End of Month Potpourri-October 2015

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“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” 

~Jim Bishop

 

 

 

The morning of the full moon in September, the sun promised to rise in a glorious fashion.  The last bright star still glowed as the sun peeked over the horizon.  So I went out into the garden to see the sunrise from different vantage points.

 

 

 

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It was such a magnificent experience to bask in the first rays of light…..

 

 

 

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…..with the colors expanding across the sky!

 

 

 

sunrise collage

Yes the inset is a later close-up.

 

 

 

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I spent quite a bit of time near the back fence watching the sunrise over the meadow.

 

 

 

meadow sunrise collage

I shifted to capture the pergola in the sunrise.  I thought it would be a great backdrop.

 

 

 

grasses at sunrise collage

As would the grasses waving to greet the day.

 

 

 

sunset foliage collage

Then watching the sun setting later in the day, I saw the glory of the fall foliage on fire in the golden light of the setting sun.

 

Fall is one of the most beautiful times in nature and in my garden.  I hope you enjoyed this glorious day with me.  I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linkup party at image-in-ing.

 

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Kara@A Spirit of Simplicity for Tuesday Afternoon where we are invited to celebrate a nice slow day in a busy week.

 

 

 

I leave you with a bit more sentiment about creativity and joy.   Feel free to download the photo and share.

fall foliage

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-15.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Rising With The Snow

snow rose

 

Rising With The Snow

 

 

As October skies diminish their light,

Flower beds begin to pull their covers tight.

Bid farewell to Susan and Petunia hanging low-

As we greet Pansy and Rose still rising with the snow.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2011

 

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This is an early poem inspired by the later fall garden.  I wrote it as I watched October fade with the autumn light, and the days turned grayer, and the daylight hours shorter.  The girl’s names are also flowers that grow in my garden.  It isn’t unusual to see roses and pansies blooming right up until the first substantial snow, seen sometimes in late October.  Thankfully not this October!

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

old snow roses collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linkup party at image-in-ing.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  The roses pictured here grow in my summer garden, and bloom again in fall.  They make an amazing picture when the snow encases them.  These photos were from a few years ago when we had an early October snow.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about the first snow in the garden.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

oct skies-snow rose

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Conversations In The Garden: On Resting

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“A change is as good as a rest.”
― Stephen King

 

 

I am not sure I totally agree that change can be restful.  When our lives go through so much change, we need a period of rest afterwards to replenish our weary bodies and minds.  Our lives can be so overwhelming at times.  So much coming at us.

 

 

And yet there are times when my life feels stuck….repeating the same things over and over….boredom sets in and what I need is a change to refresh myself.  And in these times change can bring about the feeling of rest.  A change of scenery, a change in routine or interacting with different people.  These all can invigorate me on many levels.

 

 

DSCN6101It is important to take care of our total health; body, mind and spirit.  But we can’t always just take a trip or be away from our busy lives.  In these times for me, I carve out just 10 minutes and go to one of my special spots.  Those places that refresh me as soon as I enter, like my garden.  You might also have a special spot.  A hot bath, a favorite chair in which to meditate, a walk to a local park nearby, maybe even a nap.  All can bring about the rest and change we seek…we crave…we need.

 

 

The seasonal changes can also bring about that change we desire.  Sometimes the change may be from a resting state to a reawakening as with the coming of spring.  And other times, it is the need to slow down.  I think that is why I love to see Autumn come.

 

 

With Autumn my senses come to life as I observe first subtle changes of leaf color around me.  And then I watch nature take hold as she prepares to rest….all her critters calling to me to come with them and partake in this time to slumber.  For me it is like going to a spa, or participating in a prolonged meditation.  I feel the same benefits.

 

 

fall rest
And rest is essential if we are to revitalize ourselves from time to time.  We can become so busy living our lives that we miss the signals our bodies give us…..subtle at first and then sometimes a hard hit to make us notice that we have been doing too much…..going faster, harder, longer.

 

 

Without the time to slow down and be gentle with ourselves, we will use up our energy and compromise our health.  Just finding 10 minutes once a day can work wonders.  A little chunk of time where we can turn our compassion inward upon ourselves, and give ourselves the gift of rest.

