After I left a rather gloomy comment on his blog, my photographer friend, David, whom I met at the Garden Writers Symposium, gave me a challenge. He suggested I go out, armed with my camera, to find color in what I thought was a barren winter landscape. Two days ago, the weather was cold, so I kept my foraging to 30 minutes like he suggested. Here is what I found. The first photo is a burst of evergreen: Magnolia grandiflora’s shiny emerald leaves. Can you see the tiny bud in the center? Call it hope of spring to come.
As David pointed out, even gray has its subleties. See the detail of the lichen on the trunk of this oak; a play of light and dark. If you look closely, there is even a bit of gold in the lower left. Gray field fencing fronts a red tractor wheel. You can just glimpse the Caterpillar yellow brush hog behind the tractor.
I also found Lamb’s ears growing in my garden unscathed by the snow and cold weather. I love the leaves’ gray-green softness, and the plant is a perennial favorite of my children. I hope I captured it with the camera.
As I puttered around our acreage, I noticed that closeups often yielded the best results. It was a matter of perspective. If I stood back and looked over the landscape, I saw mostly gray and brown. However, if I sharpened my focus, looking closely with the camera’s “eye,” I saw so much more. Soon, details I’d missed cropped up everywhere from sunlight through rose leaves, golden and bronzed, to the pink and gray granite hiding behind winter grass.
Now, dear readers, I suggest the same for you. Like Flylady says, tie on your lace up shoes, and go outside. You’ll get a little exercise for your body and your soul. Take your camera with you if you have one. In these gray winter days, try to find a little color for yourselves. If you don’t have a blog on which to post your pictures, print your photographs and hang them (framed or not) somewhere you will see them. A memo board next to your computer would be ideal. Also, if you have pictures from summer, print those too. Surround yourselves with beauty and remember to go outside (if you can) as much as possible. Natural sunlight wards off the winter blues. For those of you who have too many gray days, get a full spectrum light bulb and sit under it for 30 minutes a day. This helps too.
Thanks, David for helping me get some new perspective. I appreciate it. I only wish you lived here and taught photography (like your schedule would allow for that.) Garden blessings, everyone. I’m headed outside to ride bikes with Bear.