Tag Archive: Nature Photography


Lemon Balm, Lady's Mantle, Nettles

Lemon Balm, Lady’s Mantle, Nettles

It is curious how in our lives we spiral in and out of our preferred or beloved ways of being, swept away by pressing concerns or responsibilities requiring our immediate attention. When we are able to “clear the clutter” of outer complications and return to our authentic path, it always feels like coming home to ourselves, to our Soul, our personal destiny.

Herbal traditions…gardening, making medicine or magic, photographing our wondrous green kin allies.. have been a treasured part of my life..both studying and teaching the ways of relationship between ourselves and the plants. The past several years of personal challenges in the mainstream world of work, finances and the relinquishing of home ownership demanded a different focus and expenditure of time and energy. Still in the process of re-orientation, I have been blessed to return to the garden, so to speak…although for the time being, the garden is not mine, but a friend’s and I am so full of gratitude to be able to wander where she has so lovingly planted and nurtured the lovely and magical herbal allies so dear to us both.

As spring has enticed our herbal friends up from their hidden winter lairs and into sunshine, I have been newly enchanted as if seeing them all for the very first time… an emotional reaction of delight that happens every April into June! My way of making relationship with them is first to capture their beauty in photographs, then to gather and make a “simple” tea or a blend, drinking their essence into me…and then writing about them! This is for me the essence of relationship…and it feels so grand to re-connect.

This week, I was drawn to Lady’s Mantle, Nettles and Lemon Balm…and gathered the three of them to make “Lady’s Tea #1“.. a blend for three cherished valuable qualities for a Lady of good character: Lemon Balm “to maketh one merry” (Hildegarde of Bingen)..a sense of humor, a most irresitible charm, Nettles for the necessary-at-times prickly inner Bitch to stand up for oneself, and Lady’s Mantle, to evoke the blessings of our Holy Mother Mary, the gentle nurturer and protector of body and soul.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

 

 

 

 

Lady's Mantle

Lady’s Mantle

 

Nettles (ouch!)

Nettles (ouch!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are, of course, scientific and medicinal intentions for creating this blend to specifically nurture the body or heal an imbalance. But on this particular day, the creation of this blend was for the metaphysical properties that are always present when interacting with the herbal KINdom.

Welcome home, ME!

Boots on the Ground

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

 

 

Visit my other blogs!

http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

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Heather and Snow Two (2) PICASA

Yesterday, March 20, was the Vernal (Spring) Equinox in North America. Pictures of tulips, lambs, bunnies and bouquets of flowers were cheerfully posted all over social media, bringing color, a sense of beginnings, warmth and new visions after the cold and silence of winter.

Meanwhile on the eastern coast, we awaited a snow event promising to  once again cover the slowly emergent green from the past week of warmer rains.

The sun is now bright after the snowfall, melting this morning’s  blanket of white, but we have not yet made the transition really from Winter into Spring. This is an in-between time… snow and heather trying to co-exist if only momentarily.

Transitions times are a real thing…neither this, nor that…but both and neither. Nature is a startling metaphor for situations in our lives that are neither one thing or another. I know this to be true because that is exactly what I am experiencing at this time: an in-between time from what my life was, and what will be.

I have let go of my life and home and beloved gardens and routines of the past 18 years of rhythm and familiarity, partly by choice and partly by fate. … much if not all of my worldly possessions in storage while I am granted a blessed “time-out” living with friends in order to heal in spirit and recalibrate where to go from here. I am leaving a winter experience of life with residues of frozen challenges while emerging into color, creativity and new experiences that are part of an eldering, but also newly- blossoming me.

I know I am not alone in these times of transition…the in-between times when we are compelled to make changes that incorporate both plusses and minuses. Letting go of parts of what we love, stages of grief, recognition of blessings in the in-between times that aid us and help us move along, hints and glimmers of what can be that we only now can envision as new possibilities.

Spring IS coming, and one thing about Spring that is different from winter-into-spring is the uncompromising energy of Spring RUSHING without confusion into SUMMER…the time of bursting through the cold hard ground into stems, blossoms, fruits and vegetable, color and LIFE.

But today…heather and snow..is the In-Between Time of patience and promise.. a time that is neither this nor that. But both.

I think I can work with that……

 

Moi 2From Christine, The Greening Spirit

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

http://sensuoussouopsandsuppers.wordpress.com

 

GS 2

We do take trees for granted, often thinking of them in standard  forms, sketching the generic “tree”  while doodling on paper during a phone call or faculty meeting. But oh truly there is no such thing as a generic common tree. They are so delightfully unique, dressing themselves in designer leaves and bark…beautiful bark of the most outrageous designs!

