While we love photographing landscapes and nature in general, our first photographic love has always been flowers and gardens and colorful trees. Being southerners (Texas and Louisiana natives), we really love spring and fall which helps us to tolerate summer and winter (don’t laugh if you come from further north – winter feels cold when it comes in short bursts after days mostly in the 70’s and 80’s – we are suffering here). Having lived awhile in Massachusetts, we do appreciate our mild winters, but we have very few photo ops in winter – not many snow scenes in our photo database, since we are too old and inexperienced to risk driving on ice in winter trips. So we travel mostly in spring and fall (with some summer trips to colder climes) and, along with Texas wildflowers and gardens, we search out gardens, flowers, and autumn color wherever we may find them.
The seasons and the circle of birth, death, and new life are a frequent subject for musings and meditations as well as photography. The following is a sonnet I wrote several years ago on one of our October photo outings, as we discussed our growing awareness of aging bodies and a resulting focus on the preciousness of every moment we are fortunate to be here amid all this beauty.
(Poem by Janice Braud)
October’s end was drawn in crimson sky
And rainbow leaves deep-carpeting the earth.
You took my hand, said who knows how or why
Beginnings end and endings come to birth.
Perhaps there is no difference at all
Between the brilliant crocus beds of spring
And sodden heaps of once-bright leaves in fall,
A circle shaped beyond our answering.
The north wind snuffed all life from embered coals.
I begged you hold me tight against the chill
And tell me tales of love in aging souls.
Prove love to be life’s most important skill,
For love remains the best unraveling
Of life’s eternal journey back to spring.