Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Inspirational People

In this day of my awakening spirit I am finding myself inspired by a multitude of photographers.  

Ansel Adams said, “You don’t just make pictures with a camera. You make pictures with books you’ve read, the music your’ve heard and with the people you have loved.”

This morning found me perusing the North American Nature Photography Association's website, of which I am a member.  There, highlighted on the front page was a link to Nancy Rotenberg's website, "Natural Tapestries."  I clicked.  I was astonished.  Her work is truly inspirational, her vision exceptional.  It was within Nancy's website that I picked up the above quote by Ansel Adams, another photographer who has inspired me.  Her work spoke so much to my spirit that I decided to blog about it and provide a link to her site so that you can enjoy her work as well.

Other photographers inspire as well not only by their photographic genius but by their mission.  David DuChemin is one of those.  The first book of his that I read (devoured) was "Visionmongers."  Since then I've picked up many of his e-books, follow him on Twitter and we are "Friends" on Facebook.  His personal vision is to "shoot advocacy and fundraising images for the international nongovernmental organization community."  Marketing himself as a Travel and Humanitarian Photographer, following his passion, David has inspired me and countless others along the way.  

There are other photographers who inspire me on a daily basis.  Two I met via blogging here at the Giraffe Head Tree - Diane Schuller and Bo Mackison.  

I found Diane first through another friend's blogroll.  The name of her original blog drew me in - "Sand to Glass."  From there Diane changed her blog title to Alberta Postcards and now has her own photography business, Diane Schuller Photography.  Her sensitivity toward her subjects, her love of dogs and nature, her clean and beautiful style of writing and unique eye for detail always have me looking forward to her new works. 

Seems the whole earthy, naturally sounding titles always draw me in for that's how I made the acquaintance of Bo Mackison.  Her blog's title, "Seeded Earth," caught my eye and her passion for photography kept me coming back.  She and her "Sherpa" participate in art shows in many places.  This year she spent several months in Tucson, Arizona and completely blew me away with her prose and photos.  We have since become friends.

Closer to home, Alabama has a bevy of fabulous conservation photographers.  One in particular, David Young, is a long time favorite.  David Young Photography captures images of water, and other works of nature, in a truly unique way.  He and a few others, calling themselves conservation photographers, have started a Conservation Photographers of Alabama page on Facebook that I wholeheartedly suggest you check out.  When you have time.  After checking out all the other links that I've provided.

Thank you, inspirational people!  Thank you for helping me once again become excited about the world of photography, sharing your talents and creating such beauty!   

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hackberry Emperors

These two were cavorting on the side of our house.  

From Butterflies & Moths of North America

Hackberry Butterflies fly in a fast and erratic manner, and rest upside down on tree trunks. Males perch on tall objects in sunny areas to watch for females. Eggs are laid in clusters, and the young caterpillars feed communally. Caterpillars overwinter in groups gathered inside dead rolled leaves.

Caterpillar hosts are various hackberries and sugarberry.
Adult food include sap, rotting fruit, dung, carrion. They will take moisture at wet spots along roads and streams.
The habitat of Hackberry Emperors is wide - along wooded streams, forest glades and river edges, wooded roadsides, towns.
They reside in most of the eastern United States, central Plains states, and the southwest mountains; northern Mexico.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I'm having trouble uploading photos to Blogger. The past couple of days the little circle thingie goes 'round and 'round but my photo never uploads. Anyone else having this problem? I'm wondering if it's Blogger OR my network. Thanks for the input.

UPDATE:  There is a "New Editor."  I didn't know that until I scoured the Help forums.  Went to Settings, scrolled down and chose the new editor, hit Save and all is well.  Just so ya'll know.  Sheesh.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tennessee Impressions

Four herons with their nest high above the rapids.

Mosses and reeds and water.


Fish on rock.

Wavy rocks.

Water tumbling over and through rocks.


Moonshine in the making.

Jewelweed after the rain.

Wild native passion flower - taken with an iPhone at dusk.

Turtle etching on rock.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Rolling hills, rock walls.
The Smokey Mountains.

