Sunday, December 30, 2012

Little Pleasures Still Ringing My Bell

DECORATING HOMES for the holidays has a way of spilling out into the streets and, in this case, parks and beaches. On a recent walk in Crescent Beach I spotted ornaments swaying prettily in the breeze.

Someone thought to string these few simple treasures on tree branches.

I appreciated the helping hands of a passerby who offered to lift the wings on this ornamental butterfly so I could take its picture. Her friendly gesture put us both in good spirits.

I am guessing that the wildlife in the area will intuitively know these dangling delights are not edible. The earth is my home and the wonders I find there are still ringing my bell ... and I hope yours too on this eve of 2013.

Happy New Year everyone!

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, December 24, 2012

May Love & Joy Come To Every Home

MAY GATEWAYS of the heart open to new adventures and the best possible health be granted to all throughout the holidays and in the coming year.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

The Secret World Of Puddles

DIPS IN THE ROAD and potholes make wonderful puddles where I wander. These random cavities filled with rainwater are usually shallow and fun to jump into if you are very young or a kid at heart.

A puddle can be touched by the sun and reflect its surroundings or be murky and unfathomable.

An inch of water or a deep well … it is sometimes difficult to tell.

The face of a puddle can ripple like a circus mirror or be as placid as a sheltered pond in the forest. Images within puddles are illusions that look similar to the outside world but are a little more fluid and enchanting.

A puddle can vanish the way a dream does upon waking ... taking cities, country lanes, skies and trees right along with it when we are not watching.

I took these photos at Crescent Beach where there are often lots of puddles and reflections to explore.

Although pockets of water are common world over after a steady downpour, it should be noted that this South Surrey community is situated where both Boundary Bay and Mud Bay flow. The ground elevation ranges from 0 to 3 meters above sea level. The area is surrounded by a dyke system should those puddles get too extreme. Most recently the high groundwater levels were addressed with a drainage pump located at Blackie Spit Park.

See more mirrored sights from around the globe at Weekend Reflections.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, December 3, 2012

Safe Harbors In The Bleakest Of Weather

THE WARMEST place in Canada as winter approaches is generally southwest BC. It is also a time when rain seems to pour down endlessly from the skies. When there is a break in the dampness an icy chill can set in. Hands wrapped in mittens now hold umbrellas. Frost nips at the edges of coastal life.

Boats are tucked into safe harbors. Only a few adventurers will go out when the waters get choppy.

Parks empty as visitors drop off one by one like leaves from the branches of trees. Avid walkers step more briskly past vacant benches.

Strutting birds will huddle with other birds no longer warmed just by their own feathers. Everything sheds ... everything falls into a messy muddle. The thorny, frail and brittle land in a heap of dust at our feet.

To me autumn is the most striking and profound of seasons. The yearly cleansing of clutter opens windows and makes horizons visible again.

And although things will likely get worse before they get better, have we not all heard summer ring with bright expectations like a faint bell around the corner of every winter?

Perhaps snow will fall as it has more frequently these past winters. But it will not be crisp or white for long. Soon it will mix with showers. Snowmen will droop. Toboggans will get stuck in brown muddy puddles. But the imagination will flourish ... particularly for people who are nourished by the rain.

Creativity is a year-round harbor that was taken indoors this weekend at the Ocean Park Hall in South Surrey.

The Semiahmoo Potters were showing their wares as they do each December. Earthy colors were on display. The work was nature inspired.

There were many ornaments from which to choose. I came away with a single word that speaks to me and I hope to you, too, even in the bleakest of weather.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Why All The Glitter In Our World

COBWEBS DANGLING on branches and dripping with moisture came to life during my walk in Crescent Beach recently.

When rays from the sun pierced through the morning mist dewdrops brightened suddenly like diamonds.

But when I came home and saw the pictures that I took ...

the images looked pale in comparison and I wondered why I had been so charmed by the real thing earlier.

As the world turns so does the turmoil in it. Amid the chaos a bit of sparkle can feel like an unexpected gift and suggest something wonderful can happen despite our problems.

They say imitation is a form of flattery. We honour these manifestations of nature by trying to duplicate them, whether by sewing sequins onto dresses or dabbing glitter on festive dolls or greeting cards. I like to put glitter on my handcrafted Penelope cards.

I saw lots of glitz on the Christmas ornaments displayed at a store I visited later. The decorations reminded me of the Crescent Beach scenes.

