Sea Blue Lens


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Adventures in…Intuition

I went out this afternoon to try to complete this week’s challenge from Kim Manley Ort’s Adventures in Seeing book. To be honest, I’m not sure if I “got it” or not. The purpose was to exercise our intuition, and Kim suggested listening to our body’s leading rather than consciously deciding where to walk or what to photograph. The idea was to allow ourselves to feel something physical, a vibration or resonance, that would give us direction.

I think of most of my photography as “intuitive.” I seldom go somewhere specific with preconceived ideas about what I want to photograph. I go someplace, I see something that catches my eye and causes a quick intake of breath, I “work” the subject and make photos of it. But I can’t say I’ve ever felt the sort of physical sensation that I understood Kim to be talking about. Maybe I was trying too hard to make rational sense of something that’s not based on logic.

Anyway, I bundled up and went outside and stood on the sidewalk, waiting for “something” to suggest a direction. All I heard my body saying to me was, “Are you crazy? It’s cold out here! Let’s go back inside.” I ignored that and arbitrarily turned right and headed for the Riverwalk, mostly because I hadn’t been that way in a while.

graffiti wall

Past Main Street and the railroad overpass, I veered off the sidewalk to check out this little “park” area. There was no one else there — I wouldn’t have gone in if there had been, because the place kind of gives me the creeps. There used to be some rather artistic graffiti on that wall, but someone (probably the city) painted over it, and now it’s just a lot of (to my eyes) ugly scribbling. This is certainly not the kind of image that makes me feel good. I don’t think this is where my intuition was leading me.

Oak

I saw leaves, an unexpected sight this deep into winter. A tall oak tree still held nearly all its leaves, though they were quite dead. I suppose the new growth in the spring will push the old leaves off.

leaves

These are oak leaves, too. The sun was playing peekaboo with the clouds, making the leaves flash like a neon sign as shadows came and went.

solitary leaf

One had broken away from the crowd to lie in yesterday’s inch of new snow.

tracks

dsc_1268

There was much evidence of other, smaller creatures out following their bodies’ instincts. I’ll bet they don’t question where they are going and what they are doing.

through trees

Okay, that’s a pretty nice view. Let’s keep going just a little farther.

No Swimming

I never notice this sign except in winter, when it always makes me laugh and say out loud, No kidding! But I suppose it serves a useful purpose in the summertime, when there’s a boat ramp there.

“Fine. Can we go home now?” my body wants to know. “The wind is picking up and I’m cold.”

No, not just yet. I want to walk up to the birches, then we’ll go home.

birches

So delicate, the tracery against the sky. Who would have expected this? When I left my apartment it was mostly overcast with dark grey clouds piling up on the western horizon.

through the trees

Oh yes, this is what I wanted. Maybe I could go just a little bit farther up the trail…. Okay, wait, my body is definitely talking to me now.

“You said, to the birches. These are the birches. You can’t even feel your fingers anymore. Go. Home. Now.”

And so I turned back, still not knowing if I did it “right,” but happy with my outing anyway. One look back:

dsc_1258

It is enough.


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The Long Way Home

Where we left offWhere We Left Off

It’s Walk and Click Wednesday and time to finish up that walk I started two weeks ago. I’ve left you waiting at the mailboxes long enough. Let’s venture on up that road.

DesolateDesolate

I don’t know if this place is abandoned or not, but it had a forlorn and forsaken look to it.

Good fencesBoundary

Robert Frost wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors,” in his poem “Mending Wall” but the saying has been around a lot longer than that. I thought this rail and cactus made quite a good-looking fence.

ShellShell

I’ve been curious about this little roofless building ever since I first saw it, so I decided to explore.

FramedFramed

It is, I believe, an abandoned well house. The capped-off well head can be seen inside.

TracksTracks

I walked up this small wash alongside the road. When I turned and looked back, there were many doggish tracks to be seen. My guess is coyotes — we often hear them howling at night, sometimes very close to the house.

TreasureTreasure

I found three of these old tiles in that wash and brought them home with me. Why? Well . . . I don’t know, they were interesting and . . . I guess it’s like collecting sea glass at the beach. [Susan and Jenny, stop laughing.]

Going UpGoing Up

I noticed this dirt track going up the hill. It was evident that no vehicle had been that way for a long time, so I headed up to see what I could see.

Still StandingStill Standing

This yucca was growing alongside the track, still bearing flower stalks from last year’s bloom. When I moved here near the end of last May, the hills were covered with flowering yucca. It was an amazing sight. I’m curious to see if the show will repeat this year, or if it was a special welcome just for me.

The Other Side of the MountainThe Other Side of the Mountain

It looked like there was once a structure on the top of the hill, but nothing is left but a water faucet, the foundation of a wall, and some concrete rubble. This was the view down the other side. See that fenced area on the side of the mountain over there? We can see that from our house, too, and always wondered what it was for. When I downloaded my photos and zoomed in on this image, I could just make out several horses in the upper left corner of the fence. So now we know: it’s pasture.

Eyes Upon MeThe Hills Have Eyes

Have you ever had the feeling you were being watched? I got that feeling and when I turned around was startled to see these two characters checking me out.

Looking DownLooking Down

So I headed back down and homeward again.

Horse CountryHorse Country

They’re quite serious about these signs. I often pass riders on this road.

Through the FenceThrough a Fence

Why did the photographer cross the road? To capture an irresistible vignette spotted from the other side, of course. I was seriously hoping no one from the house was watching!

Against the SkyAgainst the Sky

I turned onto a smaller side road to make that circle back home, and loved this old fence atop the roadside bank.

Gate to NowhereGate to Nowhere

Almost there! See that trail? It will take us right to the back of the garage.

Watch Where You Step!Watch Your Step!

But don’t go too fast, or you’ll miss these tiny flowers growing right in the middle of the path. Each of these blossoms was only a quarter of an inch (or less!) across.

Finish LineFinish Line

And here we are, home at last. This line of posts, all that’s left of a very old fence, marks the boundary of our property. I hope you enjoyed our little hike!

Linking with Walk and Click Wednesday, with thanks to Lissa for hosting!