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Posts Tagged ‘new year’

It is a cool, rainy morning here as I sit here, trying to think about what I want to say as I begin the new year. I planned on watching the ball fall at Times Square at midnight, but dozed off on the sofa and missed the moment—I guess that is a sign that I am getting old.

I am feeling pensive right now as I think about the year that has just concluded and wonder what the new year will hold for me. I decided to share some photos that I took last week at the little pond that I featured yesterday. I was utterly fascinated by the reflections of some of the trees at the edge of the pond and the textures that appeared in the ripples on the surface of the water.

Normally I have much more of an identifiable main subject when I am taking a photo, but in those moments I was mesmerized, feeling a little bit like I was looking at a Monet painting. Sometimes I get into an “artsy” trance of sorts and I have no idea how long I stood there with my camera pointing down at the water on the opposite shore.

A few people passed by, but fortunately did not pose the sometimes annoying question that I am frequently asked about what I was photographing. I often have to bite my tongue and not reply with the words resounding in my head—”I was trying to photograph a bird that you spooked with your noisy arrival.” In this case, there was no live subject to scare away, but it would have destroyed my meditative concentration.

I have to admit that I am a little selfish when it comes to sharing my wildlife experience in person with others—I prefer to enjoy the beauty of nature in solitude. I often avoid locations that have abundant wildlife, if I know there will be crowds of photographers. As I like to tell my friends, I was avoiding people long before it became popular during this pandemic.

I will probably do some kind of more organized retrospective look at the postings of this past year in the next few days. For today, though, I wanted to share some musings and reflections.

Best wishes to all of you for a happy and healthy New Year.


ripples

ripples

ripples

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It’s just starting to get light outside, the dawning of a new year. It’s time to hang new calendars and to try to remember 2017 on my checks. I’m not really into setting resolutions, but New Year’s Day is a good time to stop to reflect on the past year. Then it will be time to boldly step into the as yet uncharted territories of 2017,  certain only that there will be both challenges and opportunities—I hope that I will learn and grow irrespective of the circumstances,

Best wishes to all those who read and/or view my blog for a healthy and happy 2017.

I took these shots as the sun was rising early yesterday morning at Huntley Meadows Park for the final time in 2016. The treeline to the east blocked me from seeing the actual sunrise, but the colors were spectacular for a few brief moments.

sunrise

sunrise

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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How do you celebrate the end of the year? Do you like to go out with a bang, with a big celebration and literal or figurative fireworks, or are you more pensive and reflective? I know that I am in the latter group.

My life this past year, both personally and as a photographer, has had some high points, but mostly it has been a year in which I have tried to find beauty and meaning in ordinary things. I have visited my favorite park over and over again, photographing some of the same species repeatedly. Patience and persistence have been my hallmarks and I have been rewarded with some wonderful photographic opportunities.

Somehow it seems appropriate that I end this year with a couple of images of this beautiful female Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) that I spotted in the cattails on Monday at Huntley Meadows Park. Red-winged Blackbirds are with us most of the year. They seem to come and go, but they are often there. The females are usually buried deep in the underbrush and are not seen as often as the more flashy and loud males. As you can see from these photos, however, the females are at least as beautiful as the males.

The blackbird’s body positions serve as a visual metaphors for my approach as I look forward to 2016—hanging on and occasionally looking back, but primarily looking forward with optimism to the future.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful 2016.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As you contemplate the promises and possibilities of the new year that has just begun, are you more like the pensive Great Blue Heron in the first image or the intensely focused heron in the second photo? (For the record, the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) in both photos is actually the same one that I photographed last weekend at a local water retention pond.)

I’m more like the first heron—I am full of optimism and hope, but don’t have specific plans or resolutions.

Best wishes to all of you for a healthy, prosperous, and blessed new year.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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As the new year dawns, it seems appropriate to post this photo I took last weekend at my local marsh, as the early morning sun peeked through the trees and cast its first rays of light onto the cattails.

Best wishes to all for a happy, safe, and blessed 2014.

cattail_dawn_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The new year has started. Like these Canada Geese, we have taken off and are continuing our journeys. Who knows where we will stop along the way? The wind and other obstacles may cause us to make unexpected stops or detours—things will undoubtedly not go according to our plans or maybe not even our desires. Best wishes and prayers for all of you on your own adventures this year, that you remain safe and healthy, joyful and at peace.

newyear

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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