Dog on the edge of Autumn. Happy Sunday!

Despite the weather app, which called for a partially sunny day all yesterday, it rained in the morning and we did not see any sun at all until after 2 in the afternoon. Even then, the coast was still under the cloud layer, so I headed inland to Old Falls on the Mousam River…hoping for dragonflies and maybe a touch of fall color.

Old Falls is my classic Autumn shot…with the rushing white water in the foreground and generally a smooth expanse of reflective water behind, receding into the flaming maples and the dark green pines. With the right sky, it is spectacular, and I will certainly get back the over the next few weeks to try to catch the colors at their peek (and the right sky :).

Yesterday though was special in its own way. Though the trees are just beginning to turn, there was enough color to make it interesting. I parked and walked across the road to stand at the rail of the bridge over the Mousam for a picture, and there was this dog there, swimming in the water. As I watched, it climbed out and walked to the end of a point of rock and stood, or eventually sat, and watched the river flowing by. It must live in the house above the river on that side. It looked perfectly at home, and it was certainly unattended. No one was throwing sticks in the water for it to fetch. It was just there, right were it needed to be for my images.

I have several different shots, with alternative framing. You will probably see at least one more as the week goes on.

Canon SX40HS. Program with iContrast and –1/3EV exposure compensation. About 280mm equivalent field of view. f5 @ 1/200th @ ISO 200. Processed in Lightroom for intensity, clarity, and sharpness.  More than usual work on balancing the light for best effect. Cropped slightly at the bottom for composition.

And for the Sunday Thought.

A couple of things actually. Shots like this continuously remind me of how dependent I am, as a photographer, on circumstance for my best images. I don’t say chance. I don’t believe in chance. If such encounters, such circumstances, are intended, then certainly our response must be thankfulness…even as we enjoy them. I nearly laughed out loud when I saw the dog there, framed in the first reflections of autumn foliage, perfect on his rock. I mean, what a gift!

I feel it every time I go out to take pictures, but, of course, the intention behind my photographic encounters must operate in every circumstance of my life. Sometimes that is harder to remember (and harder to appreciate).

Then too, I think that each photographic encounter, intentional as it is, is only as good as I make it. The dog, the foliage, the flowing water, the rock were all a gift. The images I made of them, and my sharing them with you, are my gift back…the tangible expression of my appreciation. The images depend on how well I respond to the circumstance. When I do well, and that is affirmed by the response of others to the images, then that just increases my thankfulness. It is a privilege to part of the intention…for in the end…the intention was not to show me the dog on the rock in the river framed in fall reflections…but to show how I saw it to you. It is all the gift. It is all a single flowing act of creation.

And now I am thinking how it might change my life if I could see every circumstance that way…if my first thought was, “What can I do with this to show my appreciation and make it a gift to others?” What if every interaction with the world around me were as intentionally creative as my photography? Words spoken at the checkout at the grocers. Every conversation on every car ride. Every trip to the post office or the mail box. Every phone call received and every ppt written for work. What if I could see every circumstance of my life as part of the flow of creation: see the gift in every encounter, turn it to gift of my own, and pass it on.

I think that might be what it means to be a saint. I have a ways to go yet, myself, but I see the possibility, in a dog on a rock in the river surrounded by autumn color and light.

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