I spent a lot of time in 2020 walking in natural areas alone, enjoying the quiet, looking closely at things that I had walked past in other years, and photographing. That was my way of dealing with the pandemic and the presidential election, which combined to bring me great unease. It soothed me to breathe the forest air and to see that the processes of the natural world went on as usual, totally unaffected by the chaos in the human world. Now, at year’s end, I would like to share ten of my favorite photographs from those solitary walks.
One autumn day I made a photograph of the lily pads at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve that I really liked, so I went back to shoot that scene again a week later. But the landscape changes fast in autumn, and the lily pond was completely different. On my second visit, however, I was able to make this photograph, which I like even better than the first one.
The trunk of a beech tree emits a warm glow in the early morning light. It almost looks like it is internally lit.
I identified with this wood frog; he is swimming in a sea of obstacles.
Canada geese are beautiful but so common that we seldom look closely at them. I found a way to see this one anew.
For most of the year, ferns look soft and modest but these autumn ferns look like small bonfires.
Mystery permeates an early evening landscape.
The dying leaves of this shagbark hickory seemed to me to epitomize death.
I suspect that the farmer was simply careless about stacking his hay bales, but the result is a composition that I found to be more interesting than if he had carefully stacked the bales in a strictly rectangular pattern.
It wasn’t until after I took this photograph that I saw the bug behind this green frog’s right eye.
The swirling pattern of orange and green leaves mimics the swirling pattern of the web.
I love the layered effect in this photo.
Oops, I included eleven; you can decide which one doesn’t belong.