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Finding Beauty in the Everyday

September 12th, 2017

Yesterday, I was putting some elderberry stems into the compost bowl and noticed how lovely it was. Perhaps it was because it was dominated by the color purple, perhaps it was the textures. Either way, I noticed that the compost bowl was beautiful, not just now, but would provide beautiful things for my garden when they composted down.

Sometimes it can be tough to find beauty in the midst of the mundane daily things, but if we look at things differently or stop to notice the colors, textures, and light, we may just be able to find beauty in the everyday. This time of year I especially notice the angle of the sun. While I’m sad that the days are getting shorter and summer is coming to an end, the angle of the sun provides a much more beautiful light in which to observe our gardens. It’s almost like we get golden days instead of golden hours right before sunset. You can bet that this time of year I’ll be out soaking up every single drop of this last beautiful light.

What are you noticing beauty in these days?

Friday Favorite: The Low Sun

October 9th, 2015

This time of year the sun is lower in the sky and it comes in the windows at different angles. Actually, it comes in the windows, bathing the room in a wonderfully warm, golden glow.
Morning sun
In the morning it shines on my favorite chair in the living room, this is where I sit and read sometimes before starting my day. If I must get to work early, I sit here with my laptop. In the afternoon, the sun shines in through my office window. While I love this light, I sometimes have to close the blinds for a half hour because of the glare off of my desk. Thankfully that is short-lived and soon enough the blinds are back up and I’m working in my light, bright office.
sunlight in living room 1
The cats seem to like the sun spots as well this time of year. They are like magnets, often you’ll find one or two cats in each sun spot. They move around throughout the day, following sun, soaking up as much warmth as they can.
Dexter in the sun
I truly appreciate living in an area with seasonal changes, both in weather and in the sun. Growing up on the equator the days were the same, always. The sun came up at the same time every day and went to bed at the same time. The angle was the same and you didn’t get the beauty of long shadows during part of the year.

Do you live in an area where the sun changes throughout the seasons?

A Little Light

July 27th, 2015

I found an old lantern in the attic of the garage.  Originally, I planned to make it into a lamp for the guest bedroom, but I didn’t really want to dust it as it’s a little rusty.  Then I got these fantastic solar LED lights that are warm like incandescent, not the harsh, retina burning blue that they usually are.  At first I was going to put them on the trellis in the back garden, but we really needed some kind of light by the front door when we get home late at night. That’s what I had the idea to put the light in the lantern.
solar lantern 1
solar lantern 2
Perfection! It provides just the right amount of light without being too bright. We can see to get to the door and it provides a nice welcoming glow by the door.
solar lantern 3
The best part is that it’s solar. Sure there’s a little solar panel in the planter below the light, but that’s OK with me. I might eventually hang the lantern on a hook by the door and then put the solar panel on the roof where it won’t be visible. Overall, I love the look of this simple project, it’s the perfect way to add a little light to a dark corner of the garden.

Do you have any lighting in the garden?

Quote of the Day: Marilynne Robinson

April 5th, 2015

“I was struck by the way the light felt that afternoon. I have paid a good deal of attention to light, but no one could begin to do it justice. There was the feeling of a weight of light–pressing the damp out the the grass and pressing the smell of sour old sap out of the boards on the porch flood and burdening even the trees a little as a late snow would do. It was the kind of light that rests on your shoulders the way a cat lies on your lap. So familiar.”

Marilynne Robinson in Gilead

the first spring blooms 5
I am greatly affected by light. I find myself noticing light more than I notice just about anything else. Light is particularly important in photography and I like to use natural light as much as I can. There’s really nothing like the hour or two right before sunset. I call it the golden hour.
sun 1
susy (1)
golden hour
light 2
golden hour 1
light 1
golden hour (2)
light 3
motoring_at_the_golden_hour 4
While the winter light is still nice, it just doesn’t reach the intensity of the summer light. I’m really looking forward to the light this summer.

What time do you most notice the light in the garden?

Quote of the Day: James Thurber

August 10th, 2014

“There are two kinds of light — the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.”

-James Thurber

sun 1
sun 2
When you take photos you become keenly aware of light and the intensity of it during certain parts of the day. Photos will look completely different when taken when the sun is high in the sky than they will be during that golden hour before sunset. Generally I try to take photos when the light is the illuminating kind. The same goes for us, we can choose to emit a light that illuminates and enhances everything around us, or we can cast a harsh light that obscures beauty, color and detail.

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.