Observing Growth All Around

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Growth All Around Lisa A. Wisniewski

The past week has been one of great growth in nature.  The hills and fields have come alive with a variety of green shades along with blooming flowers and trees.  Everything seems to be growing at a rapid rate after a slow start to spring.  The continued higher levels of rainfall, along with humidity and warmer temperatures, have turned the outdoors into a greenhouse and set the plants into a growing frenzy.  The iris in the landscape beds around our yard grew six inches overnight, the maple tree leaves that were quarter size one day turned into baseball size in less than 24 hours, and the Mayapples look more like little trees this year with thick stalks and huge leaves.

Exponential Growth

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Yellow Buckeye Lisa A. Wisniewski

Seeing all this growth during my runs, bike rides, and walks with the dogs made me contemplate how every entity in life has its own growth rate, season, and mechanism for changing.  While the concept of mixing ingredients (light, water, time, nutrients) to create a desired outcome (growth of some sort) is the same for all of these entities, the ingredients, time required, and end product vary greatly.

My thoughts also led me back in time to when I first learned about exponential functions in math classes.  These functions are often used to describe or predict growth and decay.  Exponential implies very fast or increasingly rapid change of some sort.  Exponential functions when graphed typically look like a sharply increasing or decreasing curve.  For example, if you graph the function y = 2x, where x is an integer, the points on the y axis of the graph are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc., and the curve looks like this:

y2x

Along for the Ride

In observing the growth this week, I found some new blooms and plants, including:

  • Buttercups, made distinct with their small, deep yellow flowers standing out amid the green grass
  • Lily of the valley, recognized by the delicate, small white flowers above the tulip like leaves
  • Clover, identified by the three lobed formation of the leaves
  • Poison ivy, standing out with its shiny three leaf formation, now reddish green in color
  • Virginia creeper, recognized with its vining leaf formation and runners climbing over surrounding plants
  • Rhododendron, very distinct with its smooth, green leaves and vibrant flower clusters
  • Tall phlox, standing high above the other plants along the road with its purple wedgelike flower petals
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Buttercups Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Tall Phlox Lisa A. Wisniewski

I also found pine trees with pine cones forming.  Watching the changes made me wonder what was actually happening during this process.  After doing some research, I learned that pine trees have male and female cones.  The male cones release pollen in the spring, which the wind carries to the female cones.  The female cones become brown and wood-like as the seeds ripen.  The cones open and release their seeds once reaching maturity, which usually occurs in the fall of the second year.

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Pine Cones Forming Lisa A. Wisniewski

Take Me On

Along with the new blooms and plants, the weeds have joined in the growing frenzy.  Thus, we began our annual weeding activities and wondering why the weeds have to grow in the gravel and in the driveway instead of someplace else.  I mean, really, there are acres and acres of land for the weeds to grow upon, so why do they have to put their roots down in our driveway?

The thought made me wonder if God asks Himself similar questions about us:  I give them all they need when they need it in the grand space of time, yet they still insist on relying upon their limited resources.  Why do they do this?

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Clover Lisa A. Wisniewski

While we don’t particularly care for what has become an annual turf war, we have found that the activity of removing the weeds from the driveway allows for much growth potential.

It has taken us years to accept that the weeding process not only removes the physical weeds it the driveway, but also the intangible weeds in the heart, mind, and body.  The process is tedious, time consuming, and even frustrating.  However, it does indeed have its rewards in not only a better looking driveway, but also a more open and cleaner soul, mind, and being.

Weeds and Seeds

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Lily of the Valley Lisa A. Wisniewski

As I was riding my bike tonight and contemplating how I was going to accomplish the things on my current to-do list and still find time to do some weeding, I wondered if God places the weeds in our lives to see what kind of seeds we really are.  Do we have roots deep enough to allow us to grow, or are they shallow, leaving us vulnerable to decay? Do we allow the weeds to choke us out and take over our minds and bodies? Are we planted in good soil so that in times of distress and uncertainty, we find the nutrients we need, allowing us to continue to grow and mature?

 

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Light for the Seeds Lisa A. Wisniewski

“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:  When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.  The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.  But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.  The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.  But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” – Matthew 13: 18-23

Take Me Back

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Bo, My Weeding Helper Lisa A. Wisniewski

While weeding earlier tonight, I recalled a fond memory of my late dog, Bo.  Back in 2012, I was weeding the driveway one day with him, Sadie, and my late dog Luke supervising.  Bo was always one to want to help and often tried to mimic what others were doing.  He literally followed Sadie like the big puppy he was, doing his best to imitate her every move.  On this particular day, Bo watched intently as I dug with my trowel with one hand and pulled weeds with the other before tossing the weeds into a bucket.

At one point, I looked over to find Bo pawing at the gravel, dipping his head down, and pulling the weeds with his teeth.  It was comical yet heartwarming to watch him work.  The only issue was instead of tossing the weeds into a bucket or the wheelbarrow, Bo was trying to eat everything he pulled.

Running over to him, I said, “Oh, buddy, thanks for helping, but please don’t eat the weeds.  You’ll get sick.”

He seemed crestfallen at first, so I stopped working long enough to pet and talk to him, explaining I sincerely appreciated his help and diligence.  The conversation gave me a much needed break and Bo a chance to learn more about what we were trying to accomplish.

One Moment, Please

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Just Weeds, or Points of Reflection? Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sometimes I wonder if God places the weeds in our lives to make us stop, think, analyze, and reflect.  In today’s fast-paced society clamoring for attention and stressed over how much work is to be done, stopping is considered a luxury at best.  However, in reality, stopping is wise, prudent, and necessary.  It is in taking a moment to step back that we discover who we are, what is most important,  when to ask for help, where our strength lies, how we can move forward, and why we need to allow God into our lives.

Taking a moment to reflect also tests our faith and trust in God.  It opens up the lines of communication between us and Him, breaking down the barriers we inadvertently build as the weeds in life take over the garden of our souls.  In opening ourselves up, we find the strength we need to remove the weeds, the courage to change to help prevent the weeds from taking root, and the faith required to sustain the process of living life to its fullest.

May the growth we see in nature allow us to learn and reflect upon our journey.  May taking a few moments to acknowledge God’s presence and blessings in our lives give us the strength we need along the way, and may time allow us to find growth all around.

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Dawn Breaking May 15, 2018 Lisa A. Wisniewski

Growth All Around

In the clouds of the sky in the early dawn breaking
Where the light leads the soul to waking,
In the mustard in the fields growing with the rye
Together to yield their harvest in due time,
In the flowers that bloom and leaves that sway
On the way through another day,
In everything we come to know through sight and sound,
May we find growth all around.

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Cow’s Vetch Lisa A. Wisniewski

In the cow’s vetch and red clover
The crowd the stretch of the roads traveled over,
In the pollen and the rain
The follow the season’s days,
In the sun’s rising and setting hues
Providing what we need to get through,
In every aspect as time flows without sound
May we find growth all around.

