30: The leaf and berry collection

(Burning bush berries.)

When I was out for my walk today I was reminded of a project we used to do in elementary school.  We had to collect leaves from different trees and then press (iron) them between two sheets of wax paper to preserve them, labeling each with the name of the tree.  It was always one of my favorite school projects.  I was thrilled when my own children were given a similar project as it gave me an excuse to do it again.  But even that (helping my children) was a long time ago (or so it seems).

(Maple leaves in red.)

Photographing leaves, it seems to me, is another way of collecting autumn and learning the names of trees.  Unfortunately I’ve never been good at the names part.  I have a difficult time remembering names.  And faces, sometimes.

(Maple leaves in yellow.)

It’s day 30 of my commitment to go outside each and every day for a year.  It’s still early in the commitment but even in this short period of time I feel as though I’ve changed in ways I am unable to describe just yet.  One change I can find words for is the way I now approach each day with excitement and wonder.  Every walk I’ve taken over the past 30 days has brought a gift of some kind.  The biggest gift of all, so far, has been a deep appreciation and gratitude for the area and the land on which M and I live.  There is so much beauty out there, big and small and in between.

Because I feel I’ve been given so much during this commitment, I want to give something back.  I’ve been thinking about ways to give back to this little piece of the earth I’ve been walking.  What I’ve come up with will be fodder for future blog posts.

I’ve also been thinking about how I can thank those of you who have been following me here at the Bogs blog.

(A variety of yellows and greens.)

So, for the first time, I am having a Give-Away.  Here is how it will work:

  • Leave a comment.  It doesn’t have to be much.  A “hi” or a smiley face or something that will let me know you are interested in the Give-Away.
  • Or, if you don’t like leaving comments because you are shy or it’s too public or whatever your reasoning, you can email me.  Over to the right, in the side bar, you’ll find a “contact me” with my email address.  It’s under the “Where are you?” map of the world which is under my blog roll.
  • I will write your name down on a small piece of paper, fold it up, and put it in a hat.
  • M, without looking, will draw a name.  I decided to have him do it because he won’t have anything to do with writing the names or folding the paper, and it just seems fairer that way.

The prize is a free print of almost any of my photos.  I qualified that with “almost” because some of my photos do well on the screen but not in print.  Also, there are a few with deeply personal meaning to them that are not available as prints.

(A cascade of yellow.)

The winner (the person whose name is drawn from the hat) can pick from almost anything from the Bogs blog, Bountiful Healing, or my galleries at ImageKind and MaidinSun Photography.  I think 11×14 is a good size, but that might depend on the photo that’s picked and whether or not it’s been cropped as well as the personal preference of the winner (cos if you want something smaller, no problem).

So, head on down to the comments section and enter the Thank You! Give-Away.

Today’s Walk:  The discoveries sometimes bring up sadness

I took my walk early today.  There’s no way of knowing what the weather will do in spite of all the meterologists’ attempts to forecast what the day will bring.  Today, it is said, will bring clouds and sun and a high of 55 degrees (F).  We had our first freeze last night with the temperature dipping down to 32.  It was still frosty and cold when I went out.  I am going to have to start bundling up.  A hat and a pair of gloves would have been welcome.  It was mostly cloudy and we had a few sprinkles after I came back inside.

Since the day is overcast and there wasn’t much sun to speak of, I went back to the woods for another look at the creek.  It’s not as green as it was a week or two ago, and many of the leaves from the trees are now on the ground or in the creek.

As I left the woods and started towards the house from the back of the pond, I noticed a pick-up truck slowing down on the road out front.  A minute or two later the truck was parked and there was a man on the property bending over and trying to lift something.  I picked up my pace and as I was coming up the hill towards the driveway, the man came walking up.  We exchanged some pleasant good mornings and then he asked, “How long has that deer been dead?”

What deer?  I didn’t know a thing about it.  I sometimes walk the front of the property first and then make my way around the back in a large loop but this morning I headed straight back to the pond and woods.  I would have stumbled upon the deer eventually as the original plan was to come around the pond and up the hill towards the garden (rather than the driveway) and then to the front.

I had a debate with myself about whether or not to post the following photo.  I decided to do it as this was a part of my outdoor experience today.

I avoided capturing the deer’s mouth because of her foam and blood.  I did take a full body shot so M can see what I gave away this morning, but don’t want to post it.

I was very stoic about it all when talking with the gentleman who stopped to inquire about the deer.  After determining that the deer was still warm and couldn’t have been dead too long, the man asked if he could have it.  He figures there is about 120 lbs. of meat there, going to waste if someone doesn’t do something with it soon.  I told him he was welcome to it.  The deer is, after all, dead and he’s right about it going to waste.  If M or I had found it first, we probably we would looked into donating it to the food bank or something since we are mostly vegetarian and rarely eat meat anymore.

