Category Archives: Nature

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #108: Sanctuary

Xenia at Tranature is the guest host for Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge this week. She invited us to look at the theme of Sanctuary.

We have been in lock down because of Covid-19 since March 11. The initial projection was to close schools and stores for several weeks. Five months have gone by, we see new surge of cases in many countries. This is an unsettling time of the history.

Xenia’s theme is timely for us to think about and find sanctuary among the chaos.

 

Sanctuary is the tranquility where the mind and soul find serenity and peace. It could be in the ocean, a park, or your garden.

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It seems to be miles away but Laguna Lake is in the midst of the residential homes.

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My garden

Sanctuary is the harmony where the chaos, strife, and discords dissipate. It could be somewhere in the forest or the perception through our filtered lenses.

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Trees find their way toward the sun at Laguna Lake.

Sanctuary is the quietness where the demands, interruption, and disturbance fade away. It could be a bench under a tree or in the depth of your heart.

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Benches like this one are facing the water around Laguna Lake.

Sanctuary is a resting place where the struggles, conflicts, and confusion subside. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.

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Tucking the head under the wings is a perfect way of napping for the ducks.

Sanctuary is a hobby you emerge yourself in for leisure and pleasure. You may find it in reading, hiking, or fishing. I find mine in singing and painting.

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This family enjoyed fishing at Laguna Lake

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My watercolor painting

Sanctuary is a haven where one finds security, love, and care for the young.

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A content mama duck with eight fuzzy ducklings

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #108: Sanctuary

 

I love to hear where you find your sanctuary. Please share with us in the comment. Thank you!

 

 

 

Sunday Stills: #Plant Life in My Garden

This week’s photo challenge by Terri Webster Schrandt is about plant life. Many folks are still limited to where they can go, but we can all walk in our backyards and gardens and enjoy plant life.

Garden is a sanctuary where my soul rests, my mind cleared, my strength renewed, and my heart rejoices. It is a place where I go every morning to listen, listen to the voices of the plants and the small creatures, and listen to the voice within. The garden nourishes my being more than the time I put in it to nourish the plants.

One Daylily plant I have is Wineberry Candy. They are low-maintenance perennial and have showy colors of flowers all summer. The bulbs multiply and I dig up the fresh growth to transplant in various spots.

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Both Lily of the Nile Blue (Agapanthis africanus) and Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violace) multiply continuously. For years, I transplanted the fresh growth to landscape my garden. It turns out the hummingbirds love to suck the nectar of both plants.

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The Society Garlic is below the Lily of the Nile Blue

This Salvia started out with two-2.5 Qt. plant and has grown into a lush bush. It is the most favorite of the hummingbirds. It is also where the bees congregate. I bought several more pots and planted two pots by another hummingbird feeder in the backyard, and two pots by the plum trees.

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The always cheerful hibiscus regardless the attention I paid to it yet greets me with the gorgeous bloom every morning.

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Have a peaceful Sunday and a wonderful week ahead!

 

Sunday Stills: #Plant Life in My Garden

 

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – The Koala Kingdom

July 11, 2019, prompt: “My kingdom for a koala!” In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a koala in a kingdom. You can create a character out of Norah’s koala and give it a Vermont adventure. Or you can make up a story however you want! Can you pull off a BOTS (based on a true story)? Go where the prompt leads!

Koala

 

The Koala Kingdom

“Welcome to the Round Table. The top agenda today is on Koala.”

“We had that six months ago.”

“I’ve met with Koala King. His concerns are about the millions of acres of their kingdom being destroyed.”

“By the developers for housing?”

“And the wildfires too. There’re no consistent legislation or adequate resources from the government to protect them.”

“What do we do?”

“The researchers suggested upgrading the Koala status from Vulnerable to Endangered. We’ll recommend that the government declaring the Koala habitat a sanctuary.”

“Yes, the Koala Foundations will jointly go to the government for securing the Koala Kingdom.”

