Friday, January 11, 2013

Into the trees




"Regarde la lumière," Remi and I will often call out to one another these days. We are talking about that last shot of good gold that bounces off the rooftop visible from both of our desks separated by a thin wall. We have the same view and more often than not, the same point of view too.


Last night after a moment of mutual silent admiring, I fed Ben quickly, grabbed my camera and wrapped myself up like a moving mummy to head out into the cold.


You see, I have been under the weather. Not to worry, I haven't succumbed yet to the terrible rounds of flu treason that have been roaming the earth but I am fighting off a what they call here a gastro or stomach bug. As a result of some of our more exotic travels to precarious places, I like to think that I have an iron skillet stomach but I still succumb to waves of grogginess, ones that leave me slightly separated, as if I were looking at the world behind the branches of a barren tree...


or on the other side of bars that are nothing like a prison...


...for it can be pleasant not to fight it, this sweet sleep-walking...


...following light's lure...


...and soft fade of winter.


I stop to regard a captured star...


Ben sits on top of my feet patient and looking out.


The longer we stay, the more my eyes calm...rough forms turn elegant...


...and I wonder at those monuments that I have looked upon a thousand times before.


At the lights last whisper, I listen and turn to look down the old cardo, this same Roman road.


The trees. 


They protect.


Give comfort.


And somehow are more beautiful to me on this winter's evening than ever a summer day.


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend... 


38 comments:

  1. What amazing pictures you take. I wish I had to eye to capture the beauty of bare trees & walls the way you show them. Hope you will be back on form soon. In our home it's been the flu, so you have my sympathy. Take care & get well soon. At least you have blue sky to help cheer you up. Here in the Limousin, it's cold, wet & grey, please hurry up springtime.

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  2. Hello Heather:
    Once more you capture with your wonderful images those instances of light, whether natural or man-made, which are so abundant at this time of year, where the cold adds clarity to our world, and which somehow or other in warmer months fail to make an impression, escape our notice or, more likely, are not to be found at all. What is so very special is that moment when the sky, even the very buildings, are tinged with gold, suffused at times with pink, which they must have been, particularly in your part of the world, for centuries past.

    And now you must rid yourself of that beastly bug.

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    1. Leslie in Portland, OregonMarch 18, 2013 at 1:10 AM

      Jane and Lance have described so beautifully what you so beautifully have evoked with your photographs and words. Until the advent of digital cameras, I took thousands of photographs, not one of which approaches any of yours in how wonderfully they tell a story. You inspire me to learn about digital photograph and try again. But mostly, I am full of gratitude for what you give us in your posts. Thank you, Heather.

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  3. I love that last shot of gold, H.

    You are so the kind of soul who would stop to regard a captured star. Lovely.

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  4. This is a delightful stroll through Arles that captures what most of us are in too much of a hurry to see for ourselves. Your color in the lamp in the last shot is exquisite! I really enjoy your photo outings, please don't stop.

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    1. Thank you Richard--and also for your last email. Your encouragement came on a day when I really needed it.

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  5. You've captured l'heure bleue so beautifully. The etching of bare branches against the sky and against stone is lovely. I hope the walk and the meditation on beauty (accomplished with the help of your camera) has helped to aid your healing.

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    1. Lorrie, I completely forgot that I WAS sick while I was on that walk. You understood perfectly...

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  6. Heather

    we adored the present of a link that you left at our place!

    wow.

    memories came flooding back of boys with eyeliner and smirks and back-combed hair and nonsense. such fun.

    take care of that gastro!

    it's scary how quickly things go around the planet these days......

    and then lovely when they happen to be links that bring-memories - like yours did just now.

    waving from the couch, a little less weakly than earlier.

    _tg xx

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  7. I had a premonition that you were under the weather somehow -- which is why I checked out your site and found this! The winter sky takes a little more work to appreciate, I think, but it almost always rewards. I try to remember to look up from under my hood when I take Karina out after dark. I'll be shivering, but the winter sky provides a big reward.

    And I can't get the video to play. In fact it is the third one today, including the one on my own site, that I haven't been able to access, though they seem to work fine on Youtube. Any idea what gives?

    Take care, feel better soon! xox

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    1. figured out the problem -- Google Chrome...

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  8. Wow Heather, I know I always say the same but...your pictures are WOW! You really are able to transmit through your images the mood you describe.
    And you couldn't have chosen a better piece of music to accompany them...pure relaxation!
    Beautiful!
    Sylvia S.

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  9. You have truely caught that special light here. Although I am not a photographer or even a serious painter the light in southern France is amazing. One my very first evening of the very first time I was in France, it was the light that captured my imagination. It seems to have a body and a feeling all its own. You have captured it beautifully here!

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  10. How very strange. I was looking at leafless peach trees on my way to work and I was thinking how beautiful their naked, purple branches looked against the winter sky. It hasn't been really cold yet here but I think we should have some cooler temperatures next week. And I can't wait. I love how you chase the light. I tend to do that too sometimes :) Have a wonderful weekend

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    1. I don't find it strange at all, Loree! You should be used to the way our thinking can overlap by now... :)

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  11. I am enjoying the beautiful(and so far, mild) winter in La Charente, as well. On verra. Beautiful pictures, lovely post. Thank you.

