Gratitude and puzzle answers!

Awash in Squash
A colorful selection of winter squash.

I come from the United States, where this is the season of Thanksgiving. For my readers outside the U.S., please know that I’m not trying to force an American holiday on you! Rather than thinking of this as a day off work for eating a lot and watching football on TV, I choose to focus on it being a time to give thanks, and that is something that all of us can participate in, no matter the country, and truthfully, no matter the season.

I think of this holiday as an opportunity to reflect on the great gift of love, such as the shared love of family and friends or the love a person has for her town or her country. And for me, it is a time to express gratitude for the blessings in my life.

There are the big blessings, like living in a time of unprecedented freedom or living in a place of great beauty and cultural richness. There is the gift of health, a roof over my head, and food to eat. There are the gifts of creativity that have been given to me, and my greatest treasure, the people in my life.

There are the small blessings too, like flowers blooming unexpectedly in November, the smile of a child I’m playing peek-a-boo with in the grocery store line, or the friend who says, “You look great today!”

When I pause to reflect on those things I am grateful for, I find that the list grows ever longer. The mere mention of something to appreciate brings to mind yet more things to appreciate. And sometimes it’s the small blessings that have the greatest impact.

If you are reading this, then I want you to know that I appreciate you, although I may not know you. I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to read my words, and if I have the good fortune to know you, I am also deeply grateful for your presence in my life.

Thank you, every one of you.


 

Autumn colors
As a photographer, I find it delicious that Thanksgiving falls in the fall. Of course, the bounty of a good harvest plays a big role in that timing, but I also find a connection with the colors of autumn: rich and savory shades of golden yellow, caramel, pumpkin orange, cranberry red, and chocolate brown.

So today I bring you a selection of my tastiest autumn photographs, all available in my Etsy shop. Yum!

Forest Glow
A glowing aspen forest in the mountains of northwestern Colorado.

 

Photo Set
Left, one leaf on a grapevine looks like a fire’s “Glowing Embers.” Right, a macro photograph of an aspen leaf shows details like the “Hairy Edge.”

 

Photo Set
One way to store the harvest is by stringing the food up to dry. Left, chile “Ristras” hang above a porch in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Right, “Zest” depicts a braid of garlic in Umbria, Italy.

 

Photo Set
What’s a feast without some wine? Left, “Unpicked” grapes seen long after the harvest. Right, “Chianti 6” is the label on a fermentation tank in Tuscany.

 

Winters Golden Corps
The setting sun casts a golden glow on bare-branched trees in the valley near our Colorado home in “Winter’s Golden Corps.”

 


 

Photo game
Here are the answers to the photo puzzle that was included at the end of the “Artists Finding Nature” post in October:

  1. The grey-haired woman in the lower left has a new blue earring.
  2. Next to her, the girl’s cap changed from beige to pink.
  3. Above the girl is a yellow Minion balloon that has lost its glasses.
  4. The trash can in the upper right got a new sticker on the front.
  5. The hardest and most fun to do: the kid wearing Cristiano Ronaldo’s white number 7 jersey became a fan of someone named Roberto.

Thanks to all who played, and congratulations to our winner, Kathlyn!

Fête de l’Olivier
The original photograph from the Olive Festival in our town last summer.

 

Fête de l’Olivier game
The modified photograph: did you spot the five differences?

 


 

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