Life at best is bittersweet. ~Jack Kirby

I found a new hike yesterday. It is so fun to stumble upon a new place to explore. Besides finding the trails I found some new subjects to photograph. These bittersweet berries put on such a display of color, first they are green, then yellow which ripens to orange. And, for the grand finale they open up and reveal a beautiful red belly.

As I wandered past the tangled vines of bittersweet, from a distance I spotted this huge wasps nest, it’s bigger than a basketball. I’ve never seen one so big. I’m most impressed by the curl and swirl of the papery layers, it’s such a beautiful old home.

These three finds… a new trail, bittersweet vines, and an empty nest all seem to symbolize the emotions that are washing through me and my extended family. Last week we said goodbye to my grandmother, she lived a rich and inspiring 94 years.

Because of her influence, I am inspired to live a life full of adventure and intimate connection. I have so many more emotions and words swimming around, but it’s still too raw to share more than this.


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  1. #1 by Hilary on October 27, 2011 - 11:02 am

    Christine, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your beautiful photos represent the feelings of bittersweet so well. Hugs to you.

  2. #2 by ZORRO on October 27, 2011 - 11:06 am

    Beautiful querida… I’m cryin on my keyboard. Besos!

  3. #3 by Susan D on October 27, 2011 - 3:00 pm

    Christine…the joy and beauty you share is as deep as the sorrow and pain…thank you for stepping into it and sharing you – amazingly vulnerable… and your photos metaphorically express you unspoken words… holding you in my heart and sending you love. xo -s

  4. #4 by missing moments on October 27, 2011 - 3:21 pm

    So sorry for your loss … what a long life she lived! Beautiful images.

  5. #5 by Marcie on October 27, 2011 - 4:47 pm

    So sorry for your loss…and what wonderful images to gently remember her by.

  6. #6 by Shea on October 27, 2011 - 8:00 pm

    Christine, so sorry your grandmother passed.
    The last photo is so regal.
    I love bittersweet – it is one of the best gifts my crazy mother gave me, an appreciation for wild beauty you can bring indoors.

  7. #7 by Amy on October 28, 2011 - 7:47 am

    the berries look like flowers blooming to me, or oranges peeling themselves ~ makes me think of your grandmother at 94, sounds like fully bloomed by herself and by life

  8. #8 by ladyfi on October 28, 2011 - 9:53 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. These berry photos are fabulous – a fitting tribute to the dazzling jewel that was your grandmother.

  9. #9 by beth on October 28, 2011 - 11:39 am

    94 is an amazing age to live to. how lucky you all were to have her for so long.
    but my heart goes out to you and your family. a loss is a loss no matter the age or the circumstances.
    and bitter sweet….oh i love bitter sweet and your photos are perfect.

  10. #10 by connie king on October 29, 2011 - 9:22 am

    Sweet one,

    Sorry about the loss of your Grandmother, my Grandchildren live her now (in my condo) and I have them after school twice a week…it is so much fun watching them grow and expand.
    and because of this, I know how much your Grandmother cherished and loved you. Life is so busy, I don’t often comment on your photos, but do enjoy them so much and love how you blossom through out your seasons.

    Much love, connie

  11. #11 by pattisj on October 31, 2011 - 1:03 am

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve lost your grandmother in physical body, but you have a lifetime of memories to cherish. I know that isn’t much consolation yet, but one day it will be. Love those berries, you find the neatest things. Good thing that nest was empty!

  12. #12 by jeanie on November 9, 2011 - 7:52 am

    Christine, I’ve been scrolling down far too many posts that I’ve missed while absent from blogland. I decided to land here to comment, partly because of the stunning images, but mostly to say how very sorry I was to hear of your grandmother’s passing. I have found that when we love someone, even if they are older or “more ready,” it is still terribly difficult to say goodbye. The bittersweet is a perfect tribute to her.

    As for the photos, as always, they are stunners — but then so were the ice photos, the poem post and the lovely somber-toned photos on the most current. Lovely.

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