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Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Trees


I had the idea...


that the moon in the mist...


made the perfect decoration
for these christmas trees


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Solstice Blessings

And so, the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere has passed...  an indrawn breath... a pause... and the year exhales, continuing it's journey around the wheel... the sacred circle...

The morning looked miserable & cloudy so no chance of seeing the moon rise... I sent out my wish that it would be lovely to catch a glimpse, but thinking there was really no chance I wasn't really looking. All of a sudden the moon was there through the trees... a tiny gap in the cloud! I whispered my thanks....


This crescent moon is waning towards the darkness... following the circle of birth and life and death and rebirth.... riding the clouds towards dark moon... a time of introspection and re-assessment, before readying to re-emerge....


The point of moon-rise is moving closer to the point of sun-rise, almost converging..... and just as the winter solstice signifies emerging from the darkness, the clouds dispersed.... rapidly... as the solstice dawn reached out, pushing away all traces of lingering darkness...


I welcomed the golden light into my being as the sun threw tantalizing beams to bounce off the remaining clouds.... light flooding the sky.... I feel so thankful for this sight... for being here, now... feeling the energies in the woods as i waited, swaying to the rhythm of an invisible drum...


Crows made their way  across the wood behind me, and a wren scolded just yards from my feet. A lone magpie seemed to bounce along the tree tops..... (i think you'll like the next pic, rose!).... magpies long tail can be a bit unwieldy at times & he took a moment to find his balance... the centre-point that we too must find to keep our balance in this world.... magpie... black and white... light and dark, night and day... or so he seems...


A fitting message on solstice morn... for magpies feathers have an iridescence, an extra sheen... transcending mere black and white... as this sunrise is about more than night and day...


A spectacular sky as the sun breaks past the horizon... i give thanks for the sun that shines on us all... and i wonder which horizons i can break past too....

Wishing you all the best, whether your year is turning towards light or dark.... may you have a wonderful journey wherever it takes you xx




Sharing with Skywatch

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

An interview & Giveaway

Oh, how neglectful i have been towards friends in the blogosphere. How swiftly time slips by! I hope everyone is well.... i may have been out of sight, but you definitely have not been out of mind. I've just felt a bit 'computered-up'!

I heard myself telling someone I hadn't spoken to for ages that "I haven't really been doing much" and realised that it wasn't strictly true. In terms of quantifiable output.... no.... but I have read an awful lot.... i've scribbled notes by hand rather than sat at the computer... my etsy shop has had a few sales, but i've found myself drawn in.... getting involved with etsy teams, fiddling with descriptions & listings and stuff like that... and i have been interviewed by the lovely Carrie at CherryBlossomTattoo blog.

There is also chance to win yourself a Christmas prezzie.... part of the fun of the interview is a give-away.... a photograph from my etsy shop. The only snag is it ends tomorrow (Thursday). I promised myself i'd get a post written straight away to tell you all, but.... hmmm, no viable excuses really, sorry about that.


I've often looked at photographs by other people that have been obviously 'photoshopped' with textures & layers applied.... i've always thought that it was a bit beyond me, at least without a great deal of time & effort to work it out (& actually having photoshop would be a help too, lol). But I came across this~ pixlr-o-matic~ which gives free photo effects totally for free! Its sooooo easy & has plenty of wonderful vintage, retro, sparkly etc etc effects.... i cant remember whether there was 2 or 3 layers of texture on the crow above. The main page for pixlr is here... there is free photo-editing software there aswell as the effects.



As you can see, i've been playing a fair bit trying things out!

Yesterday's moon was a lovely waning crescent.... too rainy this morning, but i'm hoping it isn't too thin a sliver to catch tomorrow on the Winter Solstice morn, and of course it depends on the clouds first thing.


Something else i've been playing with is creating effects in camera. I'm loving using long exposures & altering the focal length as i shoot to create surreal, dreamy scenes. I've got loads of these, but haven't got them into the shop yet... it's on my list!!


