Monday, November 22, 2010

SAMARAS & SUNLIGHT


I've been working at my desk since about 8:30 a.m. Between today's stint and an even longer session Saturday, I'm glad to say everything got finished and fired off to the various editors. I also included a cheery missive outlining my plans—in lurid and succulent detail—for the 23-pound turkey now resting on the bottom shelf of my refrigerator come Thanksgiving. The idea was to have them drooling on their iPads and suffering from hunger pains as punishment for not giving me an earlier heads-up when they decided to shorten my deadlines. I covered side dishes as well as the main course. Plus desserts. Editors tend to live on junk food, are perpetually hungry, and drool like Rottweilers at the mere mention of anything edible.  

During one of today's few breaks, Moon the dog and I stepped outside for perhaps five minutes. I made one photo…which was of the afternoon sun shining through clusters of box elder seeds in a bankside tree about fifty feet from the cottage. 

Actually, what you're seeing is not the true seed but the paired samaras, or "keys," each a couple of inches long, with the half-inch seed located at the base where the samara connects to the raceme's stem. These little winged seed packages were spinning and flying every which way on today's gusty winds—planting themselves, no doubt, by the tens of thousands. Which still leaves hundreds of thousands of box elder keys for the squirrels to nibble.

You know, I'll bet several of those editors I emailed are about now to the point where they'd gladly munch box elder seeds. What a pity I couldn't email them a bag… 

———————           

30 comments:

Jain said...

Wow, beautiful! Golden spangles against a watercolor backdrop.

Grizz………… said...

Jain…

Wow to you from me…that's a better description than I could have managed in a week! Just perfect! Thank YOU!

Hilary said...

What a pretty image. I'm glad you got your work done and evoked a bit of drooling in the process. It's only fair. I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving.. no doubt you will. :)

KGMom said...

Ah--thanks for explaining the "samaras" reference.
I read the title quickly and at first thought you said "SAMOSAS and sunlight."
Oh well.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving, with the proper eating restraint, of course.

Val said...

your photos are extraordinary! what camera do you use? i love these windows into your river world - so so beautiful. thankyou

Rowan said...

What an absolutely beautiful photograph! So glad you finished all your work and can relax and enjoy Thanksgiving now. I've been pretty much absent from the blogging world over the last couple of months as life has just been really busy and I've had a lot of real life stuff to catch up on. Hopefully I'm now back on track and shall be back to both blogging and commenting.

Grizz………… said...

Hilary…

Thank you…and yes, I have every intention of enjoying Thanksgiving, though there will be a lot of cooking to do between the time I get up and the time we sit at the table and prepare to eat. But, in a way, that's part of the fun.

Grizz………… said...

KGMom…

Not to worry, "samaras" and "keys" are just two terms for those spinning maple seed things most kids call "helicopters." Personally, I always momentarily confuse the word with the Biblical Samaria, or if I've been south down Interstate-75 recently, Smyrna, GA.

No eating restraint here on Thanksgiving. The notions are mutually exclusive.

Grizz………… said...

Val…

I hate to burst any bubble you might have formed regarding my photo gear, but I have an old Nikon D-70. That's like the Model "T" of modern digitals, worth maybe $100 on the used market. I'd just saved the money up for a new D-7000 last month when my computer went out following a lightening strike—to the tune of $1800, not counting the $300 laser printer. But in all photography, gear doesn't matter nearly so much as the eye behind the lens.

I'm glad you enjoy the posts.

Grizz………… said...

Rowan…

I'd missed you and wondered what had happened—and I'm just paranoid enough to worry that you might have simply written Riverdaze off your blog list. Glad that's not the case, and do hope everything in life and circumstance is getting back in proper order.

Freda said...

These are beautiful and they remind me to open my eyes when I'm out and about this afternoon. Happy Thanksgiving.

Grizz………… said...

Freda…

Thank you…that's one of the reasons why I make photos—because it forces me to look closely, to see the things of simple beauty I might otherwise overlook.

Jayne said...

Love the way you captured the light hitting them Grizz!

Julie Baumlisberger said...

I'm still laughing at how you got even with your editors! Touche! There is nothing like describing food (luridly or otherwise) to get the saliva glands working overtime. Good job!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving on Thursday - we celebrated ours up here last month.

