Tag Archives: Snow

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Winter ~ More Snow Color + NoCZ 2012

On the Road to Dreams...

On the Road to MyDreams in Frosted Snow Color

Closer to the Dream!

Further Along the Road to My Dreams in Frosted Snow Color

This may not seem like part of the No Comfort Zone 2012 Challenge, yet it is, for me.
I have avoided posting my best work online, for many reasons… and as part of my No Comfort Zone Challenge, I decided to share some of my best and favorite images. After all, if no one sees them, how can they purchase them? LOL!

As I began to think about posting these winter photographs, I realized that I have been afraid to post some of my favorite photos. Some of them are really wonderful. Some are incredibly beautiful! (Some, like “Snow Color” sell like hotcakes, when they are seen. LOL!)

I have been afraid that someone would take them and use them without acknowledgement, credit, paying for them… (F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real)
The Evidence? I have had numerous photos mysteriously appear on other websites without credit or payment, then a friendly neighbor even downloaded a set of 4, framed them, hung them in her home, then invited me to dinner. When I saw the poorly printed lo res prints hanging in her living room, I went ballistic. I felt so betrayed! Then I gave her a signed print for Christmas that year, because I didn’t want badly printed crappy work out in the world… and because she had been a good friend.

I had this THOUGHT: I can’t trust people, especially intelligent friends who disrespect copyrights. If a knowledgeable friend would do this, what about strangers, net surfers, those I don’t even know. So I have been afraid to trust people when it comes to my work. Not trusting one person can mean trusting no one. It can mean I don’t trust myself, either. Turning it around. I am afraid to trust others, including myself. Turning it around, others are afraid to trust me. Turning it around again, I am afraid to trust me. Turning it around again, if I can’t trust the people closest to me, who can I trust? Turning it around again, I am afraid to trust the person closest to me – me. It is kind of like being a little bit pregnant. You either are or are not. I either trust or I don’t. Yes or No.

False Evidence Appearing Real? Yet… many others love my work and want to see it hanging in their homes or offices or give it as gift. They are willing to buy it, wait for the prints or jpegs to arrive, send money, give credits, and when their art arrives with checks they include wonderful love notes like “Your images feed my soul.” “You see things differently than any one else.” “Please, keep sharing beauty with the world.” “Your photographs are so beautiful.” “You have such a gift for seeing.” “I love your images…” “Thank you for bringing such beauty to light.” “My friend will love this gift..” “You don’t charge enough…” “Your work, art work is a service to people…” “No one else photographs, captures that place the way you do…”

Just this week, another blogger Orel, who also has beautiful nature and snow photographs from Scotland, said: “Starbear, I think you just posted the most beautiful picture I’ve seen on wordpress so far. I mean it. This line is pure and perfect. Too bad I can’t enlarge it. I wish you a happy new year!” (Sensuous Snow Curve)

Sometimes I am afraid to let the good stuff in, and dwell on the stuff that is uncomfortable. Sometimes, I’m also afraid to let my good stuff out. This is the good stuff… and I am open to receiving the good stuff.
(Oh how we judge… good, bad, better, worse…)
That’s why posting these is an act of courage, for me. I trust. I trust myself to share my work. I trust others not to take it, and if they do? I can protect it by posting small images, add watermarks, add copyrights. Sometimes I do give it away, just because I want to, with love. Some people will take it without asking, some will buy it, others will say nice things about it, others will criticize it. Those who take it will not get the best. Those who ask, will. We can always work something out. I don’t like being mean. Trust me.

What I want is for people to love my work and respect my gift. What I want for me is to love my work and respect the gifts I have been given and share them and I also want more financial freedom to be able to give of myself freely, with love, and making loving choices. I have forgiven my friend; I have renamed her “Opportunity to Love.” We are no longer close. Lesson learned in the classroom of Life. If I can’t trust myself, who will trust me?

I will continue to post my favorites, some of my best. Stay tuned!
If you would love to purchase a print for yourself or as a gift, check out the SHOP. Almost all of the images on my blog are available as signed prints. Instructions for purchasing are in the Shop link above and at the top of the page.
Bottom Line: I trust me. If you read this far, I trust that maybe you found another beautiful gift here, too.

