Monday, November 30, 2009

Sacrifice Flowers

Stories of Awe & Abundance by Jose Hobday is a wonderful collection of stories about prayer and spirituality.

Sister Jose Hobday tells stories drawn from her own experience growing up as a Native American Catholic in the American Southwest.

One story, titled The Sacrifice Flower, is about using prayer and nature when feeling low or burdened.

When something was weighing heavy on her mind, Jose’s mother would tell her that she thought it was time to go outside and find a Sacrifice Flower.

This special flower is carefully picked for its essential spiritual purpose.

Once picked, Jose told the flower what burden she wanted lifted and taken to God. Since it was a Sacrifice Flower, it was one that was going to die. The idea was that as life went out of the flower, it would carry with it - her prayer.

It was not placed in water, but held a predominant place on a shelf easily seen as she came in and out.

Every time she saw the flower, she could see it giving its life for her, and could imagine her prayer being carried to God.

In weeks or even sometimes in a matter of days, the flower finally died.
She would take it outside, say good-bye to it and thank it for giving its life for her and for delivering her intention.

Then she would bury it so it would have a chance at a new life, and she always hoped it would come back as an even greater flower.

The power of prayer and its uplifting message can easily be found in our natural surroundings.

The allure of Sacrifice Flowers can not only be seen in it's life, but the intricate beauty found in it's death.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009



At what age do we become unique?

I think we fluctuate throughout our lives with letting our true essence stand out and trying to blend.

After all, we do need to fit in at times.  But what fun is that?
Children just don't 'get' having to Blend.

I love making collages that include a repertoire of expressions.

(Especially if the collection comes from a 5 year, a 4 year, and even a 3 week old!)
What child doesn't like to be an individual - do their own thing - beat to their own drum!

"Say cheese" - now that's boring
Silly Faces! - Now that's fun!

But seriously, we do need some classic smiles and geniune poses from time to time, right?

We can still maintain our individuality and bond, whether it's with your sister, or brother, or even your brand new cousin.

And what better way to see a personality develop than with a precious little baby.

Experiencing, seeing, discovering, and learning all on their own.

Fortunately, there are plenty of teachers nearby to help and guide.

And .....well.....they are always there to show us how to be ourselves -

Whatever that may be?


Monday, November 16, 2009

Street Graffiti - Rome

Graffiti is markings, as in initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or even buses and trains.

The origin of graffiti referred to the inscriptions and figure drawings found on the walls of ancient tombs or ruins, as in the Catacombs of Rome or at Pompeii.

Graffiti has evolved to include any graphics applied to surfaces in a manner that resembles vandalism.

Is graffiti just an unappreciated form of art?
Or is it often resented for its illegal displays of expression?

What I find fascinating is its universal existence.

Almost anywhere in the world, the presence of graffiti in the form of spray paint, sticker, stenciling, and even street posters are used to express a thought, political statement, gang loyalty or even devotions of love.

Is it Destruction or Design?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Families - where your story begins

Meeting for a family portrait this weekend, it was a natural choice to shoot outdoors for this very outdoorsy family. We were very fortunate to have one the last gorgeous days of Autumn.

As I was scouting out a place for our shoot, it became a bit challenging on this early morning, because it was so sunny with little places of shade. (Most of the leaves have since fallen)

However, we did find some areas for nice even lighting.

Our next challenge was a family portrait with one very energetic family dog – in formal attire, of course.

(check out the fancy tie!)

Surprisingly, he was adorable and held his poses like a true professional.

I could not help to notice a very cool creation in the middle of the woods on their property. A graffiti wall with the words “Wall of Death” - hmmmm

(Not wanting to know toooo much, I felt relatively safe being it was 9:30am and having some adult supervision with me)
I asked the artists to pose in front of their creation for some shots with attitude! Love it.

Our next location was down by the lake. I know this family uses this lake often for fishing, kayaking, and swimming, it is definitely a part of their lives.  So naturally a perfect place to go.

The morning light illuminated the background and provided a warm glow to surround this attractive family.

A couple individual shots of the boys – beautiful brown eyes!

And such a warm smile.

We couldn’t forget a few of just Doug and Lynn too!

Natural, friendly, laid back and so down to earth is how I would describe this couple.

It wasn’t until this point that I noticed their awesome boots! (Gotta get me a pair)

Thank you all so much for letting me into your lives this morning! I had a great time and an amazing session.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Assateague Island - Land of the Wild Ponies

Off season road- tripping, there is nothing like it.

Enjoying a place that can be wall to wall people one month, is also a place that can offer solitude and peace another.

Fall visits to the shore mean that the carnival rides are still, and the beaches are empty.

But, the sunsets are still beautiful.

This place I bring you to is the National Seashore of Assateague Island, built by sand that persistent waves have raised from the ocean’s gently sloping floor.

A 37-mile long barrier island located off the eastern coast of Maryland and Virginia. It is known for gorgeous beaches, shore birds, lapping waves and the famous “wild ponies”.

The herd of wild horses, known as ponies or Chincoteague Ponies, can often be seen during your visit. They are descended from domesticated stock that was grazed on the island as early as the 17th century.

Slightly smaller than other horses, these ponies are sturdy, shaggy and have adapted to their harsh seashore environment including scorching heat, abundant insects, and stormy weather on a windswept barrier island.

Once a year, to keep the herd managed in population, the ponies are rounded up and swim, during low tide, between Assateague and Chincoteague for the annual auction sponsored by the Chincoteague, Virginia, Volunteer Fire Company. Many of the foals and yearlings are sold with the remainder of the herd allowed to return back to the island.

It’s wonderful to see ponies that were once born on the island now living healthy lives as trail horses, giving (as well as receiving) love and companionship. Some even revisit their former stumping grounds, with their “new” families.

Besides searching for ponies, the islands are perfect environments for bird watcher seeking migratory birds.

Birds abound throughout Assateague. This is also aided by the National Wildlife Refuge management programs that are active in enhancing the coastal habitat for the benefit of migratory and nesting birds as well as indigenous wildlife.

The protection provided for the native and migratory wildlife is the refuge primary objective.

The true beauty of nature can only be experienced firsthand.

It may not be summer vacation, but you’d be surprised by what nature has to offer throughout the rest of the year.


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