Speaking of expectations…


I find this time of year a bit difficult. It seems like the color is just washed away and everything is left a sad, drooping gray. My mood droops along with it.

There’s an unexpected plus, getting into photography. Looking around constantly, my mind’s eye searches for anything that might be remotely interesting within the lens frame. It’s like everything is frozen for an instant for a longer look at what’s really there instead of my eyes impatiently scanning it all in the search for color.

Yesterday, it was raining, sometimes not so gently, during my half-hour drive up to Heber Springs. The wind and rain had knocked all the fall leaves off the trees and most were a murky brown on the ground. The clouds in the sky were a uniform gray, lifeless and uninteresting. It didn’t take long to notice that color of any sort stood out sharply against the gray backdrop, with the speed of the car making those instances of interest more fleeting and startling in passing.

So, when my eye caught this scene, I checked the rearview mirror before braking and backing up. I rolled down the window and aimed my iPhone, hoping that the muted gray light was enough to capture the effects of all the fast and furious rain. There at the bottom of a small valley is a stream, quiet now, past the point of rushing to wash over the road. Bare trees, sharp rocks and drowning ground cover are all reflected in the still water, and you can see that it’s not the usual state of affairs for this little spot. Still and quiet.

I’ll narrow things down a bit and try to limit my expectations to myself by saying that I expect to be on the constant hunt for visual interest. It’s these moments, detached from everything else, that just might keep me sane. Hopefully, they’ll work their magic on you too.
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