All posts tagged: Nature

In a Flash

I finally got around to deleting my calendar that was counting down the days to my 3 year sober anniversary. It’s about time, since the date flew by almost three months ago!

In the Distance

I think this photo was made for color, but I thought the lake and mountains in the distance were perfect for Cee’s Black & White challenge today. Also… I found an interesting quote that I’m going to keep in mind when I go back to school… The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it. Ansel Adams

Wings to Fly

I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings. Gustave Flaubert I’m back from my mini vacation… and I feel like I’m ready to fly! I’ve got a ton of catching up to do, and a plethora of images to sort through… but I wanted to share one of my favorite photographs thus far. I shot this the first day of my trip, at a park near the beach. I love capturing birds on the move (as many of you already know), so I was thrilled when this duck struck a pose and I was able to catch it. I just love it when that happens! Until later…Peace & Love Everyone!—Janet

Raw Beauty

I had a revelation the other day, when I was pondering what breathtaking means to me. I realized that my relationship with photo programs began when I was shooting nature in Colorado. There’s just something that you feel—when you see nature with your own eyes—that can’t be reproduced when you look at a photograph. At least that’s how I see it. Post-processing started as my way of trying to recapture that feeling somehow. Of course, now my images often morph into wild or wacky art—and end up looking quite different in the end. The first photo above literally became last night’s Circle of Life. Feeling playful and rebellious, I shaped it into something abstract. Anyway, all of these images were taken from our apartment, when we lived in Colorado, and I’ve done as little as possible to them. We had the best view in the complex, and Mother Nature… with all of her raw beauty… never failed to put on an amazing show.

The Monsoon

—Photo Memories This photograph was taken when I lived in a mobile home for a few short months, in a town called Catalina… in Arizona. It’s about 20 miles or so from Tucson, and those are the Santa Catalina Mountains in the distance. My best guess is that I took it a little over ten years ago, and probably with a cellphone. There were actually a handful of old images that I found, that would probably qualify for the Word of the Day Challenge—breathtaking, but I wanted to use this one because of what breathtaking means to me. One of the things I remember the most about Catalina is being outside in the middle of a sunny afternoon, blue skies above, and hearing the thunder start to build in the distance. It was faint at first, and if you followed its echo you could see the dark and ominous cloud billowing in the distance. The sky would begin to darken, ever so slightly, and gusts of wind would send whirls of dust through the air. …

Gazing Upward

I saw this sunset a week ago, just before my Thursday evening class started. It was beautiful just the way it was, but I wanted to do something with it. I feel like I need a ‘creative reprieve’ more and more these days. Not that anything is going bad, or I am stressed out or anything; I just think that sitting down to get creative helps put a halt to my overthinking. It’s like wordless prayer. It forces me to be still. So… I hit another ‘month’ anniversary; 2 years and 8 months sober as of yesterday. It’s not like I count the days or anything, but when I see the calendar hit the 7th each month I make a mental note—thinking about where I was then compared to where I am now. What a difference 977 days make! Anyway, that’s about all for now. Have a beautiful day everyone! Remember to stop and smell the roses… enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend… or gaze up at a beautiful sunset. Because when you …

Carpe Noctem

I realized this evening that I stay up much later than I used to. I wanted to work on this image tonight because I just love the trees. The next thing I knew it was after midnight again! If you ask me, I think all of the lines from the leafless branches seem to make their own art. I love how nature does that; flaunts its beauty without shame, even in the most vulnerable and unexpected places. I was never quite sure if the trees were even alive when I took the photograph, because as far as my eyes could see, it looked like sticks… upon sticks… upon sticks! Still, it looked beautiful to me. I think it has to do with growing up in the city. When all you really know of nature is what’s in your own backyard—or in the neighborhood park—glimpses of natural landscapes, untouched by man, create a sense of awe and wonder that’s truly unforgettable. I love that. Anyway, the later it got, the more I thought about how I’m becoming a night …

Neighbors Part Two

It might be overkill, but I have been using the parrot shots to get in practice with more paint effects. I found some cool online tutorials, but they have no talking… just music. It’s fun to watch them but it can be hard to follow along and actually learn! Anyway, I zoom in on some of the interesting pointers, and little odds and ends here and there… so I wanted to try one more version of the noisy neighbors. Plus I liked “the parrot eating a walnut” shot. I think it came out pretty cool. Kind of like a watercolor, and I added lots of blur and smudge to it. That’s all for now…

In a Haze

Sois belle à ta façon “Be beautiful in your own way.” I thought this french quote was a beautiful pick for today’s image. I believe I’ve shared the photograph before, but I did something different with it today. I’m usually determined to darken contrasts or shadows, and to increase saturation and vibrancy in my photographs of nature. I learned how to increase haze in Photoshop this afternoon and I am really liking it on this lake! It is beautiful in it’s own way. I like that. I finished my homework this afternoon and tonight is my recovery class, so it’s business as usual today. BUT, I’m looking forward to a fun fourth of July celebration tomorrow, with some of my friends from church and recovery.

