Inner Iris 6-18-17

Today it was quite chilly with brief periods of sun. The sunlight allowed me to take today’s photos.  I have found that entire white iris are challenging for me to photograph, so I was pleased and grateful to capture portraits of these beauties before they are done for the season.  They live in my neighbor’s yard.
cool sunshine glitters
bouncing off iris petals
sparkling enjoyment
~ Raven Ariana Simons ©2017
late afternoon light
allows a glimpse within
soft inner iris
~ Raven Ariana Simons ©2017
I love this little fly that look like he/she is looking out over a vast expanse.
This hover fly says “hi” from a neighbor’s flower and looks nice with the iris photos. Amazing that these insects were out in the cold!
wee friends in the cold
pollinating champions
both are little flies
~ Raven Ariana Simons ©2017
Bright Blessings, Namaste, Namu Amida Butsu
Our hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!

Come As You Are – 3/13/15, 3/14/15, 3/15/15

3:15:15 reflections and koi 1 sig“Although my eyes, blinded by passions, do not see the brilliant light which embraces me,
the Great Compassion never tires, always casting its light upon me.”
~ Shinran Shonin

Our old cat Velvet on 3/13/14 (she crossed the Rainbow Bridge that autumn).  RIP Dear One!

Our old cat Velvet on 3/13/14 (she crossed the Rainbow Bridge that autumn of 2014). RIP Dear One!

Click here for the post of photos from March 13, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Friday, March 13, 2015 – Today is golden with sunlight and the forsythia in full bloom.
3:13:15 f sig 3:13:15 close sig 3:13:15 f 1 sig“That Buddha, in the causal stage, made the universal Vow:
When beings hear my Name and think on me, I will come to welcome each of them,
Not discriminating at all between the poor and the rich and wellborn,
Not discriminating between the inferior and the highly gifted,
Not choosing the learned and those upholding pure precepts,
Nor rejecting those who break precepts and whose evil karma is profound.
Solely making beings turn about and abundantly say the Nien-Fo,
I can make bits of rubble change into gold.”
~ Hymn by Tz’u-min, cited by Fa-chao in the Wu-hui fa-shih tsan (Shorter Pure Land Liturgy of Nien-Fo Chant in Five Stages)

3:13:15 f 4 sig 3:13:15 f 3 sig 3:13:15 close nice sig“each blossom is filled
pollen, nectar, and longing
to bee completed”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

Honeybee gathering blue pollen from Siberian squill on 3/14/15.

Honeybee gathering blue pollen from Siberian squill on 3/14/15.

Click here for the post of photos from March 14, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Saturday March 14, 2015 – Today I saw a tiny beetle that looked like a miniature lady bug with black and red spots.  I haven’t looked this one up to see if it is actually some type of ladybug.  My Oregon grape is coming into bloom and the mason bees (osmia) are out and about.  My neighbors’ violets smelled heavenly.
3:14:15 nice b sig 3:14:15 v fr sig 3:14:15 osmia cl sig“True entrusting means that you’re able to truly relate to another being. Not only human beings but with plants and animals. Even those things that cannot speak, you’re able to hear their feelings. Namu-amida-butsu.”
~ Ichitaro
3:14:15 side v n a sig 3:14:15 side o cl sig 3:14:15 v sp sig“buds swell to bursting
sweet smells and nectar laden
beckon insect friends”
~ Raven Ariana Simons

Christmas cactus re-blooming on 3/15/14.

Christmas cactus re-blooming on 3/15/14.

