Tag Archives: postaday2011

Weekly Photo Challenge – Movement ~ Songs of Lake Superior

This is a re-post from the very beginning of Post-a-day 2011, and according to stats, not many have seen or read it. It seemed to fit the bill for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement and since I am not moving very quickly at the moment (broken toe) I hope you enjoy! Next Sunday, July 15th is Lake Superior Day, so it seems doubly apt. You can learn more about celebrating the Lake at Lake Superior.
The photo includes ice, so if you are in one of the “heat zones,” close your eyes, imagine the sounds of waves, feel the cold water and enjoy the Songs of Lake Superior. Mmmmm… Feels great on my rainbow colored foot!

Lake Superior

I love the sound of Lake Superior singing, rushing, roaring, laughing,
and have not “seen” the Lake in daylight for days.
I visited her last night at dusk.
We talked quietly in the half-light.
Looking out as far as eyes could see,
she seemed unmoving, frozen, still,
resting in her cycle of winter.
I sang to her, as usual, off key.
She thanked me anyway.
I thanked her for being, always there, always patient.
Home, to rest, to recall her other songs.
This is one:
Beneath my ice
Water flows
In ebbing tides
My mystery grows
Moving water
Cannot freeze
Kept warm by unseen energies.
Rest, move, flow,
Rest, move, grow.
In your dreams
In your sleep
I’ll hold the secrets
Safe and deep.
Come spring
Sunlight dancing yet again
Sparkling laughter tossing
Beauty on the beach
mysteries to the wind.

Namaste~ Starbear
May your day be filled with rest, action, food for thought, and most of all love.

Copyright 2011-12 Betsy Lewis

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Winter ~ No Comfort Zone

Winter Choice 1

Sensuous Snow Curve

As part of a challenge created by a fellow blogger, Marge, I have decided to post some of my very favorite photos.
The challenge is called “No Comfort Zone 2012” and you can read more here.

The challenge is to step out of our comfort zones once a week and write about it. I am not sure I really have any comfort zones, so this challenge may mean finding one to step out of. Saying this is one of my favorite phptographs is stepping out of my comfort zone. It is so simple and minimalist, uncomplicated, crisp, clean, yet sensuous. It could seem cold to some, yet the curve adds softness, warmth. I like that. It also reminds me of the hipbone of a lover and that’s okay, too.

And so is this ~ even talking about my comfort zones is uncomfortable.
I am more comfortable in Nature than with people. I am more comfortable in Nature with people than at at party or bar. I find Nature calm, beautiful, simple and in it I find Simple Beauty. Sometimes stark to others, yet the balance and rhythms of Nature suit me. Snow fascinates me. Wind fascinates me. Color shape and line entrance me. Change fascinates me. Shifting winds and weather fascinate me. People also fascinate me. Yet, in large and noisey groups of people I can be very shy. To counteract shyness, I can also become loud and obnoxious. I don’t drink alcohol much or often because I am am not fond of the person I become while drinking… more shy or more obnoxious.

Others can drink vast quanties of alcohol and not care what they say or do. My small physical size may have something to do with it… one beer or glass of wine and I can become really stupified or sleepy or flirtatious or any number of behaviors. I can also become all of those without alcohol. I prefer consciousness and conscious awareness for myself. Just my preference for me.

Stepping out of my comfort zone – going to a neighborhood New Year’s Eve Party. Some people there may may become falling-down inebriated, which also will be their choice. Others will stop by and say hello, catch up on neighborhood happenings, eat a hot dog, watch the fireworks. I have helped with this neighborhood gathering for several years, including this year. I have attended it, as well. So why is this a challenge for me?

This year I am going without judgment, as an observer and participant, to people watch perhaps, to please no one… to just be a participant in ending 2011 and welcoming in 2012 with my neighbors, some of whom I like, some of whom I love, some with whom I have had less than wonderful relationships. See what I mean about judgments? Tonight I may drink one beer and maintain balance. Tonight I may toast the New Year with champagne or sparkling grape juice. I may talk to one person or many. It won’t matter. I will be fine, just being me.

