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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Along the Path

I am now selling prints of my photos! I recently opened up a little online shop, Cheery Hill Photography, at Fine Art America and thought I ought to post about it on my blog. (I included a tab on my blog for easy access.) Fine Art America does lovely work! So far, I’ve seen a couple of prints, the greeting cards, and a canvas in person.

I’m excited to share my photos with whoever will welcome them into their home.

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I had the pleasure of attending the Rabbit Room Retreat at Laity Lodge last weekend. The weekend included a stop for Texas bar-b-q, sessions on Tolkien and Flannery O’Connor, good conversation over mouth-watering meals, an intimate in-the-round concert, a hike up to a scenic overlook, star gazing in open fields, discussions on community and creativity, time with dear friends, breathtaking scenery, and so much more!

Words don’t begin to express what a magical and restful time I had. Here are some photos instead:

Driving through the Frio River is like a baptism.

Driving through the Frio River is like a baptism.

Great Hall, Laity Lodge

Great Hall, Laity Lodge

Great Hall overlooks the Frio River. The river is an astonishing shade of turquoise.

Great Hall overlooks the Frio River. The river is an astonishing shade of turquoise.

Consider the wildflowers...

Consider the wildflowers…

We had perfect weather for sitting outside.

We had perfect weather for sitting outside.

Wildflowers were in bloom. I was very happy.

Wildflowers were in bloom. I was very happy.

The hike up to Circle Bluff

The hike up to Circle Bluff

One view on the way up

One view on the way up

View from Circle Bluff

View from Circle Bluff

Threshold

Threshold

Blue Hole -- The water is 40' deep here!

Blue Hole — The water is 40′ deep here!

Winding Road

Winding Road

Morel Mushroom

Morel Mushroom

Texas Bluebonnets

Texas Bluebonnets

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

 

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In the woods on the first warm day of spring

In the woods on the first warm day of spring

A friend posted this challenge a couple days ago. “Quick. Twenty things you love. (Not family, friends, or Jesus. We know that.)”

Here’s my list. Feel free to add your own.

1. The first warm spring day
2. Exploring country roads
3. Meteor showers (and the night sky in general)
4. Aqua, teal, and turquoise
5. Grapefruit
6. Being in the woods
7. Playing board games w/ friends
8. Exploring small towns
9. Flannel shirts and down vests
10. Bald eagles and hawks in flight
11. Coffee and tea
12. Pine cones
13. York Peppermint Patties
14. Clever Pranks*
15. Spring wildflowers
16. Maple trees in the May wind (Helicopters!**)
17. Old books
18. Fireflies
19. Pineapple, ham, and jalapeno pizza
20. Old houses

* Clever, but not nasty or (too) embarrassing
** Whirly gigs, spinners, or whatever you call ’em

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I love walking in the woods any time of year, but there is just something peaceful about the woods in the winter. It could be that I usually have the woods to myself, or that the loudest noise is the crunch of the snow under my boots.

The downside to walking (and taking photos) in the winter is, of course, the cold. On the bitterest days, I don’t last long before I have to head back to the car and turn up the heat to revive numb (and sometimes blue) fingers. But it’s all worth it.

Here are some photos from recent walks in the nearby State Park:

Underneath white birches, our faces toward the sky  We will make snow angels with our white horse standing by. ~White Horse, Over the Rhine

Underneath white birches, our faces toward the sky
We will make snow angels with our white horse standing by.
~White Horse, Over the Rhine

The Magic Hour

The Magic Hour

Warm light on a cold day

Warm light on a cold day

Candlelit Hike

Candlelit Hike

Frozen Twilight

Frozen Twilight

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Here is a glimpse of some of the beauty I’ve found this month:

Winter Berries at Sunset

Winter Berries at Sunset

Snow

An out-of-focus snowflake on my sleeve

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints of light. ~Colossians 1:12

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints of light. ~Colossians 1:12

My sister-in-law makes the best pies. This one is from cherries she picked in Door County, WI last summer. Delicious!

My sister-in-law makes the best pies. This one is from cherries she picked in Door County, WI last summer. Delicious!

I will learn to love the skies I'm under. ~Mumford and Sons, Hopeless Wanderer

I will learn to love the skies I’m under. ~Mumford and Sons, Hopeless Wanderer

Winter on the Prairie

Winter on the Prairie

Grace Abounds in the Wintry Woods

Grace Abounds in the Wintry Woods

I love pine cones

I love pine cones

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All Shall Be Well

My friend Julia Bloom, who is also one of my favorite singers and songwriters, released a new song yesterday. It was an honor to be able to collaborate with her by contributing my photography for the video. The lyrics are from Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, and the melody and harmonies are simply beautiful.

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Snow-Covered Cheery Hill Cottage

Cheery Hill Cottage in the Snow

It may not be astronomical winter, but it sure feels like it. Here in southern Minnesota, our first snow started to accumulate late last Monday night. I happened to have our first snow-covered day off. I put on some Christmas music, lit a candle, and made ginger spice cookies.

Delightfully cozy on the first snow-dusted evening

Delightfully cozy on the first snowy evening

Last week, I read this article explaining why Denmark is the happiest country on earth despite their long, dark winters. In one word: hygge. It’s a concept that’s hard to explain in English, but has to do with coziness, togetherness, and well-being. It’s defiant merriment. I like to think my Danish ancestors settled here in Minnesota because there are more opportunities to practice hygge. Maybe that’s why I’m still here, not 20 miles from where my great great grandparents settled all those years ago?

Winter Skies

Winter Skies

I hope to practice hygge and hospitality this winter. Winter can be long, but I’m thankful for the cold weather. Without the cold, we wouldn’t have this:

I don't think I'll ever cease to be amazed by snowflakes. At least I hope not!

I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be amazed by snowflakes. At least I hope not!

Because of the bitter cold, nights spent like this are more satisfying:

Enjoying the hospitality of friends -- and their warm fireplace!

Enjoying good conversation, the hospitality of friends, and their warm fireplace!

Because it’s dark by the time I get off work, I spend more time reading. And every time I sit down to read, this dashing kitty curls up by my side:

Mr. Dashwood enjoys big cups of coffee, long books, and cuddling on cold nights.

Mr. Dashwood enjoys big cups of coffee, long books, and cuddling on cold nights.

They’re saying this may be a milder winter. I don’t want to get my hopes up, because March (and May) of 2013 is still fresh in my memory. I guess we’ll see. In the meantime I’ll say, along with Jason Gray, let the winter come.

Crossing into Winter

Crossing into Winter

 

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