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11 months agoSteemit3 min read

Nature is always consistent, though she feigns to contravene her own laws. She keeps her laws, and seems to transcend them. She arms and equips an animal to find its place and living in the earth, and at the same time she arms and equips another animal to destroy it.

From Nature, Essays, Second Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson

This past weekend in idyllic surroundings, I first saw the goose sitting on eggs, down spread a good two inches beyond the body. Took a photo. Next, I saw eight turtles warming themselves on a few logs. Took a photo. These snapping turtles eat goslings and attack the adults. Separately, the photos represented a lovely spring day along the Shenandoah river. Together, an ecosystem.

My experience, my photo taking, yet anyone traveling on the same route could witness.

Later, I saw a cute little black & white bird at the kitchen window. I thought it was attracted to a plant I had on the sill. No. It was watching a spider's egg sack from which it continued to snack for the two days I watched.

My experience, my photo taking, yet anyone siting in the kitchen could witness.


The direction is forever onward, but the artist still goes back for materials and begins again with the first elements on the most advanced stage; otherwise all goes to ruin.

I thought about intervening on behalf of the goose. I wanted to move the log away from the rock on which the goose was brooding. But, having watched just enough time traveling movies, I realized changing the future course for either species' representative could lead to greater harm for which I didn't want to be responsible.

The difference between landscape and landscape is small, but there is great difference in the beholders.

As I walked further along the river, the subtle spring changes leapt up. For me, it is a familiar landscape. Perhaps uninteresting to some. But I have over three thousand photos of the scene. I have attempted to recreate the feeling in paint and with beads. There are never enough landscapes.

Yesterday's sunset was breathtaking and I have seen the god-clouds, the animal forms, the rainbow tinged variations in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia more times than I can count.


Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists the means, the fruit in the seed.

From Compensation, Essays, First Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do I want an algorithm to decide what I should value artistically? Visually? I cannot assume that my lowly wanderings along the Shenandoah are at all interesting to anyone but myself and I can't imagine creating a system whereby my personal tastes were incorporated into software where only my vision, my input, my values would be the sole arbiter of artistic value. The result, the effect, was already determined by the cause, or the input.

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