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge – The Koala Kingdom

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #47: Five Elements

The challenge Amy gave us this week is: Five elements.

Five Elements Theory is a Chinese philosophy which describes that the world changes according to the five elements’ generating or overcoming relationships.

Generating Interactions – The five generating interactions are fueling, forming, containing, carrying, and feeding:

  • Wood fuels fire
  • Fire forms earth
  • Earth contains metal
  • Metal carries water
  • Water feeds wood

Overcoming Interactions – The five overcoming interactions are melting, penetrating, separating, absorbing, and quenching:

  • Fire melts metal
  • Metal penetrates wood
  • Wood separates earth
  • Earth absorbs water
  • Water quenches fire

The interactions illustrate the relationship even though they are not necessarily in the exact order as listed above. Source

The Five Elements Theory is also related to the Chinese Zodiac and Fengshui, a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy. Source

 

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A ball of fire going down behind the silhouette of woods in my neighborhood, California

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Metal Bridge, Moulton Falls Regional Park, Washington

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Hollow wood in Silver Falls, Portland, Oregon

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One of the waterfalls in Silver Falls, Portland, Oregon

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Muddy earth after eruption in 1980, Mt St. Helen, Washington

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #47: Five Elements

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #44 – Harmony in Nature

This week, Tina has for us as the theme of Lens-Artists Challenge is: Harmony

I focused on nature in this post. Whenever I’m in nature, I have a sense of being part of it, being blended into it. I think that’s a sense of harmony with nature. When we travel, I feel at awe of what I see and wish the images stay with me forever, or I could stay with nature forever. That’s one of the reason I came home from a trip with thousands of photos. Every single one was precious except the ones I moved the camera and took  photos of my feet or something else instead of the scene.

I searched for some quotes and was happy to find the ones regarding different aspects of harmony in nature.

“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” – Aldo Leopold

My husband and I have been watching nature documentary every night before bedtime for more than two years. Conservation is a relatively new concept for only decades. We lost a big part of rain forest for new city development or agriculture.  Yet Rainforests are often called the lungs of the planet for their role in absorbing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and producing oxygen, upon which all animals depend for survival. Rainforests also stabilize climate, house incredible amounts of plants and wildlife, and produce nourishing rainfall all around the planet. When we traveled to Alaska, we heard so much about the climate change and global warming felt drastically in this region.

 

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Denali National Park, Alaska

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Denali National Park, Alaska

“He who is in harmony with nature hits the mark without effort and apprehends the truth without thinking.” – Confucius

This is such a great wisdom that when we are in harmony with nature, we just feel right and natural. When human being forces on nature to do what conceived as beneficial to us, we created discord against nature.

 

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Port Douglas, Australia

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Moulton Falls Regional Park, Washington

“The earth has music for those who listen.” – William Shakespeare

We can hear the wind, the running water of streams, the rain drops, the thunder, the sound of the ocean, the rustling of leaves, chirping of birds, howling of animals… to name just several. Together, they make great music.

 

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Moulton Falls Regional Park, Washington

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Rhododendron Garden, Oregon

“Art is a harmony parallel with nature.” – Paul Cezanne

Botanical gardens are just one form of art parallel with nature. I’m sure you can think of many art forms in perfect harmony with nature.

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The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Garden

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Rhododendron Garden, Oregon

Lens-Artists Challenge #44 – Harmony in Nature

 

 

Welcome to “SONGS OF HEARTSTRINGS” Blog Tour! @Mhurdle112 #4WillsPub #RRBC Day 1

Hi my dear friends, this is the Day 1 of my 7-Day Blog Tour for “Songs of Heartstrings.” Karl J. Morgan is my host today. Please click his link to visit him.

 

It’s time to hear from another amazing Rave Reviews Book Club author, Miriam Hurdle. Just sit back and enjoy her poetry.

