Posted in Photography

Kick a Cone!

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The bridge by our place has been under construction for a couple of weeks now, causing the road to be closed and a bonus to that is, Aurora and I have been able to enjoy the road all to ourselves to walk on. There’s just one house right past the bridge, and then no one for miles on this road. The only thing I love more than walking in Nature is to have the road all to myself!

The pine cones had gathered in the road, being that they had not been being disturbed. I don’t know why but the 1st day we saw these pine cones in the road, I raised my foot and shouted “KICK A CONE!” and kicked a cone as hard as I could. Aurora quickly followed suit and it became a game. It’s been Heaven owning the road, just she and I, without having to worry about motorists. (The only thing I ever worry about on this road is the coyotes that I know that live around here)

The other day when we were walking, I thought it would be neat to get a shot of the cones at their level, so I laid down right in the middle of the road with Aurora alongside me and took some shots. The only thing I worried about running me over was a snake or a spider as I took my pictures. 

While taking this shot, I realized the beauty of it all, having all the serenity to ourselves. People nowadays are so stuck with their heads down looking at their electronics, that they miss simple beauty like this. I myself, often have my head in the clouds so to speak, searching the skies when I am not admiring the Nature around me. 

Here was this cone, basking in the late afternoon sun, screaming at me to take a pic. As I laid there on my belly, I realized the different perspective that these cones in the road now have. Once upon a time, they were high up in the trees, overlooking the world. Now these cones have a different perspective as they lay in the road, being spared getting run over by cars, for the time being.

The bridge is now fixed and the road is open again so the road will no longer be ours. (In all fairness, sometimes we walk for a half an hour on this road and not see another soul!) I appreciate the opportunity I had to get down to these cones’ level and see the world in a different way. I also appreciate the fact that my phone did not get thrown out of panic when a spider ran over my arm! 

Take the time to kick a cone and let loose! Take a chance and get on your belly to take a shot of a different perspective than you’re used to seeing of the world! Life is too short to be somber all the time and sometimes, simple things like kicking a cone can make you smile. Take a moment to be thankful for the world around you, no matter what your view of it is. 

Posted in Photography

Yellow is for Happiness

Top of the rainy Friday morning to ya! First and foremost, I toast my coffee to my Dad who becomes a septuagenarian today. Yes, I looked up the word for what someone in their 70’s just because of my Dad turning 70 today. So cheers to you Dad, who will probably not see this but will be getting a phone call from me when I am done writing!

Yesterday I posted about our lupine adventure the other day and today I am writing about the 2nd half of that venture. I came across a bit of a problem because I wanted to add a couple of videos of our venture but can’t with my free WordPress subscription. (Hey I’m not complaining, I absolutely LOVE having a free blog and do plan to buy a domain when I get close to my memory being filled) 

“Necessity is the mother of invention”

I got to thinking as to how I could solve this little problem and remembered that I do have a YouTube channel which I have never ever posted to. I posted my couple of vids JUST to be able to share them with you all today! But first, this:

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As we rounded the corner from the lupine field, we found some yellow swallowtail butterflies! As a photographer I can tell you that shooting butterflies is up there in difficulty with shooting rainbows. It’s hard to get a good clear shot, especially since they don’t sit still for very long. Yellow Swallowtails are common where we live, and sadly, often common to see dead along the side of the road.

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So, after signing the dotted line and giving a few samples of blood to verify my email through YouTube because of me signing in on this laptop, I finally have my videos to share! I maybe not be able to upload right through the WordPress site, but I can add YouTube videos…isn’t technology awesome?!

 

 

I obviously need to work on my video skills (which are nonexistent) but at least I figured out how to share with you all! Necessity was my want to share and YouTube was my mother of invention! Funny thing is, I have had my YouTube channel for maybe about 6 or 7 years now and never uploaded any videos and it figures that my first videos uploaded were for a blog! Maybe I will continue to upload videos now, even with having 0 subscribers! It would be a neat archive for myself to have for my kids someday, and offers opportunities for future blog posts

I toast my 2nd cup of coffee, an hour after starting this post, in hopes that you all have an awesome Friday! If you can get out to get some fresh air, be sure to take a moment to be thankful that you woke up today!

Posted in Photography, Writing

Butterfly with a Broken Wing

I was inspired by a comment on my post yesterday which said, “Suicide is never an intelligent answer. One can find beauty in life without looking very far.” and I headed out to my yard to find some beauty.

