Inverewe

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Pronounced “IN-ver-oo,” Inverewe Gardens lie on the western coast of Scotland.  I learned during my journey there that the “Mexican Gulf Stream” travels north up the coast of North America then crosses over to the west coast of Scotland before circulating back into the sea.  This warms up the western coast of Scotland which in turn boasts gorgeous rhododendrons (which are protected), azaleas, ferns, palm trees and all manner of warm-climate plants.  While it rained buckets on us during our tour the rain and gloom made all the greens “pop” for my camera.  Cannot wait to revisit this magical country.

The Sky

 

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What I now know of myself is that I need the sky.

As much as I love trees – and I do – I do not wish to live in the darkness they create.  I’ll visit the trees, talk with them, touch them, love them.  Their mosses and lichens, mushrooms and ferns, their shady patches I cherish for the miracles that they are and I will leave them in their dark canopied world – taking only pictures.

I love the sea with her magical creatures and live for mighty storms brewing on the horizon, whipping the waves into frenzied creatures that crash onto the shoreline, but what makes the sea storms incredible are the towering white anvils and approaching dark squalls.

Sunrises are my passion but only if they are riddled with apricot, lavender, opal, fuchsia, daffodil clouds crowding the horizon like children at an aquarium window of fishes.

There’s nothing more boring to me than a bright sunny beach with blue skies.  Call me crazy.  The moment the weather turns dicey I’m out there with my camera, or sometimes just out there enjoying the blast of sand on my ankles and strong, salty winds shoved up my nostrils.  It makes me feel so alive!

Deserts sing to my soul as well, but the crowning touch of any desert is the incredible arch of sky above it.  Mountains, too, hold their charm but mountains create clouds and get enmeshed in clouds and fog and breathe life to the sky.

Our planet is wrapped in such a thin sliver of the atmosphere that saves us.  We must take great care to not destroy the mechanism by which we survive.  Get out there and embrace our beautiful skies.

 

Harmony

 

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“I have come to terms with the future.

From this day onward I will walk

easy on the earth.  Plant trees.

Kill no living thing.

Live in harmony with all creatures.

I will restore the earth where I am.

Use no more of its resources than I need.

And listen, listen to what it is telling me.”

M. J. Slim Hooey

From Earth Prayers From Around the World

Edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon

It is Lovely Indeed

 

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“It is lovely indeed, it is lovely indeed

I, I am the spirit within the earth.

The feet of the earth are my feet,

The legs of the earth are my legs,

The strength of the earth is my strength,

The thoughts of the earth are my thoughts,

The voice of the earth is my voice,

The feather of the earth is my feather,

All that belongs to the earth belongs to me,

All that surrounds the earth surrounds me,

I, I am the sacred works of the earth,

It is lovely indeed, it is lovely indeed.”

Song of the Earth Spirit

Navaho Origin Legend

Source:  Earth Prayers From Around The World

Edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon

Brief and Fragile

 

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“To all that is brief and fragile

superficial, unstable,

To all that lacks foundation

argument or principles,

To all that is light

fleeting, changing, finite

To smoke spirals

wand roses,

To sea foam

and mists of oblivion;

To all that is light in weight

for intinerants,

on this transient earth,

Somber, raving,

with transitory words

and vaporous bubbly wines

I toast

in breakable glasses.”

Maria Eugenia Baz Ferreira

 

Good Gifts

 

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“The atmosphere, the earth, the water and the water cycle –

those things are good gifts.

The ecosystems, the ecosphere –

those are good gifts.

We have to regard them as gifts because we couldn’t make them.

We have to regard them as good gifts because we couldn’t live without them.”

Wendell Berry

Zinnia

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Today, lots and lots of rain as now Tropical Storm Hermine trundles up the coastline.  This tiny droplet of water on my zinnia reminds me of gentler rains.  I do love a rainy weekend. It’s time to slow down, catch up on reading and projects.  I do a lot of photo work then, processing and cleaning up files.  Rainy weekends mean chili and movies, conversations and togetherness.  Rainy weekends are a gift.

 

Reflections

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My blog post begins when I choose a photo.  I never know what I’m going to choose unless of course I’m posting about a trip or something specific.  But today, I flipped through files and just chose this photo.  This was taken a long time ago when I lived on Wheeler Lake, a wide spot on the Tennessee River.  I adored living there.  The place was so dynamic, so charged with the energy of nature while at the same time offering respite from the busy-ness of Life.

This is where and when I became a sunrise photographer.  Always an early riser, capturing a sunrise had never occurred to me until I moved onto the water.  There, lake and sky enchanted me most mornings.  Even cloudy mornings entertained with herons perched in trees, fish jumping, fishermen fishing, the thrumming of barges passing by in the fog.  My senses were always happy there.

These days I’m grateful for the opportunity to live across the street from the Atlantic Ocean.  The Cape Fear River is just a couple of miles to the west of us.  We are on an island. A very slender island.  The dynamics here are so different.  On the river there were always boats to watch, fishing tournaments and bi-yearly bird migrations as we were along the Mississippi Flyway.  The ocean is beautiful, but I’m no sun worshiper.  I prefer early mornings and late afternoons/early evenings.  Rarely does a boat go by.  Bird migrations do happen here, too, thankfully.  My Best Friend continues to live at the river and she and I compare notes constantly.  “What’s flying by today?,” I’ll ask.  Or, I’ll send her a hurried text  saying “The cormorants are flying north by the thousands!”  Birding, photography, sunrises go hand in hand.  And exploring new places.  It’s time to go exploring.