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"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
 

New Year’s Day 2023: Happy New Year!

From “Winter Hours” in Winter Hours by Mary Oliver:

“Light streamed from them, and a splash of flames lay quietly under their feet. What is one to do with such moments, such memories, but cherish them? Who knows what is beyond the known? And if you think that any day the secret of light might come, would you not keep the house of your mind ready? Would you not cleanse your study of all that is cheap, or trivial? Would you not live in continual hope, and pleasure, and excitement?”

From “Journals (1858)” in The Complete Works of Henry David Thoreau by Henry David Thoreau:

“Each new year is a surprise to us. We find that we had virtually forgotten the note of each bird, and when we hear it again it is remembered like a dream, reminding us of a previous state of existence. How happens it that the associations it awakens are always pleasing, never saddening; reminiscences of our sanest hours?

“The voice of nature is always encouraging.”

From A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz:

“In each little life, we can see great truth and beauty, and in each little life we glimpse the way of all things in the universe. If we allow ourselves to be enchanted by the beauty of the ordinary, we begin to see that all things are extraordinary. If we allow ourselves to be humbled by what we do not and cannot know, in our humility we are exalted. If we allow ourselves to recognize the mystery and the wonder of existence, our fogged minds clear….

“Thinking clearly, we follow wonder to awe, and in a state of awe, we are as close to true wisdom as we will ever be.”


Hello!

Here are a few photos of some sparkly grasses — in color and even sparklier black and white — that Nature waved in the air to help us celebrate the first day of 2023.

Happy New Year!








Autumn Remnants (2 of 2)

From “December” by Christopher Cranch in Three Centuries of American Poetry edited by Allen Mandelbaum and Robert D. Richardson:

No more the scarlet maples flash and burn
Their beacon-fires from hilltop and from plain;
The meadow-grasses and the woodland fern
In the bleak woods lie withered once again.

The trees stand bare, and bare each stony scar
Upon the cliffs; half frozen glide the rills;
The steel-blue river like a scimitar
Lies cold and curved between the dusky hills.

Over the upland farm I take my walk,
And miss the flaunting flocks of golden-rod;
Each autumn flower a dry and leafless stalk,
Each mossy field a track of frozen sod.

From “Wordsworth’s Mountain” in Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver:

“There is a rumor of total welcome among the frosts of the winter morning….

“The field I am looking at is perhaps twenty acres altogether, long and broad. The sun has not yet risen but is sending its first showers over the mountains, a kind of rehearsal, a slant light with even a golden cast…. The light touches every blade of frozen grass, which then burns as a particular as well as part of the general view. The still-upright weeds have become wands, encased in a temporary shirt of ice and light… Neither does this first light miss the opportunity of the small pond, or the groups of pine trees. And now: enough of silver, behold the pink, even a vague, unsurpassable flush of pale green….

“It is the performance of this hour only, the dawning of the day, fresh and ever new.”


Hello!

This is the second of two posts featuring the last of my autumn color photos for this season. The first post is Autumn Remnants (1 of 2); and three related posts are Autumn Dreams of Christmas (1 of 2); Autumn Dreams of Christmas (2 of 2); and Seven Days to Christmas: When Nature Does the Decorating.

That’s it for me for 2022! See you on the other side! Of New Year’s Eve, that is.

Thanks for taking a look!






Autumn Remnants (1 of 2)

From “O Lacrimosa” in Ahead of All Parting by Rainer Maria Rilke:

Ah, but the winters! The earth’s mysterious
turning-within. Where around the dead
in the pure receding of sap,
boldness is gathered,
the boldness of future springtimes.
Where imagination occurs
beneath what is rigid; where all the green
worn thin by the vast summers
again turns into a new
insight and the mirror of intuition;
where the flowers’ color
wholly forgets that lingering of our eyes.

From “Nature” in The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“The production of a work of art throws a light upon the mystery of humanity. A work of art is an abstract or epitome of the world. It is the result or expression of nature, in miniature. For although the works of nature are innumerable and all different, the result or the expression of them all is similar and single. Nature is a sea of forms radically alike and even unique….

“A leaf, a sunbeam, a landscape, the ocean, make an analogous impression on the mind. What is common to them all — that perfectness and harmony, is beauty. The standard of beauty is the entire circuit of natural forms — the totality of nature….

“Nothing is quite beautiful alone; nothing but is beautiful in the whole. A single object is only so far beautiful as it suggests this universal grace. The poet, the painter, the sculptor, the musician, the architect, seek each to concentrate this radiance of the world on one point, and each in his several work to satisfy the love of beauty which stimulates him to produce…. Thus in art does Nature work through the will of a man filled with the beauty of her first works.”


Hello!

Autumn color came to my neighborhood pretty late this year, butting up against the Christmas holidays and my Christmas photo project (see Days to Christmas 2022). I had taken quite a few leaf and tree photos in late November and early December, and associated the more brightly colored ones with Christmas on three posts…

Autumn Dreams of Christmas (1 of 2)

Autumn Dreams of Christmas (2 of 2)

Seven Days to Christmas: When Nature Does the Decorating

… then yesterday went through what was left from those fall color shoots. For this post and the next one, I put together some small galleries of those photos that remained in my catalog — mostly reds and oranges or yellows, all certainly now blown away with the passing through of last week’s winter storm.

Thanks for taking a look!





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