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Posts tagged ‘Spring Flowers’

HAPPY NEW YEAR: A Photographic Review of My Blog

“There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”   C. S. Lewis

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is the end of 2018. How did that happen? So quickly?  Maybe it’s because I am getting older, but the years seem to fly by faster and faster.  This year, I am accepting the Lens Artist Photo Challenge to complete a Photographic Review of 2018.

I started 2018 with a blog celebration of Winnie the Pooh.  His friendly, endearing philosophy is a great way to approach any new endeavor.

Throughout most of the year, I spent my days doing typical things like housework, cleaning out closets, sorting old photographs. Of course, I watch the news and lament the problems and disasters that are reported too often, but I try to stay away from the craziness of fake news and inane and insane commentary on social media.   I also visit with family and friends, read lots of novels (mostly murder mysteries) and watch lots of television and movies.  None of those activities tend to make it to my blog.  Occasionally I will write a post about a past experience or review a book or movie, but not very often.

As I review my blog for 2018, it becomes apparent what is important to me: Nature.  Being in nature offers a grand travel adventure as well as a chance to enjoy solitude and embrace the spirituality that is at the heart of the natural world.  I did not travel very far in 2018—Oregon was the furthest I ventured.  But every trip included beautiful colors and remarkable scenery.

In the Spring, I enjoyed the local area, visiting such places as the Fresno Blossom Trail and the Wind Wolves Nature Preserve.  Just driving through the hills is a wonderful afternoon.

I also drove to wine country to visit Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and Anadel State Park, looking for spring flowers.

In the summer, I took a trip to Oregon, seeing what color was still in bloom at places like Crater Lake and the Mount Hood Scenic Drive.

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Surprises are always fun, like finally seeing some sunflowers in the field and discovering Priscilla Dragon Princess along I-5.

In the fall I made my usual trek to the Bishop area, looking for the golds and reds of the season, and took a short drive into Kings Canyon.  I also drove the Tioga Road and visited Yosemite Valley.  The colors were glorious!

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YOSEMITE VALLEY

This review has reminded me how lucky I am to have the health and finances needed to enjoy my travels.  Any new year that includes such natural wonders would be a remarkable adventure! I do not have travel plans set yet for the next 12 months, but I know I will visit beautiful places. For now, I am content to be home, relishing the treasures of the past and anticipating the wonders of the new year.

Over the years, I have learned that it is our attitude that most impacts the future and helps the new year live up to its challenges and opportunities.  I am not setting official resolutions, other than to embrace change and work to help make the world better.  I hope you too can determine your priorities and then live life with those in mind—and have a wonderful new year!

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Quotes about Having a Great New Year

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier.’”  Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right.”   Oprah Winfrey

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”  Benjamin Franklin

“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”   Edith Lovejoy Pierce

“May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early!  My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fail!”   Aleister Crowley

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives. . . not looking for flaws, but for potential.”   Ellen Goodman

“Each New Year, we have before us a brand new book containing 365 blank pages. Let us fill them with all the forgotten things from last year—the words we forgot to say, the love we forgot to show, and the charity we forgot to offer.”   Peggy Toney Horton

“Past and Present I know well; each is a friend and sometimes an enemy to me.  But it is the quiet, beckoning Future, an absolute stranger, with whom I have fallen madly in love.”   Richelle E. Goodrich

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”   Vern McLellan

“Your success and happiness lie in you.  Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”  Helen Keller

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.  Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.  You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”   Neil Gaiman

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”  Colin Powell

“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved.  Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.”   Sara Ban Breathnach

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this:  We will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.”   Goran Persson

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”  Albert Einstein

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.”   Steve Jobs

Finding May Flowers

“Sweet April showers do spring May flowers.”   Thomas Tusser

IMG_8589El Nino promised lots of storms to a drought-ravaged California in 2016.  Although the full force of the expected rains never really IMG_8966arrived, enough rain fell to nudge wildflowers into brilliant eruptions across fields and along roadsides.  I took several drives early in spring, admiring the IMG_8994wildflowers dancing along the route.  I even caught the end of a Megabloom in Death Valley!  Just seeing the vivid and various colors and shapes of the flowers always cheers me, reminding me of my spiritual connection to the world of Nature.  Quite simply, I agree with Luther Burbank:  “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”    

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Every year, I take a several weeks’ long trek into Nature, typically stopping to visit national parks along the way.  This year, I took off on May 3, hoping that I might find wildflowers as I wandered along through several states:  California, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and Arizona.  By May, the flowers were waning along the hills and roadsides near me, but I was hoping the higher elevations I was traveling might let me catch glimpses of flowers wherever I went.

