Fall colors on this North Pacific island appear casual, in a pear and cinnamon sort of way. Not like the East Coast’s hot salsa splendor. It’s a different kind of beauty. Allow me to show you…
Feast for a day
It was warm and sunny on October 13 in Kodiak. Okay, 55 degrees is warm. I was working in the garden. Suddenly I heard the unmistakable buzz of a bumblebee. I ran to the house to grab my camera. I love bumblebees. During the summer, I shamelessly badger friends by sharing numerous bee portraits. But this was mid-October, and on September 27 I’d written “last bee seen” on the calendar. I nearly peed in my pants.
This was a queen bee, and the only survivor of this summer’s brood. Which meant the warm weather had enticed her out of her underground hibernation chamber for one… last… meal before hunkering down for the winter. Seeing this special creature brought such joy.
After a night of fierce wind and rain, I ventured outside the next morning to assess the damage. Branches on several begonia plants had snapped and needed pruning, so I lifted the containers onto a metal table. First, I spotted the brightness coming up through the cut-outs in the table. Then, I saw the sun playing hide and seek in the begonias. Pruning would have to wait.
Dill “hands” embrace the sky
By late September, dill plants growing in containers on the front deck, often reach heights of 7 feet. I was walking past the dill “forest” and looked up at the flower umbels, loaded with seed, against the blue sky.
As a photographer, one of my favorite things to do is grab my camera stuff and head out to the door. Just to “see what I can see.” One drizzly morning in October, I loaded up the car and headed out the road, in spite of the wetness. Thirty minutes later, the sun poked through, but the road remained wet and blue…
Making sense out of chaos
And I’m not talking politics here… Everyone loves to look at beautiful landscape photos. Me included. But when it comes to taking photos like that, it’s often easier said than done. Yup. After many years of pressing that shutter release button and looking at other photographer’s work with quiet envy, I realized that it wasn’t Nature’s fault. It was solely mine. Nature doesn’t perform for us. I just needed to look even harder if I wanted to discover beauty in what, at first, looks like chaos.
This photo was an accident
Gotta love it. I’d finished taking pictures of fall colors upstream (see previous photo). Time to head back to the car. Uhh, I tried scrambling across boulders up to the roadbed but DANG, everything was so-o-o slippery. I looked around and WOW! The culvert made the perfect frame around a lovely, fall scene. So I grabbed my tripod and into the culvert I went. Frame shops might consider adding “culvert” to their frame selections, don’t you think?
Another gold-side attraction
I love autumn light. It’s low, rich and sweet. Not like the bold glare of summer. “Autumn,” says Jim Bishop, “carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
Swimming in green tomatoes
Dang. Try as I might, I always end up with an over-abundance of green tomatoes. In the past I’ve made green tomato marmalade, green tomato chutney, fried green tomatoes, but now what? One day, while chopping carrots, potatoes, and onions to roast for dinner, I thought, “Why not green tomatoes?” Salt, pepper, and garlic. Tasty heaven.
So here is the last photo. Looks yummy, doesn’t it?
I hope you enjoyed looking through my lens. We’ll do it again soon. Meanwhile, scroll down and tell me what your favorite season is for taking pictures. And if you have a fave green tomato recipes, I’d love to know.
Cheers to you!
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Marion Owen is a “Jill of all trades,” with 30 years of experience as a teacher and columnist. She’s on a mission to help busy people enhance their daily lives, condensing topics such as photography, cooking, and organic gardening into bite-size pieces. Get her free 4-page “In Good Light: Photo Tips for Busy People” and feel newly recharged when taking pictures.