Drawing the World as the World Draws Us

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When we drop our preoccupations, the world

draws us in closer

and maybe, as we get closer, we’ll see the world is

drawing us, drawing us with the grandest and most minute gestures,

through every breath,

through every cell.

We’re lucky when we’re subsumed into the process

of this intricate artwork, more lucky when we are aware

that we’re part of it, that we’re so much

larger than

the sticky, messy, but necessary idea

called I.

 

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2.

 

3.

 

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4.

 

5.

 

6.

 

7.

 

8.

 

9.

 

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10.

 

11.

 

12.

 

13.

 

14.

 

***

The photos:

  1. A pair of coots (Fulica americana) swims toward the shore of Sikes Lake in the Snoqualmie Valley, about 20 miles east of Seattle. The rugged Cascade Range rises in the background. Photographed with an Olympus OM-D EM1 camera and an Olympus Zuiko 45mm f1.8 lens; processed in Lightroom.
  2. Coots and American wigeons (Anas americana) congregate on a sheltered bay at Juanita Bay Park. Seattle is a little over a mile away across Lake Washington. Photographed with the 45mm f1.8 lens; processed in Lightroom.
  3. Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) at the edge of the Mercer Slough, a slow-moving body of water in Bellevue, which is also across the lake from Seattle. Photographed with an Olympus Zuiko 60mm f2.8 macro lens; processed in Lightroom.
  4. Sunlight illuminates the morning fog near home. Photographed with the 45mm f1.8  lens; processed in Lightroom.
  5. A Western redcedar branch (Thuja plicata) waves in the breeze at Mercer Slough; the striated, reddish bark of more cedars is seen in the background. Photographed with the 60mm f2.8 lens; processed in Lightroom.
  6. Indian plum, or Osoberry (Oemleria cerasiformis), a common early-blooming native shrub, blooms at Bellevue Botanical Garden. Photographed with a vintage Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 lens; processed in Color Efex Pro and Lightroom.
  7. Birch tree reflections on the placid Mercer Slough. The slough (pronounced “sloo”) is fed by numerous streams. In a wild water-dance, the water finds its way to Lake Washington, then, through a series of bays and canals that divide Seattle in half, the water reaches Puget Sound. Tide-driven Puget Sound waters flow out through the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Pacific Ocean. Our area’s water is further enriched by an “underwater Amazon River” entering the Strait at its mouth, over a hundred fifty miles west of Seattle. Photographed with the 60mm f2.8 lens; processed in Lightroom.
  8. An old cherry tree in the wooded area of Bellevue Botanical Garden has just begun to flower. Photographed with the Super Takumar 50mm lens; processed in Color Efex and Lightroom.
  9. A stand of European silver birch trees (Betula pendula) at Mercer Slough. These graceful trees have become naturalized in our area. Photo made with the 60mm f2.8 lens; processed in Color Efex Pro and Lightroom.
  10. Fallen leaves, moist from recent rains, surround a cross-shaped shoot of new growth at Bellevue Botanical Garden. Photographed with the 60mm f2.8 lens; processed in Lightroom.
  11. An unidentified grass at Mercer Slough. Photographed with the 60mm f2.8 lens; processed in Lightroom.
  12. A close-up of cherry blossoms on the tree seen in #8. While I was there, a Downy woodpecker worked on dead branch while chickadees and juncos flitted through the trees, conversing amiably. Photographed with the Super Takumar 50mm lens; processed in Lightroom.
  13. Looking back in my files I find photos of this tree in bloom from April 3rd, 2017, and March 24th, 2013. We seem to be a little early this year.
  14. Two of last year’s willow leaves lay on the boardwalk handrail at Juanita bay Park, while this year’s fresh growth glows brilliantly in the distance as the sun goes down. Photographed with the 45mm f1.8 lens; processed in Lightroom.

 

 

 


75 comments

  1. With every post, you’ve made it more difficult to pick a favorite. However, after multiple viewings, I’ve picked #4, #8, #9 & #13. When I was a kid we had a wild cherry tree in the backyard that I loved to climb. Your cherry tree reminds me of that time. Don’t tell anyone but I can be a little sentimental.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the line in your poem:
    “the sticky, messy, but necessary idea

    called I.”

    Wonderful. My favorites of these are the European silver birch trees and the close ups of the grasses and cherry blossoms. Happy weekend, Lynn! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cathy, I try to approach ideas like that without getting overwrought, and while keeping it simple. So I’m glad it worked for you. 🙂 Glad you liked the images too, and yes, the weekend is looking good right now – SUN!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Love “the sticky, messy, but necessary idea called I.” – very, very true 🙂 ! And I very much like your low key approach to photo 2, and 12 is ohhhhh! 4 and 13 are other favourites. What a beautiful part of the world! A 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I did take #2 further with the low key look, and I liked the way it worked too, so thanks for that comment. I think I may go out an photograph more cherry blossoms today – going for that “Ohhhh” look is something I cannot resist this time of year. It really is beautiful here – the mountains, when they aren’t obscured by clouds, add so much, too. Thanks Adrian!

