Milkweed – With a Future Monarch

We are spending a few days in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, camping by Traverse City. Today we spent time exploring the Mission Peninsula that goes north, splitting the Grand Traverse Bay. Instead of going to one of the many wine orchards for tasting and lunch, we decided to pack our favorite lunch for a picnic, and found a public launch site that had some benches overlooking the western arm of the bay. Afterwards I took photos of wildflowers growing along the shore. One of the flowers that was just starting to blossom was milkweed.

I decided to post a photo of a wildflower for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge and when I processed the photo I found a surprise Monarch larvae. Kind of a bonus for Cee.

Quiet Moments

_DSC0018-2The Lens-Artist Photo Challenge this week is to illustrate how we find a quiet moment as we are staying home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I had to give this some thought because with just two people in our home my days are very quiet. I don’t need quiet, as in the lack of noise; what I need is quiet in the sense of gentle colors and order. What makes for a quiet moment is a focus on where I am in the moment while blocking out all thoughts of chaos, death, sickness, meanness, killing, corruption, hate, and destruction.

_DSC0039I have been mostly staying home and not in the mood for photography. My friend, Julie, and I used to go on weekly photo shoots down dirt road within a 50 mile radius of where we live – until she moved 120 miles away. My heart aches from missing these hours of being quiet and apart, together with a good friend. I miss making time to see, really see what is before me and explore the simple, looking for how to capture its greatest beauty.

_DSC0029I have been going through old photography files, sometimes just to remember, sometimes to find pleasure in photos I love, and occasionally to find the perfect photo for a post. Sometimes I even clean out photos that I am confident I will never use and tag the keepers so I can find them again. This activity brings me pleasure when I need order within our social disorder.

_DSC0021These photos were taken at an Audubon Sanctuary on a foggy August morning in 2018. As I meandered my way through the file I knew these were the perfect photos to illustrate what I need in my quiet moments during these times of fear and rage.

_DSC0040I hope you will join me as I walk the wildflower-edged paths once again, looking for beauty during our quiet moments. I promise not to make any noise to distract you from whatever you are focused on. And I’ll save my words about change and social injustice for another post.

Please take good care of yourself and practice appropriate safety measure when you are in contact with others.

Roadside Wildflowers

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A little bit of mystery and wonder along the side of the road, at a stop on Highway 1 west of Lake Louise in Canada.

Along the Highway

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Along the edge of Highway 93, going south in the Canadian Rockies from Jasper to Lake Louise, for miles and miles we saw large patches of “something.” Jim thought they were flowers but I knew they were seed heads. Know how, when you look at a ceiling fan a certain way, you can make the fan stop and see an individual blade for just a fraction of a second? As we were driving I could do this as they moved past my side window. I could see the feathery seeds waiting for the perfect moment to let loose.

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I didn’t see any blooms and I don’t have my wildflower guide so maybe one of you out there can tell me what they are. For now I’m enjoying the photos I took – I think they are quite lovely. Something like dandelion seeds. I would also like to know where else they grow.

Wildflowers – Jasper National Park

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Sometimes, when I am being awed by the grandeur of high peaks

_DSC0082 And rippling rivers

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I need to take notice of the little pleasures of our earth – take a few photos of wild flowers.

I wish I had brought my wildflower guide but we are traveling light and you don’t need to be able to name them to enjoy them.