I had the pleasure of helping a friend lead a retreat over the week-end. It was at a beautiful camp in Oregon, Illinois -- in a setting that was too gorgeous to do justice with photographs. (But, as you can see, I gave it a try anyway!) Thirty women got together for time with God, pampering, labyrinth walking, laughing and marveling at the beauty of God's creation during this colorful season. Here's a few photographic highlights: This little praying mantis flew right past us and landed on this slender stalk. He even seemed to pose for me!
There were flocks of Cedar Waxwings gorging themselves on these yummy red berries.
I think this is an eagle. And look at the gorgeous color in the trees!
For a long time, I have tried to lure hummingbirds into our yard, with no success. I've seen a few dart around the neighborhood on a few occasions, but have never been successful in feeding them. BUT apparently my lowly, unappreciated morning glories attracted them, because I saw one a few weeks ago feeding on the fragile blossoms. Excitedly, I put out my hummingbird feeder which, until now, had only attracted ants and bees. To my great excitement, the hummers started showing up on a regular basis. And finally this morning I had some time to wait patiently with my camera for them to appear. They did not disappoint, and were flitting around me and even posing for pictures! I can't tell you how excited I was! But I can show you!
Since today was Sunday, Don and I decided to call it "Funday" and spent the afternoon just having fun. We drove west, to the Fox River in Geneva and found a lovely park with a Japanese garden. Here are some of the pictures we took. Don took this one of me, and I like it!
The next two I did some Photoshop experimenting a la Kim Klassen and her latest Beyond Layers assignment. It gives the flowers a toned down, vintage feel. I usually love pop and contrast, but these were fun to try.
I think this gate one is my favorite. It was a gorgeous day to be out!
I liked this pagoda (?) and the way the water reflected the brightness of it.
Afterwards we stopped for root beer floats at A&W (in the frosty mugs - yum!) and then finished the day off with some deep dish pizza.
So how was your week-end? Did you get to do anything FUN?
Usually I reserve my blog space for talking about artful, creative things that have been going on. Today I want to shift a bit and talk about another of my passions (which has also become a vocation). Reading has always been a passion of mine -- books are companions and authors become friends. Even more so now that I am working as a Children's Librarian at our local library.One part of the job that I have been loving is reading some of the best in children's literature. Madeleine L'Engle once said "You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children." I'm finding that some of the best books I've read all year are the ones written for children. For example, last week I finished the Newbery winning book by Sharon Creech entitled Walk Two Moons. It is a sensitive, beautiful story, with wonderful themes throughout. If you've never read it, it could be your next favorite read!
I don't want to forget to recommend my daughter's blog: With Nothing but an Open Mind . . . She just turned 21, is a senior in college, and is posting daily about her journey, her thoughts and her growing edges. I'm impressed about the depth of her insights (and that's not just because I'm her mom!) Anyway, check it out for some daily food-for-thought, inspirational pictures and a new perspective!
It has been an exciting time, and so I haven't blogged in a long time. The biggest, brightest news is that last night my daughter's boyfriend proposed! We have a wedding to plan! Exciting stuff! Here's the artsy engagement picture we took this afternoon:
I also finished a couple of bookmarks I was working on for gifts for friends. I really like the "P", but the "J" seems way too busy. It's a lot of fun working with the gold leaf. And now I guess I need to continue to practice because I may be working on wedding invitations. :-) I'll keep you posted!