Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls at Hocking Hills

We became very aware of the effects of this year’s drought when we came to Cedar Falls. You can see just a trickle of water just below the center of this image.   Our hope was to get photos of water flowing over the rocks that you see at the bottom, but instead we were walking on dry rocks.

In spite of the lack of water, Cedar Falls is beautiful.  The trees growing on the rocks, the colors in the stone walls, the moss and ferns growing everywhere, all added to the natural beauty.

red leaves

Contrasting colors and textures…

stone carved by water

You can see a crease in this rock where water has flowed.

Leaving Cedar Falls

I was drawn to this view as we were leaving this area.  My friends Shelly and Becky are on the right in the dark jackets.  Each of use carried a tripod and used them for almost every photo.  Sometimes it seemed a hassle to have to set them up and pack them away, but the end result was well worth it.  

Welcoming Fall

Our most recent walk in the woods was last Saturday, the first day of fall. In this part of the country there is still a lot of green everywhere, yet the crops in the fields are showing signs of being ready for harvest, while some soy beans are already cut.

We have walked this path many times in our ten years here in Ohio.  To the left of this path is a field of corn, to the right the woods that we love.  As we walked in silence that day, bundled up in our jackets and wearing boots to keep our feet dry, it was so nice to hear the birds and just take in the smells of the woods.

Ahead of us on the path I noticed a little touch of fall appearing… just a touch. 

Enough to say, yes, I have come, and more color is yet to arrive.

Leaves

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Do you remember learning about leaves in biology class? And that leaf collection you had to prepare? Please tell me that everyone had to have a leaf collection in high school biology class…

Yesterday I decided to pull out my good old World Book, and read about how leaves change color. All of the biology class stuff has leaked out of my brain, and I needed to learn about leaves again.  Maybe it’s because they are so stunningly beautiful right now. 

What I had forgotten is that a new bud for next spring’s leaf is already in place before the old leaf falls off the tree.  What I needed to be reminded of is that the leaf is the main food producing structure of the plant, that nearly all leaves have this same basic job. 

And leaves change color because a little disk of cork blocks the pathways to and from the leaf, cutting off the food supply.  Depending on the tree and the pigment it stores, we will see the various colors in the fall foliage. What an amazing design!

It all makes me aware of the cycle of life in each of us. Something new is growing in each of us, while something else dies. Is it an old habit that we want to let go of and replace with a better one? Could it be that we are letting go of the stories of our past and embracing the moment that is here, now? Maybe it’s the nudge to create something beautiful that is waiting within us for the right conditions to bring it forth. 

The real challenge, for me at least, is to look at what we let go of and see the good in it.  Some days we have to let go of what might have been an ugly thing, but we heal when we see the upside of what it was  – – even if it takes a long time for it to appear.   

Blessings to you this day….

Pumpkins

I love all things pumpkin; pie, cake, muffins, even pumpkin soup.
I had a photo shoot with this little pumpkin today, 
then had all kinds of fun doing some post processing.
The image in the center was taken in black and white intentionally 
so that the texture would really show. 
The scars on the side kind of got my attention.
They are scars from growing. I can imagine this pumpkin
laying on the ground, attached to the vine, steadily increasing in size
all summer long. And while that goes on, something creates a 
little flaw in the skin that becomes permanent.
Scars. Flaws. Imperfections.
I doubt that this pumpkin would be 
as lovely if it were totally perfect.
Just as you and I would not be the people we are
without our scars, flaws, imperfections. 
Coming to accept this in ourselves 
is one of the most difficult tasks in life.
And also the most liberating.
Sending you love and peace…