Between Seasons

The slow morph already evident

now as

leaves curl,

fall,

tear and crumple.

 

 

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All but one of these photos were taken in Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland, Washington, in early August. In this lush wetland preserve, six different kinds of willow grow, and though native species outnumber non-natives, the majestic willow in the fourth photograph is one that must have been planted long ago. The old weeping willow vies for space with bracken fern and Creeping buttercup, cattails, cleavers and Cooley’s hedge nettle, bindweed, horsetails, blackberries and many other plants, native and non-native. This time of year the crisp definition of spring gives way to a tangled mass of leaves, stems, seeds, flowers, spores, sepals, twigs…all falling over each other as they begin to disintegrate.

Centuries ago a band of the Duwamish tribe made their winter home nearby. Salmon were plentiful in Lake Washington, and in season, berries could be gathered, roots pulled, bark peeled. Then whites came along, and smallpox silenced the stories of a people we know little of.ย  White people prospered here, and a hundred years ago the rich wetland was filled for a golf course. The golfers are gone now though, and the wetland slowly reasserts itself, encouraged by the good stewardship of area residents.

Locals make good use of the park’s trials and boardwalks. The gentleman pictured above was making his way to the end of the boardwalk, a platform on the bay. The bay is an inlet on Lake Washington, a long, glacier-formed ribbon of fresh, clean water surrounded by cities and towns; one of them is Seattle. On the quiet little inlet called Juanita Bay, turtles sun themselves amidst ducks and herons, lily pads and dragonflies.

It was hot that day. I exchanged a few words about the weather with the man as he pushed his walker over the rough wooden planks. I don’t know what he saw, because I know we see differently. I trust that we both felt refreshed by our time in the park. My photography that day was an act of love, a way to remember and share one view of a particular space/time configuration here on earth. So, what I saw: the jumbling tumble of plants as they begin their decline, the busy ant, the old man walking.


43 comments

    • It’s taken a while to figure out how to work with a chaotic scene – in fact, it’s taken a while to even try. A few years ago I wouldn’t have taken most of these, and a year ago i don’t think I would have known how to bring out at least a little order in them. Thanks! I think you’re coming back soon, right?

    • It’s easy to pay attention to other things, but that slow collapse is interesting, especially if you can watch the process at one place over time – which you can do now!

  1. An incredible view of contrasts ~ the ferns with the withering plants offer such great contrast, but I mostly like what you’ve done with the B&W shots. Contrasts…I think this is why I love autumn so much ๐Ÿ™‚ Wonderful post Lynn.

    • It’s great to hear from you! I hope all is well, wherever you are. Thanks so much for your comment – yes, autumn is very beautiful, and brings it’s own contrasts. I’m glad you like the black and whites – I’ve been working on that more lately, and I’m enjoying it.

  2. Numbers 10 and 11, the last two, have my rapt attention, but they all help tell the story. In Number 10 I especially like the way the plants encroach on the boardwalk and the wonderful range of tones. In Number 11 I like the willow’s (?) darkness against the lighter foliage in the distanceโ€”also the way the tree and the fences frame the old man. Another very nice collection, Lynn.

    • I struggled with the tenth one a bit, so it’s good to hear the appreciation! And both of those are photos I wouldn’t have taken a year ago, but I try to change it up a bit! Yes, that’s the old weeping willow,so lovely. Thank you! (I’m holding off that other post for now…but it will come).

    • A bit quieter than your surroundings, I suppose! Thanks for your thoughts – we both like to work with a series of images and some text, and it isn’t always easy (sometimes I think it sould be so much easier just to post one photo, by itlsef!) but the challenge is good. So I appreciate your comment!

  3. I love that old willow tree. There are so few of them left in the area. Many people consider them a nuisance on their property since they will see waterlines. I like your thought of how each of you saw differently and how you left him to his own meditation. I’m fortunate to have many places to walk where no one interrupts my musings. Although encountering others has other thoughts to spark, I suppose.
    I can definitely see the season change approaching, and there was a definite nip in the air this morning. I put my car heater and little heater by my desk on for a few minutes to warm my toes. Sandals are fleeting I’m afraid. But I feel refreshed by the new moisture and cooler air, and Fall has a beauty of its own.

    • Big old weeping willows are such venerable beings, aren’t they? Maybe people are afraid of branches splitting off, too – I’ve seen that happen. You’re right – it’s a gift to have places to walk alone, but the encounters can be moving. What a relief to be rid of the smoke, and to have cool, clean air here again, but i know what you mean, there is regret about summer pleasures, so fleeting here.

    • Glad to hear it, John, as it was iffy, I thought. I felt I should have moved over to include a bit more of the boardwalk ahead, and the light wasn’t great, so processing was difficult. If I could take black and white photography classes from you, I think I would!

    • How kind of you to say that. I think you would agree that part of what we’re doing here, you and I and many others, is trying to share our vision…so whenever it seems someone has noticed something they might not otherwise attend to, (and connects with the world in the process) it’s time to feel satisfied.

