Visual Reflection: Nature Photography in the Age of Uncertainty: No. 24 (Autumn Maple Leaves Photomontage)

18 December 2017


Taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr.

Maple Leaves Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2017 Sally W. Donatello

Maple Leaves Photomontage; All Rights Reserved 2017 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this photomontage. Prints are available upon request.


Mary Oliver is a favorite nature writer, and I’ve previously written about her works. As I began to form my thoughts for the image in the Lens section, this poem says in stunning language what was on my mind. It’s perfect: the grace, lyricism and gentle symbiosis of the season’s alteration of what I experience.

“Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness”

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out
to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

by Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings: Poems, 2012


“The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves” ~~ Jane Goodall, British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace.

 In 1997 I sat across from Jane Goodall in a small group discussion after she received the Commonwealth Award of Distinguished Service. This recognition was given as a salute to her public service as “world-renowned for her 45-year study of  chimpanzee social and family life.” Seamus Heaney (Literature) and Edward Albee (Dramatic Arts) were among others feted that day. Twenty years later her work continues.

I was reminded about that experience as I read a review of the recently released documentary “Jane” (September, 2017, one hour and thirty minutes). The film was created from one hundred hours of unseen footage from the National Geographic’s archives. Here is the article (“Brett Morgen Talks About Re-Creating Jane Goodall’s Jungle in ‘Jane,’ written by Katie O’Reilly and published 14 December 2017 on the Sierra Club’s website) that tells how the story of “Jane” was made. The documentary has won numerous awards and is a tribute to her tireless contribution to nature and science. Watch for it at your local movie. Today Goodall is 82 years old and remains a champion of chimpanzees.


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33 Responses to Visual Reflection: Nature Photography in the Age of Uncertainty: No. 24 (Autumn Maple Leaves Photomontage)

  1. I really enjoy how the layers add to each and give a sense of awaken life despite the end of life for these leaves – or maybe it’s hope? As for Jane Goodall; I have still not seen the new documentary, but it’s on my list for soon to happen. 🙂

  2. prior.. says:

    I am so glad I took the time to read the pens part (I was going to come back and do it later as I am limited for time right now) but this post was a triple boost to my day.
    1- the rich burgandy colors from the leaves is with me
    2- the Oliver poem – mmm – tasty good
    3- whoa – to sit across from Goodall – that is such a cool experience – and I will check out the documentary.
    I was also thinking of her last week because as I was driving around doing errands – NPR had a special about the AIDS virus and the “cut hunter” theory traces it back to early 1900s – the HIV is a mutation likely from blood to blood contact with a monkey and then once it made it to a human – it has slowly spread (good episode) and that reminded me of Goodall – and her work.
    anyhow, so nice to read that she is still alive

  3. MJF Images says:

    She is one amazing person!

  4. Madhu says:

    Striking photo and a beautiful poem. And thank you for the link to the Jane Goodall documentary.
    Merry Christmas Sally!

  5. Tina Schell says:

    Striking image Sally and a well-chosen tribute to an amazing woman. Best to you this beautiful season.

  6. smilecalm says:

    sweet imagery
    & poetry 🙂

  7. mickphotoman says:

    yes a nice photograph….well done

  8. Amy says:

    Love the poem, thank you for sharing, Sally.
    The image is incredibly beautiful!

  9. Suzanne says:

    Such a delicate photo. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and the poem too. I’m not blogging at the moment (hopefully I’ll start up in the new year) so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas. I hope 2018 brings you a greater sense of inner certainty in this uncertain world.

  10. restlessjo says:

    Those gentle colours are lovely. Wishing you a peaceful and happy festive season, Sally. 🙂 🙂

  11. Su Leslie says:

    Stunning image Sally. Lens and pen worked in beautiful harmony here.

  12. I love the deep colours and those extra shades of green and purple that appear the more you look.

  13. I like the other-worldly quality of the colors in your photo, Sally. Thanks for the poem and tribute to Jane Goodall. Amazing women, all (you included).

  14. Angeline M says:

    Muted colors that speak to the poem perfectly. Gorgeous photo!
    Merry Christmas, Sally.

  15. Lovely shot and poem. I enjoy Mary Oliver’s poetry, too.


  16. Very cool effect in the a red hued x-ray.

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