Tag Archives: wonder

Quote of the Week #42

Do you live somewhere that has four seasons? Which is your favorite? Has fall arrived yet where you live? Have you gotten a chance to get out and enjoy the lovely colors?

I spent the last two weeks in the Adirondacks of upstate New York, a place decorated with winding rivers, tree-covered mountains and sparkling lakes. Autumn there is spectacular, the vibrant colors adding to the beauty. For days, I camped, kayaked, hiked, contemplated, photographed, explored and did nothing but sit and appreciate the scenery.

If you’ve never visited this part of the country, I highly recommend checking it out some day–and in my opinion, fall is the best season there. You will be amazed! (If you live there, wow, lucky you! Such a beautiful place.)

For this week’s quote, I thought I would share some of my pictures from the trip along with these words by Ralph Waldo Emerson: (You may have heard a shorter version of this quote, but I love it best in its entirety.)

To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before and which shall never be seen again.

(When viewing the slide show, to make the pause icon in the middle of the picture disappear, move your arrow to the side and then let it play. And really, there are a lot of photos! But I included many so you can sit and be in the moment for a little while, just enjoying the scenery. How often do you do that–just sit and enjoy the moment?)

Click above if you want to enjoy this with instrumental music, which includes natural sounds including loons calling across the lake.)

Music of nature Fall at Lewey LakeHave you seen this Forest PaintingSerenity Happily TogetherA Common LoonSuspendedLewey Lake morningA foggy morning on Lewey LakeFloodwood LakeWater colorsGolden light Gorgeous hillsideExploring the lakeAdirondack scenery Twin Falls More water artLake Durant in all its gloryClouds over Lake DurantA roadside capturePerfectly splitButtermilk FallsA mallardExploring a small riverLeaves make great subjects!ReflectionsSkytop tower at Mohonk PreserveSuspended animation What colors!Morning calmSunrise at Middle PondBeauty is everywhere!Glen FallsNature's perfection Quiet riverAnticipationSentinels at Middle PondPeaceFishing at Bog RiverRocks in the riverSilent beautyDancing along the streamSplendid colorsPerfect reflectionQuiet contemplationMuskrat at Middle PondIn the skyAlong the riverSunrise at Middle PondBabbling brookSolitudeGlory of fall Campsite Thinking rock Sunset at Tupper LakeCanada geese are on the moveStillnessGlen Falls Secret cascadeFloating leafGeese are heading southAnd on to the next adventure!

May fall where you live be fabulous! Enjoy it because it will be gone before you know it. Schedule a hike or drive soon–and while you’re out there, don’t forget to notice the small details too–those can be just as beautiful!

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Quote of the Week #37

As you read this, I am traveling in Puerto Rico, adding many new sights and adventures to my ever-growing memory bank. When others ask me what I collect, I like to say that I collect Moments and Beauty–moments that I capture in my head after experiencing them and beauty that I capture with my camera. Both are fun and rewarding at the time they occur as well as at later dates when they can be remembered and shared.

Do you get a chance to travel much? Would you like to travel more? Where would you like to go and why? What does travel mean to you?

Travel means different things to different people and presumably, even two people on the same trip will take from it different things. This because we can’t help but see our new experiences through the lens of our accumulated past–the good, the bad, and everything in between. A new experience may strike a chord with me in a positive way because of a fond memory whereas someone else present may take away an entirely different opinion of the same situation.

That brings me to this week’s words of wisdom:


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Quote of the Week #36

If you’ve ever spent any time around children you probably know that they tend to have a sense of wonder about anything and everything. I spent the weekend visiting family in Ohio, enjoying time with my niece Kylee, who just turned two. Like many this age, (all?) she is a fun mix of adorable and inquisitive.

Kylee’s infectious spirit got me thinking about one of my all time favorite Rachel Carson quotes so I thought I would feature this as the quote of the week.


A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against boredom and disenchantment of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength. –Rachel Carson

Have you heard this quote? What do you think of it? Do you continue to have a sense of wonder even as you age? Do you notice others around you having that same sense of wonder or just the opposite? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

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Nature For Your Soul

Mud Lake in Nederland, Colorado

Mud Lake in Nederland, Colorado

Years ago I worked at a small nature center in Nederland, Colorado and directed a book project with a group of 5 and 6 year olds called The Most Important Thing. Each student created one page in the book, filling in the blank after “the most important thing about me is….” Of course I had to make a page too. On my page it reads, “the most important thing about me is I love not man less but nature more.” I borrowed the lines from the end of a beautiful poem by Lord Byron.

