Friday, July 31, 2020

Small Stone - Flowing - 31

Life continues flowing.
Each moment precious.

Who knows what comes next?

I assume there will be One Good Thing...

Thank you for visiting the July Stones.
Stay happy and well.


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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Small Stone - Deadly - 30

Some wildflowers can cause breathing difficulties, cardiac arrest, and nerve problems.

Death Camus


Don't ingest and don't touch.
Just admire with your eyes.
Beauty is sometimes deadly.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Small Stone - Poem - 29

by Mary Oliver
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.

Go easy, be filled with light, and shine...
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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Small Stone - Drenched - 28

dark clouds over peaks
heavy with moisture
tang of woodsmoke
forest sodden

five days of rain
vibrant green glory
drenched daisies bow 
wet heads heavy

walking quickly 
watching the sky
I beat the rain
back home

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Small Stone - Focus - 27

I want to ask,
"Just hold still for one second."

So I can focus!

I took 89 photos of the hummingbird in bursts of two over about four minutes.
The Calliope never stopped moving - a tiny helicopter on a mission.

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Small Stone - Elephant - 26

I spied the elephants by the stream, trunks raised and swaying gently in the breeze.

Little Pink Elephant Head Wildflower - what a perfect name!

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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Small Stone - Hummingbird - 25

during a break in rain
Calliope whirls from bloom to bloom
sipping nectar for breakfast

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Friday, July 24, 2020

Small Stone - Mystery - 24

dark and drizzly
light the fire
brew the tea
open a book

I always welcome a rainy day. Normally, I spend sunny hours outside. Rain encourages me to abandon other plans and hibernate for awhile. I'm reading a mystery series by Julia Spencer-Fleming (The Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries). The series was recommended by a blog friend. By book 4, the characters gather like old friends when I start reading. They're perfect company on a rainy day.

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Small Stone - Squirrel - 23

Sitting on the deck eating breakfast, I keep having the feeling I'm being watched.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Small Stone - Angelica - 22

Do you remember Angelica?
She stood watch over my back garden for many, many years.
Finally, because of her increasing fragility, she retired.
This year, she felt ready to resume part-time work.
She stands propped against a tree in the rock garden.
She's protected from buffeting winds.
Waldo is nearby for company.

Bob says she resembles a scarecrow more than an angel.
(I told him not to speak this slur when close to Angelica.)
She's a bit weathered, but who of us isn't?
And her heart is in the right place.
She's both an angel and a star!

Angelica is very wabi-sabi.
I love her.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Small Stone - Buckwheat - 21

common Buckwheat standing in the sun's spotlight
bowing shyly in the breeze


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Monday, July 20, 2020

Small Stone - Dawn - 20

Waking early, I wait for dawn to color the western peaks.
Giving thanks for a new day,
I begin again.

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Sunday, July 19, 2020

Small Stone - Pansies - 19

sweet pansy faces
jeweled by raindrops
remind me of my mother
her gardens ablaze with color
velvety pansies in every hue at the borders

My mother died one hot and humid July 40 years ago. Her gardens were in full bloom. 
Every year since, I've planted pansies for her.
In remembrance.

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Small Stone - Rain - 18

since childhood, I've loved rain
pounding out a beat
drenching, quenching
watering wildflowers
showering the forest
discouraging wildfire

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Small Stone - Gratitude - 17

our back yard is a mass of wild Lupine
spreading like a lush purple carpet
the beauty overwhelms me
with gratitude

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Small Stone - Bear Trail - 16

Are we following a bear trail, or is the bear following our trail?

We keep seeing bear signs on our familiar trails behind the house.

Bears claw through decaying stumps to find food.
They feast on insects or small mammals hiding in the wood.

Today, while admiring forest wildflowers, I was hyper-alert for bears.
I'd prefer not to surprise one on the trail!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Small Stone - Wild Blooming - 15

July is the time for blooming. 
I have no formal gardens, only gardens without borders.
Both wildflowers and perennials self-sow.
I never know what will come up or where.
My gardens and wildflower yard are prettily disheveled. 

These photos are from my front yard.
Hybrid Lupine and Shasta Daisies are the first to bloom.
Next will come Fireweed, Dianthus, and Maltese Cross.

I know people who keep formal gardens are appalled.
For me, the colors and disorganization are bliss.
I'm in love with each day's new discovery.

