Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Thinking Outside of the Box…

by Susan

Oh it my post already?  My iCal is reminding me...'post due'...'take pictures'...'monthly theme is Earth Day'...ding, ding, ding!  Let's get on it Sue, grab your camera...step outside.  And so...I do.  What do I photograph...lots and lots of flowers.  Pink ones...yellow, white, gorgeous ones!  Upload them into my computer and think...c'mon can do better than more creative with the theme...and think outside of the box.  And so I to speak...

And then I notice it...the box at the curb.  The big green box (bin) at the curb with it's bright yellow lid.  I smile...and chuckle...because that's my shot. There before me is my big green 'recycling' box...with it's loud yellow lid and it silently says to me, 'hey...I have everything to do with Earth Day...come photograph me!'  And you can see...I did.  Yes, that's my recycle box...the box that helps keep this earth cleaner...through recycling.  I goes the shutter...yup...that's my blog post for this week. My not-so-pretty recycle bin is now a beautiful colorful capture.

How wonderful it would be if everyone did their part...and recycled.  But not everyone does, and that is unfortunate because it's so simple to do.  As you can see in the pic above, I captured a neighbor who decided to put a completely recyclable box into the non recyclable bin...the bin with the 'green' lid.  Mayday! Mayday!  That large cardboard box goes into the yellow lid box...yellow!  {yeah...I feel like I'm channeling the late comedian Sam Kinison...THE YELLLLLOWWWW LID...NOT THE GREEEEEEEN!}

Deep breath...deap breath.  The good news is that the recognition of Earth Day is a wonderful, peaceful way to remind all of us to do our part as best we can, one step at a make this world a better place.

How do you make a difference? Photos, thoughts, interesting tips on recycling? Please share!

Happy Earth Day month!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebrating Earth Day in My Own Backyard

by Kelly

I cultivate my garden, and my garden cultivates me. ~Robert Brault

I come by my love of gardening naturally.  I remember being a young girl and spending summers with my great-grandmother, picking the zinnias she planted between her rows of green beans.  And I can't remember a summer when my mom didn't have at least a couple of tomato bushes growing out in the back yard.  

But don't get started on that summer she grew okra.  I still have the emotional scars from being sent out into the miserable Oklahoma, late-August heat to pick those sticky, fuzzy pods which she would then cook with stewed tomatoes.  {{shudder}}

Anyway, the love of gardening is deeply rooted in me (pun intended).  And even where I live in the city, I still manage to plant a small garden in my backyard each year.  In northeastern Oklahoma we have a pretty long growing season, so I like to plant early season vegetables like lettuce, peas, broccoli, and cauliflower first. 

Then by the time they are finished producing, my tomato and pepper plants are really taking off.  

I know...this is going to sound really cheesy...but having a garden is almost like witnessing a miracle.  I get such a thrill watching seeds sprout and push up through the soil.

And then seeing those first couple of leaves reach out and stretch towards the light.

I can hardly wait until harvest!  Because everyone knows that fruits and vegetables taste better when they come out of your own garden. 

But it's more than that.  Having a garden encourages a connection to food that you don't get from buying it at the grocery store. 

And having a garden makes me appreciate my food more....not just in the work and care associated with maintaining it.  But more especially, in the good earth which provides this bounty for us.

The great thing about having a garden is that you don't have to have acres and acres of land in which to plant. You can experience the wonder and joy of gardening wherever you live...whether it's in a small, urban garden like mine or pot of tomato plants on an apartment balcony.

I'm so honored to be posting today, Earth Day...gardening and nature are both so dear to my heart.  And as we celebrate Earth Day as a community today, I would like to invite you to share with us your photos of what you love about this wonder-full planet that we share.  You can add your shots to our Flickr pool or tag your Instagram shots with our hashtag #focusingonlife. 

Until next time, 


Monday, April 21, 2014

An Earth Day Photo Project

by Terri

I hope you have all been enjoying our Earth Day posts so far this month. Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. Once again, it all comes down to gratitude, to being mindful of the blessings we have and being grateful for them.

As Linda talked about last week, the gift of this beautiful Earth is one we want to be able to leave to our children and our grandchildren. Photography for me has been one thing that has made me more aware of all the blessings we have and the desire to take care of them. When I’m out in nature and capturing all that beauty, I feel even more strongly that I want to preserve that for future generations. One of my favorite places to shoot in the spring is the Dallas Arboretum during their “Dallas Blooms” exhibit. Spending the day there surrounded by the beauty of nature can’t help but make me profoundly grateful for all that our Earth gives us.

I thought it might get us thinking about and being grateful for this beautiful world of ours if we took on a photography project together in honor of Earth Day. Here’s what we’ll do:

"Earth in a Day" Photo Project 

Tomorrow is Earth Day 2014. Take a photo any time during the twenty-four hour period of April 22 where you are. Take your best shot of our environment -- how you see it, what you treasure about it, the things you would never want to see fade away -- and then share them through our Flickr group.

Spread the word. Get outside. Have some fun and capture the moment as you celebrate our planet Earth.

What better time to get out into nature and capture all the beauty of our Earth than now, when Mother Nature is putting on her springtime show? Won’t you join us in this project? We would love to see the Flickr gallery full of your images taken on Earth Day. Let’s celebrate together!

© Focusing On Life