other views

Spring isn’t all a cherry blossom delight….


A pond at a public garden, choked with a heavy bloom of algae. Too shallow and still to support much life other than the algae, and littered with old leaves, it actually made me want to avert my eyes. The balance was off – there was probably insufficient oxygen to support a healthy mix of species. I used to garden for a living and I don’t like to see gardens neglected.

Still, there was beauty there, with the branches of a Japanese maple bending gracefully to the muddy water.  I took a photograph, and later I exaggerated the softness to make it all about the drifting colors.


Bruised, fallen Magnolia petals mingle with last year’s dead leaves – beauty  underfoot.


Also seen at the garden, intricate textures on the surface of a granite boulder. Instead of Spring’s pretty pastels, the boulder contained a subtly colored miniature map, almost like a view from space.


A clutch of tiny maple flowers glows deep crimson against lime green leaves. Looking up and peering very closely, odd bits of stamens and petals come into focus.


A Japanese maple’s dusky, thread-like new leaves stretch tentatively into the air.




Another view of the pond where fish don’t swim, frogs don’t vocalize and ducks won’t paddle. It has a beauty of its own.


Photos taken at Kubota Gardens in Seattle.


  1. Apropos of your photos of this pond, I looked in vain for a specific quotation that I’m sure I’ve saved somewhere. Meanwhile I’ve found this by the English philosopher Francis Bacon:

    The contemplation of things as they are
    without error or confusion

    without substitution or imposture

    is in itself a nobler thing
    than a whole harvest of invention.

    The quotation I was looking for said something more pointed about finding beauty in “bad” things, that we could simply enjoy that mystery. Sure hope I find it. Congratulations on finding the beauty in this bad pond—and elsewhere as shown in this post. I like how you use shallow depth of field to such advantage.

    • The whole notion of things as they are has interested me for a long time. In zen, just this. But I’m very two-sided, and happy to tweak and play with images. It’s a two stage process, isn’t it, because you’re in one state of mind when you take the photo, but you might go somewhere else with it later. It’s way more complicated that that but I guess what I’m teasing out is that I mostly attempt to see things in a fairly straightforward way when behind my camera – no added embellishments necessary – but in front of the monitor I sometimes like to change it up. As for finding beauty in what others may reject, That appeals to something contrary in my nature, and probably yours, too.

  2. Lynn, the two views of the pond are out of this world, the upper one, the one at the top of the post, in particular – its looks immensely like some sort of painting and quite honestly, at first sight it took my breath away – it is so immensely fresh, colourful, Impressionistic and vibrant. Adrian

  3. For some reason, I thought you were an educator…but I am very happy to know you as a former professional gardener…that speaks of another higher-calling…and a gentle spirit with a longing to connect with our mother, Earth. Sweet photos, Lynn…even with the thickness and absence of other life due to the oxygen deprivation, the scenes with the water are beautifully captured….

    • I’ve done different things…but maybe the closest I got to being an educator was a brief stint as docent at the NY Botanical Garden…because I loved plants and thought knowing more about them was fun…but boy was it frustrating, leading people around who were only there to be led. Didn’t work for me! 🙂 The current work involves helping families navigate difficult situations with relatives, mostly older parents, who aren’t doing well, mentally, physically, emotionally. Families are fascinating. As are plants, to me anyway! Cheers to you, hope you’re enjoying a Spring desert walk right now!

      • We can sense you connection with and desire to be out of doors with all of the plants, etc…and I can imagine that frustration of leading those who were only there to be led. And it sounds like your current occupation can be full of frustration, as well…and sadness, in watching the Winter of those lives approaching.

        Cheers to you, too, Lynn….and it’s actually been a while since I’ve been out on the trails…so I hope to remedy that soon!

  4. I think stunning is a much overused word in blog land but boy, the first and last photos have such impact and intrigue, working it all out, where the water starts and finishes. Fabulous work Lynn!

  5. I agree the stifled pond has beauty in a somewhat eerie way, especially when cropped into an image and thereby abstracted. My favorite of the series is the clutch of tiny maple flowers. I love the DOF you used and the bold color contrast paired with the delicate details of the flowers.

  6. The first pond shot is extraordinary – so painterly! Just goes to show that even non-traditional things (like an algae-filled, lifeless pond) can be beautiful if shot by someone with a careful eye… 🙂

  7. I’ve saved this post to enjoy Lynn and I most definitely have . I love as others do the painterly scenes you’ve created – the flowing tree branches and pond are quite quite delicious . Interesting to read your thoughts about re -seeing an image once infront of the monitor .. it’s a whole new creative step I enjoy too ! Gorgeous photographs Lynn x

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