Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Turtle Party

The turtles were having a party two days ago. (I'm behind in my blogging.) They invited the swans. It was so sunny, I counted 35 turtles. I'm going to try to go at different times between 6:30 and 7:30 and videotape them climbing out.

So this much sun and all these turtles is an abundant, fun beauty. It's a turtle party.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Paint Party

We've been having summer weather in the spring. Sunday was magnificient. I have a group of artist friends that paint the last Sunday of every month, and on this Sunday, April 26, we went to the Maryknoll grounds in Ossining, NY and had a painting party. I draw, mostly everyone else paints. We also eat and gab, and generally that's the point, to be together. I'm posting our work, and I'll post a few photos of what we were looking at later, because I'm on my way to work now.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Parade

Geese joined the parade today.

I decided not to go early this morning (too busy, important things you know...) and I ended up fighting with my husband over work stress and slamming the door on my son. So I left the house and had my coffee at the lake, and I don't know what the message of the day is, I have a meeting that I don't know how to handle and I was looking for some inspiration or guidance, but I do feel much calmer. It's like we live in a vacation spot. How great to be able to take 15 minutes and feel like you went on vacation. The familiar also has the unexpected.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lake Beauty

Play this movie for the full early morning peaceful lake experience. Listen closely for audio-beauty.

Peace and Turtles

Our Lake

I took 73 photos (you have to love digital cameras) and a movie. And I went there twice. First at 6:30 and then I went home and got ready for work, and then as I drove by on the way to work, I had to stop again because the turtles had joined the swans.

Beauty Season

The striking thing about early spring at the lake is that one vista is fall-like, and another is spring.


So this morning at the lake was spectacular. I went there around 6 am again, but this time there was no mist, just swans. It was really beautiful. Since I've been posting lake pictures, this morning was the real 'beauty' feeling.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Disruption Explained

So, the answer to the stick-message of this morning was neither a or b (see last post below). It was stick to your own rhythm and sometimes you cause disruption, sometimes you don't, but good things come your way. I stayed on my own course today, and I was highly productive and very engaged. And here are the photos of what the lake looked like this morning (April 22). It was misty and gray and very peaceful.


I have to post the picture later (battery in the camera is dead) but I took the time this am to go out to my stick in the lake and see what it was like in the early morning. There was tremendous beauty in the gray wetness and muted colors of early spring. The reflections of everything in the water were particularly gorgeous, like beautiful watercolors. Though muted, it was our Pompton Lake version of Monet's water lillies.

However, I learned something about this process. As I drove up (I drove instead of walked because I have to get ready for work and I have a lot to do) I was thinking how it was amazing that whenever I came to this place, nothing notices me, the turtles don't jump in the water, the swans don't swim away, the stick certainly isn't going anywhere. And yet this time, as I walked to the bench I take the photos from, two geese were in front of me, they started honking and went in the water which disturbed the swan on the stick and then everything went into action (slow, yes, but movement nonetheless).

So, the stick-lesson for today is either a) move at your own rhythm or you'll disturb everyone, or b) accept that disruption may be necessary for movement. I'll let you know how it works out.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I don't have much time today, but I ran out to document how my roses and clematis and apple tree are blooming. and I'm barefoot so the grass was cold but very lush because it's not time to mow yet. There's nothing like grass. And being outdoors makes you breathe deeper and connect to that which is beyond the pressures and 'to-do' list of the day.

So it's a cool, gray morning, but look how much more the apple tree has bloomed in three days. I'm posting the April 17 photo and April 20.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


My nature experience for yesterday was gardening, though I have to call it more tending, because it was weeding and training. I was working with Nature, but not really experiencing beauty. Or so I thought. It didn't feel like beauty because everywhere I looked all I could think of was what work I had to do. Then I stopped using my visual sense and concentrated on the smells and the sounds, and that was beautiful. In that frame of mind, the buds and the fact that everything just comes alive had it's own beauty.

Reading Emerson's Nature essay this morning, one of the many points I came away thinking about was that the beauty of Nature is always a promise, it's pending it's in the future. I don't know if that's always true, but it certainly is of early spring gardening. The appreciation an
d anticipation of a bud is more beautiful because it contains the idea of what it will be in the future.

