February Photo Challenge Day 8-14
8. Sunrise - Once in a while I'll wake up around the sunrise... but the truth is, that's not very often. But today, I woke up with the roosters.
Despite the fact that I have seen beautiful pinks and orange hues in my backyard skies, this morning was just average. Still very pretty though. I may not live on a beach or near the mountains like I used to, but these trees in my backyard have always been a perk of living in a very average neighborhood.
At one point we had our house up for sale and the realtor's feedback on a showing was "backyard sucks" - how professional. He has never seen one of our sunrises or sunsets. Recently we did some patio improvements and I will be enjoying many a sunset this summer. One advantage of professional photography is editing with tricks to enhance... not a sloppy instagram filter that requires no thought. I bring my own flavor to every photo.
If I come across a lovely sunset this February, I'll be sure to present it on it's own day.
9. Crystal Grid - The day before I created this crystal spread, I was on the phone with a friend from high school, one of 2 I actually still talk to after 20 years. She specializes in crystal grid healings and reiki. As I was looking around wondering what the hell I was going to photograph, my curiosity sparked. I thought, "I have all these stones laying around, I wonder if they'd look cool in a photo." Using one of my foam boards, I arranged them in a lovely way without a particular forethought. As simple as this looks, taking a good picture of stones is not that easy. They're very intricate with grooves, colors and shapes. Over the years, I’ve collected several stones and crystals. I couldn’t tell you where I fetched them all. Since I keep them on my dresser as a way of “bringing luck” I thought maybe it was time to really find out what kind of energy they may be emitting in my bed space. Here's the breakdown in a nutshell:
Rose quartz: unconditional love crystal
Fluorite: dissolves chaos, removes mental blocks
Dalmatian jasper: joy, openness, childlike spirit, dispels negativity
selenite: moon goddess stone, wisdom, peace, cleanser
clear quartz: restorative, amplifier to other stones power, focus, clarity
Amazonite: hope stone, soother, Ruled by Virgo (my sign)
Sunstone: leadership, empowerment, manifestation
lepidolite: emotional balance, inner peace
Brown jasper: protection, nurturer, healer
Arrowheads: protection, courage, strength
Not a bad line up! Sometimes I meditate with different stones in my hands and now I actually know what they mean so I can put more intention behind it. The photograph isn’t so intriguing but the knowledge I gathered researching and identifying these stones was worth it. Although I do love the practices of holistic healing, I’m not “new age” and I don't identify with any spiritual labels. I try to keep a balance between useful practice and in depth obsession. But that’s just me.
10. Words - By this day I felt like I was really grabbing for straws. Words from a book? Yet, if I'm being true to myself, I have oodles of poetry lying all over my house. Each day that I adhere to this challenge, I find myself appreciating common objects and items that exist in my everyday life.
I love to read, write and share poetry. One of my favorite solitary activities is to wander the shelves of a poetry section in a bookstore. I thumb through random authors and try to select someone unknown who speaks to me. They may be well known to others or even to the literary world but to me, they're a stranger sharing thoughtful word imagery pieced together like art.
I love nature too... if that hasn't become apparent in the last 10 days, I'm shocked. A lovely nature poem this is indeed. To make the photo more interesting I added some editing flare but there's only so much you can do to make words look "interesting" and therefore, they shall speak for themselves. The book is titled, Old Soul Love by Christopher Poindexter. I added a bird paperweight for a bit of color, too.
11. Low Light - Super Bowl Sunday… Maybe my least favorite event of the year.
I decided to have dinner out in a casual restaurant… it was so empty. It had very low lighting and set me up for the evening mood. When I returned home to buffoons on the TV, something happening in millions upon millions of households, I felt inspired to be thinking about something else entirely. My office is full of treasures. I keep this little postcard on display each day. It’s the mantra of my life. I like unscented candles made from beeswax with little bits of florals scattered about the wax. I like my little glowing tree lamp, shipped all the way from China! I like smooth Italian leather notebooks from Barnes and Noble. Sometimes I color in my wild and free coloring book with my humble collection of pencils. It’s a wild Sunday night, folks. But then again, I am in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing.
12. Plants - Say hello to my indoor babes.
I’ve managed to keep these particular plants thriving. Despite the poor natural light in winter, colder temps of my thermostat and the nature of one desert plant, I have kept 5 babies alive all year. This stunner in the front row has been with me 6 years. She's my bud. My original gangsta. The OG. I don’t even know what kind of plant it is. I bought her at Walmart for $5 in 2015. I repot her, water her, sun her and talk nice to her and she sticks around. With all this gray weather, they bring me some life and clean my air simultaneously. Thank you, Gaia.
13. Another Bird - We have a whole variety of visitors to our little feeder that hangs on the front yard tree. I tried to glue wine corks to it when I first bought it to “decorate it” which turned out to be a disaster. Most of them have fallen off and now the feeder looks worse than a garage sale hand-me-down. Lucky for me, the birds don’t care about that, they just want those tiny, tasty seeds.
Today’s guest star is the North Carolina house sparrow. A common, residential bird that basically eats anything and lives where people live. If I’m lucky, I’ll capture one of our Chickadees, American robins or cardinals before months end.
14. Valentine’s Day - Filler flowers for a filler holiday. Oh the consumerism, the paganism—Oh the superficial and overpriced! As Charlotte York once said, “carnations are filler flowers” and I couldn’t agree more. This bouquet is rookie status, bargain bin, discounted and disorganized. It’s likely the most unattractive bunch I’ve had the pleasure of putting together. And trust, I still had fun putting it together.
I chose pinks and purples for the filler holiday and was forced into a mismatching bunch of baby’s breath. The roses and other lovelies I usually buy were price hiked and this was all I was willing to spend. I can usually put together a beautiful unique bunch for about $15 but not on Valentines! Roses were upwards of $40/dozen, single stems were $4 each and all the pre-arranged assortments were at least 5-10 bucks more expensive than usual. My $5 bins were marked up to $8 and $10. So I rescued the unloved, unwanted filler carnations and brought them home to shine. I'm sure as a reader you're gazing at this saying, those don't look so bad. And you're right, they don't. But I tend to assemble works of art, masterful color combos and divine textures. But I like the pop of pink they add on my desk. I especially loved the irony they brought me on one of my least favorite "holidays" that we celebrate here in America.