Why are so many of us drawn to sequins and glass baubles? Are we on a quest to grasp an ethereal spark or is something else going on? In search of clues I stumbled on interesting genetic explanations in an essay by Casey.

We bring faux snow into the comforts of home ... glad not to feel the genuine cold in our staged wonderlands. This is the season when city streets also overflow with shimmering objects.

I think most people in the "wet coast" find themselves thrust into a dream world of glitter during the lit-up holidays. It is as cheering as the sun breaking through the veil of fog that lingers in coastal BC from autumn to winter.

As elating as such sights can be perception is no doubt the key to how profoundly we experience these moments and how faint a spark is needed to light up the imagination. Perhaps it is the way Anais Nin described when she said: "We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are."

Although I have always liked the mysterious gray, for a time the twinkling elements of nature, both real and artificial, conspired to carry me away like a fairytale princess from the gloom of the day.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Illusive Rainbows That Don't Get Caught

IMAGINE A PERFECTLY FORMED ARCHWAY over the water in translucent colors sparkling like fairy dust. The sweetest rainbow I have ever seen at Crescent Beach glowed over the horizon putting on a show that lasted only a few minutes. It was a compelling gate to another dimension and I wished I could fly right through it. But instead of enjoying the moment I was crushed by the realization that I had rushed out the door without a camera in my pocket.

My attempts to duplicate the rainbow with an art's program and add it to the picture I took of the same area the next day produced mediocre results. I lamented this missed opportunity to grasp the original with a photograph.

Doesn't something similar happen to everyone? Sometimes something precious slips through our fingers that is far more significant and painfully felt than a pretty act of nature that doesn't get captured but is locked in our thoughts. We work through it with art, words, tears and anger sometimes until we come to accept that something was lost. There will never be a rainbow quite like the one that got away but others will get caught.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rainbows In A Storm

HEALTH IS A CORNERSTONE of contentment that we take for granted until it wanes on our journey through life. When pieces of us seem broken and simple tasks are a chore it is not easy to keep up spirits and it is natural to be sad, angry and fearful. Yet it is when we feel the most defeated that trust in bright outcomes and even miracles can occur.

Through my blogging friend Carol’s site, I became aware of a special woman struggling with cancer and a concept called Leaves For Leontien. This creative way of sending a goodwill message with a photograph inspired me to think about Leontien and her blog as well as the friends and loved ones who are near and also yearn for their health to be restored.

In some circles the umbrella represents protection and life. The umbrella pictured with fallen leaves is my wish and a prayer that those in need find refuge and like rainbows in a storm an arch of healing and care.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Heritage Tree Designated In Ocean Park

WE WERE CUTTING CAKE not trees in the Ocean Park community last Saturday in honor of a tree that stands tall in leafy splendor in front of an 87-year-old heritage home. It is an epic ode to nature along a quiet street.

The Common Horse Chestnut, thought to have been planted by local pioneer John Horner who built the historic shingle clad house in its shadow, was recently designated a heritage tree and celebrations were planned.

The magnificence of the tree is not easily captured with a camera. While a multitude of branches reach skyward like outstretched arms ...

inedible chestnuts fall to the ground in autumn and leave slippery conundrums for walkers passing by. Although best not planted by the sides of roads for this reason, the hardy tree is often seen lining streets in towns and cities throughout the world.

At a time when more trees are on the chopping block, it is reassuring to see some that are preserved and treasured. A gathering place for birds, an umbrella for shade in summer and a whistler of tunes when breezes blow, this tree holds a special place in the hearts of many in the neighborhood.

Isn't one special tree rooted in many childhood memories? I still remember fondly a towering Redwood with giant branches I loved to climb as a girl. It provided hours of fun and let me escape into fantasy realms. The tree helped my imagination grow and challenged me to see how high I could go.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ray Of Hope In An Open Field

AN ABUNDANCE of construction is happening around my neighborhood where old homes and trees have been brought down to make way for the new. I noticed this flower on a large soon-to-be-developed property. It seemed to pop up out of nowhere like a burst of sunshine.

It injected a ray of hope into the open field and into my morning. It is somehow comforting to see that despite devastating events sleepy seeds are quietly stirring and full of potential to suddenly sprout and grow.

To explore natural wonders from around the world visit Nature Notes.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms