Tag Archives: Beach

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Today

Today ~ June 10, 2012

June 10, 2012 5:55AM Lake Superior
…at last, sunrise on the beach

June 10, 2012
…Sunrise and the grass held crystal dewdrops… all is well once more.

It has been far too long since I have “allowed” myself this luxury… It feels as though I have been missing in action in my own life. Getting up early to get to work, not going to the beach. Coming home from work too tired, not going to the beach. Chasing fires…
Except when I am visually exploring, curious, sharing I feel as if I am living in scarcity, not doing what I love, in order to do what everyone seems to say I need to do in order to pay the bills… go to town, to an indoor job, security. I am so happy and grateful for two days off, just seeing the wonder I live in, shooting, seeing, shooting more… butterflies, snakes, blooming things, sky, sun, dew… and I feel feel so rich, so satisfied.

I watched a movie late last night, it was called “Happy thank you more please”. At first it seemed silly, too young… and then there was the scene in which the title became clear.
It’s a fun movie and with a perfect message for today.

So, I am expressing my gratitude to you and the universe in this way:
Happy!
Thank You!
More Please!
More Happy, more gratitude given and received, more please ~ Thank you. 🙂

Namaste ~ StarBear
Copyright 2012 Betsy Lewis

Happy Easter – New Old Eggs…

Lake Superior's Easter Eggs on Ice


In 2011, Easter and Earth Day dates fell close together. This year is different, and the snow is gone early. This is another one of my favorite photos – from the beach and the gifts it brings. If you are new to my blog, you may have missed this gem… 🙂
Happy Easter, Passover, Spring or ??? to all the Good Eggs who read this.

This is a re-post from 24 April 2011
Earth Day was Friday, so was Good Friday. I spent the afternoon hours from 12-3:00 at the Church of the Beach, following my Christian upbringing. As I walked the beach and picked up trash, Jesus’ words from the cross ran through my mind… “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do…”
Everyone makes a difference – the balloons of someone’s celebration, ribbons still attached, litter the beach, along with indestructible Frito Lay Tortilla chip bags, assorted beer and pop cans, disposable diapers, toilet paper and even the cardboard tp rolls. This is a spring fling thing – as snow melts, mysteries are revealed. It is a mystery that people these days are still not responsible for their own junk. Earth is not a garbage can, it is a home we all share.

So I celebrated Earth Day by embracing the Earth and Thanking Mother Earth for the beauty I live in and cleaning up a little bit. Every day is Earth Day – for me anyway.
Luce County, where I live has no recycling available except for paper, which is collected by the girl scouts. To recycle, we have to drive our plastic, metal, cardboard, 100 miles to Sault Saint Marie, in Chippewa County. Not very Earth friendly, or pocket friendly these days. It’s kinda like living in a third world nation here, with snow.
Some of us have been trying to get recycling here for 5 years… everybody says they want it, nobody wants to pay the millage.

At the Library, where I am now working, one co-worker takes all the recycling home, then eventually gets it to the Soo. I have been saving my recycling all winter. Did you know that you could crunch up 6 one-gallon plastic milk jugs, roll them up and fit them into one plastic coffee can? Glass jars take up a lot of space, so I break them, carefully. Then put them into a plastic coffee can, put some rocks in with them, and shake the daylights out of them ~ My free version of that new exercise device. I can get a lot of glass into a coffee can that way. The newer round bottom cans are a pain. Can’t cut the bottoms off anymore. When will packagers wake up? There is room for improvement – attention to Earth friendly packaging has not been noticed by Campbell’s Soup and other big businesses yet…

Most commercial eggs come in styrofoam containers – non-recyclable. Brown eggs come in cardboard – YAY!

