I recently received a book as a gift from an old but rarely seen friend from Texas who’s now in Oklahoma. It was a collection of Ansel Adams photographs of the Sierra Nevada and it turned out to be the right book at the right time since I spent an hour paging through and finding myself more sensitive than ever, I think, to the composition and subjects of the pictures. I too rarely give such things their due. I saw how trees in the foreground or skies full of cloud-blown energy taking three quarters of the scene needed to be seen in a new way for me. Those trees…that sky…I felt to a degree awakened. I pulled down another Adams book that I’d had for years and never given the attention it deserved and gave it the same treatment. I was seeing differently; today I walked on the bluff overlooking the Pacific; the waves were in turmoil as a result of yesterday’s storms and the sky was equally turbulent and clouds were blowing from ocean west to landward east and soon light rain fell. I seemed to have gained a taste of the artist’s eye as I watched and realized the power and beauty of all those elements and how I would have liked to be able to paint it. No budding artist am I but I have renewed my sense of Muirian mystery and delight and of the wonder revealed by a man with a camera and the right eyes.

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