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 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 222014
 

From my afternoon walk, in which I got very damp.  In the chilly air and steady rain, I photographed these watery wintery worlds along Piney Woods Church Road.

 

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Dec 172014
 

Every so often on my daily rambles, I encounter shapes in nature — usually leaves — that evoke some other image, such as an animal or human figure.  This happened many months ago, when I photographed a dark image that I titled, at my wife Valerie’s recommendation, “Strange Leaf”.  And today, as the seasons have swung back around into the months of shriveled, brown leaves, it has happened again.  Today I offer two such images, which I am calling “Leaf Puppets”.  The first is a pair of dried wisteria leaves evocative of human figures, both suspended by their stems along the road bank.  The second is a nearby sweetgum leaf, conjuring in my mind an image of a swan in flight.  If you do not imagine the same, that is OK, too.  The folds of the leaves and the patterns of light and dark, focus and blur, are inviting by themselves.

 

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Dec 162014
 

This time of year, the green leaves stand out along Piney Woods Church Road, when most every plant has withered to some shade of buff brown.  In this case, the plant is likely Japanese honeysuckle — a truly nasty invasive that is slowly choking my (former) flower garden and shrubs.  Still, I find this single leaf, illuminated by afternoon sunlight, entrancing.  I nearly overlooked it completely — I took just two photos of it, one of which was out of focus.  I had every intention of choosing to highlight something else from my walk.  But reviewing the images at home now, this is the one that most captivates me from my daily journey.

 

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Dec 152014
 

I was feeling a bit down and disconnected as I took my afternoon journey down Piney Woods Church Road.  My mood seeped nto this image and its title, I think.  There is a touch of melancholy to this image of a half-eaten pecan nut (left behind by a gray squirrel, no doubt), resting on a fencepost at the edge of a roadside horse pasture.  An old mule barn provides a blurry blue-gray geometric form in the background.

 

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Dec 142014
 

On my early afternoon walk down Piney Woods Church Road today, my attention was drawn to a fascinating relationship between a shrub of some kind and an adjacent muscadine.  A woody tendril of the vine cradled a single leaf from the shrub, holding it in place.  How did this happen?  Did the tendrils turn first, to wrap around some long-gone form, and then the leaf just happened to be blown into a vine’s embrace?  Or did the tendrils somehow develop around the leaf, pinning it motionless?  Equally mysterious is how I managed to walk past it for weeks, or even months, never noticing it before today.

 

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