Yellow Butterfly


“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.” – Richard Bach

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

yellow butterfly2222222222

I did not notice all the color this butterfly possesses, nor the markings on its wings – my eyes are not what they used to be. It was wonderful and amazing to see the detail in this photograph once I zoomed in and cropped it in a photo editor. I am not a professional photographer by any means, but I enjoy the shots I do get with my Canon Rebel DRL I am enthralled by the magic of nature and its wide variety of life forms. I enjoy nature, but I am not a scientist – I do not know what species of butterfly this is, but it is pretty. There were a lot of these yellow butterflies visiting this summer. Fall is well upon us and soon winter will spread her white cloak over all. Every season is beautiful, but I do look forward to seeing these winged beauties once again.

Fall from Summer


“Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night. – Hal Borland

“I saw old Autumn in the misty morning stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence.” – Thomas Hood

 

 

The sunlit days are growing shorter. Light fails earlier. In our region we had a rather dismal August. I had been hoping for better days in September, but alas the month is drawing to a close, and sunny, warm days have been few. It is somewhat depressing. Fall is such a short season here. I am trying my hardest to shake off the dark moods that seem to be tied to the season. I love fall. I am not a fan of winter. But, on the other hand, long winter nights in front of a fire are comforting. It is a great time to hunker down with a good book and a mug of something hot by my elbow. It is also a good time to hone whatever artistic or creative skills I may possess. It is also a wonderful time for day dreaming – mostly about balmy days, hopefully on a beach, or in the midst of a beautiful forest. Ah, hope ‘springs’ eternal!

Birth of a Sunflower


peeking sunflower

Deep within your green folds you grow

Developing, stretching toward the sun that warms you

Slowly you peek out at the August sky

Not quite ready yet to make your debut

Sneaking furtive glances at the sun

For whom you are named

And like the earth itself you follow the sun

Reaching on green stalk toward the warmth

Of your namesake in the sky

Even before you burst forth in all your glory

we wait in joyful hope

Anticipating your beauty

Your wide girth

And brown centre

That provides a subtle base

To your golden petals

Soon, soon

Nature’s bountiful bouquets


One of my great pleasures, especially in summer, is to grab my camera and go for a walk to try to capture the beauty that surrounds me. It is especially easy to capture photographs of the various flowers. Whether it is a potted plant or a shy wildflower, summer’s bounty is vast and everywhere in view. Here are a few from over the years, some by the sea and others in my garden…

 

Here are a few more of my personal favourites…

Gifts of Nature


This past weekend was a long weekend and I was fortunate not to have to work. On Sunday we celebrated Canada Day with a backyard barbecue. We were lucky. The rain held off until the evening and while fireworks were on the agenda across the country, and here in our fair city as well, storm clouds threatened to curtail the festivities. Fortunately, between the supper hour and the much-anticipated display the rain came down, leaving the late evening hours free to indulge in sky watching.

But long before the scheduled pyrotechnics nature had a gift of her own. Across the skies over town the arc of a vibrant rainbow could be seen. I have seen other rainbows at other places, at other times and perhaps I was equally awed by the beauty of a sky imbued with colored hues. But as I stood on our doorstep and gazed up at the wonder I was awestruck once again.

What is it about a rainbow that gladdens the heart so and fills my soul with such deep contentment? I will likely never know. But I am glad for such miracles that remind me of the vastness of t the universe and the wonder of the skies. I hope you enjoy these few photographs of nature’s beauty.

Thunder bolts and lightening…are they very, very frightening?


RAIN STORM at Sylvan Lake, AB photo by Carol Morrissey Hopkins

 

There is something magical and also comforting about a thunderstorm. You know the kind – the loud booms followed by the bright flash of lightening and accompanied by a hard rain. The raindrops fall like miniature bombs – big, fat drops that would have you drenched in seconds if you get caught outside in it. Storms like this remind me of how small and inconsequential we are – microscopic really.

