Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Magnolia Trees at sunset in the Arboretum Longnecker Garden, Madison, WI.

Barbara Gavin-Lewellyn


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Flowering trees framed by crab apple blossoms arranged by gardeners in The Arboretum Longenecker Gardens in Madison, WI.

Barbara Gavin-Lewellyn

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God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.  ~James M. Barrie


This is the last time, whispered sweetly,
leaning in, close to my ear
so that only I would hear.
This is the last time, make a memory.
And so I did: wrapped
up in September’s sunshine, kept
safe, a treasure, this simple act,

an expression of love so strong
my heart longs
to hold you back
even as you walk away from me
towards tomorrows I will not see.



There is a story behind this poem—aren’t there always? I considered telling it in this post but I think I will let this poem stand alone for a few days before I write about what prompted the poem in order to let it become what it will for whoever takes the time to read it. I like to make some of my poems a bit ambiguous as to their subject and just try to capture the emotions that surround the situation. Do you think I have managed that with this one? Who do you think whispered this in my ear? What was “the last time?”  Why are they walking away?

The picture I used to illustrate this poem is one I took of the sun shining on the leaves in the courtyard of my building in September of 2008 when we had stellar fall colors. I titled it September’s Sunshine and thought it would be a good companion for this poem.  It even illustrates this weeks photo challenge “Through” since the sun is shining through the leaves.

Thanks for reading…

Barbara Gavin-Lewellyn

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Starry, starry night.
Portraits hung in empty halls,
Frameless head on nameless walls,
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget.
Like the strangers that you’ve met,
The ragged men in the ragged clothes,
The silver thorn of bloody rose,
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Don Mclean

These pictures taken February 23rd  in the courtyard of the building I live in reminded me of Don McLean’s “Starry Starry Night” and the VanGogh painting.  I love how the big flakes that were falling are visible and the play of the light from the yard lights on the snow.

I’ve been playing around with the tools in my photo manipulation program and this is what happened with these pictures.

The original photo first and then the manipulated version:

I used the photo manipulation program Shotwell bundled with Ubuntu Linux to transform that picture into the following:

I really liked how the colors that are present but not normally seen by the human eye popped out and made this scene almost surrealistic.

I didn’t go for the color in this next shot although there is some.  I just wanted to emphasize the snow on the branches.  I think I might like the original picture better than the manipulated one.

I ❤ digital photography.  Wish I could afford a better camera.

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I’m bringing home my baby bumble bee
Won’t my Mommy be so proud of me
I’m bringing home my baby bumble bee –
OUCH!! It stung me!!

Author Unknown
I called over to my Daughter’s house last night to ask her about a present I want to get the baby and as usual, Daughter and Son-in-law were both too busy to talk to me but my Gr-Son answered the phone and was in a talkative mood. This was unusual in two respects. First that he answered the phone at 10 minutes to 8 (his bedtime has been 7:00 for eons) and second that he would want to chatter at me for fifteen minutes.

My daughter and her husband never seem to sit still. I don’t care when I call, they never have time to talk. It really irks me sometimes. Gr-son usually doesn’t have time to talk either but he’s 7 and a little boy. I could scarcely get my own kids to tell me what their day at school was like when they were kids.

I got an answer about the baby question from him because it was about a toy that his Uncle and I had given him when he was a wee baby. If they still had it (which is doubtful because even though Daughter’s house is large, there is not a lot of storage space) then cool, if not, then I want to get one for Baby. as a combo Christmas/welcome to the family gift and give it to her now.

She doesn’t have any toys to play with. This is one of those learning thingamajiggies that lights up and makes all kinds of cool noises when you push the buttons in the right sequence. Good until about age 5 or so. Or if you are an adult you can play with it for hours on end and still never get over being fascinated by the thing. <heh>

Then I asked gr-son how he was getting along with the other kids and he told me all his woes about having three little siblings. Baby is nice but those other two kids. Not so nice.

I asked him how he liked being the big boy in the house for a change and that kind of put a new spin on the subject. His response was priceless. “oh yeeeaah, I AM the big boy in the house now aren’t I.” Now I suppose he will get all bossy over those other kids with the big boy attitude. Grammy’s fault.

Friday when I was there he found a big old common Garden Spider when we were out walking and coaxed it onto souvenir Mallards’ baseball bat he was carrying. It was HUGE! The spider, not the bat. The bat was miniature He wanted to take it home to show his Daddy. The spider, not the bat.

Of course he had to stop off at the pool to show a bunch of big boys waiting for their turn at the diving board his prize. They thought he was pretty brave carrying around a spider that big! That puffed up a 7 year old boy’s ego.

We were within hollerin’ distance when the spider made his move. He turned around and started scuttling up the bat towards Gr-son at a pretty good click. Gr-son freaked and threw the bat into the park at least fifteen feet. I thought I was going to bust something from belly laughing so hard.

“It’s NOT funny Grammy! He was coming after me. What if he bited me and he was poisonis?”

I went and retrieved the bat and then explained that there were only two spiders that were “poisonis” in Wisconsin and that wasn’t one of them. We’d look up the “poisonis” ones in the encyclopedia later on.

That kid cracks me up. He wants to be an entymologist (yes he can say that word) when he grows up but he really needs to learn not to throw his specimens away when they make aggressive moves towards him or have too many legs (centipedes). Squeamishness is not allowed in the entymologist biz. <heh>

He’s liked bugs ever since he was an itty bitty little thing though. I used to have these T-shirts I bought especially to wear when I went to see him because they were colorful and had fun things on them. One was of a Teddy bear with bees buzzing around its head. Ones of his first words was to point at the bees on that shirt and say “bee bug” when he was around 9 to 10 months old or so.


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