Thoroughly enjoying your writing (and photography) - keep up the great work.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

I never even heard of the word 'samars' until reading your very informative post.:-) ANd the picture is SO beautiful. And our Turkey is 23 pounds also , cool huh? Today is stuffing day - a long, fun, delicious process. we already made 2 banana breads and they are baking as I write. The smells are wonderful.

Love to you always
Gail
peace.....

George said...

A lovely back-lit photo, Grizz! Now that your work is done, I trust that you, your ladylove, and Moon, together with the other loved ones and friends in your life, will have a joyful Thanksgiving.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Beautiful! Better than any jewellery!

Jenn Jilks said...

I love the photo. How satisfying being paid for putting words together as beautiful as light and colour!

Our Thanksgiving is behind us, but I am grateful every day. Have fun on yours!
Cheers from Cottage Country!

Grizz………… said...

Jayne…

Thank you…as is soon evident if you look at many photos on these posts, I'm always a sucker for backlight—especially shining through somewhat translucent objects.

Grizz………… said...

Julie…

Well, I don't know if my email worked on my editors, but it sure worked on me! I hadn't eaten much of anything the entire day, so it was sort of a weak moment of wishful-thinking.

Glad you liked the piece.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

I've got to get my dinner prep in order tomorrow, including baking. We've been out and running around all day, starting with dental check-ups at 9:00 a.m. and ending with a stop at the grocery just before we got home nearly 12 hours later. I'm beat…but I think a slice or two of that banana bread would rejuvenate my sorry carcass.

Grizz………… said...

George…

If cooking and feasting and sharing with family and friends will do it—and I'm certain this will prove the case—then our Thanksgiving ought to be wonderful.

Last weather report I heard, however, called for heavy, all-day rain. So Thanksgiving is apt to be a bit damp. Not that it will dampen our spirits…

Grizz………… said...

Raph…

I believe if you saw a thousand of these samaras whirling like little ballerinas on the wind, you just might find a way to work them into one of your lovely tales…

Grizz………… said...

Jenn…

Thank you for such a lovely compliment.

I'm certainly looking forward to Thanksgiving, as it's one of my very favorite holidays of the year, unsullied by commercialism, traditional, unchanged by time. Just prepare a great feast, gather in those who are close to share it with, and enjoy—all the while celebrating the blessings evident all around.

AfromTO said...

How about some feast photos-show us your cooked goods-I always appreciate a well laden table.Nothing like a golden light on a turkey.Happy Thanksgiving

Grizz………… said...

AfromTO…

I may do that, if I don't forget. The problem is that as I'm doing the cooking and thus in the kitchen, it's near impossible to safeguard the laden table—including the resting golden turkey—for a shot. Appointing a guard hasn't helped; no one at this gathering is trustworthy…all being weak of flesh when it comes to food temptations. A few Thanksgivings ago I came to the table to find my son-in-law had literally denuded the turkey of its crispy brown skin. If you've ever seen the movie "A Christmas Story," then just let me say my crowd is no better trained, or more apt to feel any sense of remorse or need for repentance, than the Bumpus hounds of that film. I make my usual threats, dire warnings, etc., but one harried cook can only do so much. (And probably they all sense my jealousy at not being able to flitch bites of food beforehand. Everyone knows stolen food is always better.)

AfromTo said...

Ahhh Yum I would be one of those culprits caught denuding your turkey of it crispy skin.That's hard to resist.Enjoy the feast of food and friends.

Grizz………… said...

AfromTO…

Oh, I understood the temptation, it was the bad manners and hoggishness that hacked me off…plus the fact that none of the rest of us had a bite left to enjoy.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I haven't commented in some time, but every day peek at the photos and smile and sometimes even have time to read your posts, too...I dream of retiring and blogging full-time, or at least have more time to enjoy reading them all...

The sunlight shining through those 'helicopters' is that golden autumn color I so love. Wonderful photo!

Grizz………… said...

Teri…

I love seeing the sun shining through them, too. Such a lovely color. From where I sit at my desk, I can look out the window at these limbs and the bangles of golden keys about fifty feet away. I can't tell you how many times I've gone out for a closer look, taken another photo, or just sat inside and looked at them for minutes on end.