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Old Walnut Tree at Dawn Lisa A. Wisniewski

In the old walnut tree and the young spring shoots
The grow together differently from their roots,
In the yellow, gold, orange, red, blue, and green
Colors that hold their own majesty,
In the space of the clouds and hum of the wind
That travel around and through and back again,
In all that the light shows us as we become found,
May we find growth all around.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Mustard and Rye in the Fields Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Word of Thanks

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Leo and Sadie on the Job Lisa A. Wisniewski

Thanks to everyone taking time to view this week’s post.  We kind of threw this together this week due to time constraints, so hopefully no one is disappointed with the content.  We do the best we can with what we have and leave the rest to God.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo

Resources and Related Links

Exponential – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exponential

Exponential functions – http://www.purplemath.com/modules/expofcns.htm

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Observing May’s Light & Greatest Gifts

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May’s Light Lisa A. Wisniewski

This week has been one of major growth and beauty in nature.  From the morning sunrise to the new blooms and green growth, and the warm sunsets to the moon and stars in the sky a night, it appears everything has come alive with color and texture.  With the sun now peeking over the horizon shortly after 6:00 AM and not setting until just before 8:30 PM, there is much light to help bring out the colors and augment the beauty of the landscape.

Living on Light

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Bush Honeysuckle Lisa A. Wisniewski

The added light has coaxed the azalea, honeysuckle, lilac, and crab apple trees into full bloom.  Most of the azaleas I found were pink, purple, or orange in color.  The bush honeysuckle along my biking route is known as Morrow’s honeysuckle with white and yellow flowers.  The other variety of bush honeysuckle native to our area is the Tartarian variety, which produced pink flowers.  There are also vining varieties of honeysuckle, most of which are not native to our area.

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Mayapples Lisa A. Wisniewski

Additionally, the buckeye and wild cherry trees, viburnum, and hawk weeds have formed buds that will soon bloom.  The skunk cabbage and Mayapples have created a green blanket in the woods, popping up from underneath the brown leaves left over from the fall.  The skunk cabbage can be smelled from a distance. The pungent, strong odor is what gives the plant its name.  The Mayapples are much less aromatic and very distinct in their shape with leaves like an umbrella.

The light is necessary to make the stalks of the plants grow and the flowers open up.  In addition the light, these plants and trees need water and nutrients from the ground to help sustain them and make them grow.  These components each play a vital part in the process and must be present in order to keep the process moving.

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Lilac Lisa A. Wisniewski

The added warmth from the sun has also allowed the intoxicating, sweet smell of these blooms to permeate the air.  The heat from the sun’s rays acts as a catalyst to open the flowers and release the aroma through pollen.  Bees and birds use this pollen as food.

Much like the plants, we too need a variety of inputs in our lives to learn, grow, heal, mature, and keep moving.  Also like the plants, we need water and light, as well as nutrients from the food we eat to sustain us.  We also need a sense of love, support, understanding, and patience from those around us to help us thrive.  These components act as catalysts to release our own fragrance so to speak, helping us build character and strength for the journey.

Wondering About Wandering

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Wandering Beneath the Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

As we walk through the miles, we often wonder about certain aspects of life.  This wondering does not mean that we don’t know.  It does mean we need some time to contemplate, research, and develop understanding.  Wondering acts as the catalyst to ask questions, seek answers, and delve deeper than the surface of a subject or topic.

Our wandering does not necessarily mean we are lost.  It does mean we are seeking, searching, looking, and trying to move forward.  Granted, we have setbacks and roadblocks, detours and missteps that take us on what can seem like meandering roads to nowhere.  However, it is in overcoming these aspects that we discover who we are, as well as blessings in disguise.  We may not realize these blessings immediately.  In fact, it may take years for us to realize or see the fruition of such blessings.  Just as the plants grow and mature within the seasons, we also grow and mature through time.

Thoughts Unleashed

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Explorer Leo on Duty Lisa A. Wisniewski

Seeing all the growth during my runs, bike rides, and walks this week has set a million thoughts running through my mind, as well as many questions about nature.  I have come to realize that this is a good thing, for it allows the 8 year old inside to have some fun and gives the 44 year old a sense of youth and renewed energy.  A colorful flower, amazing sunrise, or the smell of freshly cut grass sends my inner child into a frenzy, so happy for the simplicity in the beauty and endless potential for exploring.

The recent color explosion has also sent Sadie and Leo into a frolicking frenzy, exploring every blade of grass, leaf, flower, or bug they happen to find.  Leo is young, so he tends to explore by putting everything into his mouth.  Sadie is older and prefers to inspect by sniffing everything.  They each have their own way of learning and growing, which is fun to watch.

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Sadie on a Sniffing Mission Lisa A. Wisniewski

Between the three of us, we have certainly put on a lot of miles this past week and had many wondering moments.  This makes me wonder if we have made Mother Nature happy, exploring all she has to offer in utter amazement of her beauty and creativity.  Given that Mother’s Day is coming up, we hope she likes our simple gift of exploring and sharing our findings.

Activity Explosion

The recent blooms have also brought out a number of birds and other wildlife to explore the colors and smells.  The squirrels are having a field day running from the pine trees in the side yard to the tall tulip tree in the front yard.  Back and forth, back and forth they go, almost smirking with delight.  This has Leo quite upset, especially when he is tied on his cable.

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Doe in Woods Lisa A. Wisniewski

In addition to the squirrels, the deer have been quite active in the fields and along the wood lines.  They are grazing on clover and grass and will soon be nipping the tips of the jewel weed off once it pops up.  During a bike ride this week, I spotted a doe lying down in the woods along the road.  It occurred to me the sight was a bit odd, but then I remembered that the fawns are typically born in May, usually visible around Memorial Day.  While it may be a little early, the doe could have been waiting to have her fawn, or maybe even had the fawn already and was resting.

Also on my bike rides and during my runs this week, I have seen robins, killdeer, cardinals, finches, blue birds, oriels, sparrows, crows, hawks, geese, and ducks flying around.  Some of the birds appear on a mission, hunting for worms or places to nest, but others simply seem to be flying around with no specific goal in mind.  While the birds all belong to the same family in nature, they are each distinct in color, size, shape, and activity level.

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Spotted White on Leaf Lisa A. Wisniewski

Joining in the activity this week are the rabbits, moles, sulphurs, and whites.  The rabbits hop about in zigzag patterns to and from their destinations.  The moles are typically not seen, but we know they are active by the amount of dirt being displaced along their routes in the yards.  The sulphurs and whites flit about flapping their delicate wings in hurried fashion.  Trying to get a picture of them turned out to be a challenge this week, but I did manage to capture a few shots, some in motion and a couple with them resting on a plant.

Joining the Crowd

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Blooms Abound Lisa A. Wisniewski

Seeing the wildlife and plants thriving in the light has given many people in the area a boost in spirit and energy level.  While the dogs and I spend time outside no matter what the weather is like, many people around us wait for the inclement weather to subside before venturing out.  It seems the light and warmth have drawn a number of people in our area to walk, run, bike, and do yard work or other outdoor activities.

