Not to get all maudlin on y’all . . . but the older you get, the more you realize that everything is transient. Especially in Kansas, the original ‘fly-over state.’ Day to day, moment to moment, it all changes.
The light changes. Furious hail storms give way to rainbows.
Butterflies give you a few seconds’ grace before they fly away. The wildflowers, too, have their own set rhythm – the Indian paintbrush blooms for just a week or so before being usurped by the St. John’s Wort.
And turtles. Turtles have set territories, but oh my God, are they transient! This little guy ended up in my front yard. (And I do mean little – the size of a quarter. Amazing that he’ll grow up to weigh nearly 20 pounds!)
As a historian, I find it sad that even the buildings seem transient. This old barn has been a favorite of local photographers for a long time – but how much longer will it hang on?
The best a photographer can do is try to capture at least a few of those moments before they, too, flee.
I hate photos that are out of focus! In fact, I delete them. But sometimes, the blurry background adds an accent to the foreground object. Then, it’s okay. 🙂
This is a dandelion I shot a couple of months ago, on a very dewy morning. I loved the way the tiny droplets of water clung to the fragile stems.
And this lovely little wildflower – weed? – was shot earlier this month. I thought it fit well with this week’s theme.
One of the cool things about Kansas is that you literally never know what’s coming up next. Storms can pop up out of nowhere. Three-foot long copperheads can cross your path. The dog brings you a live armadillo. (No, the armadillo wasn’t happy. Yes, I made the dog let him go.) Life’s just full of surprises.
Lots of photographers I know just love to go out driving. Saturday afternoon, pack up the car and hit the road with a map and hope the cell service holds out – just to see what’s on all those dirt roads. Last year, I headed east of Winfield looking for a 1920s bridge that was about to be torn down. I didn’t find the bridge – I was late by about a day – but as I was trying to find my way back, I saw a chimney off in the distance. The closer I got, the cooler the place looked, until finally, I could see it.
Or what was left of it, anyway.
Surprisingly, it’s STILL THERE! Or was the last time I drove out to see it, anyway. I honestly don’t know how, though.
Here’s a close-up of the second story:
Kansas has a lot of green. Usually. Sometimes. Okay, where I live, it does.
During spring and summer, it’s easy to be green:
Even during winter, you can find something green:
But sometimes, you have to trek down back alleys to find it.
The ambience in Kansas varies from day to day, from season to season. Misty mornings give way to blazing afternoons; dust kicked up by plows and combines gives us hazy, yellowy sunsets. Spring has a green tint, but fall is gold.
I took this one two years ago, in a pasture near my house. I loved the play of the light and clouds against the dying grass. Truly one of those moments that lasts only a moment; the exact right light, the exact right time. Blink, and you’ll miss it.
It took me a while to find a photo to fit this week’s challenge to find a photo representative of our goals and ambitions for 2017. And I admit that this one might not, at first, seem to fit the bill:
BUT. It does. This is the old Joyland roller coaster, a major landmark in Wichita, KS. I was lucky enough to find twenty minutes one day to stop and photograph it. Joyland closed several years ago and the entire park was left to rot. But I wanted to shoot the roller coaster while I could. So I took this in November 2014.
In 2015, high winds damaged the coaster so badly that it had to be demolished.
So this photo has always been representative of the fact that we need to stop and photograph things whenever we can, even if conditions aren’t perfect, even if we think we don’t have time – because someday, maybe sooner than we think, they won’t be there. I often forget to do this, but in 2017, I’m going to make more of an effort to remember.
(Since my laptop died two weeks ago, I’m having to pull old photos off my Facebook page until I can get the files transferred . . .)
At any rate, last winter we had a little ice storm here in Kansas. Not too bad, but it made for some beautiful shots that next morning.