reds and oranges before their leaves fall.

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First wildflowers of the season here.

First wildflowers of the season here.

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We watch for eagles’ nests, egrets, Canada geese and great blue herons.  In summer, we sometimes find a family of swans here on Jones Millpond.  It is always worth driving this way to have a look.

We study the marshes for turtles sunning themselves on logs, and count the chucks and rabbits grazing beside the road.

Wildflowers grow here in abundance each summer.  Frog song symphonies and birdsong and the hum of countless bees lull one into relaxation and peace.

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There is comfort in having such a road nearby.  It is a window to an earlier, quieter time.  And there is always some interesting sight waiting for watchful eyes to find.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

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“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”

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J.R.R. Tolkien

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  The Road Taken

 

Black and White Photo Challenge #4

March 23, 2015 b&w 030

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We celebrated the sunny afternoon with a drive to favorite spots along the Colonial Parkway.  I wanted to see these familiar scenes through my “black and white” lens.  Winter and early spring make for a good time to use black and white photos to explore texture and form.

Already spare, there is intriguing geometry in the landscape to see, undistracted by color.

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March 23, 2015 b&w 008~

The wind blew in chill off of the river, and the temperatures dropped through the 40s as we drove.  The large nests along the way, empty these many months, have sitting eagles once again. I’ll share a photo or two of the Osprey mothers sitting their nests tomorrow.

The tide was very high today and moving strongly. We enjoyed the interesting textures created by wind on the water.

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March 23, 2015 b&w 014

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So much to see, so many interesting photographs to capture!

Yesterday, I invited Jane at Just Another Nature Enthusiast to join the challenge.  Somehow I missed her Black and White Photo Challenge posts back in February!  Please enjoy the gorgeous photos in her posts:

Day 1 Keeping an Eye Out, Day 2 Web At Wetland’s Edge, Day 3 Just Ducky, Day 4 Hoover Dam, Day 5 Saguaro Cactus.

Robin, over at Breezes at Dawn, has joined us with her first image.  I just love how Robin can photograph a bit of driftwood and transform it into a piece of artwork you would love to frame and hang  in your home.  Robin lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she takes stunning images of the beautiful wild landscapes of the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding marshes.

Today I have invited Creekrose to join the challenge.  Creekrose lives with her beautiful family on a small farm in far western Virginia.  Mother, midwife, artist, storyteller, poet, and chef, she continues to delight those who know and love her with her joyful spirit and deep insight into life.

I hope you will visit her site, shared with her own eldest daughter, as she posts her black and white images over the next five days.

There are only two rules for the black and white photography challenge:

  1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in black and white.
  2. Each day invite another blogging friend to join in the fun.

If you have not yet experimented with black and white photography, you may be surprised at the beautiful images you take.  I believe that I will continue to explore photos in black and white, even beyond this photo challenge.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

 

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