Thursday, October 31, 2013

Photo Art Friday . . . Embrace

"Our task, must be to free ourselves . . . 
by widening our circle of compassion to embrace
all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."
-Albert Einstein 

Bonnie gave us the word embrace as our challenge this month and oh the many
ways I could interpret this word . . . but I limited it to two photos.

When I hear the word embrace, my first thought . . . is life.
Wrapping your arms around it, taking it all in with your eyes, your whole being.

Life happens everyday all around us. This we know, yet we still miss so much of it.
And the older I get, well,  the more I want to know,
the more I want to see . . .  the more I want to find.

I want to notice everything . . . and embrace it all!

That's why I love my camera. Not just because it helps me to "see", 
but because it allows me to record these embraced moments.

One of my Queen butterflies embracing its new life.

This next photo I chose is one from a recent varsity football game. Before every game our players make
their way to the end of the field and they all take a knee and bow their heads. No matter how many times
I photograph a scene like this I'm drawn to it over and over again. This never gets old.

He was the last one to get up . . . he was completely embracing the moment.
And, so was I.

Take a moment to embrace all the other art work hung in Bonnie's art gallery here.

Embrace your day,
Love, Kim

Join me -----> here for my Friday Random Five

"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" . . .

. . . he's going to ask you for a glass of milk.

And well, if you take a girl to the sunrise,
she's probably going to want to spend some time at the beach.

We couldn't have ordered a more beautiful sunrise . . .

 But, while this was happening . . .

So was this . . . right behind and to the side of us!

It started to gradually creep around this way.

And then the wind picked up, all the while the sun is still putting on a show.

We quickly made our way up the stairs, I took one shot, and put my camera inside my shirt.
The sand was blowing everywhere, I even had it in my ears!

Yep, it was time for plan "B".

So if you take a girl to the sunrise, and she can't spend time on the beach,
she would love for you to take her to breakfast to ride out the storm . . . even though the storm won. 

1. My daughter had to contact a specialist for a paper she has to write . . . she called me!
Yes, she interviewed me on how to raise Monarchs, I felt important!

2. A lot of rain this week, it's cramping my photo taking. And while I have been known to go out with
my umbrella and my camera, the umbrella would not have helped in the sideways rain this week.

3.. I started a Facebook page last week - Clear Springs Chargers Football by Kim - for all the photos I take
at the football games, both my son's and the varsity. They just sit on my hard drive anyway, why not liberate and share them. Of course there are only two games left, and my son's game is looking really sketchy with
100% chance of rain and thunderstorms for today.

4. If our game does get cancelled, there will be some disappointed kids, because I will have to do some
tricks since I did not buy any treats! Please don't egg my house....

5. If you buy a new hard drive for your computer (much like if you give a mouse a cookie) because it sounds like it going to blow up or take off , your 10 year old printer will then decide it no longer wants to play nice. It now prints blue as pink . . . it's not pretty . . . Houston we have a problem! 

6. Well, I was already to publish this post this morning when I had to come back and add one more thing.
Ever have one of those Ah Ha moments that turned into a Carrie Underwood, "Oh No What Have You Done" moments. And I don't mean the drinking too much and getting married kind, but the realization
at midnight that you left the enclosure that you put the 4 1/2 inch Tersa Sphinx moth caterpillar in, open. Yep, I have a huge caterpillar roaming my house looking for leaf litter to pupate in...and although he may find
some dust bunnies, he is not going to find leaf litter or a pile of dirt to bury himself in. I was on my hands and knees until well after 1 am this morning looking for it with a flashlight trying to channel my inner caterpillar. Dang, I'm so sorry buddy!
*UPDATE: You'll never guess who I found crawling on my kitchen floor this morning,
heading towards the back door! My heart is happy, and I'm sure he is too!

Anyone have printer suggestions, reasonably priced is key here, that they really like?

* I also took the plunge and started a Facebook page for Picking Poppies which you can find here:, I would love to see you there!

Have a great weekend, and try to stay dry!
Love, Kim
My Photo Art Friday post is ----> here

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The trail opened back up . . .