I needn’t have strayed any farther than the lilac bush in my yard in search of any beauty, for it was teeming with life. I came across a couple hummingbird moths and yellow swallowtail butterflies and snapped some pics. My neighbor found this beauty on the porch that had landed there sometime during my photo mission and beckoned me over in excitement.

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I immediately jumped at the chance to get a good photo of such a magnificent creature. I took a few pics and was wondering why it was just sitting there, letting me snap away. I thought that maybe it had just come out of its cocoon and couldn’t quite fly yet, but then, how would it have gotten on my porch? The spiders are big enough to eat small children around here (ok, that’s an embellishment, but I HAVE seen spiders big enough to make grown men scream like little girls around here, and they will eat a butterfly if given the chance) so I doubted that it had cocooned on the porch. Upon further inspection, I noticed a little hole in its right wing:

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In all its beauty, this butterfly was flawed with an injury, rendering it unable to fly, much like some of those around us that suffer from depression. On the outside, they may look like a flawless beauty of perfection, but still have injury that may not be noticeable, if seen at all. I did not know the story of this butterfly, how it got to where we found it on the porch, stranded, unable to fly to safety, only that I wanted to help save it from a predator that would happily chomp this butterfly for a meal. We did what I deemed best to do with this butterfly, we moved it to a safe place in our flowerbed, where it could blend in in hopes of not becoming dinner, until it could fly away. I hoped that it would fly away…

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The problem with those that suffer from depression is, it’s often difficult to see the beauty all around them, no matter if it is right in front of them. Depression numbs their senses, making them null to feeling joy where others would. All seems bleak and colors of brightness are faded into shades of gray as they face that darkness of their melancholy. I have been there, and it is not a bright picture to paint.

Beauty IS all around us and we only need to open our eyes and hearts to see it and appreciate it. Nature is full of inspiration. Take the time to stop and look at the bright flowers, to smell their sweet scent, and watch the beings at work around them. Take a deep breath and take it in. Let that breath refresh you as you exhale and relax. Be in the beauty of the moment as you breathe. Take a moment to be thankful for that peaceful moment…breathe and repeat. 

 

Posted in Flower photography, gardening, Photography, Writing

Yellow for Thankfulness

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“Good morning jungle!” I exclaim as I open the kitchen window this morning. I looked outside to check on our flower bed and lo and behold, there was our first flower bloom, a yellow day lily. “WE HAVE OUR FIRST FLOWER!” I exclaim to my youngest as I grab my camera and dash out the door to take a pic. 

She too, is jumping up and down with excitement at our first flower. What a bright, cheerful, beautiful thing to greet the day with as I wait for my coffee to brew! I am overjoyed as I take a few pics and then dash back in to share it with the world. I now have my blog post for the day. 

I edit my pic with glee and turn on my laptop to sign into WordPress. My usual routine is to read a few blogs before I start my own and in my reading, I find out from a fellow blogger that Anthony Bourdain is dead from an apparent suicide, and my mood immediately darkens. 

Thoughts of suicide have always had a special home in some of the dark crevices in my mind, since I attempted it when I was 19. Now and then I visit those dark hallways and  wallow in that lost sadness. They say once the suicide bug bites you, it infests your mind with poisonous thoughts that are often inescapable. 

I pause, lost in thought and trying not to cry in front of my 4 year old who is parked at her desk next to me and practicing her letters. I snap out of it and become curious as to the meaning of a yellow lily. It symbolizes thankfulness and desire for enjoyment. 

Gardening brings me enjoyment and I post about it to bring joy to others, to brighten their day if they happen to be having a bad one. I wish to share my joy with others through my pictures and words, which is why I take pictures and write. It’s a way that I vent, to deal with things or just to strike up a conversation. It keeps me distracted from those dark corners of my mind that creep up on me at times. I guess you could say that plants help keep me sane. 

My thoughts drift back to Anthony Bourdain, and the sadness that his family must be feeling today and I tear again. Once upon a time, that was me, listening to those dark thoughts, but thankfully, I did not succeed at succumbing to them. I may not have felt it at the time, but there would have been people that would have bee sad if I had succeeded. 