IMG_0238And I was lucky.  I saw flowers everywhere—either wildflowers out in the field or cultivated grounds and gardens in the cities.  I was gone for most of the month and saw flowers every day.  What can I say?  It was a great trip!

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QUOTES ABOUT FLOWERS

“You always have to remember—no matter what you’re told—that God loves all the flowers, even the wild ones that grow on the side of the highway.”   Cyndi Lauper

“Keep love in your heart.  A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.”   Oscar Wilde

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence.  See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.  We need silence to be able to touch souls.”    Mother Teresa

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”    Henri Matisse

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”    Martin Luther

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.  These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”   Joseph Addison

“Earth laughs in flowers.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”   Claude Monet

“In a meadow full of flowers, you cannot walk through and breathe those smells and see all those colors and remain angry.  We have to support the beauty, the poetry of life.”    Jonas Mekas

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“Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes—every form of animate or inanimate existence leaves its impress upon the soul of man.”   Orison Swett Marden

“It’s been proven by quite a few studies that plants are good for our psychological development.  If you green an area, the rate of crime goes down.  Torture victims begin to recover when they spend time outside in a garden with flowers.  So we need them, some deep psychological sense, which I don’t suppose anybody really understands yet.”   Jane Goodall

“The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.”  Basho

“Spring, when the earth tilts closer to the sun, runs a strict timetable of flowers.”   Alice Oswald

“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day—like writing a poem or saying a prayer.”   Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”    Pablo Neruda

“I’m an introvert. . . I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.”   Audrey Hepburn

“Change is a continuous process.  You cannot assess it with the static yardstick of a limited time frame.  When a seed is sown into the ground, you cannot immediately see the plant.  You have to be patient.  With time, it grows into a large tree.  And then the flowers bloom, and only then can the fruits be plucked.”   Mamata Banerjee

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.”   Walt Whitman

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”   Iris Murdoch

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“With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy.”  Lope de Vega

“The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms.  Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.”   Auguste Rodin

“I was taught to confront things you can’t avoid.  Death is one of those things.  To live in a society where you’re trying not to look at it is stupid because looking at death throws us back into life with more vigor and energy.  The fact that flowers don’t last forever makes them beautiful.”   Damien Hirst

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.”   Henry Ward Beecher

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“Weed are flowers too, once you get to know them.”   A. A. Milne

“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.”   Theodore Roethke

“Stretching his hand up to reach the stars, too often man forgets the flowers at his feet.”   Jeremy Bentham

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”   Claude Monet

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun!  I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”   Edna St. Vincent Millay

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in—what more could he ask?  A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”   Victor Hugo

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.  I want to give that world to someone else.  Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower.  I want them to see it whether they want or not.”   Georgia O’Keefe

“go sailing away and away, sailing into a keen city which nobody’s ever visited, where always it’s Spring) and everyone’s in love and flowers pick themselves”   e. e. cummings

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”   Lady Bird Johnson

“Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.”   Gerald de Nerval

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“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”   Anais Nin

“What a desolate place would be a world without a flower!  It would be a face without a smile, a feast without a welcome.  Are not flowers the stars of the earth, and are not our stars the flowers of the heaven.”   A. J. Balfour

“In the hope of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.”   Albert Schweitzer

“Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small it takes time—we haven’t time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”   Georgia O’Keefe

IMG_9096I guess I am fickle.  My favorite flower tends to be whatever glorious bloom I am admiring at the moment, especially if it surprises me out in a field somewhere.  I do always love to see lupines, lilacs and irises, in part for the good memories they hold.  I’ve written before about agreeing with Alice Walker that “It pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

I bet that is actually true for all flowers, all the little wonders of the natural world!

Lilacs in Montana with a Bit of Snow Lingering from the Previous Night's Storm

Lilacs in Montana with a Bit of Snow Lingering from the Previous Night’s Storm

Do you have a favorite flower that always catches your attention, brightens your day, tugs at special memories?

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