Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Thing of Beauty


Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.

Henry David Thoreau


This week we were walking along a nearby hiking trail and it might have been the fall light (the air is clearer, the greens are fading, and the vegetation takes on shades of brown and gold), but it seemed like even the simplest bits of nature took on a beauty that just cried out "photo-op".

Stump flowers

A study in Contrasts

Birch Bark

As I was adding those photos to my files, I realized I had taken a lot of pictures lately that might fit into the "walk on by" category. Natural "vignettes" that don't jump out at you, don't leave you breathless, but on closer inspection, have a kind of fascinating beauty.

Tree fungus

A Fungus Bouquet

Lake Superior "seashells"

Caterpillar Chic

Goat's-beard "Puff ball"

The goat's beard, I admit, didn't grow on our dock.  The light was better there, and so was the background, so I sort of stuck it in between the dock boards.  Artistic license or "fudging".  Call it what you will, but I like it!



  1. I have always thought it's a shame that people don't notice all the beauty that exists in the little things that surround them every day, but your pictures show that you're not one of those people. Maybe some people will see your pictures and learn to "stop and smell the roses."

  2. Goat's-beard puff ball is now my new screen saver! Your picture makes me want to be one of those loose seeds getting ready to launch.

  3. Thanks, JDS and Anon.. .

    Anon, we sort of "help" those seeds along when we come across them on the side of the road. It's great watching them rise to the sky when the wind is up. I'm going to try and take a picture of them on the fly!

  4. Wonderful photos! I especially loved seeing the fungi. When I was a young girl growing up, my parents bought some isolated land on a lake in the U.P. Not so much fun at the time for a girl who wanted to be around other kids more than anything else. However, my brother showed me how to draw pictures on the fungi and together we made art projects in the wilderness. Great memories!

  5. Hi Coralie, my daughter found a hand-painted tree fungus at a thrift shop once that came from Montana and was painted and signed in 1927. It was a mountain scene with a cabin in the background and an antelope in the foreground. Someone put a lot of effort into it! I've never done it myself, but I can see the appeal. ..

    I'm loving your stories, by the way.