Sunday, July 20, 2008

Photo Challenge #3: Nature's I Spy

It was my turn to choose a topic. I never realized how difficult being creative and in charge is. Trying to come up with a topic that is challenging and fun was definately something I am glad that I olny have to do every fourth challenge. But I know that the ladies will always do their best to make us all look good. One of the best things about doing these photo challenges is that you have to learn more about your camera...what specail things it can do...and then how to download the shots and how to tweek them just a bit. I don't have that part down yet. Hope you enjoy our Nature's I Spy Challenge.

Just in case you are wondering...this is a photo of a newly opening black-eyed Susan.

Indiana Memories

I spy with my little eye...something round...and bumpy...and beautiful. This little treasure is one of many that we have collected in Indiana's creek beds. One summer we visited Indiana and Nathan's late Uncle Steve drove the tractor and pulled us all through the creek beds on a flat bed as we spotted and retrieved these fine jewels. We had Haley & Alyson in tow and they loved this treasure hunt! There can be some great mineral specimens inside of them. They are sphere shaped on the outside and have a partially hollow cavity inside that is lined with beautiful sparkling quartz crystal on the inside. They begin as bubbles forming from glaciers that covered Indiana many years ago.
Over time the outer shell hardens and water forms inside which results in a variety of minerals (quartz, amethyst, calcite, chalcedony or jasper). So each one of these is unique in its composition and the only way to discover what is inside is to crack it open. Some people call them "Mother Nature's lottery ticket" because the anticipation of what is inside can be exciting as it could hold some great value such as amethyst, ankerite, aragonite, goethite, siderite or honessite-selling by the "carats" and being quite rare. Most Indiana varieties began as cauliflower-like growths of salt called gypsum. When we brought them home from Indiana we just enjoy them "whole" placed in landscaping. (Although here is one picture of one broken Jane has in her flowerbed) Nathan's Dad built this little well years ago by placing them in cement. These pretty rocks are called Geodes (greek for "earthlike"). They are beautiful treasures in nature and I like to think that God sees us just that way. Unique-not one is alike-and all has an inner beauty inside. But you cannot carelessly smash open a geode, you must cut or crack carefully to reveal the shining interior. Isn't that how each of us like for others to learn about who we really are? To carefully and slowly and ever so gently discover what makes each one of us special. I have also learned the more I grow in God-the more I understand that my life is always on His GPS. It is significant. And by reminding ourselves we are each very different-unique and specially made by God-then we are reminded that nothing in our life is arbirtary. Everything has a purpose.

I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born. ~Isaiah 44:2

Aren't those the coolest things you ever did see? You are going right out now to the creek to see if you can find some aren't you?

Riddle Riddle Ree

When I was little and when our kids were little...wait a minute...we still play this game when we go on 'field trips' as Michael calls them.

Riddle Riddle Ree...I see something you don't see and the color of it is...greyish brownish. Can you guess what it is? There is a preschool book that I loved sharing with the class...Look, Look, Look. I wish I could remember the author. The book is filled with wonderful photos of everything you can think of. The page covering the actual photo has a shape cut out just so you see a portion of the photo. It was always fun to hear the guesses they had. I think I gave my copy to Ellis and Alaire the last time they were here.
This picture should be a know brainer if you know me at all. I use this everyday, several times a day, and it is one of my favorite additions to our gardening collection. I am hoping that if you are reading this that you are trying to figure out what these two photos are. I would love to know your thoughts...so please leave a comment. Don't forget to vote in the poll over to the right.


God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. ~Martin Luther

You all are so smart...a feather and a watering can were my choices for this challenge.

Close-ups

we're supposed to send close-ups of things in nature...so that we will have to guess what is actually in the pictures. so I'm not going to say much in this entry. I'll just leave it up to the guesser.




Leigh Ann says the first picture is a section of a sand dollar. The second is a Crock or alligator, she doesn't know the difference and the third is a tentacle of a jelly fish.

Better Late Than Never

Ok so I know that I am a little late but, better late than never! Well I know that it was supposed to be nature I spy, so well you might have to really stretch it to make these things nature but I did find them all out side so I guess that counts for something. Ok here goes…




Emmy had so many pictures to guess about. The first one is the corner of an old tool box. Her second is the corner of the number three on an old license plate. The next one goes with the first one...the handle of the old tool box. And lastly...a pigs behind..curly tail and all.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Photo Challenge #2: Sky

We are so glad that we have had so many visitors to our Photo Challenge. And thank you to all the voted. I don't know which was more fun...completing the challenge or watching the totals on the poll. Please be sure to vote again this week for your favorite shot. And as an added bonus..how about voting for the best explanation of the shot. So much for you to do, so you better get to it.