I've been journeying a bit in those dreamworlds, melting into the trees & flying with crow, so perhaps that is why these appeal to me.... so many layers & shadows.... so many thoughts that seem to hang on the periphery of my mind, one minute so clear, another i'm left wondering what it was i was so clear about....

Perhaps as the year turns and the days begin to draw out, i will be ready to return & write 'out loud' again.... i feel the time is coming. It's funny, there are a couple of others that i have been closer to in the blog world, who also have been silent of late...

Any way.... If you have time & are so inclined do pop over to see carrie's blog. She promotes other etsy sellers with such enthusiasm and her own photography is lovely. Don't forget to leave a comment if you want to enter the draw to win a photo, here, but be quick!

With love... suzi xx

Friday, 15 July 2011

Rainbow Over The Transporter


The Transporter Bridge over the River Tees at Middlesbrough is quite an iconic feature of the landscape around here... opened in 1911, it is one of only three still in existence in Britain.


Sunlight through storm clouds always makes me smile... and as thunder rumbled we were treated to not just one rainbow, but two....


The bridge is there in the middle, but i had to lighten things up to actually see it... the skies were so dark!








Steel sentinels ignore the storm to deliver the constant transfusion of life-blood required to keep the wheels of industry turning.... electricity crackling from the sky & through their arms....




Information about the Transporter Bridge is here and here

go visit!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Reflections


This was taken at the end of May, when we were near Doncaster, South Yorkshire... it's part of the community woodland that was Brodsworth Colliery (closed in 1990). We stayed nearby 4 years ago for a while & this time it was a re-connection.

 Looks really peaceful doesn't it? It is. However, just behind those trees is the motorway & traffic noise is constant.  I walked a path with only a few hawthorns between me & the road & wondered what the trees thought of the noise... the answer seemed to come straight back "what noise, we don't hear it".

I found as I wandered round, that it did cease to exist as i enjoyed the landscape around me... But for the trees, it isn't a case of shutting it out or getting used to it... i really don't think they are aware of it at all... it's beyond their frequency range. They're operating at a much higher level, and perhaps for me the sound disappeared as i walked in a state of semi-meditation.


See those steps by the weir on the left? I sat there one early morning chanting 'Awen' over & over... starting off slowly... consciously... breathing inspiration out to the water & trees, breathing it in from them... but after a while the chant took on a life of it's own and speeded up... became undulating... it had the resonance of another language and I was transported to another place, another time. It was cold & snowy, I was wearing furs, moving between tent like structures covered with skins... like the reflections on the lake it was slightly hazy, real & unreal at the same time...


Same picture, rotated... how many different images do you see from this angle? Patterns, portals, creatures, faces... they were all there before, but changing perspective... like changing consciousness brings unseen things into view. They're all part of our landscape, whether in front of our eyes or in our minds... or elsewhere... How close we look & how deep we go is up to us... by changing the way we look, shifting focus, we can go beyond the surface reflections...


And there further along the bank... a heart... reminding me to follow my heart and look deeper. A heart that is completed by taking notice of what is above & below... our world & otherworlds... real and unreal...









Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Bright Lights

No view of the lunar eclipse for me.... heavy rain & cloudy skies an hour before moon-rise & the prospects were bleak! But there was a break in the clouds as the sun set & i was hopeful... however, the brightness in the west did not spread to the east where the moon would have appeared over the hills, and as the night wore on, the cloud thickened.


We are on Teesside at the moment in the north east of England, staying near Billingham, on farmland  once owned by the chemical giant ICI. Instead of the glow of a moon in earth's shadow I watched the lights begin to appear on Tees Dock and the burning flares of various treatment plants around me.


Even without seeing, i was aware of the eclipse energy... an energy that can brings things to the surface out of the shadows, that can show things in a different light... a time for renewal & seeing different perspectives. Looking at the burning flares, I thought of energy transforming... of lunar eclipse energy... filtering down around the world...  transforming hearts and minds... breathing compassion & peace into hardened hearts & narrow minds...


I never saw these flames form the shape of a heart at the moment i clicked the shutter... not until i looked through to choose photos for this post. How wonderful is that? Energy transforming before my eyes, a symbol of compassion amongst the industry... funny where hearts turn up, eh? Clytie find them all over & has a weekly link-up at Random Hearts, if you want to see some more.


... and of course, I couldn't leave you without a picture of the moon from another night! I've just printed this one up for myself on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag. It's the first time i've tried this paper & i'm so impressed... it shows up every shade of dark blue & black with rich velvety textures, and the light is so vivid... i love it! This is one of my favourites that i've ever taken at the moment (available for sale here), now i've just got to remember where i saw a perfect frame for it! 

For more skies around the world visit

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Sycamore Flowers & Seeds

It was back in April when I watched the sycamore buds break out into leaf. We've moved a couple of times since then, so i haven't been able to follow the progress of any particular flowers...


The variation between trees along the same row can be huge, with some trees in flower before others have barely opened their leaves. Flowers & seeds develop at different rates across the sycamore community, spreading the risk of hitting adverse conditions that could hit fertilisation or the spread of seeds.... increasing the chance that some of them will mature under optimum conditions. Thus the species as a whole has a greater chance of new growth & continuity.


We humans develop at vastly different rates too... for some everything clicks into place early on, for others it is much later in life... whenever.... it is the right time for each individual, just as it is right for each tree. Our inbuilt urges to travel, settle, have families, create, pursue ambitions, give it all up, explore spirituality etc etc cover years & generations of human life. Depending on conditions around us & our own make up, some are more successful in certain areas than others... but it is that diversity that allows our species as a whole more chance of growing & continuing.


By the end of april all the sycamores were full of pendulous flowers... masses of them... some will produce seeds, some will be blown adrift, but they all play their part. Just as we are filled with a mass of flowering potentials within us... some come to fruition, some are cast aside.... all play their part in giving us opportunities to develop.

male sycamore flowers

Some sycamore trees produce only male flowers, some only female... and some produce both male & female flowers that grow side by side within one flower spike. The sycamore will retain the same sexuality throughout its life & this is the case for many other tree species, but some, the ash for example are known to change their orientation.

female sycamore flowers

It's quite easy to accept that this is just how things are... for trees... but some have tremendous difficulty accepting that this can be the case for humans too.  Everything that we are is seen in nature.... 

male & female flowers together

Perhaps our attitudes, both as individuals and collectively, are like the flowers on a tree... some seem to flourish for a while... then wither... or don't withstand the wind of change that blows through them... or simply give way to allow other, healthier ones to survive...


Perhaps as we approach the Solstice, it is a good time to assess our own attitudes... to examine them & decide whether any should be cast away... to allow the the celestial winds to blow through our minds & refresh us... to ask that healthy attitudes & practices enrich our lives.... as the year turns & moves into the next half of its cycle & breathes life into the seeds of potential within us...


Festival of the Trees

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Treats...

A couple of new blogs...at least relatively new; I've been meaning to post these links for a little while now! Both are a treat, so please pop over & give these ladies some deserved encouragement. Not that either are dipping their toes tentatively into the blogosphere... they've dived in, and the ripples are spreading across the ethers! I could enthuse about both in different ways, but the best thing is to just look for yourselves....


Suzy

Sarah


Monday, 30 May 2011

The Goddess Particle

A flash of green catches my eye as I wander in a shadowy wood... A shaft of light cutting through branches, illuminating fresh young elm leaves and paper-thin seeds... bright chips of stained glass folding discs of sunlight into translucent brilliance.... invoking a sense of awe and reverence in this woodland cathedral.

My eyes wander... gazing at the light through the seeds, constantly drawn to different parts of the tree, marvelling at the beauty, entranced by the stillness of the wood... captivated by the energy of this sacred alter.... words & phrases weave themselves into my consciousness... this seed.... i am the seed... breathes life... birth of future... conceive own birth... dark places... radiance... growing in my own womb... grow from the past... i am the strands of all matter.... 



