Zoom, zoom

I haven’t been taking many photos lately because my main lens is malfunctioning. On occasion it gets stuck, and the only way to lock the focus is to zoom in a bit.

Sometimes I mess up the timing end up with a photo like this one, which is actually a perfect metaphor for the past two months: zoom, zoom. How time flies!

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When I last posted back in November, I was looking forward to 11 days of staycation with Esteban. “We’ll visit museums,” we promised each other, “and try new restaurants.” But instead we napped every day and watched movies and ate three pies. (Main takeaway: I can’t be trusted with unstructured time. Or pie.)

I had also intended to finish editing the photos from my last three trips and maybe write a couple of blog posts. But that didn’t happen either.

Instead, I spend many hours outside, enjoying the long fall.

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The colors were so thick in spots that they seemed to be flowing from the gutters.

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On another morning, I spotted a lone doe. It’s too bad I wasn’t able to capture the huge cloud of steam she let out with each breath; this was as close as she let me get.

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Then the winds picked up and in a single day we lost most of the leaves.

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Soon, everything was kissed in frost and the only color left was that of the moss and lichens.

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But even in the muted browns of Frontenac State Park there was still beauty.

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My friend Pam and I were surprised to find many mushrooms still thriving — though alas, none of them was edible.

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Then came Daylight Saving Time, with its earlier-by-an-hour sunsets. Even after 40-some years in Minnesota the sudden darkness still shocks me every time.

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On the plus side, the early sunsets do make it easier to admire the seasonal decorations.

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And in spite of our pie-induced torpor, Esteban and I did manage to visit a couple of museums. If you’re anywhere near the Twin Cities I highly recommend “Egypt’s Sunken Cities” at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

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Among other topics, the exhibition examines the cultural cross-pollination that occurred between Egypt and Greece in the two sunken cities of Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion — such as the Greek toga-like garment draping this figure in a classic Egyptian stance.

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I could go on and on about this marvelous exhibition, but I’ll leave it there for now with my hopes that 2019 is off to a good start for you.

Onward!

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70 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos, Heide. It looks as if bright autumn leaves and berries carefully arrange themselves on the ground or down flights of steps, in the hope that you’ll walk by with your camera. The leaves on the steps look like a still of a bright Broadway dance troupe. It’s a joy to see the natural world framed so joyfully.

    • Sometimes I love your descriptions of my photos even more than the scene I witnessed (a bright Broadway dance troupe!). But you are right that nature is full of beauty and wonder, if only we pass by and notice. I’m honored that you have paused *here* and am grateful for your kind comment.

      • And I’m grateful that you captured the last moments of colour and light in those leaves and berries. We don’t get that intensity of autumn here in the UK, unless woods have been planted specially, on private ground, to give a short walk through the right kind of trees. You’re blessed with the colours of autumn and you’re kind to share that blessing with the rest of us. Thank you!

        • It makes me a bit sad to consider that one must resort to specially planted grounds in the U.K. to see such colors — but you do have us beat in the profusion of green, so hopefully that’s of some consolation. (MY eyes would certainly welcome a glimpse of green on this gray day!) Thank you again, dear E.

  2. Pie-induced torpor – we tried something similar when we found ourselves with some good vanilla ice cream and several cans of root beer on hand. Torpor may be a common post-holiday state, but you can make it sound almost aspirational to me.

    • Mmmm. Root beer floats, you say? That sounds even more caloric and potentially overeatable than pie. Hats off to you, J.P.! But you’re right that my hubby and I do aim for Olympic-caliber torpidity on occasion. It’s a good antidote to our otherwise hectic daily lives. Hope your Christmas was wonderful and that 2019 is off to a good start for you and yours!

  3. I wish my lens would malfunction so I could take pictures like these. I don’t know why, but I seem to have a real affinity for images of hands holding things and I like seeing Pam holding the mushroom. And when I say I have an affinity, it’s not some sort of perfect-hand, good-looking fingers fetish. It’s more of a Carl Sandburgish appreciation for weathered and worn and lived-in hands with dirt under the fingernails and cracked cuticles and wrinkled palms that tell a story. I always manage to get at least a handful (pun has to be intended) of pictures each season of the boys holding some sort of critter, plant or something in their palms to go along with my other favorites and they all go together to tell a story. Have a happy Monday and hope it’s a good start to your week, Heide.

    • Ah, dear T-Fir … I’ve seen your photos, so I know you don’t need no stinkin’ broken lens. And how wonderful that we share an affinity for hands! Maybe I find them fascinating because they’re so uniquely human … or maybe it’s because they’re so expressive. Either way, how wonderful that you’re capturing little snippets of your boys’ lives through the things they find interesting enough to pick up. A very happy Monday to you too, and a great week ahead!

