Plants and flowers

This is a leaf. On some rocks. On a beach. Big deal. But bear with me as it can be so much more.

A cloudy day of soft light wasn’t what I had wanted but it was perfect for the gentler details – the smaller and quieter stories of nature. This leaf stood out amongst the harder colours and textures of the beach and was just the sort of thing I was looking for. At the risk of sounding like I’m up my own arse, this micro view got my mind ticking.

Autumn can be seen as a transitional season with the summer freedoms of sun, sandals and shorts giving way to the coats and cold of winter. Oh, and log fires and winter beers but those joys don’t help with my point right now. Anyway, that got me mulling about how we handle transitions.This leaf has fulfilled it’s purpose, brought nutrition and life and is now dying. But there’s incredible beauty in how it transitions. It’s one tiny piece in the glorious colours of autumn. These are the same colours that people drive miles to see in the bigger, bolder landscapes of whole woodlands and forests. Those classic landscapes are made up of thousands of individual contributions that are often unseen. Without each leaf playing it’s part the woodland will die and the larger glory just won’t happen. I’m not currently in a major stage of transition (that I know of) but this tiny leaf made me consider the importance of our individual contributions to community rather than self, how we pass on the baton to others and the legacy we leave when we move into another season.

Of course, there’s usually a poet who has put it much, much better. So here’s Percy Bysse Shelley. ‘ThereĀ is a harmony in autumn, and a lustre in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!’

Location: Lee Bay, North Devon

Technical details:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: 24-105 mm
  • Exposure: 1/250, f11, ISO 800. Overexposed by half a stop

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