Category Archives: Abstract Photos

Views from the lake

White Rock Lake can be a marvelous and diverse place.  Each passing season brings a new dress to be placed on this urban refuge, and nature does enjoy putting on her finest at every opportunity.

A winter sunset viewed from Sunset Bay at White Rock Lake (20080119_01454)

A winter sunset viewed from Sunset Bay.  With temperatures well below freezing and a gusty wind blowing from the north, I hardly maintained control of my fingers.  They felt like so much cold clay fumbling with the camera.

The floodplain after spring thunderstorms (20080412_03172)

The floodplain after spring thunderstorms.  The lake and the creeks from which it draws sustenance overflowed their banks following torrential rains that deluged the area.  The verdant life of the season made the surreal scene all the more majestic and divine.

A bench in the shade of a tree with the lake stretching out before it (20080518_05492)

A bench facing the lake with summer pouring down with unrelenting heat.  The oppressive humidity coupled with temperatures approaching the century mark begged for a tad of refreshing shade in which to shelter.  Finding a bench on the front row of the lake’s shore made it inviting as though made of ice.

Trees dressed in gold and yellow and orange as autumn takes over the lake (157_5753_p)

Autumn paints the woodlands with gold.  This particular stretch of trees covers both the floodplain to the left and the hills to the right.  Amber, yellow and orange reign in this area betwixt the heat of summer and cold of winter.  A dash of sunshine adds the final piece to the puzzle.

Trees and a footbridge spanning a creek find themselves cloaked with snow (127_2771)

Winter blankets the lake with snow.  My favorite footbridge, a creaking, splintered wooden structure draped over a creek, finds itself wearing all white as a powerful snowstorm leaves its mark on the world.

A sunset of yellows and reds and oranges paints the sky above the lake with downtown Dallas nestled into the background (165_6567)

A rejuvenating spring sunset.  The shore beneath my feet, the lake stretching out toward the west, and downtown Dallas nestled quietly on the horizon’s left as clouds help the sun paint an unforgettable backdrop in the sky.

Uncomplicated things

Weeks have been long and rest hard to come by these past months.  Work continually robs me of all the time normally dedicated to chores, friends & family, finishing Dreamdarkers and delving into End of the Warm Season, reading, and otherwise doing things that don’t involve earning a paycheck.

It even steals precious moments away from The Kids, although I draw the line there and take back what is rightfully mine at every opportunity when it comes to these feline children.

Nevertheless, and despite the weather foiling every opportunity to get out and about recently, I find myself looking back again and again at precious moments seen through the eyes of a child discovering the world over and over with each walk and with each moment.

And so these uncomplicated things, common vistas ignored by far too many, serve to remind me that nature offers its best in ways we often fail to realize, let alone take notice of.

Fallen leaves in an assortment of colors and shapes (219_1928)

An assortment of autumn leaves set aside by the wind and painted by magic.  The trees surrounding my home deposit these tattered clothes every year; the winds of seasonal change scoop them up, whirl them into piles of bountiful beauty, and lay them to rest outside my garage door.  I beg of my neighbors not to interfere with this annual pilgrimage.  This tapestry is my guest and within its dying confines I myself discover renewal and rejuvenation.

A fallen tree near the shore of White Rock Lake (20080412_03309)

A tree fallen.  What noble life is felled this day at the shores of plentiful waters?  What ageless spirit vanishes into the cosmos as its eyes look back upon a body now lifeless?

A half-buried, half-submerged wall on the shore of White Rock Lake (20080614_06683)

Along the shores of White Rock Lake rest a myriad of remnants from when the reservoir was created, archaeological artifacts that even today cause one to stop and ponder, wonder what hands hewed these stones and built these walls, what structures lie at rest beneath these waters and grow increasingly hidden by nature’s unrelenting toils to reclaim the area.

A sailboat moored near the shore of White Rock Lake on a windy and cloudy day (20080628_08050)

A sailboat moored near the shore of White Rock Lake on a windy and cloudy day.  Pushed hither and yon by nature’s might, this escape found itself wrestling against the unremitting presence of the world’s breath.  Too close to the lake’s edges and too tossed by the rough surface, the boat ensured I remained entranced by a simple thing caught in the drama of simple things.

A common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) facing the sun (20080114_01294)

A common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) facing the sun.  What noble gold shines so brightly amongst the barren landscape of winter?  Few can so mightily unfurl their petals with splendor and strength amidst the cold, hard, skeletal hands of arctic menace.  Yet this small flower, the torment of many a landscaper, does so with a majesty that beckons our attention.  And how many stop to see?

A trail trhough the woodlands that leads from White Rock Lake to my home (20080419_03973)

This is the trail I take to and from my home when I visit White Rock Lake.  It leads down the hill and through the woodlands, and it takes me directly from where I live to the shores of this urban oasis.  And I find it just as glorious when the trees shed their foliage and offer up the bones of the world to a sky that never ends.

To the ends of the Earth – Part 1

My last few attempts to visit Mom and Dad at the family farm met with cataclysmic results.  From major illness to drastic schedule changes at work, I feel robbed of what always has been a joyous road trip coupled with a dive into the depths of nature wrapped in a cloak of family love.

This weekend I intend to right that wrong.

In honor of my out-of-town Saturday, this series of posts shows photos which serve to remind me of a full day.  (Two more posts to go…)

Fog along the highway at sunrise (20081011_13507)

Even as the sun struggled to rise above the clouds blanketing the eastern horizon, fog slithered about the landscape, often rising like a cobra at the road’s edge only to pull back at the last moment.  So many times I found myself captivated by the misty sheet that lay over the world.

At very high speeds I drove by and through marvelous wonders painting the whole of existence with brush strokes made of cloud.  Spectacles to behold still beckoned along this concrete path, I knew, so I drove on.

The sun rising over a busy highway (20081011_13509)

Finally, as if on queue, the sun climbed over the next hill, showed itself beyond the next bend in the road, and it lifted into the sky the beauty of a fire from which we can’t turn our eyes.  Clouds and fog be damned!

The sun rising over a busy highway as fog tries to control the interstate (20081011_13522)

A thin sketch of clouds writ upon the heavens dared intrude where the sun intended to shine morning brightness for all to see.  The silken veil stretched the length of the horizon, but it held no sway over the sunrise.

The sun rising over the highway as the road stretches toward meeting the star (20081011_13524)

I drove right into the heart of morning, as did a great many others, and the indigo behind gave way to golds and reds before.  Even those hues fell away slowly as cyan struggled to rule the early hours.

Some places are less lonely than others

A roughly hewn wood and stone bench atop a hill of wildflowers and trees with White Rock Lake in the background (20080518_05572)

Standing atop the hill at Winfrey Point and looking west across White Rock Lake, I am faced with a vast field of wildflowers, the towering presence of trees, and a bench hewn from stone and wood.  Surrounding this spot live the many wonders of a natural oasis tucked neatly into an urban sprawl that constantly presses in from all sides.  Here, in the absence of people, being alone means something quite different—and less lonely—than it does elsewhere.


The dappling of sunlight upon the stony ground beneath a small tributary, unnoticed designs writ upon the brow of the Earth by way of a magic no more complicated than water’s ability to focus and defocus light simultaneously.

Sunlight dapples upon the stone floor beneath water streaming through a small tributary (20080426_04782)

Does understanding the cause of such beauty somehow taint its loveliness?

The answer rests in your perspective.

The remnant of a bygone era dredged to the light of day by digging, the very act of bringing to the surface the secrets which lie buried beneath.  Rested upon sand and stone, my eyes lingered upon this relic for longer than anticipated, and certainly no other noticed it.

A pull-tab from a drink can resting atop the stony and sandy remnants of plumbing work (164_6421)

What intrigue explodes from nothing more complicated than workmen doing a job?

The answer rests in your perspective.

A man wanders to the edge of the creek and pauses, his mind a jumbled puzzle of thought and emotion, his whole world outlined by the belief that he is isolated and deserted.  Yet he is not abandoned even in his despair.  An American coot paddles close to share in that aloneness, to offer up the silent gift of understanding.

A man crouches on the bank of a creek at White Rock Lake, deep in lonely thoughts with only a single American coot (Fulica americana) to keep him company (20080202_01772)

Or is it that the bird hopes for a handout from the stranger, wishes for a bit of food to be tossed out as a treat?

The answer rests in your perspective.

Like a nightmare from a Hitchcock film, a gull demands attention, its mouth agape, its wings held just right to capture the wind, its body floating effortlessly atop the hidden tower of magic that allows it to do that thing we humans envy most: fly.  It brags in the resounding voice of those who can.

A juvenile ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) in flight as it demands a meal (20080114_01228_p)

Could it be this display means more or less?  Could it be this bird has reasons unannounced for its profoundly eloquent display?

The answer rests in your perspective.

Upon a lonely mountaintop rests this small turtle, its form reduced against the backdrop of a titanic log that dwarfs the young reptile until it becomes minute, insignificant, barely noticeable.

A small red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) atop a proportionally massive log (20080405_02969)

How could such a diminutive creature rise to such heights?

The answer rests in your perspective.

What murder hid in suburbia’s grasp?  What demons lurked before picket fences within the confines of winter laid barren and dry for all the world to see?  And do such monsters still exist, still cry their raucous cries and beat their black wings to darken the sky?

An American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) searching through winter grass in front of a classic white picket fence (20080203_01879)

Or is it but a crow seeking a bit of nourishment from dry grass just across the street from me as I sat on the porch enjoying the warmth of a cold day?

The answer rests in your perspective.

I said this once:

The world through eyes other than our own becomes a different thing.  When seen from someplace else, we become alien, different, unrecognizable.

That’s because we see things as we are, not as they happen.

Want to know what your life is like?  Ask those who observe it, participate in it yet do not own it.

We are what we do, not what we feel, not what we believe, not what we think.

Tinted by my own sense of self, life as I know it becomes unfamiliar when viewed from a perspective not defined by me.

Perception is a reality to which I subscribe.  No greater truth has any person than this: The real world is as we see it, and we see things as we are, not as they truly exist.  No greater power has politics or religion than this nature of humanity.

Our perspective draws its lifeblood from our perception, perception draws its lifeblood from heart and mind, and heart and mind draw their lifeblood from the whole of who we are, from experience to attitude to belief to spirit to will, and to places deep and dark and dangerous, places magnificent and memorable and meaningful.

We miss the stars because we do not see them for all the harm we do to the night sky, yet we do not miss the night sky for we have gone so long without it that it no longer matters.  In our missing of the stars we admit our lack of appreciation for what has never been known, what has been absent for too long.

And therein rests our perception, our perspectives.

Would that we could grow beyond this encumbrance, beyond these shackles that bind reality to a place far away from where we live.