Archive for the ‘Nature’s Colors and Shapes’ Category

Abstract art: a product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.
~  Al Capp

When is a puddle found along the Salt Marsh Trail in late winter not a puddle?

Cracked puddle

When it’s abstract art…

Abstraction No. 1

Of course abstract art always looks more at home in a gallery if it’s properly framed and given some non-descript title like Abstraction No. 34. The higher the number, the more the viewer is likely to believe that the starving ‘artist’ burned the candle at both ends to produce numerous versions before finally being satisfied with this particular rendition.

Alternatively, an entirely misleading title could lead the viewer down the garden path (or trail) into thinking that the puddle is something other than a puddle. Perhaps, a cup of cold coffee…

Tim Horton's Coffee in Winter

Tim Horton's Coffee in Winter

Whether or not you’re into abstract art, Nature’s Gallery is still featuring the best show in town.  You might want to go outdoors and check it out for yourself.

Thank you to Scott at Views Infinitum for offering up yet another photo challenge ~ Assignment 18:  Abstract Photography.  Everyone is welcome to participate.  Deadline for submissions is March 21st 2012.

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The art gallery that is The Great Outdoors is featuring a show of hexagonal plate and stellar dentrite crystals by my favorite artist.  The contrast of fire and ice was especially stunning at sunrise this morning as the sun rose through snow covered trees in the woods, but there’s still time to take in the show.  

Though all snow crystals start out as specs of dust or salt that attract moisture, you’d never suspect such plain and simple origins by looking at the end result.  Like us, each snowflake is a unique work of art.  But besides being beautiful itself, snow has the marvelous ability to enhance the beauty of whatever it touches.  Like love, it is a covering for all imperfection.  

All nature is but art unknown to thee.

~  Alexander Pope

It’s easy for Canadians to take snow for granted.  Because we are a people forever on the move, we tend to only see it as something that will slow us down unless it’s removed from our roads and pathways.  We forget about its insulating properties and how it camouflages certain wild creatures so that they have a better chance of survival during the winter months…

But mostly we forget about how perfectly beautiful it is. 

We aren’t here to make things perfect.  The snowflakes are perfect.  The stars are perfect.  Not us.  Not us!
~  Ronny Cammareri  in Moonstruck

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A sunflowers blooms in a bed of dried eelgrass in the salt marsh.

September’s flowers reveal varying hues of yellow in the marsh, along the roadside and in the garden.  Some, like the Sunflowers, are bright and bold, while others like the Sea Radish are pale and barely there.

Traditionally it is women who are considered best at discerning subtle differences between colors.  Often attributed to women’s historic role as fruit and nut gatherers, it’s no surprise that the ability to select safe and ripe foods is so closely tied to the skill of correctly choosing and remembering colors. 

Yet, it was two males, the colorist Josef Albers and the painter Vincent Van Gogh, who made the greatest strides in harnessing the wonders of yellow in art.

I was for years in the yellow period, you know.
~ Josef Albers

Above, a sampling of yellows  found in just six species of wildflowers reveals a marvelous variety.  September’s warm light gives them a cheerful disposition despite the approaching cold. 

The names of some flowers are inspired by their colors as in the Butter and Eggs shown above.

Like human beings, colors are influenced by others in their immediate surrounding.  They possess the magical ability to transform one another into even more wondrous versions of themselves.  How striking the Black-eyed Susan appears above against a backdrop of white spruce! 

There is no blue without yellow and without orange.
~ Vincent Van Gogh

Despite advances in digital imaging, colors seen by the naked eye in natural light still cannot be replicated truly by technology.  When I was an art student, one of my painting professors told me she could tell that I had used a photograph of a sunset as the subject for a painting because she could see that I had made use of a more limited palette.  Had I made the painting looking at a real sunset, I would likely have chosen a greater variety of yellows and oranges than those  made available at the time by Kodak.

There is no substitute for seeing late summer’s yellow blooms in person.  The time to drink up your fill of them is now, while the warm September light is still able to show them at their best.

I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours over everyone I love.
~ Conor Oberst

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Young Blue Jay

It’s not easy to get near a Blue Jay.  Though they’re common visitors to bird baths and feeders, unlike Robins and Chickadees, they’re reluctant to let humans get too close.  Perhaps it’s because they’re fairly slow flyers compared to other birds their size and need more lead time to flee from predators.   However, this week we had the unique opportunity to see a young Blue Jay up close.  It had flown into the front window and lay on the grass recovering for a few minutes before flying off to the woods.  Its plumage was spectacular.

Blue Jay Tail Feathers

Blue Jay Wing Feathers


Blue Jays are strikingly beautiful birds to see at any distance, but up close, their feathers are remarkably awesome.  Their tail and wing feathers are the bluest blue. 

Blue Jay Back Feathers

There are four sub-types of Blue Jay in North America, but the ones we see in Nova Scotia are among the brightest in color. 

A Blue Jay’s feathers appear blue due to light refraction.  This process depends exclusively on the integrity of the feather’s structure.  If a feather is crushed, it cannot refract light and consequently will lose its blueness.  A dull grey feather is the result. 

It wasn’t long before this little creature was on its way.  Though we feared it may have broken a wing, it had no problem flying off on its own to the safety of the woods.

For more information on Blue Jays, see  last year’s post on Blue Jay Feathers

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When you look at the sky, do you see the clouds or the blue and the light shining through?  Of course, on some days, the blue is more difficult to see.  You might have to look at the whole sky and not just your usual section of it.  Perhaps there’s just a corner of blue or light off in the distance.  But it’s there.

Other days, you might only be able to see beyond the clouds at certain times of the day.  Early morning is usually a time when the sunlight makes itself seen, even on overcast days.  Sometimes you have to work extra hard to see the light by going outside in the dark cold, but the effort is worthwhile.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
~ Rumi

Being a light-seeker has its rewards.  One who chooses to seek out and see the light can’t help but become ‘light-hearted’ over time.  At its essence, is being light-hearted not unlike feeling and thinking like a child?  If so, it’s no wonder that laughter and a sense of humour come easy to those who choose to look beyond the shadows.

Einstein said that the biggest decision any of us face in life is whether or not we believe the universe is friendly.  I believe it is.  Do you?

Life is shaded, through and through
Mostly by man’s point of view.
~ Anonymous

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Amidst the fog, the day dawns in a blush of soft pinks along the salt marsh trail.

Summer’s pinks may already be a distant memory, but November still has its roses to offer.

Akin to a false sunrise, a blush of pink in the northwest sky is only a reflection of the sun rising in the east.  It may be disorienting to walkers in deep woods who are without a compass and trying to find their bearings.

As they pale with the approaching winter, marsh grasses reveal subtle pinks at the bottom of their stems that were less noticeable during their green phase.

The blush of pinks and oranges at the tips of this weed growing in the gravel are reversed to the centre in its negative image.  Whichever way you look at it, the landscape in November is still glowing, and has yet to lose her charm.

When a girl ceases to blush, she has lost the most powerful charm of her beauty.

~ Gregory I 

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