Category Archives: nature

Celebrating Spring with a Gift for the Birdies…

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Spring is officially here, and I decided I’d celebrate by leaving some nest-making supplies out for the birds!

I figure they’ve got plenty of twigs, mud, and pine needles at their disposal, but thought they might enjoy using some bunny fur to make their nest soft and cuddly.  I saved some of the fur from the last brushings we gave Cypress and Pinto, and amassed a few handfuls of fur.*

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White and brown fur from our male bunny, Pinto
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White fur from our female bunny, Cypress (sprinkled with a few of Pinto’s brown hairs)
Doesn’t it look comfy?
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I decided some yarn and thread bits might also be nice for the birdies to use, so I gathered some scrap pieces of the sari yarns I used on some of the necklaces I posted on Etsy and pulled them apart.  I also added some turquoise fibers from my stash.
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It makes me giddy to think of precious little nests lined with our bunnies’ fur and/or with these beautiful fibers.  I know I’ll never actually see the nests these offerings make it into, but I have a great imagination and love the image I’ve created in my mind’s eye.  :]
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I left my offerings near our home. There’s a pond across the way, where froggies croak at night (their ribbety chorus fills me with glee!), and I left the “warm and fuzzies” along the path by the pond where I’ve seen birds flit about, back a bit in the bushes.  I know they don’t need my offerings, but I still hope they’ll make use of them and enjoy them…
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Happy Spring, everyone!  What are you doing to celebrate the new season?
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Warm regards,
Melody
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Another Look: Haiku

Welcome to a new installment of Another Look!  This post is designed to share a handful of goodies from my archive while I’m recovering from my surgeries.  I hope you enjoy these links, whether you’re seeing them for the first time or have seen them once before.  Today’s category is haiku!  Just click on the name of the post to link over…

flowers

It’s the Little Things
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Nature’s Lace
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pelican

 A Santa Barbara Morning   
 leaves

Often Overlooked

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these poem that I paired with some of my photographs.  Please feel free to comment with a haiku of your own!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Another Look: Photography

Welcome to another installment of Another Look!  This post is designed to share a handful of goodies from my archive while I’m recovering from my surgeries.  I hope you enjoy these links, whether you’re seeing them for the first time or have seen them once before.  Today’s category is photography! Just click on the name of the post to link over…

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6 Simple Tips for Taking Better Photos
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Harvesting Bounty at the Farmers Market
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The Joys of iPhone Photography
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Visual Nutrition
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I hope you enjoy these posts.  Please feel free to comment and share any photography tips you find helpful when you’re behind the camera.

Warm regards,
Melody

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Haiku: A Sure Sign of Spring

daffodil

Lovely daffodil,
your sunshine yellow cheers me.
Cup, petals, and stem…

Daffodils are one of my favorite things about spring, and I look forward to their arrival each year.  I don’t have a yard to plant in, so this small bunch of daffodils was a very happy find at the market! Displayed in a Mason jar on the counter, these beautiful blooms are helping me enjoy the spring season.

What are some of your favorite signs of spring, dear readers? I invite you to comment and share…

Warm regards,
Melody

 

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Monterey Bay Aquarium & An Elephant Seal Rookery

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As I mentioned in a post last week I was on vacation – taking in the beauty of California’s Central Coast.  I stayed in Cambria for a week, and was lucky enough to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium during my stay.  What an incredible facility!  The exhibits were amazing, and the volunteers and staff were both friendly and helpful.  If you’re going to be in the area, and have a chance to take it in, I’d definitely recommend it.

The Kelp Forest was magical. Seaweed stretched from the “sea floor” to the surface of the water, and the exhibit was teeming with sea life.  From starfish and sea cucumbers to leopard sharks – and oodles of fishies in between – there was so much to see.  It was so lovely I could’ve stayed at this exhibit for hours, but finally had to move on.

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I think of anchovies as being itty-bitty things, but these silvery beauties were around 4 inches long.  They swam round and round, and opened their mouths wide from time to time – which was both funny and kinda scary looking all at the same time!

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The jellyfish exhibit was another of my favorites – I could’ve lingered there for hours. SO lovely!

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I enjoyed the other exhibits, too, which allowed me to see things like anemones, sea horses, and other sea life and plants up close.

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fish

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In addition to the aquarium, I was also lucky enough to visit the Elephant Seal Rookery near San Simeon, CA.  Though most of the thousands of seals that birth and mate yearly on this beach had already headed back out to sea for their annual trip north to the Aleutian Islands, I was able to see many of the weaned “babies” (they weren’t so little!) and a dozen or so of the large male seals.  It was such a treat to see these creatures sunning themselves on the beach!

