Sunday, November 18, 2012

Falling and Illumination

A few days ago, a friend and I took a long walk up steep Hillsdale Road to the gradual climb of Toad Lake Road and down to Toad Lake and then part way up Squalicum Mountain Road and back (check Google Maps if you would like to see just where this is in Bellingham, Washington).  As we were walking north along Toad Lake Road, my friend looked up and noticed a golden rain that appeared to be falling out of the deep blue sky.  I looked up and then down and saw a few tiny flat seed pods sticking to my fleece jacket.  We looked up and to the west side of the narrow road and to where there was a small stand of trees with a few leaves left on them.  The seeds were illuminated by the sun as they fell from the trees. The afternoon light and the timing were just right.  In all the years I have lived in Bellingham, I've never consciously seen this before.

When I got home I went to Google, certain that I could find out what kind of tree had released the shower of gold.  I entered words like "golden rain" and "trees" and "seed fall" but came up with nothing that seemed to refer to anything like what we had seen.  Then I went to Google Images and entered "tree seeds" and quickly discovered that the golden rain was most likely from alder trees.

I didn't have my camera with me, but I doubt a camera could have captured that experience.

As the days get shorter and darker, my spirits lift inexplicably, and playing the dulcimer is giving me unexpected added joy.  I'd like to be able to play like Robert Force but am happy just to be learning what I can:


Whenever I take a picture of myself taking a picture of myself, I think of Imogen Cunningham.

More about Imogen Cunningham.


Taradharma said...

Imogen is one of my most favorite photographers. I learned a lot about portraiture from her work. Her book, "After Ninety" is a must have. I can see your resemblance to her in your self portrait here.

Nice video with the dulcimer. I love the vibrato he snuck in there.

I assume the other video is a view from your porch. How it makes me long to be there.

Anonymous said...

Love seeing those Imogen self-portraits. I had forgotten her work.

The golden alder seed shower must have been quite beautiful.

Goat said...

Looking good, Am. Just when I was thinking how cool Toad Lake sounded as a name, you started talking about that weird rain and I thought you were going to describe a downpour of amphibians. But you're right, very difficult to capture photographically.

Liked the videos. Mr Force looks like a nice guy.

Anonymous said...

had a snake swim over my shoulder at toad lake years ago, neck deep and all.good time to say thank you for all your art and ideas.kjm

Bev said...

I tried to leave a comment from my phone the other day but could not read the captcha well enough to do so.
I am so glad to read that you have been playing your dulcimer recently. Playing music has been so therapeutic over the past couple or so years - first playing my old guitar, but then the fiddle, mandolin and tenor banjo. There is just something so meditative and also joyful about making music.
I followed your music links and then eventually found my way onto a cople of dulcimer websites. I love the shape and sound and would love to have one to play someday. so many wonderful instruments and so little time!
Love your self portrait.