Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lagniappe is Where You Find It ...

The word lagniappe refers to a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th donut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, "something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure."

I think of it as "a little something extra, or unexpected," and I've discovered that whenever I'm out on a photo shoot I always seem to find a little lagniappe, in addition to what I set out to photograph.

For example, a couple of weeks ago I stopped to take a picture of some wisteria vines growing on an old abandoned farm building in the country, and as I got closer, I was delighted to see bumble bees swarming around the wisteria. They were so focused on getting their fill of the wisteria nectar that they were totally oblivious to me and my camera ...


On a photo shoot yesterday, this is one of the places I wanted to photograph ...

It's Cedar Grove Mansion, an antebellum home and bed and breakfast here in Vicksburg.

However, I think my lagniappe for the day was even better than Cedar Grove, pretty though it is. It was these little guys, whose nap time I interrupted. There were five of them, sunning together in and amongst the pieces of broken pottery in a little courtyard beside where I parked my car. Two were camera shy and ran away, but I managed to capture these little fellows with my camera ...




Aren't they adorable!

This sweet little violet was last week's lagniappe ...

I discovered it growing between the cracks of some crumbling old steps in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg, where I had gone to photograph something for my Easter post ...

I was in Port Gibson, Mississippi, on a Sunday afternoon not long ago and was taking pictures of some of the old homes there. As I walked down a sidewalk across the street from a church, I looked up between the branches of an old oak tree and was blessed with this breathtakingly beautiful sight ...

You never know when you're going to come across lagniappe. It comes in many forms, and what is lagniappe to some may not be considered lagniappe by others. For instance ... I think this knothole in the fence behind our house is lagniappe.

Some of you may think ... what's the big deal about a knothole! I noticed it one day when I was out taking pictures of some things in our yard. I peeked through it and, to my delight, saw the tops of the bare winter branches of the trees behind our house turned golden by the early morning sun.

We probably all agree that rainbows are lagniappe ...

And I think this little white spider on a rose I photographed was lagniappe ...

A pot of purple verbena on the side of a hill in downtown Raymond, Mississippi ... more lagniappe.

I could go on and on, but you probably get my point. Lagniappe is all around us for the taking ... we just need to look for it. It may be hiding under a leaf ...

Or may be right outside a window ...

Or beside a road you travel every day ...

I think anything you see that gives you chill bumps ... or takes your breath away ... or makes you stop and take a moment out of your busy day just to enjoy or praise God for ... is lagniappe.

Can you think of some lagniappe you've been blessed with recently? Not a day goes by that I don't find it somewhere.

9 comments:

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Janie,
I've always liked the word Lagniappe and love your comments and perspective on it.

I don't know which of your pics are my favorite, they are all great!

Thanks for reminding us all to not miss the lagniappe God provides for us! I think photography is a wonderful hobby-one certainly sees everything from a different perspective!

Diane

Bo said...

I'd definitely say your photos do have lagniappe in each of them...I learn to look at things differently from the beautiful photography you share... ;-) Bo

Lisa said...

What incredible photos! That church steeple...spectacular. And I love that lil' spider on that gorgeous pink rose. And I don't even like spiders(: Have a great day friend!

Deb said...

you capture such wonderful things with your camera, I always look forward to your posts

racheld said...

Perfect beginning to a sun-streaming morning, after the dense cold of last night.

Thank you.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, Janie... this post is so special and is a good example of why I faithfully read your blog.

Loved the cross, the kitties, and really, all of it, but mostly YOU!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Susie Mitchell said...

My day starts a little later than yours...but, your lagniappe is such a delightful way to begin! Thanks so much for all the beauty you share. Wishing you a most blessed Easter week.
Susie

Audrey said...

Hi Janie - wow, those are very nice picutres - particularly, something about the Cross between the two trees. Very touching.

You have great photography skills.

Happy Easter.

Sue said...

Janie, This was a beautifully thought out post. I think my lagniappe blessing has been the response and the friendship that I have received & cultivated after having commented on someone's blog. As I am so new to this new world of communication, it has been heart rendering that someone would open up and reach out to another person. It truly is like having, what I in my childhood called, pen-pals! We can share thoughts & ideas, all without even meeting face to face. I look forward to actually meeting a few of these new friends- several of my new-found girlfriends have plans to do so. In this fast-paced world, taking the time to see and do just the "little thing" pays off many-fold. All the best, Sue