Lens–Artists Photo Challenge #103–Surprise (Day 116 of being “grounded”

What a delightful challenge for this starting-to-seem-endless, cooped-up time. It comes from:

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2020/06/27/lens-artists-photo-challenge-103-surprise/

I am especially blessed these days by my father’s powerful teaching and modeling. His most strongly held spiritual belief was that boredom was a sin, and an insult to Mother Nature. He taught us to always look for that big surprise. He believed we were constantly surrounded by miracles and could find one anywhere, anytime.

Nothing cancels out boredom better than a miracle.

Being trapped in my rooms for so long has been mostly OK because of this exact philosophy. But I have to admit, I almost get to the point of boredom sometimes. When I find myself feeling that, I know it’s time to get outside. Even if just in my country-like, suburban neighborhood. Rain or shine, day or night, peopled or not, the miracles abound.

Here are some recent Surprises!!!

First, water, early morning sunlight, and shadows…a great combination for surprising beauty.

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Next, the bunnies are still around, which means the Coyotes, Owls and Hawks are probably well-fed elsewhere…for now.

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Surprise! The baby Apple Tree has its first baby apples!

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Next, very early sunlight sometimes messes with my mind. At first I thought these lovely plants had been attacked by some strange blight, only to discover on closer examination, was surprised to see it was the sun slipping through the cracks in the fence!

 

I love experimenting with things that close-up, are mysteries….but a step back reveals the origin of the surprise.

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And this one surprised me because I didn’t notice until writing this post, the shadow, light and colors from the Hummingbird feeder look remarkably like a Hummingbird!!

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And lastly, though I’m not sure it will actually work to post this, I had a long-awaited surprise just this morning.

I love my local crows and have been feeding them everyday for many years now. I wait each year for early summer, hoping to capture the Teenage crow “Feed Me!!” phenomenon.

They put on quite the show for me today!! The video is long-ish, and kind of bumpy, but if you listen closely, you’ll hear the reason for the camera jerks.

 

You can hear Miss Lucy, purring her competitive little heart out, and see the results of her head-butting my camera.

What a wonderful, surprising challenge today!!

 

Go here to see others’ creative interpretations of “Surprise”!

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2020/06/27/lens-artists-photo-challenge-103-surprise/

Spirit Lifters; Day 72 of being “grounded” 5/16/2020

I’ve been kinda distracted by life lately…nothing catastrophic or even Virus related, just regular life. Granted, it has been New Normal life stuff but it was a nice break from thinking about the reality that I have only left my home twice since March 6th, and both of those times were hit and run medical trips…once for the parking lot, giant-cutip-up-the-nose, Covid 19 test on March 26th (false alarm..cleaning products overdose) and once last week for a quick blood test.

I haven’t been as focused on finding Spirit Lifters like before. Time to get back to that

One of my favorites is still Some Good News from John Krasinski, and episode 5 is no exception. I LOVED this one and sent it out to all my “Foodie” friends.

 

 

Then I went to another favorite place.

This weekly magazine was a wonderful resource anyway and they have really been great during the pandemic. This week’s articles are so supportive and helpful, especially the one on finding purpose and connection during this time. A great, inspiring read!

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_im_finding_purpose_and_connection_in_a_pandemic?utm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=852a0c2414-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_GG_Newsletter_May_14_2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-852a0c2414-74625275

There are still so many local stories happening that are inspirational, like this one.

https://www.newsbreak.com/washington/seattle/lifestyle/0OzedBAG/air-force-to-perform-flyover-in-seattle-area-to-thank-healthcare-workers

I was reminded of it while sitting outside yesterday, enjoying the sun, and these flew right over me, amazingly low in the sky!!

 

 

And personally, I have so many things to be grateful for in my life every day…no, not the whole “daily gratitude can change your life..blah, blah, blah…” But seriously wonderful things that I take for granted...until I remember not to.

I am so blessed to be able to get out and walk in Nature (granted, suburban Nature). I see miracles every single day!

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The old rhododendron in my front yard has never been more beautiful!

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And see the red ones on the left above? One of them is growing right out of what’s left of an old Madrona!

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When I leave my own, rustic, and mostly unattended to yard to walk up my street, I find treasures all along the way.

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Can’t wait to see this guy blossom!!!

I feel so badly that my best friends (both athletes), who live in an apartment in Madrid, are unable to get out and go these days. They were just telling us yesterday, all their daily routines are completely stalled…no outdoor exercise allowed, so they run up and down the stairs in their old apartment building. None of the places they sit and write every day (Cafe’s, restaurants, the Plaza) are open and the cops come and send them home if they are caught outside without a very specific purpose. Oh, and the worst for them, they can’t walk together, even to the little market for food…no hand holding, nothing.

 

Apparently, I am more easily entertained than most. It is a highlight for me to walk out my door to see what profound or coded or artistic message the local slug population has left me each day.

