N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Photography

Relaxation and Peace

For your weekend, the beautiful music of relaxation and peace with outstanding photography. Fall is in the air!

Blessings, Boyer Writes

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Click this link and turn up your sound.


Rain on the Roof… New Devotional Book by N.W. Boyer

 

We are happy to announce the publication of a fourth in a series of Christian devotional books.

RAIN ON THE ROOF is a perfect devotional for anyone who would like to increase in their faith or looking to find faith.

The thirty one days of readings include historical and real life stories, original photographs by N. Boyer, Holy Scriptures and selections from The Book of Common Prayer.

You may find this book available at the following locations:   (CLICK to view)

BOOKS BY BOYER ONLINE SITE   www.booksbyboyer.

AMAZON


Dog Heros of 9-11

The heroes of 9-11 were many.  They were not only first responders, people with amazing courage and compassion for fellow citizens, but the many dogs that worked tirelessly at Ground Zero.

A friend sent me this article written by

“Search and rescue dogs are some of the unsung heroes of 9/11… However, these determined animals were indispensable to the rescue efforts and saved countless lives. What’s more, they brought back a sliver of hope to a nation under attack and reeling from the horror. One Twitter user gave canines the attention they deserve in an incredibly profound and viral thread that once and for all proves that dogs really are our best friends”rescue dog of 9-11 Riley (2)

 

9-1 dog Bretagne

“Some of these heroic dogs were awarded The Dickin Medal which, according to BBC Radio 4, is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. One of the dogs who received the medal was the aforementioned New York Police Department dog Appollo; the award was meant to recognize the dutiful efforts made by all SAR dogs during 9/11…

Two guide dogs were also awarded the medal for leading their owners more than 70 floors out of the World Trade Center immediately after the attacks in New York. Since 1943, over 60 animals have been awarded The Dickin Medal, including pigeons, horses and a cat (not just dogs). They were recognized for their services which led to people’s lives being saved during wartime.”

Boyer Writes gives honor to all the Hero Dogs of 9-11

The video below is the story of Michael Hingson, a survivor on 9-11 and his dog, Roselle. (Turn up sound)

 


New Devotional Book with Photography and St. Paul’s Words

 

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After a trip to Greece this year to follow the “Footsteps of St. Paul”, the inspiration came to share my photography and words of Holy Scripture that St. Paul spoke to the early churches.  He and the men and women during the years of spreading the Gospel through missionary journeys suffered greatly the persecution that eventually led to his beheading in Rome.  Because of them, we have the writings of the Holy Scriptures today of the good news of the Christian faith.

Follow with me now some of his words to the Jews in the Synagogues, the faithful in the churches and to us, the modern day church.  I have included archeological finds and ruins as well as the amazing monasteries of Meteora.

This devotional is now available on Amazon in paperback and e-Book form.

Click here to view new devotional book

All books written by N.W.Boyer for adults and children (click on each book for more info)

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Eternity…What is it?

Eternity is a word without a real meaning.  If we look it up, the closest definition would be something like this:  “…a state to which time has no application; timelessness.”   The simple words would be “forever and forever” which is definitely difficult to understand.

Almost all religions have a belief in an eternity.  Some think that they have to work for it.  Others believe that it is a gift of God, through His Son Jesus Christ.   Another faith thinks that life just begins again and they hope that they will return as a more elevated human and not one of the lowly animals or insects.  The whole concept is so broad and “endless” that the mind cannot comprehend.   The question then is whether we should even be concerned about something in which we do not have a real answer?    I think so. We plan ahead for many things: Our wedding day, our place of residence, our finances, our grave-site…but why not think about the eternal? Somehow I think it should be thoughts of joy instead of foreboding…especially when we have had loved ones who have gone before us.

We know we were born.  We also know that we will all die eventually.  Our love for each other draws a great well of desire to want to see each other again in eternity. Do we have the perfect answer to eternity…no…not in ourselves, but yes, in the Holy Scriptures we have promises.  We are told, “...to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Corinthians 5:8)    That verse alone should give us great hope. We are promised a resurrection of the body, just as Christ was resurrected.  When I decided on cremation after death, my thought was to wonder how all of those dust pieces were going to be put back together.  How juvenile a thought was that!  If He can sling the stars into orbit and match up molecules, He will have no trouble with the resurrection!

 

Pieta by Michelangelo 1499 St Peters Basilica Rom

The Pieta… Mary holds her dead son, Jesus, Who she will see risen from the dead 3 days later.

 

 

As a Christian, I believe in eternity.  It may be hard for an atheist who thinks when one dies it is the end of everything, but I have always felt that if there could possibly be any truth in this belief, I would have lived a happier life because of my own joy in believing in God and the comfort it has given me.  How sad and morbid to believe that there is no one who will enjoy eternity with the Maker of our most glorious universe.  Those who have had a near-death experience recall a wonderful feeling of love.  They speak of seeing someone that appears to be God waiting for them in a bright light.  According to some records, surprisingly, 75% of those thinking they were dying as atheists have told of this same experience.

near death experiences

Representation of a Near-Death Experience   (from Piotr Żabicki/ iStock.com)

 

Recently, I saw a special on the amazing new parts of the universe that have only been identified by the most powerful telescope sent into space.  The most familiar and powerful so far has been the Hubble Space Telescope.  Nevertheless, there is “a new kid” in the making.

hubble_helix-master1050.jpg Eye of God

“The Eye of God” is the planetary nebulae nearest to Earth, extending 2.5 light-years across, making it larger than our entire solar system. ( Hubble Space Telescope)

 

The newest and most powerful telescope is the James Webb Space Telescope.  It is to be the successor to the Hubble telescope and will be launched in 2021.  Here are a few facts concerning the future launching:

 The James Webb Space Telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch vehicle is part of the European contribution to the mission. The Ariane 5 is one of the world’s most reliable launch vehicles capable of delivering Webb to its destination in space. The European Space Agency (ESA) has agreed to provide an Ariane 5 launcher and associated launch services to NASA for Webb.  (Nasa)

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The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a space telescope that will be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The JWST will provide greatly improved resolution and sensitivity and will enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology. One of its major goals is observing some of the most distant events and objects in the universe, such as the formation of the first galaxies. These types of targets are beyond the reach of current ground- and space-based instruments. Other goals include understanding the formation of stars and planets, and direct imaging of exoplanets and novas. (Wikipedia)

Why do I digress from writing about eternity to telescopes?  It is with delight that I think those who are experiencing their eternity are having a perfect understanding of the formation of the universe and all there is on other planets. If there is life on other worlds, our loved ones would have the joy of knowing this. (Forget about the Hollywood version of the “little green man with a pointed head.”)

Thinking of the possibilities makes “eternity” seen a little shorter than “forever”…mainly because it would take forever to know all there is to know, which is impossible without the mind of God. Could it be that He will provide His mind for us to know and understand all these glories, that we have only slightly seen through the telescope, and be able to experience the glories for eternity?

(A side-thought:  I can’t imagine that we will be going from planet to planet as on some fast-moving whirlwind because the Scriptures also says that there will be a place of peace.  He promises that the lion will lay down with the lamb. Could that mean that at the Savior’s return to earth that He will also bring those with Him who have died and bring absolute peace onto a new earth? )

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Isaiah 11:6 (NASB)

Jesus also prayed a prayer to his Father in Heaven, who made the universe that He wanted us to know the glories of the universe:  “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”  (John 17:24)

Regardless of what eternity may mean, we will draw our last breath and then we will know it all.  TO GOD BE THE GLORY

VIDEO  (Turn on sound)

 

 


God’s Glory…for your Pleasure

Caras Lonut73jpg

Photo by Caras Lonut

Music and Nature are a perfect combination for your listening pleasure.  May you make time to contemplate on both.   The road of life may seem long, but actually it is quite short…so enjoy it and be glad.

 “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. 
 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.”   (Psalm 96: 11&12)

 

VIDEO  (turn up sound)  by Mark Knopfler


Finding that NEW PATH

Today I want to introduce my readers to a man who has found his direction in a most unusual way. I write about him because in my previous blog, I talked about “New Directions.”  This man has followed his passion after leaving a profession as a sailor and it has led him to more than he could have ever imagined.   His name is Caras Ionut (or  Ionuţ Caraş in the Romanian language )    His specialty is manipulating photography in a surreal style.  Ionut Caras photographer from Romania