"The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail.
Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for."
- Louis L'Amour

Just follow the light, to the beginning of the trail.

The early bird fisherman catches the fish, and a beautiful sunrise at the same time.

The beginning of the trail, where your husband energizes for the day's trailblazing.

It's been some time since I've been on this say it was flood control)...
I've missed the the light here.

And these trees . . . they remind me how small I am.

I found this ONE dragonfly, where I usually see dozens and dozens. The construction consisted of tearing down very old mature trees, marsh, bushes, homes for wildlife, the very spot the dragonflies would pose for me . . . they destroyed hundreds upon hundreds of feet of pines, oaks, the home of the King Fisher's, the place I usually could find fall color. They did this in the name of money for some rich dude who needed fill dirt, and they sucked the fun right out of my trail. I cried all the way back to my car.

Order up . . . bird + bokeh = lots of happy! 

This was still here. Do you remember the red iron bridge. . . they moved it over 100 feet but . . .  the bird feeder, AND my swing are missing!

But then, sigh, I found this on the other side of that wooden foot bridge. More beautiful light and bokeh.
The small bokeh in this image is original, and then I took a photo of more (just) bokeh and
added it on top the the flowers for more dreaminess.

And now for some random . . . 

1. This morning I made my coffee with our Keurig coffee maker . . . that was free.
My daughters friend won it at graduation and didn't want it and just gave it to her.
Well, she is not a coffee drinker and although you can make hot chocolate with it too, she decided
it wasn't something she wanted to take with her to college.

2. But . . . I made coffee in the Keurig with the adaptor that allows you to use your own coffee.
I did the math. . . An average 10 cup Keurig pack for about $12 costs 1.20 per cup.
My coffee, freshly ground as I need it, is $9.99/lb. and I can get about 37 cups of coffee in the one pound.
That makes the Keurig coffee cups 4.5 times more expensive.
And then for more fun I figured out that my coffee, drinking on average 2 cups per day would last me
3.7 times longer, costs me only $3.78/week vs $16.80/week. That means I could go to Starbuck's and order 2 specialty coffee's and still have money left over.

3. Remember the Tersa Sphinx caterpillars from last week, both of those big ones have made a little magic and pupated! Now we wait.

I put some soil in the bottom of the container with some leaf litter and shredded paper towels
and they made these cute little nests, for a lack of a better word.

This one I was able to lift with out disturbing it too much. As the time gets closer
(takes about 2-3 weeks) I will remove the paper towels and most of the dirt and put a stick
inside so that they have something to dry their wings on.

4. Today, I'm going to take the plunge and order all my supplies . . . for making wearable art jewelry using my photos. And then . . . get really busy sawing, cutting, hammering, riveting . . . yep it's gonna sound like
Santa's workshop around here.

5. I went to sleep last night and when I woke up it was morning! Well, what I mean is,
that I didn't wake up in between and slept all the way through. THAT doesn't happen very often, and I seriously can't remember the last time. I feel like a new person! 

TGIF a day early my friends, have a stellar weekend!
Love, Kim

linking with Little Things Thursday, Random Five, Friday Finds, Friday Photo Journal

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

If you kill a spider . . .

(KK traverse in overlay)

"Our egos tell us we're the only ones that have an kind of feelings. We're the only ones with a
relationship. We're the only ones with family. You know, I think that if you kill a spider, there is a
relationship that you're ruining. There's a conversation going on outside with the other spiders. 
'Did you hear about Chris?....Killed yeah....Sneaker. And now Stephanie has nine hundred babies
to raise all alone. Well, she's got her legs full I'll tell you that right now. Chris was so kind, wouldn't
hurt a fly. It's just been tough for them lately. They just lost their web last week. Those humans think
they're so smart. Let them try shooting silk out of their butt and see what they can make.'"

You know, I never know for sure what I'm going to share with you here, and especially lately.
Not because I'm not out with my camera, but because I AM out with my camera.

