Category Archives: Images of Fauna

Fables and Flora and TEDx

Passion for the things we love can take us many places. My love of flowers led me to photography which has taken me on journey of wonder and discovery and recently led me to the stage at TEDx Emerald Glen Park.

Butterflies in the Poppies:

Butterflies in Poppies Watercolor

My passions for storytelling, community and all things floral collided in a blissful moment that urged me to encourage others to follow the paths where they seek to make a difference.

If you’re waiting for a sign to take a leap out of your comfort zone then please take a moment to view my TEDx Talk – Community, Connection and the Art of Storytelling.

It’s not for everyone but it might just be for you.

PS: Flowers at the TEDx Event:

TEDx flowers pincushion

Amazing that it included a pincushion bloom from the Western Cape in South Africa! Stocks symbolize a happy life and contented existence. Orange roses represent enthusiasm, passion and gratitude. The Feverfew daisy-like flowers are a medicinal plant for treating headaches so this is a perfect TEDx bouquet!

Happy Earth Day!


A garden of Zinnias

Northern California got some rain yesterday and the garden loved it! The broody cloud cover just before the rain was an ideal time to admire the zinnia garden and take a few photos. Admiring their vibrant colors and eye-catching display I was reminded of this quote : “So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.” Jorge Luis Borges

Photo 1: Zinnias and Lavender


Photo 2: Cascade of color


Photo 3: Striking beauty


Photo 4: Pink Zinnia gathering



Something Foxy for Mother’s Day – blooms still say it best!

Happy Mother’s Day! Mother’s day is usually brimming with pretty pink things and loads of gorgeous blooms. Lately I’ve heard advertisers pushing the “let’s  give Mom something more long lasting than flowers” line. I love gifts – who doesn’t? What they fail to realize though is that there is infinite joy in the moment of receiving a beautiful bloom – whether it’s in elegant and sophistically wrapped bunches or a posey of wild flowers!

Photo 1: A foxglove from my neighbor’s garden

Foxglove pink.jpg

Yes flowers are fragile and have a defined life span but so do we and there is beauty in that too and an opportunity to take a moment to reflect and be grateful for the magnificent way we are constructed and how wonderfully we are made!

Photo 2: Foxy pink Foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea), pretty and poisonous

Foxglove 2

Wishing all Moms a fabulously florally Mother’s Day!

Shooting and Situational Awareness

Situational awareness is a useful skill and it requires paying careful attention to your surroundings. Since we were Bond movie fans as kids my brother often used to tell me to “Pay attention 007″ and I even use it on my kids now too.

Photo 1: Bee and Horse Chestnut flowers

Bee on Horse Chestnurt 2

In the Bond movies Q (the Quartermaster) famously says to James Bond “Now pay attention 007″. It’s remarkable how scenes and lines from movies spring to mind in various situations. I am usually so involved in my lists that I don’t pay attention to much else happening around me unless I have my camera in hand.

My camera increases my mindfulness since it focuses my attention. When I walk or even drive somewhere I often remember the locations of a particular flower or tree in bloom.Intention gives focus which in turn makes one more mindful.

The busyness of life and our emphasis on the next task does not usually allow this attention to permeate our days.

Photo 2: Butterfly on ThistleThistle butterfly 2

I know that it can be learnt to a certain extent because when I have my camera I scan for interesting details all the time. It’s also interesting though that sometimes when I am shooting a particular bloom I shut out everything else around me. Not always a good thing when you’re taking photographs in the woods so tuning in the other peripheral senses at those times is useful.

The more attention you pay the better your situational awareness will be. It seems as with most other types of learning, the more you practice, the better you become.

Eulogy for a Humming bird

A conversation I had just over a week ago sent my writing muse heading for the hills. We had been dancing in the exhilaration of sharing things that matter. Then got confronted by the point of view paradox. When she went into hiding my stream of consciousness writing went with her. Thankfully she is ready to reemerge today.

Photo 1: Rosebud in the rain

Rosebud on blue rain

The impact of the disappearance of my muse was further confounded by one of the saddest events I’ve had to witness –  the death of a mother humming bird and her two hatchlings.

There was such joy when the humming bird first started nesting in the large rosebush outside our front door. Every time I stepped out she would fly around in front of me and I wondered why she was there so often. Then my very observant husband (and fellow blogger at Remarkable Runs)  pointed out the tiny nest. It was even cuter to see two tiny eggs inside!

Photo 2: Mother Humming bird on her nest in a rose bush (photo by Robin Thomas)


Then we had a heavy rainstorm. The following day I didn’t see her at all. On the second day I stood on a chair to peek into the nest and saw two tiny baby humming birds. I don’t deal with animals in distress very well – I found it very traumatic. So the first thing I did was to Google hummingbirds!  The advice was to leave the nest alone as sometimes it would look abandoned but the mother would be out searching for food.

I went about my usual tasks and it was only later that afternoon when I went to check on the nest that I noticed her tiny crumpled corpse on the pebbles below the rosebush – she had perished in the storm. My heart broke. Then I went to look up how to feed the hatchlings. The prognosis did not look good as they don’t survive very long without regular feeding and they were so little that their chances were minimal anyway. When I checked later only the slightly larger one was still alive but I did not expect it to last much longer and I knew I had to let nature take its course.

I walked passed the rose bush with a heavy heart and my eyes kept going to the little nest. The next day I could not believe it when the hatchling was still alive! Such agony! I had to try something so brought the nest inside and tried to feed it but it was too little too late.

Later the afternoon the kids and I had a little funeral for the baby birds. We spoke about how lovely it was to see the mother fly, how brave she was to sit on the nest through the storm. How much she loved her little ones that she gave her life to protect them. How brave of the baby bird to fight to live without its mother.

Each day is a gift we must treasure.

Good bye little hummingbirds and thanks for bringing the joy of nature to our front door and reminding us about the circle of life.

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