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photo essay 052413 . Translucence

I’m away from home with my children, and if you follow Plop much, you know that means you can expect several photo posts. I usually enjoy the companionship of my Canon and a few iPhone photo apps along with my kids when we’re out and about. I love to capture memories with them and also the scenes that inspire me.

On Friday, we were preparing to leave home for a week, and it was also the official first day of summer vacation. Summer vacation!! We’ve been anticipating it with a lot of fervor in the last few weeks, and the trip to the farm we’re enjoying has been dubbed the official kick-off of summer around the Montgomery parts. So, when we also noticed some of the first few magnolia blooms of the season appearing on the lower branches of our tree in the front yard, I took it as a signal and added confirmation that this year’s summer vacation would indeed be sublime. Much needed this year.

I decided to get a few quick photographs of the magnolias with my Hipstamatic iPhone app to remember the first blooms. It was around 9:00 a.m. and not a cloud in the sky — yes, perfect conditions for the kick-off of summer vacation. Conditions for a great photo — not necessarily. The morning light in May on a cloudless day can be so strong that it bleaches the wonder right out of images. BUT, I decided to try letting the magnolia bloom offer me it’s own shade and took a shot (actually, multiple shots) from the underside. Given that the sun also prevented me from really seeing the iPhone screen, it was kind of a leap of faith.

The images turned out to be a really neat reminder to me of why I love Mississippi’s signature bloom, and why I love the summer. I love the translucence of the velvety white petals, how they reveal the light behind them and the delicate stamens they are holding. And I love the translucence of the summer season where everything seems overlapped with strong light, strong scents, long days, hard play, relaxed schedules and the satisfaction of days completely absorbed. I know these days will be fleeting, just like the delicate bloom I photographed — this one will likely be withered to multiple shades of brown by the time we return home. But, I’ve been looking forward to this summer vacation more than in other years, and I intend to enjoy each moment of it with my three little partners in crime.

I hope you enjoy the photos too. And the long days of summer we kick off this Memorial Day weekend. May you relish every bloom.

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