Wild Irises in Wakodahatchee – Comparisons and Connections – Picture to Ponder – Vol. 5 – Issue 7

by Sheila Finkelstein on March 3, 2009

center of a dying wild iris in Wakodahatchee Wetlands

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Centers of “fading” Wild Irises in Wakodahatchee Wetlands

I love the folds and textures in the top photo and the total mystery of it. Feeling like I’m looking at fabric, there is no way I would think, “iris.” The lower photo is a little more obvious, as a flower center. In the full image the two petals on the side at the top of the flower look like they are waving at you in full greeting.

See WILD IRISES for views of the complete flowers.

The Story
Last year was the first year I had the delightful surprise of happening on wild purple irises as I walked along the boardwalk in Wakodahatchee Wetlands. Heretofore my experience had only been with garden irises in the Northeast.

Last week, I was thrilled that there was once again a showcase of iris blooms. This time I had the pleasure of sharing them with my cousins. Since the battery on his camera had died, I lent my camera to Michael, one of our younger generation of cousins. I loved a couple of his iris photos, but “of course, I couldn’t use them.” (My rules and today I did resize one for you. See Michael Klein’s Iris.)

I went back a few days later, walking with a friend a little earlier in the day, and took several photos, two of which I used in the header I created for the GARDEN OF THE SOUL promo mailing I did last week. In her book, as I mentioned, Lynn refers to the iris as the symbol for “receiving.”

After I looked at my photos on the computer, I made the decision that Michael’s were better. Usually, when I compare and I come out (in my opinion) on the “lower” end, I’ll put the differences in cameras down as one of the factors that might have me “not measuring up.” This time it was MY camera on which the picure was recorded!

A few days later I made the decision that perhaps it was the difference in lighting. So I went back yesterday at what I thought was approximately the same time. What I neglected to do was check the actual time on the photo record on the computer. I realized as I was writing Picture to Ponder today, I was still one half hour off. I spent a lot of time in my head “working out” the time and never thought of the much simpler solution – simply check the records.

Finally, what I was faced with yesterday was that nine days later the flowers were past their prime, many dying off, or in the final stages, as was the iris featured in the upper photo today.

I am sharing this whole “story”, not for you to compare, reassure me, or agree that Michael’s IS better (smiling). It’s simply that I want to remind both you and me of the processes and stories we put ourselves through as we go through life.

By the way, there is still one more justification for why Michael’s photo might be better than mine. He is about a foot taller (maybe less) than me. He physcially brings an entirely different point of view, one there is no way I can replicate.

To conclude, as my friend Marifran pointed out when reading this, things change from moment to moment, person to person, and are never exactly the same.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
My story on the photographic experience discussed today went into much more detail than usual. Mainly I wanted to emphasize the humor, or the irony, of what we put ourselves through.

1 – I am inviting you today to look at your life. Is there a place where you have been doing a lot of comparing of yourself with another and, in your estimation, coming out on the “less-than” end of the picture? If so, I invite you to pause to reflect on your assets, your uniqueness, what you bring to the “picture.” I also invite you to write down YOUR attributes so that you remember what they are, especially at low times.

2 – One more quick story related to the Iris Walk and then a second self-reflecting query – Last week, when I went back for a Wakodahatchee walk with a friend, I paused to take some more iris photos. I sensed my friend’s restlessness and, after we moved on, she commented that sometimes she likes to walk without her camera so she can be fully with the walk.

Reminded about the exprience yesterday as I was walking in the same place, I realized that for me it’s the camera that at times is what aids me in being fully present with a situation, people, nature or myself. It often is my unconscious way of communicating with myself, my soul, as well as with what I am photographing.

I invite you to look at what methods you use for being fully connected with yourself. Are the people with whom you may be interacting at the time fully aware of what it is for you?

As always, when you’re finished, I invite you to share your experience on the blog. See the instructions below if you need help.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Suzanne Holman March 3, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Sheila, these are fabulous photos!
I love the intricacies of the flowers.
And, great story of how we get into comparisons that aren’t very productive for us!


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