I would like to encourage my blogging friends to join the Lens-Artist Weekly photo challenge. It is the hard work of 4 enthusiastic (and esteemed) photo bloggers. You can read more about these ladies and how to go about this challenge by clicking on the link above.
In the context of my interpretation of this weeks theme being Wonder, I will admit that I became a bit fired up when WordPress decided to discontinue the Weekly photo challenge. But the reality is that AUTOMATTIC is a business and it is their right to channel resources somewhere else, but not informing the WordPress photo community of an eminent closure, say at least a month ahead, left me a bit cold. Fortunately we can now warm up to a new photo challenge.
I was fortunate to join 4 of my male friends, for a “DA MAN” weekend – I got that term from Tina Scnell one of the moderators of this challenge, after I informed her of a technical glitch regarding a post. All of us are married thus it was done with our wives’ blessing (they allowed us to go that is). I will certainly write about our adventures in a separate post, but these photos were taken during that weekend. On the Saturday morning I got up while the others were still sleeping at “Krabgat”, a cottage on a friend’s farm who invited us there. All the photos where taken on this farm close to the town Riviersonderend in South Africa – winter in the Southern hemisphere.
I took photos of Krabgat cottage before in more dramatic weather and wasn’t really inspired and a bit down even wondering if I should be here. I strolled about 300m to take photos of bee-hives but when I got there was greeted with beautiful, contrasting and even ironic scenes.
Underneath is a disposed wheel of a farm tractor bearing the Firestone brand. Small crystals of ice were clinging to the letters and the Fire could not melt it. I bent down and was astonished to smell vanilla while I heard :
Was the fire being frozen or a case of ic(e)ing on the fire. Surely it couldn’t be someone with a hairstyle very different to mine telling the singer Vanilla Ice “you’re fired” – no can’t be, that would add petrol to the fire…
⇓But what inspired me most was the ice crystals clinging to all the leaves, be it grass or plants. These leaves, only a few centimeters in diameter, had small thorns protruding from the leaves and the crystals formed on each of them.
⇓When I look at the “work of art” knit together underneath, I can’t help but think of Psalm 139. I am sure if a human artist sculpted something like this it would receive great critical acclaim.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful Psalm 139:13-15
⇑These leaves were smooth, with less erratic edges, and the ice crystals framed it beautifully. Here two leaves combine to show me (and you) their heart shaped love, telling me something which humans may forget at times. The sun’s rays are reaching onto one of the leaves and will soon succeed in melting the crystals. As a small child I believed that toys became alive at night; well the ice crystals become alive at night. I do not think that living toys would give me greater pleasure than focusing on these plants and crystals. The early bird gets so much more than the early worm. Capturing these images transformed my mood and day without me even realizing it⇑
⇓The last rays of the sun was unsuccessfully trying to cling to the earth. Soon it would be gone and the shy ice crystals would come out and play. I need not wonder where the crystals were as I knew their secret and was ready to join in their game.