Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #137: Soft

Surfer calls it a day at St. George Island

Ann-Christine’s challenge this week immediately brought to mind the softness of fog and gentle rains mentioned in poems by two of my favorite American authors. In the photo above, fog and mist crept in quietly as a cat — unexpectedly yet swiftly — forcing the surfer on St. George Island, Florida, to “hang it up” early.


The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking 
over city and harbor 
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

In another example, I looked out early one morning to see Knoxville totally “socked in.” Hurriedly, I drove to Lake Loudon close to the UT campus to see “what the cat dragged in.” Fog, of course, covering bridges and overpasses and softly blanketing the waters below.

Knoxville fog at Loudon Lake
Early morning fog comes on “little cat feet” at an overpass in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Early-morning fog in Knoxville, Loudon Lake
Depth markings are hardly visible, softened by an unexpected roll-out of dense fog in Knoxville.

Rain, too, can be soft. And forgiving. Poet Sara Teasdale reminds us in her prophetic poem that nature, ignoring man’s foibles, can stealthily but steadily go about its work as if nothing has happened. Photos from a gentle rain this week in Knoxville seem to be a fitting tribute.

There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Sara Teasdale
Rain droplets, Knoxville TN
Raindrops form circles and curves and myriad forms on the sidewalk leading out my front door.
Red leaf on rainy branch, Knoxville TN
The “feathery fire” of a red leaf, trapped among the tiny branches and merciless, yet soft, raindrops.
Rain reflections, Knoxville TN
Reflections of branches from a nearby tree blur softly with the puddling rain.

Many thanks to Ann-Christine for the challenge topic this week. To see more entries for soft, go to her site. In the meantime . . .

Travel softly,

Rusha Sams

32 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #137: Soft

  1. pattimoed

    A beautiful post, Rusha. Your images and the poems really work well together. I remember loving that Sandburg poem from the minute the teacher told us to read it!

  2. Photos by Jez

    Beautiful images, Rusha 👏 The cat analogy is a brilliant description of fog, & the softened reflection is fantastic 😃 The fog on the snowy day in my post was just like a cat & krept in silently & turned the world into an eery soft place where only I seemed to exist!

  3. WanderingCanadians

    I love how you can find beauty outside when the weather isn’t the most ideal. It’s so interesting watching how quickly and suddenly fog can come and go and how it swirls arounds its surroundings.

  4. Leya

    A totally beautiful post, Rusha – I had to go back again and again. Loved your soft take on, with fog and mist, drops and poetry. Sara Teasdale I had never read, but I will save it in my files. So true, so natural and so soft.

  5. Toonsarah

    Beautiful photos Rusha – you demonstrate really well that we don’t need fine weather in order to take effective shots 🙂 And I love both poems – the Sandberg which I know well and the Sara Teasdale which was new to me. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      You’re so right. I drove down to the water by myself, and it was kind of eerie. I rarely go out in fog or heavy rain since I’m retired and don’t have to. But, like you, I still love to see it.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks so much. I had so few pictures of rain, so I went out in it yesterday. I now know why I don’t take more pictures in the rain!!!! And I have a new appreciation for those who do!!

      1. CadyLuck Leedy

        Yes, that’s probably the exact reason I don’t have any…..but after seeing yours I may take the plunge. We are looking at booking a cruise for Fall……fingers crossed!

      2. CadyLuck Leedy

        We cancelled two months of cruises last year and they gave us no trouble at all. Even the airline is booked through Regent Cruises and there was not a problem for us….Now they are offering big upgrades to book again…… so we goin’ for it!

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