People suffer silently, all around you. Those people may be lost in their mind, afraid to reach out for help. Pay attention to the humans around you, reach out to them. If you find yourself wallowing in sadness, talk about it with someone. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 if you are uncomfortable talking with those that you know. I am always here to be an ear, whether I know you personally or not. I don’t judge, for I empathize how it feels to feel lost and not feel like there is anyone out there that cares. 

In closing, I wish to remind everyone to be thankful for every day that you wake up. Hug your loved ones and let them know that they are loved. Be sympathetic to your fellow humans, for you know not the struggles they may be facing, all the while having a smile on their face. Share the joys in your life to make others smile for you never know when you have the chance to brighten someone’s day if you don’t try. 

Posted in Photography

Shooting Blind but Still I See

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It’s a rainy day and I am content to stay in my jammies and write for a good portion of it. I am happy that the flower bed is getting watered which makes my 1st outdoor garden endeavour all the more effortless. I call it lazy gardening, masked as being that I have no clue what I’m doing!

I open our front door to check on the garden because you know, checking it every 5 minutes helps it grow faster! I get distracted by a raindrop jeweled spider web above me and run inside to grab my camera to take a snapshot. I sense a blog inspiration coming on and a fantastic photo-op to illustrate. I grab the step stool and ask my 4-year-old to hold the door open, as I hang precariously out of the doorway, trying to get closer to get a picture. I’m shooting blind and cannot see my subject, much less the creator of said subject, so I take about a dozen shots.

“Where’s the spider?” my 4-year-old innocently asks me,  just as I was wondering the same. Not really what I want to be asked at the moment, as a quick flash of panic hits me. I push the thought aside and bravely take a few more shots, while almost falling out of the door. When you’re a photographer at heart, you’ll go to great lengths to get a good shot! 

I have always had arachnophobia to the point that even seeing a tiny spider across the room would make me screech like a little girl. If one was ever on me, forget it, a coronary would be in progress! Through photography however, I have learned to face that fear and learned that spiders are not all that bad…as long as they stay over there, across the room and not on me. 

Seeing a web like this would have sent me in a panic years ago, wondering where the spider was instead of enjoying the beauty of the moment. Now when I see a sight like this, I reach for my camera. Photography has turned out to be good therapy for me, in more ways than one. It helps me to open my eyes and perceive what others would not notice. Photography is my art when I do not know how to paint and is my artistic vent to show the world through my eyes. It helps me face my fears and forget the things that once instilled fear in me. 

I may have been shooting blind when I took this picture, but it didn’t stop me from seeing…

 

Posted in gardening, Photography, Writing

Garden Surprise: Fossil?

 

It’s 20 to 9 on a Friday night, I just laid my 4 year old down to sleep and put water on for tea. I probably shouldn’t be having any sort of caffeine at this time of night, being that I was ready to punch out for the day a few hours ago. I should probably be winding down for the day but instead, my mind is racing and I want to write more, even after already writing a 1400 something word post today. I’m excited and had a great end to a not so great day, so I feel the need to get it out instead of procrastinating and putting it off till tomorrow. 

I found myself I in a melancholic mood after the emotional post I blogged this morning. Bringing demons to light after harboring them for so long can tend to have an effect on one’s soul. It put me in a kinda funk for the rest of the day and sent me to some of those dark corners of my mind. 

Gardening is often my solace. Something about feeling the dirt tumbling through my fingers and smelling the air around me as I am digging away in my garden gives me some comfort in life, even if outdoor is a newfound comfort. What was even better while digging away in my garden this evening, contemplating on things, I came across this archaic looking rock that has somehow gone unnoticed the past couple garden seasons. (Here in the Adirondacks that’s about 3 good months of the year, the rest it basically snows and is like tundra at times with obnoxious below zero weather!)

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At first when I pulled up weeds and noticed it right alongside of our cement step, I thought it was a garden decoration or the top of a post or something because of the what I thought was an engraving on it. It didn’t look like a normal rock to me. My youngest was next to me, playing with a bunch of toys in a bucket of water, so we washed it off a bit. After turning it over to inspect it, I realized that it WAS a rock, because you can see a bit of what looks like quartz in it.