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    1. On verra, indeed. I keep bracing myself for the cold to come and where is it? Not that I am complaining!

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  12. Heather thank you so much for bringing some peace to my day. I loved seeing the monument to the Virgin Mary...

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    1. There are so many statues of her here, Karen, you would love it. Other saints too...

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  13. Lovely choice of track Heather and beautiful images. Thankyou. From a very hot day in Oz.

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  14. Your pictures captured the mood perfectly! I looked back with the music playing and it was even better!

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  15. Love these fassades! Love the trees in winter without leaves when they are like sculptures and paintings! Wonderful images, Heather! What else can I say....
    Tres amicalement,
    Karin

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  16. Yup. You're officially an "up looker." You're right - the skies here at sunset encourage me to stop what I'm doing and just took out the window. The sunrises (that I see through closed curtains these days) makes me think the sky is on fire.

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  17. Oh no, a stomach bug! The worst! I had one shortly after Christmas and it was not at all festive.

    I absolutely love these photos. Only you could make winter look so romantic with your incredible eye for detail. You've inspired me to bundle up as well and take a stroll through the city on this overcast day. Merci.

    Please feel better. : )

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  18. Thank you for taking all the pictures I want to take. I love winter in France. The delicate branches make everything more interesting. You captured the recent sunsets beautifully. As I was driving back to our Mas, my home isn't far from Arles, I wanted to stop and capture the colors of sunset. But since that wasn't really very safe on the autoroute, I hoped that I would have another chance. Thanks Heather!

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    1. Ooh, that would NOT have been a good idea, Judy! Hasn't the light been gorgeous lately?

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  19. Lovely photos today, Heather. Skies and trees are my favorite thing to photograph and look at. Gotta keep looking up! Hope you are feeling better by now.

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  20. I'm delighted that you wrapped yourself up as a moving mummy to venture outside and take these photos because they are beautiful! (as always)
    And that flu or whatever it is that's traveling around France has got me down. I fought it and fought it but I have no fight left in me and it's left me with (get this)... laryngitis! I CAN'T TALK! But at least I can type :) x

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  21. Dear Heather,

    Well, as ever, it seems we have a lot of shared tastes....I just read "And somehow are more beautiful to me on this winter's evening than ever a summer day".

    For the past ten years, the majority of my paintings and drawings are of winter trees&landscapes. Very, very few of them depict high summer, and perhaps none of them depict "autmun glory!" (in which I'm not in the least interested, although I've been constantly told by dealers and gallery owners to "Do More Fall!!! People LOVE autumn leaves!".

    A woman came here back in the Sumnmer to look into buying some landscapes. This was when i'd just moved in and pictures were stacked everywhere along walls and stairlandings. She kept furrowing her brow and pursing her lips, and she finally said "OH....I don't know....don't you have anything that's....prettier??? do you have any beach scenes?"

    I told her that I didn't and didn't....but could give her the names of two painters who, indeed, DID do a lot of "Autumn's Glory!" and lighthouse&flipflops pictures. This made her very relievedly-happy, and I was happy to send her on to two friends of mine who are,indeed, good painters (just of things that don't particularly interest me).

    That enocunter reminded me of another time when a woman (I do, actually, have male clients, but they never make a point of coming by the "studio"), having seen some of my portraits of men, wanted to buy some. she came to look at what I had in the house and, after half an hour, turned to me and seriously said "These are all just...wonderful, I guess....but what's with all these handsome men with that "UNOBTAINABLE" "look in their eyes?"

    I thought that was an amusing comment and told her that (1) I didn't know and (2) her instincts were probably correct. I did love that "I guess.." business.

    Level best as Ever,
    david Terry
    www.davidterryart.com



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  22. I love these pictures - so peaceful, and such beautiful light and shapes! Earlier in the week I snapped a picture of a tree against the deep pink sunrise sky and sent it to my honey - I agree that the winter trees can be so beautiful! And wow - I don't remember the last time you had a photo of the arena! What a beautiful winter snapshot of Arles! I hope you are feeling better!

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  23. dearest heather

    visiting and showing a little *concernedlook* from sunny california - did the Gastro develop? are you felled by the Flu too?

    do tell.

    sending healing thoughts from the land of milk and honey (actually two products that nobody probably touches here anymore apart from us ;-)

    _tg x

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  24. Heather, even in an altered state being affected by what the "iron skillet" didn't catch, your camera's angle didn't miss a thing. I don't know what is my favorite part, the photos or you musings...good thing I don't have to choose, love both as always.

    xo Amelia

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  25. J'aime tes arbres, Heather! Congratulations to you, mon amie. You have just won one of the books in my blog's 2nd anniversary Giveaway! Félicitations! Please email me your postal address so I can forward it to you. A bientôt! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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  26. Beautiful. Once I started the music, I scrolled back and enjoyed the pictures again to music. delightful. Feel better....soon.

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  27. Bonjour, I just joined your blog. You show Arles very beautifully.

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    1. Hello and welcome! There is a nice group of people here. :) Merci pour le compliment aussi!

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