For some reason i think of scientists searching for the 'god particle' and grin, thinking perhaps they should be looking for the goddess particle. 

        ***********************************************************************

Well, this is a first... the first recording of my voice since i was a kid, on the first slideshow i've made... and open to the public... with no edits, mainly cos i haven't worked out how yet! When i took the photos i couldn't decide which to use & thought 'hmmm, a slideshow would be good'. I was writing the last Festival of the Trees at the time, so thought i might get it done for the next one. I'd had so many thoughts whilst sitting in the wood and was mulling over the idea of how to incorporate them when, surprise, surprise this months submission asked "to observe our own engagement with trees, and record it—with video, audio, slideshow, or any other creative composition we can dream up"


Plenty of time, huh! Except i started working full time & haven't been at home on my own, then we moved again & friday was the first time i've sat down & thought about it. My plan was just to see if i could do a recording & how to add it to the slideshow... then do it again 'properly'.... but... to do it how i'd like it is going to take much longer & i'm actually quite pleased with the first draft, just the fact that I did it! So... if you have landed here hoping for some polished poetry & crack-shot editing... err...tough luck!!

I scribbled stuff down when i got home and added more as i looked back through the photographs later. And i do scribble... i write in all directions on a page, fitting in a thought following from another, not necessarily crossing out the line or phrase i've abandoned for something else, crossing out but then adding a tick to show i changed my mind back again.... i'm sure you know what i mean.... so, this morning i looked at the pages & sighed at how much re-writing, re-ordering & refining it needed & thought "i'll just see how much time this lot runs out at...."

And so... i can hear myself desperately scanning alternative choices to finish a line... i can hear my brain clicking over which bit should follow which in places... i've emphasised bits quite differently to how i meant.... and one word in particular screams at me to be changed... but, you know what? I'm leaving it just as it is.  If i don't tell you which bit, what word etc you probably won't realise... and everyone, including myself, can have an opinion on what to change or what to keep, but this piece is what it is... a one-shot that i'm happy with for what it is... when i have another go, it will be a different piece of work.
And this seed will grow into something else i'm sure.

It turned out that that was the easy part... actually getting the bloomin' thing uploaded took me 2 days to work out! whether it was me or dodgy internet i don't know, but i managed to post a blank box instead of a slideshow more than once! So i gave up trying to post direct to blogger & went to youtube instead... All part of the learning curve, eh?


Brenda has a lovely blog over at "Rubies in Crystal"  & she is hosting the June edition of Festival of the Trees. Thanks Brenda for giving me the incentive to get this thing started!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Hawthorne... the white & the red

Well, we have wandered down to South Yorkshire with our caravan as Steve is working near Doncaster.  Just outside our window are some gorgeous red hawthorn trees.


I've only ever seen the odd one here & there before, but this is a row of fairly young trees. The hawthorn is related to the rose, and these flowers do look like clusters of mini roses.


Gorgeous aren't they? Quite different from the wild hawthorn that I have usually seen, and i think these are much more 'rose-like' than the red flowers i have seen before.


Across the world there are many varieties but in the UK there is mainly the 'Common Hawthorn' & the 'Midland Hawthorn'.


 I have noticed some variations of the white flowers & leaves in some places... especially in hedges or areas that have been re-planted. It is the Midland Hawthorn that has the variety of colours, but they will cross-fertilize & many hybrids occur.





The leaves of the Midland are glossier & not so deeply indented as those of the Common Hawthorn. This is the main difference stated in many online resources, but i have also read that the Midland has a double head to the stamen, whilst the Common has a single one. (Any input gratefully received!)



Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Morning Silence


I love this...



Can you hear it?

 I really think you should pop over & read the rest of what Matthew has to say



Then, sit a while in silence while you visit
and contemplate the flow of life-giving water 
through the veins of the Earth...



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