How's the summer treating you? Are you enjoying it, looking around you to see what might be hanging around for just these few months? If you're not, you'll never know what you may be missing that could be right in front of your eyes. Here in WI, the summers are short and can go by as fast as a blink of the eye. And all too often, myself included, I've seen folks so very busy, focused on a task, worrying, working too hard-----insert any word or phrase that fits, and then stop & think-----is that you? Or me? Or those you love? Slow down then-just long enough to look around, drink in what nature's offered up for us, breathe in-then out-then in again-do you feel better? Don't get me wrong, I know we all have responsibilities and can't ignore them for months on end, but we do all deserve a break now & then, a well deserved break, the kind that you don't feel quilty for having taken. Life's just too short!
For instance, even though I'm terrified of spiders, here's something I've never seen before-a ball about the size of a ping pong ball that was a mass of baby spiders, probably hundreds of them, but I wasn't about to get close enough to count:) They were hanging on a fern frond, and would travel around to different fronds, but stayed in a group and always ended back up in that ball shape.
And look at what this peony looks like, up close & personal. The parts are so intricate and grow so quickly, but the entire flower is spent & gone before you know it. Even though the flower as a whole is beautiful, look closely next time at your flowers, they're really pretty incredible!
A butterfly that stopped for a rest just long enough to snap this picture, I think most of us are used to carrying a camera around, but if you're not, try it-you won't regret it. Having been limited this summer as to where and when I could venture outside this summer because of my surgery, has renewed my appreciation and passion for nature. Funny how when something is taken away from you, it becomes something that you want more than ever. For me this year, I spent the beginning of the summer in my studio, non stop, getting ready for my show,(still time to get there, it's at Off the Wheel Pottery until Aug.22) and then had surgery 4 days later. With this all planned months in advance, everything for the remainder of the summer was planned around all of this, including choosing classes at Valley Ridge Art Studio forgoing early classes for late summer/early fall classes, making sure I'd be able to travel. But the one thing I hadn't factored in, was just how much that wonderful little slice of heaven has become an integral part of my summer-like I said before, take it away & you want it even more. It just feels "wrong" to not have been there yet! But the wait will be worth it, my first class will be Nature Inspired, taught by Tracie Lyn Huskamp, and I can hardly wait! Not only is Tracie a sweetie, but she's combining her class with the debut of her first book, Nature Inspired: Mixed-Media Techniques for Gathering, Sketching, Painting, Journaling, and Assemblage , and she'll be throwing a party! So come join us, Gary's taking the class along with me me (he's not missing out on this one!) and help Tracie celebrate her book release, and help me celebrate finally getting down to Valley Ridge! I know that money's tight, but some things are just so worth it, and a
Valley Ridge experience is one those things, something that I truly wish you all get to experience at some time. Another thing we haven't been able to do enough of this summer is get over to The Flying Pig for a dose of inspiration and some good company. But now that it's getting much easier to get in & out of the car, and I don't need the walker anymore & am back using a cane, it's easier to get around, making me feel like now I can start my summer. Watching the sunset at Red River Park, sitting around a bonfire, watching fireflys, listening to the night sounds, watching the landscape change as flowers come & go-some more of the things that define summer for me. What's yours? I'd love to hear what your favorite summer things are, favorite summer memory, favorite summer anything-if we'd all share something, we may end up finding a new & favorite thing to do. Are you game to share? I'll bet you are! One last picture, 3 families of geese down at Red River Park one night with all of their young ones-that sight made a favorite summer memory. See how easy this could be:)