Posts Tagged ‘McDowell Forest Preserve’

“Here Comes the Sun” conjures up dawn and sunrise, my favorite time to be out walking and taking photos, so thanks to Amy for the theme, although it did make it hard to choose. 🙂 So I have to interrupt the retrospective of my Wyoming vacation to go for the sunshine.

This shot was taken on my way down the mountain in Wyoming as I headed home in 2017, the day of the eclipse. As you can see, it began in a stunning way, really more beautiful than the eclipse itself.

At the Preserve here in Arizona…

Sunshine inside the house…

In the morning in Illinois…

As backlighting…

One Word Sunday: summer/winter

FOTD 7.1.22

The early morning light is one of the reasons I always enjoyed walking at dawn or closely thereafter. This photo is from McDowell Forest Preserve in Naperville, Illinois, a lovely mixture of forest and Midwest prairie.

Today’s a travel day as I head west for some extended grandson time. 🙂 See you tomorrow (or later today.)

Light and shadow, a symbiotic relationship that Patti’s asking us to explore this week. Without light there is no shadow and I do love both light and shadow.

“The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

The Visitors Center at Saguaro National Park is full of wonderful shadows and you know there’s lots of sun in Arizona to do the light part of creating shadows!

“There is strong shadow where there is much light.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Götz von Berlichinge
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You can find shadows inside the house as well.

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides. ~Junichiro Tanizaki

Light and snow can create beautiful shadow images such as this one taken from a second story window in our home in Illinois.

“When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

And then there are more subtle shadows created by the combination of late spring light and vegetation.

But as attractive as shadows are in these instances, may your week be filled only with light and may the only shadows cast be those that are beautiful.

Sophia has set us the task of sharing photos that show bokeh, a fancy way of saying that your background is out of focus which puts everyone’s attention on whatever you want to spotlight. 🙂 I use this often in nature shots and here are the first three I came across in one of my files featuring McDowell Forest Preserve in Naperville, Illinois, my spirit park when we lived there. 🙂 Hey, I’m sure “spirit park” must be a thing.

Oops! Sorry, I lied. This first shot is from the our backyard in Naperville where we were blessed with a whole raft of these in season.

Now to McDowell.

I find spider webs in particular benefit from bokeh, don’t you agree?

I’m thrilled and thankful to report that we are now grandparents. Wow, does that sound old! 😁 Our first grandchild/grandson was both last night. ❤️❤️❤️. Much rejoicing here. God is good.

Ann-Christine has set us a most enjoyable challenge this week, looking for curves…except that there are so many choices!! I just started scrolling through my photos and picked some of the first examples I found that I liked. Then I stopped and went back to watching Six Nations Rugby Super Saturday games (writing this on Saturday.) Let me take you through some of natures curves, as I don’t have all the many of my own to share. 🙂

In our bones we need the natural curves of hills, the scent of chaparral, the whisper of pines, the possibility of wildness. Richard Louv

I could smell the curves of the river beyond the dusk and I saw the last light supine and tranquil upon tide flats like pieces of broken mirror, then beyond them lights began in the pale clear air, trembling a little like butterflies hovering a long way off. – William Faulkner

In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves. ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

As all curves have reference to their centres or foci, so all beauty of character has reference to the soul, and is a graceful gesture of recognition or waving of the body toward it. Henry David Thoreau

Although green is my favorite color, I didn’t wear it today and I’m happy to report I didn’t get pinched, although I wouldn’t expect to in Aldi or Trader Joe’s. 🙂 We moved here from the Chicago area and today (yesterday as you read this) the river will be run green. We stayed far away from downtown on St. Patrick’s Day as being around huge crowds is bad enough but when alcohol is involved, no thanks. However, Guinness was my entry-level dark beer so I have a fond spot in my heart for it. We did have corned beef and potatoes for dinner sans cabbage because I don’t care for boiled cabbage. Salad and good bread filled in nicely and tomorrow will be even better when the leftover corned beef and potatoes become corned beef hash. So good and I think even better than the separate ingredients the first day.

But green isn’t just for St. Patrick’s, it’s the color of spring, which is often how I think of it having lived in the Midwest for almost my entire life. When my parents used to come from Arizona to visit us in Ohio, they always commented on all the trees and how green everything was. I always felt that was a bit like the relatives who saw you infrequently starting by declaring, “My, how you’ve grown!” What had they expected?

“I just need green. I need to wake up and see grass and squirrels. I don’t want to see skyscrapers.” – Andre Leon Talley

The green I miss is the spring green, the here’s-what-you’ve-been-waiting-for green, a green that at its most beautiful serves as a background to spring’s wildflowers…

…or blossoms higher in the spring air.

“Nature in her green, tranquil woods heals and soothes all afflictions.” – John Muir

In South Dakota near the Badlands, sometimes green is what draws your eyes.

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.” – Lois Lowry

In the desert, green is harder to find and better protected but much appreciated when seen.

“Every green natural place we save saves a fragment of our sanity and gives us a little more hope that we have a future.” – Wallace Stegner

And sometimes, well, it’s all about the green.

“leaves glow under
a haze of sunlight,
and hang
still on a windless
day”
― Bremer Acosta, Cosmos in a Tree

WQW #11: St. Patrick’s Day Green

As we near two years of living in Arizona, the challenge of sharing photos of water is somewhat amusing a/o daunting. Our city averages 9 inches of rain per year and if we have enough that we can’t count the raindrops, we think it’s a pretty good rain. Okay, that’s a little exaggerated, but not much. The most common water I see is in the canal where I walk and although not especially picturesque, canals are the lifeblood of the area.

Water serves a number of functions other than simply hydrating us and everything on earth. Here are a few I’ve found and enjoyed:

Water as power…

Water as nature’s jewelry…

Water as mirror…

Water as home…

Water as food source…

Water as art (a sort of pointillism perhaps)…

Water as beauty…