Photo by Elizabeth Halt
Photo by Elizabeth Halt

5 things that made me smile

May 26, 2015

1. these cherry blossoms! | cherry blossoms

my mom’s cousin has cherry trees in her backyard. last year, i ate the fruit. this year, i saw the blossoms.

2. this sunset! | lake superior sunset

remember when i missed the part of the sunset where the sun is still inches above the lake? i caught it the next night and it was spectacular.

3. this art! | art by robin laws

my friend robin is a wonderful artist & storyteller. when i saw this painting, i knew i needed a print, because i could not stop thinking about her.

4. this pair! | atlas & friend

i loved how my nephew would pause every so often on his constant journey toward atlas. (being an auntie is the best.)

5. this bumblebee! | bumblebee

at times, he reminded me of a very tiny bull rider.

how about you? what made you smile?


May 22, 2015 | glory | glory | glory | glory | glory

i wish i had caught the moment where the sun turned into an orange ball of fire in the sky. i saw a glimpse of it through the trees as i was driving down to the lake and it was so impossibly beautiful that my hand went to my heart & tears came to my eyes.

glory, glory, glory.

atlas says: huh

May 20, 2015 | atlas says: huh

you want me to follow you into an ice cold lake, but you don’t want me to follow you into a very muddy swamp?

what is up with that?!

pale pink spring

May 17, 2015 | pale pink spring

“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”

~ Rilke

5 things that made me smile

May 12, 2015

1. this cloud! | clouds over lake superior

the cloud could be ominous or hopeful, depending on the light.

2. this snail! | latte art snail

i was trying to make a rosetta, not a snail, but when i saw the snail, i was over the moon delighted.

3. this light! | golden hour near calumet lake

the pup & i just happened to be on our trail during golden hour. i couldn’t get over the light.

4. these baby trees! | baby white pines

baby white pines, to be specific. don’t they look soft & fuzzy?

5. this creation! | kokopelli

after asking the woods for an offering, i found a piece of curly birch bark that reminded me of a slightly abstract figure. when i added another piece of birch bark and some moss, it reminded me of kokopelli.

in other smile-related news, it is snowing today. i decided that i like snow in mid-may; it’s quirky.

so, what made you smile recently? i’d love to hear.

making the most of a nice day

May 8, 2015 | making the most of a nice day

yesterday was an 80 degree day – possibly the last in a stretch of warm & sunny days for a while. i thought about taking atlas for a hike, but didn’t really feel up to hiking. (i lost my breath while in providence and it isn’t quite back yet.) besides, do you know what atlas likes to do on an 80 degree day? he likes to lie in the sun until he’s hot, then lie in the shade until he’s cool, then repeat repeat repeat.

instead of hiking, i took a pail of carrots and a vegetable peeler out to the picnic table. when i was finished, i sat on the ground in the sunshine.

i listened to the chirp of the birds & the hollow roar of the wind through the pines behind me. i watched brown leaves & white pollen & a black & yellow striped bumblebee fly past me. i scrunched my toes in the grass & felt the earth beneath my seat. i drank ice water with tiny flecks of dirt in it. i felt the wind in my hair & the sunshine on my face.

while i sat there, i thought about conversations i’ve had in which people tell me that they want to [insert something that involves doing very little] but they should make the most of the nice weather.

i decided that as far as i was concerned, i was absolutely positively making the most of the nice weather. i suspect atlas would agree.

birds of a feather

May 4, 2015

i thought i’d share my latest feather finds with you because they make me so happy.

this feather is from a blue jay. i found it on a trail near great sand bay. (i picked it up from what looked like the scene of a fight or a meal, because there were actually a great number of them.) | blue jay feather

this feather is from a ruffled grouse. i found a handful of them on that same trail, not too far from the blue jay feathers. | ruffled grouse feather

these feathers are from a cooper’s hawk. i think i found them somewhere near the house, either on the side of the road or on a trail. | cooper's hawk feathers

this feather is old but delightful. it’s from a northern flickr. i found it years ago in portland and saved it because i loved the neon orange shaft. when i discovered the feather atlas, i was finally able to look it up. | northern flickr feather

speaking of feathers: wow, is the feather atlas useful! sometimes it takes me a long time to identify a feather – the great horned owl & wild turkey feathers took over an hour each – but without it, i would be completely in the dark.

i love collecting feathers. they’re like little love notes from the natural world. (and the angels.) i keep them in mason jars in my bedroom and choose one to carry with me whenever i need a reminder that i am loved.

now i’m curious. do you collect anything?

through a child’s eye

May 2, 2015 | through a child's eye

i am home again, after two weeks as a mother’s helper for my ten month old twin nephews. oh, do i miss them. they are sweet & silly & lively & wonderful.

fortunately for me, i came home to more small nephews & nieces.

one of the things i love about children is how they delight in the world around them.

i went for a walk this evening with my two year old nephew and three year old niece. we threw small rocks in the swamp, threw larger rocks in the water, looked at the patterns in the dirt, shouted hello & goodbye to the sun & the sunset & the giant round moon, climbed up & down both big & small hills, marveled at a soft fuzzy thing we found in the road (a bud from a tree), tried to catch a person in a fluorescent yellow jacket on a bike (or a scooter, we never got close enough to tell), watched a person get into a truck, and stomped in imaginary mud puddles.

my ten month old nephews were endlessly fascinated by door knobs & the handles on the dresser & the chain on the door.

can you see why i love spending time with children? they live wonder.


April 15, 2015 | atlas in stripes | atlas in stripes | atlas in stripes | atlas in stripes

atlas says: woof! i am on vacation!

and so he is. i am off to providence to spend two weeks with my sister and her family. atlas will remain here, to enjoy the sunshine & some much-needed time off. (keeping an eye on his person is a full-time job for my velcro pup!)

while i am away, i leave you this: a sunset-striped atlas and a reminder of your light.


April 9, 2015 | contrast

i sat down to write a completely different post but i was playing with the contrast on my image when i saw this version and i was (quite unexpectedly) drawn to it.

this image reminds me of three things.

  • an embrace peculiarity sticker from john fluevog that i found while tidying my closet.
  • an article i read about a woman who is training for the iditarod in which she said that she used to be afraid of the dark until she started mushing.
  • the northern lights, which i have seen dancing on the horizon at least four times recently while taking the pup out for his very late night (or very early morning) potty runs.

here’s to the fun of creative play! wherever & however we find it.