“In his work, he uses his own photographs, which he inserts, composes and colorfully adjusts in a suitable way. In his dream works, physically impossible scenes arise, such as a little girl hanging on a swing hundreds of feet above the ground, an elephant riding a bicycle, a little girl riding on the back of a huge fish, and the like. Ionut often puts man in his paintings. Often they are small children, but also special people not fit into the standard society. Roamers, beggars, comedians, and so on. Their image is enhanced by a dark landscape with old trees, dark sky, mist, mountain scenery or rainy weather. Often, the element of umbrella, ships, water, rocks or birds (such as ravens) is repeated in his work. Ionut’s inspiration for his works draws from his dreams in the night, from the colors of autumn and winter. He works as a professional photographer and a retoucher, offers courses and tutorials for those who want to learn how to digitally manipulate photos… Many of his images have been used for book covers, audio cd, bank advertisements, website materials, local publications, prints, and many other uses. He now has many clients…such as Stephen King and others…”  (Wikipedia)

Below are three sets of slides for you to enjoy.  Take your time and study them for the creative side is excellent.  I’m not certain if the child he often incorporates in his photography is his own, but the combination of the “impossible” with the real is somewhat chilling, but very interesting.

  • THE IMPOSSIBLE

 

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  • DRAMATIC NATURE

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  • THE WARMTH OF ORDINARY PEOPLE

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Look around you for the beauty that is in YOUR path…

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Credit:  All photography by Caras Ionut

 


Virginia and Carolina in Fall…or Anytime

My growing up home place was in the Brushy Mountains outside Wilkesboro and N. Wilkesboro, N.C.  Keep this city name in mind for there is a treat at the end of this blog.

After high school,  I left with my parents to live in Florida.  I never expected that I would one day go back to the mountains.  Since Fall is my favorite season and unfortunately, in Florida, we only get a few brown leaves in mid-winter, we have to be in the mountains to enjoy that season.  Don’t misunderstand for  I’m not complaining about the beautiful green, citrus fruit, or warm weather in Florida. It’s still a great place even with the frequent hurricanes.

Riding just a little further up the mountain to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, my husband and I felt it was a wonderful place to enjoy at least for a few months of the year.  Winter is a little too cold for us “flat-landers”, as we are sometimes called.  The time we stayed on after the Fall to see the first snow, we bundled up like we were in Alaska to take our dog, Gracie, out for her final evening bathroom break.  She would stand and stare into the woods, sensing the deer were close by.  Their eyes would sometimes shine in the dark…and the wind biting at our noses sent us racing back inside the house.

Nevertheless, I think that the “country girl” was still in me.  Coming back to Virginia and North Carolina,  it was evident that I had a  great affinity for the way of life and the people of these mountains.

Why do I say this?  I only know that the people have a warm disposition and a sense of humor that I have not found to such a degree anywhere else around the world. I have been fortunate enough to visit or teach in places like Mongolia, Guatemala, Ukraine, Switzerland, France, and Japan.   Still, these hills and the valleys, where a person can look deep into a ravine, keep calling me back. Fourteen cousins and my Uncle John still call the VA-N.C. mountains and foothills their home…so it’s probably a genetic “family thing” as well.

The Blue Ridge has it all…steep mountain cliffs and valleys, rolling hills filled with vegetable crops and orchards of delicious fruit.

Falll VA 2017sm

The bear, deer, rabbits, and other “critters” also make it their place of residence.  The humming- birds fly to the sweet-smelling sugar water put out in the gardens and the rabbits help themselves to whatever… wherever. Speaking of bear, one came up to our front porch to push over and have her fill at our feeder.  No longer do we provide such a delicacy.

 

 

 

 

From my window, I can hear the cows, donkeys and lambs in the fields. At night the stars are clear and brilliant.  When the moon is full, the coyotes roam about making their distinctive sound while looking for something to bring back to their little ones in the den.

The Spring along the Blue Ridge Parkway is filled with wild-flowers and the white and pink rhododendron bushes line the road.  Small barns, churches, and family graves stand as a testament to those who have lived here in generations past.   Some mountain people with roots back to the Civil War, still proudly fly their Confederate flags and dare anyone to tell them that they can’t.   They also just as strongly hold to their “guns and their religion.”    They are a proud people, that I have found, will come to one’s help at anytime or any hour.

