“What is now proved was once only imagined.” ― William Blake
“So rapid is the flight of dreams upon the wings of imagination.” ― Alexandre Dumas
“The earth laughs in flowers.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Nothing reminds us of an awakening more than rain.” ― Dejan Stojanovic
“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” -Victor Hugo
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” ― Albert Camus
So, here we are again. One chapter in the book of life ending, another beginning. I always look forward to a new year. Part of it is the unmitigated relief of having made it through the holidays without committing a felony; but also, there’s an unspoken promise of recommencement. The aura of renewal and the endless possibilities of what may come, beckon me like a moth to a flame.
It’s all illusion, of course. Logic dictates that there is no real difference between the end of one year, and the beginning of the next; no earth shattering kaboom; no sparkling fairy awaiting the stroke of midnight to sprinkle a handful of pixie dust on our heads, magically erasing twelve months of poor choices and lost opportunities. It’s just another day, like any other.
But to hope is to be human. A new year ushers in a sense of liberation and emancipation, and gives us permission to let go of our past and embrace the future. This is a concept I readily espouse. Although, I find that in order to completely move forward, I must first reflect.
It was a productive year, albeit exhausting. What did I do, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.
This year I:
- continued my foray into the mysterious world of geology, tried my hand at a little field work, and discovered I should leave it to the professionals.
- participated in April’s Camp NaNoWriMo and won, exceeding my 25K word goal by nearly 5K. Of course, I haven’t let a single word written during that month to see the light of day. I shuddered at the very thought.
- embraced a dairy-free diet. My stomach and I get along much better these days.
- spent the long Memorial weekend with the BFF and her family, exploring South Padre Island. There’s nothing quite so relaxing as a beautiful beach, good company, and jug of margaritas.
- discovered – and conquered – statistics. Did you know that sometimes in statistics, p’s and q’s wear hats? Crazy, yet oddly adorable.
- learned that I’m too old to frolic on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. It’s a task best left to the degenerate youth. I did, however, have a wonderful time celebrating the BFF’s milestone birthday in the city she loves.
- took a step toward tackling my fear of being eaten by a bear while camping. No, I didn’t go camping in bear infested woods. That’s just stupid. I did go hiking for the first time, though. And loved it. Maybe next time I will forego the hotel in town and stay in a cabin by the lake. Yeah, right.
While my writing was somewhat sporadic after Camp NaNoWriMo, I did take quite a few photos. In the spirit of the coming year, and in an effort to toast 2013, here are a few.
Happy New Year.
All of my spare writing minutes have been devoted to my Camp NaNo project, so the blog has suffered. However, I thought I would share this delicate beauty from my last trip to the Dallas Arboretum.
I think it’s an apt way to begin the weekend.
After a hair-raising week capped off by an unwelcome visit from old man winter, I think a little color is in order.
Another gorgeous weekend is so close I can almost reach out and touch it.
One of my favorite annual events at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is Dallas Blooms. For one month each spring, the gardens are transformed into a variable sea of color. Tulips and daffodils, narcissus and cherry blossoms burst forth in all their painted glory and put on a breathtaking show.
I love all the flowers, but this year the tulips stole the show.
Oh, and Happy Easter.
I have been sitting here all morning avoiding my WIP by sifting through some old photos I shot last spring.
I can’t wait for everything to bloom again.
Here are few of the more interesting ones.
The bee is blurry on this last one, but I think that is what makes it interesting to me.
I went to the Dallas Arboretum this weekend to see the Chihuly exhibit. Beyond the customary landscaping pansies and evergreens, I didn’t expect to see much in the way of colorful blooms. It is, after all, December. Not much grows this time of year – even in Texas. And, by and large, most of the interesting flowers and trees at the Arboretum have gone dormant for the winter. There were, however, a few exceptions: an azalea bush here and there; a hardy daisy or two; and these:
Just a few shots of a pink daisy I thought was rather pretty. Enjoy.
It was a hot and steamy weekend…
…okay. Just kidding.
I schlepped down into the city for the second weekend in a row. If you read last Sunday’s entry, you know that this is a rarity for me. I blame my friend, Bill. He went to the Dallas Arboretum a few days ago and posted some great pictures to his blog. I love the arboretum, and I am fascinated by the Chihuly exhibit that is currently on display though out the gardens. So, I decided to braved the 100+ degree temperatures on Saturday. I spent about three hours baking in the sun and taking lots of pictures. Here are a few of my favorites:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a red dragonfly before.
I don’t know the species, but this guy was very vocal and not at all happy to have me wondering around beneath his tree.
Chihuly. I love this exhibit and this piece, in particular. I’ve tried three times to photograph it. Unsuccessfully. This time was different. I experimented a lot more with my manual settings. I think it also helped that it was a virtual ghost town and I was able to take my time.
I almost didn’t share this one. I wanted to keep it all for myself. But then, it was my favorite of the day, so how could I not share?.
This squirrel was on to something.
I’d love to tell you that it was my mad photography skills that captured this bee in midflight, but that would be bare-face lie. I didn’t even know I caught this moment until I was sorting through the fruits of my labor.
What a nice surprise.
I live in the city. I’m pretty happy here in my concrete jungle surrounded by towering buildings, master plan housing developments, and jammed freeways. But every now and then it’s nice to leave it all behind and go exploring. My mother-in-law lives a couple of hours northwest of Dallas down a dusty farm to market road, in the middle of nowhere. On a recent visit, I brought along my camera.
Cactus in bloom.
Grasshoppers – a real problem for local farmers; cooperative subject matter for me.
I’ll be honest, the Black Widow spiders creeped me out, but not enough to keep me from trying to get just the right shot.
I’m still plugging away at my WIP, trying to keep up with the daily word count quota so that I can mark Camp NaNoWriMo off my list of to dos as a successfully completed challenge. Unfortunately, I’ve hit a bit of snag. You know, one of those minor speed bumps where you write an entire scene that is completely out of sync with your character’s profile, or you kidnapped a bad guy when you should have just killed him – now what the hell are you going to do with him – or the pulsating club scene has unfocused dialog that circles around but never quite hits the mark. What is it that Elliot is trying to get out of Gerhard? Do I even know? I think maybe I don’t.
I’m a little frustrated.
So I took some pictures.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
Why on earth would you take a black and white photograph of beautifully vibrant irises? Seems a bit pointless, I know.
Indulge me for a moment. I am practicing the art of avoidance.
Plus, it’s growing on me. I think it may even look a little bit…cool.