I sometimes wonder what God and Mother Nature think about us as they see us moving around like little ants, scurrying here and there, back and forth, up and down, in circles and mazes, trying to accomplish our tasks or reach our destinations.  This time of year, it must look like a chaotic mess with all the increased activity.  I wonder if God and Mother Nature get tired of watching over us or if they sometimes laugh at our antics.

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Heaven Watching Over Us Lisa A. Wisniewski

Something tells me neither of them ever tire of watching us and that any laughing they may do is with us and not necessarily at us.  In either case, they are there for us, which is probably what matters most in life.  Like the light, God and Mother Nature help us to see, grow, and find our way.  They also act as catalysts behind the scenes to keep us moving along with time.

May the light of spring and warmth of the season allow us to unleash our inner creativity, providing renewed hope, energy, and strength.  May the mix of colors in the plants and trees brighten our world, and may we come to know nature as one of our greatest gifts.

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Glorious Sunrise in the East Lisa A. Wisniewski

Greatest Gifts

Glorious sunrise in the east
Above the scores of colors in the trees,
Blossoming and spreading their leaves wide
Beneath the awesome May skies
Where the birds cruise upon the winds
And the light reduces the shadows’ extents,
Offering the greatest gifts from near and far
From the heavens steered through the stars.

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Rows of Mayapples Lisa A. Wisniewski

Doe in the woods waiting patiently
Among the rows of Mayapple leaves
Robin hopping up and down, up and down
Trying to feel the worms beneath the ground,
Killdeer calling in the wind
While spreading its wing as if broken,
Among the greatest gifts of life
All so honest and pure in the light.

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Dew on the Grass Lisa A. Wisniewski

Honeysuckle and lilac blowing in the wind
Spreading their aromas over and back, to and fro in nature’s extents,
Dew on the grass and pollen in the trees
Leaves the bees buzzing over and back in a frenzy,
Their hum a constant as soon as dawn breaks
Until the sunset removes the light from its space,
Leaving a stillness for miles around
In the greatest gift of time ever found.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Wild Cherry Tree Blossoms Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Note of Thanks

Thanks to everyone taking time to view our post this week.  We worked hard to find things in nature to photograph and did our best to mix a bit of science, real life, art, and faith into one post.  Hope you enjoyed it.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo

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Junior Editor Leo and Editor-in-Chief Sadie Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Bush honeysuckle – https://extension.psu.edu/bush-honeysuckles

Mayapple- https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=pope

Skunk cabbage – https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Plants-and-Fungi/Skunk-Cabbage

Observing Warmer Days and May’s Song

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Warmth of the Morning Lisa A. Wisniewski

May has brought with it warmer temperatures, sunshine, and many new blooms.  This week’s warm nighttime temperatures helped coax a number of trees, shrubs, and flowers into blooming.  Given we had snow the morning of April 29, Mother Nature seemed to have a rough time transitioning from winter to spring weather this year.

Come On, You Can Do It!

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Encouragement in the Bleeding Heart Lisa A. Wisniewski

Watching the slow emergence of foliage and blooms during walks, runs, and bike rides made me think about how many times in life we are like nature, hesitant to move forward due to conditions and circumstances.  How often do we need a little boost like the sun gives the plants to sustain and motivate us to keep going?

Sometimes we need a cheerleader to help us build confidence in ourselves, or a mentor to help guide us through the unknown.  Other times, we need to retreat from our environment and look deep within to find the spark to light the flame to keep us going.  In either case, we are much like the plants and trees, in need of water, light, and warmth to make us flourish and bloom.

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Light of Life Lisa A. Wisniewski

Reflecting upon these thoughts made me wonder if God sent Jesus to not only be the light of life, the vine for the branches, and the messenger of God’s love, but also the cheerleader, mentor, and quiet space we need in life.  Maybe Jesus was also God’s way of showing us we need balance, not too much or too little of any one thing, but rather a well-thought medley of faith, hope, and love; physical, mental, and emotional strength; and perspective, wisdom, and understanding.

Balance in Nature’s Colors

Seeing the plants and blossoms come forth this week also reminded me of the need for balance.  To offset all the green shoots, leaves, and grass, nature provided:

  • Blue in the skies, which now have 14 hours of light in them with sunrise at 6:18 AM and sunset at 8:18 PM.
  • White in the flowering pear, apple, wild cherry, wild mustard, and seven sisters roses. All of these blossoms are quite delicate looking, and very fragile in structure, yet so inspiring and diligent in the way they open, emerging overnight to form a mosaic within the hills and upon the ground.
  • Pink in the eastern redbud, bleeding heart, and crab apple blossom tips. Like the white blossoms above, they appear in methodical fashion with suggestive hints of fragrance to inspire the mind, body, and spirit.
  • Yellow in the dandelions, yellow mustard, and centers of the wild radish blossoms. While these plants are often considered weeds, they do add texture and color to the landscape, and can be used in recipes if prepared properly.
  • Purple in the wild violets, lilac, sand cherry, and plum trees. The royal effect of the color adds a formality of sorts to the landscape, creating an elegant aspect of spring.
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Flowering Pear Trees Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Wild Mustard Lisa A. Wisniewski

The variety of colors also reminded me of how like the plants and trees, we each have our own characteristics to define us.  These characteristics make us unique, yet similar, allowing others to recognize us.  In recognizing the physical aspects surrounding our identity, we come to know the spirit, character, and heart beneath the surface.

Who We Are

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Apple Blossoms Lisa A. Wisniewski

What lies beneath the surface helps determine our strengths, weaknesses, thought processes, and driving forces.  Recently, I read an article about discovering strengths of our character and using these strengths to help find suitable work and life balance.  The article also talked about a free online survey available to help determine one’s strengths and weaknesses.

Curious, I took the survey to learn more about myself and to see what the survey deemed as my strengths.  The results were a bit of a surprise at first in regards to the ranking, but upon reflection appeared to be accurate.  (In case you are wondering, I was deemed kind and creative with good judgement and appreciation of beauty and excellence and a spiritual sense the fostered curiosity, gratitude, and perseverance.  All of these traits pretty much define the essence of many posts on this blog, so the results are pretty hard to argue).

Simplicity of Complexity

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Simplicity and Complexity Lisa A. Wisniewski

The exercise in taking the survey made me think about the simplicity behind our human complexity.  We have an inner core of spirit and heart that consults with the mind to help guide the physical body.  This guidance takes us through each day, step by step.  The steps are moments in time that in turn allow us to learn, grow, and understand.  This process in turn feeds the inner core, starting the cycle over again and again.  In essence, this cycle takes us through the seasons of life, allowing us to repair, break down, rebuild, and repeat.

While circumstances of life often complicate the process, the inner mechanisms remain the same.  Just as the flowers and trees bringing forth their colors, we bloom in time and become part of the landscape of humanity, acting as cheerleaders, mentors, and quiet spaces for each other.

May the colors of the month guide the inner spirit to new growth and opportunities.  May the sights we see and experiences we have allow us to help each other along the way, and may May’s song be part of the driving force encouraging us upon the journey.

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Warm Breezes Blowing By Lisa A. Wisniewski

May’s Song

Warm breezes blowing by
Before the first storm rustles the rye
In the fields now teeming green
And the earth conceals the worms that weave
Air pockets in the ground
So that the seeds can pop out
Springing forth overnight
As the whole world comes to life
In May’s song of spring’s love
Echoing along the hills and valleys one by one.

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Buckeye in the Morning Sun Lisa A. Wisniewski

Buckeye, maple, pear, and eastern redbud,
Apple, wild cherry, and plum
Trees stretch out their foliage in praise
Making a canopy of color that waves
Beneath the feathered clouds passing by
Above the sounds of crickets and as the geese fly
Honking in harmony by the pond
Where the fish and peepers leap in response
To May’s song in the heaven’s wide
Carrying along the rhythm of life.

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Seven Sisters Lisa A. Wisniewski

Bleeding heart, mustard, and seven sisters,
Deep green rhubarb, red raspberry, and blue berry come hither
To do the dance of the season’s joy
As the sun expands to fill the void
In the atmosphere taking away the chill
As the moon draws near in the night’s still
Floating as the hours pass by
Eloping with the sands of time
Keeping the beat of May’s song playing
Through the days growing long and the Lord’s making.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Rhubarb in the Garden Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Note of Thanks

Thank you for taking time to view our post this week.  We hope you found a picture or a word or two to carry with you upon the journey.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo

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Leo and Sadie Listening to May’s Song Lisa A. Wisniewski

Observing Spring’s Parade & Cricket’s Serenade

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Spring’s Parade Lisa A. Wisniewski

While running, walking, biking, and working outside this week, I noticed spring has decided to bring forth a parade of color.  The yellow daffodils, dandelions, forsythia, and weeping willow trees are now in full bloom, and the midday sun brought its golden rays to magnify the colors.  Next to appear were the pink magnolia, flowering plum, weeping peach and sand cherry blossoms.  After that, the white of the flowering pear and some of the dogwood trees emerged.  All of this color is in addition to the variety of forest, neon, and verdant green color in the grass and trees, blue in the skies, purple in the violets and myrtle,and white and gray shades in the clouds passing overhead.

Colorful Characters

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Dandelions Lisa A. Wisniewski

The sights made me wonder if God and Mother Nature were having fun coloring with their special crayons.  I also wondered if they often compared each other’s creativity or tried to outdo each other.

While I doubt they are like two eight year olds vying for attention with statements like, “Look what I drew,” and “Oh, yea, well, check this out,” something tells me they do have some fun creating their pictures and thoroughly enjoy when others take notice of their work.

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Magnolia in Bloom Lisa A. Wisniewski

The thoughts made me realize we all have an inner child that has the ability to keep us grounded, allow us to have some fun, and stoke our curiosity.  However, we don’t always allow ourselves the luxury of what society today

deems as frivolous revelry.

While we should be responsible, truthful, upright citizens, we also need to acknowledge our character traits that make us who we are.  These traits come from the child within who learns from the environments and circumstances encountered in life.

Hues of Influence

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Grape Hyacinth Lisa A. Wisniewski

The colors this week also made me recall lessons on color connotation learned in art and psychology classes years ago.  Color is one of the communicators in our lives that does not need words to express its message.  This is a pretty interesting and complex yet simple concept that is universal across many languages, ethnicities, and ages.

For example, red is often associated with danger, strength, determination, and love.  Orange is less intense than red, and often connotes enthusiasm, creativity, encouragement, and happiness.  Yellow is most often related to the sun, joy, happiness, cheerfulness, and energy.  Green is considered a natural color, associated with growth, harmony, fertility, and life.  Blue is most often related to the stability of the skies and the seas.  Purple is used most often to convey royalty, power, nobility, and extravagance.  White is considered to be pure, honest, clean, and positive.  Black is most often associated with elegance, formality, death, and darkness.

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Coral Bells Lisa A. Wisniewski

Each color has its own set of light and dark variations, creating a spectrum of options and connotations to cover a variety of emotions and reactions.  The study of these emotions and reactions is called color psychology.

Color Theory

Like words, colors have their own definitions and uses.  The concepts surrounding the definitions and uses are called color theory.   Three of the most basic concepts of color theory are:

  • The color wheel, which illustrates the primary colors in association with their variants (called secondary and tertiary colors) and how they are related or can be organized. The first color wheel was developed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666.  Since then, a number of scientists and artists have developed their own formats and variants of the color wheel.
  • Color harmony, or how colors are arranged to be pleasing to the eye or emotions, is often used in marketing, packaging, art, landscaping, architecture, and other industries. The harmony allows for order and organization to engage the viewer.
  • Color context is how colors behave in relation to one another. Bright colors on a dark background appear bolder than on a white background.  Arrangement of the colors adds to the look, feel, and message to be conveyed.

Nature’s Arrangement

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Contrast of Greens Lisa A. Wisniewski

Nature combines the basic and complex aspects of color theory to create science and art, which can be studied, observed, and reflected upon.  In looking at the patterns, hues, combinations, and arrangements, we find life itself revealed to us.  Oddly, the simplistic beauty of nature makes it profound, complex, and intricate to the point of not being able to be reproduced by

man.

In my many years of observing the skies, trees, plants, and environments around me, I have been fortunate to see a number of breath-taking, awesome, inspiring, thought-provoking, and peaceful color arrangements.  These sights have inspired many poems, thoughts, answers to problems, questions, and reflections to build the mind, body, heart, and soul of my character.

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Nature’s Arrangement Lisa A. Wisniewski

I realize I am not alone in experiencing this character building.  For centuries, humans and animals have viewed the world around them, taking in the colors, messages, and lessons offered by nature.  Some,  like Sir Isaac Newton, have shared what they have learned, expanded their observations to act as proof to theories, and uses what they have seen to teach others.

In this sharing of color, we all become part of the fabric in the mosaic of humanity woven into nature and life, connecting us from generation to generation.

Simple Sermons

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Simply Amazing Lisa A. Wisniewski

While I don’t know if God and nature planned for us to recognize color connotations or the intricate web of life in which we all play a part, I am glad to have the blessing of color’s simplicity and beauty. Perhaps the following

quote says it best:

“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

May the colors of spring’s parade allow us to communicate with the world around us.  May the many variations of hues and arrangements provide us with lessons in science and art, and allow us to share what we learn with each other as we journey through the miles listening to the cricket’s’serenade.

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Echoing Through the Valley Lisa A. Wisniewski

Crickets’ Serenade

Echoing through the valley where the creek flows
Under the trees where the reeds sway to and fro,
Up on the hill and down by the pond,
In the still of the breath of God,
Taking over the atmosphere in the warm air
Along with the smell of clover and the moon’s glare,
The sound of the crickets’ serenade
Allows for peace in the day.

