Sunday, November 21, 2010

...willing to be dazzled...

Below is a photograph that has been color-enhanced in Photoshop.  Can you tell what it is?  Yes, it's green pond scum!  Aren't the colors and swirls captivating?  I must admit I was not thrilled when first stepping out on our balcony at a resort in Florida to find we were looking down on a pond full of algae.  However ... before long it grew on me. ;-)   My DH gave me a little tutorial on the benefits of algae, and I was finally able to move past my preference for clear water and enjoy the brilliant floating scum.

Above is the non-enhanced close-up photograph of the algae.  Below are three normal range shots of the pond from our balcony.

Intriguing abstract art, once one is willing to marvel at what is!

The Ponds

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe
their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them --
the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch
only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?
I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided --
and that one wears an orange blight --
and this one is a glossy cheek
half nibbled away --
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled --
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing --
that the light is everything -- that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

~ Mary Oliver

(Bolding in Oliver's poem added by me.)

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  1. Yes, it takes patience and a good eye to find abstract art in nature like this. I appreciate having the non-enhanced original included, so I can appreciate the effects you have achieved.

  2. Much in our world glorifies perfection. How much do we miss in the beauty of others, of nature through those lens?

  3. I love the top photo, Bonnie. It's a wonderful abstract composition that works for me as a photo, as it would if it were an abstract painting. I also love the paring with Mary Oliver's poem. The last twelve lines of this poem leave me "dazzled."

  4. This just proves that there is beauty in everything! I love that first photo - the enhancement really looks beautiful!

    That poem is wonderful, and so are your added words!

  5. With a little "touch up), we are all beautiful :) I am getting my new photoshop for the Mac in a few days and I can't wait. The top is gorgeous and I see paintings like that sold for lots of money. Love the colors you chose.

  6. oh yeah i want to be dazzled as stuff...nature is such the artist...

  7. My husband would have given me a similar tutorial!

    Like the poem.

  8. fed my spirit, Bonnie

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral



  9. Wow. That's really neat! The intensity of the colour makes the algae appear very thick and opaque, like you could walk on it. I kind of wish you hadn't said that it was algae, so I could guess!

    I love what photoshop can do for surrealism.

  10. I like how you went from your disappointment over algaed water to the reflections on flawed blossoms in Mary Oliver's poem. So true, it's not only the ordinary that contains beauty, but also the imperfect.

  11. Fabulous photos! Definitely captured the "art" of the pond. Such lines and texture...very cool!! I would have been a little upset with the pond scum as well. Glad you found it's beauty!

  12. The inherent beauty of all life! I enjoyed the poem, especially in this setting. Thank you for dazzling us again.

  13. Such a great reminder to see everything in its entirety... I needed this for this morning as I look out at the snow falling by the truck load. It has an undeniable beauty to it :) Loved the poem!

  14. Beautiful continents of algae. If I were a big I would choose to live there.

  15. I actually prefer the non-doctored shots, even the first one.
    And Mary Oliver is superb.

  16. The enhanced photo reminds me of Van Gogh, maybe Starry, Starry Night? And the real photos from your balcony makes the algae seem sturdier than the water! As though you could walk right across the pond! Fits well with the poem. ♥

  17. Excellent..To see the changes thru your eyes and will..

  18. Mary Oliver never fails to stir something in me.

    I want to be dazzled. Oh yes.

    and the photos certainly do just that.

  19. There is beauty in everything, especially when you enhance it with your eye and camera and photoshop!

    I've been dazzled again...

  20. bonnie, if ever I got into playing around with Photoshop I don't think I'd ever get out again. You do have fun with it, that's clear, and I'm impressed that it seems to be only one of many ways that you express yourself creatively.

  21. It just goes to prove that anything can be beautiful - seen through the right eyes, with the right lens, with the right attitude, in the right light, from the right angle. Even scum. I'm imagining crocodiles and alligators and manatees lurking under all that algae. Or perhaps that's just my fevered imagination.


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