Not far from home

I may have mentioned before that when (at just about any point in my life) I used to imagine myself “grown up” and owning a house, the assumed context was not the vinyl-clad, repetitively designed bastion of modern American life known as suburbia. And yet, here I am. In the suburbs of the suburbs of Cincinnati, where I’ve been for a year–a year, already! I’m still adjusting, though mostly just taking solace in the wooded area behind our house. There is beauty in sitting or working in the backyard, listening to the base of bull frogs accompanying the impressive variety of bird song reverberating from the trees.


In hopes that it would help me adjust a bit more, and improve my attitude, I proposed a prompt idea I’d read in an article featured on Digital Photography School’s site to a photo-loving friend: to take photos of our neighborhoods that told a bit of the story of the area (of what it’s like to be there) like we tend to do when adventuring farther away from home.

After two morning sessions, my collection of photos showed some of the repetition that I dislike so much, but also present were some gems of details, mostly plant life, along with dramatic views of the clouds overhead (a perk of the little tree cover and general openness that I usually lament). When I shared the pictures with my friend, she commented on the “richness and variety in a few blocks.” I had to admit the the truth of that statement, and it’s challenged me to continue looking for the beautiful and different in the midst of much regularity and sameness.


street patterns

grass shadows

bend in the sidewalk

detail_hidden gold

garage bike car

detail_grass flower

detail_clover BW

detail_ornamental grass


detail_colorful shrub



6 thoughts on “Not far from home

  1. I enjoyed reading your reflection especially after our conversation on the topic 🙂 your pictures are beautiful as well; I especially like the repatched blacktop and B&W dandelions.
    While I tend to look at overarching structures or the “tone” of my neighborhood in a way that makes me appreciate other places more, it struck me as I was reading your thoughts that so much of what’s beautiful is tiny, simple, and overlooked when it’s familiar. Thanks for the reminder to pay attention!

    • I’m glad that my reminder to self was a blessing to you, too. 🙂 I like this: “so much of what’s beautiful is tiny, simple, and overlooked when it’s familiar.” Indeed.

  2. Photographing the neighborhood is a good exercise. One can also do this at home outdoors – every 20 steps take a shot. I am not much of a suburbanite lover either but fortunately like yourself there was a patch of woods that bordered the back yard – a little nature preserve (sorta) but it made a difference. Best wishes adjusting, Dohn

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