This morning was too beautiful not to sneak out on a quick walk. Spring has been around for a while but you know, the trees are still waking up. I had to get a photo of this tree that looks like it has two different blossoms blooming from the same branches – I’ve never noticed this before. And my beautiful solomon’s seal which looks like the leaves unfold as it sprouts up. Hope you have a little son shine in your life today and get out for a little walk.
Tag Archives: nature
We are pretty busy in summer around here, so I really wanted to start something with our family that we could grow in, in a season wide open for us. So this year I took a gamble and gifted the girls some skis and passes at a local hill as their Christmas present. They LOVED it! It was confirmed when my husband stated “this was a really good idea.”
I was also able to knock off several of my new years resolutions with this little trip we just took. We snuck away for a little winter retreat at just the right time – we arrived at Crystal after the snow fell and after the power came back on. The trees were absolutely gorgeous weighted down with snow, and the sunshine peeking out to greet us from time to time. Here’s what our family gleaned from skiing together;
- Quality Time: As I thought about this it became more apparent, when do we as a family spend 5 hours of uninterrupted or undistracted time together in the outdoors? I find we do this best with little day trips, when it’s marked out on the calendar and we are away from our normal daily activities.
- Accomplishment: I wouldn’t hide the few tears from our first outing in January, because they bring more joy to the smiles we get now. They started like anyone else on the bunny hill, my husband and I tag-teamed teaching them ourselves. Now, we spend way more time on the chair lifts and racing down the green and blue runs, but they still like going back to the bunny hill to practice new “tricks”. They learn so much now without even realizing it, it is such a joy to see them maneuver on their own and become independent.
- Fun: Sure we are all learning new skills, gaining coordination, control and strength, but more than that we are having fun! Sometimes it is good to let loose of the goals, rules, and bury the cell phone in a deep pocket, and just enjoy one anothers company. That’s something I am completely behind investing in!
Even though this winter has been bizarre according to the weather reports, we have had the BEST winter! Wistfully I acknowledge this is a turning point for our family, as the snow melts the girls are shedding their toddler-hood and have fully grown into the big kid realm. The confidence they gained on the slopes has transferred beyond and to the pool, as they “FINALLY” go underwater and are starting to swim on their own. I find my self enjoying their company as I laugh with them now as their little humor matures. There is no greater joy as a parent than seeing your child claim the things you love the most for themselves… Little nut said to me “mom, let’s do this in a pattern, swim, ski, swim ski…” Oh, melt my heart, three of my favorite things.
“oh no, Flynn Rider is covered in snow!”
This morning the pool was a little too crowded for a swim, being a beautiful sunrise I opted for some winter play. Walking along the old rails to trail I remembered the allure of winter hikes. The trail I walked on was loaded first with snowmobile tracks, than as I moved further along the river fox, deer, rabbits, and I am sure many others I didn’t catch. I am glad I took my snow shoes as it allowed me to go off the path in areas that are normally covered in brush in the summer. Quiet, peaceful, textural – I have been slow to get back in the studio after Christmas. Winter has come, it’s time for play!
It’s not often that I wish for cold. I like winter, I love snow, I am glad it is a season, but it just hasn’t come to town yet… A little scattering of snow here, melt there, these short cycles are getting a little old. I tried to make these luminaries before Christmas but they kept melting, and because when I get something in my head I keep trying, I made these very christmas-y looking ice sculptures for new years. Two days later they are a melted mess. I snapped a few photos at night to capture the beauty of lit ice. O winter, can you please come for a few weeks so we can all use these new skis and I miss your glistening white blanket of snow.
We kept the original leaded glass picture windows on the front of our house. I admire how they capture the light and distort the scenery. Yesterday they framed winters own art sprawled across the glass panes. I’m mesmerized by the ice crystals and abstract design.
Thankfully, we got away for that little hike last weekend that I was hoping for. Who has ever heard of perfect 80 degree weather in October, in Michigan??? We headed out for an afternoon at one of my Dad’s favorite places – the Pine river. 4 miles we hiked with our girls! They did such a great job hiking up hills, through the woods and along the river - we saw very few people out.
