After Thoreau. Today my birdbath full of rainwater was my Walden Pond.

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I gave myself a physical and creative break out in the back yard yesterday afternoon. You never know what beauty you’ll find anywhere you go.

I had just wanted to walk around and think about a project I was working on and not be distracted by any other activity, which is what I usually end up doing—take a break from one thing, start another—but it had rained, then stopped, and my Mimi kitty and I would enjoy the air. Typically I take my “good” camera, but determined not to be distracted I took only my smartphone so that I could keep track of time.

Perhaps it was that I had walked out there in a creative state of mind but the place was full of inspiration. It’s just a small back yard, lots of green, not too many flowers after the heat, but I couldn’t decide where to go first. I found one single pink phlox flower that had fallen into a shallow birdbath, and from each angle as I walked around it the view changed, different reflections of the flower, of the tree overhead, of the sky between the leaves, of the mossy concrete below the surface of the water, and magical tiny ripples where the flower rested on the surface of the water, pressing down on the surface tension as if reclining on a transparent mattress.

I prowled around it with my smartphone’s camera as Mimi prowled for the little voles that run right under the leaf litter, each of us aware of each other but focused on our tasks.

Wishing I had all the lenses and quality images I would get from my DSLR—going back into the house would have broken the spell—I pushed that insufficient little phone camera to its limit, and with patience it did not disappoint. I took quite a few photos, several photos that inspired me to crop and edit and add text, which I rarely do, and I shared them on Instagram first, and now here, more to work with later.

So what does this flower have to do with simplifying anyway? It may look like a simple photo, but it’s deceptively complicated, and yet by having only my smartphone to work with I simplified a process which I usually complicate immensely when I run outdoors with all my camera equipment, that’s what it meant for me, and brought to mind Thoreau. Posting a photo that demands one “simplify” isn’t going to convince anyone on the spot, but it may make people stop and consider the idea.

So I got my break, I got creative inspiration to carry back in, and Mimi got her vole. It was very simple.

See two other photos from this magical time, Make a Ripple and Tiny Perfections.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

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