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Winter ~ Snow Color

Snow Color

Namaste ~ StarBear

Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Winter x 3

More of my favorite images. Today I offer 3 – For me, they represent some of the beauty I see, share, create, notice… in Winter Water…

Sunset Reflections on Winter Water

Sunset Reflections on Winter Water

Is it Snow? Clouds? I call it "SnowClouds"

Winter Water sand and stone. I call it " Rippling Gold"

I have long known that water is important to me.
I recently realized:
Winter Water is fascinating, frozen… still, melting, rippling
Spring rain is enchanting… musical
Summer Water is refreshing… relaxing
Fall Water is cleansing… recycling, reflecting
We could rearrange the words and seasons and they may still be true…
I am fascinated by the change of seasons and water and how it affects everything in my life. I depend on water. For me, Water represents flow, change, clarity, thirst-quenching….
In Winter, I am surrounded by Winter Water in the form of snow.
In Spring the Winter Water melts and flows.
In Summer it rains and dries up and then rains once again.
Fall downpours take down the leaves from the trees and helps begin the cycle of re-cycling, keeping leaves wet to disintegrate, renew, nurture.
Then the cycle begins again.
Water keeps me connected…
Interesting how things work – congruity, synchronicity. As I was preparing to post these photos, I was checking in with mentors. Denise Linn is one and this showed up: How to Listen to Water

I love the seasons, nature, and the lessons I learn as a human bean, still growing and just simply being.
Namaste ~ Star Bear

For subscribers waiting for their Tips – Patience please. 🙂

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

Postcard from the Woods ~ Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice – the coming of the Light and Retreat of the Dark ~ in the Northern Hemisphere. The day was bright and sunny, cold, with snow still on the ground. I have been preparing for this for months – storing some of the best firewood carefully to keep it dry. Preparations – cleansing, cleaning, clearing, and moving some snow. Once again, I had a ceremony here in the woods and it was fabulous, moving, touching, sacred, cleansing, funny, shared with friends in person and others in spirit. All day the fire burned brightly in the sacred space where regrets, mistakes, the dark stuff, are written down and burned in the fire. Forgiveness, gratitude, hopes, dreams, intentions expressed in all directions to people, friends, the universe, and of course, God, for blessings (even those in disguise), miracles, love…. written down, placed in the fire and carried into the universe by gentle breezes.
I hope at some point in the yesterday of Winter Solstice, you too, were able to take time to honor and acknowledge the passage of the seasons, the year, the return of light and retreat of the dark, your growth and expansion ~ and the people in your life who teach, guide, love and share. My lists were long and if you are reading this, you were on my list – of blessings in my life. ♥

This is where the fire burned – the contrast of light and dark before the fire was built and lit…

Ring of Fire - Before

Last year’s total lunar eclipse of the full moon on Winter Solstice was amazing – see When the Universe Aligns. This year, the Universe aligned perfectly once again.
Namaste ~ StarBear

Post-A-Day 2011 Postcard from the Woods

Crystal Clear and Sparkling

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Postcard from My Dream – Perspective

Fresh Perspectives

The ELEMENTS of Art and Life and Nature run in Parallel Lines in my brain.
I am an artist. I see as an artist, I think as an artist, I teach as an artist, and I still learn as an artist.
Yesterday, I was blessed to arrive at the beach (studio) and find no one else’s tracks on this stairway. I have been here so many times before and always had to follow someone else’s tracks, so my heart was leaping with Joy at the opportunity to finally get this shot – with no tracks. At last, with perfect timing, I was the first one there. It took 2 years! (Patience)

Perspective – I learned to draw perspective when I was nine. Lying on the living room floor, with a great big drawing pad, my dad patiently taught me to see how lines disappear at the vanishing point and how to move the vanishing point. Basic elements of art and seeing. The farther away something is, the smaller it becomes. Color diminishes, pales.

I think I spent weeks showing him vanishing points and perspective on walks, in the neighborhood, standing at the back of the church, looking up the aisle. He must have been very patient, too.

Perspective is part of how I learned to see… to draw, to live.
When something is close it appears large, and even if it is far away, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We just can’t see it.
People, love, life are like that. Sometimes it’s all about putting things into perspective… Yesterday I was blessed with fresh snow, no tracks and a perfect example of perspective.

Life is wonderful!
May your day be filled with perspective – knowing what you can’t see right this minute is out there, you just have to keep moving to a new point of view to see it! At the bottom of the stairs, I found more basics… and beauty.

