Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
Sunflower Opening.jpg


Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature photo blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar


#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

Goldenrod on the Charles in Sunshine

Goldenrod on the Charles in Sunshine

I ask, who matters on my daily walks, this what and why?

Lots of sunshine falling in riverwoods this morning after many mornings of rain and clouds. To the startling mystery of fungi I am grateful. Through all the wet cloud cool of this past week or so, it has been eagerness to find and make photos of strange and marvelous mushroom sightings that has called me out the door. Until this fall, it has never occurred to me to take time, to stop. Appreciate. Try to understand how and why they are of this earth.

But yesterday a dear friend made an offhand comment about my Instagram photo feed that I unconsciously carried with me onto my walk this morning.

I love your pictures of the foliage, but I hope your feelings aren’t hurt that I don’t ‘like’ your mushrooms.

It wasn't my feelings that were hurt - I'm delighted she's following me and appreciating any of my photos - her encouragement is personal, and friends telling me how much they are moved by my photos is inspiring; I like knowing my pictures intrigue or surprise or delight people. Yes, having an audience who responds makes a difference. Does this mean I'm taking pictures to please them? Or, are the pictures I take to please myself the reason they please others?

My heart and senses were so uplifted and distracted by sunshine on the river this morning, I could easily have kept my focus there. Still, in the leafy shade off the side of my path the mushrooms and fungi were calling me. I want to see what is hidden, hard to locate, low to the ground, an effort to reach, what I don't understand, whose name and nature I will have to learn, what requires a bending on knees, a crunch of dead leaf matter. 

As much as the voice of approval - of "likes" can motivate, the voice of the critic who doesn't "like" can kill an artistic impulse. When a shaded mushroom spontaneously caught my eye, a voice stopped me:

I should stop wasting my time on mushrooms. They aren't pleasing, they aren't interesting, they aren't appealing, they're ugly, they're disturbing, they're distasteful, they are a waste of my time when there is so much stunning autumn foliage glittering in sunshine. . . 

What I remember remember remember on my walk today, by picturing mushrooms, is that I must silence the voice of the critic (the one who dwells in my own psyche) who says my vision must be limited to pleasing others. I am in the woods to please myself. . .  

. . . I take my photos to please myself. I share my photos to be part of an exchange of curiosity and aesthetic pleasure. I take my photos to concentrate on bliss and enigma, fascination and inquiry - to tend my imagination and spirit because I am alive this moment, this day - I take photos to reflect all this. If they reach you, I hope they land in the awesome center of your spirit - sent from where they came from in mine.


All photos and words copyright Kelly DuMar 2016

I love your pictures of the foliage, but I hope your feelings aren’t hurt that I don’t ‘like’ your mushrooms.
Commodo cursus magna, vel scelerisque nisl consectetur et. Donec id elit non mi porta gravida at eget metus.
— Jonathan L.





All photos and words copyright Kelly DuMar 2016