One thing about lessons learned, they stick with you when you undertake the challenge and face difficulties. This experience, challenge, blessing, adventure – whatever you want to call it – gave me multiple lessons.
First, Pay Attention. You really never know what a simple walk with open eyes and mind will yield. Remember, I walk with my phone camera ready to record my “walk finds.” I walk and keep my eyes peeled for interesting things, no expectations. (I will have my eyes on that tree next year.)
Second, Accept the Challenge. Granted, the idea of working the tree where it was versus doing the easier thing (cutting flowers off and bringing them home to photograph) took a bit of extra time and effort. However, it was worth it. I got my walks in and had a new subject to visit every day. I have, as mentioned, clipped not one flower from this tree, so far. (Next year, yes, I will clip a few of the new blooms and take them home for an immersion.)
Third, Be Flexible. Once I decided to “go for it,” I had to accept whatever the tree, the day, the wind and the light gave me. I learned that mornings were best for shooting the new blooms. If I visited in the afternoon, I went in different directions. I adjusted my schedule often, and on some days accepted that my “big-girl camera” would not be taking a spin around the tree. I accepted that my phone camera was “good enough,” and in some instances allowed me to maneuver into angles that were simply not otherwise possible. (Next year, I will bring some clamps to fight the wind, use my tripod much more, and, definitely, allot far more time for each session with my giving tree.)