Looking Up

There is a foolish corner in the brain of the wisest man. -Aristotle It feels like forever since I’ve posted, or read other blogs. I’m still learning how to monitor my time with everything. I was looking for a quote about webs, but I saw this one by Aristotle today and thought it was perfect. I actually found it when I was doing one of those right brain/left brain tests. FYI: It appears that my right brain is dominate, but I think I already knew that! And with all of the studying I’ve been doing, I’m wondering if a corner of my mind might look like that web. Information overload! 😉 Anyway, I took this photograph today. It’s our Japanese Maple. I’m actually not a big fan of spider webs, but I got caught up in the way the sunlight was hitting it. So… I thought I would share. Happy Hump day to you all. I hope you are having a happy and blessed week!

Stay Golden

Nothing Gold Can Stay Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. -Robert Frost I’ve definitely learned some new techniques over the course of my blogging adventure. That makes me happy! Anyway, I think the filter gives it a bit of a gold tone, so I pulled up this poem by Robert Frost. I thought it was a pretty good fit! Have a great day tomorrow everyone… TGIF!

A Good Start

Rise up and attack the day with enthusiasm! It’s already 11:45 a.m. here in California, so this quote is a wee bit tardy… but it’s a good one nonetheless. And I had an extended coffee time, so it’s still morning in my eyes. 😉 I did some wandering around the backyard earlier and shot this bloom in our Crepe Myrtle. I was actually tracking a squirrel… but having camera in hand got my creative juices flowing and I decided to focus on the colorful flower instead. I did a little Photoshop work, to mimic a painting (again). I guess I’m kind of stuck on doing exaggerated effects at the moment. It’s so fun! I picked up another library book, called Composition: From Snapshots to Great Shots. Looking at it last night got me itching to get out and walk the streets again. I just might later this week! Anyway, I thought I would share some Wednesday enthusiasm with you all. Have a beautiful day!! (or evening for some of you!) Blessings, Peace and Love!

Just Breathe

The poetry of earth is never dead. -John Keats I needed to take a time out tonight and do something simple and relaxing. Believe it or not, I’m still archiving old images online and I found one that I love but haven’t worked on (or posted) yet. This is Turquoise Lake, in Colorado. The clouds were awesome, so that’s actually what I was aiming to capture that day. It seems there’s a couple trees obstructing the view, but I like that you get the feel of what else was around me… a beautiful lake, blue sky, cool clouds, and lots and lots of TREES. That’s Colorado for you! Anyway, I thought this photograph was perfect for my thoughts tonight. About surrender. A couple of weeks ago, someone shared their simple morning prayer. A surrender prayer. It’s actually a very popular one, but for some reason… on that particular day, it REALLY stuck with me. “Thy will be done, not mine.” I’ve prayed the same phrase MANY times before, but suddenly it feels a bit different. …

Nature Therapy

The mountains are calling and I must go. – John Muir This one actually IS a photograph that I took, back when I lived in Colorado. I read a tutorial this weekend about various ways you can make a photo look more like a vivid painting, and I remembered this image that’s been sitting in my folder waiting for something fun. The original was pretty bland. Too gray. So… I thought I would give it a try. The area where I shot this is beautiful though! This is a peek at the Arkansas River, running through a small town called Buena Vista. It was about 35 miles south of where we lived. I loved going there because it was at a lower elevation, so you could escape the cold and snow for a day, and have lunch on an outdoor patio. I also forgot to mention something about my last post. I had to chuckle when I saw the colors I chose, because they reminded me of the old Pee Chee folders. I think I have …

The Watchdog

I watched another squirrel (or the same one!) run across the cable this morning and do a little dive into the loquat tree. Looking for breakfast I assume. A few minutes later one of my feathered friends jumped OUT of the tree. I’m guessing that they don’t share the space too well! I got a few good shots, from pretty far away. I guess he/she got spooked as I tried to get a little closer… so two MORE of my parrot friends (that were still hiding in the tree) were quietly summoned, and they all flew away… 😦 What an exciting morning… there is so much color and movement outside! That’s about all for now. Have a beautiful day everyone!!

