Thursday, May 7, 2009

FOGGY MORNING

It is foggy along the riverbank this morning—a delicate world seen through a gossamer veil, at once both insubstantial and strangely primeval. I might be the first to ever lay eyes on this diaphanous land. The river is muddy and up perhaps a foot, muted, sliding in soft murmur between wet green walls or dripping brush and vines. The sycamores have their root-tangles in the flow, leaning affably like white-robed Druid priests enjoying a Baptist foot-washing. The goose on the island across from the cottage honks, telling me it’s times for his breakfast. I take a scoop of cracked corn from the barrel on the front deck and toss under the nearby hackberry. That’s when I see the long-stemmed mushrooms which have sprang up overnight around the tree’s base. I love foggy mornings. The light is dim, diffused, yet shot through with a silver pearlescent. Colors are saturated. Sounds seem more rounded and louder in the muffled quiet. On mornings like these my eyes are drawn to the near, the close-up…to those things we pass a hundred times a day and seldom notice—yet are now transformed. Droplets of water on leaves. The bright colored lichens on chunks of firewood. I know practically nothing about lichens, but after a night of drizzles and amid the subtle light of a morning's fog, they are as pretty as any wildflower. There is always great beauty waiting to be discovered if we only look. But really, isn’t that the way it is? It isn’t life that fails to offer us beauty; rather it is we who fail to see—to slow our pace, focus or eyes, open our heart and appreciate all those marvelous things placed before us. Each day is a gift, a blessing. It has never been before and will never be again, but is all ours to enjoy—right now, amid the sweet soft light of an April fog. And I am so, so grateful….

28 comments:

Lynne said...

Do you remember the old musical "Brigadoon"? Foggy mornings remind me of that story.

Nutty Gnome said...

Wonderful post today Scribe - very evicative. I was almost there on the riverbank with you! Thank you.

Phoenix C. said...

I so enjoyed this post, Grizzled - I love fog and mist too.

I particularly identify with your last two paragraphs - 'open our heart and appreciate all those marvellous things placed before us.'

I just read a Goethe quote, 'Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.'

(BTW: I'm usually here in different form!!)

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-

Just when I think your photos can't get anymore amazing they do. These are so beautiful and so close, every detail captured.

It is foggy here too and I so love it. Te fog and mist are good as I need time to NOT see so clearly because sometimes the reality of the light of day is best shadowed for a time as I gather my thoughts and direction.
It is perfect reflection of gray and mist and low filters -all of which nature has provided me today.

Love Gail
peace.....

Wanda said...

I'm grateful for your posts...they read aloud by themselves...if that makes sense...it's as if I "hear" the words...I only "read" other blogs!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

You know, I'd forgotten "Brigadoon" until your reminder. Of course I also remember all those Sherlock Holmes films, and their foggy settings. And some science fiction films of foggy Venus…and the scene from "Pirates of the Caribbean." But "Brigadoon" is good.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Nutty Gnome…

Thank you for reading…and I'm glad you liked it.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Phoenix…

I'm glad to hear from you and especially pleased the last two paragraphs struck a responsive chord.

I wasn't trying to preach, or write all warm and fuzzy. I meant exactly what I said, whole-heartedly. I also think they fit very well with that lovely Goethe quote.

(Hmmm…"usually here in different form"? Now that's intriguing. I'll try and figure what that means. In the meantime, whatever form you assume…I hope you enjoy your visits to the riverbank.)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I'm really pleased you like the photos. I like shooting different things—especially small, usually unnoticed things—in a way that makes someone take their own second look the next time around. I like doing this because it makes ME see the beauty in the oft-ignored.

You know, you're right in certain ways about finding comfort and direction by doing some of your thinking where the light's not all that bright. Harsh light often destroys clarity. When I used to do a lot of darkroom work—for both myself and several fine-arts photographers—I judged the quality of my prints under the dimmest of lights. Before the print was ready to dry, mount, frame, and hang in a gallery or museum, it had to pass the test in a room lit by less light than is put out by a single candle; in this close semi-darkness its flaws, its weak points, were revealed. Sometimes you couldn't even see them in the brighter light…but you knew there was sometimes missing, a lack of balance which was impossible to expose until you appraised it again in the dark.

This as true in life as in printmaking.

Take care…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

What a lovely and very special compliment. It is the reason I write, the goal I try and attain. If I can come anywhere close to this on a give day, I'm really pleased.

Thank you. I truly appreciate your comment.

gleaner said...

Yep, another wonderful post and the photos today are particularly beautiful.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gleaner…

I don't know what else to say but "thank you."

Re. the photos, I actually just went out intending to take a shot of fog on the river and kind of got carried away. It is sunny here now; the mushrooms under the box elder are gone; and a few minutes ago when I looked at the woodpile where I made those lichen shots, everything was dried and pretty much a uniform gray. So it was literally a captured moment in time…

Jain said...