      Liked by 2 people

    • What an interesting comment…I tend to go towards opposites: quiet and simplified, and busy and chaotic. That’s reflected in my love for NYC and wild areas. I’m glad you commented, thank you…and glad you enjoyed the opening words. Have a good Sunday, what’s left of it, and hopefully you guys are done with the heavy snow. Please!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Music to my ears, Karl, really. I came of age immersed in abstract and conceptual art and I had no time for anything else when I was younger, but the fact is, I love beauty in a more traditional sense, too. I’m still interested in doing something different, in conveying a sense that is – dare I say it – maybe even transcendent, without being romantic or trite. Thank you for being here; it’s always a pleasure hearing from you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • And maybe they’re familiar? I imagine you have similar scenes where you live. It’s so beautiful, that little spot. I’ve gone back again and again, but have struggled a little to convey the scene, so I appreciate your comment. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Your description of #12 makes me wish there were soundtracks with the images, although the solitude of viewing them in silence is peaceful too…or what my mind creates for itself as silence, while blocking notice of the blowing heater, neighbor’s clanging wind chime, branches outside the window -rushing in the wind, creaking of the house in the gust and traffic noise of the road outside the office. 🙂 So interesting the nuances of life, as you’ve mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your description of the sounds you’re hearing as you sit at your computer. Maybe you should do a piece on just that. The sound that I’m so tired of, and I’m sure you are, too, is traffic! Some really pretty parks around here have ever-present traffic noise, like Mercer Slough. Maybe it’s not so bad where you are. I’m too close to 405 much of the time. As for the birds and little woodland noises, they’re on the increase, aren’t they? It’s wonderful.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, the birds are definitely feeling the spring in the air. Interesting idea for a post. I’ll see if I can get something written. Very pushed with deadlines on the Miss Liv Adventures book II right now. But it’s good to take a moment off now and then. I hear traffic a lot, even in the North Bend area. My home is near enough to I-90 to hear it constantly, though when you’re by the river, the water noise drowns it out. The highway is far enough that it sounds much the same as a river, and I can often get my brain to consider it as such. There are some fairly quiet places at the foot of the mountain (Mt. Si) in Moon Valley.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Spring does come early for you. Your beautiful photos contrast so well with the drab outside scene around me with two fallen trees, more snow falling on top of what is still on the ground, and no sun in sight.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh boy, and it just keeps coming, doesn’t it? When the snow clears and Spring finally arrives, I hope it doesn’t merge into Sumner too quickly. The winters here are very, very dreary with low light, gray skies, lots of rain and few dramatic changes in weather, but Spring lasts and Summer is gorgeous. Fall too.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Another beautiful set of images and interesting thoughts in your poem. And I learned a word I had never heard before ‘subsumed’. I enjoyed seeing the birch trees so I could examine how they are different from the aspens here. I was surprised to learn they aren’t related.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think I realized that – they look SO similar, don’t they? I have continuing trouble distinguishing them. As pretty as birch trees are, I look forward to being in a place like Colorado, with the abundance of aspens. I want to photograph them! You’ve made some real beauties.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. My favorite here has to be the coots. I love those fat, awkward little birds anyway, but to see them traveling toward the light here is soothing, and encouraging. Any encouragement to travel toward the light is to be cherished.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So lovely. So much agree with your opening lines. Perhaps the strongest idea in this universe is the idea of ‘I’. We all are living around this idea of ‘I’. And its also true that we spend our whole life just to satisfy this I-ness. If we are successful to dilute this expression, may be the view towards life would be very very different. According to my understanding, some ancient philosophies say that either I am everywhere or I am nothing. Most of us are in between. To deal with the nature is one of the best way to understand who am I. As the nature draws closure, we start to see ourself as the part of universe and not just as the most intelligent being. As usual, very beautiful photographs. I like the third one most. It is as if we are one with the forest.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful pictures and your words are so true! I like the tenderness of the weed and the blossoms and the wood with this mystic touch. And the birches are beautiful too! One of my favourites is the last one. I like this kind of “disappearing”/ dissolving…. I see a kind of rhythm in your fotos, the rhythm of nature,we could belong to….if we are right with her!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel I’m there…I appreciate the feelings your create and I love the abstract one #7 ….also I appreciate your links to other articles which then lead me to read further…your posts are beautiful and educative 🤓☺️ smiles Hedy

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  11. Your poem—especially the first two lines—are words to live by; thank you. . . . There’s that canary grass again. Too bad it’s so attractive. Or maybe not too bad. Driving on the Interstate today, I was aware of this color, which I love in a winter scene. Soon we’ll be all green here in Ohio, but sometimes brown and tan are good placeholders. Love love love your photograph of the morning fog near your home. Also the dreamy cherry blossoms from last year.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Yes, the invasive grass looks really interesting…I find myself photographing it all the time. The color in winter, after it’s died down, is so nice, I could look at it all day…it must be interesting, coming back from the intense colors of Florida to the quieter palette of very early spring in Ohio. My favorite color memory from driving on highways, at least back east, is that subtle warming up that happens about now, when deciduous trees’ buds swell. It’s before they really leaf out. You’re only aware of the haze, and the slightly less brown color – a hint of yellow green usually, or sometimes reddish (maple flowers). I love that. I see it here, but less often because of all the evergreens. My mother’s favorite was the acid green of early spring…we both love(d) spring…thank you Linda!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, yes. I love that brown haze with the red maple flowers sprinkled in. Driving north from Florida it’s interesting to see the trees and colors change so subtly I can never remember when it happens. The first change is when the palms (sabal for the most part) give out. Then the greens gradually change to brown with pink redbud trees. Later I saw some yellow flowers on vines of mostly brown hazy trees. I’d never seen them before. I thought maybe it was kudzu, but a friend said no, kudzu’s flowers don’t look like what I described. Then nothing but brown. At one point I saw a highway embankment that was naked on one side, showing the underlying sand. Only it wasn’t sand!!!! I hadn’t seen snow in so long that I didn’t recognize it. That was a real laugh. Then I began seeing a lot more snow. It was a gloriously sunny day, so I got brown and blue and white; it was lovely.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nice…a visual meditation on color changes as you drive northwards…I would love to see a post about it somehow, but yo’d probably want to images for the in-between places. Something to think about.

        Liked by 1 person


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