Tag Archives: nature

Quote of the Week #74

I have been spending a lot of time in a field near my house looking for Mother Nature’s treasures. Each day when I know I will be doing this I wake up excited and with a feeling of anticipation, like a child on Christmas eve or Christmas morning. I race through getting dressed and breakfast, anxious to get out there and see what I will discover. (Reminds me of a post I wrote called What Inspires you to skip?)

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A most spectacular gulf fritillary butterfly on New York ironweed

There’s no telling WHAT that might be. Since finding that metallic chrysalis recently, I have been keyed in on looking for more chrysalises and amazingly, have found MANY, though most of the others were from a butterfly called a Buckeye (photos below in the slide show). These are much less impressive, though still equally miraculous in how the process occurs.

Today I found 13 chrysalises, though only 7 of them were still intact–the others were hollow inside, already eaten by some hungry insect. I brought the good ones home so I can have a chance to watch them emerge.

I know one of these days when I arrive excited for a heavenly morning of photography, I will find this field mowed… I dread this, knowing it will be a very sad day. It will break my heart in a way I suspect not all that many people will understand.

In my bios and artist statement, I often say I have had an intimate relationship with the natural world since I was a child. I suspect this baffles some people. Intimate? With nature? Huh?

But it is hard to describe it with any other word. When you return again and again to the same plot of wild land–whatever size it happens to be– you begin to learn things about it, just as you would a lover’s body.

I love this intimacy with nature! I am beginning to be able to predict what butterflies I will see, where the turkeys will be, where the deer bed down, where to look for chrysalises, and what plants I can expect to find caterpillars feeding on. I have watched deer browsing along the woods in the back corner, have enjoyed the calls of a pair of red-shouldered hawks that are often nearby, have heard the turkeys gobbling in the adjacent field and have seen goldfinches and other birds feeding on the seeds of the flowers. I have lain in the grass surrounded by yellow and purple blossoms, looking up into a sea of blue, watching turkey vultures soaring on invisible air currents. In spending such quality time there I have become attached to the field and its inhabitants.

And so… this week’s quote, a long one to be sure, but one of my very favorite from a man I very much admire–Henry David Thoreau who said:

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“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs…–that is your success. All nature is your congratulation and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality… the true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening.

It is a little bit of star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”

I have written about this theme before– quote #42 about each moment of the year, or #44 about everything having a voice, or #58 about getting to know something in nature or #68 about nature making you whole.

What do you think of these? Do you know what I mean when I say an intimate relationship with nature? Have you experienced this during your lifetime?

Check out some of the photos from my recent visits to this field:

A most beautiful gulf fritillaryA buckeye covered with dewA backlit sulfurA monarchA skipperCaterpillar of a buckeyeA crab spider waitsA buckeye chrysalis in NY ironweedA moth with dewLadybugSkipperHaven't identified this caterpillar yet!Ailanthus webworm mothA jumping spider with preyAnother sulfurA variegated fritillaryAnother skipper!Haven't identified this one yet either!Wow, what beauty!A gulf fritillary and a variegated fritillary togetherA buckeye on goldenrodDotted with dewA buckeyeA variegated fritillaryA fuzzy caterpillarBeauty in the little thingsWater on cloverWater art!SuspendedMy favorite--web art!More web artA crab spider with dinnerPraying mantisSwirls of a passion vine

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Quote of the Week #67

It’s the first day of summer!!! Happy day to you. I hope you can schedule some time to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature soon.

As a child, did you enjoy your summer vacation? How did you spend your time? Do you think summer is a “waste of time” for children?

When I was a kid summer was my favorite season because it meant I could spend every day OUTSIDE. I lived to be outside and started a countdown weeks before the final day of school arrived. When it did I gloried in my freedom to let the days unfold, never feeling burdened by what to do or bored with the many unstructured hours. Often I spent the entire day wandering in the woods across the street or along the wide, shallow creek behind our house, jumping from rocks into the deeper pools, catching crayfish, watching birds or just sitting beside the flowing water doing nothing.

