Nature begins its retreat

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.

Walt Whitman


*I* am “exaketededly” three inches high, and it is a very good height, in-*deed*!

– Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland).

Our assignment this time was to capture fall in its starkness, to find beauty in what one may not normally see as beautiful.  I made a conscious effort to use my 50mm lens for this assignment so I could get closer.  I don’t have a macro lens but I do have a macro setting on my camera, which I didn’t use strangely enough.  I didn’t have to go far.  I walked into my backyard.  I wanted to work in my garden.  It’s time to pull it back to bare.  It’s still hot here but the tomatoes have been producing less and less and there was more brown stems than green. I was thrilled to find this little guy on the old tomato plant.  Just as I was going to rip it from the ground there he was!  It took me straight back to Alice in Wonderland  Can you see that?  It’s all I can see! I mean minus  he is green and not blue, minus he isn’t talking to me or smoking but honestly it’s all I can imagine. This little darling creature took me back to a magical place.  And I think he or she, I shouldn’t just assume it’s a boy but anyway, I think “it” is just gorgeous in every way.  I examined it closely and touched it and basically tripped out on how completely unique this creature is.  Where do they come from?  How is it they specifically look to tomatoes for their nutrients?  I don’t see them otherwise? But this is not all I saw.  This is just the first thing I saw.


The sky was very blue and although it was hot, if one didn’t know, they might think this a cool and crisp fall day.  That’s another thing I like about pictures.  If pictures don’t have words people can look at them and make up their own story.  I do it all the time but mostly I do this with pictures of people.  I make up their stories in my head based on how the photograph reads.   So just know, this day was warm and I spent this day on my knees in the garden.  I pulled all the weeds.  I got dirt under my nails and I have it ready for the crimson and clover.  This is my plan.


This is my favorite from the day.  Just a few little leaves hanging on for dear life.  The golden sun shining through the otherwise dead leaves.  When I stand back and look at this tree it’s just full of crispy dry and dead leaves.  It looks sort of pitiful actually but as I walk up close this is what I see and it’s gorgeous.  I add my 50mm lens and it becomes art.  Its Gods art and it is good.

IMG_8841And when the assignment had the word specifically STARK.  This is what I found  It’s stark and it’s completely beautiful.  And for me this assignment wasn’t very hard because it’s what I naturally do.  When I feel a need for peace,  I will grab my camera, this is my tool and I walk into my very own backyard which is in the suburbs backed up against a busy street with occasional sirens and traffic, with cables stretching across the sky but in this suburban setting we planted three trees. Just three.  One for each child and only just two seasons ago.   They are sort of new trees.  I have only seen the littlest and only girl’s tree experience spring once so far and it had pink flowers!  It was perfect.  I’m not familiar with their seasons just yet.  We almost thought we were killing the boys trees.  It seemed a little too soon for the leaves to turn crispy brown but I’m thinking it may be normal.  We will see when winter comes and they will be bare and then as spring arrives we will see their new baby green buds that open to leaves. I think it will be like this. I have taken so many pictures of the kids trees it’s a little crazy but for me it’s peace.  This is all for today. Remember Christina at 22 limes because she shares this assignment with me.  I can’t wait to see what she found and what she will share.  It’s a lot like Christmas morning to me when I get to see what she will post too.




3 thoughts on “Nature begins its retreat

  1. Oh Tracie, I always love your stories! You captured your details beautifully. Shallow dof is one of my favorite things in photography. If I had to pick a favorite, I think it would be the 2nd one, with the yellow leaves and blue sky. but really I loved them all. It is funny when you talk about your garden and taking it back to bare, really, in California, that stuff doesn’t just grow year round? I love that you planted trees for each of your kids, I have always loved that idea! See how we each gather different things from the assignment, the word STARK went unnoticed by me.

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