Light In The Darkness

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Often I am struck by the simple beauty of light and darkness at play in this chaotic busy world we live in. We are constantly bombarded with sensory input giving us a continual flow of information from every direction at an accelerating pace until life becomes a blur.

Phones are ringing, screens are feeding us images at a nearly subliminal rate, traffic, crowds, demands from thousands of sources clamoring for our attention, we are in a constant state of call and response. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. We are fast losing our ability to be affected by the simple, the understated, even beauty for its own sake.

While walking through my version of heaven not long ago I came upon this single flower standing alone reaching for the light above, bathed in soft sunlight, stunning in its beauty and was moved by the arresting stillness of it. The play of light and darkness was soothing. The resemblance to an old master’s painting from a far simpler time when people had the ability to be moved by the natural beauty around them came rushing over me like a deluge of happiness. I thought I’d share it with you today, just in case your life has been hectic lately.

Fire In The Meadow

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There is a special meadow near a village called Red Feather high in the Rocky mountains of Northern Colorado where magical things happen. If you sit still and watch you may see a coyote slowly hunt across it’s grass-covered surface, pausing here with cocked head to listen, leaping there if it hears a mouse scamper through the new grass. Or see a Red-tailed hawk glide majestically out of the surrounding timber to splash its shadow across the land below as it too looks for it’s next meal.

Hummingbirds flit from flower to flower sipping the nectar from the new blooms and helping to pollenate the plants in this untamed garden. Before long the grass will be knee-high and cover the shorter blooms leaving you to discover them as you walk slowly through the dew covered stalks early in the morning.

There is an old fence line that divides the meadow into unequal portions, meaningful to  the humans who like to section things off and say that’s mine, but meaningless to the life that occupies or uses the ground on either side of the old rusty wire. Silent things that grow and stand tall and wave in the fresh breezes that occasionally wend their way down from the Never Summer mountains, their color dotting the meadowland like jewels left to catch the sun.

Now that the last of winter’s snow is making up its mind whether it will melt or not the earliest of the spring flowers are starting.  The Lenten Rose and Pasque flowers are peeking out beneath the snow close to Easter. Winter Aconite and the Common Snowdrop are breaching through the snow-covered meadow displaying their blooms, plus a favorite of all who see it, the Wyoming Indian Paint brush is beginning to appear. That pyrotechnical colored perennial that migrated down from the open plains of Wyoming and Montana to gently settle here and become a favorite native in this high meadow. It’s red and orange and yellows the exact colors of newly lit campfires. Scattered throughout the tall grass these brilliant flowers give the appearance of fire in the meadow with their brightly colored heads waving in the wind.

Spring is here, even though we just had a blizzard that produced a couple of feet of snow. The snow is nearly melted already and leaves in its wake what the locals call Mud Season, those several weeks of melting snow and saturated ground and mud everywhere. That’s spring in the high country. Enjoy it while you can. And while you’re at it go see the fire in the meadow. That’ll make you feel good.

And thanks to those gentle stewards of the land, Jack and Peggy, for the opportunity to photograph there. Enjoy your special place.

Tough Guy

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OK I admit it. I’m one of  those hairy-legged, rough-coated, cuss word wielding photographers who happens to be male. The kind that chewed tobacco just so he’d have something to spit when he was talking to the boys. As such I was occasionally viewed by members of the opposite sex, females in other words, of being somewhat coarse, I know, I know, I don’t understand it either, but it has happened. I am constantly amazed by this reaction.

Their main problem, women I mean, seems to be that I don’t have a ‘softer side’, one that has feelings. That I don’t ‘listen’, I listen, I’m listening while I ask them to please move the hell over you’re blocking my shot, and that hurts my feelings. That’s another thing I don’t understand, I have feelings. When I get punched in the face by another photographer because I said something about his ancestry that he didn’t like, I hurt. When I drop a $2000.00 lens on the ground and break it right in two and I don’t know if my insurance premiums are up to date, I feel despair. When I see that another photographer has spit tobacco juice all over my new camera bag, and as I am smacking him as hard as I can with my new $1800.00 graphite and carbon fiber tripod, I get angry. How can they say I don’t have feelings.

This is what causes problems between the sexes, this constant state of ‘failure to communicate’. Cool Hand Luke perfectly epitomized this situation for me when his warden was saying “What we have here is a failure to communicate”. Luke understood, it was the warden that didn’t understand. What Luke was trying to communicate was he just didn’t give a damn. This is something guys understand and relate to completely, and unfortunately it is something that the female side of the equation doesn’t get. It’s just lucky we can breed or otherwise I would fear for the human race.

So as an attempt to offer an olive branch and show that I, and I suspect other male photographers too, have a gentler, softer side if you will, I am presenting this image I made of a flower. I took this after carefully looking around to see if there were any other male photographers in the area, and when there wasn’t I quickly made this photo. I keep it in a folder named ‘Not very interesting stuff shot by mistake’ so if any of the guys are looking in my files they won’t find it. I don’t need that kind of drama right now. I think it totally refutes the argument women have with me of not having any feelings and demonstrates that I am a deeply caring and sensitive individual by nature, and all of you that disagree with that should just back off, know what I mean? I don’t care what you think, I mean I think we can calmly discuss this and arrive at a point where we truly understand each other and can live in harmony. It is kind of a pretty picture isn’t it? I just love the way the dew glistens on the delicately shaded petals…Wait, Did I just say that out loud? Oh man, well maybe just women will read the post today, if not I’ll just say my evil twin brother wrote it, yeah that’ll work.