Great Blue Heron

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”

~John James Audubon (1785-1851), American scientist

(Quote Source: brainyquote.com)

blue-heron-flying-lake

A great blue heron flies gracefully across a Minnesota lake as the sun dips lower into the horizon.

Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge

“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach (1947- ), American author

(Quote Source: brainyquote.com)

swan-wild-rice-refuge

A swan flies over the wild rice beds of the Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge located in McGregor, Minnesota.

To learn more about the refuge, please visit their website.

 

 

Garden Visitor

“The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The songs of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.”

~ Dorothy Frances Gurney (1858-1932), “God’s Garden” lines 13–16, Poems, by Dorothy Frances Gurney
as4a9713-1

A freshly emerged monarch butterfly flits about a garden in Duluth, Minnesota.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

~Maya Angelou (1928-2014), American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

AS4A9497-1-2

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail enjoying the nectar of a zinnia in my backyard.

Juvenile Sandhill Crane

“Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty.  It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.  The quality of cranes lies, I think, in this higher gamut, as yet beyond the reach of words.”

~ Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

Sandhill-Crane-Juvenile

I was startled to come upon this juvenile Sandhill Crane standing alone in a clearing.  No doubt the parents had taken cover by hiding among the trees in the background.

Solitude

“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), Poet

(Quote Source: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johannwolf104256.html?src=t_beauty)

White-Egret-Wetland-Pond

A lone Great Egret at twilight, patiently on the hunt for frogs or fish in a Minnesota wetland.  I sat by myself on the shore and quietly watched this graceful bird.

Common Loon

“We all experience ‘soul moments’ in life – when we see a magnificent sunrise, hear the call of the loon, see the wrinkles in our mother’s hands, or smell the sweetness of a baby. During these moments, our body, as well as our brain, resonates as we experience the glory of being a human being.”

~Marian Woodman, (1928- ) Writer, international teacher, and Jungian analyst

(Quote Source: azquotes.com)

Lake-Common-Loon

This is a young loon swimming in the shadows of a lake on an autumn morning.  The calls of a common loon across a lake are magical.  If you have not heard any before, click on the links below for a sampling:

Transformation

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves. We must die to one life before we can enter another.”

~ Anatole France, (1844-1924) French poet, journalist, and novelist

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

AS4A7015-6-1

A Widow Skimmer Dragonfly at rest on a plant along the shores of a Minnesota lake.

 

Early Summer Days…

“Early summer days are a jubilee time for birds.  In the fields, around the house, in the barn, in the woods, in the swamp – everywhere love and songs and nests and eggs.”

~E. B. White, (1899-1985) American writer

AS4A3307-14-1

This is a fledgling American Robin sitting in a pine tree. I love the little downy feathers still sticking up on top of its head.

The Small Things

“Again I resume the long lesson: how small a thing can be pleasing, how little in this hard world it takes to satisfy the mind and bring it to its rest.”

~ Wendell Berry (1934- ), Sabbaths

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

Cedar-Waxwing-Bird

While traveling, take time not only to see the major sights, but intentionally grab a moment to observe the birds, animals, and flora of a given area.  Here is a photo I shot of a Cedar Waxwing enjoying the berries of a bush while my husband and I were taking a break from driving through Idaho on a road trip.

White-tailed Deer

“Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.”

~Fred Bear, (1902-1988) American bow hunter, bow manufacturer, author, and television host

(Quote Source: wideopenspaces.com)

White-tailed-Deer-Wildflowers

This is a White-tailed Deer standing in a field of wildflowers.

Nature Soothes…

“If you reconnect with nature and the wilderness you will not only find the meaning of life but you will experience what it means to be truly alive.”

~ Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

AS4A0996-1-2

When news of the day and troubles in the world start to get me down, I return to nature to remember the many blessings that still exist all around me.  This year I have had the joy of watching a pair of Eastern Bluebirds set up house on my property.  Watching them has been a delight!

Home on the Range

“Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam

Where the Deer and the Antelope play;

Where never is heard a discouraging word,

And the sky is not clouded all day.”

 ~Dr. Brewster Higley (1876)

(Quote Source: 50states.com)

AS4A1519-1

This photo is of my first encounter with a group of Pronghorn Antelope off of a highway in Montana.  They are fascinating animals that can run at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.  I was grateful they stood relatively still for me for the moment.

Into the Pollen

Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’

~ Robin Williams, (1951-2014) American actor and comedian

IMG_1715-1-3

This yellow swallowtail butterfly did not seem to mind wading into the pollen of my Japanese Lilac tree.