Nature’s Collage

Well, I had a great time visiting my sister! Not quite the photo ops I had anticipated, but hanging out with her was the real treat, so I’m not complaining! I was asked to be on a panel Tuesday night—at a recovery center—and I’m really looking forward to that. If it wasn’t for the commitment, I would have stayed in Riverside a little longer… but it’s nice to be home. I shot this today; the loquat tree as a backdrop to the pansy redbud. Just something to do. Today is my first day back and the backyard has changed quite a bit in a week! Anyway… Spring is such a great time for change. Cleaning, reorganizing, new activities, getting rid of things, and fresh starts. Every day! Peace and Love to you! —Janet

Living Large

DOES THIS BRANCH MAKE ME LOOK BIG??? So far this is the biggest to come around. It really IS a leafless, leaning and tired looking tree, so it was amusing to see this big bird hanging out near the top of it. According to google this is a band tailed pigeon. It’s much prettier than the pigeon’s I’ve seen in the freeway underpass. 🙂 Anyway, all is well! We have business to take care of today, but tomorrow we’re hoping to visit a botanical garden nearby. Super excited about that!! That’s about all for now. Happy Monday!! ♥♥♥

Knock On Wood

What a beautiful day it’s been! This (dead looking) tree is directly in front of my sister’s balcony and seems to attract all kinds of birds. I photographed about seven or eight different types as they came by to visit. Just thought I would start with this one. What a great feeling to spend time somewhere new. I’m already feeling refreshed. Love it! I’m sure tomorrow will be just as good…but to be safe… I’ll KNOCK ON WOOD! (CORNY I know, but I had to say it anyway)

Spring Fling

Our backyard is absolutely blooming with color these past few days, and the Ginkgo is coming to life. Just about a week ago we could practically count the leaves on it! One thing I am really grateful for this past year is living with my mom. Besides the fact that we keep each other company (and I have a roof over my head!), I’m really coming to appreciate the nature that is here. I think it took the onset of spring for me to realize it too. I’ve known this backyard since I was about three years old and this was probably the first year I can remember where I actually watched this tree go from green to yellow, to completely bare… and now here we are again. These leaves are actually very small by the way. This shot is up-close and personal. I haven’t been out around town much lately, so this morning I wandered around the yard to see what was new, and decided to share this little portion of our gigantic tree. Blessings!!

Stand Tall

Say it as it is. No need to hide the truth, to deny the painful journey made nor to dwell in the experience. But move on in you life. Share with others. Being open is the only way, honesty being the best policy. Be frank. Be sincere to yourself. Use your hardship to navigate others through theirs. Grow strong from vulnerability. Stand tall and feel proud. —Author unknown I had a great little walk today and was able to take quite a few interesting photos. I’ll be back later to share more. As a side note… I thought of many fellow bloggers when I found the above quote about honesty. Share your story and your ups & downs. Be honest, be brave… … and STAND TALL.

Hiding Behind Wings

I absolutely LOVE this birds wing. I remember taking the photo, but it must have blended in with the many other photos I took that day and I never really sat down to view it. Anyway, the sky was dull, so I’ve used paint colors and the smudge tool (which would explain all of the sky smudges!). A painter I am NOT, but I found that it’s a GREAT tool for relaxation! So… you might see more smudgy images popping up. I’d say the wings are quite heavenly… so this is my divine image for today. Blessings-

Rainy Days

Trees, by Joyce Kilmer I think that I shall never seeA poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is pressedAgainst the earth’s sweet flowing breast. A tree that looks at God all day,And lifts her leafy arms to pray. A tree that may in Summer wearA nest of robins in her hair. Upon whose bosom snow has lainWho intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me,But only God can make a tree.

I Love Birds

I’m cheating again. Today I am not only grateful for flowers, I am grateful for birds! Today I had a special moment. I had mentally decided to take a day off from photographing things, when I heard a familiar sound out front, by the wash. Anyway… here are a few pics, straight outta camera. Love this guy!

Eyes Wide Open

For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience, they are none the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their being, their spirit. -A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Sweet Ecstasy

My mood today is Ecstatic! Perhaps doing the right thing really DOES pay off. After my meeting I was visited by a hummingbird and not one, but TWO of the parrots—although now I am thinking that maybe they were parakeets?

Relaxation

The quieter you become, the more you hear. My mood today is relaxed and I’m going to do my best to stay that way. Last night I came up with a way to address those recurring (and nagging) thoughts that I’ve been having. I’m going to write them as they pop up. Tonight… after I’ve enjoyed this relaxing day, I’ll sit down with and reflect on those thoughts. Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. William S. Burroughs

The Little Things

When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world. John Muir I know I’ve done droplets already, but they never cease to catch my eye and amaze me, so I’ll probably photograph and share them again and again. This camellia shrub is right outside the front porch, so it’s hard to miss. You can actually see a piece of it in A Peek Outside — between our window and the unsuspecting subject. The sun is threatening to come out this morning so I’m hoping to get out. Yesterday I picked my grandson up from school, and the big event was 31 flavors ice cream. I’m not sure which of us was more excited. Sometimes the little things are the biggest things!

Slightly Closer-up

I managed to hunt down the parrots before it was too dark. They were still 3 houses down in the neighbors backyard tree, which is very TALL mind you, but I did manage to get a little more detail after working on it a bit. I just think it’s fascinating that these parrots live in my city, and I thought Moosey might like this. 🙂 I cannot wait to get a face to face with one of them someday!! Blessings!