Nov 222014
 

While half the country now lies under a blanket of white snow, along Piney Woods Church Road, a small white flower with a yellow center in the Asteraceae family has come into bloom.  I have not idea what it is, but it adds a note of hope to winter’s approach, gracing the roadside with its delicate form.

 

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Nov 212014
 

Along the side of Piney Woods Church Road earlier today, near the intersection with Hutcheson Ferry, I came upon this deer head.  Enough antler was left to identify the species, and several teeth remained, as well.   Not much skin, and a notable absence of a body.  I might speculate as to how it arrived there to greet a passing traveler, but I honestly do not know.

 

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Nov 212014
 

As the natural history term d’jour, a fascicle refers to a cluster of pine needles; various pine species have different numbers of needles in each grouping.  Loblolly pines have fascicles of three.  In this case, the pine needle fascicles are balancing on branches somewhere down Piney Woods Church Road.

 

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Nov 212014
 

Whenever I need another surge of photographic inspiration, I know that I need only seek out a vine with tendrils, and some enchanting bit of calligraphy will emerge.  I was drawn to the way the light played across the edge of a recurving tendril in this photograph from Piney Woods Church Road earlier this afternoon.

 

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Nov 202014
 

Along Piney Woods Church Road grow many plants, including stately oak and hickory trees, weedy sassafras and loblolly pine trees, and dozens of shrubs and ground plants, both annuals and perennials.  Amongst them all, many are quite photogenic and invite me to return to them again and again as the seasons advance:  muscadine grape, greenbrier, and white oak fall firmly into this category.  Then there is dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium):  tall (several feet), gangly, frilly, with nondescript flowers and seeds, and a pungent yet not particularly pleasant aroma.  Today, a dog fennel plant was in seed alongside the road, illuminated by the afternoon sun.  I dedicated myself to taking its portrait.  The result is the two “experiments” below.

 

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Nov 192014
 

Walking down Piney Woods Church Road on my way back home late this afternoon, I noticed a tiny loblolly pine sapling, maybe six inches tall, along the roadside.  The uppermost third of the tiny tree was bathed in sunlight.  These two photographs resulted from my time spent there.  Both, but particularly the first one, evoke the canyon landscape of the Colorado Plateau, as if projecting my longings onto the space of my daily pilgrimage.

 

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Nov 182014
 

On my way to an early morning appointment, I stopped the car at a drainage ditch along Piney Woods Church Road.  After months of being dry, the ditch had filled with water after yesterday morning’s rainfall.  In the bitter cold that has followed, the water as iced over, leaving patterns of water bubbles near the surface.  Below are three photos of the bubbles, converted to black and white with a dark blue filter applied.  I find myself entranced by these frozen patterns of concentric circles.

 

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