What Color Love?

October 25, 2001

The project was simple, the camera was loaded with freshly charged batteries and the bag held several sets of spares. All that was needed was some color.

I set out late on Sunday afternoon in search of more of the colors of fall. The season was rapidly drawing to a close as Saturday successes fueled Sunday's desire.

Before me was a day of Indian Summer, clear skies and a willing Harley. What more could you ask for?

I turned left out of the subdivision and headed east, thinking to ride around one or two of the local lakes. Sometimes when you are in a hurry a slow windy 25 or 35 mph road can test your patience. At other times, those same roads offer a taste of beauty that can comfort or amaze, offering a feast for those who care to partake.

I had only ridden for a mile when I stopped at the top of a hill to turn onto another road. My bike was leaned to the right and as I watched the traffic from the left it suddenly dawned on me that there was a park, right there across the street. Since there was no traffic behind me, I backed up a couple of feet and got the bike pointed in the opposite direction.

Just before I turned into the park I saw a splash of red from deep in the interior. I smiled as I turned, hoping that I would be able to find a tree that was still in it's "peak" of color. I also wanted to find the color red.

The tree was splendid and bathed in sunlight, its broad trunk held up an offering of everything that is the beauty of fall in the Midwest.

A burgundy minivan parked under its glory shared the sun's rays.

You might know, that it was the only car parked on that side of the lot, and right next to the tree that I wanted to take pictures of. After taking off my helmet and pulling out the camera, I walked up to it and slowly started to circle. Internally I fumed. I looked for the owner of the minivan. A young couple sat about 50 feet away, neck in neck in what appeared to be deep meaningful conversation.

I was not about to bother them.

I started to pace around that section of the park, and snapped a couple of shots of a pair of yellow beauties. I had not go for yellow however, I went for red. A rack of clouds began to play with the light of the sun. I wanted the light, I needed the light, and I didn't want photographs that included the Minivan.

Soon enough, the van moved and I was able to quickly take a series of pictures before the sun disappeared for what appeared would be a good half an hour. Seeing a large patch of blue sky behind the clouds, I decided to run home and download my first set of images and then head back to the tree, always in search of the "best shot."

The best shot.

Just what is the "best" shot. Generally I know it immediately as it is the one picture eliciting the ooooooooooooooooooh as the image appears on the screen.

As I looked at my first set of 45 images, I began to think of this photo shoot in a different light. I decided that I would return for more pictures, with a different end in mind.

Riding with the sun at my back, I rolled into the park knowing that only this one tree would get my attention in the last light of the day. I fried off another 45 images.

I did everything but climb into the tree, and during the next half hour or so several people paused to take pictures of it.

Words and pictures.

It got me to thinking, this tree and these 90 images. Take the word love for instance. One word, with how many shades of meaning? It can used in a question or a statement or a declaration of undying intent.

"I love you."

My love is strong and sturdy, its roots go deep. It will weather the seasons.

My love is brilliant, it glows, it bathes you in its light.

My love is a fire, blazing.

My love will protect you. Take shelter under it.

My love is peaceful, it reflects all that is within me.

Love's fire is gone, it is withered. It has died on the vine, fallen to the ground.

The colors are all there, yellow, green, brown, black, gold, red, orange, in just about every shade and every hue.

One tree, and lots of images.

What color love?

Gallery is here.