Blue Ridge and Old things 012

 

Someone may ask why I am writing about the Fall when it’s Spring and Summer is just around the corner?   Perhaps I’m giving an invitation to make your plans now to see this glorious place. Not so long from now, the leaves will flutter about and turn to a deep orange and red.  The pumpkins will lay over acres and acres of the hillsides turning the farms into a special hue of gold.  The tractors will slowly make their way from the fields to the barns.  Sometimes those same tractors take family or friends on flatbeds to enjoy the countryside.  Visitors from far and wide stop and take in the breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Blue Ridge and Old things 008

It’s also the Fall that brings the people to these mountains.

Fall leavesfall leaves2pumpkins

 

nancy on Buffalo Mt 2 hrs up 1 hur down climb best

Virginia’s Buffalo Mt and this blog’s author

Maybe my next book will be for all these visitors who come this way … to give them heads up and a little advice to what it’s like to visit or live in the mountains.  I’m thinking it will be titled, “What Everyone Needs to Know Before Visiting or Planning to Live in the Blue Ridge Mountains.” 

 This might be a part of this new book.

“Don’t come thinking that you’ll be treated like in New York City…or Paris…or somewhere.  You’ll have to slow down, enjoy English laced with a warm, Southern drawl, and be greeted just like you are family.   When you go to a small, family-run restaurant, walk right in, greet the people sitting there with  “Hey there. How’s everybody?  Got anything good to eat in here?”  (Not “Hi There”…for it’s N.Y City sounding to their ears..and remember this is “Rebel” territory.)

They’ll know you aren’t from the Blue Ridge, but they’ll be friendly- like and greet you with some jolly response. Don’t worry if someone comes over to your table and asks your name or finds out what brought you to these parts.  When you finish eating, look around, wave and tell everyone, “Goodbye…see you next time!”    They’ll appreciate it.

When you drive back to where you are staying and a truck rounds the corner giving you a “one finger wave,” (NOT the middle)… just wave back.  They aren’t flagging you down…but saying “Hello.” 

Want to know more?   Be looking for my book title sometime in the near future on the internet.  As I close this blog, I think I will let the Kruger Brothers sing what it’s like to be in “Carolina in the Fall”….and I would also add… Virginia.  Hope to see “Y’all” up this way someday.

VIDEO (Turn up sound)

 Link to Books by N.W.Boyer with a Blue Ridge Mountain setting

 

 


Relaxing Music of the Christian faith

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May you be blessed this week as you go about the things you are doing.  Take a few minutes to play this in the background…for peace and comfort.

God is in the wind, the rain and the stars.  He is beside you now…unseen, but present. Make time to feel His presence through music.

Video:   St. Paul’s music for your relaxation


Feeling Sorry for Yourself? Consider the People of the World

We know that we in the West can’t solve all the world’s problems.  Nor can we be the “Policemen” of the world.  We have problems of our own to solve.  Nevertheless, it is not a bad idea to consider what the ordinary people of the world go through when there are such things as ethnic cleansing and unstable governments as well as years of war.

children in Afghanistan 2

Internally displaced Afghan children stand outside their shelter. The number of internally displaced Afghans rose to 1.2 million people in 2015. (Newsweek)

We complain that our Congress “can’t get things done” in a timely manner.  We worry about the future, but nothing can compare to the PRESENT distresses that many in the world are going through. That is why I titled this….”Feeling sorry for yourself?”  I also want to highlight the women who are mothers, sisters, and wives around the world.

If you are for any reason feeling down, consider what is happening each night when you go to sleep in a warm bed.  Consider also those who have no food when you cook a delicious meal.  Think about the children who had no voice in coming into this world or where they would be born.  If you have a husband who cares for you, kisses you “goodnight” and treats you with respect, think about the women who are under great restraints and persecuted through cultural beliefs.

When you sit down with friends to watch football, have a drink and put your feet up to relax…consider that mud is not under your couch or chair as it may be for those who are fleeing their countries.  Is all this to make you feel guilty….NO…just THANKFUL… that you have freedoms to do and be what you want to be and where there are no wars at your doorstep.

Say your prayers for those who are the persecuted.  We know a loving God cares for them…that He can help them through their crisis times.   God does not promise that it will be easy going when men, or women, with evil intents, carve out brutal paths for their people to take.  He did ask us to humble ourselves and to seek Him.   So much of human suffering is made by mankind and by government leaders.