But there is a part of me that feels sad about the deer’s death and I’ve had a bit of a cry over it.  She is a beautiful creature.  The neighbor (who was out there at the time of the deer give-away) said she had seen a doe with two fawns in her front yard yesterday.  Perhaps this doe is the mother.  I don’t know.  I hope not.  There was no sign of the fawns around.

I can’t help being reminded of the deer that came to visit in broad daylight when Dad and Mom were here for M the Younger’s wedding.  Mom was shrunken from the cancer and the chemo, her hair just starting to grow back in, but she somehow managed the trip out here and she looked good.  Happy.  Three months later, minutes after her funeral, we saw deer at the cemetery.  Deer showed up again at my sister’s house where we gathered after the funeral.  And then again, the deer came around while I was deep in grief.  I thought I’d written a post about the deer sightings and Mom’s death here, but it turns out to have been a private journal entry.  Included with it is this photo of Mom:

I don’t remember what year this was taken.  I’m thinking it was in the 1970’s.

When deer show up in your life it is time to be gentle with yourself and others.  A new innocence and freshness is about to be awakened or born.  There is going to be a gentle, enticing lure of new adventures.  Ask yourself important questions.  Are you trying to force things?  Are others?  Are you being too critical and uncaring of yourself?  When deer show up there is an opportunity to express gentle love that will open new doors to adventure for you.

~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak

Ah well.  Death is, ironically, a natural part of life.  I don’t know where I’m going with this ramble so I will awkwardly wrap it up here.

I wish the spirit of the deer well.  I hope those who partake of her body are thankful to the deer and are nourished.

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17 Comments on “30: The leaf and berry collection”

  1. Christina says:

    So, I’ve been thinking about my bloggy friend Robyn at Bitchypoo who makes a calendar every year from her favorite photos of the various animals at Crooked Acres. She sells the calendars to raise money for the shelter that houses the kittens she fosters. I buy one every year for my desk at home.

    You know what would be awesome for this basement desk here at work? 12 months of MaidinSun pictures! Maybe the pond each month? I love how it changes over the year. Or photos like the one above the deer of the woods – that one looks like it IS the cover of a calendar!

    You like how I’m asking you to work? 🙂 But seriously this series has produced some of your best photos ever.

    • Robin says:

      Christina: Thank you. And, wellll… work isn’t so bad if you actually like what you do. And I’ve been spending so much time sorting through photos that a calendar might be a good possibility. 😀

      I did look into it a year or two ago but it was so expensive that it didn’t seem worth it. Even selling them at cost would have been around $22 and that seemed a bit steep. It’s time I looked into it again now that I know at least one person would enjoy 12 months of pond photos.

      I also appreciate your comment about this series. Getting out and learning to appreciate my surroundings has, I think, contributed greatly to my photography. You would know something about that kind of appreciation, being lucky enough to live in the Torrey Pines area. Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t mind seeing 12 months of Torrey Pines. 🙂

  2. Marcie says:

    The colors just don’t get any more beautiful than this. What a beautiful season!!!

  3. Karma says:

    What a neat idea for your blog give-away.

    Shot #3 up there is my favorite, the clarity and the light in that are gorgeous.

    How sad about the deer. I know it is the way of nature, but I, too, would have had a cry had it been me in that situation.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Karma. 🙂

      I still find it a little hard to look at the deer pictures even if it is, as you say, the way of nature. I’m just glad someone could make use of it the poor thing.

      On a positive note, I saw three deer at the back of the pond today, gamboling out of the woods and into the meadow. Two of them were young so perhaps the on that died was not the mother of the fawns the neighbor mentioned. 😀

  4. jenna says:

    I’m gonna note here… but I don’t think my name should go in the hat. Not because I don’t want some prints all to myself; of course I do… but I already have three! I don’t want to be unfair to the others. Which reminds me – the glass if the frame that displays them in rotation broke, and I need to replace it.

    • Robin says:

      You can have any you want any time, J. All you have to do is say you like it. I’m enjoying your art (very much!) so if there is some way I can repay that… just let me know. 🙂

  5. jenna says:

    Poor deer.

  6. Truddle says:

    Thank you for sharing the story of the deer Robin… not so much the discovery of the dead deer, but the significance of deer in general. I have the same relationship with butterflys and eagles. One for my mother in law, the other for my own mom. Your images are breath taking!

  7. Truddle says:

    Oiy for some reason I posted the wrong link for my blog. Go figure. Would you mind changing it? Seems it has been far to long since I have given some attention to my own writings.

  8. […] you haven’t already done so, leave a comment on my last post (30:  The leaf and berry collection) to enter the Give-Away.  The winner will receive a free print of almost any of my photos seen on […]

  9. boatacrosstheriver says:

    Count me in! I would love to be entered in the giveaway : )

  10. jenna says:

    Hmmmm…. if you get more comments here, maybe my name should go in the hat… it’s always good to pick out your own print and stuff.

  11. […] tomorrow evening so if you haven’t signed up yet (and you want to), head on down to day 30 (The leaf and berry collection) and do […]


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