 

 

 

Do you give yourself this gift of rest and renewal?  What works for you?

 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are of Autumn scenes from my garden last year, as nature prepares to rest and turn her energies inward to replenish herself.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words On Resting.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

rest

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Uni/verse

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Uni/verse

 

 

It gathers on the wind

With each wave strewn,

Across the tiny grains of sand

To be washed out to sea.

 

 

And then deposited once more on a new shore.

Repeating, moving, gaining strength.

 

 

This one song-a Uni/verse,

Sung with a peaceful voice.

First a ripple, then a diverse chorus rising

Gathering once again to be born on the wind.

 

 

Our true essence shared

Free of judgment, compassionate heart

Turned inward on ourselves.

Serves all; one world.

 

 

This one song I sing-this uni/verse….

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2015

 

 

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This poem …really a soulful song….sprung from me during one of my writing sessions recently.  I have been contemplating a more compassionate way of life, and how to bring this way of compassion to more people.  The word universe quite simply means, one song.  And from this thought, the words came forth to be born and shared here…..perhaps giving people pause to consider compassion as a universal song.

 

 

I will not have a post this Thursday or next Sunday, but will be back on Thursday, October 22nd.

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are from a shore close by to me.  Not the sea, but a wonderful lake across the street that I profiled a couple of weeks ago.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional thoughts about the Uni/verse.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

universe

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Wildlife Lesson: Bathing’s For The Birds

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“The bath is one of the places I prefer, certainly not a place I leave readily, a place where one can close the door and remove oneself, put oneself in parentheses, as it were, from the rest of humanity. It is a place for reading and thinking, where one’s mind wanders easily, where time seems temporarily suspended.”

― Sheila Kohler

 

 

 

A pond is a garden teeming with plants and wildlife.  One of the wonders of having a pond in the garden is being able to watch wildlife.  Frogs, toads, dragonflies and snakes all come to the pond to live and play regularly.  And if you are lucky you can see birds stepping into the pond for a bath.

 

 

 

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Our pond has too much vegetation along the edge which prevents the birds from bathing.  We need to do a little maintenance to correct this problem.  But the bigger birds have figured out another way to bathe.  They sit in the top of the waterfall and bathe away.  I don’t think he wants us watching him!

 

 

 

male bather

It’s as if they have their own private spa there.  Taking their time with a luxuriating bath or a quick flap of the wings and they’re off.  But mind you, it is not a first come first serve outdoor bath.  No you have to be a robin to get the first chance to use it.  And male robins rule the bath.

 

 

 

lady robin bath

In the picture at the top of the post, our crazy robin momma is none-too-pleased with the catbird who thought she was going to take a bath.  So move over momma catbird, and wait your turn.  This momma robin is spending her second year in our garden so she has special bathing privileges.  I even spied her once covered in mud after she built a nest.  I was standing right next to the waterfall, but she was so desperate to get all that mud off, she hurried and didn’t let my presence stop her.

 

 

 

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I start to see the bathing commence once the robin’s hit town in spring.  Sometimes I feel like a voyeur.  Right up until the tall perennial helianthus puts up screen, in early August, we can keep watching like peeping toms.  By mid-August the robins are almost ready to leave our garden for their winter home.

 

 

 

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Robins and catbirds aren’t the only birds who use the pond for a bath.  We have orioles and an occasional brave cedar waxwing try it out.  But because of the force of the water flowing from the waterfall, only big birds can use it as a bath.

 

 

 

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You can see how this bath is a great source of amusement for us.  Seeing this male robin all wet and poofed up makes me laugh.  And the males seem to be bath hogs.  Most will stay in the bath for long periods, then hop out, shake, stand there for a few minutes and bathe again.  I have seen some hog the bath for upwards of 20 minutes or more keeping the other birds out, even the female robins.  Females are too busy to take a long bath….sounds familiar doesn’t it.

 

 

 

you are all wet

We have a few other smaller bird baths in the garden for other birds, but secretly I think the other birds are jealous of those who use the big bath.  OK, I will admit the robins who live in or nearby our garden are spoiled, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I think even when we fix the pond so birds can wade in and bathe, the robins will still use the waterfall bath.  After all wouldn’t you want a private bath if you could have one.

