Friday, November 11, 2011

Afternoon Delights

Autumn leaves, November 11, 2011

The shorter, darker days of late fall and winter have always been a challenge for me. Both my body and my spirit tend to feel the weight of winter, a reaction referred to by the medical profession as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). When I was still working for pay, I hated going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark, a mole forever underground surrounded by damp, oppressive dirt.

But now that I am retired, and can make a point of being outside whenever the opportunity arises to catch a bit of light, a breeze, a patch of blue sky, I am finding new wonders in the shortening days.

Boat in the Bay

Ducks on an autumn afternoon

This week, it is the afternoon light which mesmerizes me - at three in the afternoon, the clouds reflect in the rippling water;

Clouds in the water

Ripples in the afternoon

By four, the dusk creates a marine bas relief, and the juxtaposition of dying foliage against ever-changing seascape begs for capture by the camera's lens:

Seedhead in fall

Even in death, the flowers are beautiful and offer the promise of new life come spring. The  colourful leaves, too, are finally losing their grasp on the boughs to which they cling. This afternoon, a wind and rainstorm tore through the area, ripping leaves from the trees and sending them scurrying down the street and across the waters.

In the aftermath of the storm, I discover a dragonfly lying amid the leaves, life sucked away yet seemingly uninjured. I later learn that the lifespan of an adult dragonfly is less than six months, so perhaps it died a natural death. I am fascinated by the opportunity to look at it so closely - it is over three inches long, iridescent body, gossamer wings with a single black dot on the edge of each.

Dragonfly with gossamer wings

Wings more beautiful than Swarovski crystal

But most surprising of all was the face:

Dragonfly happyface

No graphic artist or cartoonist could ever create an insect's face that so instaneously makes one smile back at it. He must have enjoyed his very short life, I think, to look so happy in death.

By five it is almost dark and I am home with my blinds drawn, soft music on, cocooning with my critters and shutting out the world.

I could get used to this. At least for a couple of months.


EvenSong said...

With the first two photos of the lovely dragonfly, scale was not so much a problem for me. But the last one--all that popped into my brain for the wood on which it was positioned was a cedar split-rail fence,which made the fly the subject of a nasty Halloween horror flick! Complete with Stephen King smile!
I liked the third of the seed-head photos the best.

Dom said...

Beautiful dragonfly.

Jean said...

Evensong - the split rail fence is part of the base of a hand-carved Quebec lamp which belonged to my dad. I was looking for something to prop him on to allow me to capture the smile - never thought of the horror flick perspective! Thanks for the laugh. (By the way, I'm still not able to comment on your blog, but wanted to say I'm so glad Beth found such a great forever home!).

Black Jack's Carol said...

I enjoyed this post a lot, Jean and pictured you taking the photos and touching each one with your unique imagination. The last two of the dragonfly, one with crystal and the other showing that amazing grin, were my favourites. Just stunning!

CarolAnneLawry said...

Your photographs are ethereal. Just loved them. The dragonfly/crystal image is such a reminder of our inability to compete with nature's artistic rendering.I spent the day wrestling widgets, trying to set my blog up and procratinating about getting out into that magical light you so skillfully captured.

Anonymous said...

I've never had the opportunity to look into the eyes of a dragonfly until I saw your picture today! What an amazing visual. It certainly put a smile of my face :)

Caroline said...

Amazing pictures!
I so love our walks with you, the Island is breathtaking!
Thank you for always taking us along

georgia little pea said...

Hellooo...looks like you're well and finding some things to enjoy even as the days turn colder. I feel for you as I drip in some unseasonable uber hot days here!

Love the crispy dead seed heads, the gloomy skies and water. And that dragonfly! It really does seem to have a smile on his face. How very odd.

Hugs to you and the critters xox