Creation #244. Rest In Peace Shelby

Today is a very sad day in my household. We took our cat Shelby to the vet today to have her put to sleep. Shelby fought a long hard battle with kidney disease for the past several years. Really, the actual “battle” was fought hardest over the past year. She actually made it look easy. This little creature that weighed about 5lbs (or less at times), cheated death more than nine times over the past year. The past year with Shelby has changed my life in ways I am sure I don’t even know right now. I am eternally grateful for every minute we had with her. It is amazing, the enormous void such a tiny cat has left in our life.

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Creation #243. Wabi-sabi 31.

Well it’s been an enjoyable month of daily posts. I realize I wasn’t really designing something new each day but sharing my thoughts on these photos was a healthy exercise for me. Being a designer is not always about creating. It is important to study the world around you and reflect on what things seem to be communicating without words.

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Creation #242. Wabi-sabi 30.

Seasonal change is upon us. The days are already noticeably shorter. Soon the temperatures will become cooler and leaves will burst into fiery hues. It is a spectacular time of year. A last hurrah before entering the cold dark abyss of winter.

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Creation #240. Wabi-sabi 28.

Evidence of impermanence. This image was taken from a kayak on Little Seneca Lake in Montgomery County Maryland. I don’t know the exact history of the lake but it is scenery like this that make it evident that this lake is man-made. Damming has raised the water level in this low land turning what once was part of the surrounding forest into deadwood monuments.

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Creation #239. Wabi-sabi 27.

This image was taken in Florida a couple years ago. I believe in a park in downtown Orlando. I can’t remember what kind of tree this is but it is ancient. The trunk is about 6 feet wide and the large heavy branches emerge like the waving arms of a giant octopus. They extend upward slightly at the base of the trunk and then level off for a distance before they descend downward where some touch and grow along the ground for a few feet before growing upward again. A truly fascinating tree and I could almost hear the tales it had to tell of its centuries on this green earth.

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Creation #238. Wabi-sabi 26.

This photo was taken at the U.S. National Arboretum a couple years ago. It is the top of a column that is placed like sculpture along a pathway. There is beauty in the decaying stone which was originally carved into natural floral shapes by man. Despite the natural theme, the symmetry in the design gives it away as man-made. Since that time nature has perfected this piece in her own way with erosion, offering to us her asymmetrical beauty.

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Creation #237. Wabi-sabi 25.

In bonsai we refer the basal flair of a tree’s surface roots as the nebari. This aspect of a bonsai is critical in establishing a feeling of both age and stability in a tree. In fact the nebari is so important in ranks as the first or second most important aspect of a tree’s value. Because I have internalized this aspect of bonsai training I can not help but totice the surface rootage of all trees, whether they are contained in a pot or growing naturally. As I have been browsing my archives for this series It seems that in most of my photography sessions there is at least one image of a tree’s surface rootage.

In this image I love how the moss has grown over the bark and the way the late afternoon sun is playing through the shadows of the surrounding forest and highlighting this tree’s base.

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Creation #235. Wabi-sabi 23.

Who doesn’t love an afternoon at the beach… even at the end of December on a cold misty overcast day? Perhaps the answer would be seagulls. The mood of this day was quiet and a bit somber mainly due to the weather. After finding this photo in my camera I realized that such moods are uniquely human. These birds are loving life, picking out edible delights from the rough and tumble surf. There is a time for everything, sunny days as well as gray stormy days. Learn how to take the best from both.

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