There is pleasure in the pathless woods, There is rapture on the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, the music in its roar, I love not man less but nature more.


My intimacy with nature defines me. Nature nourishes my spirit and makes my soul dance with joy. I am happiest when I am outside, surrounded by the beauty and wonder of nature.

Do you feel this way too? What would your page say? What is the most important thing about YOU?

lake-2416Lately I have been raising Monarch caterpillars   (because I feared their field was going to be mowed) and just recently, the first three emerged from their chrysalises, entering the world for the first time as winged adults. This morning I sat watching and waiting for close to 5 hours, wanting to be present when they emerged. In studying them so closely I noticed subtle changes that took place throughout the process. It was fascinating! And I was captivated. Not wanting to go anywhere else or do anything else for fear of missing it.

Have you ever had the pleasure of witnessing this? My gosh, it is absolutely miraculous! Breathtaking. A moment that rivals some of the most extraordinary natural events I have ever seen.

4 weeks ago, the creature was an egg the size of a freckle. The creature guess--2struggled out of its egg and became a caterpillar, eating, eating, eating, eating for two weeks until it was ready to make its chrysalis. And then. Then there was stillness. And inside the thin green walls of that chrysalis, the caterpillar was rearranging its parts. Close to two weeks later, it came out as a winged adult. 2 Weeks! My gosh, how is this possible?

“How does it do that?” someone asked at my recent Little Wonders program when we were talking about the metamorphosis of butterflies.

lake-0190I am sure science has a better answer than mine–which was simply that “I don’t know. But wow, is it miraculous!” Sometimes in nature it feels okay to me to not know EXACTLY how. I don’t need to know every single detail. My awe and wonder at the event brings me to tears, I am so amazed that such a thing is possible. And then, so incredibly grateful that I get to see it, know about it, learn from it, be inspired by it. Then watch it again. And again.

It makes me think of this great quote I came across many years ago by Albert Einstein. I will share it with you now–a bonus quote of the week for this last week in August:

“The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the source of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.”

Would people appreciate butterflies more if they witnessed this emergence? How can these miraculous events not make national news? These things happen every day! How can people see this and not feel compelled to share it with every single person they know? And then do EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to protect these amazing creatures, to make sure that they continue to thrive! (Read HERE about ways you can help Monarchs and coming soon, 10 things you didn’t know about butterflies…stay tuned.)

Watch with me as the first butterfly emerges… is it nature for your soul too?


Now, if that wasn’t enough and you are still wanting more, here’s a bonus... the BEST drug commercial you’ll ever see!

Do you take this drug? Are you– like me– addicted? Woo hoo, isn’t it wonderful!!! Amazing everyone doesn’t know about this! How can this be?

(Read the fine print as it goes along… what is your favorite part? Mine is the sentence that says “nature is not golf.” )

Hope to hear from you! Today I will be watching the last of the 4 original Monarchs emerging from its chrysalis! Can’t wait. Here’s wishing you a bit of magic in your day too….it’s everywhere, you just need to look!

Posted in Animals, For My Soul, Insects, Spiders and other Invertebrates, Just for Fun, Little Wonders, Nature NOW, Quote of the Week, Wisdom for your Wednesday | Also tagged , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Soul Food

ablo--7There is always a lot in the media about the value of putting the right kind of foods in our body and doing the right kind of activity for our body and our minds, but what about our souls? That place within us that has no concrete location but in many ways defines who we are, giving us our sense of identity and our emotional or intellectual energy. What kinds of activities do you do to feed your soul?

aheart-1000575There has been so much in the way of disturbing news this week that it’s sometimes hard to not succumb to sticking my head in the sand and saying, “The heck with world news!” The news is often filled with depressing stories. At the top of the list for me is the story about the man from Minnesota who paid a lot of money to shoot an endangered lion in Africa. It saddens me beyond words and as Jane Godall said, “I have no words to express my repugnance.”