Lovely fog, it was here to the north, too, and made for dicey driving. My first thought at dawn was to grab my camera, but I decided to go to work instead. Bah.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

The fog here lasted only until mid-morning—from then it was cloudy, and later, sunny. My grass is now up several inches. These last couple of days have been a real trip…

Bernie said...

I read my favorite blogs in the evening before sleep and I am glad I left yours until the end tonight, I found it to be very calming almost serene....Have a great day.....:-)Bernie

Jayne said...

So much to see and be grateful for indeed. :c)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Does that make me a "serenity scribe"? :-)

Kidding aside, I find mornings such as yesterday's (the one in the posting, as I'm now answering a day hence) calming and peaceful, which is maybe one of the reasons why I like them so much. I didn't realize it came through when I wrote, however.

Thank you for your nice comment.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Indeed…every time I get to feeling down, depressed, sorry for myself, I look around and realize how very much I have. My life isn't perfect by a long shot. But to complain would be to ignore and diminish the many blessings and gifts, and countless good things.

Sydney said...

Ah, the prose here is absolutely beautiful, and the pictures are too. You are a poet... nature has a way of bringing that out in a person. By tomorrow morning (saturday) I will have a blog award waiting for you at Adventures in Nature. I apologize that it's called the Lovely Blog award, surely it's not as rugged as it should sound for you here. But this post was lovely, so there!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Sydney…

Ahhh…you flatter me, indeed. I'm glad you enjoy this blog—prose, pictures, repartee. That is why it is done, to share.

Thank you, "rugged" award or not. (Actually, I'm kinda a cupcake.)

The Solitary Walker said...

Just been catching up on your last few posts...

I like misty mornings too. Sometimes, when the clag's down in the fells, you're forced to narrow your sight and observe all the little close-range details - the mosses, the lichens, water dripping on rock, the tiny tormentils and the saxifrages. And that's a good thing. The big views will always be there another day!

Once, on one of my Spanish Camino treks, I walked in fog across a flat, montonous landscape of cereal fields and drainage ditches for several days on end. This taught me a lot. It's amazing what inner resources can be called upon to carry you through. You focus on apparently ordinary features close at hand, and realise they're not so ordinary after all. Also you tend to bring the imagination, and interior worlds, into play... as a kind of recompense for or counterbalance to one's restricted visual stimulation. And the blurry outlines and and fuzzy half-objects are a stimulus to the imagination anyway.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

I've spent lots of time in various foggy situations, too—though never so long as to be counted in days. That would have been an amazing experience, I suspect. Did you notice the effect fog has on sound, they way it warps and moves it around?

A few few years ago, I happened to be miles deep in a mature woods in Ohio's southeastern hill-country. These are steep, heavily-forested Appalachian foothills. Anyway, it was October, early morning—maybe a hour after dawn—and suddenly this heavy fog came slipping through the trees—fog so thick you couldn't see a tree trunk more than 20 feet away. That in and of itself was really strange—such a blanketing fog on a ridge top.

After about 30 minutes, I heard geese calling—way off at first, but the sound getting louder and louder. I couldn't tell their precise direction, but it sounded like they were heading my way, so I kept watching, figuring the birds must be high, likely above the treetops where the fog wasn't nearly so dense.

The fog seemed to magnify their cries. Suddenly, these great black-and-white-and-gray birds—Canada geese—appeared, a yard or two out and at most 15 feet over my head. They just materialized out of a wall of fog and passed across my field of view, flying in single file, closely spaced, though because of the fog, only one bird visible at a time. There must have been a hundred birds.

For some reason when they passed me they fell perfectly silent. Normally, with a goose flyinng this close, you'd be able to hear wingbeats; but the fog muffled the sound completely. They were like ghost geese, soundless, materializing briefly, flashing across my view, disappearing. Totally surreal! One of the absolutely strangest things I've ever witnessed in my life.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I love the fog, too.
There's something almost magical about its touch, being out in its midst, so dreamy.
Nice observations.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Nina…

It always feels a bit other-worldly to me, the diffused light, the closed-in silver-white walls so softly illuminated, the secret, private mystery of a landscape transformed.

Fog can be scary, though, when you're in a tiny fishing boat out beyond the Bass Islands of Lake Erie, you hope not in one of the shipping channels, but with no compass or chart so you don't know for sure…and you have no idea what's going to materialize suddenly a dozen feet off your bow.

Been there and done that, too.

KGMom said...

Scribe--your ruminations on the flow of the river, and the mood it evokes, remind me of the one stanza from the great hymn "Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past"--

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Ah, the ephemerality of life.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Though I know a great many of the old hymns, this one was new to me. I'll have to try and find an internet site where I can give it a listen. But you're right, the lines do fit right in…and are quite beautiful. Thank you.

Life is, indeed, so very fleeting…

Glennis said...

Such beautiful lichen, so many different colours and textures within it.
Also a lovely misty foggy morn.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Glennis…

I also thought the colors in the lichen were simply amazing. And it's one of those those things so often overlooked. I'm pleased you liked the post.