Yes Minnesota, the Nation's deep freeze seizes Atlanta like the rest of the country. Fortunately the mercury here reads 'below 30', NOT '30 below'. Low 20's at night. It's my annual opportunity for numb thumbs and frozen fingers in pursuit of nature's infinite and glorious patterns.
As if in a spinning whirlwind, I find myself re-discovering my enormous (way too enormous) archive of recorded music. (Dammit iTunes, to Hell!) Yet, it's a fascinating voyage thru decades past and very pleasurable to boot. Not to forget, however, recent spins around the backroads of rural South Georgia; here's a fine patch of lily pads spinning also in their universe of peaceful tranquility.
Here's a revealing note. When peeking thru the viewfinder I see only colors, shapes, textures, and patterns initially, with no reference to content or subject matter. It's always been that way. Composing, arranging these elements into appealing themes. Then, immediately before releasing the shutter, only as an afterthought, do I adjust for the object in front of me. Be it landscape, door, creek, flower, or whatever. Try it sometime and enter the inverted world of Doctor Flowers.
The next time you savor the delights of pecan pie or butter pecan ice cream consider this tale that might, instead of smiles, give you the shakes. Mature pecan trees are strong gangly creatures. Their elusive fruit hang high making successful harvest tricky and difficult without unacceptable collateral damage to leaf and limb. As expected, modern mechanical wizardry and ingenuity to the rescue. The preferred harvester is conspired as a low-slung turtle-like machine reminiscent of the bottom half of a Sherman tank, often carried on three small wheels, occasionally on crawler tracks. A long arm extends from the front at the end of which is attached a huge menacing hinged claw wide enough to firmly clamp both sides of any trunk or low slung limb. It goes like this. The contraption eases up to the target, protruding arm extended. The claw grips firmly. Then, the harvester issues a burst of powerful high frequency vibrations that, for 10-15 seconds, shake the bejesus out of the entire tree creating a noisily intense crackling hail of pecan nuts, a dense shower, followed by an eerie silence that will leave any observer stunned and slack-jawed.