Dec 312014
 

On Day 365 of the Piney Woods Church Road Project, I close this photographic enterprise with a pair of images of Japanese honeysuckle and blackberry cane leaves, illuminated by afternoon sunlight.

What next?  One year closes, another one opens.  One pilgrimage concludes, and new prospects beckon to me.  I find solace in the sage words of H.D. Thoreau:  “There is more day left to dawn.  The Sun is but a morning star.”

 

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Dec 302014
 

Today’s photograph is of a homely bit of jelly fungus growing on a stick resting on the roadbank.  The afternoon sunlight streams through it, as if illuminating it from within.  Walking the same stretch of road for so long, I come to appreciate subtle differences in shape, hue, texture.  The gelatinous feel of a jelly fungus is a tactile respite from so many branches and leaves, tendrils and thorns, grasses and stones.

 

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Dec 292014
 

From an early afternoon gray-day ramble down Piney Woods Church Road, I offer these two suspended moments:  a curled leaf, hanging by a single thread to a dried stalk of hoary mountainmint, and a last lingering water droplet clinging to a Russian olive, reflecting trees and sky.

 

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Dec 282014
 

After another overnight rainfall, Piney Woods Church Road vegetation was again festooned with water droplets.  I peered into minute worlds and encountered magnificent jewels as I made my way from one end of the road to the other.  There are so many discoveries that still await….

 

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Dec 272014
 

From early this afternoon, while the sun still peaked through thickening clouds, I offer this lone image.  It is a different take on all of my tendril photos of late.  Rather than being a study of a single coil or pattern, it explores the act of coiling itself.  I find my eyes drawn all around this image, following the curving paths of the muscadine.

 

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Dec 262014
 

I enjoyed my late afternoon stroll down Piney Woods Church Road today, but nothing particularly dramatic or noteworthy jumped out at me.  I did find the fallen bright yellow leaf entrancing somehow — another for my collection of roadbed still-lifes.

 

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Dec 252014
 

Christmas Day, and I enter the very last week of my project.  My time along Piney Woods Church Road is bittersweet; even as this pilgrimage nears its end, other journeys await.  For now, I pause in the stillness of a late afternoon in early winter.  I stop to look back down the road from which I came, and I see a mobile beside the road, where a single wisteria vine somehow became mostly detached, hanging  on by a single wooden strand.  In homage to this past week’s five-day black and white challenge (which I posted to Facebook, but not to this blog), I offer this image in black and white.

 

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Dec 242014
 

While I spent much of my walk along Piney Woods Church Road today gazing upward into the branches and leaves, I also found many marvelous treasures underfoot.  Here are four from my walk:  a grizzled grasshopper, minus one antenna; two roadside still-lifes with leaves and stones; and, from my walk home, a single leaf resting on the white line on the edge of the pavement along Rico Road.

 

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Dec 242014
 

It had been a night of heavy rain, and when I set out down Piney Woods Church Road early this afternoon, the air felt quite moist and the temperature an almost balmy upper 50s.  There was no trace of a breeze, and many water droplets still clung to the tendrils, branches, and leaves of all the plants edging the roadway.  I made my way slowly from one to the next, savoring plant growth transformed by the rain into artifacts of great beauty and wonder.  I share today more artifacts of the watery worlds that I encountered, including several images of Russian olives in fruit.

 

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Dec 232014
 

Today I found myself drawn time and time again to the twists and coils of vine tendrils lining Piney Woods Church Road, many of which held water droplets like round glass beads at their tips.  With my camera, I collected relics, like seashells on a tropical island beach.  Each one is a container for wonder and imagining.

 

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