This week we have our second challenge...Leigh Ann over at The Creasy Family gave us our topic...sky. That is all the instruction we got. Pretty simple you think..not really. Enjoy. If you want leave a comment and remember to be sure to vote.

Sunday Sky

Well gosh sky, on a Sunday not too long ago I was at church and they asked what it was about God that you like the most. Well what I thought was, "well I mean ever thing is pretty great but I think what I like that most is that he created the earth to be such a beautiful exciting place." I think that when you look around you can see so many different sides of God through his creation of earth, you can see different aspects of him through things. I see his strength in mountains, his calmness in the breeze, his laughter in a rushing river or a babbling brook. The sky I think I see his patients some times it is so clear and blue and sometimes warm oranges and pinks, and sometimes even hard and black like a stormy sky. All of which have there own beauty! No matter what the sky is always there no matter where you are you can see it. it surrounds us and encompasses us. Well that is enough of my speech, Just vote for me I can not be beat by the grandma again!!!!

'Pretty Clouds'

I love creation. God truly is amazing. and even though creation was completed a very long time ago, it seems as though He still is changing things up on a daily basis. I'm a sky watcher, always have been. just ask my brothers. in 1973 my parents took several weeks and drove us all over the united states and parts of canada, showing us what there was to see. I usually had to sit between my brothers (another blog for another day) but I also got to sit in the back of the station wagon (the "way-back") and read or write letters or roll around or whatever. one day I used up a whole roll of film taking pictures of clouds. I couldn't help it, they were beautiful... but max and scott STILL tease me about it. "look at that pretty cloud, leigh ann"...

we were at sunset beach and on our way to get ice cream or go play putt-putt or something when we saw this. had to pull over to the side to get it and still it does not do the colors in that sky justice. we think it looks like a postcard.

greg chose this one. we love how the sky is divided. as bright and blue as the one side is, the other is just as dark with the storm that's coming in. I think what I like the most is that I can see light behind the darkness of the cloud. the storm cloud is edged with light from the brightness of the sun behind it. life is like that. I get blue skies and I get dark clouds. when the bad times have their shot at me, it might look like I won't make it through. or that I'm going through it alone. but I will. and I'm not. God's in it with me and I can see Him if I just pay attention.

we have had a week with storms some days and blue skies with rain showers on others. makes for beautiful skies every day, which I've been loving. we took a walk the other evening and this was in part of the sky. (another part was beautiful blue and another part had a storm with lightning in it passing us by...I didn't know where to look!) I took this picture because I think the pinks and blues are beautiful and because I thought this cloud looked really unusual - very tall, don't you think? I'm sure there's some scientific name for it that max would know since he learned all about clouds at school this past year. looking at it now as I type this up for jan, I'm thinking it looks like a woman. kneeling, face raised. anybody else see that? ok, maybe it's just a cloud doing what clouds do. but everything that God made has been made for His glory, so why wouldn't even the clouds praise Him? just a thought. =)

Storm Clouds

The sky is the challenge...That is all we got. That's great if you can see the sky from where you are. The only place I am these days is the backyard under the wonderful trees, in the shade with some yard tool in my hands...and that is a good place to be. Mind you I am definitely not complaining coming from a yard with very few trees in WI. If I am with Emmy...who never has her camera...I am always trying to pry my camera out of her hands.
I was riding in the back of the van when we were picking Cassie up in Lexington the other day. It was a great day. I kept noticing the sky and the clouds. I was like a crazy woman snapping pictures left and right. Needless to say, only a few were worth saving. I chose this one as the best of the lot. This is what I see in the picture. Near earth looks like a storm is brewing. Some days life is like a storm. Things just bubble up and keep adding to our already stressed lives. Then we feel like there is a dark cloud hanging over us. But somehow we all survive (some days better than others) and the rays of brightness come shining thru. Life would be boring if we only had blue skies and sunshine all the time. Those grey storm days help us appreciate what we do have a lot more.

What a beautiful, sunny morning. It makes you happy to be alive, doesn't it? We can't let the sun outshine us! We have to beam, too!
Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata, Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005

All's Well


Well, Leigh Ann obviously showed us how awesome God's sky can be in her last entry. I have so many pictures of pretty clouds and the rainbow and the sun-so hard to choose. But this one springs to mind as my fave. Probably because of the feelings associated with it. It was the last day of our Sunset Beach Vacation and we literally watched the sun set on it. Bittersweet I must say. But breathtaking. A time lapse picture would've been great...to watch the change that occurred every few minutes with the sky's color & the sun's position.
And just to think it does that 365 times a year!

p.s. I love to see and hear Canadian Geese fly over my head. That to me would be an awesome sky picture...but I have yet to capture it. I'd probably end up with a lens full of crap. So well...uh...here's the sunset picture.