It’s Too Hot for this Chickadee

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Is the entire world melting or is it just Texaa? Don’t get me wrong. It’s a nice change of pace to be able to blame my perpetual sweaty glow on on the weather instead of my standard hormonal beatdown. Some refer to this female physiological anarchy as “The Change” but if you use those words in my presence, you will visibly see me throw up in my mouth a little. Seriously people. Blegh!

Stop. Calling. It. That.

Let’s all agree that it shall henceforth be known as “Advanced Creaky Hoo-hah Syndrome” and be done with all other terms (scientific, irritating, or otherwise). Okay?

As a quick side note for my fellow birdnerds, adding a birdbath to your yard is a sure way to attract more feathered critters. I should also mention that if it continues to get hotter and hotter, it is quite likely that you will see me splashing around in your new aquatic feature as well. You have been warned.

ūüėČ Jo

birdbath - chickadee2 - IG

Life in the Spectrum – Nature Photography vs. Travel Anxiety

***Originally posted on lifeinthespectrum.com.

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It’s no secret that I don’t do well when I have to travel solo.¬†Despite my issues, my company is located out of state, so solo travel lands on my calendar multiple times a year. In order to redirect my nervous energy this past week, I opted for a series of random after workday adventures. A couple of those days included the coolest of activities. Happy hour? Chillin’ with my team at the bars? Dancing the night away?

snowy egret seafood - IG with logoOooooh nooooo. Think cooler. Much much cooler. That’s right.

Nature. Photography.

Aaaaaah yes. Haters gonna hate, but I couldn’t stop the unmitigated badassness that came with lugging around a lens so ridiculous that it made my forearms ache to hold it. As an added bonus, I was able to respond to inquiries from curious passersby who repeatedly asked, “Do you get incredible photos with that camera?” with my sly response of “It’s a hit and miss given that my limited camera knowledge is derived from the patient people at Canon customer support and Google.”

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I told you. Mad. Skills. My anxiety faded away as my native nerdiness returned to the forefront. But it made me happy, and it did calm me down. I send heartfelt thank yous to the many California locals who suggested several beautiful places for capturing lovely nature shots and to those who pointed me in the right direction once I arrived.

seal in la jolla - IGKindness is so very powerful. We often don’t realize that the people around us are struggling deeply, and the smallest of benevolent gestures can mean more than we could ever know.

As is the norm, I actually had a wonderful week. Despite a few questionable moments (to be discussed later), I survived relatively unscathed. And now I’m home once more. Back to Texas. Back to my people.

Back to me.

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Big hugs to you all!  Jo

*My instagram ID is @texasbirdnerd for any other nature photo nerds. Find me so I can see your pics, too. Those always make me smile.¬† ūüôā

acorn woodpeckers - IG

***I would love to know what you do to take down the stress level when you are feeling overwhelmed. Feel free to tag your relevant posts in the comments, but keep in mind that this is a family show. Please keep it G / PG rated. Sorry, but I don’t need to read any of your PG-13 and above ideas.¬† ūüėČ

And on the 8th Day, God Created Tall Boots

And this is why those tall boots are so important…

 

My daughter and I shot this little video during our nature walk yesterday (watch the tree trunk). ¬†It’s interesting at a distance, but we maintain a firm rule on the distant location requirement.

Save your nonvenomous speeches.  That may be true in this case (and it looks like an eastern coachwhip so it probably is harmless to everything but our sanity), but we have multiple venomous varieties as well.

One last little personal note to my new tree-climbing pal the snake – What the heck dude??? ¬†Couldn’t you have just stayed on the ground like every other snake that still managed to creep us out without scaling large stationary objects that we also like to scale? ¬†Why show off those mad climbing skillz? ¬†You have made trees terrifying for me. ¬†Trees dammit! ¬†You know – those overgrown plants that made me so very happy up until the exact moment you came along! ¬†Now every time a branch grazes my arm in the woods, I am going to react like I’m the star in a dorky live reenactment of the tomb scene from¬†Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Thanksssss.  Jo

Breaking Free

butterfly4aYou wouldn’t think much to look at it. ¬†And of course that assumes that you would have even noticed it in the first place. ¬†Many people would walk right by and yet it would remain unseen. ¬†They don’t recognize the magic. ¬†The wonder. ¬†The amazing. ¬†It’s all within view if they can simply look a little harder.