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Calling, Calling Lisa A. Wisniewski

Calling, calling, and calling again
Rising and falling and rising without end,
Singing the praises of the season’s glow
As the world awakens to follow
The path set before in the sands of time
Made possible by the plans of heaven’s light
Celebrated by the music of the crickets’ serenade
Bringing the soul to its destined place.

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Repeated Harmony Lisa A. Wisniewski

With cheeps and chirps and repeated harmony,
The rhythm keeps the song of spring
Moving along through the course of time
With lyrics short and long probing the mind
Tugging at the heart and moving the soul
As only nature’s art can unfold
In the crickets’ serenade
Offering a free ticket to God’s grace.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Weeping Peach Blossoms Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Word of Thanks

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Sadie Basking in Spring’s Parade Lisa A. Wisniewski

Thanks for taking time to view this week’s post.  We appreciate your interest in our adventures and stories and hope you found something of interest to either keep in your heart or share with others.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo

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Leo Enjoying Spring’s Rays Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Color Connotations – http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html

Color Psychology – https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-2795824

Color Theory – https://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory

Observing an Everlasting Love

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Everlasting Love Lisa A. Wisniewski

The theme this week in nature and life seems to be that of an everlasting love. Despite the lingering below average temperatures, cold winds, and gray skies, the plants, bushes, and trees are doing their best to make it appear as if spring has sprung.  Seeing the little shoots, buds, and patches of color emerge has been a reminder that God and nature are always at work doing their best to keep us humans hoping and moving along upon the journey called life.

For some reason, a church hymn has been stuck in my mind all week.  The hymn is called I Have Loved You and was written by Michael Joncas (who may be best known for his song On Eagles Wings).  The lyrics are paraphrased from Jeremiah 31:3 and Psalm 24:3.

I Have Loved You

Refrain:
I have loved you with an everlasting love,
I have called you and you are mine;
I have loved you with an everlasting love,
I have called you and you are mine.

Seek the face of the Lord and long for him:
he will bring you his light and his peace. (Refrain)

Seek the face of the Lord and long for him:
he will bring you his joy and his hope. (Refrain)

Seek the face of the Lord and long for him:
he will bring you his care and his love. (Refrain)

(Composed by Michael Joncas, 1979)

Enduring Everlasting Changes

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Gill-over-the-ground in Bloom Lisa A. Wisniewski

As I ran, walked, biked, and worked in the yard this week, I found little hints of nature’s endurance and everlasting love in the landscape.  Among these were:

  • Gill-over-the-ground starting to bloom with little purple flowers above deep green leaves that look like bubbles
  • Myrte popping up along the runners through remnants of fall leaves
  • Coltsfoot with its tiny yellow flowers peeking out from the brown scaly stalks
  • Lamb’s ears rejuvenated to green life with white hairy leaves along the roadside
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    Coltsfoot Lisa A. Wisniewski

    Red maple trees budding in rows along the farmer’s fences and park edges

  • Miniature green leaves opening up along the red stems of the red raspberry bushes in the garden and the briar patches in the woods
  • White and yellow tufts of hair popping open at the tips of the pussy willow bushes
  • Vibrant green leaves of wild radishes emerging along my biking root (no flowers yet)
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    Violas Lisa A. Wisniewski

    Purple violas standing tall amid the rocks in a neighbors’ garden

All the sights provided good examples of enduring through the hardships of the weather’s and life’s elements.  Each sighting brought the words to I Have Loved You to mind, making me wonder why God felt I needed this reminder so often this week.

After some thought, I realized it probably had to do with circumstances regarding uncertainty in several areas of life and the fact that April is the month in which my first dog and first

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Lamb’s Ears Lisa A. Wisniewski

best friend, Old Ralph, passed away and the month in which my late dog, Bo, was born.  Both dogs played important roles in shaping my character and teaching me life lessons.  Both also left me with a broken heart from their passing, yet an enduring and everlasting love through memories of them and time spent with them.

Everlasting Legacies

Old Ralph and Bo are two of many legacies with which I have been blessed to have known in my life.  Reading the newspaper this week, I found former first lady Barbara Bush and Pittsburgh professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino passed away.  Both of these people played a major role in the environments in which I grew up and left their marks upon me though I did not know either of them personally.

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Pussy Willows Lisa A. Wisniewski

Barabara Bush was admired by many people around me, including my grandmother.  Gram always put her faith in what certain celebrities and well known people had to say.  Barbara Bush was among these people.  Maybe it was her no nonsense, down-to-earth attitude and outlook on life, or the fact that Gram’s first name was also Barbara.  Whatever the reason, Gram made sure all of us grandkids knew who Barbara Bush was, what Barbara Bush thought, and how Barbara Bush had an impact upon our lives.  Even after Barbara Bush’s time as first lady had ended, Gram could be found combing the newspaper, magazines, and television shows looking for stories about Barbara Bush.  When Gram did find something of interest on the former first lady, it was indeed shared over and over with family, friends, and anyone who would listen.

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Legacies in the Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Similarly, Bruno Sammartino was admired by many family members.  Growing up, we often watched wresting on television, cheering on Bruno in his matches and trying to emulate his moves in the ring.  Later in life, we watched and listened to him as a commentator for wrestling matches.  Given he lived in the Pittsburgh area, we followed his life into retirement through articles in the newspaper and stories of sightings and conversations with him from friends and neighbors.  The general consensus was Bruno was indeed a legend, not only in sports, but also in humanity, being a champion of the underdog and supporter of the less advantaged.  Everyone knew who he was and how he portrayed himself was not an act, but rather a genuine, humble

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Everlasting Hope Lisa A. Wisniewski

person who admitted his faults and failings in life openly.

Reading the obituaries and tribute articles written about Barbara Bush and Bruno Sammartino made me wonder where all the good character, down-to-earth people have gone in the world.  The media’s and society’s fascination with the bad, worse, and worst seems to have made the good folks disappear, along with the integrity, honesty, and good examples such people offered.  This was a sad thought to me at first, but upon reflection, I realized it is just one more reason to focus more on nature and God, two everlasting good examples whose legacies live on as long as we are open to seeing and seeking them.

Everlasting Hope and Faith

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Skies Above the Woods Where Buster Brown Lived Lisa A. Wisniewski

Though I have spent much time in nature throughout my life, I did not realize all of its benefits or the connection to God it offered right away.  It took many walks, sunrises, sunsets, trees climbed, paths explored, and observations of the skies above to get me to this point in life’s journey.  It also took a lot of hope and faith, prayer, strength, and dedication.  I consider myself fortunate to have discovered nature early in life, most likely due to the influence of my late uncle, who was a nature lover, outdoors person, and legacy in his own right.

It was my uncle’s common-sense, no nonsense, get-out-there-and-do-something attitude and example that led me to nature.  My fondest memories of him are walks in the woods, stories he told about being in the woods, and the legacy he created with a character he called Buster Brown.  My uncle’s stories about Buster provided Mr. Roger’s like examples of compassion and understanding.  Given my uncle told the stories, I thought Buster was a real person.  It never dawned on me until I was a teenager that Buster was a fictitious character my uncle had created.

