Still Learning To See

Things I won’t see

As I age in this era of “bucket lists” I have a longer and longer alternative list of things I know I will NOT see. And that is okay.


Yesterday I met with a new group of local photographers at North Branch Nature Center, a place I’ve been hundreds of times. And still never tire of being there!



Visits often mark the inevitable seasonal changes—fresh snow and brilliant cold yesterday!—or can simply be marked by something like a hillside reflected in the river; patterns in new ice; a Raven talking; a walk with a friend, or the miracle of Witch Hazel in full bloom covered in snow. Honestly, more and more I relish returning to places I’ve been and seeing them either again or anew.

One of the things I had hoped to see this week but will probably not be able to is the Transit of Mercury across the face of the morning Sun. The weather forecast is for heavy clouds. Fortunately we now don’t really have to “go” anywhere to see some things and the Transit is just one example of an event that can easily (and more safely) be seen online.

Transit of Venus1

I enjoyed thinking back to  photographing the Transit of Venus June 5, 2012 (above at the top and center of the sun). It gave me a much greater sense of being part of this immense universe.

If you want to try photographing a Transit, please do be very careful as you can destroy not only your camera but also your eyes! As is the case with many items on our bucket lists, dangers that don’t exist in our fantasies can become quite painful in the real world.

Transit of Venus2

If you have lists of places to see and things to do, I hope you can enjoy each and every one! For myself, I hope that whatever is right in front of me today—wherever I am—can be at the top of my list.


This entry was published on November 10, 2019 at 9:53 am. It’s filed under Ice, John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Photograph, Reflections, Winter, and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Things I won’t see

  1. Veer Frost on said:

    A treasurehouse of a posting, John! Patterns in nature, astronomy, ravens, wisdom of age and experience, NBNC, and photos that do indeed make one see anew, thanks!

  2. Very much appreciated! Ready for snow?!

  3. David Harrison on said:

    All that artistic incandescence and only 72 years old!!

  4. Karen Dailey on said:

    I agree, my hope for myself also is that “whatever is right in front of me today—wherever I am—can be at the top of my list.” This is called being truly present in life. Thanks, John!

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