Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Favorite Images of 2021

Happy New Year! I am so glad to be looking at 2021 in my rear-view mirror, and I know I’m not the only one. For so many reasons, it was a tough slog. But, as my first complete year living in the majestic state of Oregon, it was also a year to discover beauty outdoors that I’d never seen before. I have compiled 12 of my favorite photos into a calendar of the past. I hope you enjoy it!

My heartfelt thanks goes out to Tina for being our challenge leader this week. Do visit HER POST to see her favorite shots of the year and to read instructions on joining the challenge. I am in awe of the core team of Lens Artists – Tina, Amy, Ann-Christine, and Patti – and delighted to hear that the team will be expanded this year to include three new host bloggers: Sofia, Anne, and John.
I wish all of you the joy of finding beauty in your lives every day as you look upon this marvelous world and the hope of being a blessing every day for someone in return. Make it a great year!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Focus on the Details

I want to thank the Lens-Artists team – Patti, Amy, Tina, and Ann-Christine – for giving me the opportunity to host last week’s challenge. I thoroughly enjoyed Getting to Know (those of) You who participated and learning so much about things, places, people, and cultures that I never knew before.

This week, Patti is challenging us to Focus on the Details. A few days ago, I went out to wander in the sunshine down at the creek just down the hill. On the way, I found a wild iris.

In a few moments, I noticed another detail about this flower.

Down by the creek, sipping water from the rocks, I found several little butterflies with bright lilac wings. When they landed, they folded their wings together, hiding the bright color. They were no bigger than my thumbnail. When I look at my photo, I also notice that their antennae are striped. Nature’s details never cease to amaze me!

On my way back up the driveway, I stopped to look closely at the treetops. In this case, the top of this Douglas fir was only about four feet off the ground. It may grow to be 250 feet tall one day, with a diameter of 5-6 feet, if it’s allowed to stand for a couple of hundred years.

Details and complexity in Nature and in Life are often overwhelming and incomprehensible. When I slow down to fully appreciate them, I feel humbled and awestruck. I marvel that we are all composed of the same material, the star stuff that fills the galaxies. What a privilege to look, to open our eyes and our hearts to the fine craft of our planet and to see ourselves there, too.

“Look deep into nature, and then
you will understand everything better.”
Albert Einstein