We cannot see our reflection in running water.
It is only in still water that we can see.
~ Taoist proverb
A Trip We’ve Taken A Million Times
Early in July, my Sweet Bear and I packed up our vehicle for the 600 kilometre road trip from Calgary to my home town, North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Our car was chock-a-block full, containing everything needed for our contribution to my mother’s birthday party: two homemade cakes, one poppy seed cake and one orange-almond cake (careful where you put them honey, they can’t be squished); an electric hand-mixer and a large stainless-steel bowl (to make whipped cream for the cakes); five strings of fairy lights (for a splash of magic); assorted plates, utensils, cutlery and fancy napkins; two small suitcases and one garment bag; two pillows and one yoga mat; one guitar and an entire sound system, which included two heavy and somewhat bulky microphone stands, two speakers, a very heavy amp, a sound mixer, a big box of cables and wires, and two microphones—all equipment required for the live entertainment (Sweet Bear and I were the live entertainment.)
“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature,
which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
Be Still and They Will Come
If one treads softly or sits quietly in the woods, it isn’t long before its inhabitants will come out to play. Some of our favourite woodland and wetland residents are rodents. My partner and I have a special fondness for these furry critters, and we take great delight in spotting even the smallest mouse.
“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”
~ R. Buckminster Fuller
Butterflies don’t know that, to us, they are flying metaphors—powerful symbols of transformation. They are blissfully unaware that they teach us life lessons, like the wisdom of letting go of the old to embrace something entirely new. Oblivious to the lessons we learn as we watch them morph from crawling, leaf-munching caterpillars into delicate-winged beauties sipping on the nectar of wildflowers, they just simply be themselves. They don’t try to become a butterfly; they don’t try to change. They just let it all unfold, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Don’t you just love that about butterflies?
Here are some of the butterflies we spotted this summer:
Above: Silver-bordered Fritillary on a bright yellow King Devil blossom at Bebo Grove in Fish Creek Provincial Park, Calgary.
“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”
~ e.e. cummings
A Delicious Thing
For me, perhaps the greatest joy of summer is to amble about a wildflower meadow or mosey down a narrow, winding path in the woods, looking for beauty in all of its diverse forms. Few things make me happier than getting lost in photographing summer wildflowers. It’s a delicious thing to lose myself in light, colour, shape, and bokeh. Time disappears. Oftentimes, I come away with a photograph I know I will like. But even if I don’t capture a single successful image, simply trying to always leaves me feeling high—because focusing on beauty, for any reason, is always a good thing.
Here are some shots of this year’s summer wildflowers: