Clouds, Mist, Rain, Puddles, Mud…

Muddy BootIf you want to live and be happy in Western New York, you would do well to learn to love cloudy days, mist, rain, puddles, and mud.  It’s not enough to tolerate it.  Or even to appreciate it.  You must love it, or you will be miserable for much of the year.  I nearly skipped my afternoon walk today because of the weather.  Oh, what the heck… my jeans are already muddy and what are boots for anyway?  When I finally decided to go, I nearly left the camera behind because the sky was so dark with clouds.  I’m glad I changed my mind.  I upped the ISO a couple of notches and simply looked harder for interesting things to photograph.

Red StemsI challenged myself to find color, darn it all, on this gray, drab day.  It was surprisingly easy, actually.  Have you ever noticed the stems of the Red Osier Dogwood shrubs?  Sometimes I challenge my students when leading a walk.  I’ll stop on the trail and tell them to close their eyes.  “What color crayon would you use to make the stems on shrubs?” I’ll ask.  The answers vary:  “Gray.”  “Brown.”  “Green.”

Weird Fungus“OK, open your eyes…”  Whoa…  “Next time, why not grab a red crayon?”  Which is not to say that brown isn’t a great color.  I happen to love all shades of brown… from the lightest shades of tan to the darkest, almost black…  The grayish browns – like mud.  The orangy browns – like some leaves.  I have no idea what this fungus is… But isn’t it an interesting shade of brown?

NarcissusThe bright, obvious colors seem to glow from within on a day like this.  When you come across them, they nearly take your breath away.

It was cold.  It was misty.  It was muddy.  When I got home, I had to give the dog a complete bath – not just a quick hose-off.  I was a little chilled.  But I was restored.  I had breathed fresh air.  I had heard my birds calling and singing.  I had watched my dog run with abandon in complete joy.  And I had found color… more appreciated than ever because of the way it contrasted with the rest of the day.  It was good.

3 thoughts on “Clouds, Mist, Rain, Puddles, Mud…

  1. And in western New York, you also have to love, live, and be happy in snow. You challenge me…a pictorial essay on the colors of snow. Shall I wait ’til next season? Or perhaps just until next week.

  2. I love the dogwood stems too. I saw my first yellow flower, a non-native invasive coltsfoot bloom, but it made me happy to see colour somewhere!

  3. You go Sue! (Isn’t it weird how sometimes the snow looks bluish greenish purplish? That’s my favorite.) And Ruth, I saw some colt’s foot buds yesterday, too… Even photographed them… but the didn’t make today’s post for some reason… not as brilliant as the narcissus, I guess.

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