Category Archives: Call to Action!

Photo Challenge #11

Happy Wednesday! Are you having a great day yet?

I spent my morning out in one of my favorite meadows and it was absolutely glorious! The field is filled with yarrow, milkweed, New York Ironweed, butterfly weed, daisies, and more. In most places the grasses are as tall as my shoulders and I walk along, slowly, immersing myself in the NOW and viewing the world through my “photographer’s eye,” constantly on the lookout for insects and other interesting things. I frequently find deer beds of flattened grasses–it makes me smile, thinking of the deer curled up in a ball and sleeping peacefully for the night.

gmead-5200Today the swallows were making rounds over the field, swooping low above the wet grasses in search of insects, calling to each other as they danced in the sky. There was a flock of crows calling in an adjacent field. Butterflies, dragonflies and honeybees flitted around the pink milkweed blossoms that are so heavenly fragrant right now–if only I could capture the smell and waft it into your space as you read this post! As I sat in the field, hidden from the world, I thought of a poem by Wendell Berry that I read yesterday, sent to me by my friend, Bea.(Thanks Bea!)  For those of us intimately familiar with the natural world, this poem will make you nod your head in agreement:

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Anyway, I just wanted to share it with you on this Wednesday, in hopes that you can make some time to get outside and “come into the peace of wild things.”

Last week’s photo theme was FOG. Here is the weekly slide show

Ward Pound Ridge ReservationBackpacking in Denali National Park, AlaskaDelaware National Water Gap on The ATDogwoodNC Mountains, by ArdenDrama in the skyEagle on the Mississippi, by JockFoggy church Davenport by JockFoggy day on the ATSecret Garden, Roan MountainWestern North CarolinaFog at Nahant Marsh Iowa by JockIn Great Smoky Mountains National ParkFog by ArdenFoggy forest by JockFog over the mountainsIn Etowah Fog in the valleyIn GSMNPLooking back on the AT in MaineFog in AlaskaMy backyardIn Denali National ParkJones Gap, SCDawn's Early LightLight at the end of the tunnelFogFog in the pine forest at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, NYIn Cade's CoveTree by Whitewater Falls, NCDancing FogDenali National Park, Alaska

And in honor of my surprise-filled trips to the unmoved plots of land everywhere, let’s do THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS as our theme for this week. Have you been to a glorious meadow near you and felt the peace of wild things? Or been to a forest, a spot at the top of a mountain, or beside a pond or river? Do you have a special spot where you can feel the peace of wild things? Have you inched along the grasses in a meadow to find secret treasures? How can you create a compelling image depicting the peace of wild things? Do you think this will be an easy theme?

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I hope to hear from you, and especially, hope you will join us in next week’s slide show. Just email me a few images to sharenaturemore@gmail.com and I will happily add them to the Wednesday blog post…. see you again soon!

Photo Challenge #10

Hey, it’s the first day of summer! Happy day! How is your Wednesday going? Are you having a great day yet?

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I was pleasantly surprised to get a bunch of entries for the photo theme YELLOW. It is a common color in nature and it was great to see so many beautiful images featuring this theme! Special thanks to all of those subscribers who sent in some photos. Here is the collection, brought to you on the first day of summer!

Yellow water by Lead DogKeukenhof Gardens, Netherlands, by ArdenYellow sunset over cornfield by Jock Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands, by ArdenForsythia with snow by JockCaterpillar by Lead Dogby ArdenYellow mushrooms by Lead DogYellow flower by JockKeukenhof Gardens, Netherlands, by ArdenTiger swallowtail on milkweedLovely reflection by Lead DogIowa state bird, by JockReflection by Lead DogBulbed flower floats Haarlem, Netherlands, by Ardenby Ardenby ArdenLovely flower! Fall color by Lead DogYellow flowers along Oklahoma Greenway by JockInside a lilyBathed in yellow by Lead Dogby Arden Maroon Bells reflection River Reflection Bulbed flower floats Haarlem, Netherlands, by ArdenFall tree by Lead DogMaple leaves, by Lead DogBulbed flower floats Haarlem, Netherlands, by ArdenAspens and blue skyLily by ArdenNetherlands, by ArdenHiker surrounded by yellow, by Lead DogColored waterBy Ardenby ArdenLighting bug on yellow petalsQuiet River by Lead DogFixing her webDrops of water on lilyBulbed flower floats Haarlem, Netherlands, by ArdenYellow crab spider waiting for lunchSoftness of a roseby ArdenNetherlands, by ArdenBiltmore Commons, by ArdenKeukenhof Gardens, Netherlands, by ArdenSpiderby ArdenAt Biltmore Estateby Ardenby ArdenA field of black eyed susansBeetle on goldenrodTiger swallowtail on butterfly weedSand Dunes National Monument, COGoldfinchDancing flowersYellow petalsCrab spider

What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite from the show?