These days I wonder if kids spend their summers doing the same things… do they? I think our society believes summer is a waste of time for kids, that summer is just a big, empty space where kids “lose ground” on their education. I know many believe we should do away with a summer vacation for kids and have more time for lessons in the classroom.

But I would argue that the learning that can happen during summer goes beyond what we might be able to accomplish in a classroom. There is something to be said for giving kids unstructured time to explore, to imagine, to watch, and listen and touch and feel.

Of course, if the kids just sit around inside the house and play video games, watch tv or text their friends, then that’s a whole other story.

I feel sad when I think of kids these days, and how their every minute seems accounted for.

And so, this week’s quote:

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What do you think? Did you like summer vacation as a child? Do you know any children today who spend their summer days outside? What can we learn from time spent outside?

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Sure to Make you Smile…

This is so wonderful I have to share! It made me smile and I bet it will make you smile too. Happy day friends!

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An Amazing Discovery

Ice designs Aspen Trees Bent Creek Sumac leaves And goldenrodLight and shadows Cycles Wonderful WetlandBeauty of a DandelionHarmonyFloating reeds Serenity Silence Nature's designs PatternsPlant detailsRed dress Writing with lightIcy creations Light

I recently was playing with some of my images on my laptop, wondering what I could do to them to make them more along the lines of art than photography. What I discovered has me thrilled beyond words… ordinary pictures become abstract designs when I put them through what I’m calling The Kaleidoscope Effect. I’ll be the first to admit it’s easy to always look at the same things, the same ways. But what if we look at things with NEW EYES. What will we see then? Check out some pictures from my amazing discovery. Do you like them? Can you guess what these images started out as? Which one is your favorite and why? To see more, check out my new GALLERY called, appropriately, The Kaleidoscope Effect.

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Do This Today!

aday-3738I’ll be the first to admit it’s easy to get too busy or forget to go outside and enjoy the lovely day. Recently we’ve had a slew of wonderful fall days that make me incredibly happy to live here in Western North Carolina. What beauty there is all around us! Fall is an amazing season, brimming with delightful sights and sounds.

My advice for this Friday is to GET OUTSIDE!

Just make time to go outside, sit somewhere peaceful and enjoy the moment. Fall will be over before you know it! Recharge your spirit with some quality time DOING NOTHING but reveling in the now. For a few minutes, give yourself permission to forgot about all of the things you have on your To Do list and all of the reasons why you don’t have time. We must make time for the things that are important to us!

Nature=Free Therapy. Enjoy some today!

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Miniature Worlds Tempt Me…

Lately I have been spending my mornings outside, exploring some wild fields near my house, hunting for tiny treasures…. Once I start looking, I discover they are everywhere! Hours melt away, like waves on some distant shore. I am caught in the moment, powered by my passion of capturing it all with my camera.

Spend some time outside today and see what gems you can find!

Female Common Whitetail dragonflyAmerican Lady butterfly A purple damselfly! Monarch on MilkweedSilver-Spotted Skimmer on PokeweedPipevine Swallowtail Perfection!American ladyFemale Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly Water art Adult spittlebug Hairstreak butterfly A crab spider on purple-headed sneezeweedPearl crescent butterflyA damselfly Tiny treasures A Monarch Tussock Moth CaterpillarA milkweed bug Beetle on MilkweedLots of aphids! Katydid in the grassA Ladybug with aphidsA lovely flower! Water drops on silkCrab spiderA robber fly Garden spider with lunchHoneybee Dragonfly A clearwing hummingbird mothNature's art Damselfly in the grassPearls of watergrasshopper Hairstreak butterflyDamselfly A Leafhopper

 

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Looking with New Eyes…

Beauty is all around us… if you LOOK, you will find it. Let it be the foundation of your day.

Perfection!Small Details Storm moving inPicture perfect!Tiny mirrorsWhat colors!A lovely morningLuna moth!Even spiders can be beautiful Layers Sky tv SilhouetteLittle wondersA new dayMiniature worldsWinged wondersContemplation Evening blissCaught!Time...Orange and blackWater art

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