Archive for the ‘Scavenger Hunts’ Category


The following is a list of links for submissions received to date  for the scavenger hunt:

  1. Jessica at The Magical Mundane in Michigan USA
  2. Kathy at Opening the Door, Walking Outside in Michigan USA
  3. JoAnn at Scene Through My Eyes in Washington USA
  4. Dawn at Sahlah Photos & Thoughts in Washington USA
  5. Jessica at Nature in Focus in the United Kingdom
  6. Robin at Robin Eye Photography in New York USA
  7. Pamela at Books in Northport in Michigan USA
  8. Gerry at Torch Lake Views in Michigan USA
  9. Joan (see images below) in British Columbia Canada

Information about the scavenger hunt can be found in the following posts:

Thank you to everyone who participated and everyone who offered comments, both here and on participants’ blogs.  I’ll be posting a recap and an announcement of winners later this week.


The following images were submitted to the scavenger hunt by Joan in British Columbia:

flaming leaves

FIRE–Flaming leaves reach for the sky, Sardis Park, BC  (Patterns: Branch, flame-like tips)harrison lake

WATER–Evening at Harrison Lake, BC  (Pattern: Meander–the crests of the mountains)

silver hair

METAL–The Canadian Silverhair, Native to BC  (Pattern: Spiral)

tree rings

WOOD–Tree rings, Cultus Lake, BC  (Pattern: Circle)


EARTH–Wild grass on a misty day, Greendale, BC  (Pattern: Branch)

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moon shell 2

Here in Nova Scotia, shellfish such as lobsters and crabs are our most famous scavengers, bottom feeders that keep the ocean clean of decaying matter.  Scavenging may be a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.   Some scavengers, such as cockroaches and vultures,  are considered quite unattractive, making the job they do seem even more lowly.   Others, such as lovely molluscs, seem to make the act of scavenging less repulsive.  However, regardless of  how they appear to the rest of us, all scavengers are skilled at making the most of whatever they can find.

medium shellA scavenger hunt is a game where the goal is to complete tasks or find items on a list. The Mid-Summer Scavenger Hunt outlined earlier this season involves taking photos showing each of 5 elements in nature: water, earth, fire, wood and metal. You take your list and your camera, go outside and do your best to find one of each. Scavenger hunting is fun and all are invited to give it a try.  The last day to submit your entry is this coming Monday, July 20th.

Although going out into nature with your eyes wide open is its own reward, there will be prizes for participants.  If you haven’t submit your entry yet, remember to…

  • Be creative.
  • Think outside the box.
  • Be a lateral thinker.
  • Engage both sides of your brain.

Prizes will take the form of color reproductions of drawings featured either on Flandrum Hill or my art blog, Drawing Conclusions.  Last season, all in good fun, Gerry of Torch Lake Views offered a virtual Goldsworthy award.  Who knows what interesting things will happen this time round!

As of this morning, two creative scavengers in Michigan have already participated and posted their results:

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red leaf

Five elements are thought to exist in Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of interpreting environments.  These are:  earth, water, fire, metal and wood.  Colors are also believed to represent these elements.  In the image above, a blazing red leaf gives the impression of fire. Its fire quality is emphasized even more by its triangular shape which is reminiscent of the tongue of a flame.


Brown garden stones, shown supporting one another above, represent the earth element, a symbol for wisdom.  Along with browns, yellows and oranges also allude to the nurturing earth.  Square shapes emphasize this element even further.  

green stems

The wood element, which symbolizes growth, is ubiquitous in a forest landscape where it is revealed in a variety of greens.  Yet, even near the ocean or in the city, green growth is not difficult to find.  The branch shape in the green floral stems above, found along a salt marsh, underlines the wood element in this image even further.

grey rainbow haven

White, grey, silver and gold reveal the metal element in nature.  Positively, this element can communicate strength and solidity.  Negatively, it can suggest sadness, as in the image above, of an overcast and rainy day at the beach.

Blue Flag Iris

Water can be represented in a landscape by a pond or stream, but also by the presence of cool, dark blues as shown in the Blue Flag Iris at left.  A bed of black tulips planted in the shape of a meander would be especially representational of the water element.

Like nature, color can be both simple and complex.  It never ceases to amaze or arouse wonder in those who seek to understand it better.

This post is written to provide further insight into the relationship between the elements and color in nature, as first introduced in my earlier post about a Midsummer’s Scavenger Hunt.

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.
~ Georgia O’Keefe

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I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine. 

From ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’  by William Shakespeare

It’s Midsummer’s Eve and time for a scavenger hunt!    Whether you live in the city or the country, here in Nova Scotia or on the other side of the planet, you’re welcome to participate.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to photograph five natural subjects that each captures the essence of one of the following elements.  Each one is characterized by one or several colors that may be substituted for a literal image of the element. 

  1. Fire (Red)
  2. Water (Blue or Black)
  3. Metal (White, Gold or Silver)
  4. Earth (Brown or yellow)
  5. Wood (Green)

Over the past five Saturdays, I’ve written a weekly post about some of the shapes that are found repeatedly in nature:  the meander, the spiral, the circle, the branch and the star.   Incorporating these shapes into your photographs is not necessary, but doing so will breathe more life into them. 

Here are some examples:


Fiery Red Poppy (Fire)

Red Poppy (Fire)

Trees Reflected in Birdbath (Water)

Trees Reflected in Birdbath (Water)

Star of Bethlehem (Metal)

White Star of Bethlehem Flowers (Metal)

Garden Snail on Leaf on Stone (Earth)

Garden Snail and Leaf on Stone (Earth)

Tree Trunks (Wood)

Tree Trunks (Wood)

The hunt will end on July 20th.  Your photos can be uploaded in a blog post (add a link to your post in the comments area) or they can be emailed to me for uploading on my blog.  Prizes will consist of prints from Drawing Conclusions.   Get outside and look at nature in a different way.  Have fun 🙂


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It’s been years since I’ve participated in a scavenger hunt, so a spring challenge that was put forth by Centria at Opening the Door, Walking Outside  seemed like a worthwhile pursuit.  She required participants to come up with photos of the following:

  1. Pussywillows
  2. Sumac, Wintergreen or at least something that made your heart pitter-pat
  3. Birchbark
  4. Animal scat
  5. An animal

Here are my results:

pussywillow1A tree in my yard that’s produced pussywillows every spring still looks bare.  At first I thought it might be too early for pussywillows in my neck of the woods, but upon closer inspection I think the bush may have given up the ghost over the winter.

[Hopefully Centria will be so impressed with my presentation of #4 that she’ll overlook the absence of pussywillows on the tree].





I run for the camera every time I see female pheasants or partridges in the yard. They’re very shy and difficult to photograph.  I finally managed to get the tail end of one on camera.

With so many sightings of females this spring, I’m hoping there might even be a nest in the yard this year!



Here are #3 and #5 together in one image:  a Downy Woodpecker clinging to a Yellow Birch tree.

The bark has been frilled by repeated woodpecker activity on this tree over the winter.  The length of the trunk is also dotted with holes.

I don’t know how this bird is managing to hang on to the tree in this strange position.  It must have very strong claws.





For #4 (animal scat) I thought I would do something both creative and ephemeral à la Andy Goldsworthy.  All it took were a handful of Snowshoe Hare pellets, some spruce and alder cones on a canvas of white snow and voilà!

Although First Prize has already been awarded to Gerry at Torch Lake Views for getting her results in first, I’m hoping for at least an honorable mention 😉




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