So today I will only judge my photographs – not people. It is simple and beautiful and fun. I can control the images I make. I cannot control others. I allow light to shift and dance in my images. I can allow others to shift and dance. I can just be me, shifting, growing, dancing, alive in the company of others – with no judgments and with full awareness of my choices. If this makes sense to you…great! If not, that’s great, too!

In large groups this can be very scary for me. I’ll let you know how it goes…

Happy New Year!
May your wishes and dreams come true… mine are.

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

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall Gold

Golden Sky, Golden Sparks on Ancient Stones

Ten straight days of sunshine and warm temperatures, unusual for October here, brought the most amazing color to the woods this fall. A friend laughed the other day as he said, “I think my eyes may have improved, the color seems more brilliant and is everywhere this year!”
For me, this has created a wonderful dilemma: viewing and editing 150 images a day and what to share online, what to keep for the books I am working on? On Sunday, I went to Lake Superior, a favorite beach, at dawn. This is my personal church service, to thank Creator for all of the incredible gifts this year. I am grateful for the gift of light, of eyes to see, for the spectacular colors and changes of seasons and life.
I am also grateful for the gifts of my way of seeing and for the cameras which allow me to capture and share. I am grateful to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for their willingness to dare and create what allows me and us to share this beauty. I am grateful for their willingness to try include everyone in their sharing. Because of their daring, we are capable of sharing globally. We can choose to share problems and we can share beauty. We can ask questions and perhaps find answers to global issues. As people Occupy Wall Street, I occupy the woods, the beach, in awe, gratitude and wonder.

I went to the beach in gratitude and returned home with one splendid agate, 150 photographs of nature’s splendor, and unlimited reverence for nature and the rhythms of life.

Golden Ripples, Golden Daze

Tide Pool Prism


Food for the soul, may you enjoy the feast of these simple images.

Namaste ~ StarBear

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall: Marsh Magic

Yup… It’s still Fall. While blazing colors are still evolving in the hardwoods, there are other, less obvious, color changes in the trees, woods, and marshes nearby. Interspersed in the 20 miles of glowing color washed forest walls on the drive to work, expanses of marshland are quietly, softly and subtly making the transition from summer greens to yellow greens and gold. The Tamaracks may appear to some to be dying, as their tiny needles yellow, preparing to fall. Tamaracks are the one evergreen species that shed their leaves, needles, each fall.

Golden Tamarack

These trees, these places are some of my favorites. Not the crazy quilt of color, not as bright and blazing, and nonetheless beautiful. I find the subtle contrasts quietly taking my breath away as I stop to notice… gold all around.

Changing Marsh

Marsh Magic

Evergreen and Golden Marsh

May your day be filled with Nature’s Magic and breathtaking beauty.

Namaste ~ Starbear

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall Upstream

Fall. I fell for fall long ago. The beauty of fall is partly why I stay in Michigan, along with winter, summer, and spring. The changing seasons seem to match my personal rhythms, the flow of nature.

River Bend ~ Manistique River

While shooting these, and totally enjoying the day and the sun light, I thought there was a stick causing the ripples on the mirrored surface of the water. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a sleek furry critter, swimming upstream. Hoping it was a beaver, I watched it swim closer, then dive, disappearing quickly under the river bank. Probably a muskrat, although beaver and otter also live here.

Mirror Bend

Michigan often gets a bad rap as it is known primarily for the Motor City, Detroit, with the negatives. I grew up in Detroit, trained as an artist in Detroit, grew up on a tree lined street where once upon a time we raked leaves into big piles, then hid, jumped and played in them. After dark the neighborhood parents supervised bonfires of leaves. Sometimes we even roasted marshmallows over burning leaves. I can still remember the wonderful smells of those evenings. Do kids still do that? It was part of the rhythm of life, even in the city, a fall ritual as mornings grew colder and days grew shorter.

Just for giggles, how about a little different rhythm?
You can alwys listen to “Muskrat Love” (c. 1976) or “Muskrat Ramble” (c. 1926) by Louis Armstrong.

