Weekly Photo Challenge Theme #2

As you likely know, last week’s photo theme was SHADOWS. Did you participate? I hope so, thanks! I was so happy to see some images come in for this challenge. Thanks for taking the time to participate! If not, you will have many more chances, starting this week with a new theme. I would love if more people could join in! Here are the photos from last week’s theme, with images of mine added in.

Heart Shadow, Costa RicaShadows and LightAt Biltmore by ArdenAt Pearson's Falls by JockFern in Costa RicaBy Beth B, Asheville, NCLeaf skeletonAt Biltmore by ArdenShadows by JockTreetopsShadows by JockTree FrogAt Pearson's Falls by JockFernsBackpacking in AlaskaSelf portraitOn SnowShadow on wallOverlapIn the AdirondacksCosta RicaShadow Dancing

Do you have a favorite?

My new theme is SERENITY.

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What image says Serenity to you? Webster’s defines this word as the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. How will YOU “define” this word through photography? If you want to participate, all you have to do is send one/some images of this theme to me at my email address: sharenaturemore@gmail.com   Remember that they should be taken outside and that you are trying to create an image that artistically portrays each theme. Then next Wednesday, log on, sit back and watch the slide show.

See you again soon! Happy Photo hunting!

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Quote of the Week #80

FLYAWAY-2085I haven’t met many people who don’t enjoy butterflies. After all, what’s not to like? They are beautifully colored, fly gracefully, don’t kill things, have amazing life cycles and just generally bring a smile to your soul when you see one.

They start out as a tiny egg, hatch out, then eat, eat, eat, molt several times, make a chrysalis, and then, some days later, transform into a lovely butterfly–a sure symbol of something we all can use–HOPE.

So, this week’s quote:

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.

If you live locally to western North Carolina, please come out and join me THIS TUEDAY (April 18th) night at 7:30 for my first program –about butterflies and moths–with my new Meetup group, called Share Nature More. To learn more, or to sign up, click here.

If you don’t live locally I’m sorry I will miss you! You can click these links to see some amazing butterfly transformations (these will knock your socks off! )-a monarch here or a red-spotted purple here, or the emergence of a variegated fritillary here. Or if you want, check out 10 things you might not know about butterflies.

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Posted in Animals, Insects, Spiders and other Invertebrates, Quote of the Week, Wisdom for your Wednesday Tagged , , , , , , |

He Cleans…Then He Dances! Watch this Amazing Bird.

In the past I have focused my blog posts primarily on nature in North America, wanting to highlight those plants and animals that most of my subscribers would have a chance to encounter if they spent time outside in their backyards or wild areas. But sometimes I come across videos or other resources that shed light on animals and plants that live elsewhere on our planet and absolutely amaze me. The variety and perfection of adaptations in the natural world is astounding! In honor of this fascinating diversity, I am adding a new category to my blog posts, called It’s a Wonderful World.

Some new friends on a recent trip to Costa Rica alerted me to the existence of a new series called Planet Earth II. Many of you are probably familiar with the first series of Planet Earth which came out many years ago. The first one I watched in the new series featured a bird of paradise called a Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. This bird is amazing! First he cleans his “dance floor” of leaves, stick and other debris, then he belts out a tune to call in the female and after she arrives, he proceeds to put on a magnificent display. You can see it here! First the short version–just one minute from the Lab of Ornithology, and then below that, a longer version that is 30 minutes from National Geographic. Enjoy! And as always, I’d love to know what you think! Drop me a comment in the box below to share your thoughts.

See you again soon!

 

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Posted in Animals, Birds, It's a Wonderful World! Tagged , , , , , |

Weekly Puzzler #143: Spring Greens

Wow, it’s been a long time since we’ve done a puzzler! Are you ready for some more?

I was out walking with our dog, Schroeder yesterday and noticed an entire bank beside the stream covered with green. It’s a sure sign that spring has arrived here in western North Carolina! Has it arrived where you live?

I thought I would do a video puzzler, taking you with me to see what I saw…. Do you recognize this plant?

Use the comment box below to give your guess. As always, all correct guesses will be entered in a quarterly drawing. The next drawing will be on the first day of summer. Good luck and hope to hear from you soon.

Have a fabulous weekend!

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It’s Spring…Have You Done This Yet?

feeder2-3360Guess who’s headed north? It’s that time of year again when the ruby-throated hummingbirds are heading back from their long migrations to their northern homes to breed and raise babies. You can check out their progress here to see if they are in your area yet.

Are your feeders out yet? If not, it’s time to put them out! The sooner the better as birds finding feeders on their way might be tempted to stay and nest if they find suitable food sources nearby.

My hummingbird feeders. I have 5!

My hummingbird feeders. I have 5!