A few weeks ago I asked for some future theme suggestions–if YOU ever have an idea feel free to send me an email or use the comment box below. I would like to involve my readers as much as possible so I always enjoy hearing from you.

As for the next theme–let’s do FOG. I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Send me your images please, to sharenaturemore@gmail.com.

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Photo Challenge #9

Hello and Happy Wednesday to you. I hope you are having a fabulous day! Have you made time lately to get OUTSIDE and spend some time in nature? Did you see anything that would fit our last photo challenge of things that are ROUND?
round--2If you look closely in nature you will find lots of things that are round, including the insides of flowers, water drops, rocks, the sun, some kinds of fungus, etc. Judging from the people who joined in this challenge (one!) I would say maybe it was a difficult one to portray.

By JockEye spots on a Buckeye wingAt Jump off Rock, by JockMoon over New MexicoLots of round drops! Water artSunset over the Blue Ridge ParkwayInsect eggsFake eye spots on a click beetle Cat's eyes are round! What round eyes you have! Tree frog eyeGood night moonAn insect laying round eggsSpotted salamander eggsRocks in New ZealandRound center of spider webWater on sheet webWater on lamb's earWater drops on silkSilkMarblesTemporary necklaceWater dropsSpider webWater in the grassWater on Aspen leavesMoon rising in Algonquin, CanadaA round spider's webDandelion in front of azaleaIslands in the streamStar fungus has a round centerLadybugSpider webRound eye!

Let’s do a photo challenge that might be a littler easier– The next photo challenge theme is: YELLOW.

Will you get outside this week and look for ways to portray this theme? What image of yellow can you capture? There is a lot of yellow in nature! Can you find it and capture it with your camera?

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Check back next Wednesday to see what people came up with–I hope to hear from you! Please send me an email with your images if you want to take part in this challenge: sharenaturemore@gmail.com

Weekly Photo Challenge #8

Happy Wednesday! The last one in May. Can you believe it’s already June?

Did you see anything that fit last week’s photo challenge theme of pink? Once you see a few pictures from this theme I think you will agree the color pink is common, especially in spring.

Here are some of the pictures from this theme:

 

Lizard by JockTulips by ArdenTrees by Ardenby ArdenPink by ArdenBy JockLiquid mirrorSecret GardenArboretum by ArdenRose by Ardenby ArdenBee on Milkweed, by Jockby ArdenSkipper on Milkweed by Jockby ArdenWall Street in Asheville, by ArdenCarnations by ArdenOcean Beauty by ArdenFlowers by ArdenOrchids by ArdenPink by ArdenFlowers by ArdenPink! By Ardenby Ardenby ArdenBy Ardenby Ardenby Ardenby ArdenRoses by ArdenSunset by Ardenby Ardenby ArdenAt BiltmoreTulips at The NC ArboretumRedbud reflectionPetalsPink flowerMagnolia blossomWater lilyPeonyPink lady slippers in GSMNPLined with pinkPink backgroundLilySweat bee on pink flowerOn the ATTrail of pink petalsPink tulipsPink tulipWater on pink petalsPink heartPink in our backyardPink azaleaAll pinkLots of pink!Magnolia

So last week I asked readers to suggest a theme. Let’s choose one that Joe suggested: Things that are Round

Good luck! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with. Please email me any photos you want to share and they will be put in the next Wednesday slideshow.

Happy photo hunting to you! See you again soon.

Weekly Photo Challenge #7

Hello and Happy Wednesday to you! Are you enjoying your “hump” day yet? Is it another beautiful rainy day where you live? (If the rain is putting a damper on things in your neck of the woods, here are 7 positive things to love about rainy days  or here’s why I love rainy days)

I got some spectacular images for last week’s photo theme: SUNLIGHT. This may have seemed like a challenging theme at first but since the word photography comes from the greek roots meaning “writing with light,” it is easy to see that so many images fit this theme.

Check out this image–my favorite!–from subscriber, Jock from Asheville. Wow, amazing, right?

Photo by Jock, from Asheville

Photo by Jock, from Asheville

Here are some other images for the theme of SUNLIGHT. Which one do you like best? Do you want to suggest a future photo theme? If so, use the comment box below or send me a private email at sharenaturemore@gmail.com. I hope to hear from you soon!

Duro River in Portugal, by ArdenBy JockNC Mountains, by ArdenCardinals at sunset, by JockDuro River, Portugal, by ArdenSunlight, by JockSunrise, Florida, by ArdenSunrise Davenport, by JockSiesta Key, by ArdenWalking into HeavenJump off Rock, by JockSunlight gathering, Meritt Island, FloridaSplendor in the GrassHeavenly CampsiteMorning GloryBacklit EgretSparkles on the water, FloridaPearls on silkMorning SecretJewels in the grassDancing TreesSunlight peeking throughSparkles on IceNC sunriseNew Zealand SkyMorning Light, by JoeRedwoods morningDeer in the shaft of sunlightBathed in SunlightSunshine!On the Appalachian TrailSunlight

And for those of you participating in the challenges–thank you, thank you, thank you! I am enjoying seeing what you have to offer each week and hope to see more people’s images in the future.

Our next photo theme is: PINK

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What things outside can you find that are pink? How will you represent this theme?

Special Invitation: Blue Ghost & Moth Viewing Party!

Hey all and happy Monday to you. If you live locally in Asheville or western North Carolina, this post’s for you–a special invitation to come out and join me on Friday night to watch a special firefly. (If not, so sorry! I will feature another post after the party with some photos)

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As you’ve likely heard me say a time or two, my husband and I live in the woods in south Asheville. We discovered some years ago that we have BLUE GHOST FIREFLIES on our property. Don’t know what a Blue Ghost is?

Blue Ghost Fireflies are different from other species of firefly in that their light stays lit for 30-60 seconds, 2 to 3 feet off the ground. So watching them is magical–it’s like ghosts are carrying lanterns as they move silently through the trees.

The firefly is only the size of a rice grain but his light is bright enough to light up the night, especially when there are a bunch in one spot. Females also have a light but have no wings so remain stationary.

On THIS Friday, May 26th, at 8pm, my husband and I are hosting a blue ghost and moth viewing party. We will sit outside and have a drink while we wait for it to get dark, then will learn a bit about these fireflies before going on a short walk to see some.

We will also put out a black light and white sheet to see what moths we might attract. I will mix up a special drink for the moths and will put it out near the sheet. After we watch the blue ghosts, we can walk over and check out what’s on the sheet. You never know what we might see! Here are a few of my favorite moths that I’ve seen other years:

Luna mothVirgin tiger mothInside of tiger moth's wingsTulip MothImperial mothTulip moth,maleA luna moth with another smaller mothUnidentified mothMoths Polyphemus mothTiger mothPolyphemus mothMoth on sheetMoth attracted to black lightMothMothFirefly in daytimeOrange patched-smoky mothA beautiful luna mothMultiple luna moths

If you want to attend, great, I can’t wait to meet you! PLEASE wear comfortable shoes for this! And note that we will not be using flashlights for much of the time in order to allow our eyes to adjust to the night. The driveway is wide and mostly level and we will not be off-trail at any time. But to get the address and directions, you must RSVP at my meetup site   or send me an email saying you’d like to go– sharenaturemore@gmail.com. To avoid overcrowding, I am limiting this to 20 people.

If you want to learn how YOU can attract moths to your yard, see this post or if you want to read about one of our more beautiful moths, check out this Tulip Tree moth. Or, here’s a quiz to see what you know about moths.

Lastly, if you are interested in learning more about moths, such as how to identify them, here is a link to a fabulous book–a Peterson Guide to Moths. 

Weekly Photo Challenge #5

Hey there! Happy Wednesday to you. I hope you are having a fabulous week and getting to spend lots of quality time outside. Isn’t this a great time of year?

So did you send it any images for our last photo theme of Sky TV? Here is a collection I put together with this theme.

Rays from HeavenNC sky, by BarbaraSky TV looking Down, by ArdenHeron and Sunset by Lloyd, FloridaAt Carl Sandburg by Barbara, NCNC Sky TV by BarbaraSky trailsWestern NC by BarbaraPerfect eveningThe Blue Ridge ParkwaySky in AlaskaClouds over the French BroadGeese heading southWow, what clouds!Rainbow in WNCTogether Drama in the sky!Spectacular sunset in New ZealandFollowing the sunMore from the Blue Ridge ParkwayFire in the Sky!While picnicking on the BRPWIn Great Smoky Mountains National ParkAlgonquin CanadaSunSunset in New ZealandAdirondack SkyBlue sky and pinesWinter is comingSunset to rememberSky TVFiltering lightSea of blueA sunrise in WNCReaching into the HeavensClouds in NZColored cloudsAspens

Our next theme is:  Water Art. How can you portray this in an image? What comes to mind when you hear the words water art? Have you ever looked closely at plants after a rain? Or on a dewy morning? Ever notice the way the tiny drops cling to everything, creating ephemeral works of art? Have you noticed how they hang on silk like suspended jewels? Then, as they sunshine pours through the air, the drops fall silently, a wordless music to those who know how to pay attention.

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I can’t wait to see what you come up with for our theme WATER ART! Happy photo hunting. See you again soon!