May your day be warm and filled with colorful rhythms of Nature!

Megwitch ~ Starbear
Copyright 2011 Betsy Lewis

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall continued…

For all of you who do not get to see this every day…
a few more views from roads travelled. The fall color just keeps becoming more brilliant? Raucous? Audacious? Spectacular? Gorgeous? Beautiful? Splendiforous?
Sometimes there are no words.
A friend of mine once coined the word “Brazilliant” to name one my images he owns. It was such a fun and discriptive word, I use it for the title.
What do you call the amazing arrays and displays of color in the fall? Nature’s palette is so palatable and yet so brief in its display. I am so lucky to witness this each year and it’s never the same and always thrilling. Enjoy!

Reflected Glow


Lake Anne Louise, near a tiny place named Blaney Park always offers spectacular views across the lake. Lined with mix of hardwoods and conifers it creates a perfect complementary color scheme. (I happen to be teaching color theory currently – can you tell? LOL!)

Hardwoods and conifers line the shore demanding attention...

I know the photo challenge this week has changed to “sunsets”, and I’m choosing to stay with Fall for now, so more fall is forthcoming to be celebrated while it lasts! I think it’s called “Making hay while the sun shines.” The sunsets will be fabulous this week as well – no rain predicted for 10 days, so also no storms to take the leaves away.

More soon!

Megwitch ~ Starbear

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall

Fall ~ So fall this Fall so far is mostly RED!
Oh! Poor me. Life is so hard! LOL!

This fall is RED... 20 miles of walls of color...


I am forced to drive each day this road to work within these leafy walls
lined with red of every tint shade hue…
dark and light and wine and glowing reds
ablaze against green against skies of gray and blue.
The road glows without sunshine and where is yellow?
Hiding, peaking, sneaking, teasing between other brilliant views.

How glad the woods, they be not shy
shouting color to the sky…
“Look at us” they call, demand.
“It is FALL and we are leaving!”

Envy not this place in which I roam
travelling to work, then returning home
within and through these walls of color.
Poor me! Forced to endure this beauty for hours on end
over hills, around a bend…
a brief time this willing prisoner will remain
within these walls of color to exclaim
in awe and gratitude and joy.

Megwitch ~ 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

Remembering 9/11 and Happy Brains

2,987 (?) lives lost, families devastated, rescuers injured – “collateral damage”.
10 years later, how many more lives lost in wars and global conflict, in revenge? Over what? Water, oil, money, who has the bigger stick? The links below are what I wrote then. I still believe there are better solutions, more creative and life supporting solutions. In honor of the lives lost on 9/11, I ask this question – Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results?
“When will they ever learn?” from “Where have all the flowers gone?” sung here by Pete Seeger.
The good news – 400 trees planted at ground zero and a peaceful park plaza on many acres in NYC.

In the face of adversity, I choose joy. This weekend I am attending a Tele-conference called Choosing Joy , hosted by Cathleen Harvey Spacil, and created for people with brain injuries and mental illness. Brain Be Happy  is about finding joy in every situation and the choices we make. In my humble opinion, those judged mentally ill, brain damaged, may have better, more creative, healthier solutions than politicians. There is even helpful information for veterans and soldiers who have suffered brain trauma available on her site.

Where have all the flowers gone? – Cathleen is a flower blooming brilliantly in her life, my life and on the internet.
Yes, my brain is happy – and it makes these energy connections, leaps between the concept that if we are each at peace in our lives and hearts, there would be less global conflict. There would be more time and money and happy people available for finding creative solutions to caring for the earth and the wonderful people on it. More freedom to express kindness, compassion, love, with simple, elegant solutions.

These are the links from my “blog” 10 years ago.
Mourning Poem
Deepak Chopra  – Thoughts on Peace
My Personal Experience  –  A Quiet Voice
There are other links on these pages , as well.

Things are changing, some minds are changing. There are quiet, joyful voices singing in harmony. Peace to you this day, may your heart be filled with peace – and joy.

Namaste ~ Star Bear