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Freedom For the Soul Lisa A. Wisniewski

When my uncle passed away suddenly in September of 1995, I remember feeling lost and hurt for not having something tangible by which to remember him.  As I grew older, I realized he left me with the greatest gift a person could ever receive: a love of and for nature that no person or life circumstance can ever take away.  This love has helped shape the life I live, as well as my work ethic, character, determined spirit, and faith.

This love has also led me to realize the truth and validity of the following quote:

“Self is the only prison that can bind the soul.” – Henry van Dyke

Everlasting Life

Whether we are young or old, we all face times of certainty and uncertainty, finding and losing, wealth and hardship, joy and sorrow, and light and dark.  Though we may not feel as if we are doing well dealing with all of the former aspects of living, we are indeed enduring them with each passing second, minute, hour, day, week, month, and year of life.   What we do each day is a sentence, paragraph, or chapter in our own legacies.

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Endless Potential Lisa A. Wisniewski

What we do not know and may never know is how our legacies will affect others.  We have the potential to leave both positive and negative marks upon the world.  Sometimes we may feel as if we don’t have a choice in what type of mark we leave behind.  The truth is we do have a choice, and that choice is only visible if we are open to seeking and finding it. That choice is also due to an everlasting love, which we may or may not recognize as being with us each day through God’s amazing grace.

May the people we know and experiences we have lead us onward, providing hope and strength for our journey.  May the legacies we carry with us help us to form our own legacies for others to carry with them when the time arrives.  May who we become be the best gift we can give in return for the life God has granted to us.

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Blue Skies Full of White Puffy Clouds Lisa A. Wisniewski

The Best Gift

Blue skies full of white puffy clouds
Moving through the light as time turns around
In the days of spring where the geese play
And the crickets bring their symphony to night’s parade
Where the stars and the moon
Create their own art in the blue
Expanse of the universe way out there
By God’s grace and care
To offer the best gift of all time
To the soul within watching the skies.

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Killdeer Running Lisa A. Wisniewski

Killdeer running in the green grass
As the rays of the sun draw past
Creating shadows upon the ground through the trees
Popping out with buds soon to be leaves
In the hush of the morning and bustle of the afternoon
Making the brush come to life with green hues
Along the red and brown stalks and reeds
Touched by the wind caught between the seas
Offering the best gift to have and to hold
As the light gives youth to the old.

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Walnut Tree in Morning Sky Lisa A. Wisniewski

Walnut tree towering high in the morning sky
As the clouds and the light pass along with time
Creating art only nature can draw
To start the day and the dawn
With an inspiring scene
Above the plants flowering in the breeze
Keeping rhythm with the seasons
In mysteries hidden and blessings beyond reason
Within the best gift ever granted to anyone
Through the Holy Spirit and God’s only begotten son.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Wild Radish Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Note of Thanks

Thanks to everyone taking a few minutes to peruse our post this week.  We appreciate your time and interest in our work and hope you found something to carry with you upon the journey.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo

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Everlasting Loves, Sadie and Leo Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

I Have Loved You Catholic Hymn – https://www.topcatholicsongs.com/i-have-loved-you-joncas

Michael Joncas – https://www.ocp.org/en-us/artists/413/michael-joncas#bio

Observing Sprouts of Life

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Sprouts of Life Lisa A. Wisniewski

Spring weather is still trying to make its way to our area.  We continue to have cold winds and snow showers though, so the landscape is still a bit barren looking.  The few hours of sunshine Tuesday and Wednesday were enough to coax the peonies, running myrtle, and a few more hyacinth shoots from their slumber beneath the earth.  The earthworms also started moving after the rain the other day, a sure sign spring is slowly, but diligently making its way to the surrounding area.

Today’s afternoon sunshine combined with warm winds allowed a few buckeye and forsythia buds to pop open the slightest bit, adding more color to the landscape.  Being able to run and bike in a t-shirt for the first time in months while listening to the symphony of spring peepers and crickets echoing in the wind was refreshing to the soul.

Hope in Growth

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Tiny Maple Tree Shoot Lisa A. Wisniewski

Seeing the little shoots, which are also called sprouts, reminded me of the promise of hope given during the Easter season.  While Easter Sunday is behind us, the Easter season is still being celebrated in our church, and will continue to be celebrated until Pentecost Sunday.  The actual season is 50 days long.  According to tradition, Easter stands for east, the direction of the sun’s rising whose light is the symbol of hope.

This hope is also a sign of new beginnings and growth.  The growth may be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or in some other category.  Growth in nature is a reminder of the continual changes we must encounter in order to grow as individuals and communities.  Sometimes growth is easy to see, as in the spring when so many green and red sprouts emerge.  Other times, as is the case this year, the growth is not as evident since only small patches of sprouts are slowly becoming visible.

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Red Peony Sprouts Lisa A. Wisniewski

The peony sprouts the dogs and I found during our walk earlier in the week were a surprise given the amount of snow we had over the weekend.  The sprouts we found are close to the porch by our house, so they are somewhat protected from the open winds.  Though they have not grown much over the past few days, they are indeed on their way to becoming beautiful pink and white flowers with green leaves that will last well into fall.

The transformation will take time, as well as sun, rain, and ants to help pollinate the flowers.  Growth will quicken once the temperatures turn warmer and the sun has more prominence in the sky.  The less than inch tall shoots will end up being close to two feet tall before the flowers emerge.  For now, we have to just be satisfied with the tiny shoots, which indeed offer hope for a promising and beautiful spring season.

Other Sprouts

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Eastern Red Buds Lisa A. Wisniewski

In addition to the peonies, we found the eastern redbud and plum trees in our yard are beginning to sprout.  The almost miniscule red and pink buds have opened up to pea size in the past few days.  The willow trees in the area are now showing long trails of yellow and green shoots, creating a very thin veil over the weeping tree branches.  I also found some running myrtie along my biking route last night.  The leaves of the myrtle are quite small, making the deep purple and blue flowers

appear more prominent.

The rhubarb in the garden and the bleeding heart in the landscape beds appear to be growing at a normal rate despite the colder temperatures.  Seeing both are reminders to me of family history and traditions.  Rhubarb was always a favorite and prized entity of my grandmother and great aunts, who made pies from the red stalks.  The past few years, I have made rhubarb jam to try to carry on the tradition of using the root to create sweet treats to share.  Everyone loved Gam’s and my great aunts’ pies years ago, and most of my friends and relatives really like the jam.

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Bleeding Heart Lisa A. Wisniewski

One patch of the bleeding heart on the property was planted over 40 years ago by my grandmother.  As time went by, she and I split the plant several times and I bought additional varieties to add color and texture to the landscaped areas around the garage and shed.   Every year the bleeding heart emerge, I think back to the times working in the yard with Gram when life was simpler and communication was more personal.  The memories are a good reminder of my own growth in life and the many changes I have yet to endure.