I feel this way sometimes.  I am invisible.  Hidden in the roles I play.  Camouflaged in a daily routine.  Surrounded by a beautiful facade.  At times I want to fault others for their failure to see what I have to offer, but then the realization slams into me.

The others aren’t the ones who are missing it. ¬†I am.

I am the one who can’t see who I truly am, and I am the one who can’t recognize what I have to offer.

butterfly3aHow often do we degrade our perceptions of ourselves based on where we are in the moment?  We criticize our physical appearances.  We curse our life circumstances.  We replay our sad choices and moments of humanity in our minds and declare ourselves unworthy or unlovable.  We twist reality to meet our misconceptions and insecurities.  We assume that the world sees us this way as well.

But that doesn’t make any of those judgements true.

It is human nature to seek validation from every external source we can find.  The irony is that the wonder and mystery of our lives is not what happens on the outside.  It is without question that the experiences and individuals outside of our physical and spiritual selves are there to be enjoyed, loved, and appreciated.  They complement our human experience and allow us to grow on countless levels.  We develop with these external elements, but the true miracle that is embedded inside us was there long before they came along.

Something deep and beautiful and mysterious lies dormant within us.  It waits to break free of all that we create to keep it locked away.  We must push past our fears if we are to know our true beauty and purpose.  We are so much more than we allow others and ourselves to see.  Wake up.  Reveal your beauty to the world.  And break free!butterfly1a

Love to all of the beautiful miracles out there!  Joanna

Dormant

***pic 1 – monarch chrysalis hanging on a lemon plant on our patio
***pic 2 – monarch caterpillar having a nap before chewing up more milkweed
***pic 3 – monarch butterfly that had just emerged from another chrysalis on our patio this morning

Stop Aiming for Normal

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This is a swallowtail caterpillar nibbling on parsley on our patio. There’s a smaller one to the upper left in the pic, too.

I’m not normal. ¬†I know this. ¬†Apparently it’s all the rage though because I constantly hear people saying how they just want to be normal.

While we are on the subject, would someone mind clarifying for me exactly what that means please. ¬†Also I would like detail regarding why so many people are dead set on achieving the whole being “normal” distinction. ¬†If possible, please provide specific examples of the actual normal people in the world so I can have a template to emulate. ¬†I don’t think that I’ve personally met any of these normal individuals just yet, but maybe I can’t recognize it since I’ve never fit the mold. ¬†On that note, do they sell that mold on Amazon, and if so, it is available with prime delivery?

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This was not a normal caterpillar.  He took a nap and then grew wings and started to fly.

Stop aiming for normal. ¬†No one is normal. That’s not a thing.¬† And even if it was, why would you want to achieve thay anyway? ¬† Spread your wings. ¬†You are different, unusual, and unique for a reason. ¬†Own it!

Love and light and epic abnormality!  Joanna

Unusual

The WP Challenge word I referenced above is unusual. The writers and photographers I share with you here each display this element in their own beautiful, unique, and magical ways. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.

https://mavimet.com/
https://magickmermaid.wordpress.com/
https://horseaddict.net/
https://outanabout.com/
https://roseelaineblog.wordpress.com/

Fuzzy Around the Edges – Pixel Pix

I’m typically speaking about myself when I use the phrase fuzzy around the edges but not this time. While I have a wonderful eye for quality photo opps, my actual talent at executing said shots could be put on level with that of the Blair Witch Project. ¬†Probably less.

Although I am photographically challenged, I’ve playing around with the camera on my new(ish) Google Pixel XL phone to see if it can overcome my human limitations. ¬†I have been rather wowed with the results and wanted to share for any other shakey-handed Sallies out there who might be in the market for a phone in the near future.

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I am intrigued with the mixed levels of focus in this shot.  The only areas in focus are the ones that were actually moving.  This spinner was turning wildly when I took the picture.

 

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The front was rolling in very quickly, and it was almost totally dark.

I took this picture while looking up at the branch that was 20+ feet above me. ¬†I was standing in its shadow, and the sun was shining from behind it (because getting the sun to shine from beneath the branch seemed to be definitive no as the sun doesn’t work like that). ¬†The camera still picked up the detail of the bark.

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It’s a lovely shot (if I may say so myself), but the truly impressive detail is that it was taken from a car window while bumping down a little highway at 70 miles per hour.

This week’s photo challenge is to show your favorite in-focus and out-of-focus moments. Click below for instructions on how to share your awesomeness with your fellow WordPeeps.
Focus

***MoJo***

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