Wednesday, April 28, 2010

APOLOGIA PHOTOGRAPHIA

"…a tree older than our nation…"
I saw my first warbler of spring earlier today—a male black-and-white that flitted about for a minute or so in one of the hackberry trees along the river. As a birder, I'm really pretty lousy when it comes to identifying migrating warblers…though I'm certainly more competent on spring birds than autumn's passel of subdued look-alikes. Black-and-white warblers, however, are pretty easy, and I was glad, because I'd hate starting out the season on a species I couldn't name.
"…a flower…"
Speaking of personal deficiencies, I've been seriously negligent in my posting these past few days. I think the weekend wore me out.
"…or bird…"
At least that's my excuse. I'm sure the weather had a lot to do with it—rainy and cold on Monday; even colder, though sunny, yesterday; and lovely sun but still on the too-cool side today.
"…a bug that looks like a jewel…"
Whatever the root of my latest malaise, I've accomplished shamefully little when it comes to writing, inside or outside chores, not to mention fishing and photography. Egads!
"…the stained-glass look of backlit leaves…"
Late this afternoon I took my Nikon and made a slow circumnavigation of the yard. For me, finding and making pictures is a way to step outside my current emotional state, to put the press of life aside momentarily and focus both eye and mind on the wonders of the world before me.
"…sunlight sparkling off the water…"
Large or small, such wonders are always there; there's always something worth recording—a flower or bird, sunlight sparkling off the water, the stained-glass look of backlit leaves, a bug that looks like a jewel…a tree older than our nation reaching into a cloud-dappled April sky.
If I'm lucky, I also find that temporarily missing part of myself somewhere in the images.
———————

26 comments:

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Well ... the images are exquisite, so that surely tells us something about you. Of course, those of us who follow already knew that!

I noticed you were MIA and hoped you were alright.

Those stunning pics are a lovely reward for waiting for you to re-emerge.

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

Bonnie…

Thank you for your lovely remarks. I don't know what my problem has been lately other than lassitude. There are plenty of things around here needing doing. Alternately, I could have poked along some half-forgotten trail, or tried a new creek for smallmouth…or gone mushroom hunting.

What I've done instead is get the work out I had to, and skipped everything else in favor or wallowing about with a stack of mysteries I picked up at the library Monday.

Alas, this isn't the first time for such slothful behavior…

Jayne said...

Oh, I don't know... I think we all are there at one time or another. At times, my well is so very dry. Then, I walk outside. Nirvana! Look at all there is to see! :c)

Bernie said...

Great photos my friend.....we are having rain, sleet and hail at the moment so I am again by my fire with a book and laptop.....love being comfy but would prefer to be outside enjoying fresh air and brisk Spring weather. Not sure when it will arrive in Morinville .......:-) Hugs

Cherrie said...

Great pictures! I love mysteries; what are you reading?

Joy K. said...

Nothing wrong with a little slothiness.

The sunlight-on-water picture is beautiful. Sometimes, simple is best.

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

Jayne…

I'm not it's a dry well…more a lazy pump. But I've always been this way, prone to short-lived funks. And you're right, outside time usually cures.

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

Bernie…

You would have felt right at home here yesterday and Monday…yesterdays was sunny, windy, and almost icy cold, and Monday no sun but cold and rain. Good hearthfire weather both days.

Sure didn't feel very springlike.

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

Cherrie…

What am I reading? Well, the mysteries I picked up the other day are about my usual fare—possibly a bit more international than usual, though I really like a lot of the foreign writers in translation. Anyway, here's the list.

SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN, Donna Leon (Italian writer/mystery)
CAPE GREED, Sam Cole (South African writer/mystery)
THE CRUEL STARS OF THE NIGHT, Kjell Eriksson (Swedish writer/mystery)
FIRST THE DEAD, Tim Downs (New Orleans mystery)
BLOODSHOT, Stuart MacBride (Scottish writer/mystery)
BORDERLANDS, Brian McGilloway (Irish writer/mystery)

I'm also reading several other books—a thing on turtles, an old narrative of the Great Lakes country, a history of eastern-Kentucky, and a collection of short stories by Thomas Lynch.

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

Joy K…

I'm kinda like an old hound—I have to sprawl out under the porch for a few days every so often, forget chasing cars and cats, just amble out for kibbles and a drink now and then.

Kinda recharges my battery somehow.…

Wanda said...

My husband even mentioned you hadn't posted for a few days. :)
These very cool mornings have taken the 'spring' out of our steps too. Today I did find one Morel and heard the Wood Thrush for the first time this Spring!

The Solitary Walker said...

It's good sometimes to concentrate on the thing itself - 'tree', 'bird', 'flower' - rather than on the name. As Tennyson said, 'What is it? a learned man / Could give it a clumsy name. / Let him name it who can, / The beauty would be the same.'

Don't be too hard on yourself, Grizzled.

Tramp said...

Thanks for this Griz. I've felt very much the same over the past week, keeping up with the basics but only just and things playing on my mind. You've picked me up a bit. Thanks mate.
There are things below the surface but they aren't coming out. Boy, if you're reading all that, you're doing something!
Tramp

Rowan said...