I am so behind in sharing some of my happenings and things I find, that when I go to my hard drive
it is so overwhelming. I'm still trying to catch up editing ALL these images as it seems I take them faster
that I can edit.

I might have an obsession....

It could be worse, right . . I could be charging my card at a department store rather than on my camera, at the nursery, the sunrise, the beach, my garden . . . 

(You are welcome honey)

Gosh, I sure hope he is keeping track and that my points are adding up.

Anyway, I was looking for a quote and came across this one that had me laughing out loud,
and well, I sure do have me some spidy web photos.

I can only imagine the things they are saying about me and my spray bottle!

Have yourself a wonderful day!
Love, Kim

Friday, October 18, 2013

This happened . . .

"Don't cry because it's over.
Smile because it happened."

- Dr. Suess

Well, it's a little bittersweet.
I think the time has come . . . it's getting to be late in the season.
I think this was probably my last butterfly to emerge.
This is my almost 30 something Black Swallowtail, a female, a tiny one at that.

1. You can tell the male from the female when the wings are open. The male has
more yellow spots and the female just has more blue in general.

2. Random act of kindness . . . after having lunch with the hubby I was driving home
and spied this coral vine growing along the fence across from where I turn. I had
my camera with me, so I pulled over to get some shots and I hear this voice.
"Ma'am, that's my house and vine and you are more than welcome to take
some cuttings with you." Oh yes, I will be going back with my sissors, thank you!!

3. My find this week . . . ah more caterpillars . . . but not just any caterpillars, Tersa Sphinx
Moth caterpillars. The ones that turn into a Tersa Sphinx Hummingbird (or hawk) moths. They
are often mistaken for hummingbirds as they can hover just like them. They have been coming
to my purple trailing lantana at dusk as they are nocturnal. I decided to try my hand at raising these
guys . . . flying by the seat of my pants on this one, wish me luck (well, or them)!

4. Last nights game 42-8!
Yep, that's my boy #22 with some serious vertical and hang time. He had a really great game (they all did), considering he was just playing two weeks ago with taped wrists because of a break through in his arthritis. My photog buddy David let me borrow his 70-200mm f2.8 lens last night . . . that was a treat. Usually when I get to borrow his lens(s) it's for varsity, so it was fun getting to use it for my boys game.

 I was lucky to get some shots of him with his tackles . . . it seems he is always on the opposite side of the field when there is a big play. OR, the ref gets in my way, how rude! Someone needs to have a serious
talk with these guys, LOL!

5. Hard to believe I haven't been to the sunrise in months. They have been doing some construction, in fact my birding trail has been closed all summer. It was only supposed to be closed for like 6 weeks? So this is a new spot, and I kinda like it! Oh but when the time changes, it's gonna be real early for a while!

So this is my week in randomness. I missed my normal posting yesterday because of random item #1. The
chrysalis had turned black so I knew it would eclose but they are so hard to figure out when. So I brought the dill plant is was on upstairs with me and set it down on my desk and kept glancing back and forth. But then I heard "the sound" of the chrysalis trying to open. So I grabbed my camera and the plant and tried
to get down the stairs and outside in time . . . I almost missed it. The poor butterfly, it was so windy she was
having a hard time holding on to the plant. She had an easier time holding my finger. Let's just say I got really sidetracked and it got late and then it was the game . . . 

I hope you all had a great week of randomness too!

Love, Kim

linking with Friday Finds, Random Five, Little Things Thursday, Friday Photo Journal 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A little surpirse . . .

"Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love,
joy and celebration. Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world
and inspire us to open our hearts to loves ones and friends. Like a hummingbird,
we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has 
to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird's delicate grace reminds
us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that
laughter is life's sweetest creation."

{Kim Klassen warm sun}

Sometimes life throws in those little surprises . . . ya know? 

I've been trying to capture the hummingbirds at my feeder and haven't been having much all!

But then one morning as I was sitting and waiting to capture a butterfly in flight coming to the milkweed,
I had an unexpected visitor. I was able to get off two shots before he was spooked by the shutter sound of the camera.