Clear, cold mountain streams
pour down mountainsides and
shoot through boulders
tumbling rapidly, smoothing rocks
into fascinating natural creations.

Escape to nature and restore your soul.
Get back in touch with your inner spirit.
Breathe in the fresh air,
soak your feet in the chilly waters,
and take delight in Life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Light and shadow

The sun rose bright red over the mountain this morning, ruby shades filtering through the dense tree canopy greeting me as the dogs snuffled around the backyard. Yawning and stretching sleepy stiff muscles, eyes closed, reaching for the light I was reminded of my many blessings. One blessing is the golden afternoon light that filters through plants on my front porch, casting shadows of mystery.

Peaking through my hanging ferns.

Silver edges glow, and more shadows.

If you are bothered by spiders you may want to stop here.

This cute little fella was dangling in a potted plant. Very tiny, around a quarter of an inch long, maybe a tad bit longer. He was content and obviously well fed.

A surprise visitor - a painted box turtle. I moved him out of the backyard into the the wilder area on the other side of the fence. He didn't need the complication of Baylee. The photo is awful, sorry. Forgetting completely about the high humidity I dashed out and snapped this through a foggy lens. Doh! What a nice surprise!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Sleeping Bird

Winds were gusty, trees swaying, branches clicking together, American flag whipping and snapping. This small understory tree, protected by its larger kin, was nodding so gently that this little bird fell asleep. She stayed there for quite some time - enough time for me to snap this picture. So sweet!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Anniversary

2:56pm August 6, 2010. The hub's fall from a ladder kicked off a series of events unlike anything I've, or he's, ever experienced. True, those first months were horrific and frightening. However, as he began to heal we slowly started to breathe normally, sleep came more readily and we both realized just how miraculous this event was. The universe was speaking to us. No, more like shouting. One year ago today - Ladder Day.

Today, on this auspicious anniversary I want to share a simple story. As he progressed from bed-bound to wheelchair to walker each milestone was reason to celebrate. After the walker he still needed support for several months. Enter my mom. One day she arrived with a cane. Not just any cane. This cane was her great grandfather's cane. Hand-crafted in California, this cane was created for a tall man. Both my great grandfather and my grandfather, mom's dad, were 6'4. This cane is uncomfortable for anyone under 6 feet tall, which is my husband's height.

She unwrapped and handed me this cane with reverence, for it is very special to her. It is a thing of great beauty and elegance and deep meaning. My great grandfather gave this cane to my grandfather, who had his own name engraved along the top. My grandfather is my spirit guide. Gently touching the handle brought memories of my youth at his house. Weekends he would walk my sister and me to the store for snow cones, Dr. Pepper and a moon pie. He always dressed to the nines and always used the cane. When I was little he carried me and it was like being cradled by a mountain.

Its handle is fluted sterling silver. Rubbed soft over years of use it contains the pits and dings of fully appreciated lives. My grandfather's name is beautifully engraved. The shaft is solid mahogany and still sports two swaths of white where he once banged his cane atop a car. My mother shared the story. My grandfather loved to walk the few blocks into town, and often his huge, massive (fat) cat, Midnight, would walk with him. One day a man stopped his car, leaned out to talk to my grandfather and unwisely laughed at his cat. My grandfather loved that cat, and apparently laughing at Midnight was unacceptable. BAM! went the cane on top of the car and the man stopped laughing. That's as much of the story that I know but it was clear that one didn't mess with my granddaddy's cat!

Mother's blessings assured, Bob used my grandfather's cane with great care. We both enjoyed the comments that always came when we went on our outings. Men, in particular, were quite taken by the elegance of this cane, for it is indeed a gentleman's cane.

One day the physical therapist told Bob it was time to begin walking without the cane. It was a poignant moment for we both enjoyed being in its presence. Moreover, this cane brought to his experience a certain grace. He walked taller, arrived proudly, and felt more acceptable to society. Instead of feeling like a cripple he felt noble, distinguished and confident. It was as though my grandfather was there with us daily, channeling his strength and resolve through the handle of that cane up into my husband's spirit.

This is one of the few photos that I have of my grandfather and grandmother, my mom's parents. Thanks, grand daddy. For everything. I love you.


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