(Maybe you’d have to live in the Seattle area to understand this one…🤣)

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And I know how absolutely lucky I am to have a Master Gardener living basically right in my back yard. The Rhubarb is already huge so I knew Mimi would start creating in the kitchen!

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I was a lucky recipient!!!

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Mimi’s Rhubarb jam and cream cheese on a toasted gluten free bagel!!! YUM!!!

 

And if that’s not enough to lift my spirits, there is always one or two of the reliable, dependable furry family members!

 

Let me know how your spirits are in the Comment Section!!

(mostly) WordlessWednesday on Earth Day, 2020

Earth Day slide show

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Earth Day Entertainment and Inspiration

 

 

 

 

Downhill from Everywhere by Jackson Browne…released today…

Jackson Browne Drops New Song for Earth Day, ‘Downhill From Everywhere’

 

 

 

And best for last, DEFINITELY X Rated, so watch when your kids are at Home School in the other room…

Spirit Lifters; Day 32 being “grounded” 4/6/2020

First, if you don’t know about the Decorah Eagles on the Raptor Resources site, it’s worth a visit, especially right now!! (And if you already know about this, I empathize…it’s delightfully addictive!)

https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/

(This is the general, 24/7, live camera.)

But don’t miss;

If this is too long, start at about 3:35 in and watch as long as you can! (Just don’t blink at 3:45!)

And here’s the second episode of “Some Good News”…a must see if you are a Hamilton fan!

Spirit Lifter-Day 29 of being “Grounded” Part Five

 

If THIS doesn’t bring a smile, the Virus has already WON!!!

Fight it! Fight back!! Don’t give in!!

 

And if you need even more “uplift”, read (or re-read) this!

 

Warning: Cuteness Overload!  (first published in January, 2016)

Well, it all started early last June…..

1) This guy starts visiting outside regularly and riling up Phineas and Zorro (our indoor Cat Bosses).

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We think this is an “Evil Wild Tomcat”, just stirring up trouble.

 

2) Then James has a big surprise. He sees movement under the wood pile, just beyond where we sit on our porch swing to look out over the valley. He literally drags me dripping out of my shower to come and see!!

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It’s a close call but, after a while, I convince him to put this baby back where he got it as it is WAY too little for humans to mess with.
3) Then later that day I see a different ,but regular visitor in our yard and she is glowing in her bulging state, so I have to take her picture.

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(Can you see why she is “glowing”?)
4) James, uninterested in my Mama Deer, has stationed himself by the woodpile, you know, just in case….

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5) And sure enough, look who he finds!!!!

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UH OH!!

We already have two “very bad cats” (aren’t they all?)

So I am screaming, “NO, no! For god’s sake, don’t FEED them!”

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I had a hard time getting James to put them back. I’m afraid we may have three new residents if I don’t watch him (James) closely!
6) Speaking of watching closely, apparently “Evil Tom Cat” is actually “Protective MOM!” Here she is guarding the woodpile.

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7) And as if this was not enough “cute” for one day…as we arrived home from a quick trip to town, look who we nearly ran into!!! Our Glowing MOM!

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She is still licking them off.

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We watched as she led them off into the woods for safety, and no doubt, so she could have a rest.

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She’s not so Robust/rotund anymore, is she?

 

 

8) Had enough Cuteness for one day??? Not so fast! We get home and have to check on our 3 new little “guest” kittens, right? And guess what!!!

 

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We discover this white one!

Now THERE ARE FOUR!!!  So far, anyway……..

I’m exhausted from delight!

As Paul Harvey would always say “And now, the rest of the story.”

Any guesses as to which one we kept??

We eventually found homes for 3 of them, with folks who were committed to socializing these terrified feral kittens, but this little tough one, the smallest, would just not leave us alone. She would bound out of hiding to see us, even as her siblings would scatter and hide.

 

IMG_2317Meet Lucy, named by my grandsons who wanted her to have a strong (super hero) girl name. (The movie Lucy had just been released and though they were not allowed to see it, they got the idea from the previews.)

 

(parts of this story were published previously in Pacific Northwest Green Friends Newsletter)


Next Chapter:

Lucy’s Story

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89: A River Runs Through It

I’m a little behind on some  of my favorite “challenges” but this one really got my attention.

I’m more of a Pacific Ocean Beach gal, but have been associated with two amazing rivers in my life time.

First, Old Black Water, the Might Mississippi! I had the privilege of living right next to it, in Natchez, MS for many years. And James grew up there. When I crave an Ocean, he longs for the River.

 

For years on every visit down South, it was a ritual for these three brothers to make at least one visit to the bluff overlooking their childhood River.

 

James’s love for his river became apparent to me when we first got back together (at our 40th High School Reunion).

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One year we visited right after Her Majesty overflowed her banks…(picture on the right is on the local Golf Course)

 

And second, thanks to James who found another river to live by, here’s the magnificent Spokane River.

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Now we live in a city far from oceans and rivers…unless you count this kind…

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a raging river, right?
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Well, sort of…

 

😋😋😋

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89: A River Runs Through It