So, Happy Earth Day! Rest assured, this is not a complaint about where I live. Merely an observation and a call to action…
Lake Superior’s ancient Easter Bunny always gives new eggs, well chilled, stored on and under ice and snow. These eggs are billions of years old and solid evidence life goes on, recycling. My beach studio is intact and spring cleaning is underway. …and on the third day, a resurrection, peace and joy. Today I get to go for a sunrise service at the Church of Peace at the Beach and the Lake will sing it’s songs of Joy with a Hallelujah Chorus over rolling waves… It’s my version of a Holy Roller Easter… LOL!
May your Easter, Earth Day celebration be wonderful, however you clelebrate. Just hang on to your balloons and your beer cans, please. 🙂
Namaste – Star Bear

Postcards from My Dream ~ Dark Storms and Rainbows

There are days with bright sunshine. They are lovely, warm, and comfortable. Then there are the days of Lake Superior’s Superior Storms.
Saturday (10/15/2011) was one of those days with multiple warnings: shoreline erosion, high wind, and hazardous weather – a perfect day for the beach!

Super Superior Storm

The Beach Studio was not a safe bet, with trees falling right and left. Not wanting to be trapped in the woods on a two-track, alone with no chain saw to cut my way out, I ventured to a “safe” beach on a safe road, and WOW! I’m so glad I did.
In a period of 2 hours, I was able to shoot a Super Superior Storm including sunshine, monster waves, and was even blessed with a rainbow!
West winds howling at 60mph, I leaned with my back to the wind, booted feet planted firmly, listening for the sound of cracking trees while finding the sound of the rhythm of the waves in order to move out of the way quickly. Yes! I love these storms and am not afraid to embrace them. The energy is incredible and I become incredulously one with the storm. At the same time, protecting lenses and camera from the blowing sand and spray, unable to even shoot into the wind… Yes! Exhilarating! Yes, rewarding! Yes!

Risky? Maybe, and yet caution to the wind while knowing the boundaries, standing on the edge, aware of the logs and trees being tossed about like toothpicks, retreat plan in place. Yes! Changing light settings every other minute as the sun and clouds played tag with light and dark, becoming a human tripod in the wind, capturing sand blowing, a lone brave or foolish seagull struggling in flight, the spray on the waves, reflections on wet sand, dramatic skies. 250+ images. Fast. Did they all come out? Of course not. Some are incredible. Some are dramatic. Some are beautiful. Some are incredibly, beautifully dramatic. Just like Lake Superior when Mother Nature offers fury on the wind.

Dark Sky with Superior Rainbow ~ Lake Superior

These are dark images from a dark day. To brighten them would totally change the mood, the feeling, the heaviness of the clouds. A storm that washed the beach clean of stones, covered them with sand… a storm full of magnificent energy.

May you always be able to dance in the wind and rain of your storms ’til the rainbow appears!

Namaste ~ StarBear

Celebrating Life ~ Sharing Joy

The day was September 18th, a Sunday evening, after time making new friends, re-meeting neighbors and friends, attending a 2-day event, sharing a meal with friends, simple pleasures in life. All of that on the heels of a visit from my favorite (and only) son, and numerous other wonderful house guests over recent weeks, working at  a job I love… and visitors to my studios…

Joy stick... in the studio

Sometimes there is more Joy in my life than I can contain and sometimes I just cannot contain myself. Sometimes it just bursts out in song, or dance or making something.
This day, and after the past 3 weeks, it was just too much to contain… so I gave it to the Lake, the Wind, the Sky. The Wind, the Sky, the Lake, the Light, and the camera all conspired to support sharing my Joy.

Joy~filled Light

Sometimes words don’t work for me. Making things works for me ~ so I offer you Joy and Gratitude for the simple joys in life.

Joyful Breeze

Namaste ~ Starbear

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Entrance (2)

Entrance to Expansion

Each time I reach this place, my heart beats faster, my spirit soars. This is the entrance to my “beach studio.” When I am here, I am fully here, excited, alive, feeling the breeze, hearing the breath of the lake, smelling the freshness of life, expanding my view… and always surprised by new beauty created by nature. I feel blessed. I am home, I am free, I am safe, I am loved and I feel the love of life, God, the Universe and everything and everyone in it, surrounding me, holding me as life flows around me, through me, in me…
Welcome to the entrance of my studio. We can sing, dance, make things, discover, explore, celebrate, give thanks, pray, learn, love… kinda like in church, eh? Thank you for visiting “my” beach studio. 🙂

I wonder what beauty we’ll find today?

