MID-AUGUST

Something about the middle of August always inclines me to take a small step back and ponder the passing of summer with a sigh. The onward unfolding of seasonal changes never hesitates, always moving forward. The transitions are incremental; some obvious, some almost invisible. Here in the Northern hemisphere, by the middle of August the green machine is winding down. Leaves drop onto the ground. Dry grasses sparkle in the sunlight and berries ripen. Gardens are lush with tall, joyful blooms that have grown up together into fine, tangled bouquets. Young birds fending for themselves still beg from their parents now and then, fluttering their wings and peeping. Who can blame them? Fawns follow does to the best munching spots, which are too often on the wrong side of the road when I’m driving. Along the waterways shorebird migration is ramping up but lakes are placid and calm, perfect for canoes and paddleboards. Mid-August is also the time when hurricanes form and wildfires flare up with a vengeance, just as people disperse for a final summer sojourn.

You may be thinking about sights, sounds and smells that signify late summer in your neighborhood, or the news of California wildfire evacuations and floods in China. Looking out the window, I notice the light is a shade gentler and Bigleaf maple leaves have traded the fresh brilliance of spring for softer, warmer hues. We’re losing light as the days shorten. Summer’s riotous colors are just beginning to fade, another sign of the transition toward fall. The signs are subtle now. Next month will be another story.

So, in honor of fading light and quieter colors, here is a series of photographs from the past month. The images speak in tints and tinges instead of strong colors. I’ll throw in a few outliers to keep you from drifting off.

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1. Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea).

2. Driftwood shelters get more elaborate every year. This one was encountered one cloudy afternoon on Whidbey Island.

3. Grasses, Queen Anne’s Lace and Curly dock (Rumex crispus) brighten a roadside field.

4. This thin-soiled area near the shoreline always dries out early and the Madrone leaves are already thick on the ground. On the trail they’re crushed to bits but here they make a lovely tumble.

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My first post here was published in the middle of August, in 2012. I uploaded two photos and wrote, “Earth holds its breath for a few days – everything is still, heavy with light and summer dreams, waiting to move forward into autumn.” Noticing the nuances of seasonal change has always kept me grounded and recognizing summer’s impending dispersion into fall seemed like an appropriate way to begin this ecocentric blog.

You could make a case for eight seasons if you include the transitions from spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter and winter to spring. Each shift from one season to the next has its own sensory perceptions: the slightly earlier dawns and swelling buds in February, the decomposing leaves and chill in the air in November – the more you think about it, the more signs you’ll find. Some transitions may be more remarkable than others – for example, as we anticipate spring we search for every little sign that it’s on the way. For me, summer-into-fall stands out as a time when, as I said above, I step back and observe what’s happening in nature with a sigh. Why is that?

The social worker in me suspects that it’s because of a series of events that took place at this time of year. An unexpected, violent attack on a mid-August day, the year I graduated from high school, left a legacy of mute terror that effectively froze the feelings of a moment in time to the sensations of the season when it occurred. After that, every time the middle of August rolled around I would remember that difficult time, first as a vague discomfort, then more consciously. Then fifteen years later on another mid-August afternoon a drowning accident in which I tried, but could not save a friend’s life darkened the season again. I couldn’t bear to see autumn approaching that year – every falling leaf meant I was farther from the time when my friend was alive. I just wanted time to stand still. Four years after that my father died suddenly, in mid-August. The month filled me with foreboding – what next?

But time undercuts the fear, softens the jagged edges and lends perspective. I may still be acutely sensitive to the hallmarks of late summer – the slight damping-down of light, the first scatter of leaves on the grass, the torpor of stillness on hot afternoons, the absence of birdsong. But it doesn’t put me on edge as much. In fact, the tiptoe beginnings of autumn’s inward turn can feel like a respite after the wild ebullience of spring and early summer. After all, better light for photography is on the way! Vague feelings of unease may surface from time to time but on balance, I know it’s not good or bad, this time of year. It is what it is, as the saying goes. Well, maybe it’s good. Yes, if anything, it’s good.

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5. The Sauk River: slow and shallow in late summer.

6. Madrone trees (Arbutus menziesii) shed their bark.

7. Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), the word’s most widespread fern (according to my ‘Plants of Coastal British Columbia’ book) is changing color.

8. Layers of Madrone leaves: this year’s on top of last year’s.

9.

10. A Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) fishes from a Bullwhip kelp bed (Nereocystis luetkeana).

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13. Driftwood.

14. Eelgrass catches on the trees on the shoreline during extra-high tides and then remains there slowly being bleached by the sun.

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16.

17. This tiny crab was not happy with me.

18. The calm waters of Little Cranberry Lake.

19. A Common (or Fringed) willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum) going to seed.

20. The beginnings of fall color on a Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) leaf.

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81 comments

  1. What an utterly delightful respite… it’s good to hear you are overcoming the sadder feelings associated with this lovely time of year. I only wish I could grow some appreciation for the heat of summer. But it likely makes the slide into autumn all the more wonder-full.

    If I must… the heron and the swallows and (oh my!) the otters. Every single one thrilled me and you truly captured the spirit of the season in all the other images. I’m totally entranced.

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    • It IS a lovely time, except for the heat – I’m sorry you have to deal with that but as you said, autumn will be all the better. It was such a treat to see two otter families in one day, within minutes of each other, both with a little one bringing up the rear. It’s a relief to know that the extra people enjoying Deception Pass because of COVID don’t seem to have compromised the otters’ lives too much. I think they’ve figured out when and where to avoid the crowds. 😉 The heron lost its balance from time to time and it was nice to watch it regain equilibrium by spreading its wings, etc. I’m happy to have taken your mind off the heat. 🙂

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  2. I admit to looking forward to the passing of the homogenous green machine. I appreciate its echoes for life , but from a solely visual interest aspect, I don’t have much excitement. Wonderful post and accompanying photographs.

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    • It can be a lot of green, can’t it? The colors that are starting to creep in now are so varied and subtle – that’s something to look forward to, for sure. It’s very good to hear from you and I appreciate your comment – stay safe, stay healthy, keep creating!

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  3. Fine post about the seasons and what’s in between, Lynn. At the end of the Summer I always have melancholic feelings; echo’s from the past because I always felt miserable when the “big holiday” was over and that awful school started again. Nr10 and Nr15 for me please. See you!

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    • Right, school can feel like a prison sometimes, especially to someone with a creative and rebellious spirit, like yours. Now that we don’t have to deal with that, we can enjoy all the subtle colors and cooler air. I was saying to Gunta above that the heron lost its balance every now and then and it was cool to watch it navigating the kelp, which is a very sturdy plant but it’s still floating and sways back and forth with the waves from currents and boats. The perfect thing to do on a summer day, just sit and watch. Thanks Harrie!

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  4. No risk whatsoever of drifting off among your wonderful selections here, Lynn. So many excellent choices and so little time to give them their due at the moment, but my favorites are 1, 4, 7, 10, 13 (whale’s eye), 20, and oh! Those otters!

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    • You’re dealing with a very different transition in NZ and I trust you’re enjoying it. A whale’s eye, yes – I was thinking elephant but since it was driftwood, a whale is better. It was a surprise to see two otter families within minutes of each other…the eagle’s effort seemed half-hearted, thankfully, but oh, did that family swim fast! I was afraid they were taking a bigger risk by going to shore but they must know what they’re doing. 🙂 Thanks, Gary, I’m glad you enjoyed this.

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  5. So different the perspective here, where I sigh and think of coolth and Autumn in the UK. Rose coloured specs, of course, because often it was dank and drear, not golden sunlight and dancing leaves. Sounds like yours have been traumatic, Lynn. Slowly moving forward, one step at a time. A pause is good. And I love the heron, and Cranberry Lake especially. 🙂 🙂 Wishing you well!

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    • I bet it’s vastly hotter in Portugal, Jo – and “coolth” – I love that word and have never heard it used here in the states. Pauses are probably always good, though we don’t always take them in stride. And herons, as often as I see them here, they’re always good, too. 🙂 Thanks so much, I appreciate the good words!