Click here for the post of photos from March 15, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Sunday, March 15, 2015 – Today was exceptionally warm and we actually had a record high of 73 degrees F. at 3:00 P.M. MDT.  This is a quote from a local newspaper, “The warm temperatures are nearly 20 degrees warmer than normal temperatures for mid-March.” This made it a lovely day for sangha in the park and listening to and sharing wise words about our mindfulness practice and compassion.  We also learned about and practiced walking meditation.  I want to express heartfelt gratitude to our wonderful Practice Leader, Mr. Christopher “Myoshin” Ross-Leibow, and his lovely wife, Linnea, for their work service and also to the rest of the members of the Sangha. where we are truly welcome to “come as we are”.
3:15:15 Amida Buddha sm sig 3:15:15 falling water sig 3:15:15 koi and reflections 1 sig 3:15:15 koi 1 sig“Among all living things
mountains and rivers,
grasses and trees,
even the sounds of blowing winds
and rising waves –
there is nothing
that is not the nembutsu”
~ Ippen
3:15:15 old tree sig 3:15:15 falling water 1 sig 3:15:15 koi 2 sig 3:15:15 Amida Buddha 1 sm sig“we walk heal to toe
massaging sweet mother earth
with our mindful feet”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
3:15:15 koi and reflections sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace of the Universe!
Bright Bee Blessings, Namaste, and Namu Amida Butsu ~ Raven

Three Sunny Days in March – 3/7/15, 3/8/15, 3/9/15

3:9:15 sunset sig“Now when the primrose makes a splendid show,
And lilies face the March-winds in full blow,
And humbler growths as moved with one desire
Put on, to welcome spring, their best attire…”
~ William Wordsworth

Cedar waxwing on 3/7/14.

Cedar waxwing on 3/7/14.

Click here for post with photos from March 7, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Saturday, March 7, 2015 – Today was a day full of birds staking out territory and I even saw a tussle between a couple of male starlings, though I was only able to get the “sing off” before they went after each other.  I also have a cute blue jay who seemed to look on in an incredulous way.
3:7:15 sing off a sig 3:7:15 look up 1 sig“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ”
~ Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
3:7:15 good s sig “as the jay looks on
male starlings fall from the tree
engaged in battle”
~ Raven Ariana Simons3:7:15 j 1 sig

Crocus on 3/8/14.

Crocus on 3/8/14.

Click here for post with photos from March 8, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Sunday, March 8, 2015 – I saw my first flower flies (hoverflies) today and the first mason bee (osmia) and a cute little honeybee gathering pollen.
3:8:15 ff 1 a sig 3:8:15 side ff sig“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
3:8:15 osmia sig“a fine sunny day
as pollinators emerge
from their winter’s sleep”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
3:8:15 hb munch 1 sig

Seagulls on March 9, 2014.

Seagulls on March 9, 2014.

Click here for post with photos from March 9, 2012, 2013, and more 2014.

Monday, March 9, 2015 – The crocus are still in bloom, the aspen catkin buds lengthen, and the Oregon grape is also coming into bloom.  We also had a lovely sunset which is stars at the beginning of this post.
3:9:15 aspen a sig3:9:15 p c sig “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
~ Rachel Carson
3:9:15 o g open sig 3:9:15 hb a sig“cheerful spring flowers
food for the insect people
brings hope to my heart”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
3:9:15 c s cl sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Bright Bee Blessings and Namaste ~ Raven


Datura and Dragonfly Migration 10/15/14

“Clouds of insects danced and buzzed in the golden autumn light, and the air was full of the piping of the song-birds. Long, glinting dragonflies shot across the path, or hung tremulous with gauzy wings and gleaming bodies.”
~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
10:15:14 illum wings sigFlashback Monday, October 15, 2012 – This is my pick photo for today and stars a honeybee in basil started from seed by my youngest son 🙂
October 15, 2012 sigFlashback Tuesday, October 15, 2013 – This is my pick photo of the day and it stars autumn leaves on my neighbor’s tree.
October 15, 2013 sigWednesday October 15, 2014 – Today it was very windy and I have a few photos of what I believe to be my last datura blossom of the season. The wind was blowing hard enough to make photos a challenge today.  I also saw a number of variegated meadowhawk dragonflies.  Four at one time where trying to perch on fennel and old iris stalks in the same spot. I believe that they might be migrating.  Also The Xerces Society is requesting help from citizens to find out about migrating dragonflies.  Today is the 15th day of the month long poetry challenge.
10:15:14 datura v sig 10:15:14 datura inside sig
10:15:14 d side sig  10:15:14 d wall sig 10:15:14 d sig“oh beautiful one
I wonder where you’re going
autumn migration”
Raven Ariana Simons
10:15:14 d nice background sig 10:15:14 datura sig 10:15:14 d facing sig 10:15:14 illuminated d sig 10:15:14 d fennel wings sig“where do you wander
variegated meadowhawk
I am curious”
~ Raven Ariana Simons
10:15:14 close d sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Magical Dragonfly Blessings and Namaste ~ Raven

