Tag Archive: nature


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I have always loved wildflowers. I love just about all flowers except for skunk cabbage (but that’s another blog post story all together). Roses are beautiful as are tulips and daffodils and all the other hybrid beauties that can be found in the garden but there is a simple pure beauty in a wildflower that  despite all their vibrant colors and flashiness, a hybrid just can’t compete with.  Another admirable quality about wildflowers is their tenacity. Many of them don’t seem as fussy about care and for the most part take care of themselves. I found these lovely bloodroot flowers literally on the roadside one year. They come back faithfully every year and poke up through the gravel and leaves.

People must think I’m crazy when they drive by to see somebody crouching on the roadside with a camera pointed at the ground trying to capture their fleeting blossoms. These pure white early spring flowers have easily become my favorite Virginia wildflower.

There were so many of them that I carefully dug up one small one and put it in my pocket for the rest of my walk. When I got home to our property on the mountainside I planted it in a shady moist spot where a spring runs when it rains really hard. On the way home from work today I stopped to see how it was doing after a day and so far so good. The leaves looked happy and were not wilted at all so I’m hoping it will take hold. I planted it next to our driveway so it should be at home on a roadside again. Maybe if I’m lucky one day it will spread and I will have my own little wildflower garden next to our driveway.

Perhaps this will be the beginning of more wildflower gardens on our property. I can not claim credit for this idea to start cultivating wildflowers however.  My mom is the inspiration. Years ago she planted trilliums on their property in Oregon and although my Mom isn’t around to admire their beauty anymore, the trilliums are thriving and are still there for my Dad to admire and remember some of her beauty that she left behind.

So as I set out on my walk to see if the bloodroot flowers were blooming yet I was on a mission not just to capture some photos but to also bring one home to spread their beauty to our part of the mountain. Maybe one day when I’m not around anymore the flowers I planted will bring  joy to somebody else like these little wildflowers bring to me.

Hopefully this will be just the first addition to my wildflower garden. I’d also like to add Virginia Blue Bells and maybe some milkweed for the monarch butterflies too. Stay tuned 🙂

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When I am starting to feel like I’m in a rut with my photography it seems to help to just put my camera around my neck and head out for a walk. Whether it is a walk through the forest around our house or just down the road it can reawaken something inside me that has been sleeping. That sleeping something is a connection to the natural world.

That connection seems to come from tuning out and tuning in i.e.tuning out of the digital world and into the natural world (the real world). The older I get, the more I’m starting to realize that although there is a place for connecting with friends and family on the internet or watching an entertaining TV program, it is far more rewarding to see those people in person and far more rewarding to be a part of nature rather than just seeing it on TV. Breathing fresh air and hearing the sounds of birds or the rushing of the wind through the trees fills a part of my soul and restores me like nothing else can.

It can be a rather noisy place inside my head and sometimes I just need to find a still quiet place where my head can be still and quiet and take a break from all those busy thoughts that it thinks are so important. Going for a nature walk alone helps to bring me back to that centered place but my camera adds to that as well by bringing me even more into the now.

When I’m walking and see a sight or a scene that inspires me, I want to share that with my viewers through my photos and hopefully instill that same feeling I felt at the time I saw that scene or sight. Sometimes I miss the mark and sometimes I hit it. It’s those moments that I hit it that keeps me going and makes me want to photograph more and share more.

If you are stopping by to read my blog, I hope my photos from yesterday’s walk bring you the reader a sense of peace like the peace I felt when attempting to capture these moments in time.

If you would like to see more of my work, please visit my website

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

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It always seems like February and March is the hardest time for me. I really miss color. Growing up on the Oregon coast  where there was always green…even in the winter when the sky was  gray, some color was a normal part of winter.  Here in the blue ridge mountains however, color is very much lacking in winter. Don’t get me wrong I love a peaceful walk in the snow where the only sound you hear is the squeaking snow beneath each footstep but this has been a strange season  with very little snow except for the unusual recent march snow storm that brought 15″ to our part of the mountain. When the snow is gone it seems the valley is left with a muted palette of grays, browns and tans. Here on the East coast in Virginia we get 4 seasons which are wonderful but the waiting for the change from winter to Spring always seems to be endless. Two days ago however, I finally got a tease of color when our crocuses decided to brave the cold and poke their heads up through the soil in search of a warm ray of sunshine. It’s left me hungry for more…  I know it won’t be long though and it will be an awaking for me like the flowers and leaf buds. When Spring color really returns I always feel like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in that scene after her house has landed in Oz and she opens the door and steps out of her black and white world into a new vibrantly colored world. I’ve got a bit of photographers block with my photography right now… but hopefully color will be around the corner to bring back inspiration into my world. I just have to hold on for a few weeks more and I know  it will finally be here.