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    • Yes, it’s beautiful and I guess it’s getting more beautiful – maybe in inverse proportion to what’s going on in the outer world! Don’t you think? 🙂 Thanks so much, Gerda, and I’m sorry I have not visited in a while – that’s my loss. Take care, stay healthy, and stay creative (I have no doubt you will). 🙂

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  6. We share a book: I bought the excellent Plants of Coastal British Columbia in Vancouver in 2000. Speaking of commonalities, Texas shares the great blue heron with you. The Cornell map at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Blue_Heron/maps-range shows the species across a large swathe of North America but not the Rocky Mountains and parts of the desert in the southwestern United States. And look at the big gap in the interior of Mexico.

    So in #7 the little crab got a little crabby. The formation in #13 reminded me of an eye (particularly a horse’s eye). In #15 I’d have photographed those lichens on driftwood, too, intrinsically but also for the novelty (in my experience) of the kind of host. In #19 I’m wondering whether you softened the image after the fact. Regarding #6, what abstract photographer doesn’t love madrone bark?

    I’m wondering about the purpose of the driftwood shelters, assuming they’re a creative expression rather than anything practical (I can’t imagine they’d be much help in a downpour). You’ve reminded me of driftwood constructions we saw in New Zealand: https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/new-zealand-update/

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    • That book is unique (in my experience) for the emphasis placed on indigenous uses for plants. I get very frustrated though by the way additional species are grouped under their relatives under “Notes” and usually without illustrations. I was used to standard Peterson Field Guides where most species are given equal weight – but the Pojar & Mackinnon is much more colorful and ultimately more informative. If you get back up this way, look for Daniel Mathews’ Cascade-Olympics Natural History. It’s a superb, well-rounded overview of regional natural history. Those GBH’s do get around! It would be fun to find out how far up into the Rockies they get. Thanks for bringing that range map to my attention!
      Yes, I hesitate to attribute human emotions to crustaceans but that guy really looked angry. I saw an elephant’s eye; someone else saw a whale’s eye. And I thought driftwood was an unusual place to find lichens, but not around here! All. the. time. Check out my friend Richard Droker’s lichen photographs on Flickr – I think you’ll like them.
      Right, in #19 I used a macro lens wide open and then reduced clarity further (probably texture, too) throughout most of the frame.
      The driftwood shelters aren’t shelters – maybe I should just say structures. People love to make them on the West Coast and there’s always plenty of material available. They’re not like the NZ sculptures though! Thanks, Steve!

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      • I bought the book because I liked the way it presented things and thought it could serve as a model for someone (not me) to do a similar guidebook about Texas plants. I agree with you about the slighting of information about additional species.

        Last year, as we thought about where we might travel in 2020, one candidate was the area from northern California through Washington. Then came the pandemic, and we’ve driven no place farther than about 50 miles from home. In that respect this has been a lost year.

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  7. 🤍 #2. I see a horse’s head in #6. And a zebra’s eye in #13. The curving forms and monochromaticity of #10 entice. #11 speaks of camaraderie. Then I am drawn to the abstract appeal of #19. And then it concludes with the bold tonal contrasts and fascinating organic form of #20.

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  8. August was without a doubt a heavy month in your life …
    When life “offers” us unpleasant episodes concentrated at the same time, that time creates an aura of less good energies. Then our rational part comes in to give order to emotions, question, and help us to follow the path.
    Life doesn’t stop, does it?
    As the seasons do not stop their cycle.
    The feeling I have now is that we are constantly in “transition” of seasons. Everything mixes together … Today the 20th of August, theoretically in the middle of summer and heat, is completely gray, rainy and cool. I look at the window and get strangely nostalgic … I miss feeling the defined seasons and the defined transitions as well. Now this does not happen in an evident way in our feelings, skin, etc. But it happens in the corners of nature, because nature is much wiser, sensible and smarter than us.
    Beautiful photos, specially 10 and 13!

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    • No, it doesn’t stop! 🙂 But we are glad for that.
      In a way, I like your vision of the seasons – it’s true, each day has its own flavor and the transitions are always taking place. Maybe missing the defined seasons is a nostalgia for something that we sensed differently in the past. maybe it wasn’t really so different from now, but we thought about it differently. Who knows?
      Thank you for your thoughts, Dulce, it is always a pleasure. 🙂 Enjoy the weekend!

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  9. Hi Lynn, enjoyed your post a lot, both the photos and writing. Some days – -even in settings, times, and company that we appreciate – it sure does seem like going through life is weighted with the accumulation of losses and sad anniversaries. Mid-August sounds like a pretty tough cluster of these for you. And yet, here we all are, the survivors, mostly happy and content, if we have any sense, maybe appreciating the beautiful things even more. Your last paragraph about the “hallmarks of late summer” (good choice of words, hallmarks being those identifiers that are just hammered right into things) is beautiful, too, lovely writing. I’d just been noticing, after a summer where the birds seemed to be singing their hearts out, more exuberantly than ever, they’ve now become a little more muted, while the insects’ buzz seems to have grown louder but more mindless and mechanical-sounding. Well, August is my least-favorite month, as it happens, but I love autumn, looking forward to it, watching things ripen and colors changing.
    #14 I’ve never seen barn swallow fledglings before, hard to believe those pudgy little chicks will soon be swooping around, tight turns at 36 ft/second, and eating 850 mosquitoes/day, yea! my heroes. The other young ‘un, the tiny crab, just made me laugh, glowering out from its crevice. I see in the comments, other people were struck by #13 as a zebra or elephant eye, which is fun, and very handsome patterns, too. #6 these madrone trees are really theatrical, aren’t they, crazy peelings and bold colors, and #9 and 19 have that great lightness and delicacy you seem to have patented. And my favorite of this batch #10, the heron amongst all the similar curves & patterns of the kelp, pretty neat! OK on to September, mach schnell!

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    • As usual, you grace this virtual space with a wealth of attention. I appreciate it. It’s true, birdsong can get very quiet in August. There’s one bird that lives in both our areas that has a tendency to keep singing, though it sings more softly in fall and winter – the Song sparrow. Check out the song(s) online and maybe you’ll hear one in your neighborhood. They’re really excellent vocalists – lots of cool rhythms, syncopation even, and amazing variety from bird to bird. I like what you said about the insects’ buzz. Makes me think of hot evenings in NY – NJ – CT.
      So, 850 mosquitoes/day, huh? Are you sure? 😉 The Madrone bark is something I can’t stop photographing. I have hundreds of images of that. I saw this online: “There is debate about the purpose of “exfoliating bark” (the biological term). The most commonly accepted theory is that it’s an evolutionary development that helps the tree shed lichens and parasites such as boring insects, which lay their eggs on the bark.” Here on Fidalgo, many of our other trees are covered in lichens but Madrones usually have none at all. Interesting.
      It’s nice to think I have a corner on the look in #9 and #19…certain lenses help, and Lightroom. 😉
      That heron was great to watch – I’ve seen them fish from Bullwhip kelp beds before but that time, I sat down under a tree, ate my hard-boiled egg, and watched for a long time. 🙂
      I had to look up “mach schnell,” another useful German expression. I took French in school. My only German was learning how to count and say “I hate teachers” from my father, who grew up in a German-speaking household.
      Thanks Robert! September is…..12 days away!
      p.s. Learning the days of the week in Lithuanian was more fun. That was courtesy of a boyfriend whose parents immigrated from there. 🙂

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  10. I am glad you have come to the conclusion that it is good, this time of the year, inspite of these saddening incidents in your life. I love the change from summer to autumn, and autum is special too. But the time of the change, the lower temperatures, the softer light, makes more details visible. We have a word for it, which is called “Zwischentöne”. I couldn’t find a translation, something like sounds between, maybe nuance? I enjoyed your way of writing very much. It is a joy to follow your photos as well as your language 🙂 I try to make it short tonight: I love all the animals, especially the swallows are sooo charming! I love #10 with the heron. Together with the kelp it reminds me of a Jugendstil / Art Nouveau pattern! And of course the bark from the madrone tree. A little piece of art. #3 could have been taken here. We have Rumex too and the fields look similar. The poetic landscapes like #18 and the bridge are wonderful in this soft light. As I said, I make it short: all photos are beautiful. #14 and #19 and and and…thank you for this beautiful trip to August Lynn!

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    • I think I like this word, Zwischentone – the idea of it and the sound – well, I don’t know what it sounds like. I love nuances…this word has a little “swish” in it, and my maternal grandmother’s name was Swisher. (She was not the German grandmother). You’re very kind to say that following the text AND the photos is a joy. 🙂 It’s a challenge to intertwine them (why don’t we just say to braid them? I don’t know!).
      Of course you love all the animals! The heron made such a beautiful design, as you noticed, on the kelp bed, which moves back and forth with the currents and waves. I sat for almost an hour under a tree, where no one could see me, watching him. Sometimes he lost balance and gracefully hopped with outspread wings a few meters away. It does not surprise me that you have fields that look like #3. not at all. In #18 the logs are all floating – you have to walk around this inlet! Or fall off and get wet. 🙂 The logs that fall into the lake gradually collect there.
      You’re the only person who mentioned #14! I’m glad! I love the way those grasses get caught on the branches and then blow in the wind. Thank you, Almuth, please don’t apologize for the length of the comment – it’s enough!

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      • Swisher is good for zwischen 🙂 Why don’t you use braid? I don’t know either. I even didn’t know the word so far, but it sounds good.
        Sitting under the tree for so long sounds like a meditation. It must have been nice and relaxing. It is hard for me to believe, that the heron lost its balance. They look so graceful most of the times 🙂 About #14: I think this is a thing we share, these little details! We talked about it before. Have a nice weekend and more of such nice findings 🙂

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  11. Each month seems to have its own regrets and anticipations. Your heartfelt writing and beautiful images reflect that. I like the changes, mostly. We often have a dramatic, usually short-lived, cool spell in the first couple weeks of August…48 degrees F here this morning. And the barn swallows…a dozen or more swoop around me as I mow the pastures this week. Next month I’ll be mowing by myself…

    The Blue Heron and Kelp is lovely, almost monochromatic, the wonderful curves of the kelp! {I admit to scrolling it up to give a 2:3 aspect ratio to emphasize those lines a little more 🙂 but that’s just me}. Really liked the colors in the Madrone branch on Reindeer lichen. I went from elephant eye to whale eye too but settled on drift wood as being good enough. Thanks for the beautiful post, Lynn.

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    • It’s interesting to hear about your cool spells – weather varies so much from place to place and you’ve lived in one place long enough to really understand it. Swallows over the pasture while you mow, what a nice image that is. I can see narrowing the width of the heron and kelp photo…my tendency is to want o include everything but I see what you’re saying, I do. The colors of the Madrones, in all their guises and the reindeer lichens, are a treat that one particular location near me keeps on giving. In the winter, after rains, the lichen is soft and the colors are a tiny bit more saturated. Always beautiful. I’m glad you see that. Thank you for your attention and words, Mic, I appreciate it.

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  12. #3 captures perfectly what I love about late summer/early fall–those fading colors, all the earth-tones, all the textures.
    And #10! the interplay of the heron’s shape and the curves of the kelp–Amazing! Especially those three curving fronds(?) right in front of him. Really great capture.

    It took a long time for me to look at late October with an open heart, not nearly the number of traumatic experiences that you have had, but enough that I appreciate what you mean. Seasonality is big with me. But around here, most of the time, the seasons are all jumbled. Snow in March, flooding rains in July, summer temps in December…..things get kind of screwy.

    And, FWIW, I never come anywhere close to “drifting off” from any of your posts.
    Wonderful as always.

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    • The field in #3 is probably something you see in your area, too – even Almuth, who lives in Germany, said she sees the same thing. The heron stayed a while, and though my lens was only 120mm equivalent, it was enough. It was mesmerizing, watching him.
      Your description of the seasonal changes in your area made me smile. Well, that speaks to some confluence of geography and climate and who-knows-what. Interesting. Thanks so much for your words and understanding, Johnny…I hope you sail through the weekend, whatever it may bring.