Milkweed Beetles and Bugs the Next Generation 8/17/14

Flashback Friday, August 17, 2012 – This honeybee on one of my backyard basil plants is my pick photo for today. I love the detail.
August 17, 2012 sig
Flashback Saturday, August 17, 2013 – This is my pick photo for today and it stars a native bee on my anise hyssop.
August 17, 2013 sigSunday, August 17, 2014 – Love is in the air for some of our friends in the milkweed community. The red milkweed beetles and small milkweed bugs have been busy procreating.
8:17:14 side view shagging sig 8:17:14 shag face sig“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
~ Rumi
8:17:14 mbugs shag sig 8:17:14 leaving the scene sig“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
~ Rumi
8:17:14 snak and shag sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Namaste ~ Raven



First Milkweed Seeds 8/9/14

Flashback Thursday, August 9, 2012 – This is my pick photo for today and it stars a honeybee on the pretty orange flowers (butterfly weed – Asclepias tuberosa) in my neighbors’ parking strip. Love the clear shot of the bee with the vibrant greens and oranges!
August 9, 2012 sig
Flashback Friday, August 9, 2013 – This is my pick photo for today and hubby got to choose as today celebrates 22 years of marriage together 🙂
August 9, 2013 sigSaturday, August 9, 2014 – A few milkweed pods have ripened and the red milkweed beetles are continuing to feed.  The insect in the pod is a milkweed bug, though these seem to eat more than just milkweed because I see them in the backyard where I don’t have any milkweed yet.  Spearmint and fennel also grow in my milkweed strip and here is a tiny little native bee and a honeybee enjoying the blossoms.  Happy Anniversary to my honey for 23 years of marriage!  I love you 🙂
8:9:14 pod sig 8:9:14 mseeds sig 8:9:14 mbug sig“You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.”
~Terence McKenna
8:9:14 tiny native sig 8:9:14 hb 1 sig 8:9:14 tiny native close sig“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.”
~ Terence McKenna
8:9:14 mb lunch sig 8:9:14 dinner time sig“You are a divine being. You matter, you count. You come from realms of unimaginable power and light, and you will return to those realms.”
~ Terence McKenna
8:9:14 mb sigOur hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Bright Bee Blessings and Namaste ~ Raven


Native Bees 8/4/14

Flashback Saturday, August 4, 2012 – The clouds were really interesting close to sunset and reminded me of surf at the beach.
August 4, 2012 sigFlashback Saturday, August 4, 2013 – This is my pick photo for today and it stars a bumblebee enjoying a sunflower. This one is super cute!
August 4, 2013 sigMonday, August 4, 2014 – Today we have native bees.  This first one is a carder bee.  We also have a long horned bee and a leaf cutter bee.
8:4:14 little buzzer sig 8:4:14 back sig 8:4:14 back 1 sig“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
~ Barack Obama
8:4:14 native bee sig 8:4:14 native bee wings sig  8:4:14 native bee face sig 8:4:14 native bee 1 sig“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
~ Nelson Mandela
8:4:14 cute longhorn sig Our hearts give thanks for the Grace in the Universe!
Bright Bee Blessings and Namaste ~ Raven