Tag Archives: nature

snow globe

gl1 gl2 gl3 gl6 gl7 gl8 gl9 gl10

The snow came down for hours yesterday – silent, soft flakes. I’m tired of the snow, but it still works it’s magic. You can’t help but feel the world is enchanted for those few, quiet hours when everything’s covered in a pillow of pristine powder.

Advertisements

summer roadtrip

ch1

After our car broke down, my grandparents graciously offered to sell us one of their cars. The only problem was that it was in Florida. So, within a week, we booked our one way flight to Tampa and prepared for a week of travel through the south.

ch4

ch10

We spent a relaxing few days in Bradenton at my grandparents house, enjoying Grandma’s beef with Amish noodles and watching a documentary about Florida on TV.  On Sunday, we headed up to Orlando to attend church with Daniel’s mom before caravanning up to St. Augustine to be tourists for the afternoon.

ch12

ch14

ch17

ch25

A pirate ship!

ch29

After spending the night at my sister’s house in Jacksonville, we traveled up to Charlotte, NC. After a day of driving, we were fairly well exhausted, so we ordered takeout and watched trashy television into the evening.

ch31

The next day, we took a self-guided walking tour through Charlotte, admiring the Painted Ladies and modern downtown architecture, visiting a local Episcopal church, drinking delicious coffee, and eating at a local Greek restaurant.

ch33

It was the sort of trip everyone should take in the summertime. We paced ourselves and managed to see lots of friends and family as we snaked our way back to Charlottesville. I’m grateful that fate forced us to get down to Florida this year. Being with people who have known you forever is quite grounding.

by a different route

or, Why Walks are the Best

moon in daylight sun sheer leaves glove love stark branch forest berries shallow dof tree stump virginia roadAfter taking Daniel to school on Monday afternoon, I looked about me on the drive home and realized suddenly that it was a beautiful day. We had about a week and a half of weird, dreary weather; it messed with my mood – everything felt stagnant. But Monday was cold and dry and crisp. The winter sun was at its brightest and the leaves and houses shone with its glaring light. I walked, this time, by a different route and felt refreshed. And at night, I looked up and saw Orion as clearly as if it were beaming out from a constellation chart.

Enjoy the winter light while it lasts.

walks

virginia field macro heart flowers reaching handtall grasses leaflet carved tree fieldIt seems we’re addicted to walks, at least during this curiously warm week in the quiet days before regular life demands our attention again.

On Monday, I went for a walk by myself to clear my head, twisting and turning through residential roads. There’s been some drama – and some loss – in my circle of friends and I let it get to me. But walking is meditation. You go and you go on your own two feet. You’re tired but you keep moving. You’re farther away than you ever intended to be, but you have the stamina to press on. To compel yourself forward even when your legs grow tired and the sun glares into your eyes as it sets. Walking is uncomplicated, but not necessarily easy. I think that’s the best way to live.

backyard

pebble photo s2 s3 s5 s6 s7s8I haven’t been able to get out much lately. Between being poor, the weather looking like the above every other day, and Daniel being bogged down with schoolwork, we’ve been hesitant to get out there and enjoy the Virginia landscape. But I’m pleased to tell you that even our meager, rented backyard holds treasures: a pebble-encrusted walkway, a rotting pumpkin, mangled vines, and a bit of yellow in the neighbor’s yard.

shallow dof

shallow dofWhen my sister was in town, I discussed with her how I’d really like to achieve a better bokeh effect by purchasing a 50mm lens. A photography major, she scolded me promptly, telling me that achieving a shallow depth of field had everything to do with knowing how to adjust manual settings, not with buying more equipment. Although I was a bit embarrassed by the chastisement, I knew she meant well. And she was right. Too many wannabe photographers (like myself) think better equipment will automatically equal a better photo. All the while, we fail to take advantage of all the specifications and adjustments our fancy-schmancy cameras already provide. I read up on dof, then tinkered around with my camera outside until it started to rain. I’m pleased with these first attempts at achieving shallow dof.

fall branches n3 green purple bush 2 n8 n10 n11I leave you with this photograph of my favorite, naked tree.

bare tree

inspired: Mathijs Delva

Mathijs Delva‘s work is difficult to describe in non-cliche terms. It’s breathtaking, ethereal, harmonious, nostalgic. His landscape work makes you want to fling your arms wide in exaltation and go live in the photograph.

(one, two, three, four, five)

Images via Mathijs Delva on flickr; individual links above. To purchase images, visit the photographer’s website.

the neighborhood

I decided to take a walk around my new neighborhood to get a sense of the community. Since most of the homes in this area were built in the 1960s, most of our neighbors are elderly; at least, I assume they’ve lived in the same home for 50 years. It’s a pleasant change to live in a duplex instead of a student-oriented apartment building, but the rowdy children who always sound like they’re pole-vaulting or roller-blading above us are about as annoying as drunk college students yelling obscenities by the apartment pool in the middle of the night.

Fun fact: my next door neighbors have a defunct toilet in their driveway.