Afgan woman Time Magazine

Disfigured woman Time Magazine photo

Our heavenly Father won’t force goodness in the minds of the wicked who would persecute the innocent, intimidate their women or harm innocent children.  Dictators and Government Officials are decision makers, who through greed and power, often care little for the needs of their people.  It has always been that way and will be…until the day of the coming of Jesus Christ.    That will be when every knee will bow and everyone will become accountable for all that has been said and done to those around us.

In Afghanistan, there is a resurgence of the madrassa, which is, in this case, a fundamentalist Muslim religious school for young girls.  They are taught only religious beliefs and rarely math, science or literature.  The building program for these schools is said to be wide-spread, with thousands of female students. One may think there is nothing wrong with teaching the young the religion of the region and praise the fact that girls are attending schools, but there is also the concern by some Muslims that this teaching is indoctrination that their more moderate practice of the faith is not according to the Koran…as well as being anti-West.  To learn more about this Madrassa teaching, read this article:   Madrassa

I recently found online an award-winning photojournalist named Paula Bronstein. Paula has spent time in dangerous and interesting places around the world.  Her years in Afghanistan have given her the ability to talk to the women of the area, whereas her male photojournalists did not have that access.

Here is a video that will shed some light on the history of the living conditions as well as cultural rules that are forced upon women in many parts of the world.   Perhaps there will be a change in the future, but change is often difficult… especially in war times and with certain cultures.

Paula Bronstein

Paula Bronstein, Photojournalist

VIDEO   Turn up sound   (taken from u-tube,  Paula Bronstein)

 


The High Cost of Journalism and Photo Journalism

We often say  “thank you for your service” to those who have served in our military as veterans or those on active duty.   Very important also are those who go into harm’s way to cover and photograph the scenes that we would never see.  These can be heart-breaking scenes of the dead, wounded or dying…especially when there are children involved.

Who are these people who give so much of their time and lives to documenting vivid accounts of life, death or critical situations?   They are journalists and photo journalists.   We owe them a great deal of gratitude.  They keep us informed and in doing so, often pay a great price.

Take a long, hard look at these faces.  804 journalists have been murdered and killed worldwide since 1992. (JPC..Committee to Protect Journalists )   This, of course, does not include the women journalists who have been raped or men brutalized while covering world events.  Neither does it include those who are still in captivity in various countries. They should not be forgotten and every effort should be made to have them released.

Pictures of some of the Journalists who have died

journalists killed and murdered since 1992

20 Deadliest Countries as of 2014 (according to CPJ)   If you click on any of the blue words, you can see a list of each person, by name, who died and how.

  1. Iraq: 111
  2. Philippines: 76
  3. Algeria: 58
  4. Colombia: 43
  5. Somalia: 43
  6. Mexico: 37
  7. Brazil: 37
  1. Russia: 36
  2. Pakistan: 33
  3. India: 27
  4. Turkey: 22
  5. Bangladesh: 19
  6. Syria: 17
  7. Rwanda: 17
  1. Tajikistan: 14
  2. Afghanistan: 13
  3. Sri Lanka: 10
  4. Sierra Leone: 9
  5. Nigeria: 8
  6. Peru: 8

 

Chris Hondros in 2006 by Getty Images

Chris Hondros   (Getty Image)

Today, I would like to feature only one such photo journalist. Chris Hondros, who was killed by a rocket propelled grenade in 2011, while in Libya on an assignment.

Chris’ parents were immigrants from Greece and Germany.  They first came to New York and then moved Chris to North Carolina when he was a child.  He earned a degree in  English Literature from N.C State University and went on for his Masters from the School of Visual Communications in Ohio.   Because of his great interest in world events and world conflicts, he photographed  throughout the world in  Iraq, Liberia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iraq and many more places.

Throughout his career, Chris received many awards for his work and in 2004 he was a Nominated Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography for his work in Liberia.  He after was a guest speaker and writer about his experiences.   Journalism will miss this man of many talents and his bravery to reach out to the world…that we may know truth through his documentation.