Bark 2

I have always loved the tree-trunks with their permanent drapes and folds like living skin…which actually it is..and caressed them as I pass by, like petting a beloved dog or cat. But in addition, oh my how they self-decorate themselves in the most eye-catching designs and textures.

Bark 20 (2)

My daughter Melissa and I swooned with pleasure and curiosity during our Mother’s Day walk…a week late, yesterday, she reading the identification tags with fervor and my stopping taking pictures of roots, leaves, bark, and all manner of lush greenery.

Melissa Tree

Textures and whirls in the bark..what stories do they tell? What purposes do they serve?

Bark 30

Our beloved and magical trees.. full of the Greening Spirit of Life!

MD Woods 2015

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

Me Turqoise                                      Please visit my other blogs!

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

Picasa Ice 4 (3)

Yesterday I directed a retreat in which the morning topic was “The Miracle of the Four Elements”. We pondered each element separately, Earth, Air, Fire and Water,  considering its reality, its manifestations, its metaphors and the wonder of its part in the whole of Life.

This morning, realizing I had run out of half and half for my “wake-up” coffee, I reluctantly changed from comfy nightgown to daywear so I could go across the highway to buy it. I was, however, not able to leave immediately as after yesterday’s day of heavy rain and last night’s freeze, my car was covered with ice.

What to do in life when thwarted? My answer usually is “Make Art!”

Inside to grab the camera, and back outside to photograph the ice patterns on the auto before the car started to defrost!

The wonders and Miracles are all around us if we open our eyes!

Picasa Ice 2 (2)

One of the MIRACLES of the element Water that was overlooked in our musings yesterday was that water is a shape-shifter! We talked about the oceans and tears and the symbol for the deep Unconscious in dreams.. How could we have not mentioned water turning into ICE and these magnificent ice crystal patterns!

It is true that there is never a moment when beauty and the imagination is absent. There are natural wonders around us at all times, often missed but captured when the eyes of our hearts are open. Poets, mystics, artists, writers, children and elders are often the ones who become seers (deep- see-ers), moving through life attuned to the magic..

For the wonders and miracle of the Element of WATER… we are enchanted!

Picasa Ice Blue

Note:  these pictures of ice on my car were turned into art with help from the editing programs of Windows and Picasa. (Doing on the computer what used to be done in the darkroom. That’s a miracle too!

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

Me Turqoise  There are more wonders on my other blogs

The wonder of good food and kitchen memoirs: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

The wonder of music and piano:  http://pianomisyress.wordpress.com

The wonder of intentional words: http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

 

Nov 8 2013  4

I belong to a community of photographers on FB who focus (literally) on pictures taken within our little New England state. Each week there is a different theme and we are out and about everywhere capturing the beauty or the visual stories of where we live. Right here. Right now. It is a very special and gifted group, with cameras large and small, tripods or steady hands, fancy lenses or single built- in lenses, and editing programs in our computers. We capture Beauty, shapes, scenes, angles, curves, colors, people, animals, events, costuming, memories and more. We are not competitive, but rather, amazingly enthusiastic, supportive, inspired and inspiring. We learn to see the world through many perspectives, and to see a theme, through many eyes and unique interpretations, celebrating and taking delight in diversity.

Because I am a writer as well, when I see an image that I am compelled to capture, as I am taking the photograph for what it is, I am deep-seeing what it means for me symbolically as well. When I photograph something, I am also writing about it in my mind. What it is beauty enough, but what it means to me as metaphor is even more powerful on a personal level and often becomes the inspiration for my writings on nature, or life, or soul-full living.

Like many creative artists, I often ride a financial roller-coaster supporting myself through work based on the creative, healing, or metaphysical arts. Sometimes up. Sometimes down. The themes of Abundance/Lack are always being worked with and adjusted through meditative practices, visualizations for blessings, reading inspiring books and practicing exercises for manifestation, and just plain prayer..(we try not to beg the Universe to answer..wrong energy 🙂 )

For me, one of the best ways to work with the theme/the prayer/the desire for the manifestation of “Abundance” is to photograph it! And in truth…it is the way of Nature, the way of the Earth, the way of the Universe in its sheer playful and awesome generosity of manifesting bounty. Everywhere we look…the infinite individual needles on a single pine tree, the impossible-to-count grains of sand on a beach, the millions, billions, TRILLIONS of drops of water in the ocean,the un-ending blades of grass in a yard, let alone everywhere, the awesome silk-carried seeds on a dandelion head..everywhere we look, we see wealth, treasure, opulence.