I have a climbing rose and a climbing clematis that I've been training for years. They are spectacular when they bloom, but I find them beautiful all year round. They're like friends that always deliver, and appreciate attention. You have to train the vines right now though, or they get out of hand. I've pushed the rose to climb up one trellis over a pair of windows and down another. It's now going to bloom across the whole window. I love it! And both of those plants are at least 20 years old, if not 30. The clematis was over by the rose, but no one could see it and it didn't get enough sun, so I moved it to the side of the house over another window, maybe 12-13 years ago, and it is spectacular. Both plants grow on their old wood and use the trellis and the dead wood to be even more spectacular. They have a slow and steady rhythm to their existence. I've been using the word 'cadence' for rhythm, because it seems like a better word for Nature, but these plants have rhythm. They are a waltz. One is a blue waltz and the other is red, both to the purple side of their hues.

So in addition to the stick world (there were seagulls on it yesterday morning and turtles at night) I'd like to post photos of the bloom cycle of my rose and clematis. The photos here are in the early stages. Everything is stick like, but you can tell they're alive. I'm also including the apple tree, because you can see that bloom almost by the minute once it starts and it is spectacular too.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Turtles being Turtles

(Pictures taken April 16, around 6:30pm)

You have to click on these photos and view them larger to see the turtles being turtles. Note the ducks in the last photo, you can't see them unless the photo is larger.

Cadence II

(This was written on April 16, posted on the 17th)

I did not stop at my stick with a camera this am, but there were seagulls perched on it, very sunny, very happy looking. I was late, so I kept on going.

At work, I tried to add some nature to the day and took a walk around the trail around our building. Sort of nature, but there was construction going on and since the leaves are not out yet, you can see the buildings and I can’t say it was a beautiful vista. However, things are growing. They are being themselves and so on a micro scale, that cadence is coming through. There is a perspective from which any environment is inspiring an beautiful. I extrapolate that out to life, and it’s very comforting.

Vulture Cadence

(This was written April 15, posted April 17)

So that was more interacting with Nature then I normally have, because I normally don’t breathe very much fresh air each day, and at least I had some. However, as we were cooking dinner (Jess wanted Quiznos, and so did my son Chris, but Tom and I were grilling Turkey) Tom heard a whole kettle of vultures swoop into the humongous tree that borders our property and called Jess and I out to the back. Here are some of the pictures I took.

So, though it was a total of 15 minutes, I spent more time outside t
han I normally do on a weekday. And what I take away from contemplating these things is that it’s fun to note what’s happening in nature even in a suburban neighborhood. Admittedly, I live a block away from a lake, so there’s always something to see, but since it’s the suburbs, it’s not pristine. The lake had some paper strewn on the bank (very little, but still some) and our tree has an old helium balloon stuck in it. Still nature has a cadence. The tree houses the birds, the lake is home to the swans, and my stick creates it’s own little ecosystem. Things have a tendency to keep on being themselves, it’s very comforting.


The assignment is to write something down each day in a beauty log – blog! So I’m using my blog for this purpose. I’ve always found that I end up doing what I intend to do, even if the timeline is different. And actually, my first intention for a blog was to take a picture every day of a stick that I like in the lake by my house. It’s actually more of a log. A beauty log! Another blog.

Anyway, I drive by that stick every day, and sometimes there are turtles, and sometimes ducks or swans, sometimes all of them, sometimes none of them, sometimes sun, sometimes haze, but I always see something social in the little ecosystem it creates.

Today on the way to work there were two ducks, but I couldn’t stop because I had to renew my driver’s license and then get to work. On the way home, I stopped and took some picures, but I couldn’t linger because my daughter was very sick and I had made light of her pain the night before. (True, she was waking me up at 2am and I told her we’d go to the doctor in the morning, but still, I did not show enough concern.) Tom (my husband, her father) took her to the doctor in the morning and then they had to go to the hospital for a catscan. They were there all day and she has an ovarian cyst. So, I had to get home and at least feed her something she liked since I was negligent the night before. Anyway, the lake was sunny, the swans were spread out very evenly and there was no being on the stick. Here are a few pictures.

New Blog Intention

I haven't been posting to my blog, because public sharing wasn't working for me. However, I am now taking a class on Emerson, taught by my friend John, and so I'm going to use this space to work with one of the assignments for that class. I started on April 15, but I'm posting everything today.