 

Special Sprout

Seeing the new sprouts and growth this week reminded me of a very special sprout memory.  When my sister was born, she was very small.  My uncle (my mom’s brother) likened my sister to a tiny bean sprout because of her small and delicate features.  My uncle’s comment spurred several beloved nicknames for my sister.  Older cousins called her Beanie, younger cousins called her Beans, but my uncle always called her Sprout.

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Myrtle Lisa A. Wisniewski

The nickname gave the two of them a special connection.  Given how much we adored our uncle (we thought he was Jesus) and the fact it was an original thought from him, the sprout nickname was a prized moniker.

Recalling this reminded me of how certain people in our lives act as sprouts, fostering our growth and development through relationships, actions, kind words, or simply their presence.  Given that we are all seeds sown by God, we each have the potential to become sprouts, then plants, making for a variegated landscape of humanity.

Organized Sprouts

This week in the newspaper, an article appeared about a nonprofit organization called the Sprout Fund.  This organization started seventeen years ago in Pittsburgh with the idea of giving small grants of money to support creative ideas and initiatives covering a myriad of topics.  The article explained how the organizers of the fund have decided to sunset the organization.  It also listed a number of successful programs that have grown throughout the region because of the initial sprout or seed money granted by the organization.

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Simple Thoughts Lisa A. Wisniewski

While I do not know the organizers personally, nor am I very familiar with many of the nonprofit organizations in the area, I was moved by the article and intrigued by the simple thoughts behind the organization.

The next day in the newspaper, the organizers of the Sprout Fund published an article about what they had learned in their years of giving small grants to so many different initiatives.  They admitted to mistakes and failures, but most of all to lessons learned in humanity and fostering growth.  In summary, the offered the following words of wisdom along with best wishes for others to carry on the concepts of giving in the region:

  • Be inclusive
  • Be human
  • Be authentic
  • Be open
  • Think big

Looking at this list and contemplating the concepts, I found parallels between the organization and sprouts in nature.  Being inclusive opens up possibilities for thoughts and networking that may not be considered otherwise.  Sprouts in nature do not judge or hold grudges.  They simply emerge and do their best to survive.

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Fleabane Leaves Popping Up Lisa A. Wisniewski

Being human can be interpreted as being humble and recognizing the need for help in life.  Sprouts in nature need the sun, rain, and elements in the atmosphere and soil to help them grow and survive, as well as leave behind

seeds for new growth.

Being authentic alludes to giving the best we can to offer hope for others.  The tiny sprouts in nature push through the soil or open up on tree branches through diligent effort despite conditions.  They have a beauty all their own, being unique in character, yet united in nature.

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Open & Authentic Personified Lisa A. Wisniewski

Being open includes sharing and caring, hoping and dreaming, admitting faults and failures, as well as celebrating successes, joys, and progress.  Sprouts in nature are pure and true, offering up all they have through the transparency of life itself.

Thinking big opens the way to allowing faith to be our guide regardless of circumstances or history.  Sprouts must think big in order to fulfill their life cycle and keep nature in balance.

Sprouts Everywhere

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Daffodils Ready to Open Lisa A. Wisniewski

We are all sprouts, tiny offshoots with a purpose and value in life.  Our contributions may be large or small, simple or complex, tangible or intangible.  Regardless of our abilities or skillsets, we each have a place in life, along with opportunities to foster growth, ideas, and communication to help convey hope to others.

May the sprouts of spring offer us renewed hope and promise in our lives and in the lives of others around us.  May we find ways to overcome circumstances and rise above in order to succeed for the better of all humanity.  May we also recognize and value the many different sprouts of life we encounter upon the journey.

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Tiny Shoots of Green (Day Lilies) Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sprouts of Life

Tiny shoots of green emerging from the ground
As well as in the trees when spring comes around
Offering hope for the rising of the sun
Allowing one to go through another day begun
With the promise of nature acting as a guide
For the heart and soul, body and mind
Making its way upon the routes of the ride
Taking place within the sprouts of life.

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Little Flower Lisa A. Wisniewski

Little flowers yet to be
Watered by the rain showers and dried by the breeze
Holding on through the cycle of the days
In the miracle of the light and nature’s ways
To beautify the landscape and comfort the soul
Watching the colors in the mosaic nature unfolds
As the seasons come about within time
To help create more sprouts of life.

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Sunset in the Distance (4/12/2018) Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sunset in the distance at the end of day
Marking the consistent love of God’s ways
Spreading colors near and far
Before the stellar existence of the moon and stars
Come out to play in the heavens above
Where mysteries are made and discoveries are done
To make things come about with and without rhyme
In the beauty of the sprouts of life.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Spring Promise Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Note of Thanks

Thanks to our readers and those visiting our blog.  We appreciate your time and hope you found something interesting or enjoyable.  It is our hope that in sharing our pictures and stories we can help spread a bit of hope and light within the world.
-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo

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Little Sprouts Fostering My Growth Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Leo (l) and Sadie (r) on Sprout Duty Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Easter season – https://www.catholic.org/lent/easter.php

Sprout Fund – https://www.sproutfund.org/

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Spreading the Hope of Spring Lisa A. Wisniewski

Observing Spring’s Seesaw

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Seesaw in the Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

April has started out as a bit of a seesaw with fluctuating temperatures and periods of sun and precipitation.  Though the dominant winds have been cold, we did have a day of warm air and sunshine to bolster our hope that spring weather is indeed on the way, but taking its time moving through the motions of gaining control over winter’s

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Diligence Reward Lisa A. Wisniewski

characteristics.  The past few days have been a real seesaw temperature-wise with cold day, warmer day, cold day, very warm day, and a downright frigid day complete with snow blowing sideways and winds gusting above 20 miles per hour.

Running, walking, and biking through it all has been quite a test of mental and physical fortitude.  However, our efforts have been rewarded with some beautiful sights and unique experiences full of life lessons that only nature can offer, so we are not complaining.

Enduring the Ride

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Mother Goose on Nest Lisa A. Wisniewski

Despite all the ups and downs in the weather, a pair of Canada geese managed to build a nest next to one of the neighboring ponds.  For several evenings, I watched the female walk along the pond’s edge, carefully surveying the area for the best spot to build the nest.  The female will lay four to seven eggs.  Incubation of the eggs will take 25-28 days.  Once the young goslings hatch, both the male and female will care for them.

The female has been sitting on the nest for three days now, enduring the weather.  Last night, she was hunkered down, head turned in toward her chest, doing her best to endure the frigid westerly winds.  Her mate swam nearby watching the water ripple in the wind and keeping an eye on the nest.

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Watchful Mate Lisa A. Wisniewski

The sight reminded me that as we endure life’s hardships, we have others watching out for us.  Sometimes we know they are present and other times we have no idea.  Through faith and hope, we endure, often pulled in many directions or back and forth as we try to reach our destination or move forward another mile in the journey.