And let us not forget leaves, leaves, leaves…the sheer amount of them covering our lawns and “yardens” when they decide to let go of dancing in the wind and drop upon us, truly revealing the enormity of their numbers under our feet, eventually to be swept up for re-cycling by our rakes, the work and gathering seemingly endless when we are in the middle of that task. There is the other gift of leaves besides their numbers, reminding us of the Earth’s generosity and abundance, and that is their ability to transform themselves from green to unique, flaming brilliance of light and colors in their “old age”. They do not “leave” without letting go of the rules and required uniformity of Community, becoming who they truly were all long as the chlorophyll in their individual bodies drain away, their work in the greater community done for this year. They do not go quietly, insignificantly or shyly into the dark night, but rather, in flaming color, beauty and bounty while saying  goodbye.

May we open our eyes to the Beauty, the Blessings and the Abundance that surround us at every moment. May we choose to notice, capture and savor it.  May we always remember to say Thank You, as well…..

Little Leaf

Little Leaf 5

We live in such a busy world of movement, noise, activities, responsibilities, information and constant media updates about all things important and mosty not, and of instant everything that keeps us in perpetual motion, dashing from one thing to another, one thought to another, sifting, sorting, prioritizing on the run in a constant state of mental mind chatter. Attention spans can be very short, communications brief, quick and on the surface (who writes letters anymore, or has the patience to read through an e-mail communique made up of more than one short vertical message..three paragraphs taking up too much time…).

Woe is us, who have lost the art of Presence, Depth, Deep-seeing and the practice of and intimacies  Deep Engagement with those around us, and in our connection to the natural world..the Earth’s primary scripture of connection and belonging!

There are four lines from a beautiful blessing by the Celtic priest/poet John O’Donohue in his lovely ode to “Presence” that I carry with me every day, and these four lines remind me always of the delightful gifts of slowing down, opening my eyes and heart in a spirit of focused alertness to be present to the wonders that surround us in people and places as we move about the world.

The four lines are:

Awaken to the mystery of being here~ Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses~Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention and ~May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

And so, on a particular day of seeking sanctuary, play and exercise as well, I entered the woods once again at Kettle Pond, with camera…my treasured deep-seeing companion.. and moseyed about just walking, just seeing the depths throughout the woods and the varieties of colors and textures of bark, roots, fallen leaves, mosses, and rock.

In such a relaxed and slow stroll, we can often fall into a kind of altered state..really a state of seeing from the center of Soul, all superficial worldly subjects of concern falling away. And for me, and perhaps for you as well, entering this alternative state of consciousness allows for a different kind of focus..both laser-like in clarity, and diffuse in perception combined.

And suddenly…I saw it. A leaf…a little tiny leaf.. open and trusting, spread out upon a large and friendly boulder, surrounded by the chaos of the breakdown and decay of a season gone past and returning to the earth. It was darling and sweet, like a tender baby clinging, or rather, resting upon the support of sturdy sanctuary. Had I been moving fast through the woods to finish my walk and get back to my outer life..like grocery shopping, driving to town to pay a bill, scooting around quickly to get back home and check e-mails..I would have missed this, with eyes straight ahead to finish my walk and get on with things, mind chattering about things I needed to do next.IMG_4004

Presence. Presence to the present moment from a place of centered wondering/wandering. Looking..and really seeing..and full of anticipation for the element of surprise!

I am never disappointed by the conscious decision to slow down and practice the art of deep-seeing..and I always always find that I am rewarded by the surprises and delights that open up to me when I surrender to this. Of all that was going on around me in the cacophany of color, shapes and textures of the woods on that walk, it was this little leaf that was the greatest gift of beauty, tenderness, vulnerability and trust that was the gift and teaching of this moment of “time out” and be here now. I am so grateful.

I am also grateful for the technology available to us in the photo programs in our computers that allow us to crop and see even more closely the wonders that surround us that we otherwise might miss. When I was growing up, I often asked for a magnifying glass or microscope kit for Christmas and would spend hours collecting treasures from nature and seeing them enlarged, up close and personal, revealing then what could not be seen of their intricacies and complexities with the naked eye. Up close and personal through the technology of “cropping” the exquisite colors of rock and moss, the delicate and fragile skin of leaf, and the patterns and veins of life within the once-living leaf are revealed.

Rock 2

 I am always enchanted, captivated by and in love with the great Mysteries (which are often little) hidden in plain sight.

Presence.

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

shawl

 

 

**If you also love good food that is natural, healthy, delicious and full of life..please check out my food blog sensuous soups and suppers! Then go take a walk in nature!

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/tempting-tomatoeggplant-basil-teasers/

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