To escape from all of this–if only for a little while– I try and schedule several sessions a week where I can get outside with my camera and just BE in the moment.

For me, nature is the greatest therapy. I go to reconnect with simpler things, to be inspired, to be soothed, to be renewed and rejuvenated.

This free therapy only works if we leave our heavy thoughts behind and allow ourselves time to do nothing.


Sigurd Olson said it best:

“Simplicity in all things is the secret of the wilderness and one of its most valued lessons. It is what we leave behind that is important. I think the matter of simplicity goes further than just food, equipment and unnecessary gadgets; it goes into the matter of thoughts and objectives as well. When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost.”

On many mornings recently, as the fog hovered in the valleys and drops of dew glistened on every surface, I moved through the meadow with no plan or goals, simply searching for beauty. Something not difficult to find once I leave the troubles of the “other” world behind.

Here are some of the things I captured in my recent photo sessions:

A fly in the grass A damselflyInsect eggs on goldenrodguess who?Silken treasureFog in the valleyWater dropsWater artThe drops line upDamselfly loveA Calico Pennant dragonflyGrassSuspended on silkA damselflyWhat beautiful eyes you have!My favorite kind of spider! A jumping spider.A red maple borer mothWhat iridescence! Bugs hatching from their eggs.A cicada DragonflyA mockingbird finds a berryMorning TreasureA robin finds a berry too! Web artA spider in her webWater drops!An immature wood duckWhat beautiful wings!Wow, he's lovely!

Have you scheduled some Soul Time lately? If not, perhaps you should!

Check out these posts about the same subject: What inspires you  to skip? , Quote of the week #22, Magic in the night, Magic comes to a backyard near you.

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Quote of the Week #15

Have you ever been in the woods on a rainy day–by choice, not circumstance? With the right mindset and pair of eyes it can be an amazing experience, often inspiring awe and wonder at the endless beauty to be found. Yesterday it rained on and off all day but I decided to spend it in a lovely place called Jones Gap, just over the South Carolina border. My 45 minute drive had me flipping on the high-speed wipers several times but I carried on, suspecting I was in for a glorious day of solitude and serenity. It was raining! And I was thrilled!

Rain often transforms a forest into a mystical place where dark tree trunks melt into fog and wet leaves on the trail steal your footsteps. Infinite tiny beads of water decorate every newly opened leaf and bud and branch, hanging like silver diamonds for a moment, or several moments, before falling silently to the ground, like a firefly in the dark–there and then gone, there and then gone. Miniature leaves of maple, beech and oak decorate gray branches like ornaments on a holiday tree, perfect versions of their future selves. Spring ephemerals carpet the floor around me in every color of the rainbow– purple irises, green leaves of mayapples, yellow, white and purple violets, blood-red trillium and pink azaleas.

As I inched along the deserted trail, I was serenaded by the music of the river beside me, falling over rounded rocks as it made its way to places unknown. Oh how I reveled in my solitude! Such joy there is in being totally IN the moment, free to go and do whatever feels right with no strings attached. Singing birds added to the chorus of the gently falling rain, not affected by the cloud-filled sky or precipitation. Looking carefully I spotted several salamanders including red spotted newts and dusky salamanders who were out enjoying the wet day. Unlike people, they seem to love the rain, always out when the world goes in. Further up the trail I was surprised to see a small garter snake and then around the bend, I gleefully discovered two pale green luna moths, hanging together from a small branch, their perfect wings lined with magenta….

This brings me to this week’s quotes followed by a few pictures from my rain-soaked adventure: (If you move the arrow to the right of the photo box, the button in the center will go away)

Rain showers my spirit and waters my soul. –Emily Logan Decens

New Leaves and a Blanket of FogA Fresh New LeafRed-spotted NewtMay Apples decorated with raindropsSuch perfection in the spaces!River MusicSuch perfection in their tiny feet!Dusky SalamanderA DogwoodWater Drops on Pine NeedlesForest TrailWater Drops Rainbow FallsMore Water DropsLuna Moths Mating Luna Moths! Colorful FungusNew leavesLike DiamondsDiamondsFresh blossomsBright orange warns predatorsEven a snake ventures out
Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. –Langston Hughes


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Quote of the Week #10


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