Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Flutter By Butterfly....

by Deanna

As some of you may know via instagram and facebook, I recently visited Arizona, the home of good friends who graciously invite me each year to enjoy the warmth of the sun and the amazing life in the desert. And you also probably know that I spent time with both Terri (my FOL sister and BFF from Phoenix) and the amazing Barbara Carroll. Lunch together on my birthday was pretty darn special. Terri and I joined up again a couple of other times and just enjoyed being together, snapping our cameras at the glorious sights of our surroundings. It was absolutely glorious to see color and sunshine again. Here at home we are still struggling with the arrival of Spring, cloudy days, cool temps, but there are glimpses that Spring will arrive. 

I have so many (approximately 3,000 give or take) pictures that I took while there. Up to this point 2017's inventory of pictures taken was only about 1300 from January until the 1st part of March. Pretty pitiful for someone who historically snapped several each day. As I said before, there are only so many bare trees and branches one can get excited about.. Visiting the butterfly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden and another visit to Butterfly Wonderful brought that excitement back in full force. So, because my inventory is over-flowing with butterfly images I am dedicating this post to the magic and wonder of butterflies. 

Please do not ask me to name any of these. I could spend hours trying to google and search for each of these, but I'm not, so just enjoy their uniqueness, their beauty, and their exquisite colors. 

Not sure if these two were copulating or just happen to land on the same leaf at the same time.... 

And, by the way, I bought myself the new Tamron 90mm Macro lens, which really performed nicely for butterflies, flowers, bees. I would recommend the lens. All of these images were taken hand-held, which proves that for a 74 year old woman the vibration compensation really works. 

I've spent very little time on my computer lately processing pictures, so preparing for this post was almost as delightful as being there. Isn't it marvelous that we can re-visit those special places through our photographs. 

 I combined this lovely with the bluebonnets from Texas that I enjoyed last year. 

"Love is like a butterfly
It goes where it pleases
And it pleases wherever it goes."
(author unknown)

Now if you happen to wonder what I might produce with these lovelies....I make calendars each year and sell them, with my profits (after expenses) then donated to the Alzheimer's Association. 

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
- Irish Blessing 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


by Leigh

There are a lot of things about spring that I love, but one of my absolute favorites is when new foliage begins to emerge.  Just when you think that everything is dead here comes spring.  

"Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist, but the ability to start over." ~F. Scott Fitzgerald 

In spring we are starting fresh...starting over.  Bulbs planted in the dead of winter break through the bare ground giving us bursts of color.  Leaves open very delicately and deliberately.  Fern fronds and Hostas seem to unravel right before our eyes.

It seems a bit redundant, but there is such a delicate nature to nature. Spring is the time of renewal.  A time for cleaning out, clearing out and making way for fresh possibilities.  It's our time also to begin again.  Not only is nature something for us to enjoy, but it can also be our teacher in the rhythm of our life.

Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep with rain.
— Ute prayer


Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring Babies!

by Carol

I'm sure that for many of you, spring awakens thoughts of clearing up the dregs of winter both physical and mental,  of new beginnings, new growth. It's a natural, even evolutional process. Mother nature renews in spring too. Maybe you are all thinking about your gardens and flowers and yards. But for me, the best part of spring is babies! At our local farm stands baby ducklings and rabbits are appearing, calves and sheep are emerging from their winter barns, and here in my corner of New Jersey, we have to watch for baby bears and their protective moms right behind. Hedgehogs, woodchucks and squirrels are awakening from hibernation to look for food.

In the northern hemisphere spring arrives when the sun moves directly over the equator as the earth moves in its orbit. The resulting longer days give mothers more time to forage for food for  their brood. Baby animals are born as the rain brings lush new growth in the food chain. One of the first signs around my house is a little bird family who has graced the craft show birdhouse near my noisy deck for three years running now. Mama and papa help me clean up the yard - last year I even spotted plastic Easter basket grass woven into their nest that must have been stolen or spilled from our garbage.

So for your delight today - a selection of babies, mostly from past years. It's just not quite time for them to emerge fully here - but its what I am looking forward to over the next three weeks or so. 

And of course those of you on my facebook feed will know that his whole post is really just an excuse to show you my own new baby - Lilly! She is a rescue who found her forever home with yours truly on March 17th. She is about 11 weeks old - just a baby! 

"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's a problem."

A.A. Milne


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