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 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
 

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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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 212014
 

Day 355, and I pause to acknowledge the Winter Solstice.  I had planned to begin my project on this very day in 2013, but ended up postponing it to begin instead with the first of the year.  Having nearly completed my round of the seasons, I appreciate the arbitrary nature of our Western calendar, and am delighted to say that my next project (more about that on January 1st) will begin with the Spring Equinox of 2015, rather than the start of a particular month.  This is the shortest day, and as I type this, it has already grown dark though not yet 6 pm Eastern Time.  Tomorrow, the days will grow longer once again. On the occasion of this turning of the year, I offer these two images of turning tendrils, taken on today’s ramble through the dreary gray along Piney Woods Church Road.

 

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Dec 202014
 

Some much-welcomed rain showers arrived overnight, and the air felt moist and full of promise as I set out on my afternoon exploration of Piney Woods Church Road today.  The water that had covered the leaves and branches of the roadside plants had mostly dried up, except for individual tiny droplets lingering on the tips of a loblolly pine sapling.  I had tried photographing them before, with little success.  Today’s efforts were rewarded by the photograph below.

 

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