Finding Beauty In Death And Life

09-04 Century Plant Blooms

Century in prime,

Blooms stalk, stretch, reach for the clouds.

Stand tall- end is near.

09-04 Dead Trees

Stark contrast to life,

Leafless, naked, dry branches.

Decompose- feed earth.

09-04 Acorns

Healthy ground grows roots,

Nourish seeds, sow souls, future.

New generation.

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The first two photos were taken near Fossil Creek (AZ).  Century plants bloom once and then the plant dies.  I love seeing the huge flowering stalk, because it looks neat, but am sad because I know the plant will die.  As I looked through my photos, I had the thought that each day we live, we are closer to death.  That’s the way life is…but wouldn’t it be sad if we lived and died and never had the chance to make life prettier?

The last photo, I took in my yard.  We have several oak trees bursting with clusters of acorns.  (I no longer wonder why I see so many squirrels scurrying in our yard :))  I thought it fit here as a reminder that while life is dying, it’s also renewing itself.

Anyone else have The Lion King song in their heads now?

You’re welcome!  Have a wonderful Wednesday.

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I See The Earth Move (Almost) Under My Feet

Do you see the horned toad?  I almost didn't, but it caught my eye when it scurried to this bigger rock.
Do you see the horned toad? I almost didn’t, but it caught my eye when it scurried across my path, to rest near this bigger rock.
I heard leaves rustle by the plant I was watering after dark.  I was relieved when I found the noise belong to this guy and not a rattlesnake!
I heard leaves rustle by the tree I was watering after dark. I was relieved when I found the noise belong to this toad and not a rattlesnake!

Twice, within a week of each other, I’ve been surprised by something I didn’t see while outdoors.  I think I’m aware of my surroundings, however, these encounters make me realize that my eyes are open, but I’m looking only for what I expect to see.

Over-thinking this, as I tend to do, my thoughts progressed to how I see what I expect in other areas of my life.  I also thought about how I find comfort blending into my surroundings.  Being naturally shy (but much more social than in my younger years), I find myself more often an observer than participant.

Today, I want to set my expectations aside and really see.   I want to see someone differently than I expect based on superficial observations.  I want to join a conversation I would normally be content to watch from afar.

Most of all, I want to be surprised by what I’ve been missing.

Do you ever find yourself looking but not seeing?

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P.S.  I’m still on vacation in Washington D.C.  I’ll have to catch up on visiting blogs when I get back.  I can read posts just fine on my phone but commenting is a big pain in the neck!   My next post will be June 21st, with the weekend Trifecta challenge.  Have a wonderful week 🙂

Art of Anticipation

Being able to observe our surroundings and anticipate its effect on us is a useful- even life-saving skill.  We do it every day without even thinking about it.  Our kids chase a ball toward the street and then we spot a car coming and tell the child to stop.  A stranger lingers outside the store observing shoppers and we don’t exit alone.  We know that when there is a mud puddle, our boys will stomp in it.  If there is chocolate in the house, I will eat it.  All of it.  Well, you get the idea!

Generally, my ability to anticipate is pretty keen, but the next few pictures are evidence that I have room for improvement 😛

Photo taken of waterfall from underneath the Natural Bridge (AZ)
Photo taken of waterfall from underneath the Natural Bridge (AZ)
Photo taken of waterfall from underneath the Natural Bridge (AZ) after a little breeze
Photo taken of waterfall from underneath the Natural Bridge (AZ) after a little breeze
Photo taken of waterfall from underneath the Natural Bridge (AZ) after the breeze gains strength...right before I stuffed the camera under my shirt and hunched over to keep it dry!
Photo taken of waterfall from underneath the Natural Bridge (AZ) after the breeze gains strength…right before I stuffed the camera under my shirt and hunched over to keep it dry!

To quote Nancy at SLTW, “Ah….that’s better!”

It’s going to be sunny and hot today, so I’m hoping the power of suggestion and the memory of being sprinkled with unexpectedly cold water will help.  Being one to look on the bright side (no pun intended); if I still lived in Phoenix I could expect 110 degrees.  Since our move a little north, we are blessed with a forecast in the mid-nineties.  We are even luckier to be heading to Washington DC tomorrow, where they are expecting temps in the eighties – and chances of rain!  Rain….I hope it rains – we don’t see much of that here in Arizona.  I’m even bringing my umbrella that has seen only sunshine since my visit to New Orleans in February 2012.  I know, this means it definitely won’t rain now.  Maybe someone will wash their car to counteract my preparation?

Monday is normally when I post a new segment to Darlene’s Story for the Trifecta writing challenge.  If you stopped by looking for that, I’m sorry to disappoint!  This week is a Community Judged week for the responses and I didn’t feel right posting a response when I know I probably won’t get to read much.  I’ll continue the story in two weeks, when I’m back and settled from vacation!

Have a beautiful day!

Companionship and Randomness

04-11 Elk

When I first started toying with a caption for this picture, I came up with: “Joy:  having friends for breakfast.”  It’s amazing how swapping a couple words and changing their order can alter the intended meaning of an idea.  Hannibal Lecter no doubt would’ve found joy in having friends for breakfast, but I don’t intend to try it… I’m pretty sure I’d prefer to dine with friends rather than on them 🙂

The elk in the photo above actually crossed the road in front of us.  One dashed across first, which stopped traffic (us and 2 other cars) and the other two followed soon after.  I need more practice photographing living subjects; they usually run away before I find an angle I like.  This time, I snapped pictures even though I had glare from the sun.  Three pictures in, the elk got annoyed and moved behind a rock wall.  At least they were slower than my older son… he blocks his face before I can even get one shot!

The following photo doesn’t have anything to do with this post, and I can’t imagine what kind of post I’d write where I could use it.  I wanted to share it anyway because for some reason, I like it.

The tree didn't run away, but I think it died waiting for me to take the picture
The tree didn’t run away, but I think it died waiting for me to take the picture

What brings you joy?

Making a Path

04-08 RoadCollage

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The last several weeks have been absolutely crazy.  I’ve missed reading blogs (and writing blog posts,) but today, I couldn’t resist the urge to do a photo post.  It seems like so long since I’ve had the camera with me for the sole reason of capturing things that interest me.  I’ve got a post started about why I’ve been mostly MIA (except for writing prompts) but it still needs to be shorter.  Maybe this week, I’ll be able to pare it down to a bite-sized chunk.

Mondays have a reputation for being difficult.  I’m not saying that it isn’t deserved, but I hope you overcome it and have a beautiful Monday!