September 7, 2014

The Dazzling Light of a Late Summer, Early Morning

When I stepped outside early this morning the air was crisp and the light was golden and raking, picking out details while leaving large swaths of leaf and ground in shadow. After days of welcome summer warmth, with air thick and moist, I am now ready for the clarity of fall.

Bedraggled honeysuckle leaves float against the clear blue sky, made beautiful by the sparkling light.

The pond is in shadow, but grasses at its edge catch the sun.

The reflection of birches is crystal clear.

An intense pink, the remaining petals of an Obedient plant shine in front of dark weeds and sedges, the pond water a deep blue.

The low, early sun has illuminated details of sedges, distinct in front of the soft pond reflections.

When I walked back towards the house, I saw unopened yellow flower heads picked out in light while the surrounding grass was still mainly shadowed. It was as if many little spotlights were on, illuminating characters about to begin their act. I finally researched the name of these dandelion-like flowers that are so widespread here: Cat's-ear, so named for its hairy leaves, like the interior of a cat's ear.

When I came indoors, I noticed many small, 1/4 inch, burrs attached to my fleece bathrobe (yes, I went out to take pictures in my bathrobe, with bare feet in garden clogs). They are wonderfully clever for seed dispersal. If you enlarge the photo, you'll see the small red hooks that attach themselves to people or animals walking by. It's not surprising that the inventor of Velcro, Georges de Mestral, was inspired by the burdock burrs that attached to him and his dog during a walk in the Alps.

Here are reasons I love writing this blog: going out in the stunning light of early morning with a task to perform, one that helps me to see things I would not have noticed. And a reason to learn new things––the name of a flower, the history of velcro and its relation to nature––things I would never have learned otherwise.


  1. I am always dazzled by the clarity of your eye!

    1. Thanks so much, Julie; the light adds to the clarity.