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On any given day, if you walked into my grandmother’s house, you’d find freshly baked molasses cookies in the cupboard and a jigsaw puzzle in progress on the dining room table. From a very young age, I showed a natural affinity for puzzles and without being told, would sit down at the table and begin adding in pieces. 

My love of jigsaw puzzles began at that table and I spent hours of my childhood putting all sorts of them together. I’d get puzzles for gifts and we’d search for ones at yard sales and discount stores. Eventually, it reached the point of the more complicated the puzzle, the better! 

Since posting the maple tree seed photo a few days ago, I had an idea for another image that reminded me of the kinds of puzzles I most loved to make. How tough could it be – right? Famous last words. 😉 

You’d think you could simply pile up a bunch of seeds and snap away. Wrong!

I did that yesterdayand was amazed at how the slightest error in color and composition became magnified on-screen. This was going to be tougher than I thought.

“Beginnings” (Maple Tree Seeds) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/11, 1/25s, ISO 640

Today was attempt number 2 and involved time, patience and a pair of tweezers. I’m not kidding! Setting this up was like choreographing a Shakespearean play, in Chinese, with a group of chimpanzees! The slightest movement would disrupt the entire harmony of the group, as once in a pile, they somehow became inexplicably ‘connected’. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the errant breeze or damaging seeds in the process! 

In any event, as you can see I muddled on through (along with the affinity for puzzles, stubbornness determination also runs in my family ;-)) and ended up with a result that I am pretty darned pleased about. 

Now, if someone could make this into a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle…? 😀

When I was a kid, we called the seeds from maple trees ‘whirligigs’ since they would twirl and spin as they fell to the ground. On a blustery day, it could actuallyappear as though it were snowing as millions of these seeds were sent aloft from the canopy of the maples. We would gather the fallen seeds in our hands and toss them up into the air, gleefully watching them twirl to the ground once again.  

“Rabbit Ears” (Maple Tree Seeds) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/8, 1/60s, -0.7EV, ISO 400, Built-in Rear Curtain Flash, -2.0EV, ‘Old West’ Antique Toning Action

Finding a pair of seeds still attached was quite the lucky score today and photographing them back-lit by the sun highlighted all the delicate lacy details. (I actually shot the seeds in black & white but felt a warmer tone worked better in the finished image).  

Enjoy! 🙂

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