Distracted By Mother Nature

Ooh, Shiny! – Photo Challenge

I must admit…I become easily distracted by a little sparkle from a dew drop or the sun glistening off  the wings of a dragonfly.  My passion for the tiny critters in nature has become a bit of an obsession.  I find myself outside, with the intention of completing a specific task.  Before I know it, I am hyper focused, with the camera in hand, on a bumble, tree frog or grasshopper.  The 10 minute task of collecting eggs can become an hour photo shoot with dancing wildflowers or an ornate spider web.  I am surrounded by such beauty…I can’t help but want to capture each and every moment!

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An Indigo Friend


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I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends…


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A New Home…
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Someone Has Been Eating My Pepper Plants!
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We All Bloom In Our Own Time…


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The Calm Before The Bloom…
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Lady in Red…
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Spread Kindness…
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Sweet Dreams…

“We often forget that we are nature.  Nature is not something separate from us.  So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature,we have lost our connection to ourselves.” ~Andy Goldsworthy

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…




Be Still

Yesterday, I spent some time in the garden, with my camera…waiting.  The butterflies are prolific in the gardens, but they are frisky fairies and never seem to stay put for long!  For the past few weeks, I have noticed a tiger swallowtail fluttering about, whenever I am outside.

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When I am at the barn, so is the tiger swallowtail.  When I am with the animals, so is the swallowtail.  When I am in the gardens, I definitely see this beautiful swallowtail.  Most would think that it is swallowtail season in Michigan, but I believe it is more than that.   This butterfly taunts me.  It reminds me of a toddler, unable to find words, trying to tell me something.

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What is your message?  What can I learn from this beautiful creature?

Yesterday, I decided to find a spot in the garden and just Be Still.  My dear friend appeared and thoroughly enjoy our photo shoot! (It took all of my energies not to switch the camera on auto focus!)

“Trust the wait.  Embrace the uncertainty. The possibilities are endless.”

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Today, Be Still.  If there is an answer you are looking for trust…be open…listen, for you never know what friend might flutter by, delivering a very important message.

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Nature is always willing to teach us something, if only we take a moment to just Be Still and listen…

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…


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Saving Bumbles and Taking Risks!

I have always loved bumbles!  In fact, I am passionate about anything that lands, crawls or lives on flowers.  Like I have said before, I become easily distracted by nature!  Over the past week, I have been given a bit of a personal challenge, from a friend, who is a very talented photographer.  The challenge…to turn off the auto mode on my camera.  Yikes! What?  (Ark, if you are reading this, I am sure you are cringing at the thought of using the auto mode feature!)  My immediate thoughts…  This means I might miss something!  You mean I have to trust myself and my eyes!?  But, I am always up for a challenge and love to learn.  Photography has always been a passion.  I am a hands-on learner, so reading the manual does not work for me.  I tend to be the type of person that asks a lot of questions and experiments on my own!


Yesterday, I spent some time, in the gardens, with my bumble friends.  I took a risk and turned the camera off auto mode.  Being half-way to 90, my eyes are not the greatest.  I was prepared to have dozens of blurry bumbles waiting for me!   I reminded myself that there will be more bees to photograph and approached this as a learning experience.   From that point on, I was on the hunt for chubby bumbles!  They were everywhere, buzzing from flower to flower, and I was buzzing along right beside them!

Bumble and Lavender
After about 30 minutes, I knew I had to head back inside.   I had mounds of zucchini to process, chimichurri sauce to continue making and freshly picked blackberries and boysenberries to freeze.    Once the images were downloaded to the computer, I was presently surprised at the results of my little experiment.   I did have to immediately stop myself from being hyper-critical and celebrate the fact that there were a few nice images.

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Butterfly Bush and Bumble
I can’t guarantee that I won’t shoot with auto mode ever again, but I will continue to learn about my equipment and practice trusting myself in manual mode. A great big thank you to my friend for giving me a little nudge…ok, shove… out of my comfort zone!   Practice makes perfect!

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Lavender and Bumble
When planting flowers and shrubs around your home, please always keep the bees in mind!  These tiny creature are so very important!  Think about it…bumbles humbly and diligently work each and every day, and for what?  Us!  All of their labors are for others.  With that thought in mind, next time you are purchasing plants at your local nursery, keep your BEE friends in mind!

Save the Bees by Planting These…

  • lavender
  • thyme
  • fennel
  • mint
  • rosemary
  • borage
  • hollyhock
  • crocus,
  • snowdrop
  • geranium
  • poppy
  • zinnia
  • sunflowers
  • clover
  • dandelion
  • echinacea
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Bumbles and Lavender

“Life depends on little things we take for granted…”

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…



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Bumble on a Birdhouse

July Garden Tour

I thought it was time for an update, considering the potager is flourishing! 

Indigo Acres: Potager in July

The cottage garden is in peak bloom!

We have been spending much time harvesting leaf lettuces and head lettuces. We love growing greens!  Pictured below are some of our favorites: mesclun blend, four seasons, romaine,black seeded simpson.

This time of year, we harvest a large amount of pea pods and kale, as well.

Pea Pods

We love zucchini!  What I should say is we love zucchini bread! We grow 4 different varieties.  One of my favorites is our “Zucchini Balls”!

Zucchini Balls
This is a side view of a few of our garden beds.  We grow most of our crops on black plastic.  This not only keeps weeds at a minimum, but heats the soil to appropriate temperatures, for veggies such as tomatoes and peppers.
Acorn and butternut squash grow well on black plastic.
Borage, nasturtium, dill, basil, thyme, parsley and chives are just a few of the herbs enjoying this July weather!
  Not only does our family enjoy watermelon, but it is a favorite among the chickens and ducks!
In March, we experimented growing tomatoes from seed, in the hoop house this year!  Looks like we will have some early tomatoes!

Who doesn’t love onions! We grow large red, white and yellow onions and well as green bunching onions and leeks.

Adding flowers throughout the potager becomes a wonderful food source for the bees!


This spring, a hard late frost was damaging to our apple, cherry, peach, asian pear, plum and apricot blossoms.  We were fortunate that our grapes and berries were spared.

We grow concord, reliance and himrod grapes.
Blackberries and Boysenberries will be ready soon!
Our first sunshine of the season…
When it is time to harvest, it is also time to re-seed.  Baby leaf lettuce is already sprouting for round three!

” To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow…”

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…