I love the often stark beauty of autumn.
Well I thought I had missed them for sure.
So I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at Mill Landing to find that the milkweed pods were still holding onto some of their silk —
And SEEDS before sending them out into the world!
As a child when we’d come across them in a field, I thought milkweeds were just ugly, sad-looking useless clumps of dying plants that were once so pretty to look at.
It’s almost too incredible to believe, but it’s the toxins in a milkweed plant, consumed by monarchs during the summertime, that protect them from predators as they migrate to Mexico each year.
But even if that weren’t wondrous enough, I have come to love milkweeds in autumn.
I love how their silky, gossamer-like threads…
And tiny flat brown seeds…
I even find the decaying pods themselves to be beautiful not only in color but in shape and texture as well.
Why THIS one, could almost be a HAT! 😉
This year the milkweeds are reminding me, that we need every single seed.
I never would have imagined…
That one day the sight of a horseshoe crab’s molted outer shell…
Washed in with the morning tide…
Beautiful to me. ❤
I’ve lived here on Cape Cod my whole life.
Yet it wasn’t until I picked up the camera and started pointing it outward, in the direction of all that surrounds me.
Capturing images of things I’d seen a thousand times before.
That I began to see…
With new eyes.
And it’s changed my heart forever.
I was leaving Cockle Cove after a not-so-great morning with the camera.
Nothing special had crossed my lens, and it looked like the good salt air in my lungs was going to be my catch of the day.
And then I spotted him, on a tiny muck island in the middle of the creek.
A great blue heron!
But there was something different about this fellow.
I pulled the car over and hopped out, hoping to get a closer look.
Standing motionless on one leg, folded up like an accordion, the great bird was peering intently into the still, calm water. His bill pointing toward something – or someone – just below the water’s surface.
Just then, he broke off from his intense gaze and began to straighten up.
Slowly, he unfurled and stretched out a wing, the very tip just touching the water.
Then, a leg. Like some great yoga master.
Then, he stopped. Looking straight ahead…
And in one fluid motion lifted up, up, in a blur of feathers and was gone!
And as I drove away all I could think was, If only I were a painter.
I’d be running home to my paints and brushes, desperate to recapture the magic that I had just seen.
This amazing creation of feathers, heart, bill and bone.
This masterpiece. ❤