Dappled Things

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I was photographing at the lake this morning, trying to figure out the best angle from which to capture an interesting bit of log that had become host to some bright greenery, when, upon standing up straight, I noticed the sunlight glinting on the lake through the trees—lovely combination of wavy blue water with tiny sunbursts floating on it. “Glitter of waves and glitter of sunlight”—a line from Britten’s nautical opera Peter Grimes.  A friendly young man came by, stopped, and commented on the scene, and we had a lively conversation about the beauty of and interrelation among all elements in the natural world. I recommended that he read Peter Wohlleben’s book The Hidden Life of Trees; it certainly changed the way I look at trees.

As the young man continued on his walk, he called back to me, “Enjoy your dappled day.”

Dappled! Of course!

“Dappled!” I called after him. “Today is Gerard Manley Hopkins’s birthday—‘Glory be to God for dappled things!’”

Above is one of the photos I got of that dappled water; below are three other of my images that show “dappled things.”

White clouds in a blue sky are a classic example of dappled things. This picture was also taken at the lake, but on a different day.

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This is on the campus of Providence College, Rhode Island, on a sunny spring day last year. I took one look at the scene, exclaimed “Glory be to God for dappled things!” and got the shot.    DSC0098 s







Finally, here is a peony from a friend’s garden, also taken this morning. I overexposed it a bit to accentuate the white highlights (caused by the sun) and thus the dappledness.

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