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In addition to drinking in the sun, the seals also made frequent “raspberry” sounds and occasional barking/crying sounds.  Another of their favorite past times is using their flippers, which have “fingernails” on them, to scratch and to flip damp sand up onto their bodies.  The sand helps keep them cooler in the baking sun…

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One more photo: this was taken on the bluffs in Cambria, not far from Lodge Hill.

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I went for a walk with my Cambria hosts, and we saw so many wonderful things!  In addition to the gorgeous ocean view overall, we saw seals, pelicans, dolphins and sea otters!  I was super excited, and actually jumped up and down while watching the dolphins.  Seeing and hearing the otters crack-crack-cracking their food open on their chests made me giddy, too.  Yep, I’m definitely a nature lover!

We also went whale watching, and saw at least four whales, but the sea was rolling our boat around so much that I was more focused on not falling over the rail than taking great photos!  Please feel free to comment and share some of your aquarium or sea life viewing adventures, dear readers…

Warm regards,
Melody

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March Giveaway: Water Lily Note Cards!

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As you may have noticed, I’m a bit of a shutterbug.  I really enjoy taking photos – especially nature photos.  In honor of my love for nature – and the rapidly approaching spring season – I’m giving away a set of photographic note cards this month!

I took the photo of this pink water lily at the Mission in San Juan Capistrano, and love this image.  Though I’m not usually drawn to bright pink, I love the way the pink and the deep blue-green of the water work together.  This set of note cards features five card/envelope sets and the insides of the cards are blank, allowing the sender to express any sentiment.

To enter, simply leave a comment telling me one of your favorite flowers.  I love so many different types that I really couldn’t choose just one, but calla lilies, irises, daffodils, roses, sunflowers and tuberoses are among my favorites.

The winner will be drawn at random and announced on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, so please comment today!

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Warm regards,
Melody

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Haiku: Cambria

cambria

Days in Cambria:
relaxed, quiet, beautiful.
Love that it’s tranquil…

I’m currently on my second annual week-long retreat in this magical spot along California’s Central Coast.  (Thank you for your hospitality, T.E.L!)  I’ll drive home to hubby and the bunnies this weekend, and will return to blogging from Southern California next week.  In the meantime, I’m wishing you a relaxed, quiet and beautiful weekend…

Warm regards,
Melody

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Galleries & Published Works

Hi y’all!  Happy Tuesday!

Just wanted to take a moment and invite you to check out some of the pages here at my website.  For example, my Galleries page and my Published Works page.

You’ll find images of my artwork in the GALLERIES, including photography, collage, and mixed-media. Here are a few examples of images that live there – won’t you visit the rest?

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This photo of the Rock of Cashel (in Ireland) is in the Travel collection.

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This pink water lily image is in the Nature collection.

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This glass bottle image is in the Man-Made collection.

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This piece, made in memory of my Aunt Bobby, is in the Collage collection.

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This up-cycled metal can project is in the Mixed-Media collection.

If you visit my PUBLISHED WORKS page you can see where I’ve had my art and writings published – and in many cases you can click on the work’s title to see a scan of the tear sheet (magazines) or can link over to the website my work appears on.  Projects range from collages and cards to Memory Jars (love that one!) and more!  So please take a peek.

Here are a few projects/articles you might particularly like – I hope you’ll also take a peek at the others:

Fictitious Family Album

Sowing the Seeds of Inspiration

Time in a Bottle (Memory Jars)

You may also visit my About page to learn more about my background, my Art Program page to learn how you can help me provide art education and supplies to at-risk public school children, and my Contact page if you’d like to email me with any questions or comments.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!  Don’t forget to save your chocolate boxes so you can make your own version of my Heart’s Desire project!

Warm regards,
Melody

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Haiku: Lavender

lavenderflower

Lavender petals
and a deep yellow pollen –
exquisite beauty.

I love taking a stroll around the nursery, drinking in the beauty of the plants.  Between the shapes, textures, patterns, colors and scents I’m in heaven – it’s such a treat for my senses.  I yearn for the day when I’ll finally have a garden, and can grow fruits and veggies in addition to flowers.  In the meantime, you just may run into me strolling around the aisles and paths at the local nursery – camera in hand and a smile on my face…

Warm regards,
Melody

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Haiku: Growth

bulb

Outer skin is dry,
but new growth can still prevail.
Life’s what we make it.

 

With the bulk of the holidays past, my thoughts are turning to the New Year.  What do you hope to do, see, and be in 2012?  I’m still shuffling things around in my mind, but I know I want my heart, understanding, kindness and generosity to keep on growing…

Warm regards,
Melody

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