Pictures photographed by Chris Hondros   (All Getty Images) in this slide presentation:

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LINK:  See Chris’ website and more of his photography from around the world


Quotation Challenge Nominations

I have a blogging friend in the UK.  We enjoy reading each other’s blogs and find friendly ways to agree and disagree.  Stephen has nominated me as for a quotation challenge and I, in turn, have nominated bloggers who are worthy of note.     (Thanks, Stephen)

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

  • Hans Urs von Balthasar of Switzerland What you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God.  Hans Urs Balthasar   (Priest from Switzerland 1905-1988)

 

  • sir winston churchillCourage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.  Sir Winston Churchill   (Prime Minister of the UK. born 1874- died 1965)

 

 

 

president john f kennedy

  • As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is  not to utter words, but to live by them.  John F. Kennedy (1917-1963  35th President of the United States who was assassinated at the age of 46.)

 

I always like quotations that are uplifting, challenging and inspirational.  If they are politicians, I may not be on the same thought wave…but appreciate any words that have meaning to me personally or to this troubled world in general.

Here are the rules for the Quotation Challenge and my nominees, who have blog sites worth notation.  If you have not seen these sites, please take a look.  You’ll be glad you did.

The Rules:

1.) Either once a day for three days, post a quotation, or post all three quotations at one time. It is your choice.

2.) Nominate and notify three other bloggers of the challenge.

3.) Thank the blogger who nominated you.

The nominees are under no obligation to complete this challenge, but it would be fun if they do. Plus, this will introduce them to a whole list of new readers.

My NOMINEES for the Quotation Challenge are:

Mimo Khair Photography 

Dimitrii Travel Photography

Ramona Crisstea

 


Photography on the Blue Ridge

The mountains of Virginia have been buried in snow and shortly the mountain will awaken to the warmth of the sun.  I’d like to introduce you to Photography by Boyer.  Throughout the summer, I will be sharing my photographic adventures. At times, it may even be a travelogue through pictures.  If you are interested in photography and would like to be notified when pictures are uploaded on my photography blog, just send me an email (boyerwrites@yahoo.com or howey126@hotmail.com ) or follow on Photography by Boyer.

See the photography of the  beautiful Blue Ridge during our stay in 2015 on this link:

Photography by Boyer

August VA 026 copy

READY FOR SPRING, SUMMER AND FALL!


Live cam Baby Eagles hatch in D.C.

 

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High in a tulip poplar, nesting bald eagles are carefully watching their baby birds hatch. This tree is in the United States National Arboretum  in Washington, D.C.   It is a wonder of nature that we are now able to enjoy.  Click on Live Camera below.   Decide on Cam A or B and then enlarge picture for best viewing.  Watch as often as you’d like.  ( Update:  Now both eggs have hatched and the parent eagles are busy keeping them fed and under their feathers. If you watch long enough, you may see them at feeding time.)

Live Camera catches their every action.

Learn More about the U.S. National Arboretum

Credits:   © 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG.


An Escape from Haunting Thoughts…even for a few minutes

Tired and weary of  the daily news?   Politics: hearing the same talking points over and over… and man’s (or woman’s) inhumanity to man that  pull our thoughts into the bad, the ugly, the terrible?    So am I and that is why I decided my post on this blog today would be the absolute beauty of the world and the animals that inhabit it.  We need a break.

The amazing photography of Joe Riis gives us a close-up view of what is often hidden from us.  This particular video takes us out into the miles of land that migrating deer cross each year.   It shows the obstacles that animals  must navigate around as they enter our inhabited territories.    Just for a brief few minutes, give your mind a rest and focus on beauty. Replay it if it goes by too fast.   We all need a breather from the things that haunt our thoughts.

(for best viewing…enlarge picture and turn on sound)


Life Changing Experiences…FEATURING THE POSITIVE in human beings

Albino Girl by Gustavo Lacer

Albino Girl by Gustavo Lacerda

Life changing experiences…where do they come from?  Are they divine intervention or simply being at the right place at the right time?   Perhaps there is something in both possibilities…but also that we have our eyes…and our hearts…open at any given time.

One night when my sleep pattern was a bit off, I randomly found this man online. My love of photography perked my interest in what this man is doing with his talent.

Let me introduce him to you…Rick Guidotti.   I know nothing about him except that he had a career as a photographer in some of the hot spots of America and the world.  He was a photographer of the most glamorous…and then his life changed when he spotted an albino woman walking down the street.  Here is a short bio taken from his site named Positive Exposure. Certainly in this crazy world, we need something positive.

