Looking up — or is that down?

A cluster of tulip tree leaves, brought down by the storm

I spent over three hours today doing yard work, work I had put off for far too long.   With the drought, there hasn’t been much grass for anyone to cut, but we live on a wooded lot, so there isn’t ever much.  We do have a small creek — a drainage ditch, really — that runs along our property near the street before going under ground.  Since there hasn’t been any significant rain for nearly two months, the creek bed is dry. It’s the only time in 12 years that I can remember that the ditch has been dry.

But that doesn’t mean that things won’t grow: there are plenty of tall, ugly weeds.  I finally took a weedwhacker to them today and got the few surviving blades of grass and the weeds cut down to a reasonable height.  As I was finishing up, there was a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning.   I went inside thinking that at last we were going to have some precipitation. But, the rain is a big tease.

Since the rain went elsewhere, and I was on a roll with the yard work, I attacked the leaves on the driveway with the leaf blower.  So many trees have gone into survival mood and many are dropping leaves in addition to the nuts and seeds that we usually find mid-summer.  It took me a few hours to complete clearing the tree debris.

I was feeling like I had accomplished a lot in the yard today — and I had some slightly achy muscle to prove it.   I had gone out for the evening, and upon returning, as my sister approached my neighborhood, I noticed that there were leaves and branches strewn across the road.  Oh no! I thought.  All my hard work and it won’t even look like I did anything!   But at least we got rain!  I sighed.   As we crossed the last intersection, the debris disappeared.  The base of my drive didn’t look wet.  But, as we headed up the driveway, we could see puddles and a few downed twigs and branches. Of course, I had to grab my camera.

It was after 9pm and the light was fading quickly.   Most of the shots were okay, but nothing was spectacular.  Had I more light and more time, I would have used my macro lens and worked for an image of raindrops on the leaves.   The photo above is okay and has some interesting textures but I’d have to spend a lot of time working magic to turn it into something that isn’t the standard raindrop on leaf photo.

As I was walking into the house, I noticed that there were nice reflections in the rain puddles.    How could I resist those?   The light wasn’t right, but this has given me some ideas for how I might shoot something like this in the future.  I like how the asphalt surrounding the puddle created a vignette effect.  I like how it looks like you are looking up from a pit into the sky.   I only had one or two minutes of day light left.  If only I had time to get a tripod set up, I might have created an entirely different photo.

Shadowy trees in the rain puddle


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