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  13. So much love in this post Lynn. Even though mid-August may have been a tough time in the past seeing it now through your lens it feels grounded and full of beauty. 5, 6, 9, and 19 stand out for me. And the otters! How exciting to see the otters. That would have made my day.
    I love what you wrote in your first post. It made me feel as if I was there – in a hot breath-holding mid-August. I yearn for more of that. This season change is something I want to push away. It’s not time yet! But no doubt it will have its way as always.
    Alison

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    • It’s good to know that you get a sense of grounding and beauty in these images. Most all of what I’ve seen around here exists where you are, too, once you get a little further out. I think it’s luck with the otters – luck and returning again and again to the place where they live. I’ve learned their signs, at least the obvious ones like droppings full of tiny shell fragments, so I often smile, knowing they’ve been around. A “hot, breath-holding mid-August” – that sounds like what it should be, but it’s been so cool. The heat can sap all your energy but it feels wrong not to go through it, right? Maybe there will be a few more days of heat. I hope so, too. Thanks, Alison. 🙂

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  14. My dear, I can only say that I’m totally stunned, aghast, at your accounts of happenings in Augusts gone by, that is a huge amount to deal with. And I’m so glad that you have found a wild and beautiful place to be in now. Of these photos, I like 6, 7 , 16 and 20, and 13 is !!!!!!!!! But 11 is good too – there are the swallows we have here. Take care, my dear friend. 🙂

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    • So many people have far more to deal with, and never or rarely get to enjoy the peacefulness I have here. But I appreciate your warm thoughts, Adrian, and I’m glad you !!!!!!!!’ed some of these. 😉 Number 6 – that Madrone bark – I have hundreds of photos of it! Driftwood, as in 13, has been more of a challenge to photograph. I will keep working at it. Thank you, Adrian, enjoy the swallows before they’re gone, and you take care, too.

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  15. Beautiful pictures! What a joy to see all these details. I like the one with the heron, it really puts in perspective the size of the kelp! Thank you for sharing how gorgeous nature is in this season! (and love the tiny otter catching up with its family ❤ )

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    • You’re right about the kelp! The first time I saw it, my jaw dropped. 😉 Amazing stuff, and the way it sways with the currents is wonderful to watch. Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the post – maybe we need a break from the news, right? 😉

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  16. It’s the rhythms and cycles…the heaviness of fruits and vegetables ready to drop…what we bring into autumn so we maybe lighter through the darkness of winters…heartfelt Lynn…tender and real…the little birds together fill my eyes…so connected to nature…hugs and love Hedy ☺️🤗❣️💫

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  17. You’ve captured the melancholy of the season perfectly, with words and images; beautiful, both.

    I’m sorry for your friend. The same thing happened to my late best friend decades ago; he had to chose between saving himself or drowning with his friend. He chose to live…until he didn’t and died of an overdose four years ago in early September. I wrote a song about him and referenced the drowning incident in the lyric: ‘Now that you’re gone i’ll put my questionson the shelf/ how can I save a drowning man without drowning myself?…’

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    • It was hard to read your comment. Of course, you’re right, that is the question, and one does want to live but at the expense of another person’s life. I’m really sorry about your friend – so many influences can combine to lead one to the darkest place. I’m lucky that I had the support of a good group of people at the time. Thanks for commenting, and take care, we all have to!

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  18. So sorry to hear of the things you’ve had to bear in August. I definitely feel the transition. Somehow though this spring and summer just weren’t what they should have and could have been. I hate to say that because we don’t really know how many we have left but I’m hoping that the next one is more hopeful than this one was.

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    • There are so many losses and regrets this year, including a vague feeling that things just aren’t right. Our world has been turned inside out! I too hope to get back to a more normal existence before too long. Photography is keeping us sane, isn’t it? 🙂

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  19. Oh yes, August. The beginnings of a shift in seasons– a few red leaves, flocks of swallows on the wires, silent mornings. And loss. Thank you for sharing a part of your soul here– I, too, have had the most loss in August (my father and two beloved grandparents most notably), and I’ve always associated loss with the turning of this season. Your photos are such a treasure. I savor them with each post. Often, I don’t open your email until I have time to really look. So thank you for sharing yourself with the world. We are all the better for it.

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    • Thank YOU for this sensitive and generous comment, Jean. Of course, it feels good to know someone has been there and has felt something similar, however subtle the feeling may be. This year it’s even harder, I think since we’re surrounded by so many losses and we hear about them constantly. I’m so glad I follow you. I come away with a satisfying dose of authentic hand-on-paper experience – if that makes sense. I see your spirit and I relate so strongly to your choices. Well, words are failing me but I think you get the idea. Thank you.

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  20. Bravo on many levels, but esp. for your ability to make peace with the month of August. I read recently the observation that resilience is not about bouncing back, which is impossible since we cannot go back — but about bouncing forward, about integrating the pain & discoveries & lessons learned & new strengths into the forward motion of our on-going life. Good for you.

