Rust, Rot, & Decay

Despite the rather gloomy title, I find a real beauty in these reminders from nature of the transient reality of everything . . . whether created or man made. The chemical oxidation of metal produces rust that is often rich with reds and oranges as in the railing on a footbridge and the extra character added to a mailbox.

Footbridge Railing

Footbridge Railing


Mailbox

Mailbox


The rotting wood from a fallen log was captured in a Georgia swamp. The visible beauty of the rot comes from the rich texture and a rainbow full of colors. The invisible beauty is that in the demise of this tree nutrients are added to the soil and mushrooms and insects are well fed along with nearby trees and vines.
Rotting Tree

Rotting Tree


The last two images are more about decay than rust or rot. The first image is a small portion of a large demolition project on a former hotel. This reminder of the “this too shall pass” nature of human craft and construction is also visible in our crumbling infrastructure, yet we still tend to imagine a permanence that isn’t there. The last rose of summer was nipped by a killing frost. This rose will decay, but will be forgotten with the new roses of next summer.
Demolition

Demolition


Summer's Last Rose.

Summer’s Last Rose.


As I age, I am increasingly aware of my body’s own versions of rust, rot, and decay. At the same time I have become aware of the intrinsic internal beauty of aging and have learned to focus on the new roses of summer and not too much on the rust, rot, and decay.

My Sunshine

Most of the color is gone from the trees and flowers except for the muted brown of the oak leaves. The sun is getting lower in the sky, the nights are longer, and we have had our first snowfall. Even with a grey outlook for the bleakness of winter, with photos we can still experience the sun’s warmth and cheer. Enjoy the sunshine of the first two pictures and the reality check of the last.

Sun Petals

Sun Petals


Ladybug in Mums

Ladybug in Mums


Setting Sunflowers

Setting Sunflowers

Election Day

The images are not about election day. The title is just a reminder to vote if you happen to be in an area with elections today.

I have no thematic unity to these pictures (other than the photos being from the last week), just the images and your thoughts. The first two images are from a photo shoot at a bridge over a small lake. The water lilies and reflected cloud captured my eye as did the swans from the following picture as they whizzed through the air like leftover Halloween ghosts.

Water Lilies

Water Lilies

Swans in Flight

Swans in Flight

The leaves on the trees are well past their autumnal prime. Some trees are bare, some have turned brown, and some, like this tree, have just a few lingering leaves. The sparkling sun highlighted these leaves for me.

Last Leaves to Leave

Last Leaves to Leave

The last image is a picture of a picture hanging in our house near some similarly colored orchids.

Bee and Orchid

Bee and Orchid

It’s election day. Feel free to cast your vote for your favorite image,

Growing Old with Delight

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be,” has sadly become trite, warm fuzzy, greeting card mush. The very powerful rest of the Robert Browning stanza from Rabbi Ben Ezra is usually ignored. It reads:

The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

Despite dealing with chronic pain (from moderate to severe depending on the day), I have found my latter years to be the best. I am able to celebrate me, be at peace with the world, enjoy life, and not give a d#%# what others think. Those I love have grown more dear. My senses have been heightened to the grandeur of creation. My trust in God is deeper. In short, my dotage is a delight.

What has this to do with my photography? When I first look at my pictures I delete the ones I dislike for technical or composition reasons. I print or publish the ones with which I am satisfied to have my name connected. There are often some pictures in the middle; I don’t hate them, but I am also not quite satisfied with them . . . yet. I often “grow old” with these photos and go back to view them again and again. Some I delete with the passage of time. Others I grow to understand, discover anew and “see all” (or at least what I find meaningful to me).

Here are a few images that I have grown into with a brief explanation of what finally captured my pleasure.

Amish Harvest

Amish Harvest

Amish Harvest captured my delight when I converted it to a black and white image. Thirty years ago I only shot black and white and sometimes I return to that love. I think black and white both honors the simplicity of Amish life and brings a healthy contrast to the picture,

Seed

Seed

This picture also jumped out at me more in the contrast of black and white. The picture was shot at a rather slow shutter speed due to low lighting conditions. Because of that the white extensions from the seed have a glimmering quality that I like.

Curve

Curve

This was a nice, but “not yet” picture until I saw it in black and white. The detail in the concrete wall along a bridge over a pond contrasted with the water and water images in a way I liked.

giraffes

This picture grew on me as I became happier and happier with the composition. What I liked (and appreciated) more and more were the diagonal lines that drew attention to the unseen.

Hope you enjoyed my musings and the photos. I also hope you are growing old well.

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