inter alia: “For the beauty of the earth…”

Many of you may be aware  that Servetus and I grew up in practically the same place…only a few miles apart as the crow flies in fact.  As it turns out, we both participated in the same youth musical organization, our part-time high school jobs were only a few city blocks from each other – the probability that we crossed paths at the only Taco Bell in the area after work is pretty high – yet we never met, until Armitageworld that is.  Life is funny that way…things happen that you never expect.   One night this summer, when we had met for drinks at a local watering hole, Servetus remarked about the physical beauty of our home state.  Both the bartender and I “pshawed” the notion, to which Servetus replied, “You only say that because you see it everyday.”  Since that day, I’ve reflected several times on her words and realized that she was right, it is beautiful here…especially so right now as the season shifts from summer to autumn and the verdant green landscape transforms to a patchwork quilt of deep gold, burgundy, red and orange.  All of the following images were shot within six city blocks of my house (my neighbors are right now wondering what my issue is…)

The park at the bottom of my street, trees just beginning to change colors

The park at the bottom of my street, trees just beginning to change colors

Just a peek at the river through the trees..

Just a peek at the river through the trees..

A view upriver... (I'm choosing to ignore the guy next to me blabbing on his bluetooth and harshing my nature vibe...

A view upriver… (I’m choosing to ignore the guy next to me blabbing on his bluetooth and harshing my nature vibe…)

Autumn landscaping abounds with hardy mums , cornstalks and pumpkins (before any horticulturists chime in, I know that's a gourd, just play along will you?)

Autumn landscaping abounds with hardy mums , cornstalks and pumpkins (before any horticulturists chime in, I know that’s a gourd, just play along will you?)

If the trees changing colors and hay bale dioramas weren’t evidence enough, this next image reflects a sure sign of the season in these parts:

first casualty of homecoming week...

first casualty of homecoming week…

Homecoming is a fall tradition in all of the local school districts marked by a week of celebration in the schools, especially the senior high school, culminating in a parade and football game on Friday evening.  The idea is that alumni return to support their alma mater (see, I can work Latin in anywhere!)  A time honored tradition of homecoming is “decorating” the trees of chosen houses with streamers of toilet paper.  I suppose that this is technically considered vandalism, but I think the local police mostly look the other way (informal interview with confidential 16 year old informant reveals that as long as the perpetrators are not in possession of eggs, a blind eye is turned.)  Our house was hit a few years ago…the decorators underestimated the size of the one tree in our yard…a roughly 50′ spruce…and did not know that my husband is a night owl – he interrupted  them in the act, they fled and left us 6 months supply of toilet paper – score!

But I digress.  The point I was getting around to,  was that it is often the case that we miss beautiful things that are staring us right in the face.  We are distracted by a million things from stopping to “smell the roses” from time to time.  Beauty is all around us…whether it is a sweeping autumn landscape or the smile of a child, we just need to see it.  I hope that wherever in the world Richard Armitage is today, he is able to enjoy a moment of beauty, big or small.  I’m going to try harder to notice the beauty around me…I hope you will too Armitageworld.

apple tree

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53 comments on “inter alia: “For the beauty of the earth…”

  1. Servetus says:

    I have tears in my eyes. It is SO beautiful.

    • obscura says:

      Awww…that was *not* the intended effect!

      • Servetus says:

        They are good tears 🙂

        • obscura says:

          Oh good…I’m going to shoot some of the mosaic looking fields along the east side of the lake tomorrow…stay tuned – 4 counties can think I’m a weirdo then 🙂

          • Servetus says:

            I always think the fields are the prettiest when the corn is in full tassel, and then when they make that patchwork, too. Somehow the chaos after the mid-summer haying isn’t so pretty.

          • obscura says:

            The soy beans are between green and gold now to…almost time. Tomorrow’s a reading from the Wisconsin Ag Report 😀

          • Servetus says:

            long as you don’t start quoting the stats on hog futures.