Friends, today I'm posting over at Focusing on Life and would be thrilled for you to join me over there. Have you ever felt your gear/equipment was less than adequate to do what you want it to do? Well, come on over because I'm comparing two of my lenses that range from $150-$450 with that of two lenses I was able to borrow that range from $2,400-$6,000 . . . you just might be surprised at what you can do with what you have.

You can find that post by clicking here.

Enjoy your day!

Love, Kim

linking with Texture Tuesday, Tuesdays Around the World, Tuesday Muse


Thursday, October 10, 2013

A festival of fairies . . .

. . . where you enter with a magical spirit
and leave your "grown up" at home.

"Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on top of the disheveled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame."
~ William Butler Yeats

When I visited my mom this summer we stumbled upon a magical place
where all you needed was an unlimited imagination and an open heart.
I found proof that unicorns do exist . . . 

that fairies take naps . . . 

. . . and sometimes float instead of fly

And, if I were a fairy and had wings, I hoped they would look like this . . .

perhaps I might be spotted wearing this . . . I would be called Fairy Godmother of the Garden,
or Forest Fairy . . . maybe Mother Earth Fairy.

I found no age limit for being a fairy . . . it is about a spirit {and a little spunk}.

there was even a Fairy Statue . . . {yes the bird is quite real}

. . . and the steam punk Fairy Time Keeper

I wasn't quite sure if she was supposed to be a fairy, but regardless she was the coolest cat there. 

And then, there she was . . . the cutest little Monarch Fairy there ever was!
If you were going to be home for Halloween, that is exactly what I would be!

But when no one was looking and everything was still I caught a glimpse of the smallest and most elusive of all, the Flower Fairy.

"The fairies went from the world, dear,
Because men's hearts grew cold:
And only the eyes of children see
What is hidden from the old..."

-Kathleen Foyle

It seems the older we get the more we forget how to trust our hearts and to be open to the unexplainable.
And just because you haven't seen something . . . well, it doesn't mean it's not there.

1. Speaking of fairies one of my favorite movies this summer was "Epic" where M.K. a teenage girl goes home to visit her dad who has been for many years trying to prove that there is a hidden world in the forest. In a turn of events she finds herself {shrunk} and is recruited by the nature spirit Queen Tara to help The Leafmen {who ride hummingbirds} save their existence from the evil warriors led by Mandrake.

2. I'm afraid the Monarch activity has come to a huge halt here. I still have maybe 10 chrysalid's left to emerge, but I'm not seeing them come back during the day. It will be very strange not to have them around since I've been raising them since March.....for a grand total released back to nature of almost 300!

3. A cold front came through last weekend, of course not in time to still have to stand on the sidelines taking photos of the varsity football game in 100 degrees! It was brutal. We have only been in the mid 80's during the day and around 70 at night.

4. My boy is doing pretty well, although he did have a breakthrough in his arthritis last week with pain and swelling and stiffness in his wrists. Apparently when you have systemic JRA and you get a common cold it's not uncommon for that to happen. If by mid November to mid December his blood test continue to come back with normal inflammation markers he may get to stop his infusions all together!

5. Just one more sleep and my baby girl is coming home for the weekend, WhOo HoO!! She has been really doing a lot of research on our ancestry and is pretty sure she found someone who came over on the Mayflower! I'm sure there will be some baking involved while she is here - she makes the best cakes!

Hope your weekend is magical
"Spread your wings and let the fairy in you fly" - unkown
Love, Kim

Linking with Little Things Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things
Random Five Friday, Photo Art Journal

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Do you believe?

"Spread your wings and let the fairy in you fly!"

- Author Unkown

Well, I completely ran myself out of time to prepare a proper post for today, so you get a teaser
of what's to come. Do you believe in fairies? What about unicorns?

Until then,

Happy Tuesday....Kim xo

Thursday, October 3, 2013

From my garden . . .

"No occupation is so delightful to me
as the culture of the earth, and no
culture comparable to that of the garden."

-Thomas Jefferson

It's been quite the busy week in my garden....

Both Monarchs and Queen butterflies emerged, in my dining room, although I think it now counts as an 
extension of my garden. This is one of the Queen's, not a Monarch, but a close relative. Their color
is much deeper and more brown in color. I was having trouble photographing this little lady on my plectranthus, so I clipped some of my pink penta and put it in a bottle. That's when I discovered something.

This little egg . . . I knew right away what kind of caterpillar this would be as when we first moved in
to our house, they completely devoured my pentas. Only then, I didn't realize what kind of caterpillar it was.

And, it hatched the next day. Just Check out that horn on his back's harmless. This my friends is going to be a tersa sphinx moth. And I am going to try my best at keeping track of this little fella and hope he doesn't fall prey to something. After I noticed the egg, I went back to take a look at the plants and see if I could find more. Nope, nada, but I did find evidence that there had been some small caterpillars from the small chewed holes in the leaves. But so many lizards and assasin bugs...not sure what has a chance!

*(Update: I did this post last night, and upon checking this!
Can I hear a collective....AWWWWW! It was on my front porch because I read somewhere
NOT to bring it in the AC, so I left it outside against my better judgement.
I. Am. So. Disappointed!)

And then one afternoon after a good little rain fell, the sun came back out, and the butterflies were back out looking for food. This is a Grey Hairstreak Butterfly enjoying the milkweed . . . 

And let me tell you it has been an incredible week of close encounters. Not only did he let me get super close for a mug shot, but....he let me pick him up!

See....I have proof.

And then, he even let me put him back without flying away. It seems he must have more than one life, notice the little chunk out of his wings at the back? They were designed to still be able to fly with bits and pieces missing from their wings.

And as I was knelt down trying to see if there were any caterpillars under the milkweed leaves, this little guy pops out from the bush and comes over, curious they are. 

And it always delights me when my butterflies come home again!

And how excited am I that they finally found the feeder. But boy are they tricky to get on fast!

This week is our monthly Photo Art Friday over at Pixel Dust Photo Art. The optional theme is sky. It's always the first of the month, and it sorta snuck up me this time and I didn't leave myself enough time to play with this theme since I remembered just last night. I used her textures Painting Maker, Muted Monet,
Van gogh Sky, and last a Kim Klassen texture I forgot to write down.

In other news:

1. I can't find's still in the 90's and humid. One should not sweat at a football game.

2. You remember my pink highlights? The hummingbirds quite fancy them...I was sitting on my front 
porch earlier in the week and with my camera to my eye focusing on the butterfly right in front of me
drying its wings, I hear a hummer come over and at first I think he is wanting a drink from the plectranthus
that the butterfly is on...then I hear the sound of his wings right in my ear and feel a hurricane of wind on the top of my head. I'm pretty sure he was attracted to my pink hair.

3. If that wasn't exciting enough...the next day when he came back he came right up to me at eye level about fifteen inches away and just hovered....we had a moment! And just this morning, he was back again doing the same thing!

4. The last of my Queen butterflies are about to emerge...I need to get off this computer!
Even though I've seen it hundreds of times, it just never get old.

5. Oh, and speaking of close encounters I almost forgot. A giant and beautiful dragonfly just came over and
landed on my big toe one morning while I was outside standing there. I kid you not, and I can't believe I didn't have my cell phone to capture it.

Have a fabulous weekend y'all

Love, Kim

Random Five Friday, Photo Art Journal

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Photo-heart connection, September

Sometimes love comes from the most unexpected places

Sometimes love shows up right in front of us but we do not see it

Sometimes we just need to take it by the hand


Then sometimes we need to give it back through the plate of offering

Because I do believe the universe seeks to spread this passion

And if we tried a little harder and paid more attention

The world just might blossom into a garden of love

Guess what, today I'm over at Focusing on life where I'm sharing a little story about
what I learned from a fisherman. I would love, love, love if you came over (red rover)
to visit me there!

Love Kim, xo

Sharing with Texture Tuesday, Tuesday Muse, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Photo-heart Connection
Tuesdays Around the World

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...