Friday Bliss

Today was a beautiful, Spring-like day. Typically, February in Indiana is bitterly cold, grey and often snowy. If there is a teasingly Spring day, it usually doesn’t occur until March. I went out for a long walk wearing a sweatshirt and heavy winter coat, scarf and hat. Luckily, I had big pockets in my coat, because by the time I had walked a 1/2 mile, I was too hot for either the scarf or the hat. It was a perfect day for a leisurely, blissful walk.

A few scenes from my walk:

Just before I walked out the door, a bright red cardinal perched on a tree outside my dining room window. The cardinal was not the only bird I saw, of course. Along the way, I saw flickers, robins, ducks, and geese. There were a few leftover nests from last year, visible on the barren trees.




Last year's nest

I walked along the creek for 2.5 miles, stopping often to look and listen to the flowing water. Because we’ve had so little snow this year, the creek is much lower than normal. The sandy islands that form in the middle, usually only accessible in late summer, were reachable in a few spots. It isn’t a view I usually get to enjoy. I crawled out on one dead tree and sat for a while and listened to the rapidly flowing water and the birds.

As always, there are lots of interesting things along the side of the trail. Today’s surprise was that on the small island, there were many clam shells. I knew that clams populated inland waterways, but I had no idea that I could find some along this creek. Many were pearly and several were as large as my hands.

Of course, not everything to be found is natural. Looks like someone left in a hurry, leaving an unopened bottle.

A few days ago, Terry at Mobius Faith (Click on that link! His photos are fantastic!) posted some photos of concrete. I know it sounds a bit odd — concrete? — but his post inspired me to look at concrete differently. I’ll post more later — there are some that I want to experiment with in post-processing — but look at the interesting shapes and color from lichen and rust from the bridge materials. In places where graffiti artists have been, the parks department has tried to cover it up. The paint, as it ages, creates an interesting pentimento. Even the shapes of the concrete bridges are interesting.

Of course, there was plenty of nature to photography as well: empty milkweed pods, hanging from a limb; fungus on fallen trees; stark trees pressed up against the gorgeous, cloudless sky; snowdrops, those early signs of spring, pushing their way up from the winter ground.

As I returned home, walking up the drive, I noticed the tulip trees in the front ravine. They are over 100 feet tall, so it’s difficult to tell, but I think they may be starting to bud. As nice as it was today, early blooming is not good for the trees.


20 responses to “Friday Bliss

  1. Beautiful photographs. I could almost hear the running water in your pictures of the river.

  2. Wayside Artist

    Isn’t amazing how much color there is in winter? We think it’s so dull and drear, but see all that variation in the Turkey Tails. I love each of the photos. Thanks!

    • Yes, there is lots of variation, though it is so unusual around here to see so much that is green. I even saw a dandelion the other day! Usually it’s all just shades of white and grey this time of year.

  3. What a beautiful walk! Thanks Anne Camille – I could imagine myself there too.

  4. Your photos are wonderful, as always! I’m not sure what I loved best, or at least there were so many I loved… the rippling water, the snowdrops, the branches of the trees against the sky, that beautifully patterned fungus, the glowing red cardinal. I love nature photography as it helps me to see my own world better. I’m not great at noticing these things – people always loom so large in my perspective – so I’m grateful to you for opening my eyes a little wider!

    • Thanks, Ms. Litlove. I think that there was much in nature that I missed before I started photographing it. Even with my camera, there is still much that I overlook. That fungus for example: I nearly tripped over it before I took note of it. It’s right by the side of the walkway and I’d passed it three times in 2 days — times when I thought I was alert to my surroundings — without notice. Only a portion of it is in the photo. I wondered how I could have missed it before.

  5. For some reason, the picture of the rock appeals to me most. And the snowdrop type flower, but that’s probably because of the amount of times little elf makes me watch that film Stardust…

    • I like the rock photo too, mostly because during most of the year, you can hear the water around the rocks at this point of the creek, but you can’t get close enough to see them. There is too much brush along a steep edge of the bank to get close to the water. I suppose one could kayak to it — a lot of people do — but that isn’t my thing. Accessing from the other side of the creek isn’t an option. It’s bordered by a very posh, private golf course and gated neighborhood that I would not be able to gain access to.

    • I don’t know the film Stardust. Snowdrops only bloom briefly around here. These were in one of my garden beds, but I didn’t plant them there. Mostly they are wildflowers. I’ve tried to cultivate them but without success. I guess they like this area better, as there were about eight plants along a 10 foot space. Never seen them there before. Have one persistent one near my pond at the back of the house that has shown up yearly for the last dozen years — even after we dug up the entire area.

  6. Wow! Thanks for the kudos and link Anne. 😉
    Really nice nature shots. I’m heading out to the park this morning and seeing if anything “jumps out” at me. You’re concrete shots are wonderful. You actually got some life growing on that first shot of concrete. Excellent. And the second shot has a wonderful “fleshy” quality like shark skin or something like it. Of course you know me and abstracts – the third one is fabulous. I sometimes think the efforts to cover up graffiti are more interesting than the graffiti itself – and this shot of yours is a great example of that. Keep up the great work. And thanks again. 🙂

    • I liked the second concrete one too. Its texture reminds me of the paper birch trees, many which grow along the banks of this creek. Some of the ones I took of graffiti coverups look very Rothko-like to me. I really need to figure out how to do post-processing to achieve the looks that I want with them.

  7. Beautiful photos Anne!
    We have a cardinal that knocked on our window on a daily basis during summer & fall months. It’s the strangest thing…it goes on for several minutes at a time. I’ve actually been able to record it. Your photo reminded me of him. Wonder if he’ll come back in the spring?
    Enjoyed your photos!

  8. I can’t get that red cardinal out of my mind. He’s so plump. My mom and I saw our first cardinal of the year about a week ago and were very excited.

    • Cardinals are year-around here. I often joke that they must be under contract with another photographer, as I can never get a good shot of them. Guess these were free agents! A friend of mine, who now lives in Oregon posted on FB that she misses cardinals now that she doesn’t live in the midwest. I never knew that that cardinals didn’t live in the Pacific Northwest.