          • obscura says:

            LOL…you didn’t, by chance, ever catch that report on a prominent local AM radio program as a kid did you? I’m sure if I think on it I could remember the AG reporters name 🙂

          • Servetus says:

            I remember it always being on “the Noon Show” (I think that it was channel 2?) on tv. I don’t remember the AM radio station, lol 🙂

          • obscura says:

            I believe it was a report segment during the “Good Neighbor Show” lol, no, I do not live in Mayberry!
            It always reminded me of Les Nessman on WKRP in Cincinnati.

          • Servetus says:

            I definitely remember the “Good Neighbor” show, though 🙂 You are totally outing us as Wisconsin farm-region girls, lol. Everything I left home to shake off … (grins)

          • obscura says:

            LMAO…this is a metro region dammit! I could never decide in that old Van Halen song if I qualified as a “Midwest farmers’ daughters really make you feel alright.” Or, “the northern girls with the way they kiss, keep their boyfriends warm at night.” It’s a conundrum!

  2. Fall is my favorite season! I just wish I lived in a state that has an autumn like you do. Instead we have the sun, sea and sand, and I married a SoCal boy who hates the cold. I love all the pictures of your world and wish I could be there to smell the air as the leaves turn from one shade to the next, fall to the ground and crackle beneath my boots 🙂

    • obscura says:

      It is a really season that hits all the senses and cool enough to enjoy, but not so cold that every breath is shocking. I have two giant bags of apples just inside my mudroom that are better than any air freshener 🙂 (for a couple of days anyway!) I wish I could bottle it for you!

  3. Perry says:

    Fall is also my favorite season. Your surroundings are beautiful. I imagine there is also distance landscape that can’t be seen in the shots. I would be very blue, indeed, if I relocated someplace where there were no seasons- and especially no autumn. The pumpkins, gourds, indian corn stalks mums and autumn leave arrangements are also gracing the brownstone steps in my neighborhood, the storefronts and even displays in front of apartment doors on most floors in my building are starting to materialize. ( The leaves are shipped in as things are still pretty green here)
    And then there’s the air- crisp,cool and clean. Apples and cider will be here soon.
    You’ve made me want to take a walk around my own neighborhood and share some shots. I probably won’t get to the country until Thanksgiving.
    Anyway- send more.

    • obscura says:

      I’m going to try to capture a wider vista tomorrow on my “commute” (50 miles of mostly fields and farms) It is gorgeous this time of year and I seriously doubt I’ll be able to capture it with my -um- limited photographic skills 🙂

      I can send you plenty of leaves – sugar maple – (it will save me the trouble of blowing them back into my neighbor’s yard from whence they came 🙂 )

      I’d love to see some NYC fall shots

    • This is killing me! I live in a city close to the beach – but a city nonetheless. There is a pine tree that’s 4 stories high next to our house – so it’s not all bad. I’ll just go and buy some autum themed air freshener and pretend I’m where you are!

  4. kelbel75 says:

    such a nice post! (although I’m going to have that song stuck in my head now!) it’s true about not really stopping to see what’s around you every day. I always think it’s sad when tourists seem to know more about an area than the ones who live in it.

    • obscura says:

      Thanks! Ah…you recognized that it was a song did you 🙂 It’s so true – there are times that I’ve been really surprised to find out something that was practically next door. I’m working on that 🙂

      • Servetus says:

        I love that song … it’s oddly true that as I get older, I do feel like the landscape is somehow symbolic of that surrounding love.

        • obscura says:

          I was positively inundated today…as I was sitting in the library, I was gazing at the shadow of leaves against a white wall…sheesh – now with these new pix? I have very little hope of productivity tomorrow!

  5. Leigh says:

    Truly beautiful, Obscura, and great photos. Autumn is coming to Andalucia, too, but not yet as cool and vibrant as where you live.

    • obscura says:

      Thanks – I’m sure I look like a goof…these were all shot with my iPad 🙂 I love this time of year – it cools off beautifully at night, but still warm during the day…near 80 today – that is really going to help those last apples!

  6. leashales says:

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of your neighborhood. I live by Lake Ontario and we have beautiful parks and lakes. Everyone is decorating with corn stalks, pumpkins, gourds and mums here too.

    I have mixed feelings about Fall. I love the season itself but it means that shorter days and cold/snowy days are also coming.

    • obscura says:

      You are very welcome, and thanks for commenting!

      I know what you mean – winter has it’s own beauty – for about a week.

      We play this annual Beat the Clock game about turning on the furnace. My rule is that before November 1, there is no forced air heat, so put on a sweater! (these kids need to be a bit more hardy I think…mostly it’s their Dad who complains 🙂 )

    • Servetus says:

      yeah, we need to ask her how she feels again about the second or third week of January, lol 🙂

  7. guylty says:

    Gorgeous, Obscura. Thank you for capturing your surroundings for us. I loved the apples, and I am quite envious of the leafiness of your area – over here autumn seems a bit further, with the chilliness already in the air. But yes, I wholeheartedly agree – beauty is around us, everywhere. Sometimes it is easier to see it with a camera between ourselves and the scenery, btw. Not just for a photographer, but anyone – the camera acts like a frame, like a binoculars, concentrating our gaze on the beauty. Thanks for reminding us of that.

    • obscura says:

      My pleasure…we picked apples over the weekend (that one’s a little further away…but only a little). My street is very leafy, hence the general outrage in the hood when the new people on the block moved in and promptly cut down every tree in their yard…why move to a place with mature trees if you are foliphobic? (That is actually a thing…who knew?). I might help with aversion therapy by “sharing” my leaves with them 🙂

      I’m glad my shots can convey at least a little of the scene around here…although I can never seem to capture exactly the scope that my eyes do 🙂

  8. Ms Mel says:

    A real stop and smell the roses moment! Thanks for reminding us all how important that is!

  9. katie70 says:

    I have to agree that I too don’t always think of our state as a great place to live, but it is. We have homecoming this week, but I don’t think anyone tp’s yards here.

    We where just saying how late the leaves are changing this year, but now they are over the past week. We do have more color, must be the north. We also had a warm day in the 70’s, but very windy. We have five apple trees in our yard, planted by the former owner. It is great to be able to have fresh ones when we want. We also have two pear trees and this year got enough so Mr. 70 made pear wine and is thinking about apple wine too. He made wine out of both in 2007 which was very good.

    • Servetus says:

      Katie70, I had suggested to Obscura at some point in May that when I was home we should try to take a road trip in your direction. It was not to be. But something to hope we can manage soon, if you want to. We’re pretty sure your part of the state is pretty, too.

      • katie70 says:

        I think that would be great, so much to see. I also think that you got to be with your mom this summer and that is a memory that will be with you for the rest of your life. It is a pretty part of the state, just skip the snow and cold.

    • obscura says:

      Yum, yum…samples all around 🙂

      • katie70 says:

        Wine will be ready into the new year, maybe spring. The pear will get bottled in late December and need to sit there for a while. We drank it to soon last time, but the few bottles that got to sit for awhile where get.

      • katie70 says:

        I think you would miss the crazy signage it is a couple counties over from me and to the south. We got normal road names. OK I will give you snow for deer season but only a tiny bit. I hate to think that I would have snow on my anniversary (November 19th ).

  10. Thank you for this post.

    And for the record, I would *love* to live where you do. I think it’s gorgeous. My home state, where I am still stuck, is my idea of Hell.

    • obscura says:

      The only time I’ve not lived in a region with lots of trees was when I was in grad school in the southwest…it has a beauty all its own, but it was no accident that I picked an apartment complex that had a grassy green oasis in the center 🙂

  11. […] Richard Armitage should find some beauty, as should we all. […]

  12. […] in the fall when everyone was observing how gorgeous is the area whence Obscura and I hail, I mentioned that people feel differently after about mid-January. My RL FB feed from home is full […]

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