  4. A beautiful post as always Lynn. I went out with my wheelchair only this morning and really sensed the changing of the season. Still warm during the day but cool at night. The season of clear misty mornings and beautiful sunrises. I certainly hope to make the most of a few of those.
    I always find this time of year bitter sweet, I enjoy autumn very much but then I’m an autumn child only now, this time of year comes round a lot faster than it used to.
    I hope all is going well!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes, so, so bittersweet, and spring and summer are so fleeting. Autumn is astoundingly beautiful but that summer ease is precious. Let’s just think of it this way: if we didn’t have to get through winter, spring would not be the treat it is. We’re doing OK here – yesterday we went up to Mount Rainier – so very beautiful! I just want to go right back up! We didn’t walk that far, but you don’t need to, do you, in places like that – wildflowers at your feet and splendid vistas at every turn…and the best thing was that we went to a side that receives fewer visitors. Most of the time we had the trail to ourselves, what a luxury. I hope your project is going well, and you’re hanging in there!

      • You’re so right Lynn, just as without sadness we couldn’t know joy, without winter, we wouldn’t appreciate spring. Sounds like a lovely way to spend a day, on a trail in a beautiful place with few people around. Perfect.
        I’m doing OK thank you Lynn. Just about wrapping up the the work I’ve put into the project, I’ll know probably November, the outcome. I will keep in touch. Take care ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You know I don’t photograph people often, but something emboldened me to – the setting, obviously, was wonderful. I’m glad I did and I need to learn from that. Thanks for your support!

  5. Very like the 8th(!) down, that could be a pattern for a fabric. Also I know what you mean about Spring having gone and the plants beginning their decline – in the early mornings here, there are definite hints of autumnal chills. Also shock by the local peoples being removed by our smallpox. Also, very much like “My photography that day was an act of love, a way to remember and share one view of a particular space/time configuration here on earth”; you have a way with words, I’m often intrigued / entranced by the way you put things. A

    • The 8th photograph shows an unusually even distribution of fallen leaves – it was fun to find that. Yes, I can see a fabric there, let’s do silk, why not!? Smallpox and other diseases were a huge problem for native people here – it was not just the superior fire power! It’s an incredibly sad history. One is more aware of it out west than in the east because there is simply more evidence of native peoples in the west. Thanks you Adrian for pointing out that particular sentence – a certain risk is involved in saying things like that, so it makes a difference to hear that it’s appreciated.

  6. I was thinking of ‘horsetail’ today while driving across the province, and I thought, “I need to find a new supply now that I’m in a new location… and here it is on your post! I’ll send the tattered magic carpet to retrieve a month’s supply — though for some reason I think that the supply down here has no ‘side effects’ and perhaps the ones up there do? It’s good for hair and bones and teeth and I used it back when in recovery from chikungunya and my hair kept falling out!!!!

    All great photos, as always.. the final one invites us to step into the picture with you!!!!

    • Hi Lisa! I’ve never used it medicinally…we have quite a few species here…let’s see. Common, wood, swamp, meadow, marsh, and giant horsetails, and Scouring rush. Wow! I have not teased them out. Common (Equisetum arvense) is “one of the most widespread plants of the world” and was the first vascular plant to sprout up on Mt. St. Helens (in Washington) after the 1980 eruption. I’m pretty sure that’s the species used most often. Some indigenous people in this area ate Giant horsetail E. telmatiea) in spring (I think the Roans also did), the Scouring rush (E.hyemale) was used to polish wooden objects and in basket decoration. More than you needed to know, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • I am in Jama and am about to leav e for Poza Honda 3+ hours and then tonight the concert.. will check my books tomorrow, but I remember the ‘caution’ advisory for using certain horsetails, but it seemed that the ones in Ecuador were safe – to use as often as wanted.. I added them to my daily batch of guayusa/ginger/turmeric /stevia’tea…

        Not more than I needed to know! their use as baskets makes sense, as it was always ‘nice’ to wind them in a large wreath shape and later ‘pluck’ the short ‘leaves?”‘ from each whorl… really nice when dry, too!

    • Thank you. I’m glad you liked the 6th photo – it was such a fun look, the way those willow leaves curled and hung, like party lanterns. I appreciate your comments and encouragement very much.

  7. It’s so strange to hear autumn talk, and see your world already beginning to curl and fall. I noticed the mention of a heater and the need to warm toes up above — while we still are living with heat advisories. Given that we’ve had so much rain, it’s still green, in mid-August, which is disorienting in the extreme.

    Still, your images are a reminder that this, too, shall end. Autumn always delights, at least partly because of the sweet chaos you show here. I’m very fond of the first photo, but the ant and the man on the boardwalk are the most deeply appealing. I wonder which will reach their destination first?

    • That’s the great thing about this blogging community – all the different landscapes, climates, people, cultures, it’s endless. That any was moving fast – I barely caught him. And the man, not so fast, but my own mind was slow about taking the photo – got it just in time. I have to work on that!

  8. Lovely post, Lynn. I like the different time scales involved – the weather, plants and people on that particular day; the changing season; land use changes in the last few 100 years; and a lake formed by glaciers on a geological time frame. Thanks for sharing your observations. ๐Ÿ™‚


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