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Serendipity. January 8, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , ,

Some while ago, a few years now if memory serves, I set up my camera in anticipation of a rising full moon.  My timing, though, was a bit off; I stomped about with an eye plastered to the Eastern horizon where I expected this spectacle to manifest, while behind me the sun was setting in spectacular fashion.

I almost didn’t notice.

Such is the trap of self-centrism: we miss what’s offered to us even as we pursue what we think we deserve.

I coined a phrase that evening and posted it as an off-hand comment, which has stuck with me ever since:  “Never piss on a sunset while you’re waiting for the moon.”   Thank you to my friend Paul from Albuquerque for recognizing that off-hand statement as a significant thought.  It’s kept me looking over my shoulder ever since, watching where I step even as I have Gizmo fixed on something way off in the sky.

That perspective serves me often, and most recently as I crossed the Route 5 / Deerfield river bridge between Greenfield and the town of Deerfield.  The sky looked as if it might burst into a showy sunset, so I banged a u-ie (is that a word?) and parked within walking distance of the bridge.  I got Ollie set up and dialed in, but then…

…nothing.  No fireworks, no singing choirs of angels, just a placid fading of the light.

Which, if embraced for what it was rather than for what I’d expected, wasn’t half bad.

Cottonwoods reflected in an uncustomarily placid Deerfield:

It wasn’t what I set up for, but it’s what was given to me, for which I am grateful.

I took half a dozen shots of this scene with very few changes in my settings, but this one conveyed the most tranquility, probably because the palette was subdued and homogenous and unconflicted by the oranges which the sunset interjected in most of the others.

What you’re seeing here is a combination of the dumb luck of Being There and a bit of elbow-grease on my part.

I hope you like it.





1. jomegat - January 9, 2012

I use the word u-ie on a regular basis, but didn’t know how to spell it. 😉

I have taken the same approach and applied it to plants. When I first became interested in edible wild plants, I would find one in the book that “ought” to grow here, and then go looking for it. I found a few, but did not have much luck with that approach.

By serendipity, I later decided to learn wildflowers in general, and thought I’d try to identify everything on my property as an ambitious starting point. So instead of finding what I had identified, I was identifying what I had found. It worked much better.

As a bonus, as I would identify new plants, I would often realize – hey! That’s in my edible wild plants book!

2. littlebangtheory - January 9, 2012

j, it’s about being receptive rather than demanding. Mother doesn’t like it when we puny humans get pushy! 🙂

And the spelling of “u-ie” is still up for grabs, so if you see it done more cogently, let me know and go with it!

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