Exploring Local: My Own BackYard

One of the many difficulties I face as an aspiring photographer is finding the time and place to practice my photography.  We usually travel over Easter Break and I am able to photograph new and exciting locations.  This year we are staying home and that has forced me to take a new perspective.  I am usually satisfied to practice my photography in spurts when we travel and have the time.  This means that my camera sits idle on most weekdays unless we have an epic sunrise or sunset.  At this point, I have not traveled since Thanksgiving and my photo library (or lack of) reflects this reality.  When I am not taking photos my skills are not growing and might be getting rusty.  Andy Andrews, one of my favorite authors and speakers, says that that life is like a river.  If you are not actively swimming upstream, then you are being washed downstream. In other words, the fact that I have not been actively practicing photography means that I am not only failing to improve but am also being washed downstream.  It is time to start swimming.

I need to change my perspective about what is photo worthy so that I can find satisfaction practicing my skills on what I find around me and not just places I travel to see.  This week my focus is to find beauty in my own backyard or close to it.  I need to qualify that statement by mentioning that I live in a amazing place and am surrounded by natural beauty.  Within an hour’s drive in any direction I can visit lakes, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, volcanoes, a National Park, and a number of National Forests.  Check some information on local McCloud Falls by clicking on this link.  So when I say my backyard I am being more literal and talking about the area within my actual back yard or within ten miles of my house.    I am looking for the every day beauty.  Below are some of the photos I have taken over the past few months of not traveling.  All photos are within 10 – 15 miles of my front door.  Throughout this week I will continue to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary so I can fully appreciate what is around me and so I can continue to improve my photography skills.

This part of my actual back yard and the wheelbarrow is part of the actual work I have in front of me this week.
From my back yard I am treated to amazing sunrises and sunsets.  In the morning the sun illuminates the snow-covered Trinity Alps and in the evening it lights up the cloud formations as it sets behind the mountains west of Redding, CA.
The heat from the rising sun caused local fog to form in the shade behind the fence.  The fog was rolling over the top of the fence and laying back down on the ground near this Manzanita tree in my yard.  These particular Manzanita’s are very large unlike the typical manzanita brush that grows in most areas around Redding.  We are blessed to have dozens of these rare large evergreen trees on our property.  I believe that the variety  is Dr. Hurd Manzanita.  They bloom in January and February with small bell-shaped flowers that attract every honeybee from miles around.  The flowers range from pure white to dark pink depending on the tree.  After the flowers drop the trees produce small green berries that ripen to a beautiful mahogany color.  The berries resemble small apples, giving the trees their name.  Manzana is apple in Spanish and -ita added to the end indicates something that is small or precious.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s