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A wave of amazement washed over as it dawned on me that this may be a fossil! When I realized that I may be the first human to ever touch this fossil, all the melancholy that was felt throughout the day was replaced by wonderment. I need to research it further, but this just may be a fossil from a creature that lived and became extinct 65 million years ago, and that blows my mind that it was found in my garden here in the Adirondacks. I’m thankful for this find, and the affect it had on my mood. I’m still geeking out about it a few hours later, giddy with anticipation to find out more.

Life may put us in some dark places at times, and sometimes even something as simple as a rock can cast some light to blur out that darkness. The rock just may be found in the most unlikely of places, but somehow, it found its way to me!

Posted in Photography, Plant Life

Ginger Mint and Freelance Fortitude

 

 

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MEET: GINGER

This morning when I woke and checked my email, I opened an email that will forever change my life: I got my first pay as a freelance writer for the online company, Zemandi! It has been slow going, getting going, but now that the ball is rolling, I’m well enough on my way to earn some bill money while I stay at home to take care of Baby Girl.

I was leary to try Zemandi at first, as there are a LOT of scammers out there! I took to Craigslist for some of my job search and there was a LOT of nonsense and spam to sift through. One site for writers sounded very promising, until I clicked on the “sign up” tab and they wanted $68 for membership! That wasn’t even for writing gigs, that was just a reference to sites that you could apply do, not even guaranteed work!

Since it was free, I decided to give Zemandi a try. What would I have to lose except the time that I might have gotten scammed out of for my writing? I couldn’t really find many reviews out there about it, except for disgruntled people looking to make a quick buck. If you are looking for a quick buck, writing is NOT the way to go!

Once you do the initial trial pieces (you get paid for them), Zemandi evaluates your performance, and if they like your work, they keep you on! You request and do assignments at your own convenience, which is why it is ideal for a stay at home parent like myself. Not only do I get to stay at home to work, I am less the stressed over worrying about daycare and transportation to get back and forth to work. I can literally wake up in the morning, make my coffee, and sit down for a little while and write. When Baby Girl naps, I take advantage of the quiet, and I write. When she goes to bed at night and I have the quiet time for the evening, I write. The pay is meager at first, but to have the convenience to be my own boss, and make some money doing what I love is a trade I am willing to make.

Oh ya, and, I got a new plant, the beautiful Ginger Mint above. I picked it out for a Mother’s Day present and I love it! I love how it smells and the variegated leaves make it such an attractive plant to have indoors. Best part is, I can make tea from the leaves. I haven’t yet, but when I do, I shall write about it!

Posted in Diary of a Calla Lily, Photography, Plant Life

Growing Like a Weed

Happy Friday all! I’m just killing some time with a blog post until I get more writing assignments (more on my freelancing efforts to be discussed in a future post!) and thought I’d write a little update on my Calla Lilies.

The first pic was taken this morning, just two short weeks after sprouting (shown in the second pic) and I just cannot believe how quickly they are growing. The stalks are already five inches tall, and there are a couple more little sproutlings growing  as well. I read that Calla Lilies are slow to grow and bloom, taking up to two years to mature and bloom. At the rate these Callas are going, I couldn’t imagine them taking that long to bloom, but we shall see.

A year ago, if you had told me that I would have 15 plants in my living room, I would have thought that a crazy notion, being that I’ve never had a green thumb. To be frank, I never really TRIED to be a green thumb. Sure, I loved plants, but I was happier watching others grow them.

Then last September while visiting my parents in Connecticut, my mom gave me a clipping that she had grown from her Ivy plant. I was so excited to have just that one plant, because it meant a lot to me that my mom thought of me enough to start me a plant.

My mom warned me that gardening is addictive and I laughed. I though, “ha ha, not ME, not THIS girl who has barely ever had a plant in her life!” Then winter happened, and I got caught up in the excitement of watching my Ivy grow, and I needed more. The more I was trapped inside and suffering cabin fever, the more I wanted plants to liven up my  living room to ease the winter blues, if even for a little.

Fast forward to now, and my fifteen plants. With each plant that I have brought home, I have researched to learn how to care for them. Plants are like people, that each have different needs. Some plants need more light and water than others. Some grow a lot faster than others, (speaking of which, I have also learned that jade trees take a long time to grow. While I can understand this, I am happy to report that Jade has been thriving being in the direct sunlight in the windows, and she has many new leaves that have been growing for the past few weeks) and some plants are just somewhere in the middle. All in all, no matter what plants need what care, I am very happy to have them all in my care! 🙂