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Posts Tagged ‘nature photography’

How do small things make you feel?  Do you sense their vulnerability and seek to protect them?  Or does their smallness seem irritating and invasive, as they tug you out of your comfort zone?

Salamander seeking a dark place to hide

Regardless of where we find ourselves, there will always be those among us who will be more vulnerable than others.  They may be very small in size like this baby red-backed salamander, or, although a bit bigger, they may suddenly find themselves in situations they aren’t prepared to handle on their own.

Maritime garter snake crossing a road

Sometimes they manage fine without our intervention.  Sometimes they don’t.

Shrew found dead on gravel road

Awareness is key. If we don’t know of the small and vulnerable in our environment, how can we  be expected to act on their behalf?  Or, at the very least, do them no harm?

It’s through the small things that we develop our moral imagination, so that we can understand the suffering of others.

~  Alexander McCall Smith

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2017

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Waves of purple, pink and white lupins splash across Nova Scotia this time of year.

Their spires decorate the wayside and abandoned fields.

Although they’re not our provincial flower (the mayflower is), their image is often found on postcards and their seeds are sold at shops catering to tourists.

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.
~ Iris Murdoch

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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Violets have been blooming in the woods and yard for the past few weeks. Their time is coming to an end… Soon I’ll be able to mow the lawn without having to worry about cutting them down.

Wild white violets growing in the lawn

They’re so delicate and small that they’re frequently overlooked.  Perhaps it’s their half-hidden shy nature that makes them so endearing.  The Lucy in Wordsworth’s poem must have been a wild violet…

SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and oh,
The difference to me!
~ William Wordsworth

Tame violets, on the other hand, are a deeper more showy purple with large leaves that are easier to spot in the flower bed.

Tame violets

If you have the patience to pick them, wild violets are edible and an aromatic addition to teas.  They can be dried or eaten fresh.

A violet tea with sponge cake

Violets are a reminder of slower times, when people took a moment to take notice of the gentler arts on a regular basis.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could make an effort to take back some of these enjoyable moments, if only each year at Violet Time.

You can learn more about the Manners of Wild Violets in a previous post here.

Text and images copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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irishchainpatchTo commemorate Earth Day 2009, I thought I’d design a couple of quilts using earth colors.  Real earth colors.  I created a palette using photographs I’ve taken in my yard over the past six months, made squares and then arranged the squares into a quilt pattern.  I decided on a Double Irish Chain pattern, as the Irish were among the first Europeans to settle in Cow Bay.

The first quilt employs colors taken from feathers and fur:  Bunny Brown, Blue Jay Blue, Jay Tail Feather  Blue, Ring-neck Green, Pheasant Grey and Squirrel Red.  I don’t think Martha Stewart could have come up with a more beautiful selection. 

apatchFor my second quilt I made use of colors found in photos of trees and leaves:  Inner Birch Bark, Spruce Green, Balsam Green, Ivy Red and Sapling Bark.  The white is an authentic ‘Snow White.’

As a quilter, I’ve often wondered how strange it must seem to non-quilters that we cut fabric into small pieces, only to sew them back together again.  As crazy as it may be, the process of creating a virtual quilt (without a program for doing such) is even nuttier. (This is what happens when you spend too much time with the squirrels).

Happy Earth Day!

Irish Chain Quilt with Trees, Leaves and Snow Palette

Double Irish Chain Quilt with Snowy Trees and Leaves Palette

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