LOvely photos especially that beautiful bug which is, as you say, like a small jewel. I 've only just caught up with the news of your ladyloves health, I hope the wireless gadget gives the doctors a clue of the causes of all her horrid symptoms and that they can give her something to help - maybe she just needs to ease up and take life a little easier?
Whatever your problem is on the lack of blog posts I've got it too! Judging from the small number of posts from other bloggers that I follow we aren't alone either.

George said...

A lovely posting, Griz, with terrific images! It's always amazing how a little walk with one's camera can awaken us from our slumber. So much infinite beauty in the world! Thanks for capturing and sharing small parts of it.

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

Wanda…

No wood thrush that I've yet heard. Today's predicted temperatures in the low-70s ought to pop some morels, for sure. I may take a woods ramble later on and check things out.

I'd like to have you report to your husband how I'm back and better'n ever! Except that's not quite the truth. So tell him I'm on duty…but just plugging along. And in the meantime, hoping whatever my problem was, it has now passed. I can barely put up with myself when I get like this.

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

Solitary…

I love those Tennyson lines! And how they echo Shakespeare's "…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." There's much truth therein, too. I often find myself concentrating on a thing's identity rather than its beauty—especially when I have a camera in hand. When I post photos, there's a part of me that wants to tidy up (and possibly show off) with an identifying caption—and another part of me that wants to say, "Forget what this thing is called, just look at how marvelous, how astonishing, how utterly beautiful it is!"

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

Tramp…

I know exactly what you mean. Something's down there, bubbling away, though still too nebulous to acknowledge or understand.

Hey, don't be all that impressed by my reading habits. I've always been a voracious reader, and since high school days (mid-teens, agewise) have read multiple books at once. I was reading before I started kindergarten. And as a very sickly kid who often spent days at a time bedfast, long before the days of cable TV and a gazillion channels, reading was my only escape. I'm sure reading and books, and all the adventures and wonder I found therein, literally saved my life.

I read the mysteries for entertainment, so I pretty much read them in a sitting. The other things I switch about, depending on mood at the moment. I also listen to books on CDs (picked up 6 of those the other day at the library, too) as I've found I can "hear" a book while cooking, doing dishes or other chores, driving across town, etc.

Myladylove bought me an iPod for Christmas, which now gives me the option of carrying several dozen books in my shirt pocket, anywhere I go. (In case you're wondering, I never take a book along when I'm outdoors…though I do take a stack for reading my candle or headlamp when I'm in the tent.)

Still, it's just one man's over-the-top reading habits. Not to be taken as anything special…

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

Rowan…

Myladylove's wireless monitor is supposed to arrive by UPS today. It has a built-in cell phone. Whenever she feels anything unusual—increased heart rate, anxiety, a rise in blood pressure, heaviness on the chest, palpitations, etc.—she pushes a button and the device calls the service, someone looks at the reading, evaluates, and decides whether or not to notify the doctor. It gives the doctors a good handle on what might be going own, or at least what the patient THINKS might be going on and reacts to—ultimately, in Myladylove's case, learning whether it's any sort of heart issues or, as they mostly believe, anxiety.

So…we'll see. But you're right in that she may have to change her lifestyle, learn to ease up, not be so intense. All easier said than done, of course. She's pretty high strung, always has been, and has a difficult time relaxing. Plus she's like me in being uncommonly stubborn. The next couple of months ought to be really interesting.

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

George…

I know I regularly need to look beyond myself, to see the beauty in the small, the hidden, the common. Ultimately, I think it's a matter of finding perspective, of realigning oneself. It's like we occasionally turn into little kids…at which point life tells us to take our seats, sit down, and shut up; then we can learn and make something useful of our time.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

First, I read your reply about your 'ladylove' and it is good that her condition is being monitored. And ya, it is SO hard to change one's personality type - especially the stubborn part!! :-)

Your pictures are SO beautiful Grizz - and I love your images, honored with crative words that bring it all into focus. Wow.

Happy THursday
Love Gail
peace.....

Scott said...

Not to play "one-upmanship," but I've already spotted the following warblers: Palm, Pine, Parula, and American Redstart, and a Blue-headed Vireo and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. They're coming...

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

Gail…

Changing one's ways is especially hard—make that nigh impossible!—if you're Irish…which, thank God, Myladylove is not, at least not to my degree. Of course she's Southern, from the hills, got some Indian blood in there, and has the "take no prisoners" attitude that regularly causes grown men to cry, which delights her greatly. One of the reasons we get along so well is we both fear and admire each other's stubbornness. There could certainly be interesting times ahead…

I'm glad you liked the photos. I think my favorite is the tulip. I always appreciate your enthusiasm, too…

Hope things are going well. Take care.

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

Scott…

I might have spotted at least one or two other warblers during these past few days if I could have successfully motivated my sorry carcass to go into the woods and actually look up into the trees. But being mediocre (actually, not even that!) on warblers, I probably couldn't have dropped their names.

I did see a peregrine falcon this morning—doubtless one of the birds we have nesting downtown. Is that worth a point? No hummers here, either—though I have feeders out.

Dheeraj Bhaskar said...

All the pictures are truly divine.
I loved the photograph of the bug and the flower. Nice blog, very well done.
Do drop in your views of my pictures at http://reel-moments.blogspot.com

Best of luck!

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

Dheeraj…

Hey, I visited your blog and liked what I saw there. I've added it to my list. I appreciate you nice words re. my photos, and glad you found your way here to the riverbank. Please visit and comment as often as you like; you're always welcome.