Unexpected Joy - 50with50 No. 25

Pine Bark on the Tree

A close-up look at pine bark from one of our front yard trees is the latest entry in the 50with50 photo series. And this photo is a perfect example of some unexpected joy.

The other day, I thought I would run outside quickly and get some new photos. That served two purposes. One purpose was to get some more for the 50with50 series. And the other purpose was because our trees have been on my mind a lot lately.

Because we have been home so much more this year during the transition from winter to spring, I have gotten to see the changes in the trees even more than before. Usually, I just get to see our trees when I am leaving the house in the morning or returning home in the evening, if I get home before it gets dark. And then I get to see them a little more on the weekends, depending on what we have going on during that weekend.

But while we are home so much more, I get to see the trees so much more. It has been fun to watch them as they were bare during the winter, and then as they started to get their leaves, to now when they look to be fully in their summer modes. It has been fun to watch all of the transformations.

This was actually not one of the photos that I had in mind when I went outside with my camera. I did take those others that I had planned, and I might share them later on. But this view caught my eye as I was walking past the tree. Little did I know that it would turn out to be my favorite of the photos that I took that day. Just one of those fun things that you don’t always expect.

Tree bark, and in particular pine bark, is quite interesting to look at. Pine bark has such a heavy texture and so many fascinating patterns. The depth created by the 50mm prime lens here makes it look even better.

Unexpected Joy

One of the fun things in life is finding unexpected joy. It is great to plan fun things and to find joy in them. That happens all of the time, and it is good to plan fun things like that.

But sometimes, no matter how much you plan, you never can account for some things that happen. And while some of them might not be what you desired, others of them can turn out to be something really good. They might even turn out to be things that you never would have thought of.

Many times, some of those unplanned things have turned out to be even better than what we had planned. We had no idea that an opportunity existed, or that we would enjoy something, or any other number of unknowns. Those opportunities and situations just showed up before us, and we took advantage of them.

When we went on our Kauaʻi trip in 2018, we did not have any plans besides how we would get there and where we would stay. The people in front of us on the plane had all sorts of books and brochures that they kept looking at, and they had a day-by-day plan of what they wanted to see. We did not have any of that. I am sure that they had a great time with all of what they saw, but we had a wonderful time as well just doing the things that looked like they might be fun. There was lots of unexpected joy on that trip. We knew we would have a good time, we just hadn’t planned out how it would happen.

Two months ago, it might not have sounded fun to be stuck at home for an extended period of time. But we have found all sorts of unexpected joy right here in our own home. We still don’t have too much of a plan of what we will do each day besides work and the usual chores. But we have not had that many occasions where we are just sitting around being bored. We keep finding fun things to do, and we keep on enjoying our time together as a family.

Who would have thought that we would have all of this extra time at home, and that it would have been so fun?

Keep an eye out for unplanned opportunities, and find lots of unexpected joy.

Bible Verse

Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. - Philippians 4:1

About the Photo

With this photo, we are halfway through the 50with50 series, since this is number 25. I don’t know how that makes you feel. Maybe it makes you feel giddy with joy because we might move on to something else.

I really expected this series to last around a year. However, the first half of it has only taken 4 months. One of the reasons for the quickness is because I sometimes include more than one photo per post. For example, the previous post had three photos. Sometimes the photos are so closely related that I hate to string the photos out over several posts.

Also, as I had mentioned previously, being at home due to COVID-19 has given me many more opportunities to photograph things around here. That has made the series go quickly, too.

But my main personal goal for the series is being accomplished. I have a much better appreciation for the 50mm prime lens that I use thanks to using it so often. And that was my reason for starting all of this. Not to mention that I thought 50 photos with a 50mm lens before I turn 50 seemed like a cool, if slightly unusual, thing to do.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: SonyFE 50mm f/1.8
Date: May 22, 2020
Location: Home, WillistonTennessee

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.