Finding Solace in Nature

W.J. Astore

I write a lot about politics and war, and both are depressing and frustrating subjects here in the USA. But I’m not an intense political junkie, nor am I closely following all of America’s wars. If I were, I might be clinically depressed.

I’m sure my readers find purpose and comfort in something other than America’s tragic political scene and its endless wars. One thing I like to do is pick up my camera and go for walks. And since I live near a salt marsh, there’s always opportunities to take photos of nature.

Here are a few that I took this AM:

Come, sit, let us reason together
A flash of blue below my feet
The marsh at low tide. A warm and windy morning.
Your kindly photographer

I’ve been taking photographs since high school, where I took a photography class and developed my own film (black and white). I had a basic 35mm camera for the longest time. I think I bought my first digital camera about 15 years ago. It’s a hobby and I’m strictly an amateur with the most basic equipment, but I truly enjoy getting outside and taking pictures. The camera forces me to slow down and look more closely; to abide in nature, if you will.

I hope you enjoy these “bracing views” and that you also have a way of escaping, a place of solace.

19 thoughts on “Finding Solace in Nature

  1. Profoundly beautiful, meaningful photographs. I, too, carry a camera on the bikes and kayak rides my husband and I take, because, as you said, it makes me pause to appreciate even the small things in our glorious natural surroundings. Here’s to the peace of Nature.


  2. Wow, a youngster like you could still take a Photography course in high school?! I did the same long, long ago. I was quite the serious shutterbug, considered pursuing it as a career until I realized how stiff the competition was for the few prestigious slots. My two 35mm cameras gave up the ghost mechanically long ago, but I didn’t cave in to going digital until around 2013. I don’t really “shoot” that much these days, to tell the truth. When I watch movies, I am keenly aware of the use of the cameras. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Very nice. Have you looked into getting a drone? Really adds a new dimension to photography, combine two fun hobbies and get some great shots. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I always have my little point and shoot Canon camera with me to take photos at will as I ride my bike.

    For stress reduction, I have a slide show on my desktop of a big collection of photos of my six grandkids (the oldest now going on 8) which means no day goes by without my smiling at those enthusiastic, earnest faces that promise so much for the future.

    I, like you, started with film cameras and as proof of my dedication to photography, I had a 35mm rangefinder with me on a 1973 motorcycle trip when I stopped to rent a canoe. Thinking I was Natty Bumppo, I tried landing the canoe, overturned it and soaked the camera. Did that stop me from taking photos on the rest of the trip? Absolutely not…but the incident was documented by all the following photos coming out very green. Kodachrome + water = green.

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  5. I am teaching a senior elective called Literature of Land and Sea. We’re reading poems by Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Wendell Berry. My students are taking nature walks and photographs and writing about them–it’s a balm for all of us. The latest assignment was to identify 20 species growing around them and the learning that turned up around our local bugs, birds, owls, lichens, mosses, mushrooms, invasive species etc. was really something. So yes, good advice–get outside– it’s the only thing that doesn’t feel strange right now. Hope you and yours are staying well, Bill.

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  6. Is it possible you even took a photography class in junior high? I seem to remember the algebra teacher (whose name I have forgotten–along with all the algebra he taught us) had a darkroom and taught us to develop film at West Junior High. I can still picture the red light.

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  7. Blue feather
    Blue skies
    Perfect perspectives
    For the blues
    Of war and politics
    Love and gratitude rises
    There’s wisdom inside
    Such clear focus
    You sure are blessed to be so intimate with such a very cool portion of Mother Earth….

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        1. You’re most welcome! It was produced by the Independent Book Publishers’ Association, and the organization put it on a list circulated to me for review. I was impressed by “Tree” as I’ve been with few other works in the last 20 years. Remarkable!


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