Beauteously Creepy – Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy


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Beauteously Creepy

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In a list of the top 10 creepiest things, I am fairly certain most people would add insects and arachnids.  This photo of the brilliantly-colored Venusta Orchard Spider immediately came to my mind when I saw this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy from The Daily Post.  I had the unfortunate luck to walk right into this creature’s elaborate work and subsequently acquire her as a passenger.  Caught between panic at her proximity and awe at her beautiful colors, I froze for several long moments.  My brain slowly regained its reasoning functions and finally decided it was completely unnecessary to hurt the creature for my blunder.  Using a stick, I very carefully removed her from my shirt and coaxed her back onto a tree her webbing had been attached to.  When she didn’t immediately skitter off, it seemed like a good idea to get some photos of this stunning, if creepy, acquaintance and was pleased with the results.  It was rather more difficult than I first imagined it would be to try and capture her iridescent colors and delicate shapes, but it was well worth the effort I think.


The Power of Permaculture: Regenerating Landscapes and Human-Nature Connections


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Reblogging Willowcrow’s wonderfully-worded post with an added strong suggestion to check out the film “Inhabit”, which is linked in the post. The hope-giving documentary shows a wide variety of people, places, and situations that permaculture design has be successfully applied, inspiring the empathetic viewer to explore what ways they too could apply permaculture design.

Originally posted on The Druid's Garden:

Regenerating our lands for pollenators Regenerating our lands for pollinators

As a species, we are facing a number of challenges that can be overwhelming—from global climate change to failing ecosystems, to mass deforestation and substantial water stress. Many who care deeply about the earth, who see the earth as sacred, finds themselves in a state of perpetual mourning and apparent powerlessness when reading the headlines or seeing destruction firsthand. The sense of being overwhelmed can be stifling, limiting, leaving you unsure as to how to do anything but strongly wanting to do something. It can leave you feeling that nothing that you do is good enough and nothing that you do as an individual matters.

The environmental movement doesn’t really seem to provide a meaningful way response because its largely based on assumptions that mitigate damage rather than actively regenerate. Environmentalism teaches us how to be “less bad” and do “less harm” by changing from…

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Sociable Butterfly – Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up


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Sociable Butterfly

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Close-up photography is probably my favorite style; I have always been fascinated by seeing things that appear small to the naked eye shown up close and in great detail.  The floral works by American artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) left a deep impression on my sense of aesthetics in this way I think.  Of course I could not resist this Weekly Photo Challenge by The Daily Post.

The butterfly in this photo, which I believe to be an Enodia creola, allowed me to get rather close, an unusual occurrence compared to my previous endeavors to photograph butterflies.  Totally unafraid, perhaps even determinedly, this butterfly repeatedly landed on shoulders and arms until I finally went to snag my camera.  Although I cannot get as close as I would like with my current lens, the level of detail in the photographs such as this that I can get is still satisfying.


Out Here Though…


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We just got back from a forest retreat in a rustic cabin… no electricity, no running water, no gadgets…. Only us and the forest. Though it was only for a few days, the experience was significant in many ways. I hope to share more in the coming days as I integrate and process the experience, but here is the first poem to emerge.

IMG_8753a15Out Here Though…

Morning is beautiful because
the dark has fled and you turn inward
to the poet speaking outward
and baptizing your eyes with sight
reaching deep into the forest’s green shadows…
A stag breaks from the brush.
Startling you in its immediacy.

Nature leaves a layer on you –
cuts and sweat and smoke and Earth.
A domestic embrace we call dirt and grime
in the wild city, running to the shower to scrape
and scrub, pushing it away to the invisible,
only to replace it each morning
with plastic and greed and exhaust and deceit.
A truck rumbles down the street.
Startling you in its hubris.

Yes, the honest smoke from the campfire still clings,
searing the soothing ritual of sweat and dust into your skin.
The breeze grants you a part in birdsong poetry,
the movement of the city reminds you of being
green-washed and cradled in layers of stillness.
The experience settles in.
Startling you in its recognition.


Spring Training of the Fruit Tree – Weekly Photo Challenge: Off-Season


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Springtime Autumn Olive

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Near a small, untended apple orchard, there are a few thriving Autumn Olive trees. This was approximately a month ago, just before the pale yellow flowers had started to open. These trees are named for their very small, edible, olive-shaped fruits that begin to appear in Autumn, and both the leaves and the fruits of the Autumn Olive trees are silvery-scaled, having a distinctive texture, shown below.  I chose this springtime photo of the Autumn Olive for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Off-Season.

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Red Eagle’s Talons – Weekly Photo Challenge: Vivid


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Red Eagle's Talons

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The vivid color of the Eastern Red Columbine flower immediately caught my eye as I walked down a familiar forest path.  I had never seen this beautiful flower before and feel blessed to have made its acquaintance.  Aquilegia, the flower’s genus name (Aquilegia canadensis), refers to the red petals that resemble the shape of an eagle’s talons.  It seemed a most fitting choice for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Vivid from The Daily Post.


Clutching the Sun – Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped


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Clutching the Sun

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Riding in the car on the way back from a wonderful time in a nearby nature preserve, a cloud formation caught my eye.  As I continued to observe the overall shape, a definite impression of a god-like cloud hand enveloping the afternoon sun became more and more obvious to me, so this photo seemed like the best choice for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge from The Daily Post.

Twirling Oak Wreath – Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion


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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Motion.”

Twirling Oak Wreath - Summer Solstice 2014

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This photo was taken on the last Summer Solstice, the height of the year for the Oak King in the Oak King and the Holly King story.  Although the dim light of the cloudy day and tree canopy prevented a crisp still shot of the gently twirling oak wreath, made of freshly fallen oak branches, the motion in the image was still interesting.

A Floating Salute – Weekly Photo Challenge


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Double Floating Salute

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While ducks floating on water is not exactly an original choice for representing “afloat” in The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge, I found this particular shot interesting because the duck pair were in almost the exact same position when I snapped the photo.



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