“The Wild Moss”
(This photograph is of dark green wild moss that is strewn out over a long log. The green moss is thick and has received much sun and light. It is like a cushion or carpet and seems to still be growing.)
(This is a wild flower that is growing in the fall field. In the back are a blue sky and the tree line that is green because it is mostly made up of Pines. The flower has light brown and whitish shells that burst open and inside is a cotton or cotton-like material that comes out, but stays attached to the main flower while blowing around in the wind.)
“Berries Beside Log”
(These red berries are growing beside a large log and though it is a shaded area, the berries are in a spot where there is just enough sun that comes in to help them along. And they are hidden from people and animals, seeming to live in a kind of small secret habitat.)
“Clover Flower on a Hill”
(This flower is growing in the summer on a large and vacant hill where not much else grows. It is white and pink and is a type of clover. There is the cumulus clouds and blue sky overhead and the surrounding field around the flower and part of its stem.)
(This is a holly plant. They are hidden off the paths and at first might not be noticed. The little berries that grow on them are delicate, white, red, and usually in amidst and hidden somewhat behind the larger plant. The red parts show or shine amidst deeply textured shades of green.)
“The Four Mushrooms”
(These mushrooms are a group of four that grow on top a barren tree stump in the deep forest. No animal or person has eaten them or knocked them off or troubled them. They are so close together that they have become shaped like individual entities trying to squish in this position or that for space. From left to right, the first is flat, the second is forming a V shape in order to fit beside 1 and 3, and the 3rd is growing sideways like a hat falling off a stem, while the 4th is more stretched out as it has more space.)
These visual frames are taken in the woodlands and fields of nature trails in Southern Ontario. They are part of an ongoing photo narrative titled Pastoral Mosaics, Journeys through Landscapes Rural. The four seasons visit the areas where I walk, and the main trails, side paths, and deeper forests are rarely the same. The differing weather makes the same acres of land a highly interesting atmosphere. For instance, the same path can show verdant moss and colorful wildflowers on month, and then change to autumnal browns and beiges the next, followed by snow and ice, and of course, later on, all the new blossoms that that spring brings. At the beginning of this photographic journey, I only noticed vast areas of trees and perhaps some feral shrubs or flowers. However, as time went on, I discovered that there were many flora and fauna around. These include, but are by no means limited to, peculiar looking mushrooms of all shapes and sizes, areas saturated with dragonflies that seem out of a fairy tale, sunny summits inhabited by snakes, and small secreted creeks where water spiders travel on top and little fish, agile and coyly alert, dart around underneath.
Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian writer, poet, and photographer. Recent work appears at Fiction International from San Diego State University, CV2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, and at Catch and Release: The Columbia Journal of Arts and Literature. Brian is the author of Chalk Lines (Fowl Pox Press, 2013, cover art by Virgil Kay). He is currently at work on the written and visual nature narrative titled Pastoral Mosaics, Journeys through Landscapes Rural.