Jan 082017
 

It is a brisk Sunday in Georgia — cold enough with wind chill for some area churches to close, in a part of the country where going to church is as natural for most as breathing.  I ventured as far as my backyard with bare hands and my iPhone camera, with plans to shoot a few ice photos and then begin to tackle a fallen apple tree (though claimed at last by ice, it has been dying slowly over the last few years due to black knot fungus).  I did take a few photographs, and then made a half-hearted attempt to remove one of the tree’s limbs before retreating inside.

 

 

 

 

Jan 072017
 

As I geared up for a Georgia snowstorm — possibly even three or four inches — I contemplated what photographs I might take of the local landscape blanketed in white.  The storm arrived with drizzle and occasional moderate rain.  The overnight air temperature dropped into the 20s, but a warm air mass overhead prevented the precipitation from changing over to snow.  The ground, meanwhile, remained fairly warm.  The result was a fairylike coating of ice on trees and shrubs in my yard but no snow.  I wouldn’t call the result icicles — that would be a bit pretentious a term for these frozen droplets of water, most extending an inch or less from the tip of a leaf.  So I will call them “ice drops” instead.  After photographing quite a few of them, I was surprised to find that they lent themselves well to semi-abstract compositions.  I took all of these shots with a Ztylus macro lens and my iPhone 5 camera; I made a few edits in Snapseed, mostly square crops and selective changes to image brightness.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Jan 032017
 

I took both of these photographs from the same place — the edge of a raised wooden boardwalk surrounding Rum Island Springs on the Santa Fe River near Fort White, Florida.  The first image, taken with my Ztylus fisheye lens, captures the colorful, inviting world of the riverine landscape, with its shallow, perfectly transparent waters and woods still in leaf in early December.  Turning, I saw an intriguing little beetle making its way along the edge of a wooden railing, the inspiration for the second photograph with my Ztylus macro lens.  They are worlds apart yet geographically adjacent — a reminder that there is so much to notice wherever we are.  One photo cannot possibly capture the experience of being in a place; as I found two years ago, even a full year of inhabitation is not enough to grasp it fully.  As I consider my upcoming trip to Australia, I am humbled, reminded of Thoreau’s proud declaration that “I have traveled widely in Concord.”  The challenge is to slow down enough to notice what is there — to let the inhabited landscape speak to you, in colors, forms, and furtive movements glimpsed out of the corner of an eye.

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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