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Have you ever stood underneath and looked upward into a big tree that’s blindingly bright with all its colored leaves?  

Awe-inspiring, right?  

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Have you ever gone outside late at night and done the same thing?

I am often out with pup well after dark, and one of the highlights of this week has been standing underneath the tree in my front yard and gazing up.  By day, the tree wears brilliant shades of orange, red and yellow; by night, the leaves are serenely golden and translucent by the light of the moon.  Moments better experienced than photographed.

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A strong wind blew in today, and most of the tree’s leaves are swirling near the ground. 

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Oh autumn, how I love thee.

Apple cider, bonfires, colorful leaves… what are your favorite fall associations?

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How happy he, who free from care

The rage of courts, and noise of towns;

Contented breathes his native air,

In his own grounds.

-Alexander Pope, from ‘Ode on Solitude’

sunshine corner cr

vintage sky cr

Yesterday provided a much needed blast of blue sky.  I wanted to take some photos of old barns for a commissioned painting, so it was the perfect day for a rural afternoon drive.  Most of my weekends while living in Montana included a backroads drive through the mountains; something I’ve missed in the years I’ve been back in the Midwest.  I had forgotten just how much calm a drive through the country with my camera provides.  Since I was on a (slightly unsuccessful) mission for barns, I didn’t take many photos, but the two above captured the spirit of the outing.  

Where do you find peace and solitude?

 

 

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Yeeeehaw!  I finally started a painting this week – though it is not one that I had planned.  It’s grayscale (not typical for me), but in the moment I knew it was exactly what I wanted to paint.  Change is positive, and this most definitely needs to be a year of change!  It may be awhile before it’s done, as I’m using oils – and both the paint and I are a bit pokey when it comes to doing our job.  In the meantime (since black and white seems to be my trend this week), I’m posting a photo I took in Utah a few years ago.  If you’ve never visited Red Cliffs Rec Area, I highly recommend it… striking views and wonderful hiking!

RedCliffs

(click on photo two times to enlarge)

A big resolution I have for 2013:  to get back in touch with my artistic side – so you will likely be seeing more photos and artwork here on the happy & simple blog!

Ok, I can’t resist – I am posting the color shot as well!

Enjoy :)

RedCliffsRecArea

(click on photo two times to enlarge)

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birch trunk

rustic snowflake

 

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I spent dusk today taking holiday photos of my sister and her family… after we were finished, I got a bit caught up in snapping festive shots.  These were my favorites.

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The bright colors are gone, yet it’s still autumn – and though branches are bare and leaves brown, this time of year proves beautiful in its own way. The phrase ‘happy dreary‘ seems fitting.

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