My sixth News Tribune reader columnist essay is available here:
In late October of 2010, I spent a few hours in the garden taking plant photos. Lilacs, lettuce and apples were all falling apart, decaying and melting into the Northwest winter.
Around this time, I got the worst phone call of my life. Over the next ten months, my family faced a season of danger and darkness. One of our own was being stalked by a secret killer. (You can read more about it in the link below.)
(Close up of ornamental cherry tree leaf)
It’s two years later.
I realized today, perusing the digital files—I never edited or published any of these photos. One day I was wandering in a garden with a camera…the next month, it was blood tests, doctors appointments, radiation warnings and special diets.
Fall seems like an ugly season. So much is brown, gray or fading. Things are wet and moldy. Yet in reviewing this photo set, I see beauty everywhere.
I love to walk through the nearby woods and take photos. Sometimes it’s not the tall trees or blazing displays of leaf color that are most interesting. This patch of very ordinary weeds grew next to path and caught my eye with their sculptural forms.
It’s election season, so perhaps that’s why I’m feeling protective about things that are small and easily-overlooked.
Vietnamese onions one of my neighbors gave me. They’re a lot like chives but slightly different in flavor.
(Photo taken May 25, 2012 © Maria Gudaitis)
I won a photo contest on Facebook on the theme of Spring! Though I did high school yearbook, and have captured baby photos for friends, charity fundraisers and tons of event photography…I’ve never won anything (that I can remember). Yay! $75 gift certificate to the fine Tacoma restaurant Maxwell’s. Thank you local cable company Rainier Connect for sponsoring the contest.
Technical info: 5:30 pm in May, aperture f4.0, shutter 1/200, ISO 200, focal length 135mm. Canon EOS RebelXT, lens EF 70-200 mm 1:4 L IS USM.
The thick grass facing the nearby plateau.
Nisqually Wildlife Refuge—It’s a beautiful nature reserve that’s part of the estuary of the Nisqually River. There are ducks, hawks, owls, herons, coyotes, geese and lots of other wildlife roaming around in this protected area.