Pot or Potter

Growing up our middle son was often called “oops” by his brothers. This was due, in part, to his propensity for breaking or dropping things (like the time hot harvard beets were dropped onto an off white carpet). In college, Mike took up pottery and became quite accomplished. His unintentional destructive tendencies did linger though. Potters often call dropped pots “garden pots” because while they might no longer be considered fine art, they were sometimes still suitable for garden art.

The pictures below are of such a “garden pot” by Mike. In the brief moments of sunshine allowed us yesterday, I took these shots from our back deck. They made me reflect on two things. The first was of the biblical image of God as potter and us as the clay that needs to be molded and finished. This spiritual lesson has become part of my life walk; calling on God to mold me into the person God would have me be.

The second reflection was on the usefulness of the broken. Some rather severe health issues have made it necessary for me to back off from volunteer multiple board responsibilities that I enjoyed. That said, I recently spoke at a conference and was pleased at the very positive response to my remarks. It was a reminder that God uses broken pots as well as those that are whole. I guess God also uses cracked pots and crackpots like me.

pot

Covered Bridge

As Pat and I were driving along (Pat driving), she spotted a covered bridge on a golf course (her eyes tend to wander when she drives and looks for pictures). We pulled off and captured some images from this golf-cart size bridge and its environs. Fore!

Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge

Bridge Window

Bridge Window

Leaves

Leaves

Bridge and Pine

Bridge and Pine

Fall

Some pictures of Fall . . . including an awesome fur coat. Enjoy.

Fall Sunrise

Fall Sunrise

Corn Harvest

Corn Harvest

Amish Harvest Time

Amish Harvest Time

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Flower Garden

Flower Garden

Fur Coat

Fur Coat

The Trestle

Today I want to tell you a story. The story is about a beautiful reminder of the glory days of railroading; specifically a nearly forgotten trestle. Pat and I came upon this trestle during a summer photo outing, thanks to a tip from a local photographer. We visited the location but had difficulty getting pictures due to mature Summer foliage and mature aggressive mosquitoes. We decided to write down the middle-of-nowhere location and return in the Fall in hopes of clearer views.

The trestle is within a couple of hundred yards of the intersection of two gravel roads. From the bridge of the busier gravel road the trestle is barely visible. Look toward the top of this image and you can see the support structure.

From the Bridge

From the Bridge

From the other gravel road, we could see the trestle in its beautiful – almost magical – setting. Leaves were gone, but trees still obstructed any clear view.

From the Road

From the Road

We knew we would have to go down the trail to the trestle to get the shots we wanted.

The Path

The Path

When we reached the trestle, I knew exactly where I needed to be to get the picture I wanted. I needed to cross the trestle. To get to the ties that were still solid on the trestle, I needed to first walk along the rather narrow support beams.

Support Beams

Support Beams

The rails had been removed from the ties, but the ties were mostly intact. Some of the rivets were intact, some popped loose, and some entirely missing.

Rivets In, Out, & Gone

Rivets In, Out, & Gone

Crossing the trestle involved some larger steps where ties were entirely missing or deemed too risky by my more responsible side.

Broken Tie

Broken Tie

I made it safely to the other side intact with my camera and two lenses. I shot a picture with my zoom lens first, to capture the simple engineering of the trestle.

Trestle Detail

Trestle Detail

Then I changed lenses and used a wide-angle lens to capture the image that I had held in my head for weeks. It was overcast, but still a good day.

The Image

The Image

The Winds of Autumn

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the cool nights, the not-too-hot days. and the smells and sounds of the season. Bees are gathering the last few bits of pollen.

bee

Migratory birds, like these geese and sandhill cranes, are gathering together for their journey south.

splashdown

sandhill

Of course there are also pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes and pumkins.

pumpkin

Web Masters

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” The quote from Sir Walter Scott aptly uses the spider web as a metaphor for deception. Spider webs deceive by blending in easily with the background, which is why we sometimes get a face full (and why they can be difficult to photograph). Or they all can deceive by being very visible, attracting visitors. Her are some unoccupied webs and one with a no vacancy sign.

web over water

webs w red

webs and bolt

spider

Swirls, Curls, & Lines

Lines and curves are parts of what bring dynamic life to an image. They may help define the balance of an image or its energy or even its sensuousness. Straight lines bring stability to an image. Diagonal lines suggest energy and movement even in bricks and concrete like the image below.

Bricks & Concrete

Bricks & Concrete

Curves add gentleness and interest to an image. Imagine if this stalk were straight up. It would evoke an entirely different (maybe even boring) response.

Bent Grass

Bent Grass

These two images combine both lines and curves, making the commonplace somewhat more complex. Imagine the Grand River image being just a straight part of the river.

Benches, Bricks, & Shadows

Benches, Bricks, & Shadows

Grand River

Grand River

This last image has both lines (bank of river and dirt) but also has some curves and a few delightful swirls. This picture was shot at a fairly fast speed to preserve the energy of the rapids. Hope you enjoyed Swirl, Curls, & Lines.

Backwater Swirl

Backwater Swirl

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