Thursday, April 30, 2020

May 2020: Life Goes On

Found this mallard's nest in the woods this week. A poignant reminder that despite how circumstances may appear to us at any given moment, life does continue on.
Will all 12 of these eggs end up as healthy adult ducks? Certainly not. Life's challenges do come with mortality, not just for ducks but for humans as well. But life goes on.
Here in Michigan things may seem to a lot of us that life has been put on pause. That is an illusion, just as the outwardly static appearance of the egg gives no indication of the life inside.
And like the egg, in a month or so the life inside will be revealed and we will be able to look at it and see that it had been going on all along.
Faces we have not seen since March will be seen again, some will appear older, some will appear hairier, some will appear bigger...and sadly maybe some won't appear again at all. But we will see then with the clarity we currently lack, that life goes on. So as long as we are here to live it, we should take a lesson from this duck, and keep giving it our best no matter what the circumstances are. It may not look or feel like doing so makes a difference today, but a little ways down the road it surely will.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April 2020: Isolation

Like most people, I have found myself contemplating the subject of isolation lately. In this regard I find myself lucky. I live in a remote area, spend a lot of time away from people, and so the adjustment to the "stay-at-home" order currently in force here has been easier for me than a lot of folks.

By the way, the woods is a great place to go if you are concerned about social distancing and still want to get out of the house for some fresh air. It is the perfect time of year to be in the woods here in MI as it is warm enough to be enjoyable, but still too cold for mosquitoes.

Today I was out in the woods in back of my house and came across this little mushroom growing right out of the end of a broken twig, about 4 feet off the ground.  Talk about isolated!

Hopefully you are all well, and dealing with this pandemic with grace and prudence, as well as no small amount of patience and consideration for others. Like that little mushroom, isolated, yet an integral and important part of the forest as a whole, we in our own isolation remain an integral part of  humanity, as well as the giant organism of life on this planet.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

March 2020: Ice Crystals

Spring is on the way, but in the meantime here is a shot of some ice crystals. This formation occurs when the surface of a puddle starts to freeze as the water beneath slowly seeps into the ground. If the freeze rate and the drain rate match up just right, this is what you get. I love all the angles!

**Whoops! Uploaded the wrong version earlier...fixed now. (Minor color correction.)**

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

February 2020: Asylum Dutch Door

The asylum in Traverse City was an unusual place to shoot. Not just because of the history, but because of the physical environment. Specifically the lighting. Bear with me, as this is going to be geared more for the experienced photographers among you.
These are abandoned buildings. They have no electrical power, so the only light available  is via windows or what you bring with you. Conditions were in some cases total and complete darkness. This photo depicts conditions about as good as they got as fat as light goes. Plenty of ambient sunlight coming through (mostly broken) windows.
The fascinating thing for me in going through the asylum was not the challenge of light however.
It was the incredible variation in color.

We were in some rooms that were painted all blue, or orange, or peach. But even the rooms which were painted white, as this one was, reflected colors from the surrounding rooms, or from the outdoors.

This shot is interesting to me because you have the green in the background, which is light reflected off leaves in the trees outside the window, the blue in the foreground, which is reflected off a tarp hung over a window off to the right, and the red/yellow hue in between, which is the dingy, faded yellowing white paint of the actual walls. It is a surreal version of a color wheel, all in one photo.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

January 2020: Hiding Frog

When my kids were little, one of their favorite games whenever they were near a pond was "Find the Frog". We'd quietly walk up on a pond and they would try to find the frogs before they would spook and jump into the water to hide.
This shot of a green frog always reminds me of those times, and makes me smile.
As we enter yet another new year, I hope that it is one of smiles for you. Or at least of times which make you smile later on.

Monday, December 2, 2019

December 2019: Recursion

Christmas trees have Christmas trees.
Who knew?!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

November 2019: Room 211

Another photo from this summer's Asylum shoot. This was a door to a patient's room/cell. Like most of the paint in the buildings, the paint on the door was peeling off. There were a few things which drew me to this particular door however. It was one of the few which still had the number on it in such good condition, for one. And then I noticed that the numbers were hand-painted. (How long has it been since that was done in any state facility, let alone one operating in the mental health field?) But what really got me about this door is that something had been stuck to the door above the number. It would have been something personal to the patient whose room it was. A photo perhaps. Maybe just a name on a card. But something, and something to identify that specific person. In an institutional setting, especially for a patient struggling with issues of identity, whatever was there on that door was important. Possibly even a physical anchor which grounded that person as to who they even were, beyond just being "the patient in room 211".

I don't know what was on the door, or who lived in that room. But it was a person with a name and a life. And that was worth remembering as I clambered over the crumbling ceiling plaster and around piles of wood looking for the next shot.