Driving down an unremarkable avenue for the Southwest–a broad street flanked by bungalows built on concrete pads–and squinting against the sunset in its dying flare, I looked up as movement in the trees caught my eye.

With the breeze flicking the very ends of the fronds and the setting sun lighting them up from behind, the effect was unlike anything I’ve seen: little golden bits frolicked around the tree-tops.The conditions had to be just right, with low dark cloud providing the backdrop and narrowing the sun’s beams.

It wants a video–which may yet be coming–but a drive-by, through-the-windshield, phone photo will have to do for now.

This entry was posted in Appreciating Deeply, Photos of Flora and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Sparkles

  1. barbara carlson says:

    So cute! Every attentive hour throws up a prize.

  2. Alison Uhrbach says:

    I’ve been pursuing painting with watercolours lately, and one instructor I follow mentioned that even if we never become great painters, we will learn to look at the world more closely around us. I found that very reassuring, as I think that in itself is a worthy goal.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Alison – Good for you. And good for your instructor. I’ve heard a similar case made for photography and wouldn’t be surprised if painting was even more so. “Seeing to render” seems more engaged even than taking a photo.

  3. A lovely juxtaposition of sparkling frond tips with dragon songs that can be heard only one night of the year. The glory is all around, if only we can tune in to it.

    Such a sky! I had to study the close-ups to appreciate what you were saying about the angle of its light on the trees’ tops.

    As I was exclaiming over one photographer’s capturing of such glories, he said, making a reference to my painting, that it is an act of love to respond to the memorable by manipulating paints on grounds. The photographer who points and shoots exercises similar judgment only when weeding out the less satisfying photos from the “best” ones. The painter’s choices are myriad and more complex for making a single painting. I think that observation holds if one is painting from a photograph rather than from the natural subject. However, whether you consider the painter a bad filter, as compared with the fidelity to subjects rendered by the photographer, or a valuable intermediary for his/her level of engagement, their debts to the subjects are the same: behold! a subject worthy of your contemplation. Those technologically different forms of art nevertheless are communal experiences, objects rendered and gifts received.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – <> I like that. Poets, too, of course.
      “I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
      into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
      how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
      which is what I have been doing all day.
      Tell me, what else should I have done?
      Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
      Tell me, what is it you plan to do
      with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

  4. Tom Watson says:

    Yep, them are lovely sparkles.

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