A "wild" yard doesn't mean I don't weed.
I spent several hours this morning pulling up Chamomile Daisies.
They're a noxious weed in Colorado - I've been battling them for 30 years.
They grow all around the neighborhood and seed onto my property.
They like to make believe they're Shasta Daisies, but they don't fool me!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Small Stone - Hula Tree - 14

A Little Tree Story

About 5 years ago, a blue spruce at the very back of our property began to die. Over one winter, the entire top half of the tree turned brown. It looked unsightly, but I wasn't ready to part with it. So, I told Bob to saw off the dead part and leave the bottom. It was a comical sight - a squat bottom half of a spruce maybe 3' (.91 M) tall with one bough that extended above the rest. 

Well, that little disfigured tree grew and grew. Over the years, I started calling it my "Hula Tree" because when the wind blows, it sways gently. That upraised bough, like a graceful arm, beckons to me. 

"Thank you, Barb, for seeing my potential," it seems to say. 

It has grown substantially, especially in girth. It's now twice the size it was and a commanding presence. I'd be sad not to see it when I look out my kitchen window. The spruce is healthy now and perfectly happy as half a tree. 
It continues to dance for me.

Perhaps the tree is just a tree or possibly it's a metaphor - make of it what you want.

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Monday, July 13, 2020

Small Stone - Perspective - 13

it's all about perspective

in photography and in life

photos Olympus OMD - EM1 using 15-150 zoom
edited in Snapseed

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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Small Stone - Poppy - 12

The poppy shucked its tight cap, raising its sunny face to warmth.

I used the zoom lens on the Olympus and had to relearn buttons and dials.
The poppy waited patiently.

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Small Stone - Little Bluebird - 11

little bluebird are you vain
or protecting yourself from yourself
the mirror telling a dual tale

let me assure you none is handsomer
and no need to fight the bird you see
which is yourself in all your glory

can you find the bluebird on the truck mirror?

We watched this Mountain Bluebird for several minutes. It sat atop the truck's mirror and flung itself down to get a glimpse of itself before landing and starting the process over again. It was either checking if its feathers were ruffled or deciding whether to fight the intruder.

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Friday, July 10, 2020

Small Stone - Hello Bear - 10

We had a bit of excitement this morning. We'd just returned from our hike and were still in our back yard. I was near the wooden swing, taking photos of all the lovely purple Lupine surrounding it. Bob was a few yards away, putting some water in the stream. I got up from a crouch and saw movement in front of me. A large male bear was walking up the side yard and just coming past me. I watched it a second or two to make sure it wasn't interested in me. I called to Bob in a normal voice, "Bob...bear..." I didn't want to startle it or draw undue attention to myself.

The bear obviously knew we were there but luckily paid no heed to either one of us. I videoed it as it continued walking out of our yard into the forest. Earlier, at the beginning of our hike, we noticed a bear had traveled the same trail we were on, using its claws to rip open stumps trying to find a meal of insects. So, we were on high alert in case we'd come upon it. By the time we got back to our house, we didn't give the bear a second thought. 

The video dips to the forest floor for a short bit because I enabled the zoom on my phone and had some trouble focusing on the moving bear. So, you can see the Lupine that we
have growing in abundance as well as Mr Bear!

I admit my heart did a little pitter pat when I saw it, and my adrenaline was a bit high for a little while. Luckily, the bear had no interest in us. It seemed to know where it wanted to go and moved steadily in that direction. 
Maybe it was going home for a nap.

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Small Stone - Solace - 9

Paths meander through ancient evergreen forests and lush alpine meadows.
Streams and rivers dance and sing down the mountainside.
I'm small in the scope of my surroundings.

a special place along Lehman Creek about a mile from my home

Since childhood, I've found solace in Nature.
I feel the forest's calm and the stream's energy.
I respect the dangers and accept Nature's healing gifts.

I hope you have a special place that's a balm to your spirit.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Small Stone - New Normal - 8

Summit Medical Center

busy morning
up early and at Whole Foods by 7
(during old folk's hour)
busier than usual because of tourists
but clean and easy to navigate
then to an older grocery store nearby
isles narrow and shelves looking bare
fewer shoppers thank goodness
splitting our small list we quickly emerge

next the medical center for Bob's blood work
in no time he emerges a smile on his face
the young phlebotomist is skilled
only one poke

at home again Bob disinfects groceries while I store them
clothes in the washer, ourselves in the shower
finally a cup of coffee and brunch on the deck
mission accomplished

feeling well we remain cautious
errands require more planning than usual
our new normal

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Small Stone - Take a Hike - 7

early morning stillness

hiking upward along the flank of Peak 10

wildflowers blooming and budding in profusion

a tiny bog orchid catches my eye

its creamy beauty glows in morning sunlight

purple Lupine and wild rose bud swaying in the breeze along the trail

in a wild landscape of lush beauty
watch carefully for small gifts

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