ORDINARY

Ordinary sights

seen on early winter walks, drives and ferry rides

in my neck of the woods.

 

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It is December, and the light

fades.

Still, in the dim places, we know

beauty –

beauty enough

for spirit to expand.

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Photos:

Trumpeter swans arriving at winter feeding grounds, Sedro-Wooley

Old building on the Lyman-Hamilton Highway, Skagit County

Red Osier dogwood leaves, Skagit County

Shot-up mailbox, Carnation-Duvall Road, Duvall

Moss-covered vintage tanker truck, Carnation-Duvall Road, Duvall

Cattail reflections, Juanita Bay Park, Kirkland

Sunset on Lake Washington, Juanita Bay, Kirkland

Afternoon sun on Cottonwoods, Juanita Bay, Kirkland

Moss-covered Big leaf maple branches; roadside, from the car; Duvall

Old building on the Lyman-Hamilton Highway, Skagit County

Ferry window; ferry to Whidbey Island

Red alder trees, Juanita Bay Park, Kirkland

All locations in Washington State


61 comments

    • I almost didn’t include it, because technically it’s not so great, but I realized the content – the swans, the colors – is captivating enough so the shot doesn’t have to be perfectly focused or composed. It was shot on the fly! Sorry, couldn’t resist that awfulness.

    • Actually Duvall is great – it’s full of artists, has a wonderful new library, and still maintains a nice rural character. Some of this goes along with maintaining the rural character, that’s all! The truck is right across the road (a main one), and in front of it is a No Trespassing sign.

      • Oh, I’m glad you told me. Here, where you see signs and mailboxes blasted with buckshot, you want to stay away. I would love to find an artsy, rural, safe place to settle out there. I’ll look into that!

  1. I do love your “ordinary,” Lynn…but I suspect that you do not view them as such, as they have found themselves here, among your other beauteous offerings….

    I, too, am fascinated by the moss adorned truck…and find the “afternoon sun on cottonwoods” to be rather wonderful….

    • The cottonwoods shot is a bit reminiscent of places you have lived, no? Or maybe of your style, too. As for the truck, when I first got here I was amazed at all the metal objects that were covered in thick moss. I’ve come to expect to see it, but that truck always makes me smile – it’s right on a main road. Yes, the ordinary gives generously!

      • I think it’s both, Lynn…my place and my style…. 🙂

        I’d smile, too, each time I saw the truck. Am glad you notice and enjoy the ordinary….

    • Yes, there’s a lot of blue-green in here, isn’t there? Maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s what I’m attracted to lately. It’s a well-being kind of color, I think. Anyway, thank you very much.

    • I’m glad you liked that door – it was an exciting find, and I worked to get that flat, detailed effect. Yes, ordinary around here (but anywhere, I would hope) can be extraordinary.

  2. So beautifully familiar…yes I see all of these – or at least very similar sights here, although you got an especially excellent capture of the trumpeters. My brother and I have stopped to photograph them several times when passing through the Skagit valley, and we have some nice shots, but none so ‘perfect’. The swans and snow geese are one of my favorite things about winter. Which reminds me, I need to plan a birding day with him before the season ends.

    • The Trumpeters were taken on the fly, with a hope and a prayer, and I had to do a bit of work on that one later! They are so beautifully mesmerizing, and that call! Don’t you love it? I know, you do! (I like the way you see a lot of hawks perched on wires up there, too, and also the food in Edison!).

  3. Lovely pictures, my friend, and having the titles at the end works well. I especially like the swans – well why wouldn’t I??? – what a gorgeous sight. But the tanker truck really gets to me too, and I very much like the curving spit on the Lake Washington sunset. A

    • Good to know you thought the information at the end is helpful. Maybe I’ll do that more often. The Trumpeters have a wonderful call, and they’re so restless, flying back and forth between fields. It’s a great sight. I processed the truck photo quite a bit – it was a little too visually confusing as shot so I softened the focus and toned down the background, put in that strong vignette – it helped. Glad you liked the Lake Washington image – it’s a pretty place, and very near to excellent espresso. 🙂

      • Yes, the info at the end definitely added to it for me. Have been up close and personal with a Trumpeter at the Wildfowl Trust at Slimbridge – impressive! And yes, I rate over obtrusive backgrounds as one of the great no-no’s of our craft. But can’t stand espresso!!! 😦 !!!!

  4. A delightful collection with a variety of textures and patterns. I particularly like the linear abstract of the reeds. Of course, what you have really demonstrated is that there is no such thing as the ordinary if you look carefully!

    • It makes sense you would like that one, with the strong lines – it’s in the same body of water as the sunset photo, about a half mile south. I like your take on ordinary, and of course I agree, Louis!

  5. The sunlit cottonwoods are beautiful. The image has the feel of the best English landscape painters. My other favorite is the cattail reflections. There’s something about that blue that’s ethereal and mysterious, and the sharp angles of the broken stems bespeak the end of growth. You’ve given us a lovely, seasonal collection.

    • The cottonwoods were taken with my phone, after the battery died and I couldn’t use the the extra because it wasn’t charged. 😉 *** happens, right? Those water shots are tricky, with all the light bouncing around, but sometimes the glare works in your favor. I have to say, the camera has been really good with bright light, too. I appreciate your observations!

    • Well, that’s the point, nothing ordinary when you take the time to look, and think. I hadn’t intentionally concentrated on blues and blue-greens, but there they are! The trees behind the swans, speaking of ordinary, must be the MOST common tree around here – Douglas fir. They are everywhere, and actually not my favorite at all, because they’re dark and dense (they grab the light and keep it!) and often grow unevenly, but not in an artistic way, at least to my mind. But they served us well that time. I wonder if you’ll be doing NYC snow again soon?

  6. Lynn you’ve made a beautiful , peaceful space here in which to stop the busyness of the day … I’ve enjoyed seeing what has taken your fancy out there in the natural world ..it’s easy to overlook much when all seems a little crazy at this time of year ! Thank you 🙂
    I’ve liked your explanations re some of your shots too . Working on an image to achieve the end result , the fact sometimes taken on the fly has to be it as the moment is there and gone . Greens and blues … gorgeous . Swans in flight … the flapping of wings is quite a sound too …

    • I hope all is well with you…yes, it’s hard to find the time to stop and look these days, and the news doesn’t make things easier, does it? All the senses, all the senses – the sounds of wings, the scent of fresh air and the sensation of cold on the cheeks, and hey, even the familiar feeling of the shutter button under one’s index finger – we appreciate it all.


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