Spiders in the Garden

Posted by: Heidi

November 2nd, 2014 >> Bugs, my garden, Photos

Patio Spider 600
 

The Spider’s Web

The spider, dropping down from twig,
a plan of her devising,
A thin premeditated rig
To use in rising.

And all that journey down through space,
In cool descent and loyal hearted,
She spins a ladder to the place
From where she started.

Thus I, gone forth as spiders do
In spider’s web a truth discerning,
Attach one silken thread to you
For my returning.

~E.B. White

Spider 1 600
 

Up close in the garden

Posted by: Heidi

June 27th, 2014 >> my garden, Photos

 

Pink 600

 

There are lots of flowers blooming in the garden now and each one is a tiny little miracle!

 

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”
~Buddha

Feverfew 600
Cal Poppy 600

Early Spring in the Garden

Posted by: Heidi

April 2nd, 2014 >> Birds, my garden, Photos

Bushtit 600
Spring has arrived and with it the cycle of life in the garden has begun again with leaf buds opening, perennials sprouting out of the ground, and the first flowers of the season starting to bloom. There is lots of bird activity in the garden too as these little garden visitors search for mates, build nests, and restart their own cycle of life.

“Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

~Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Camelia 600

 

Pasque Flower 600

Winter at the Bird Sanctuary

Posted by: Heidi

February 11th, 2014 >> Birds, Photos

Great Horned Owl 600
In January I visited my favourite bird sanctuary and saw my first new bird of the year, a Great Horned Owl. I had heard that there have been many owl sightings at the sanctuary but they had previously eluded me. This time, I got lucky and came across two of them sitting motionless in a tree. By chance, a shaft of sunlight filtered through the dense branches to light-up the one in the photograph above while the other one stayed almost hidden in the shadows.

Owls practice active patience as they wait long periods of time for their prey and those of us who would like to see owls need to practise patience too. Their use of the power of stillness would have kept them hidden from my sight if it wasn’t for the fortunately low angle of the winter sun that brought them to my attention.

Duck river 600
It was a cold, frosty day and the duck ponds were all partially covered in ice. The ducks were comical to watch as they slipped and slid on the ice. When they tried to climb out of the water onto the ice it would often break, sending them splashing back into the water. The river of ducks between the ice in the photo above all seemed to be doing their best to avoid it.

The stillness of owls and the comical busyness of ducks, it was a perfect winter morning at the bird sanctuary!

Painting Birds

Posted by: Heidi

October 29th, 2013 >> Birds, Playing with paint

Sandhill Crane on the ice
According to Robert Lynd, “in order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”  I have enjoyed watching many birds over the years and recently some of the birds that I have seen have inspired me to try to recreate images of them in their natural environments. While painting these sandhill cranes, I tried to capture the ancient beauty, grace and strength of this bird species which has existed for more than 2.5 million years. This species is much older than most of the other bird species that are alive today. The world has changed dramatically during this species’ lifespan and these birds have continued to adapt to their new world.

Sandhill Cranes 300

“There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.”
~ Robert Lynd

This summer’s songbirds

Posted by: Heidi

September 18th, 2013 >> Birds, Photos

Song Sparrow 600
As another summer comes to an end I have been thinking back about the many songbirds that I have enjoyed watching and listening to this summer, both in and out of the garden. Some of them visit my garden throughout most of the year while others are only here for a short time as they stop over on their annual migrations. Some of my favourites this year have included Song Sparrows, Wilson’s Warblers and Bushtits.

“I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”

~ E. E. Cummings

Wilson's Warbler 320Bushtit 320

White in the garden

Posted by: Heidi

July 2nd, 2013 >> my garden, Photos

Peony 600

Foxgloves 200

White is often thought of as a background for other colours, but in the garden white can come alive and stand out on its own. I have been appreciating the white flowers in my garden more this year, the big and bold ones that grab your attention as well as the tiny and delicate ones that are like little hidden treasures when you find them. White brightens up dark, shady spots and most white and pale flowers are more strongly scented than their darker counterparts, which is also always appreciated in the garden.

The colour white represents purity, clarity, hope and new beginnings, all of which can be nurtured in a garden. It also represents peace, since the white flag is a universal symbol of truce.

The colour white doesn’t absorb any of the colours in the visible light spectrum, it reflects them all back, that’s why we see it as white. So, white flowers share all of the colours of the rainbow with us.

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
~Henri Matisse

Graveteye 600
 

Pear Blossoms 600
 

Small pleasures

Posted by: Heidi

March 9th, 2013 >> Birds, my garden, Photos

Spotted Towhee
 

Early spring days bring many small pleasures that I am always so grateful for: longer days and the warmth of sun rays just barely penetrating the still chilly air; sprouts and buds bringing signs of life and colour to the garden; new bird songs and chatter filling the trees.

These seemingly simple pleasures are much more complex than they appear to be. The more that I learn about the natural world, the more I am in awe of the amazing complexity that is involved in even the smallest of details. Every time I discover something new I realize how much more there is to learn.

Pear tree leaf buds

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
~ Carl Sagan

crocus

Beautiful places

Posted by: Heidi

January 1st, 2013 >> Photos, The wilderness

Chilliwack Lake 1Squamish


While exploring in the wilderness I have discovered so many beautiful places that have existed since long before we were here, and they will continue to be here long after we are gone.

“I will die, and this place will continue to dole out plenitude and beauty. Nothing bitter about this idea, but on the contrary, a feeling of gratitude and veneration.” ~ Albert Camus

Chilliwack Lake 2Rolley Lake

Moonrise

Posted by: Heidi

December 9th, 2012 >> Playing with paint

 

In this painting I tried to capture the feelings of tranquility and peacefulness that moonlight can create.

The moon is always a welcome sight in the night sky, especially at this time of the year, when the days are at their shortest and the nights are long and dark. There is something about the moon that has always seemed comforting to me. Throughout all of the ages of human life many among us have gazed up at it and contemplated our place in the universe.

“The moving Moon went up the sky.
And nowhere did abide;
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside.”
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge