Monday, January 23, 2012

Speaking of Snow

Anna's Hummingbird, enduring the cold
Just after my last post, we had a large ice storm which, sadly, split many large trees down their centers, causing power failures throughout our town.  We spent just about 5 days without heat, telephone, or internet. The first two days were rosy and quiet.  We read books, played cards, and snuggled together on the couch.  After that, the romance wore off and I started to feel cold and isolated.  I took a long walk into town to see if maybe the library would be open, or maybe a coffee house where I could check my e-mail.  But no.  Even the post office was black, and the best thing I got from my hike was exercise.  I thought about my ancestors, who bore the cold and dark for the whole of late fall, winter, and early spring.  Who never had hot water on tap. Who never had conveniences like a washer and dryer. Whose babies often died from exposure, illness, or hunger. I looked at my soft, easy life, and felt humbled and appreciative.  Appreciative for my ancestors' hardiness, and appreciative for the conveniences that I take for granted.  I'm glad that we had the storm, even though I'm sad that we lost two trees in our yard.  It was a good reminder to me that I have been pampered and fortunate, even when I am feeling sorry for myself.

Snowy Owl, by Barry Troutman
I am including in this post, two spectacular photographs that were taken by a dear friend and photographic advisor, Barry Troutman.  Barry has a special affinity for wildlife (and especially bird) photography.  We have had the good fortune to experience an unusual influx of Snowy Owls in our region, and Barry went off to "see what his camera could see."  When he found the owls, he was dismayed to see that they were quite litterally being mobbed by photographers, who were hoping to get a close shot.  Barry, not wanting to participate in stressing the birds, chose a remote location where he could simply sit and watch the birds, and maybe get a far away shot as a souvenier.  Not long after he got settled, one of the birds was disturbed from its perch and took flight, traveling right towards Barry.  He said he just lifted the camera and started shooting; getting some fabulous captures of the owl in flight.  Just look at those huge wings and talons.  Amazing!
Snowy Owl, by Barry Troutman

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow is Nature's Lightbox

We've had an inordinate amount of snow here the past few days.  In usual years, we'll get a couple of inches of the white stuff one day and it's gone the next.  Last night we got 14 inches of new snow, on top of the several inches that had accumulated from the previous day.  It's a winter wonderland and I'm loving it!  I sat out in my front yard this morning, bundled up, watching the finches have drama over the feeders.  I'm learning how to use a different camera so instead of my trusty, I pulled out the new one; there's only one way to get good at something different, right?  Upon reviewing the photos, I realized that I should have increased my shutter speed; this would have provided me with a more crisp image and also more "still" shots of wingbeats.  Nevertheless, I'm happy with the creamy complexion that the lightbox of snow created for me.

High drama

One seed at a time creates nourishment.
Listen Softly
Male American Goldfinch

A couple of days ago I went up to Seattle to listen to a seminar called "Sacred Economics" led by Charles Eisenstein.  I confess that I was somewhat disappointed in the talk.  The topic of discussion (I think) was how to approach the business of money in a way that is different from today's convention: that's what got me excited about going to see him in the first place.  But Mr. Eisenstein said some things that didn't resonate with me, and the talk itself was unstructured and contained a lot of tangents that made it difficult for me to follow his thoughts all the way through.  I'm still glad that I went, though, because by hearing other's opinions I am better able to solidify my own.  That's the beauty of diversity isn't it?  We need to understand others in order to understand ourselves.
Female American Goldfinch

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy January!

Welcome, 2012, I wasn't sure I was ready for you.  Apparently, though, my readiness matters not; here we are anyhow! 

We are home from Montatna, and had a lovely visit.  I did get to snowshoe back into the land where I had seen the moose on horse, and I DID get to see the moose again, closer this time.  Sadly, I didn't get any good photos. There were lots of reasons why I didn't, but essentially it boils down to not wanting to disturb the moose too much (and be accidentally charged upon in the process).  Needless to say, a quiet snowshoe in the woods with another moose sighting was a magical experience.

Now I find myself in a quiet place; between the chaos of the holiday shipping/creating rush and the next cycle of sales.  I have taken this time to rest, actually.  But now I find that it's time to clean up the studio and get my finances in order.  Tonight I am excited to go see a seminar called, "Sacred Economics," which is being led by Charles Eisenstein.  I'm interested in what he has to say because I feel that my business model does not fit neatly into the conventional mold, and truth be told, I don't want it to.  Mr. Eisenstein asserts that an economic model that encourages community, conservation, quality of life and love is a more sustainable model than the one that is currently promoted.  I believe that with all my heart; the question is: how to implement it and still make a living?  How can I bring this into my personal and professional financial life?  I can't wait to find out!  I will report back with what I learn.