Winter to Spring: A 12 Hour Transformation

As I opened the garage door yesterday morning, I was greeted by this view…


Yes, I know, it is beautiful!  But, it is not January, February or even March!  It is April and this garden fairy needs sunshine, blue sky and blooms!  After hugging the kiddos and sending them off to school, I quickly closed the garage door, hoping I was having a weather nightmare.  As I entered the dining room, this was my next view…


Yes, I know, it looks like a Winter wonderland.  I also agree that it is truly magical.  But, I need tulips and daffodils and ladybugs!  Since I decided that I must be sleep walking, I did exactly what a good garden fairy should…  I pulled out my super hero garden cape, strapped on my personal flame thrower and in about 12 hours…


My problem was solved!  Looks I can pull out the plow sticks along the driveway!


And, the pool will be open in just a few weeks!  Pool party! Who’s coming?!

Now it is time to celebrate!


Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself….Just Be You…







A Plethora of Poppies

I could use the term  Prolific  to describe the snow that keeps falling from the sky…in April… in Michigan.  But, I am sure my family and friends are becoming tired of my whining and ranting about Mother Nature and her feisty sense of humor.  A thought… maybe Jack Frost kidnapped Mother Nature and is holding her hostage, while his snow machine just keeps on churning!.  In any case, I am determined to not let the weather get the best of my sunny self!

Being the visual person that I am, I have decided that this photo is what I will think about until the weather improves.  This is my happy place!  Green…so much green.  And, look at those outstanding blooms!   When I feel the grumpies coming on, I will close my eyes and imagine myself under this tree, with the sun shining brightly, being surrounded by poppies.  If I am lucky, the Tin Man and Toto might even join me!

“Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” ~Wizard of Oz

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…



When Fashion & Nature Collide: April Edition

Here in Michigan, we are ready to pack up our winter coats and pull out our Spring wardrobe!  But, Mother Nature has not been on our side and does not seem to want to let go of Winter, just yet.  It looks like our temperature will reach the 50s this weekend, so it is time to pull out my sandals and put away my smartwool socks, for a few months.  I can hardly wait! Feeling confident and comfortable, in my clothing, always makes me feel extra fabulous! As I always say, JUST BE YOU!

Nature is a constant inspiration for not only my art and photography, but in my daily life. Nature is inspiring! Just walk outside…the smell of Spring…a bird’s love song…it doesn’t take much and my senses explode! Mother Nature’s inspiration is endless… we just need to slow down and take the time to notice.


On the third Wednesday of each month, we celebrate the beautiful collision between nature and fashion. Keep in mind, my focus will be to share a detailed background of my critter photography, featured in the current edition. I highly recommend you visit the other three posts, from The Arty Plantsman (botanical photography), LisMorePaper (Artist) and 3C Style (Fashion) to present you with “When Fashion & Nature Collide” in its entirety.

With that being said, I hope you enjoy the second edition of…

When Fashion and Nature Collide

April Edition

Critter Photography Features

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Damselfly – Damselflies are one of my favorite critters to capture in the garden.  They are truly fairies in disguise!

These beautiful insects are of the suborder of Zygoptera, in the order Odonata.  They are very similar to dragonflies, but are smaller in size. When at rest, most species fold their wings along their body.  Damselflies eat small, soft-bodied insects like aphids and mosquitoes. Bonus!  These stunning creatures are found on every continent except Antarctica.

Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, Photography of 3C Style by Marie-Claude Viola, Nature Photography by Roda


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Asian Lady Beetle – This small beetle  (coccinellidae) ranges from 0.8 to 18 mm in length and is commonly yellow, orange or red, with black spots on their wing covers.  This species is native to Asia, but became established in North America, in attempt to control the spread of aphids and scale insects. What a gardener’s friend!  These adorable little critters are welcome in my garden any day!

Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, Photography of 3C Style by Marie-Claude Viola, Nature Photography by Roda



White-Tailed Deer – These medium-sized deer (Odocoileus Virginianus) are native to the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America. The deer’s coat is grey-brown throughout the fall and winter and then turns reddish-brown, in the spring and summer.  This deer can be identified by the white underside of its tail.  The white- tail deer will raise its tail, signaling that a predator is near. The males regrow their antlers each year, beginning in the Spring.  They will then shed their antlers, once all females have been bred, between December and February.

The white-tailed deer lives in forests, but can easily adapt to life in a more open space.  They are almost entirely herbivores, but will eat small critters, if necessary.  We have a large white-tail deer population in our area.  This photo was taken from the upper deck of our home.  These beautiful creatures enjoy snacking on our gardens.  Even with protective fencing, they will scale a 6 foot fence, if hungry enough!


Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, Photography of 3C Style by Marie-Claude Viola, Nature Photography by Roda


For a look at the big picture of “When Fashion and Nature Collide”, don’t forget to visit the rest of the team:

Darren –
Dominique –
Lisa –


Mark your calendars! You won’t want to miss the 3rd Edition of “When Fashion and Nature Collide”, on May 16th.

“There is something magical about being nestled among a field of wildflowers or resting on a fern covered forest floor, waiting for gifts from Mother Nature. For me, it is not just about photography…it is about being one with magnificent creatures, up close and personal.”
~ Roda


Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

*For more nature inspired photography by Roda, visit…

©Growing Self & Nature’s Lens, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Growing Self & Nature’s Lens with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All photographs belong to Growing Self & Nature’s Lens.