Here in Saint Clair County the weather has reached that delightfully drab level where the temperatures are of a moderate level, the snow has melted, the trees are bare of leaves and the grass is a lovely blah beige. This past Sunday my husband and I went for a walk at the Lake Saint Clair Nature Center. While the average walker will find no purpose in hauling a camera into such a lackluster location, photographers abound and are always on the lookout for something to capture.
When out for a stroll watch anyone with a camera, they will draw your attention to the small, unusual, and difficult to find items of beauty in nature where there appears to be nothing. Moss on a tree, items floating in water, leaves curled on stumps, reflections in the water, or an unusual curve of a tree stump are all items that can be captured and enjoyed. Look up, look down, look left, look right, and don’t forget to turn around and look behind you. Just a few steps one way or the other can open up possibilities.
While strolling over a foot bridge I leaned over the rail and looked down. That is where I found the leaves and shells trapped in a piece of ice that remained on the water. The majority of people walking over the bridge that day likely missed what I saw because it required leaning over the rail. Small treasures can be found in the most unusual places.
Watch for movement in the water. Although I didn’t move fast enough to capture the muskrat swimming in the water on my camera he was there. I could hear the frogs croaking away in the marsh but couldn’t find them. A red wing blackbird was happily moving down a small twig floating in the water, and while it is likely he was searching for food the impression was that it was amazed by its own reflection in the water. Being mating season male birds were also calling out and ruffling their feathers in display, attempting to attract females. Birds were also easy among old weeds on the waters edge. Walk quietly and enjoy the moment.
Although the bare trees do not appear to be attractive at first glance, don’t underestimate their appeal. Look up and notice the unusual displays bare branches create against the sky. Watch how they reflect in the water and the interesting angles those reflections create. Beauty is found in unexpected places, you just have to look for it.
It is so easy to walk by beauty and never realize it is there. Remember that even if if you have walked that path numerous times, changes happen in nature constantly and new things can be found daily, often within a few minutes or hours.
A frozen trail of water is melting, and as it does patterns form in the remaining ice. Look at them, notice their unusual beauty, their uniqueness. Enjoy what is there today for tomorrow the movements of nature may take it away, and you will have missed the moment. Learn to walk with a photographers eye and you will catch the beauty of nature that can be found in the delightfully drab.
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