Lincoln Road Journal, One Year in the Backyard completed
I've finished the photography and writing portion of the Lincoln Road Journal, One Year in the backyard, but I'm behind in processing some of the material. So I'm going to share the end with you now and backfill later.
Please return, as perhaps the best shot of the year will be posted soon.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I really wanted a killer shot to end this project. The yard reminded me that sometimes a day later is quite a different day.
Saturday, great photos were everywhere. I drank freely of the bounty. Today was different. Less dew, and less pizzazz. Things were OK, but great shots weren't to be had. The yard was reminding me sometimes its rhythms would dictated my images.
Everything was close. A doe and fawn walked through the back yard as I shot in the front yard. Alerted to their presence I managed one poorly exposed image before they noticed me and fled.
That was one more image than I got of the wild turkey that raced through the yard as my wife watched and I didn't. Never knew it was there, until after it was gone.
So I walked most of the perimeter of these three acres, up hills, down in the bog, through the woods and the yard, down paths and in pathless areas.
I never got the shot I wanted, but I realized the yard was still providing in its own ways.
My last photo of the day were of clouds streaming by, pushed by a cold front that on Monday brought fall-like conditions to Ludington.
I didn't photograph the yard on Monday. The photo part of the project ended Sunday. I was ready for a day off.
Soon I will ponder what lessons I've learned in this project.
I'm sure I've honed up a bevy of photo skills. I'm sure I've learned a lot about the nature in the yard out my door.
I'm sure I reflected that the Listening Points of Sigurd Olson, those places which reconnect us with the wild in our souls. They once covered the Earth, and can exist in an edge of a Michigan woods south of the 45th parallel.
Time and again I was rewarded when slowing down and letting the yard dictate where I looked.
But for tonight, I'm tired and I think I've earned the rest of the night off.
Who knows what will come next of this journal, Lincoln Road Journal now that the one year portion of the subtitle, "One Year in the Backyard" is completed.
Thanks for following along.
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Saturday, August, 14, 2010
Rain fell much of the night until sometime before dawn. It was a steady, at times substantial rain. It didn't do much to reduce humidity, though the temperature dropped a few degrees. Still, the day broke with a bit of a fog and very humid conditions.
The mushrooms are in their glory. There are big pumpkin/squash colored ones. They are dinky fluorescent orange ones. There are birght white ones, and deep red ones. Some are acting like dishes holding rain water. Others glisten in the moist morning.
Around the yard, spider webs again drip with dew, but not to the degree or with the startling colors of the previous Sunday. Every day is different. Lighting changes ever so subtly but those changes make for quite different views and images.
At the creek, I photographed a leopard frog that has evaded me for months. Today he sat and watched me photograph him. Nearby, amidst dewy web-covered grass, was a dragon fly bejeweled in dew and cemented in place until the sun dries his wings.
Everywhere I looked there was beauty, aided no doubt by the moist marinade of dew.
I kept shooting knowing this was the next-to-last day of the 365 days of this photography project. Sunday would be the last day and I wanted strong photos for the end.
Strong images abounded today so I kept shooting.
Friday, August 13, 2010
I stayed up late last night into the early morning of today looking for meteors from the Perseid shower. I saw a handful, including one fine meteorite that streaked across the entire sky open above my head in the driveway. Trees block much of the night sky in the yard, leaving a relatively small opening for star gazing or meteor shower watching.
This best specimen crossed the opening as I was adjusting the camera. I failed to capture an image of it. The rest of the meteorites I saw were small and at the edges of the field of vision, too often out of the focal area of the camera. I shot a lot of star pictures, but didn't really succeed at what I was attempting to do.
I don't feel too bad, other photographers I talked to also were stumped by this year's shower. The conditions here were perfect, but the meteors didn't show while any of us were out. So be it.
Studying the night sky is a reward in and of itself. I went to bed only slightly disappointed in my failed effort, but buoyed by soaking in the Milky Way and stars in sight.
The rest of the day had more misses than hits, too. I've been wanting to see wild turkey in the yard, having seen them in the neighborhood quite a bit in recent weeks. I missed a shot of a deer early. When I went to work, a bit late and in a rush, I opened the garage car door just to bring in some fresh, coolish morning air after a stuffy evening. I park outside, but my wife parks her car inside.
When I scooted out the door I looked to the east and there was a flock of turkeys, a few adults and a dozen or more young birds, juveniles. They were scratching away at the edge of the woods and quickly scooted to the south towards my neighbors. The young birds seemed more interested in eating. The adults eyed me and warily moved the flock away.
I hadn't brought my camera out, so by the time I retrieved it, the birds were almost out of sight. Such is my luck some days.
I didn't make it home until after dark. Clouds blotted out the stars. There was no chance for my planned second attempt at the Perseid. Maybe next year.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
While in the U.P., I searched for Perseid meteor shower meteors. I found some. Tonight is supposed to be the peak. I'm soon gong to look for them. We had a fine sunset tonight on Lake Michigan, followed by an even more beautiful moonset as a crescent moon disappeared into a purple bruise of haze just above the horizon.
Watching such celestial shows to me is never tiring. Each is different. Each changes by the minute.
I enjoy looking across a public beach and seeing scores, sometimes hundreds of people all watching the sun drop into the horizon. It's a bond with ancient humanity.
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