 

I hope you enjoyed the bathing birds from our spring and summer garden.  It seems bathing is for the birds here in our garden.

 

With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every week.

 

 

 

I leave you with another thought about bird baths…actually taking a bath in general!  Feel free to download the photo and share.

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All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-15.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Play With Abandon

Samantha

 

Play With Abandon

 

 

Play with abandon,

Fling your arms to the skies,

Fly over the waves wearing necklaces of seaweed and shells.

Skip along the lanes and the meadows

Gathering wildflowers and shiny stones.

Be free, never constrained.

Feel life as it was meant to be,

Washing in and out with the waves

As they dance through your mind.

Taking you to the fortress of your soul-

Softening your heart.

You can always be here,

To play with abandon.

As you fling your arms to the sky and fly…

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2015

 

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This poem was written on a particularly difficult day.  These words became my voice as they poured from my heart.  They remind me to never let go of play….it is the dance of my soul.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

play collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

I am joining in another wonderful meme at  A Spirit of Simplicity.  It is called Tuesday Afternoon where Kara celebrates a nice slow day in a busy week.  Check out her blog and the meme on Tuesday.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are of my niece, Samantha Abel, when she was 2 years old playing at the beach, and at home.  She will turn 16 in November…how time does fly.  They are a perfect illustration for my mantra, Play With Abandon.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about Playing With Abandon.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

play with abandon

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Beyond Words: At The Lake

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“Teach me to go to the country beyond words and beyond names.”  ~ Thomas Merton

 

 

 

After participating in the photography challenge in August, I was inspired to move beyond my comfort zone and branch out with my camera.  Not so much with moving off the auto button….that will come in time and with practice….but to move to different spots, and explore them with camera in hand.

 

 

In my Seasonal Celebrations post, on my gardening blog, I talk about what I want to focus on each season.  For autumn, I want to take in more of the world around me.  With surgery side-lining me last year, and an injury this summer, I am anxious to break out and explore…take a few field trips.

 

 

So I am starting a new series, that I hope will be monthly, called Beyond Words.  I want to showcase different spots I find in pictures, with as few words as possible….not easy for me as I love to talk and write.

 

 

For the first field trip I didn’t have to venture far from home.  Just a 10 minute walk across the street to the lake…Oneida Lake.  It is an amazing spot, that I will talk more about later.  It was a perfect time to explore the lake.  When we visited, the beach had just closed a few weeks earlier in late August.  So let’s see what’s happening, at the lake…..

 

 

fishermen

As you can see in the top picture and here, I made a beeline for the beach.  As it is not getting a daily cleaning from all the bird poo, I chose to wear shoes. This lake is considered a top fishing spot.

 

 

 

man fishing collage

It is shallow enough near the shore, that you can even walk right out and fish.

 

 

 

feather

The beach was littered with gull feathers still glistening with mid-morning dew.

 

 

 

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I loved this end-of-the-summer beach statement someone left.  You never know what you will find at the beach.  As a matter of fact, I did have one very big surprise….

 

 

 

monarch on the beach collage

Monarchs!   They were all over the beach, which is starting to grow grass and other plant life, as it is not groomed now that the swimmers are gone.  I wasn’t sure if they were getting moisture from the wet sand or the goose poo.

I am joining Anna@ The Transmutational Garden for her Butterfly Bucket List meme the 4th Sunday of the month.

 

 

lakeshore

The water’s edge was a bit mucky, in areas, with grass, plant material and algae washing ashore.

 

 

 

park benches

The picnic area was very quiet with no one around.  A perfect spot to sit and relax even if there is a nip in the air.  I think perhaps we will bring a picnic lunch here in the future.

 

 

 

beach tree

One last look as we turned to go.  I hope you enjoyed our little excursion, to the lake, at the end of summer.

 

 

I am linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linkup party at image-in-ing.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  Oneida Lake is the largest lake entirely within New York State.  It has a surface area of 79.8 square miles, and is located northeast of Syracuse and near the Great Lakes.  There are several parks, marinas and beaches along this lake that spans several counties.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional thoughts about lakes and life.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

lake

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.