May your day be filled with beautiful loving surprises and expanding views…
Namaste ~ StarBear

Related Posts:
Little Entrance

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Entrance

Mysterious Entrance - Entranced

Enter the world of nature’s mystery. Free sdmission for all… The only requirement is imagination, an open heart, laughter and your own light. A marvelous journey awaits you!
May your day be filled with mystery and entrancing opportunities…
Namaste ~ StarBear

Related Posts:
Entrance to the Woods

Weekly Photo Challenge – Mountains

Basalt Rocks

These basalt stones are common along the Lake Superior shore in Luce County and are found large and small.
While the abundance of the basalt rocks is annoying to some agate hunters who dismiss them as too abundant, I find the variety of blacks and the smooth shapes quite beautiful. They are wonderful to hold in your hand, smooth and warm. Here, they often wash up on the beach with these little holes in them and many call them “holey stones”, others call them “omers”.
What has all of this to do with mountains? We have no visible mountains nearby, and this lava rock is from a mountain exploding somewhere. I have collected mountains of these.
They are also quite useful in saunas as hot rocks, for massages as warm rocks placed on the body, and for alleviating aches and pains. They have mountains of good energy and uses. There is more, stories for another day, perhaps… There are some beautiful Native American stories about them and how they came to be.
Meanwhile, you can learn more at these links:
The geology of Basalt
Omers at Wikipedia

May your day be filled with natural blessings and good energy!

Namaste ~ StarBear

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refreshing

Refreshing ~ Lake Superior

Water
refreshing
fresh water sparkling
Lake Superior
~ 10% of the world’s fresh water

Learn more at Lake Superior Day: July 17, 2011

Namaste ~ Star Bear from the Sparkling Shore

Between Days

Today is a “between” day… the day between Father’s Day and Summer Solstice. I am grateful for having had my dad in my life for the first 19 years. He encouraged my art, my persistence, my patience, my curiosity. He taught me to be outgoing, fun, friendly. He laughed with us, played with us. He took me to beaches and horse barns and events. I loved him dearly. I know he is always watching, helping, loving and supporting me, even though he left this physical life long ago.

Tomorrow is Summer Solstice. That, too is a special day, marking time on nature’s clock… I am taking tomorrow off from my “job” to do my real work. To go to the studio… to dance, to live, to celebrate life! And I will not be alone…

This post is from last summer and it speaks for me still:

About the Labyrinth ~ and how I work.
Many questions are asked about the artwork I produce and how I work. Taking time to answer a few, let’s use the Labyrinth as a starting point.

First, someone asked,
How did you find so many stones to match in color, shape and size?
The short answer: Keep my eyes open, go where there are a lot of stones.
The long answer: I think of the beach near my home as Creator’s art supply store, full of wonderous materials for making art and finding beauty. With 31 MILES of wilderness beach at my feet, it is rich and abundant, filled with colors and shapes. Lake Superior’s beaches offer some of the most colorful stones on the planet. The inventory rotates with storms and wave actions, thus it changes regularly. Often, I think of the beach as “my studio,” a wide open space, full of creativity and a place to “play” with ideas.

Where do your ideas come from?
Short answer: Creator, being inspired by a word, a group, or an experience. Ideas flow easily when I am in touch with Joy.
Long answer: The week I created the Labyrinth, I had set aside time to celebrate the completion of Denise Linn’s 28 week Soul Coaching course. There were 700+ participants from all over the world. When I want to fully connect spiritually, I go to the “beach studio,” where the energy flows freely from all directions of the universe. It is where I meditate and express gratitude for all that I am blessed with. As part of this day’s celebration, I knew that Denise was in California, offering a celebration ceremony for the entire group, and we had been told of the date and time. It was during this time I went to the beach.
The Labyrinth was not what I had “planned” on doing this day. It just “came” to me. It was cold, windy, and I was wearing snowmobile clothes to be warm in the wind in April. A “perfect” day at the beach!

A small part of "my beach studio"

It's easy to find materials at this art supply store!

