Word 4 Wednesday in Photos – Ephemeral

Just Photography and Pictures

Painted River Rapids

ephemeral |əˈfem(ə)rəl|
lasting for a very short time : ephemeral pleasures.  (from Greek εφήμερος – ephemeros, literally “lasting only one day”) And… a day only lasts one day, so the day is ephemeral as no two days are the same.

• having a very short life cycle or existence, not lasting.

<the autumnal blaze of colors is always to be treasured, all the more so because it is so ephemeral>

What, picture Ephemeral without the colorful Fall leaves? Let’s give it a go…. with water (in a few forms), air (in wind), fire (in heat) and, of the earth (in substance).  Ephemeral? They are elemental as well. Elemental as permanence. Fleeting and permanent. Even my ephemeral images become a permanent record of something fleeting or disappearing captured in time.

Oak Leaf Stuck in the Snow, The Wind Frees, Remember the Leaf Below?

Remember how I chased it all over the frozen landscape in the post Acorns to Oaks? Grab your Oreo cookie, I told you I was milking this image, but I never did tell you what happened to it. It blew right into the road under an oncoming trolley. Not a very dignified end, but it ended my chilly hunt. Luckily, I was paying attention and there were no tourists on the trolley at this time of year! I did look rather foolish and was lucky not to be crushed like a stepped on cookie.

This post spans all four seasons in photos. The fog and frost images were only two days ago. The bubbles only yesterday.

Snow Melt and the Color Red

Me in a Tiny Bubble, Backdropped by the Garden Fence

And I must admit to dorkism, chasing around a few bubbles too. But at least, I was in my own backyard, not in a public park.

Web, Water and Fall Color, a Triple Ephemeral

Ice Art, Amazing Fracturing Detail, Melting Away

Bubbles in a Blue World of Color Swirl

Bubble Burst Without Cause. See the Baby Bubbles?

Dandelion Sending Out the Little Ones Into the Air and Wind

Frosty Morn, Gone So Fast

Here in the frost images, I was laying on the sidewalk shooting leaves in the Hell strip out in front of my house. Another goofy look for all the neighbors to see.

Falls Smooth as Silk on a Rainbow Day, Two Ephemerals in One

Frost, Grass and Brown Leaves

Fire, Heat, Light

Sun and Fog, Very Ephemeral, Lasting Only Minutes

The fog photo was taken in front of my house too, but no crazy camera stance. I am guessing the neighbors were wondering what I thought worth photographing.

Leaf Funnel Drip, A Drip Dropped is No More

Bright Bubble on the Move For a Short Existence of Garden Reflection

You probably knew I couldn’t help myself. This leaf was one of the leaves from my closeup series in the post, Literally, Its Fall. It just was not close enough to make that post.

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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39 Responses to Word 4 Wednesday in Photos – Ephemeral

  1. One says:

    Wow! Wonderful photos! The first dried leaf look as if it is standing and the second one, just about to touch the ground. They are all uniquely beautiful! The fog capture is just awesome!!!

  2. Incredible, Donna! I’d say you captured ephemeral more than adequately. You’ve set the bar very high.

  3. GirlSprout says:

    Wow, the painted river rapids is just like a painting. Maybe, dorkism should be your next W4W. Just kidding. I’ve done many a dorky thing to capture a photo and hope that no one is around looking.

  4. b-a-g says:

    I like the sun&fog and icicles. I didn’t think I had anything to post for “ephemeral”, but you have inspired me to go and look for something.

  5. Absolutely stunning interpretation of the word Ephemeral!
    I have to say, I’m a wee bit intimidated, but will try 🙂

  6. Donna says:

    I am so glad I set my post before I see yours or I may never link in…your pics are so perfect and give me pause to think. I ran through them 3 times to savor them. Love the bubbles…such fun to play with…the web picture is gorgeous as is the fog. I do know what you mean by neighbors looks…your picture of ephemeral will never be so…

  7. John Fanai says:

    Very creative shots

  8. Indie says:

    So many great shots! I love the icicles and the first frost photo.
    Looking a little goofy is a small price to pay for beautiful photos, right?

  9. your german is perfect 🙂 i posted it because it looks like a mushroom which is ephemeral, but actuell it´s not a mushroom. you can see a hint in the post… 🙂

  10. HolleyGarden says:

    I am having a hard time with this word. You nailed it perfectly, with the most awesome photos to go along with it. Love the photo of the ray’s suns. And the bubbles! I’m amazed you can blow, and shoot at the same time!

    • Holley, it was one of those bubble wands I found in the clearance section of Walmart for a buck. No blowing, only waving. I thought the thing would make one huge bubble by the shape of it, but it made many little ones. That is why the chasing them around. A big bubble would have floated slower I think.

  11. The first oak leaf and the dandelion seedhead are both very nice.

  12. TufaGirl says:

    Oh oh. I have been looking through photos for a project and I know what I can post. Now, where are those photos again?

  13. What a beautiful way to describe ephemeral through all the seasons! So much of nature and the seasons is ephemeral. As always…beautiful photos!

  14. Grace says:

    Amazing photography. The closeup of the dandelion is wonderful.

  15. Autumn Belle says:

    Donna, I have always enjoyed looking at your photos. Each picture tells a beautiful story for it tug it my heartstrings. It has inspired me to dig my archives for the ephemeral theme, hope I’m not too late.