“Rick Guidotti, an award-winning former fashion photographer, has spent the past fifteen years working internationally with advocacy organizations/NGOs, medical schools, universities and other educational institutions to effect a sea-change in societal attitudes towards people

living with genetic difference; his work has been published in newspapers, magazines and journals as diverse as Elle, GQ, People, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, The Lancet, Spirituality and Health, the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly and Life Magazine.

Rick is the founder and director of Positive Exposure, an innovative arts, education and advocacy organization, working with individuals living with genetic, physical, cognitive and behavioral difference. Positive Exposure utilizes the visual arts to significantly impact the fields of genetics, mental health and human rights.

Rick Guidotti’s photographic exhibition, Positive Exposure; The Spirit of Difference, premiered at the People’s Genome Celebration, June 2001, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in DC. and continues to exhibit in galleries, museums and public arenas internationally.

Rick Guidotti’s Positive Exposure photo and video presentation explores the social and
psychological experiences of people living with genetic, physical, cognitive and behavioral conditions of all ages and ethno-cultural heritages.  Positive Exposure provides new opportunities to see individuals living with a genetic difference first and foremost as a human being with his/her own challenges rather than as a specific diagnosis/disease entity.

Rick Guidotti and Positive Exposure continue to celebrate the richness and beauty of human diversity.”

It may be hard to imagine that just a few short years ago, people in Tanzania were being murdered for their body parts because they were albino.  Being different…in whatever way…is a difficult life for many.  How a person feels about himself can make “all the difference”  and it seems that the life changing moment for Rick Guidotti is something that all of us need to learn.  Take a look around you, see people in a different light…see their beauty as a human being.

IN HIS OWN WORDS…changing the concept of self

 

After video click here to See Rick’s other Photography celebrating human diversity


Seeing through the Eyes of God’s Creation

At this Advent, may our eyes be opened, Lord, to all that you have around us.

May we be aware that You never slumber or sleep, but You see even the smallest sparrow.  Your plan was to bring your Son, Jesus, to the earth that we might have not only salvation, but a newness of life.  Eyes that see….a heart to care….and especially at this time….JOY on earth….GOODWILL toward all men, women and children.

Turn on your sound and click to see through the eyes of God’s creation.
 

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Eyes to See


A Special Privilege for ALL AMERICANS…the ability to CHOOSE

Americans know that voting is a special privilege and vote they did in 2014…making the Republicans the majority in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate! 

For those who do not take this privilege for granted, the line can not be too long or the place too challenging. They will get out and vote. Others leave the privilege to someone else. I think there are some great reasons for voting and some great pictures to prove the point just given:

  • We can vote because we are free!
  • We will most likely not be shot at the polls…as in some countries.
  • Americans have died on the coasts of Normandy and places around the world, to see that we can keep this privilege.
  • If we voted and things did not work out the way we hoped, we can vote again in another election, and see if we can get it right.

We can debate the issues…agree to disagree…but the FINAL VOTE IS OUR OWN.

Enjoy these pictures of American voters:

Cowboy voter in Nebraska

Family voting

Always a voter

Voters in New Mexico get ready

The horse knows the way

Voters in Kentucky

Everyone can vote

Religion does not matter…just vote

Whatever language, voters come in California

Voting booth in Alaska

Voting in a store in Ohio

Just waiting to vote in Vermont

 

  Thank you to all of you  who used this privilege on voting day!


Things to Love…our new gallery of gifts

Everyone has certain things that they love and look for when they shop.   For us, it is beautiful art and collectibles; delicious chocolate candies and much more.  We hope you will take a moment to look at our gift gallery…and contact us to ship you one or more of these items.  We are licensed as Palmetto Specialty Group LLC in the state of Florida, USA and guarantee that you will be pleased.   To see our full line of gifts, click on each picture.

Original signed art from Guatemala

Original signed art from Guatemala

photography by N. Boyer

photography by N. Boyer including Florida wetlands

Books by N. Boyer

Books by N. Boyer Helping Children Learn

Old Things Remembered

Old Things Remembered

Blown-glass collectibles

Blown-glass collectibles

Greeting cards

Greeting cards: Set of 8 with envelopes

 

Chocolate covered pecans

Chocolate covered pecans


For Sunday…A Day and Night in Paris…even if you can’t go!

Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle

If you have ever wished to go to Paris, France…but believe that you may or may not be able to do so, this blog is just a little treat….as if you were there.

