Among the many wonders of nature, I find camouflage one of the most fascinating. Below are photographs of owls who quite literally disappear into the trees behind them. If viewed from enough of a distance, it is practically impossible to even see them.
If you can find the owl easily, move further away from your computer/device until it is hard to spot her, and then view the rest.
I cannot take credit for these wonderful photos; they were sent to me in an e-mail and were collected, I assume, from around the web with no photographer given credit. I just prepped them for my blog, hoping you would appreciate them as much as I. Whoever the photographers are, thank you for sharing these amazing images online.
We live in an amazing world. Sometimes it’s easy to see just how amazing it is.
Sometimes we have to look just a little harder.
Posted in Animals, Inspiration, Nature, Photography, Reflections, Wildlife | Tagged animals, camouflage, hiding in plain sight, nature, nature photography, owls | 8 Comments »
Sometimes we have moments in our busy days that just touch our hearts. Here is mine today.
As I walked past my side door earlier, I happened to look out and notice – there was Pumpkin, my next door neighbor’s cat, sound asleep in as relaxed and trusting a position as one could ever ask of any cat.
Why this is particularly touching is that Pumpkin is not a trusting cat. In the time that I’ve lived here, my neighbors got a dog, and the dog, with full run of their property when she is out, largely displaced Pumpkin and their other cat from what was once their domain. More and more the two cats came over here to spend time with me. (Admittedly, the fact that I was providing food and water was an influence, but they also clearly enjoy the company and affection.)
From being a rather curmudgeonly fellow, Pumpkin has come to be far more trusting and now seeks out my attention. He lets me know when he’s had enough, and we’re good so long as I keep an eye on his tail. I am quite sure I cannot pick him up without suffering serious damage, yet he’s become far friendlier over the years. Seeing him sleeping so soundly just outside my open door, his little back feet paired and curled up and his breathing deep and steady, tells me more about his trust than I might have ever known.
Rushing as we do, it’s easy to miss moments like this. I hope you’ve found your moment today.
Posted in Animals, Cats, Inspiration, Reflections | Tagged animals, cat, cats, heartwarming, inspiring, Pumpkin, trust | 11 Comments »
I am repeating this post from my own blog from 2012. It is never too late to do a kindness and there is never a wrong time but today is the day that celebrates it. Should you wish more information, there is a Random Acts of Kindness website with wonderful stories, ideas, etc., but I suspect you know exactly how to be kind. Have a lovely day.
Recently a friend from the other side of the country – Washington State, to be exact – sent me an e-mail with the photos below. Needless to say, the images have been collected by someone from all over the web and put together in that e-mail. I have pulled them together for this blog post because I believe we all could use a little inspiration here and there and it never hurts to be reminded of the difference a small kindness can make, how a simple gesture can touch a heart and soul, and how there really is a great deal of kindness in the world despite what many sources would have us believe. We can always add to that, and it needn’t be on an official Random Acts of Kindness Day – it can be any day or every day.
Enjoy the photos. The e-mail began with this : If you never learn the language of gratitude, you will never be on speaking terms with happiness.
A father and mother kissing their dying little girl goodbye. If you are wondering why all the medic people are bowing,….in less than an hour, two small children in the next room are able to live thanks to the little girl’s kidney and liver.
The e-mail continued on with the following, which I have altered slightly to be more inclusive of all beings on Earth:
Every day, every day, you hear …
I WANT! I WANT! I WANT!
Every day you hear people saying what they want. Well, here’s what I want:
- I want people who are sick to be healed
- I want children – and animals – with no families and no one to love them to be adopted
- I want people to never have to worry about food and shelter and heat
- I want to see a kinder world towards all animals on this planet
- Most of all, I would like to see people start to care more for one another.
May your heart be touched by kindness today and every day.
Posted in Creativity, Helping Out, Inspiration, Life, Reflections, Society, Spiritual | Tagged caring, kindness, kindness to all creatures, Love, peace, Random Acts of Kindness, respect | 4 Comments »
Do you appreciate kids’ art? You have the opportunity to tell them so by voting for them in this year’s Doodle 4 Google competition.
Each year Google holds an art contest, encouraging kids from kindergarten to 12th grade, broken down into 5 age/grade categories, to submit artwork which would be suitable for the Google header, such as their event header featured above. There was a theme for the children to draw to, and that was “What makes me … me”, and all kinds of materials were acceptable. Google has winnowed the entries down to 53 U.S. state and territory winners and now you can vote for a finalist. You can check out all the details in Google’s How It Works section.
They’re looking for 5 National Finalists, one of whom will have their artwork featured on Google’s Home page. And that one Finalist will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 educational grant for their school, and the list goes on.
But the best part – for me, anyway – is checking out the amazing talent of the kids who created artwork around the Google lettering we’re all so familiar with. If you just want to go straight to the artwork — vote here!
Posted in Art, Creativity, Design, Illustration, Inspiration, Just Fun | Tagged art competition, artists, children's art, Doodle, Doodle 4 Google, kids' art, vote for artists | 2 Comments »
For some reason over the last 6 months or so, I have felt the urge to start divesting myself of things I no longer want/need/use. I have made some tiny forays into this effort, but nothing drastic. Yet. But last weekend I got a wake-up call – the people across the street packing up and moving.