  16. nhgarden says:

    Incredible post and photos… interesting how you sequenced them 🙂

  17. Nell Jean says:

    Yours is an inspiring post.

    Ephemera is the stack of little gardening notes piled on my desk.

    The most ephemeral flower I grow is Ephiphyllum oxypetalum.

  18. debsgarden says:

    Every photo is a work of art! Already you are dealing with frost, but it does give you some great photo opportunities. I am fortunate that my neighbors aren’t very close, so I can get in ridiculous positions, and no one sees except maybe my husband and he is used to it.

  19. Hi Donna, you are so expert at catching those magical fleeing moments, you inspire me to play around with my camera more. Though I already get funny looks for crawling through the long grass up by the Playing Fields trying to capture a new wildflower…

  20. Incredible photos and so very creative! I love your different perspectives. I need to work on my post. This will be a tough one!

  21. Andrea says:

    These are wonderful, awesome photos as usual, which i might not be able to take yet. The falling objects, flying bubbles are still an enigma for me, but i will learn, hopefully. That oakleaf’s appearance in the past is the time i came over your blogpost. I still remember our long discussions about an oak not letting its leaves fall, unlike the rest of the trees! I love that word ephemeral, and there are plants considered ephemerals too. However, i wont be able to post for W4W as i just arrived from my long weekend. I shoot lots of water droplets in the province too.

  22. Karen says:

    Donna, your photos are always a delight for the senses and yes, I know all about the crazy poses a person has to contort themselves into to get them. It would be very helpful to have an assistant sometimes, wouldn’t it? At least someone to man the bubble wand? By the way, those shots are amazing, pretty hard to get a bubble to hold still. Fall is way too ephemeral for me, I wish it wasn’t. All too soon……snow.

  23. Stacy says:

    These are wonderful, Donna–I especially love both of the leaves in the wind! You explore these words so thoroughly–I always look forward to seeing what you’ve thought of. Watch out for the trolleys, though. Only so much sacrifice is expected from a photographer.

  24. Jennifer says:

    Hi Donna, I am hopelessly late in entering your Word 4 Wednesday meme. My world is a bit topsy turvy at the moment, so please forgive my late arrival to the party.
    Your photography are great as always and your interpretation of the word in a series pictures superb. I look forward to seeing what everyone else has done.

  25. Lyn says:

    Absolutely beautiful.

  26. sherryocala says:

    Donna, I loved all of your exquisite photos that define the word ephemeral to a T. I took your Word for Wednesday for today’s post on my blog. Thank you for the seed that sprouted into food for my thoughts. It was fun, and I learned something from it.

  27. Cat says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s take on this week’s word…so beautiful and such an accurate, descriptive word for the garden. You’ve done an outstanding job with your post too!

  28. Your photos are magical. I especially like the first bubble photo. I voted for ephemeral and I think it is proving to be a great W4W. I am enjoying the photos that your words provoke on other blogs much more than the GGW contests. You seem to inspire more creativity, and contests always produce more losers than winners.

    • Ironically Carolyn, this would make a great GGW challenge. One of the judges will surely do this as the idea came from three areas of study that I had at the university in art, architecture and photography. All three used a very similar idea for our design projects. In art it was to express a word through drawing and painting that we picked ourselves, in architecture it was to build a project based on a word we selected by chance (out of a hat), and in photography, it was just like here, where we all got the same word. I have had loads of experience doing this and always found it a challenge, yet a lot of fun too. It really does bring out the creativity and there are no real rules, other than the image must elicit the essence of the word in the viewer. BTW, we were not allowed additional words to describe our projects like we are doing here. I like having the text to go along with the images. It creates a dialog and a story that in blogging makes the post more interesting. I also found, having the rule of no voice, where the image must speak alone more trying, so here, much more is coming out in other blogger’s posts that do include a supporting story. GGW can not do this part though, since the post is not part of the contest. I would love for them to do a contest on instilling and recognizing emotion in the images, where the image is all about a feeling. The sense of place contest was pretty close, but really difficult to do, because a sense of place is created in situ, where you experience it first hand. A photo can not really do that very easily. That is why it is most used in reference to architecture. You need to experience a place through all the senses. That is what touches memories and future associations. “You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.” – Albert Camus, a representative of non-metropolitan French literature. I got this quote from a photo blog, http://duckcovephotography.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/the-experience-versus-the-exposure/ and the words are fitting. Oops, I am rambling.

  29. Larry says:

    I just took the opportunity to visit your site and all the wonderful photos… truly beautiful and most enjoyable! Larry

  30. Victor Ho says:

    Great shot. I liked the leaves on the snow. And, the burst bubble. I never thought to try it. Great idea. You picture with light shining thru the fog is special. I don’t see that too much. I guess we don’t get to much fog like that.

  31. How inspiring. I need to get out and try some of these. I’ve often thought the neighbors probably wonder what I’m out photographing in my garden too. Beautiful images!!!!!

  32. Shyrlene says:

    Awesome … simply awesome.

    (What a GREAT meme. I’ll have to check in for this Wednesday, for the next W4W!)

  33. noelmorata says:


    wow, its been awhile since i’ve seen a wonderful meme and i think i have just found a wonderful one to join…hope to see the next one on tuesday and see if i can add to this creative challenge 🙂
    love all your fantastic ephemeral imagery and beautiful prose…

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