A few months ago I decided to get a hummingbird feeder and hang it on the fence near the roses. My parents always had a hummingbird feeder when I was young and I used to love watching the birds enjoy the sweet nectar. Much to my delight, it only took a day or two for hummingbirds to discover their new food source in my back yard. A very exciting day for all involved, I'm sure! This photo is of one of my regulars. In fact, he's (no idea if it's a male or not) a bit of a bully. He even looks a bit grizzled from battle. And he stays perched on that branch for an alarmingly large portion of the day, protecting the feeder from other thirsty passersby. I'm not much of a fan of that, as I'd love a whole crew of hummingbirds in my yard, but he sure makes it convenient to photograph him. I feel like he needs a name...
"I always loved those little creatures, always feel blessed when they appear nearby. There's a magical quality to them. I finally put one in a song."
-Leonard Cohen (on hummingbirds)
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, so this photo seemed especially appropriate (although I personally find turkeys to be more beautiful in nature than in the kitchen). But I digress. Regardless of the historical significance of Thanksgiving, for me it's a time of self-reflection and an opportunity to take a deeper look at the blessings in my life. I'm so fortunate, it's insane. Here are a few of the things I'm most thankful for: I am thankful to have born into such a loving, supportive family. I am thankful for living in such a beautiful part of the world and surrounded by so many close friends. I am thankful for my incredible dog, Rosie, who brings me immeasurable joy. I am thankful for my health, in body and mind. And I am thankful that, while I didn't win the lottery (such bad luck), I still have multiple streams of income from things that I legitimately enjoy doing, that improve me as a person and enrich my life. Now, if you're up for it, I would love it if you took some time to reflect as well, and then share with me what you're thankful for.
"What if today, we were just grateful for everything?"
Back to where this all began for me - a rose after a light rain. I took this photo last time it rained and I'm so happy with the way it turned out. How each droplet of water is so crisp and compact, the smooth gradient of colors from yellow to red, and the contrast the green stem creates. Truth be told, I've been looking forward to sharing this one with you for a while now, and I really hope you love it as much as I do.
"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck"
This photo represents a lot to me. I love how these different types of birds can so peacefully co-exist, even though their differences are enormous and obvious. Their color is different, their size is different, and their abilities are different. Some even boast a higher position on the log while others are content closer to the water. But even with all of those differences, they’re still so much more alike than they are different. For us humans, in the midst of this election season chaos, with our country seemingly more divided than I can remember, let us not forget that even though we may not look alike, talk alike, think alike or even share the same values, we can still respect one another, work together, live together and appreciate one another. We should use our differences to make us stronger, not to pull us apart.
“Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.”