Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gifts From Nature

By Cathy

Here we are, halfway through the month of December. So, how are you doing? Are you enjoying this holiday season? Are you finding time each day to relax and unwind?

Every day I spend some time outside. As soon as I step out on the porch I take a deep breath of the fresh winter air. Sometimes I only have a few minutes, but sometimes I have time to go for a walk or simply sit observing and listening.

On one of my walks I spotted the fruit of the sycamore tree hanging from a branch. It looked like a little round Christmas tree ornament. Even nature decoration for Christmas! Then, I began to pay attention; searching for nature's ornaments.

I even found some Christmas tree shapes. Historians give Germany the credit for starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it. In the 16th century Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. It’s believed that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. From there it has evolved to artificial trees, strings of lights, and ornaments in every shape and size.

If you take the time to really see, not just look, nature’s gifts to us are pretty amazing. I encourage you to get outside and enjoy them. Some days it’s hard to find a few spare minutes, but I hope you’ll try. At least stick your head out the door and take a deep breath of air. That’s a gift, too.

(The snow is added, sadly it's not snowing here!)

“We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there.
We have been conditioned to expect . . . but, as photographers,
we must learn to relax our beliefs.”
 ~ Aaron Siskind


Dotti said...

You have such a keen eye for these gifts of nature, not just at Christmas but all year round. My meditation with nature today will be the walk to and from my mailbox, this morning for the paper, this afternoon for the mail and afternoon paper. It's 13 degrees (feels like 3 according to weather), so mine will be brief or through my windows. I do find the birds at our feeders to be a never ending source of nature's wonders.

terriporter said...

I love the way your eye sees all the beauty of nature! It's always there for us. We just have to open up our eyes and look. That top shot with all the bokeh . . . sigh! I spent some time shooting outside yesterday and it's amazing the calming influence it had on me. Sorry you haven't had snow yet but your "added" snow is beautiful! Wish I could blow some of our warm air east to everyone who is freezing right now. It was 75 here yesterday and doesn't feel a bit like Christmas but I'll take it! Dotti, 13 degrees??? I can't even imagine! Hope everyone can take so me moments in nature the next 10 days before Christmas. It's the best stress-buster there is!

heyjudephotography said...

These photos are fun Cathy! Is the third photo from the sycamore tree? I've seen those before but didn't know what it was. Very very cold and windy here today so my outdoor time will be brief, but I can definitely breathe in the crisp air!

Sarah Huizenga said...

I was contemplating looking versus seeing while at the beach this afternoon - how timely that I am reading this now.

Carol said...

I have looked at the Sycamore in my yard a million times, and only think that I have to clean up the ground under it. Never thought of it as picking up its natural Christmas ornaments - you just gave me a whole new outlook on raking.... Merry winter and , as they say in baseball - good eye , good eye!

Cathy H. said...

Judy, the second photo is the sycamore. The third is a type of ever green, sorry I don't know the name.

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