Saturday, May 13, 2006

one one thousand


This is a snapshot of the meadow by the highway.

A cluster of small trees stands waist deep in a sea of phragmites. The weeds undulate, gold in the afternoon light. Red buds stipple the tree limbs, which, not yet in leaf, are dark, practically black . The horizon is indistinct, a vague green-brown wall of thatch.

The highway is merciless. I cannot stop. There is no exit. My fingers stray from the wheel to the camera on the seat beside me. I glance west, and the scene -- the red, the gold, the afternoon light -- pierces my heart. A tractor trailer roars past; my rearview blooms with the blunt snout of an SUV.


This is a photograph of a bellwort.

Last year I happened upon a stand of them down a side trail off the river bike path. It was late May, and they were past their prime. This year I returned to catch them in full bloom.

I was just in time. Dozens of them bloomed in a shadowy little stand beside the path. It was windless, and the heavy, downturned bells -- a beautiful, pale green gold -- were still. Poverty I thought. Chastity. Obedience.

Meanwhile, 50 yards down the path, behind a large tree on the riverbank, there appeared to be a pastoral coupling in progress. An odd motion caught my eye. A young woman was bouncing on a young man's lap. She was vigorous, practically athletic; I tiptoed away. Add soundtrack:

There was a lover and his lass
With a hey and a ho and a hey nonny no.


Meanwhile, in the swamp,

baby ferns unfurl under the sheltering canopies of the skunk cabbage.

You look good in blue.



After rain, the world's colors deepen, intensify.


Hovever, this is how my camera prefers to see things.

It has a dry eye. On the thermostat of white balance, it chooses the cooler settings, picks the chilly, bluish 4300 degrees of barebulb incandescence over 6000 degrees of noontime gold.

Of course, I have the upper hand. I can set white balance of the camera, or, when shooting raw (hey, nonny nonny) I can adjust it in post-processing.

But, usually, I simply let the machine choose.

In the matter of temperature, we see eye to eye. But as to saturation, sometimes I need to throw on a few lacrimae rerum.


This is a trout lily.

What more can I say ?


Res ipse loquitur.

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