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Storm Warnings

As I listen to all the news about the “Big Storm” coming across the country and all the paralysis predicted, a part of me laughs. Twenty inches of snow, high winds, concerns about power outages, a part of me wants to dismiss it all as media hype and what is the big deal? It has been snowing on this planet for hundreds of years, people deal with it. We travel with emergency kits in vehicles all winter. Then I remember all the unique tips I forgot I’ve learned, living in snow country. For all those people who don’t live with snow and bone chilling temps on a regular basis, these may be useful and you probably won’t hear them on the news, amidst all the warnings.
Disclaimer: This information is to be used with discretion and common sense. Use these tips at your own risk. Keep the matches away from the kids.
If you were a Girl Scout or Boy Scout you may already know these things.

If you go outside, take off jewelry when it is below 20F and windy! Those pierced gold and silver earrings? Very pretty, I love mine, and when it gets cold enough and the wind chill drops, those precious metal earrings can cause freezer burn on your skin! Same is true if you have other facial piercings with metal jewelry.
Bet you didn’t hear that on the weather channel or the Today Show! There probably weren’t any warnings on the box they came in either. “Warning: Remove jewelry from exposed areas when the wind chill hits -10F” Remember the story of the kid who got his tongue stuck on the flagpole in winter? Same principle.

A 3″ (fat) candle burning in a metal coffee can will keep you warm in car or truck for hours. (You do need to light it, so matches are useful…)
Be sure to open your vehicle windows a crack before you light it and don’t put a lid on it…! You do need fresh air. Not quite like sitting in front of a fireplace, yet it could keep you from freezing to death. Also be sure not to set fire to anything in the vehicle.

Need to start a fire in an emergency if you get stuck in the woods or ditch and help is slow in coming?
A tip I learned from a logger (a big, burly tough guy):
Keep a Tampax in your glove compartment.
They make great emergency fire starters. Just ignite the string.
(It helps if you carry a few pieces of firewood, like we do…)
Stay safe. Enjoy the snow adventure. Keep warm! Remember the things you forget you know. 🙂 … and if you really want a belly laugh, imagine one of the news people trying to tell you about lighting the string on a tampon.

Namaste~ Star Bear

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Living with Laughter

Laughing In Spires... copyright 2011 Betsy Lewis

Laughter in the spires…
laughing wind bends a spire
giggly curving line with droopy snow
making me laugh
reminding me to bend, dance with wind
be flexible… look at what is being pointed to…
a drawing in the air…

I love the way trees get along,
No judging, no measuring, no gossip,
No scorekeeping, no winners or losers
Just peaceful coexistence
Just creating happy windsong…
dancing in the wind.

May your day be filled with joy and warmth – it is -2F this morning after warming up! I think the birds are hiding somewhere, none at the feeders today.

Namaste ~

Post-A-Day 2011 ~ Living with Snow

Luce County Taxi Service, circa 1890's, photo courtesy Luce County Historical Society

Once upon a time… this “taxi” went past my place… The trip, from Newberry to Deer Park was 30 miles one-way and took about 9 hours. Along the way, it sometimes stopped at Halfway Lake (a logging camp) for lunch and Pine Stump Junction for mail drops.
In the 1890’s, Deer Park boasted a population of 200+, a lodge, a school, a post office and the first phone was installed in 1889! In it’s heyday, there were as many as 4 freight wagon trips a day making supply deliveries. A large logging camp on the lakeshore provided a rollicking social life and apparently going there from Newberry was an exciting adventure often requiring an overnight stay.
Today it is considered by some as the “boonies” and only a a handful of residents live there in winter. In summer, the cottage people return, boosting the population and there is a popular State Park – Muskallonge Lake State Park as well. The park is open May -October. Located on a narrow spit of land between Lake Superior and Muskallonge Lake, it is often buried in Lake effect SNOW! Snowmobilers love it! Dog mushers love it! I love it!
Today I think this taxi would be useful and fun, if not efficient… note the sleigh bells on the horse harness. (Today’s Snowmobilers would never hear them over the roar…) We have recieved almost a foot of snow and more coming tonight and tomorrow. My snow “play” time has been devoted to plowing my very long driveway. As daylight slowly arrives, I am off to plow for a bit before going into work. The snowplow from town may have buried the end of my driveway by now!

If you live with snow like this, you become acclimated to “snow time”… and you do what you can, not what you can’t! Wondering if the school bus made it up here, the road doesn’t get plowed on weekends.

May your day be filled with snow time, slow time, and the sound of bells tinkling!