Breathtaking Maple Leaves

An unfurling leaf is one of nature’s greatest gifts. The present and the wrapping are one. And best of all, it self unwraps slowly revealing its mysterious beauty.

Khang Kijarro Nguyen

I know filters and other digital manipulation has become common in recent years.

And one of my frustrations as a photographer is that many people feel that because they have a camera on their iPhone and can slap a filter on it and bump up the saturation, that somehow they are Photographers, on the same level with people who have been studying the medium and practicing their craft for years.

We will table that debate for now. But I say that to say this… these photos haven’t been edited, they haven’t had the saturation bumped up. I haven’t manipulated them in any way.

I came upon these trees quite by “accident”. They are in park about an hour from my home. When I first got a glimpse I gasped out loud, and was so glad that I have grabbed my camera that morning.

Have you been startled by beauty lately? Humbled, brought low, in a good way? Surprised by finding Magnificence where you least expected it?

Changing colors of leaves in the autumn is a gift. Properly understanding our place in the world, as simultaneously Small, and Beloved. This is also a gift.

And what did Ann Voscamp teach us in 2012, if not that Everything is a gift?

Today I’m grateful for the astonishing beauty startling me awake .

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