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    • That sounds good Penny, and I thank you for the buoyant words. 😉 It doesn’t feel like that right now but I know it will. Appreciating this world and then launching the evidence of that into the cyber world seems to be the best thing I can do.
      I hope you’re enjoying the weather this week! 🙂

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  21. And the seasons they go round and round… your post is beautiful, Lynn. I agree about 8 seasons as the ends of each have their own personalities. And your honest emotions about them in reflection to difficult life events really resonates with me. Thank you. Thoroughly enjoyed your images.. the otters and barn swallows made me laugh and the close-up of the driftwood really is an elephant’s eye, isn’t it? And your quiet nature close-ups are thoughtfully found. Love the big leaf maple as an end point. Hope all is well with you. 💙

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    • Thank you, Jane…such a difficult time in CA…it echoes up here, one way or another. I’m glad the post resonates – as you might guess, I don’t want to turn this into a tell-all or a pity party, but there is value in being honest and saying what’s happening, especially when it comes to feelings. Tricky territory to navigate online though. I’m glad you enjoyed the images…it will just get prettier and prettier now, in terms of light and colors. Wishing you calm winds!

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  22. Har, the surly little crab’s annoyance is palpable. My kind of fellow. 😉

    How wonderful it is to lapse into your immersive menagerie of evocative words and images. I find myself relating to your more mournful, painful feelings affixed to this transition-season, for perhaps similar reasons. Here in the subtropical swamplands of Florida, the signs are quite subtle, yet I notice them all the same with a familiar, sometimes dreaded laboured sigh. I’m glad you are finding the harshness of this sigh beginning to ease, allowing you to enjoy the immense beauty of nature during this time. Glorious array of images, as always.

    Happy late summer to you,

    autumn jade

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for a wonderful comment; a pleasure to read. I can imagine that even in subtropical Florida if you live there long enough, you sense those seasonal changes. It’s interesting that they can evoke a labored sigh. Florida in winter is so much more comfortable…but then, it means more tourists and it means the holidays are getting closer, which doesn’t particularly please me and may not be your favorite time of the year either. But the beauty is always there, right?

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  23. Summer is winding down here too. The aspens are turning gold here and there and we’ve had some cooler days along with much needed rain. Your post and observations here fit your title very appropriately. The driftwood (13) struck me as an elephant’s eye at first. I love the texture and muted palette in (15) Lichens on driftwood. The curls and swirls in (19) Common willowherb is another favorite. I enjoyed reading about and seeing your end of summer images … thanks for sharing!

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  24. Once again I am one of the last to comment here, although I have enjoyed pictures and text several times.
    The signs of the change of seasons are also in my life an important and ordering structure, something that makes the abstract concept of time sensually perceptible. What you show of this interlude before autumn may look different in your living space than in mine, but the essential signs are still similar.
    You describe them with such poetic phrases as “tints and tinges” or “sights, sounds and smells”, which I enjoy not only emotionally, but also as well-placed stylistic elements.
    Among your photos, the absolute blast for me is the Blue Heron (No.10), even when scrolling through the pictures for the fifth time, my breath stops when it appears on the screen.
    Even if the growing time gap to the traumatizing experiences of the “mid-August” gives you calmness in the meantime, you will notice with relief that for this time the danger is over and I am relieved with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Last but not least, as we say. The heron…I found a fir tree that I could sit under, away from the trail and overlooking the little bay where the heron was fishing, so I watched it for a long time. The kelp fronds sway to and fro with the water, and once in a while, the heron had to open its wings and hop to a more stable spot. But mostly, relative stillness. The patterns were so beautiful, all the better because the sun wasn’t out and it was a dull day.
      When I lived in NY there were a number of different herons and egrets one might see and in the south, there are even more. I always loved them, but this particular species, the most common of all the herons and egrets, and one that occurs across the US, became my totem bird. I see them a lot here. Even though I don’t have the “right” lens for birds, I keep photographing them. It’s worth it!
      Thank you for your kind words, Ule, they always touch me.
      I owe you an email and hope to write soon and maybe attach a few more photos for the heron from that day.

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