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Every summer my husband & I try to get in as much beach time as we can on Assateague Island. I like to go for two reasons.  One is for the beach of course and the other is for the amazing wildlife . Assateague Island is a unique beach destination. Because of the nature of Assateague Island and the fact that it is a designated National Wildlfie refuge it draws  people there who are not there just for the beach but to see the wild ponies and diverse wildlife as well. Assateague Island is a haven for nature lovers, birders & photographers alike.  There are no hotels or resorts on the Island since it it is a National Wildlife refuge. Visitors to the refuge generallly stay on the Island of Chincoteague which is a small island so it does not bring the large crowds to the beach that a typical Eastern Seaboard beach would have.  There is only one road to the beach and two parking lots that seem to shrink a little each year as they rebuild them every year when the winter storms wash them away. Although Assateague has grown over the years and is busier than it used to be it is still a slower pace than the other beaches which makes it one of my favorite places to visit in the summer. It is a great place to photograph, egrets, herons, sand pipers, sika deer, wildflowers, dragonflies and the list goes on and on.  The photos pictured above were taken on the last trip we took in July which was made even more special when a great blue heron decided to pose a while for me before he flew off in search of fish.

I love just about all creatures but if I had to pick a favorite I think it would have to be the hummingbird. I have been fascinated with these amazing little creatures with wings that beat so fast that they are a blur, and with a flight pattern unlike that of any other bird. These amazing little creatures can fly backwards and hover in space!  They are truly amazing! I’m not sure how or why I got the idea…perhaps I was bored as a teenager as many teenagers are.

Growing up on a lake outside of a small coastal Oregon town, there really wasn’t a lot “going on” in the mind of a teenager so I had to find ways to entertain myself.  One summer I decided I was going to make friends with my favorite bird.

We had a hummingbird feeder hanging on our deck where I loved to watch the hummingbirds. One day I stood on a chair near the hummingbird feeder with my face a few inches from the feeder. I stood there & stood there and stood there… for a very very long time. The little hummingbird was cautious but eventually decided it was safe to drink next to the human’s face. I could feel the air from its tiny beating wings on my cheeks, like a little fan. I was delighted!  But why stop there? I decided I was going to get one to perch on my finger. More time…more patience…more holding really really still but eventually the patience paid off and one landed on my finger! It was so tiny I could barely feel the weight of it on my fingers. I felt like this was a major life accomplishment.

Fast forward from a teenager to 20 plus years later and I still love my little hummingbird friends as much as I did all those years ago. The flowers in my yard are not there by accident. Nearly all of them are selected because they are flowers that the hummingbirds like. I’m always sad to see them go in the fall when they return to their wintering grounds to the south but every year I count the days until their arrival in the Spring being sure to mark the first sighting on my calendar so I’ll know when to put their feeders out the next year.

This last spring, not long after they had begun to arrive on a nice warm day, we had left the door open in our living room that leads out onto our deck. All of the sudden there was this loud buzzing in the living room! It was a wayward hummer that had strayed from the outside deck into our living room. He instinctually flew towards the bright windows on the other side of the living room. I ran for my cat and locked him in the bathroom and then quickly returned to the window, cupped my hands around the distressed little hummingbird and caught him like a little moth. He was chattering at me once I had him in my hands but I quickly took him out the door and opened my hands and away he flew.

At the time I thought it was just a simple bird rescue but it has proven to be more than that. It was the beginning of a special friendship. This little guy seems to know that after I rescued him that I won’t harm him and he seems to trust me like no other hummingbird has done before.

We live in the mountains and share the mountain with all kinds of wildlife like bears and raccoons so over the years we have learned after replacing a few crunched feeders that it’s a good idea to bring all our birdfeeders in every night. Part of my morning routine besides making coffee and feeding my kitties is hanging the bird feeders. Every morning like clockwork my new little friend now greets me and before I can even hang the feeder on the hook he has landed on the feeder while it is still in my hand! I patiently wait for him to finish and then I hang the feeder. Often I’ll come out on the deck and greet all the birdies and tell them it’s breakfast time and now he even seems to know my voice!

The other day the honeybees also discovered my hummingbird feeder so I decided to move the feeder to a new location. I told my little friend I was moving it. I couldn’t see him but he must have been watching and listening to me because when I went to the hang the feeder on the tomato cage, he again landed on it before I could even get it hung. Later in the day the bees disappeared so I moved it back  to where it was and again my little friend followed me! Before he flew to the feeder though he flew to me and hovered in front of me for a second as if to say “thanks!” and then flew on to his feeder. We have other hummingbirds too but they are more skittish and none of them seem to have the trust and the friendship that this little guy and I share. Perhaps he remembers the day I rescued him from the confines of our house.

Whatever the reason is that this little guy trusts me, I consider myself very lucky and I’m glad to have friends or rather “a friend” in high places.  🙂

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