The seesaw feelings that come along with these experiences can be overwhelming.  Sometimes we make mistakes in our efforts to overcome the situation or circumstances.  Other times, we find a way to maintain calm and keep our heads clear.  Every time, we have choices and influences that play a part in the outcome.  The important thing to remember is to keep moving in some way and not grow stagnant.   Perhaps the following quote says it best:

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Doing Something

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Common Housefly Lisa A. Wisniewski

In addition to the geese on the pond, the dogs and I have noticed several insects moving about despite the cold.  Though the insects prefer to move more during the warmer hours of the day, they are examples of keeping with the rhythm of life.  The common house flies, stink bugs, and Asian lady beetles have been on the move, mostly through our house, which neither the dogs nor I am very happy about.  We don’t mind them living, but really don’t want them living with us.

The common house flies seem to be the most active, buzzing about and spinning in circles near light fixtures and windows heated by the sun’s light.  These little creatures appear to have no rhyme or reason to their activities and often stumble about before spinning in a dizzying frenzy.

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Stink Bug Lisa A. Wisniewski

The stink bugs are a bit more stable in there movement and appear to have a destination in mind as they crawl diligently along.  Occasionally, they fly in a buzzing frenzy of loops, only to fall to the ground and find themselves stuck upside down with their legs flailing in the air.  Ever since my dog, Sadie, was a puppy, she has been my little stink bug detector.  I’ll never forget the first time she walked up and smelled a stink bug on the ground.  She sniffed, crinkled up her face, and barked as if she was alerting me to an intruder in the house.  Every time she finds a stink bug, she comes to get me and leads me to the little creature.  She then turns her head upwards as if to say, “Here it is, Mom! Now can you please get rid of it?”

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Asian Lady Beetle Lisa A. Wisniewski

The Asian lady beetles are the most straightforward and least crazed of the group.  Crawling steadily along over anything in their path, they appear intent on reaching their destination no matter what is put in their way.  Though they look like a lady bug, they can be distinguished by an M-like marking behind their heads.  They also tend to be paler in color and have the potential to bite.

Cycle of Life

Watching the insects move about and noting their increased activity during the warmer hours reminded me of how influential the environment is upon our activities. Though the dogs and I tend to stick to a routine no matter the conditions, we do find times when our activities are affected by the weather or other circumstances.  While at times we wish we could keep an even keel like machines, we are living creatures, and as such, must vary what we do in order to maintain our overall health and well-being.

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Changing Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

Perhaps it is the same with the weather and the seasons.  Conditions are always changing in the atmosphere, and the earth and the sun have their own cycles of orbiting in space.  While the cycles themselves are consistent through the course of a year, each day of these cycles is different depending upon time, temperature, atmospheric conditions, and location.  Every event has its own time frame, most of which are out of our control.

While the events may or may not coincide with what we know to be normal or are able to understand, they happen nonetheless.  Their existence in turn affects our learning process, activity levels, and interactions with others.  From a distance, it may not appear we are all connected, but if we start breaking down the details, we are all part of the cycle of life, which contains many literal and figurative ups and downs.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.” –George Bernard Shaw

Coming Around Again

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Blue Snow Drops Lisa A. Wisniewski

Unlike the active geese and insects, I noticed the flower and tree buds have been hesitant to open up and bloom.  Exceptions have been a few blue snowdrops and a patch or two or daffodils in areas protected from the harsh wind.  The cold morning and evening hours, along with the dominant cloud cover has keep the buds at the same stage they were a week ago.  While it would be nice to see more color in the landscape, the plants and trees know rushing to bloom will only lead to a shortened life span.

Perhaps we could use this as a lesson in our own lives.  How often do we rush through a process or activity just to reach two seconds of end satisfaction instead of taking our time to learn from and enjoy every moment of the experience? (Granted, not very aspect or experience in life is pleasant, so it is understandable to want to fast forward through these parts of life).

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Brave Daffodils Lisa A. Wisniewski

Life experience tells me that the flowers and trees will bloom in their own time, when conditions are right for their growth and survival.  A few days with more sun and a few hours of warmer temperatures should be able to convince the buds out of their closed state.   Whether the conditions happen next week or not remains to be seen.  However, the process has indeed started, and nature always finds a way to finish what it starts.  (Another lesson some of us might want to take notes on and try to copy in our own lives).

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending. “ – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Never Ending Cycles in the Skies Lisa A. Wisniewski

As with every cycle within life, what goes around comes back around, and what rises up comes back down.  It is the nature of equilibrium on the whole.  Though our lives may be full of ups and downs, arounds and backs, inside outs and upside downs, in the grand scheme, order is maintained.  The seesaw temperatures of spring will continue until the aspects influencing them even out or find a balance.  In the interim, we can follow nature’s examples of enduring, doing the best we can with what we have, and keep our hope and faith alive in the fact life is a continuous set of cycles.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

May the changing seasons open our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds to opportunities for growth and reflection.  May our efforts to do something amount to more than we ever dreamed possible, and may riding spring’s seesaw help build endurance and strength for the journey.

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Cool Air in the Dawn Lisa A. Wisniewski

Spring’s Seesaw

Cool air in the dawn
Before the sun’s flare rises on
The eastern front at day’s break
As another moment in time makes
What is meant to be
Within the extents of its sea
Rising and falling and rising again
In nature’s calling of elements
Within spring’s seesaw upon life’s playground
As the season hems and haws on its way back around.

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Sun Breaking the Clouds Lisa A. Wisniewski

Sun breaking the clouds playing hide and seek
As the earthworms move about and the call of the geese
Keep nature moving through the motions
Ebbing and flowing in time’s oceans
Where faith prevails and grace is personified
In the winds that sail and the frost that makes the ground white
Only to melt and then form again
Depending on the temperature felt and how the light bends
Within spring’s seesaw going up and down
Like the rise and fall of the crickets and peepers shouts.

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Half a Moon Slipping Through the Clouds Lisa A. Wisniewski

Half a moon slipping through the clouds
On its way to become full and round
Then back again through twenty eight days
Each one spent in a different phase
Waxing and waning, quarter, and half
Above the landscape awakening from slumbers past
Creating a sea of green amid the hills
Beyond the pond’s reach and the birds’ bills
Within spring’s seesaw of life’s ways
Blessed by God’s power and grace.

-Lisa A. Wisniewski

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Canadian Geese on Pond Lisa A. Wisniewski

A Note of Thanks

Thanks to all of our readers for taking some time to view our posts.  We appreciate your time, comments, and interest in our writings and pictures.  Our topics are usually based on what pictures and experiences we have each week, so every post is original and somewhat creative.   Special thanks to God for giving us so much to share and the insight to take a myriad of topics and turn them into life lessons.

-Lisa, Sadie, and Leo

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Investigative Reporters Leo and Sadie Lisa A. Wisniewski

Resources and Related Links

Asian lady beetles – https://www.orkin.com/other/beetles/ladybugs-asian-lady-beetles/

Canada geese – http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/canada-goose

Common house flies – https://www.jcehrlich.com/flies/species/

Stink bugs – https://www.orkin.com/other/stink-bugs/do-stink-bugs-bite/