I think I am in love with this photo above, the golden-colored leaves and the shadows dancing about on the trunk – gorgeous! Our hike was a bit magical, I wish I was better at capturing the leaves falling, they kind of float from the trees and rest on the forest floor. I took a lot of photos but none really captured the beauty of being in nature with the people I love most.
I love picking up seeds and pods at this time of year. They are so interesting and range in size. The top photo came from little lettuce plants – about 1 inch in length. The ones below come from a catalpa tree they are about 1 foot in length. These trees are found all over the world but a new fact I just learned in writing this, the largest living catalpa tree is on the grounds of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan; it was planted in the year of its dedication, 1879.
This weekend I am off to celebrate my sister’s wedding, hopefully outdoors if the weather cooperates. I have been working on a few projects for it, to be shared next week – I don’t want to ruin the surprise! My work has also been featured on Lisa’s food & pottery blog – have a great weekend!
Plentiful at this time of year – gorgeous leaves! We live on a street lined with maple trees, so the materials for these are abundant. I am not sure who first created these but I am certain they have been made for a long time. I first learned how to make these a few years ago from a retired art teacher in our community. She like to wrap the leaves really tight so they looked like rose buds, I like to find the really big leaves and make them with large open “petals”. I’m not a huge fan of dried flowers but these do have beautiful color.
What you need: About 10 colorful maple leaves (per flower) in various sizes, they should be dry & freshly fallen, so they are pliable. It is also helpful to have on hand short twigs, scissors and florist tape.
Using one of the smaller leaves, place the colorful side down and fold the points in. Begin to roll the leaf from one side.
Take a second leaf and fold the center point down. Place the first rolled leaf in the center, fold down the side points on the second leaf and wrap both sides around.
Continue to add leaves, rotating the flower as you go to get an even size. Work with the smaller leaves towards the larger ones. When you rotate it also helps to keep the sides tucked in so that it doesn’t unravel.
When you have added all your leaves or reach desired size, pinch the leaf stems tightly and begin to wrap with florist tape. Trim the stem ends and cut. Finally if you are wanting a “long stem” use a stick and attach to the flower by wrapping it with a bit more florist tape.
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:7-11
What do you think of when you see a beautiful cloud in the sky? Do you immediately think back to elementary science and the cycle of precipitation? This is a beautiful picture I took of a cloud that formed over lake Michigan a few weeks ago. This week I was challenged to view clouds in a new light, as a partial view of the hidden glory of God. What a beautiful reminder, that a cloud symbolizes the second coming of christ. Go ahead, let your eyes and heart drift to the sky today.
This seems like a magical year for produce. I spotted this little grove of apples on camp that I’ve never noticed before. Tucked out-of-the-way is a grouping of twisted trees, surrounded by weeds and tall grass, pressed down by groups of deer that gravitate towards the fruit. Surely the herd wouldn’t mind if I picked a few. I am not sure what the varieties are but these were most definitely planted 50, 60, 70 years ago – by the size of the trees.
The way to get the best apples is to climb the tree which inevitably scrapes your arms or any exposed skin. I try to pick the biggest and best apples I can see. I think these would qualify as “organic” as I may as well be the only one who has picked here in a LONG time, much less sprayed the tree with anything. My first fear was that the apples would be bad, ridden with bugs. My family quickly picked just one basket – which again, I had to hold off my greedy fruit picking tendencies… At home I quickly went to work making a large stockpot of applesauce and homemade apple pie. As I sliced through apple after apple I was so surprised they were consistently good to the core.
As I reflect on my fears, I can’t help but compare apples to people. I tended to go for the apples that looked the best from the outside but there were very few without blemish. From afar they all look like apples but up close you can see the changes in roundness and shape. Scars, blemishes and malformations appear to be the “natural” part of the growing process. We can judge whatever we want from the outside but we know nothing of the fruits health until we cut in and view it from the core.
Here’s to being content, great apples and eating pie!
Psalm 17:7-9 Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.