I could not believe how much stuff was coming out of one small Cape Cod house. Aside from the desired items they were loading up into a very large trailer, making repeated trips to their new place, there was a ton of stuff bagged and more piled in front of their house for garbage. Mind you, when the garbage truck came through Monday morning, it stopped still in front of this wide mound; one of the fellas made a phone call; and they emptied the two actual garbage cans – exactly what we’re allowed – and moved on leaving everything else there.
A few days later, the owner of the property came by with a clean-up crew.They piled all that into a good-sized trailer and then filled yet another one with what was left behind inside the house! I didn’t have the time to watch all this for long – only occasional observations – but I am still floored by how much was jammed inside such a small dwelling. It left me looking around my house, thinking what can I let go?
I am always amazed at the “stuff” we humans amass. I see so many people with one and two car garages which they fill to the brim and leave their cars outside. I would give an eye-tooth for a garage to put my car in. I’ve never had a garage and can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t jump at the chance of not having to clean their car off in bad weather. Why do we accumulate so much that we don’t need, leave alone even look at?
I do consider myself fortunate that I have no attic and only a tiny basement. It keeps me honest. Everything I own has to fit inside my living space. Even so – the prospect of having to pack up and move again someday? It has me eyeing and evaluating everything I pass – do I really need/want it? Watching that train wreck across the street gave me pause. A cautionary tale, indeed.
Posted in Home Stuff, Life, Reflections | Tagged "stuff", a cautionary tale, garbage, moving, packing, unneeded belongings | 4 Comments »
As snowstorm Jonas dragged on and the snow continued to fall – heavy and then heavier – it was impossible to not start having concerns about the power going out. Thankfully, our area of the state came through A-OK. We did, however, get very high amounts of snow, lots of high winds and drifting. My driveway ranged from 24″ – 30″, and created the ghost that once used to be my car.
What a relief when everything was finally shoveled and pathways cleared. I can’t help but wonder if these huge mounds of snow won’t be with us til Spring. Here’s hoping you weathered the storm okay, and life is returning to non-shoveling activities!
Posted in Home Stuff, Just Fun, Life, Nature | Tagged blizzard, Jonas, Snow, snowstorm, weather | 4 Comments »
Right about now you might be thinking it’s pretty slim pickings in my brain that after all the time lapsed since my last post all I’m coming up with are some cat photos. Well, hold on just a minute there. First of all, they’re not just any cat photos – they’re of my beautiful Miss Jazzy. Second, we have some thoughts about the economy of environmental packaging and the inventiveness of cats. What’s that now?
Lately I’ve noticed that two companies I order from online fairly regularly have taken to using more environmentally friendly packing materials, and I really do appreciate that. No more packing peanuts, bubble wrap or plastic pillows. They’re using relatively cheap brown wrapping paper bunched up and stuffed to fill the box. (Yes, trees, but plastic is worse.) The advantage of that? Instant cat toys! Not only is the box left out on the floor entertaining, but the brown paper can be arranged and re-arranged in ways that are endless fun for Jazzy. Hide a few toys, and she’s busy playing for awhile, (see below), and therein lies the movable cat sculpture. Cats are so inventive with so little.
Are there more things to write about? Oh yeah! Plenty of them. It’s been a kind of blah few weeks after the holidays, not terribly inspiring, and it seems there’s been a lot of that going around. Well, settle in your comfy chair with your favorite hot (or cold) beverage and a good book because the first snowstorm of the season will be pulling into the Eastern seaboard station tonight. And there’s nothing like some snow to get one to dreaming. (Until the shoveling begins, anyway.)
Meanwhile, take a few moments and play with your furred and feathered friends. Be safe. Stay warm.
Posted in Animals, Art, Cats, Home Stuff, Just Fun, Life, Photography | Tagged cats, entertainment, environmentally friendly, Jazzy, packaging material, toys | 4 Comments »
The beginning of each New Year spreads out in front of us – a year of promise, of dreams, of hopes and plans. I leave resolutions for those who are so inclined, and prefer to believe that I will take those steps in exactly the right time.
Ahead are the doors opening to what we dare to dream – what we’d most like to do, our heart’s desire, and how we can get there. Ahead are the doors to our imagination – to what we can create if just given the chance … to those we’ll know, who will inspire us, and whom we can inspire. The doors that take us out and through can take us in as well.
To all who stop by, I wish you the year of your dreams and the open doors to find them.
Posted in Creativity, Design, Inspiration, Life, Reflections, Spiritual | Tagged dreams, future, goals, heart's desire, inspiration, New Year | 2 Comments »
So many things to do, so little time! I’m tired of looking at my blog home page, but, pulled in as many directions as I am right now, what to post? I scrolled through my photos in iPhoto and saw all the wonderful Seward Johnson pieces at the Grounds for Sculpture I’d meant to post, but never got to. So, here while we are having a relatively balmy December in New Jersey, I thought to share – just a tease, I know – two images from a very famous painting, Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe by Edouard Manet.
What makes the Grounds so fascinating is that you never know what you will find when you turn a corner. So here, tucked in a landscaped area of trees and a pond, one practically stumbles upon Johnson’s recreation of this famous Impressionist painting. The realism is astounding, whether the sculpture is of modern day people or those who have stepped out of famous works of art.
Someday, I will get back to sharing more of Johnson’s wonderful work and the Grounds for Sculpture. For now, enjoy this breath of summer before winter really sets in.
Posted in Art, Creativity, Inspiration, Photography | Tagged Edouard Manet, Grounds for Sculpture, Impressionism, Manet, sculpture, Seward Johnson | Leave a Comment »