My husband and I found that around Christmas was a great time to go.  The lines were few; the cooler weather was delightful…just take your boots and a scarf.   There is an energy unexplained and the views are everywhere…whether day or night…decorated for the Christmas season.

Paris is especially beautiful at night …so stroll at night along the Champs Elysees; view the Arc de Triomphe and enjoy the lights on the Eiffel Tower.  The architecture is breath-taking and the people make it all worthwhile.

This is one for the arm chair…no walking….for it is done for you….up and down the streets of Paris with so many things to see. (Thanks to Globe Trotter Alpha)  Just take your time this Sunday and enjoy…Paris in the morning..mid-day and night.

(Turn on the sound and enlarge your pictures.  If it stops for a second, be patient…as it will begin again.)    If you get tired of watching the streets, take a tour through the beautiful works of art at the Louve shown on the second video below. (Rick Steves as our guide)

 


Birds…Animals…Do They Wonder about Us?

One of my passions is photography…and wildlife…as well as wetlands photography when I can find a cooperative model or an interesting, untouched part of Florida wetlands.   I am always in the frame of mind to find evasive creatures ….bring them in a  lens up-close…and making them  quite large when producing on canvas or paper.

  My living room has two pictures of birds that flew into my trees:

  • An osprey with huge claws

    Florida Osprey Claws

    Florida Osprey Claws

  •  A hawk with a blue claws and beak.

 Because we are not able to examine birds in real life up-close, I did not know they were blue until it was reproduced in color on canvas. 

.hawk blue bealhawk blue claws

It was the morning that a bird came calling on me that made me wonder if they are as curious about us as we are about them?

  I was at my computer and heard a really loud tapping sound.  Looking at the direction the noise was coming….I saw him ….and he was looking at me!    (Where is the camera when you need it!!!)

Carefully, I got up and moved by the window….he flew.   It always happens.    I went to the other room; got the camera and on returning….he had come back….once again tapping as if to say,  “Hey, I’m Woody Woodpecker…come to see you…where did you go?”

There was a screen on the window and I knew, in photographing him, he would not be as clear as I wanted him to be.    Who cares….this was up-close and personal!  Not everyday do we get a visiting bird!

Click…click…and click again.   His red head was gleaming in the light.  My visitor was a Pileated Woodpecker…large…and beautiful.  (The Pileated Woodpecker is a very large North American woodpecker, roughly crow-sized, inhabiting deciduous forests in eastern North America.    Scientific Name is Dryocopus pileatus)

woodpecker clup

Was he really curious about my writing or why I was practically up in the tree tops in my second story window?    Probably not, but I doubt that I will get such a visit again.   One fuzzy shot was better than nothing to remember this special moment.

Hi!   I'm Woody...may I come in?

Hi! I’m Woody…may I come in?

Yes, Woody was clever, cute and a little bit of a “devil”     Enjoy!


For Sunday Morning A Time-Lapse of God’s Beauty on the Earth

From the Book of Common Prayer   “For the Future of the Human Race”

O God, our Heavenly Father, you have blessed us and given us dominion over all the earth: Increase our reverence before the mystery of life and give us insight into your purposes for the human race, and new wisdom and determination in making provision for its future in accordance with Your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Beauty of Hawaii

This month has been eventful with a trip to Hawaii where my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We’d like to share some of it with you.

Turn on your sound and enlarge the screen for best viewing.

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Florida Wetlands Photography

The Florida wetlands are extremely important.   We are not only talking of lakes and streams, but of marshes, blogs and swamps.  Just say the word, “swamp” and one immediately envisions  a terrible place with alligators and snakes.   Actually, the wetlands may also be small wet areas along side home sites, as I have just down the street from my house.   These wetlands are filled with water yearly and become drier in certain other times.    They have important functions:  Filters and clean our ecosystems and provides habitat for wildlife and plants.  They also collect and hold flood waters.   In Florida, we are often dealing with severe storms and hurricanes.   These areas absorb winds as well as heavy rains and waters.

When photographing these wetland areas, I often notice how really beautiful they are.  The plants and trees are especially beautiful on foggy mornings.   The cypress knees push up in the waters surrounded by the cypress trees,  whose branches are often  perches for cormorants, egrets and squirrels.

It is my privilege to share with you a presentation of photography shot just this morning of the wetlands of central Florida.  (USA)