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Leftovers

The holiday is over. Thanksgiving leftovers have been divided and distributed to family members and probably consumed as much as they will be. Furniture is back in place. A psychologically satisfied feeling replaces the physically bloated one. Outside autumn, at least in New England, signals its readiness for winter. A cold front really is cold. There go the last of the tender plants hanging on. Oaks have finally let go of their leaves. Front step potted mums are shot. Even the squirrels are pretty much finished working over front porch pumpkins. They will return to their regular diner – camped out under bird feeders.

The holiday is over; bring on the holiday. But then we already know it is here whether we like it or not.

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Fallen Angels

Color psychologists tell us that yellow is warm inducing feelings of satisfaction. Brown, while neutral, is the closest color to green, our universal color of nature. Perhaps this is why the colors of autumn so please us. One could take a contrary view arguing that so much is dead or dying or just going into hiding. However, we prize the colors of autumn particularly when we are stimulated by the fire and passion of some strong reds. Ah, bring on those swamp maples.

So it is with our shaggy sweater gardens. Rather than advertise the death of a growing season, they now invite one in for a new more casual experience. In this case, early morning light provides yellow for our warmth. The fallen angels?  They are the jumbo leaves almost to the point of decay. Last summer they were regal Blue Angel Hosta – massive leaves of cool blue green with seersucker texture. And they will be so again next year.

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One Last Kiss

Northern gardens get such a nice shaggy sweater look to them in the fall if properly tended to, that is left alone. After a season of carefully preparing our garden in Jamestown, mulching it and then attentively dead heading the flowers, fall requirements told us to do nothing. The leftover plants and rotting leaves provide protection from forest heave come winter. Spent flowers, disintegrating seed pods, collapsing plants, and accumulating leaves create scenes of gentle beauty with colors appropriate for the coming cold. One becomes eager for the tan and white show mid-winter frosts provide. In the meantime there’s a flower, a shrub bloom that just insists on creeping out – one last kiss of summer.

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Invasion of the Great Whites

And these Great Whites aren’t sharks although they can be as nasty. There are so many Great White Egrets and also Great Blue Herons on the docks here that territorial spats are breaking out. Maybe they will attempt to chase us off next. The fascinating aspect of all this extensive bird presence is that it is new. When we first started coming into these docks we would see an occasional osprey or eagle flying. In the last couple years the osprey and eagle began to use unoccupied dock ends as feeding tables. No other birds of any significance – until this year. Dee’s maybe dozen birds are but one dock’s collection. Don’t know what is going on. Could be it’s global warming.

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Vanishing Wake

The seemingly endless wake does disappear. Indeed it does end, end at the dock in Green Cove Springs for awhile. Our extensive summer chug north is over. Is it good to be at our nominal home port? Yes, if one enjoys endless to do lists. Attention turns to maintenance and repair items. Almost everything works almost every time so we have a scazillion generally age related boat items that need attention – sorta like us.

Photography Note: Some Post Card recipients enjoy abstract stuff. Since this image’s somewhat abstract qualities struck me I decided to push it over the edge with its titling. Notice the lack of capital letters suggesting nothing real enough to merit a formal name. If I were a true abstract artist, I could come up with a more abstract title – maybe candy stripes. (A prize goes to those who can find the candy stripes in this image.) Otherwise, the i i  evokes lack of specific definability. I take shots in bursts. This image was the second of three. So, abstract buffs now know I am trying. The rest just have to put up with me.

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Bridge Abstract

Some time ago the geometric forms of bridges caught Dee’s eye so she has been taking shots as we pass through waterway bridges. I joined her in shooting a bridge across the James River as we left Smithfield awhile back. As luck would have it, her images were not quite tack sharp. That leaves you folks with my latest experiment in black & white. The shapes seemed to ask for a black & white push to the abstract. It is perhaps ironic to post abstract black & white on a day that when a major marine magazine editor discussed with me about the possibility doing a spread with my Wooden Boat School waterfront images for their character and color. Oh well, I’ll shoot anything, anytime, any way. You folks just have to put with me.

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