Delicate

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Delicate is the flower of the Christmas Cactus. Christmas in March…how special is that!

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She appears different from multiple angles. Like all things…each view unique.

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Background affects the flower’s statement. As does that of people. Similarities?

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Add a touch of blue sky and a bit more green. She could be mistaken for a different flower.

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Sporting a brilliant pistil surrounded by soft, brush-like stamen. Simply beautiful.

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Only a few flowers at the moment. Hopefully, more to come. Thanks for joining me! And thanks to Cheryl for fostering such a lovely plant.

Color

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In physics, white and black are not colors because they have no specific wavelength. In art, white is the absence of color while black is the presence of all color. Yet, in science (other than physics) white is color and black is not. Henceforth, color is defined in various ways, depending on perspective and criteria.

Carson is white with black eyes and nose. And, when he digs in the mud he looks something like an Oreo cookie. In this photo, the grass is green, the flower barrow a rusty brown, the trees shades of brown-gray and green, and the sky blue and white due to clouds.

Would it make any difference if Carson were black and the grass white? What if his eyes and nose were blue and the sky yellow? Imagine the trees being shades of red and orange, and the sky purple. Actually, the later actually occurs at different times of the year and in various regions of the world. It is a beautiful thing.

Does it really matter what color objects are, whether they be animals, nature or people? No. Then why do we get so bent out of shape when colors and people are concerned? Should we? No. Is this post too simplistic as we are faced with issues of color which are millennia old? No. No. No. What is too simplistic is all the complex rhetoric and reasoning behind the issue with color. People say it is complicated, but at the very core of this issue, the problem with color is not complex. It is just ugly. Too many people’s hearts are tainted with prejudice and hate. Simple, but tragic.

Cardinal Luck

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It is rare (at least for me) to get a long look at a Cardinal staying in one place for more than a few seconds. They are timid and like to hide. So, I was a bit lucky to capture this male, however, it was at a full 300 mm zoom so the image is not as crisp and vibrant as I would have hoped for. However, it beats not having the photograph.

There is a special quality that this particular bird reveals when he stands tall on a branch. Besides his beautiful red coloring and unique beak, there is something more…something intangible. Perhaps I consider him as being regal due to his appearance. Perhaps, I simply notice how handsome he is. As with people, Mr. Red can’t take any credit for this fact. Only his Creator can. But, what if he wasn’t so handsome? Would that lessen his uniqueness…his beauty? As with people, something to ponder. Are we unique and beautiful because that’s how the world sees us or are we all that way simply because that is how we were created? I choose the later explanation, and hope you do, too.

In keeping with my thoughts about winter ending soon and spring turning to summer, I share this song bird with you. Celebrate his (your) uniqueness.

Brown Sugar

Sunlit Horse 2-26-15 006 She stands about fourteen hands tall with a whisky-barrel-colored coat of velvet, and a white striped forehead from eyes to nose. Her pose is strong and steady; her eyes fixed and curious; her breath like steam from a locomotive. The morning sun illuminates her form like a yellow halo. This mare stands like a majestic statue overlooking hallowed ground. She patrols her triangular parcel of pasture with grandeur. Even her grazing is graceful. She is the equivalent of an equine Joan of Arc: brawny, brave and beautiful.Sunlit Horse 2-26-15 011I fell in love with this girl the first time I laid eyes on her a couple of years ago. It was winter then, as it is now. Snow covered the ground. As I passed by the pasture and noticed her, I stopped, just as I did yesterday. On both occasions I got out of the Jeep with camera in hand. Then, she came to me and we talked a moment. This time she kept her distance, but was unafraid…she simply wanted to continue grazing. A freight train passed behind her and a caravan of cars in front, yet she didn’t flinch. I guess we all become accustomed to our surroundings. I don’t know about you, but I think she looks the same now as two years ago. Lovely, isn’t she? I think I’ll call her Brown Sugar.???????????????????????????????

Unforced Rhythms of Grace

I wish I could take credit for this title because I find it so profoundly accurate to the story I am about to share in this post. Eugene Peterson, the author of The Message Bible, developed this paraphrase from a passage about surrendering our burdens to Christ whose grace never ceases, but flows continually into our lives. Rather than simply create a word picture, I have included several photos of waves I recently watched and played in off the coast of the Dominican Republic. The time spent at the  beach was as enjoyable as one can imagine!IMG_1359I really love waves. They remind me of clouds passing across the sky-an ever-changing panorama. I am in awe of surfers who navigate these fluid highways with stunning accuracy, and I thoroughly enjoy those jaw-dropping videos of waves rolling over surfers or crashing over reefs and onto shoreline rocks. Nature in motion. Breathtaking beauty. The visual and audible rhythm is soothing. At the same time waves can be extremely dangerous, especially the undertow and hidden objects below their momentous surfaces. Nevertheless, waves are awesome to behold and I count it a privilege whenever I can be near them (on or next to land, that is).IMG_1111While on the coast of sunny Punta Cana I was reminded of the words a friend spoke to me a few weeks ago. Tom lives in Florida and spends time lapping up the soft wave action of the panhandle. He often sits in the shallow water as the waves gently roll into him…repeatedly without end. He loves that. Tom discovered he has a very serious form of lymphoma cancer which devastated his body in short order. The good news is that his type of cancer is curable. However, the treatments last five months with week-long infusions, then rest and more infusions. Tom is away from his home during these treatments. His body suffered serious bone deterioration in joints and along his spine. Surgeries were necessary. It has been rough sailing for him and his wife.IMG_1134You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about Tom in the same context as waves. I’ll tell you. Before our vacation, I met with Tom for lunch and he explained the whole ordeal with cancer, treatments, etc. No pity-party, just facts. I’ll never forget the part where he talked about this journey and how his faith played a part in him keeping a positive attitude despite the circumstances. As he sat in his wheelchair, he kept motioning with his arms; he would extend them outward and then draw them inward in unison, like he was rowing a boat. He told me that God’s grace flowed into him just like the waves gently rolled into his chest as he sat in the shallow water of the ocean. Back and forth his arms moved. Then he said, ” I’m blessed, you know. I’ve been given so much and don’t deserve it all “.

Masterpiece in Blue & White

1-26-14 032What is a masterpiece? Depending on the dictionary, one definition may read like this: any production of art which is created by one who is most competent in his or her trade, and whose work is most excellent in every way (my paraphrase of several choices).1-26-14 040As I gazed into the afternoon sky a few days ago I realized that I was observing a flowing work of art which was being painted by the Grand Master himself. His canvas was the sky and his brush strokes left behind a trail of cotton colored clouds. His method is always facile and his boundaries limitless.1-26-14 030Within a span of fifteen minutes I witnessed a hundred paintings. Each was unique and oh, so beautiful. I recall as a child the fascination that clouds held for me…laying on my back on a bed of grass, a warm breeze touching my face, and watching the sky turn into a playground of animals and people and things that went fast. Imagining was so fun.1-26-14 021Even though I am a bit older (ha!) I still enjoy watching the clouds form overhead, as in a ballet of sorts. I marvel at how quickly the images on the canvas change. As much as I enjoy the art, it is the awe for the artist that really captures me. Isn’t that true of any great master…we celebrate the maker as well as his creations.1-26-14 025Therefore, I leave you with this thought. Be conscious of what is above in addition to what is around you. Look up more often and spend less time peering down…the view is so much more spectacular!1-26-14 016