Such a thunderstorm takes me back to my childhood when a noisy clap would send me scurrying to my bed to hide under the covers. I remember the sheepish grins of my siblings as we smiled with false bravado claiming, “I wasn’t scared at all!”. Thunderstorms tested our mettle and helped us learn it was really just a lot of noise, and, for the most part, harmless.

Still, there is something mysterious and dangerous about a raging storm – perhaps it hearkens back to prehistoric times when human kind were quite vulnerable and at the mercy of the elements.

Mother Nature can be volatile and ever-changing. Threatening dark skies coupled with wild winds still have the capability to make my heart come up in my throat. My pulse beats faster and I catch myself holding my breath.

Ah, thunder – a familiar old friend and simultaneously a terror to be avoided, if at all possible. Still, I would not want to miss the magic and the wonder. I sit on the front porch, sheltered from the teeming rain and watch Mother Nature’s display –  forever new and yet a timeless and well-loved re-run.

Later I fall asleep to the lullaby of raindrops splashing against the windows and falling upon the roof. I am safe. I am content.

Talking with birds


Recently I shared the story of a robin who built her nest in the flower box that hangs off the railing of the house next door. It has been awesome to watch the parents bringing grubs, worms, etc. to feed their young.  This morning I heard an awful commotion with the pair of robins chirping very excitedly and went outside to look. A cat was stalking the nest. The one robin was perched on the roof of the porch next door and when I looked up and saw it I asked, “what’s going on? Why are you so upset?” The bird literally leaned forward and looked directly at me as it chittered non-stop. Its partner was perched on the eaves trough and was also making a ruckus while looking down at the ground. Finally, a cat came out from under a bush and when I saw it I clapped my hands and shouted at it to go home. After a minute of clapping and shouting the poor animal finally ran off down the street with both parent robins in hot pursuit.

Well, that was an interesting start to the day. I do talk to birds and to animals. I’m not sure if that makes me ‘crazy’, but it is a life-long habit. And that robin really seemed to be trying to enlist my help with the feline intruder. It amazes me how emotionally invested I am in these birds and their young. It has been such a pleasure to watch them raise their chicks. It will be a while before the babies are big enough to fend for themselves. I just hope they make it.

 

link to previous article: https://chopkins2x3.wordpress.com/2018/05/27/the-american-robin-such-a-trusting-little-bird/

 

God’s sense of humour


IMG_6283with god resized

When we had to move from the home I loved I was extremely disappointed. It was not so much the house itself, but the location. There were several mature trees on the lot and it was right across the road from a nature trail. And so, I prayed about it. ‘Please, God, help us find a home that suits our needs. Send me a sign when we find the right place.’  The new place is lovely – much roomier than our previous abode. I have to say the location is not nearly as ideal, but I had neglected to add ‘must have mature trees and lots of birds’. At any rate when we came to look at this house we moved into I had to laugh for on the wall were several biblical quotes, including “With God all things are possible”. Needless to say, we took the place.

But I have been missing the birdsong and the variety of winged visitors I had enjoyed at the previous address. Then a couple of weeks ago a pair of American robins built their nest in a flower box situated on the railing of my next-door neighbor’s front steps. It is literally a few feet away from us and I can watch her from the window very easily. It is as though the creator read my mind and granted me the beauty of watching this mama robin. A few days ago, the eggs hatched and now we are treated to scenes of both parents delivering food to their chicklets.

God goes by many names and concepts – whatever you may believe, I hope you see evidence of the creator at work and enjoy the wonderful sense of humor. I am grateful and feeling very blessed.

Blessings of Nature


When we moved to our new home I was initially disappointed. although the house itself is beautiful I missed the nature trail across the road from our former home and all the mature trees in the yard where a variety of birds were constant visitors. This morning my hubby and I went for a little walk to a park nearby. It is a beautiful spot with lots of ducks and birds who make their home in the bulrushes that surround the pond there. I had taken my camera along and captured photographs, which I hope you will enjoy. It was a lovely stroll around the park watching the water fowl and listening to birdsong. The blessings of nature are food for the soul.  I am so grateful we live so close to a green space in the city.