  4. These photos are drenched with so much substance and beauty, I feel like I just ate a meal, lol. Thank you! Always need such an uplift – love your photos and these seasonal views of Minnesota “) Happy New Year, Heide!

    • What an honor it is to think that my photos nourish your spirit in such a tangible way, dear Lara! I’m grateful we live in an age when we can share these little snippets of our lives and nourish friendships even from far away. May 2019 bring you every happiness and good health! xx

  5. I thought it had been a while! Good to see a new post from you Heide. I’m a bit confused about the timings though, you said “last November when I last posted” then in your more recent photos (I’m assuming) here, there’s one of a pumpkin, presumably for Halloween? Which is 31 Oct?

    Do you have other cameras or lenses you can use when your main one fails you?

    Any time spent outside enjoying any season is time well spent in my book! Especially in woods!

    • Yes indeed, Dan, it has been a while — November 22 was the last time I logged in here. And while the Halloween pumpkins were indeed from October, I included them in the spirit of wrapping up fall with some photos I hadn’t shown yet. Sorry for any confusion!

      And yes indeed, I do have other lenses. My 40mm prime has been getting a lot more use, but alas my 17mm fisheye and 300-600mm zoom are a bit too specialized for everyday shooting. It’s ok, though. I’ll amass enough cash to buy a new lens soon enough — and until then I’m working around the focus problems well enough. Thank you for stopping by!

  6. Happy New Year! Your staycation sounds perfect to me. Naps, movies, pie and even some Egyptians. (I am singing “Walk like an Egyptian” softly as i write!). Gorgeous photos as usual, mainly because you have a great eye for stunning composition.

    • You’re so funny, Patti! Now you’ll have me singing “Walk Like an Egyptian” in my head all day too. 🙂 You’re so kind as well; thank you for making my day with your generous comment. Happy New Year, and here’s to many wonderful adventures for us both in the year ahead!

    • We did indeed have a holiday, Louise — and any uninterrupted time I get with my husband is welcome indeed! I have missed being on WordPress, though, and will be eager to catch up with you shortly and read about YOUR adventures. In the meantime, a very happy New Year to you … and onwards!

  7. I was missing your posts. Welcome back! Wow, those were some great photos and sounds like you two had a lot of fun. I love pies and watching movies too! The Egyptian stuff looks interesting. Would be cool to look through it all.

    • The only thing that could have made the Egyptian exhibition more perfect would be the addition of pies, Racheal. It really was both cool and fascinating to see so many artifacts that seldom leave Egypt! I may go again just to soak more of it in. If so I’ll post more photos for you. And as always: Thank you so much for stopping by!

  8. The pictures are indeed uniquely beautiful. I can see why you have so many followers; each one feels special here because you make them feel that way.

    • Oh, Beth … thank you! What an incredibly kind comment. But don’t be too impressed by the number of followers, since many of them seem to be bots! The subscribers I truly treasure are people like you who take time out of their busy lives to pause here. I appreciate your comment more than you can know.

  9. Hello Heide.

    So any wonderful photos. I love very much Your fall photos – very colorful and Egypt photos. Those cloths they had were interesting. Many years ago, we made a Nile Cruise, which was like a time travel.

    Have a good day!

    • How lucky you were to go on a Nile cruise! I would love to hear more about your impressions and see your photos — please let me know if you do a future blog post about that (or perhaps you already have?). Egypt has fascinated me since i was a little girl. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for stopping by!

      • Good Morning Heide.

        Well, we made the cruise in 2011. It was a real experience, travel in time. I have planned to make posts of it. Now when my series of Italy ends to Pompeii, I start with my five traditional winter posts presenting first winter biking, ice fishing, winter fun for kids and families, reindeer races and finally meeting Santa at the Arctic Circle and visiting Eleanor Roosevelt’s log house there. Then I start to show some awesome handicraft posts and summer Finland including Helsinki posts. So, I think that Nile Cruise sometimes in the autumn.

        If You want to see some of scenes from our cruise, then look at my:

        My YouTube videos

        There are six videos of it. Photos will be better, because I shot photos and shot videos also. Anyway, You will find some interesting videos among my channel. I advertise a little. Among these videos there a video showing, how to build the best paper airplane? (Views 133 421). I got these instructions from my late father in the 50s already. The video is in three parts.! video – how to. 2. Single photos – how to. 3. testing outside how it flies.

        Happy Sunday! Matti.

  10. I’m enjoying a good catch up here. I’m happy to find all these gorgeous photos and enjoyed reading your perspectives on the seasons. I didn’t know (or I did and I forgot) that you had been in Minnesota for so many years. I stopped to think about how long I’ve been in California. We moved here when I was 9 and now I’m 59. It’s surreal how the years pile on. xo

  11. Well, even in your state of torpor, you photography glows and you show us the beauty of the world around you so beautifully.

    PS last year I tried that zooming first shot on the lit Eiffel tower. I liked the effect a lot.

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