I had planned to simply meditate and perhaps build something small, yet monumental, as a momento of closure for the group and my participation. Searching for large stones to build something simple, I began once again to notice all of the beautiful flat round stones around me. It felt as if each stone represented a participant in the course, and they each ”spoke” to me with color and shape. As I gathered stones, I still had no idea what form they would take. Sitting with a small pile of stones and rubbing my hands together, the North wind was freezing! I had to get moving to stay warm.

Then I realized the wind was my ally! It was creating fresh canvases for me to “draw” on. A hawk feather blew near – Hawk – my personal keen eyed helper. I placed the hawk feather upright in the sand, where I first began to build… and it blew away while I was gathering more stones. It only blew a few feet away, to a better canvas…! I stood the feather up once more in the sand, as a blessing to the group and a sign from Creator – build here – do this!
And the labyrinth took form… each stone placed, guided by commitment, inspiration, joy and gratitude for 28 weeks of participation with a group of people I’ve never even met in person, but with whom I was strongly connected. The Labyrinth emerged, evolved after that, effortlessly. As each stone was carefully placed, it was as if I was taking another step in the Labyrinth – Walking Stones.
When I was finished, I looked for the Hawk Feather – it had gone with the wind!

How do you get the stones into such a perfect circle, spiral?
Short answer: Practice, practice, practice.
Long answer: I decided, at age nine, that I wanted to learn to draw a perfect circle without a compass. I spent weeks, one summer, practicing every day. I drew on newpapers, discarded envelopes, on the backs of letters. I drew with pens, pencils, crayons, chalk on sidewalks, drew in the dirt with sticks. (Today I would probably be carted off and diagnosed with OCD.) I was determined to be able to draw…better! Learning this skill has served me well. I can draw almost anything, with anything, on anything!
Did you draw a spiral first in the sand?
I did not draw the Labyrinth. I can “see” the shape I want and place things where they need to be to form that shape. In this case, I created a “drawing” using stones as dots… connecting the dots, connecting the people, connecting energy…

How long did it take to build the labyrinth?
Short answer: A few hours, an afternoon.
Long answer: My whole life. Learning to draw, learning to express myself in visual form is an ongoing process of practice, learn, do, be and practice some more. I “borrowed” part of this answer from Alexander Calder, sculptor, inventor of the mobile, the stabile and an artist with a great sense of humor! In an interview, someone asked him how long it took for him to create a simple line drawing on a paper napkin. They had seen him draw it in a few seconds, but when asked how long it took him to make such a beautiful drawing, he answered “A lifetime.” He was in his seventies, I believe, at the time. His answer helped me realize that we bring our selves, our life experiences, our sense of humor, our love for people, AND a lifetime of learning art skills to the making of art. The more I have developed my skills, the easier they are to use.
The Labyrinth continues as a project. I will continue to watch it and take more images of it, to see it in different light.

Why do you do this kind of art?
Short answer: It inspires me and it’s fun work. (It’s also how I make my living.)
Long answer: It is environmentally friendly art. Using what nature offers, I build, I draw, sometimes I paint, using the colors of the stones as a palette. It is a way to be active and outdoors, moving, thinking, planning. It requires that I be cognizant of the patterns of weather, time of day, movement of the sun and light. It engages my senses and sensibilities, fully, and time clocks become meaningless. Noticing the sun, the light become reminders of time to rest. (Oh, and my sometimes growly stomach!)

Where the Labyrinth lives - for now!

6 Weeks Later

Then, later, I photograph, over time, letting nature change the image. Different times of day, different light, makes a whole different picture. The wind moves the sand, creating a variety of textures – changes the canvas. I love watching these changes, often very subtle, sometimes very slow. The Labyrinth still exists, at this remote beach, and in an ongoing series of photographs.

Questions? Please ask… there may be an answer.
Comments? Please do!
Thank you for asking, reading, visiting, enjoying!

Betsy Lewis

Morning… Postcard from the Beach

Morning

I’ve always loved this time of day and this song… Morning has Broken… Cat Stevens
May your day begin with love and light.
Namaste ~ Star Bear