Category Archives: For My Soul

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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1 Minute Meditation: Pond Time

During the month of May I traveled to Buffalo to visit my Mom for Mother’s Day. Each morning the two of us went walking to a nearby park to enjoy the sights and sounds together.

Put yourself in our shoes… imagine it is early morning–the air is cool, no other people are in sight. The leaves on most trees are brand new–that fresh green color unique to spring. The woods is filled with the melody of bird songs. You sit on a bench overlooking a pond surrounded by trees. The sunlight feels good on your face. The still water creates a perfect mirror. Two canada geese are tooling around in the golden light. You have no where to be and nothing to do… You can sit and JUST BE:

Was it easy to imagine being there? Did you enjoy it? Do you have a place like this near you that you can go and do nothing but look, listen, and enjoy nature?

May the rest of your day be just as peaceful! See you again soon.

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

Quote of the Week #82

If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you will likely recall my talking about seeing a special kind of firefly that lives in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park–the synchronous firefly. I have written several posts about my experience witnessing the hundreds of these fireflies that light up night for two weeks every year in early June–Magic for your Soul, Soundless Music and 10 things you didn’t know about fireflies.

q-4278Recently I backpacked 4.4 miles to a remote campsite in the backcountry of the park with my husband and two new friends. We arrived at our site in late afternoon, set up our tents and sat back to relax until dark. We drank lemonade rum, snacked on cheese and crackers before our dinners and played a dice game called Farkle. All was well in our world.

Later, as darkness approached, anticipation was high. Our new friends had never seen the fireflies and I badly wanted them to experience the awe I felt the first time I’d seen them, many years ago after I moved to Asheville. With a nearly-full moon already high in the sky, darkness came slowly. At 9:00, I left everyone sitting by the empty fire circle, walking back down the narrow path, looking hopefully for signs of the fireflies. I saw only a few lights. Next I explored the area behind our tents, towards the wide, rock-filled river that provided constant music. Still only a handful of lights. Growing discouraged I ventured farther up the trail, hoping perhaps that would be the “spot” where the fireflies would be gathering. Again, nothing.

I walked back to the group, wondering how it could be that the fireflies were not here. Were we too early? Too late? Was the ranger who gave me advice wrong about this spot?

My friends were quiet, looking around like me.

And then! Here a light, there a light. Here a light, there a light! Tiny lights began flashing in the darkness, low to the ground. We made our way away from our open site, to another spot just on the other side of a small stream, in a denser part of the forest. There, in the silence of the woods, surrounded by darkness, the flashing lights surrounded us! They were everywhere!

Synchronous fireflies are different than other fireflies in that they all flash, flash, flash, flash and then somehow, a signal is communicated and they all stop flashing in unison, making the night black again. It remains black for a few seconds and then the lights start up again. And this goes on and on and on until somewhere between 11:00 and midnight.

Our small group of 4 stood silently in the forest, surrounded by flashing lights. At times they seemed to all dance forward, towards us before growing still again. Blackness all around.

Then the flickering of tiny lights again, decorating the darkness and creating a silent symphony of dancing light.

Later, after we all had our fill, we moved off to settle in our tents, which were by then surrounded by flickering lights. We took off the rain fly, lying in the tent and watching contentedly the dancing lights of tiny insects gathered outside of our temporary home in the forest. It is hard to describe. Difficult to convey the emotion I felt as I watched this. Impossible to communicate why I am moved to tears by this most simple natural event that happens at this time of year in this place every year and has for many, many years. It is magical. It is special. It is food for my soul…

And so, this week’s quote–two actually because as is often the case, I could not decide.

“Silence is life’s most sacred melody,” and:

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“Life is passing rapidly. Fiercely commit to every moment you find beautiful and remember it. Record it. Fully, whole-heartedly inhabit it. Awareness is one of the greatest things you can possess in this life as it is as important as the very air we breathe and water we drink to stay alive.” –Victoria Erickson

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Do you agree? What magical moments have you been a part of lately? Have you ventured to the Smokies to see these fireflies? What was your experience like? Have you seen fireflies in a meadow or forest near you? What was it like? Use the comment box below to share your thoughts–I always enjoy hearing from my readers.

…Here’s to making time for a magic moment near you in the very near future.

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.

One Minute Meditation:Falling Water

Imagine you are standing beside a towering waterfall, one that rises above you more than 70 feet. As you look up your face is gently misted by falling water. You can hear nothing over the sound of the water. No one else is around, only you. You close your eyes and listen to the constant sound of liquid hitting the gray rocks and splashing into the shallow pool…

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?