 

“Songs of Heartstrings” Blog Tour

Day 1

From the Author

This is Day 1 of “Songs of Heartstrings” Blog Tour. I want to thank 4WillsPublishing forsetting up the tour and my host to have me here.

This poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of my life experience. Many poems are illustrated with my photos and watercolor paintings.

Songs of Heartstrings received a 5-Star review from Readers’ Favorite:  https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/songs-of-heartstrings?fbclid=IwAR092vCKbtTdbUea6kW90qdVvrvxYHpUdkpCueW7XtcUzKNMzukisBgVBfs

Other book reviews are available on Amazon: http://wwAmazon.com/dp/B07K1S47W9 

The introduction:

Songs of Heartstrings is a poetic memoir. It comprises nine themes:

Songs of Nature – Lessons learned from observing the surviving power in nature.
Songs of Dissonance – Survival of ten years in the agonizing, painful, helplessness and distressful relationship.
Songs of Physical Healing – Experience in an invasive melanoma cancer, the faith and hope along the process of aggressive chemotherapy and treatments.
Songs of Marriage – The giving and receiving of love in a mutual respect and committed marriage.
Songs of Parenthood -The reflection of having a premature baby, the joy and fulfillment of parenthood.
Songs of Tribute -Remembrance of parents’ tender love for each other, and a true friend’s untimely death.
Songs of Reflection -Thoughts on the daily walks, value of life and the power of music.
Songs of Challenge -Poems written in response to Colleen’s Poetry Challenge.
Songs of Inspiration -Insight on the finite human being and gratitude toward the Maker.

Highlighted poems from Songs of Nature: Echo of the Earth and Cocoon – Butterfly

On May 18, 1980, Mt. St. Helens in the Washington State, U.S.A was erupted. It was a major eruption among the 48 states since 1915. The ash drifted over many states and could be seen as far as Chicago. The evacuation was announced before the eruption. Mr. Harry Truman, the caretaker of a resort lodge refused to be evacuated. He preferred to die with the mountain, so he, along with five residents, died with the mountain.

I was in Seattle when Mt. St. Helens wad erupted. It was my desire to hike Mt. St. Helens and see what it was like years after the eruption. My family and I went back to visit on September 10, 2016. The mud and debris still filled the river. The bottom of the mountain had some signs of growth. I was amazed to see the life after such a devastation.

 

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #34: Close-Up

Anne Christine’s theme this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #34 is: Close-Up.

There are many activities in my garden for me to take close-up photos. Here are just several of them.

I love to have bees around to pollinate the fruit blossoms, as a result, I took photos of the bees whenever they hover over the flowers.

1 Close up

 

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #33: Nature

Patti gave us a great theme for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #33 – Nature. I love nature and our frequent travel allows me to take many photos of nature.

In this post, I feature photos taken from two trips representing two ends of temperature in nature.

My brother John and his wife Peggy visited us from Hong Kong. We went on a bus tour to Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park preserves the most extraordinary collection of hot springs, geysers, mud pots, fumaroles, and travertine terraces on Earth. More than 10,000 hydrothermal features are found here, of which more than 500 are geysers.

Types of Hydrothermal Features

There are five types of hydrothermal features readily visible in Yellowstone:

  1. Geysers: Hot springs with constrictions in their plumbing, which causes them to periodically erupt to release the pressure that builds up.
  2. Hot Springs: Pools of geothermally heated water.
  3. Mudpots: Hot springs that are acidic enough to dissolve the surrounding rock. Typically, also lack water in their systems.
  4. Travertine Terraces: Hot springs that rise up through limestone, dissolve the calcium carbonate, and deposit the calcite that makes the travertine terraces.
  5. Fumaroles: also known as steam vents. These hot features lack water in their system, and instead constantly release steam.

Resource: https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/hydrothermal-features.htm

 

Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone,U.S.1

Old Faithful Geyser named for its frequent and somewhat predictable eruptions which number more than a million since Yellowstone became the world’s first national park in 1872.

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