In the Rockies

In the Rockies
Butler Gulch

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Looking for Beauty

I could have titled this a celebration as the "rest of the story" manuscript went to readers Friday evening. Since I'm just now completing this post, it was two weeks ago last Friday when the memoir went to readers. Since the manuscript I sent out is, for that part, still a draft a real celebration is yet to come. No one else has read any of it, and while I edit as I go along, I've only re-read and edited it totally twice. I'm hopeful that my readers will read critically. I haven't touched it since it went out, but with the novel now on its way to readers and I've heard from one person, I will begin edits soon. With two very different manuscripts being read by others, I'll catch up a bit here.

So now to my subject. I recently got out my camera's macro lens and listened to a Nikon training session. These are free for now as a contribution to staying at home. First I took photos of the  flowers I bought at Trader Joe's--alstroemeria or the Peruvian lily. My aim was to get the tiny centers to show up against the color. The one below is an example.

 With a decision to go out on the grounds around our building, I photographed all sorts of tiny things. This one surprised.
This bush looked almost dead and very boring. The leaves in the top photo were somewhat attractive. Both improved dramatically in the eye of the camera. How often in all of this staying in and going out carefully masked and social distancing do we look for bits of beauty in those with whom we come in contact--the grocery shelver who didn't get around to taking the toilet tissue out of the boxes stacked high where I couldn't reach a box to open myself for instance. (I was helped by a tall man who opened the box and took out a six-pack for me.

In this post, I'm including spring leaves and flowers. This one with what my brother Billy and I used to call wings was a surprise when I saw them on the Belmont University campus near where I live. The pink color was unexpected and lovely. They made me wonder what other small beauties in life I've missed because I'm expecting them to be as they previously were.

These of course are from the woods early in our stay-at-home orders. These trumpet lilies remind me so much of the glacier lilies I loved so much in the Rockies that they make me wish for those mountains.                                                                                                                                                
More of my musings have come from established gardens this spring as the trails have either been closed or void of room to social distance. Again in the early days I went to one of our large city parks to see the Virginia bluebells, a favorite. 

It seemed that the wild flowers were gone here in Middle Tennessee when last week a friend suggested I meet him at a cedar glades area near one of our large lakes. It was new to me and on a bike trail although we saw only one pair of bikers. He's a fount of wildflower information and carefully takes photographs. It was the perfect time for me to take my macro lens. I experimented more than I wish I had after seeing the results--or lack thereof but I'll leave this short post with a couple of flowers from that hike. One has a name familiar to those of you in the west but with a very different look. Below is a columbine! They are quite small. 

My friend had an uncommon name for the daisy below but it looked like the farm daisies I loved as a child. I was delighted to see it growing in the woods.

And another childhood flower, though our phlox were of the garden variety, I loved seeing these in the woods.

I feel so very fortunate to see and enjoy the small things. Spring weather comes and goes here in the Mid-South but spring trees leafing out and blossoming and most woodland flowers are past. It's the rose garden on the nearby campus and the skies from the seventeenth windows that capture my interests most now. However, our beloved Cheekwood Gardens opens again for social distance walking on Friday! I am excited to see the renovations and a new trail. More soon. 

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