Here’s a recommendation I have for a couple of great hummingbird feeders:

  1. My very favorite feeder is a suction cup feeder *that has a built in ant moat. I own two of these and love them! The moat keeps the ants out and the suction cups allow me to have it mounted on my second story office window where I can watch the birds feeding all day long. It is less than 6 feet from my chair so I am at eye level when the birds visit. They don’t usually seemed phased at all by my presence if I sit still. I never tire of watching them, and getting this close-up look is fabulous. If you have young kids, they will love this… or if YOU are a kid yourself, you will love it! (You can see this feeder in action here if you want)
  2. This hanging feeder works great in the garden or on a hook on your deck and you can add an ant moat that sits above the feeder. What I most love about this one is that it comes completely apart for easy cleaning. When it comes to feeders, this is SO IMPORTANT as many do not open and so it is impossible to clean them, which means mold grows and can harm the birds. Another plus of this feeder is that it has no yellow on it. Know why this is good? Because bees, yellow jackets and other insects are attracted to yellow. There is no reason to use yellow when the red parts attract the birds.

So you probably know you can make your own nectar–saving some money and NOT supporting the red dye products that may be harmful to the little birds. Just mix up four parts of water to one part of regular white granulated sugar. You do not need red dye!

Here are some previous posts I wrote about feeding hummingbirds:  If you’re not doing THIS, you may be causing hummingbird deaths: 8 things you need to know, or why you should NOT use red dye, and one more about attracting hummingbirds, including some plants to offer, and the recipe for making nectar. And then, just in case you want to be amazed, read this one about 10 things you may not know about hummingbirds. Or check out this 1 minute video of a male hummingbird–what a brilliant red gorget!

Don’t you just love these amazing birds??

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you buy something using one of the links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All of the opinions about these products are mine. I only feature products I own, or would own.

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Posted in Animals, Birds, Just for Fun Tagged , , , |

Weekly Photo Challenge #1

Hello again and welcome to the first ever weekly photo challenge! I hope you are as excited as I am about this new weekly blog category! I think it will be interesting to see how other people interpret and capture the themes.

The only limitations to this weekly challenge are:

  • That the photo has a NATURE THEME and
  • is taken OUTDOORS.

So if the theme is RED and you just installed a new backsplash in your kitchen featuring a field of RED tulips, this may be beautiful but it doesn’t fit the challenge guidelines.

…drum roll please….. the first weekly photo challenge theme is: SHADOWS

shadow-0679

You don’t need to have a fancy camera or be the most amazing photographer ever–you just need to interpret the word/phrase and capture it in an artistic or creative way on film. I will take all of the photos that come to me, add some of my own, and then put them in a slideshow and publish the post on the following Wednesday. You can send many (up to 10) or you can send one.

Won’t this be a great addition to your Wednesday? Every week you can look forward to seeing what other readers from around the country have captured. It will be great fun! And a great reason for you to GET OUTSIDE and begin to look more closely at the world around you.

Email me your images at ShareNatureMore@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to include your NAME and LOCATION, (just the place/park/city/ and state because it will be fun for other readers to see where these images were taken and if you don’t want to give your last name, that’s up to you)  and if you want, a title. Please shrink your image, if you can, to a more suitable size, like 500-800 pixels for the longest side. (If you don’t know how to do this, I can do it for you.) Your images will never be used for anything other than a one-time use in a slide-show that I will feature the following Wednesday in a blog post. Each photo will have a label identifying the photographer and location.

So let this motivate you to GET OUTSIDE! and see what interesting shadows you can find. I can’t wait to hear from you and see what you come up with! See you again soon.

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Posted in Call to Action!, For My Soul, Weekly Photo Challenge Tagged , |

Hello Again!

peacockkale-Greetings friends!!

Thanks for being here with me again after my three month break. I am happy to be back and anxious to fill you in on some decisions I’ve made during my absence. Are you having a great day? Excited that spring has arrived?

Since my last post I have been busy! I spent 3 weeks in Costa Rica. I participated in a flash mob dance with an organization called One Billion Rising.  I read some amazing books, some of which I will tell you about soon. My husband and I made plans to sponsor a bat conservation project in southern Florida and Panama with renowned photographer and bat biologist, Merlin Tuttle. I created a Meetup for Asheville folks called Share Nature More.  I scheduled some inspirational and educational programs at a local community space. (If you are local, I hope to see you there!) I am working on getting an Etsy Shop up and running and am excited about finally having a venue to sell my work. (I will let you know when this gets ready!)  I brainstormed some ways to make my blog more interactive and came up with some regular categories that I will be adding in the coming weeks.

So wow, I am super excited about all of these things.

Have you seen the Geico commercial with the guys in the office asking what day is it and the camel walking in saying in a deep voice “It’s hump day!” Well I thought I would start a new challenge to give everyone here something to look forward to about Hump Day.

The addition to my blog that I am most excited about is one I’ll call the Weekly Photo Challenge. As you know I am always talking about getting outside and looking for spots of beauty. I frequently post pictures that I’ve taken, especially during the summer when I regularly add collections of photos into slideshows that you, my readers, can enjoy. But I was thinking about this recently and wondering why I am the one who gets to have all of the fun. I am certain there are many of you out there who enjoy taking pictures.

I intentionally chose to call this site Nature For My Soul because I wanted my readers to think of it in that way–Nature for MY soul.

In the months leading up to my hiatus I questioned this title and pondered how I could make my posts more fitting–Nature for MY soul. The Weekly Photo Challenge is one addition  I came up with. I will feature a new one every Wednesday, starting tomorrow…so stay tuned to learn more!

I will see you tomorrow! Until then, have a fabulous day!

 

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Posted in Call to Action!, Just for Fun Tagged , , , |