Friends All Around

I like to think I am observant when I am photographing Nature. Here in Louisiana there are plenty of things to watch for too, like gators, tarantulas, poisonous snakes, and unlimited swarms of mosquitos 😁

The scene in this photo captured my attention because it didn’t take long to notice a whole family of little creatures sitting among these cypress roots and knees. Meerkats, gophers, a racoon, and several others revealed themselves.

This photo reminds me that I don’t always need to watch out for the bad; sometimes simply take the time to look for friends all around. What do you see?

Precious

Those moments in your life when comfort is beyond words, where do you seek peace? What is precious enough to you that you can not only empty yourself of sorrow or anger but also fill yourself with beauty and positivity from it?

Find that place or thing because there will always come a time when you need to draw from it and you will be grateful it was there for you. Choose a constant in your life so it can never fail you, and you will always find your way back to balance.

My special place and time has always been sunrise over Lake Bistineau where I live, and I plan to be there waiting tomorrow morning. Much needed with much gratitude.

Waking Up

While a few parts of North Louisiana are waking up, overall it still looks like Winter is here. Maybe Mother Nature knows something we don’t know. The sun sure did make a nice, warm glow this afternoon. Hundreds of chorus frogs are singing in the rain-filled ditches. A nearby great egret was soaking up afternoon sunshine.

This warmer weather makes it more pleasant to get out and do things and to tolerate a few more weeks of Winter. Thanks Mamma N; I trust you know what you’re doing.

Waiting For Summer Sweetness

Egrets are waiting. I am waiting. Everyone is trying to be patient as Spring takes its time to return. Another few days in the upper 60’s sure has seemed to put it in motion.

“Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet.” –Jean Jacques-Rousseau

Waiting for summer sweetness, but I won’t complain about our recent mild days.

Lessons From Buddy

Buddy wandered onto our back porch one hot summer day, a sack of fur and bones. We took care of him and he became one of the family. He was generally a happy-go-lucky dog, but there were moments when he looked deeply sad, and as if he wanted so badly to speak words. I always ran to get the camera at those times. They seemed crucial and his look spoke volumes to me. I especially liked how I could always see myself reflected in those big, deep eyes and I know we made a soul connection at those times.

One day Buddy disappeared as suddenly as he showed up. I am glad for the wonderful months we had with him.

When I look at those eyes it makes me wonder about the humans in our lives. Do we treat them with compassion? Do we notice when they have something to say or need a hug? Do we see ourselves reflected in them? If so, love exists, and that’s the real goal, right?

Guest Blogger – Robert Hooper

This is a photo of my husband, Robert, who suddenly died five months ago today, and likely now exists in everything else you see in this photo – and he would have told you that himself. When I took this photo he was on the back side of one of the ponds on his parents’ property, looking across at the home he was raised in. They live next door to our home, and he spent many hours in those woods.

I want to share what he wrote about one of those experiences:

“Meditating under the dogwood, I picked up a star-shaped leaf from the ground. Upon examining it, my eyes fix on a tiny speck and in that speck I saw myself under the dogwood, looking at a star-shaped leaf, peering at a speck seeing the same; seeing myself under a tree with eyes fixed on a speck on a star-shaped leaf, and so on. I began to wonder if I, too, was a speck on a star-shaped leaf being observed by myself. I realized that in looking into that small, star-shaped leaf, I was looking into infinity.”

Yes, I was fortunate, so very fortunate, to spend nearly 16 years with this man who was wholly connected to nature and the universe. I learned so much from him and we shared some of the best experiences of my life.

Yesterday I promised that today I would show you what my friend called “uniquely perfect” and here it is:

This is a memorial globe, created with some of Robert’s ashes, resting under a tree crafted of copper wire. Everything about it speaks “Robert”, my fellow lover of Nature. It sits atop a slice of his favorite Louisiana tree, dogwood. I love this piece and I love that he will always be my daily reminder to embrace all of Mother Nature’s gifts and to keep seeking the connection in it all.

I hope his words inspired you as well.

Uniquely Perfect

Today a friend used the phrase “uniquely perfect” to describe a piece of art. It keeps repeating in my mind, so I had to go looking for something uniquely perfect in my photos.

I was the only person walking a trail at a local wildlife refuge. This orb spider was hanging right over my head when I noticed it. First I screamed “Oh my God!” -honestly because I don’t like spiders much…ok, at all. After I stepped away and caught my breath, again I said outloud, “Oh My God!”

As much as I don’t like spiders, I had never seen one this color before. It was climbing a single thread. If you zoom in you can see it. The patterns on its body and the graceful movements it made were fascinating. It was uniquely perfect and it had my full attention. If we approached more things in life with that sense of wonder, maybe it would feel like an amazing place all the time.

Tomorrow I will show you what my friend saw fit to call – uniquely perfect.