Monthly Archives: August 2019

Mandala Monday ~ Lake Superior Rocks

A mandala I made from some of the rocks I’ve collected along the North Shore of Lake Superior…

Creating this one messed with me a bit because not all of them are uniform in size, shape or color.  But I still like the way it turned out, and it was fun to experiment making a mandala out of rocks.  I love rocks!  This is laid out in the middle of my patio at the moment and will probably stay there until I feel like arranging them into something new.

Here are some of the rocks I collected on my last little trip up along the North Shore…

Quite a haul.  I know… I’m such a thief!  😉

  They may not look like anything special in the photo, but each individual one spoke to me in some way as I explored along the shore in various areas.  The jagged-shaped ones on the upper right side were collected on the cliff I hiked that I wrote about in my Edge of the World post and hold special meaning for me.  But they’re all special.

I feel like most of the rocks I used in the mandala though were from ones I already had from previous trips before.  You may recall my sweet little granddaughter checking out my pile of rocks from an earlier Mandala Monday post…

I know it’s not really ‘right’ to take things from natural areas, but I’m always reverent toward nature.  And trust me, there’s literally gazillions of rocks up there – maybe more!  At any given moment if you look down while walking along the shore, this is what you see…

Unless you’re at Iona’s Beach where almost all of the rocks are a pink/salmon color.  It’s actually kind of a bizarre sight, but also super cool.  And nestled amidst them here and there you can find little dark gray/bluish ones that provide quite the contrast.  When my sis and I visited there this last time, someone had left this…

Looks like they love rocks too – and spreading the love!

 

Happy Mandala Monday!  Here’s to spreading some love in the coming week!

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

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Silent Sunday

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

On the Edge of the World

Feeling triumphant, I catch my breath

and gaze out at the vast expanse

blue, as far as the eye can see

A stunning view, as sky and water coalesce

I’m filled with gratitude and awe 

standing on the edge of the world

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2019

 

I’ve explored along the north shore of Lake Superior so many times throughout my life, but somehow have never noticed this sign tucked off to the side of the road…

In fact, I’d never even heard of Palisade Head.  (I feel like a bad Minnesotan).  But on one of my little adventures this summer, my sister noticed it on the map while we were on our way to a different spot along the lake, so we decided to check it out. And omygosh it was absolutely breathtaking! 😍

There was a beautiful scenic overlook from the parking area, and that sight alone was amazing, but off to the side of the parking area, we found a place where you could climb up onto the rocks.  It was precarious looking and we both felt a slight bit of trepidation, but my sister had recently acquired a couple of sets of trekking poles (totally gonna get me some of those!), so we swallowed our fear and set off.

Some of you know that almost 3 years ago, I underwent a double knee replacement 5 months apart.  I’m so very grateful for my new knees, I never would have been able to do this (and many other things) without them!  But what you probably don’t know is that my sister also underwent a double knee replacement herself a couple of years prior to mine.  So this little hike on the edge of the world was sort of a big deal for both of us.  There were moments when we were both on the verge of tears, feeling deeply grateful for the ability and the gift of being able to explore in this way.

I’m not much of a risk taker or thrill-seeker, but I am adventurous – especially when it comes to exploring nature, so being able to get out and hike on this cliff, to see the views that only those with able bodies get to witness, was very meaningful to me.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy (I’m still not exactly ‘able-bodied’), and I was afraid, but with my sister’s encouragement (and her trekking poles), I did it!  And it really did feel like I was standing on the edge of the world.

I couldn’t really even see my phone screen in the bright sunlight, and these pictures do not do the spectacular view justice, but here are a few photos I snapped…

In this next one,  I was trying to take a picture of my sister, but I couldn’t even see her on my screen, so I was just guessing where she was in the shot haha!  Oops, crooked horizon…

What she was looking at, that you can’t see in the picture, was a guy who was climbing down the face of the cliff.  He was older guy and had Led Zeppelin blaring on some device, which was fun, but it did affect the vibe a bit, so I was glad when I couldn’t hear it anymore and could just listen to nature sounds.

We live on such a beautiful planet…

🌎

 

Wishing you a day filled with beauty, and with…

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Wordless Wednesday

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Music Monday – Brand New

Tightly bound

beautiful creature being remade

on the verge 

of life brand new 

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2019

 

Having just had a birthday, I’m sensing a bit of this in my own life. (Here come all the butterfly metaphors 😉).  Or maybe it’s because of being on the verge of autumn here.  Autumn isn’t exactly ‘life brand new,’ but it’s oh so beautiful, and it makes me come alive! 🍁🍂😍

 

And because everything reminds me of a song…

 

Brand new day, brand new week – may yours be beautiful!

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Monarch Monday

My daughter has been fostering monarch butterflies this summer and I’ve been privileged to be able to experience it in part with her.  It’s been a truly moving, enriching and “transforming” experience.  Here are two of the beauties I got to watch emerge just the other day…

It was absolutely magical, you guys!  Like, I know that we have all heard the inspiring and philosophical sayings about caterpillars transforming into butterflies, but witnessing first hand, the complete life cycle of these unique and amazing creatures that my daughter has fostered has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.  I’m truly in awe…

She hadn’t intended on fostering Monarchs, it just sort of happened.  You can read more about her journey on her Instagram account at  https://www.instagram.com/wolfehartwoods/ where she has captured beautiful photos and amazing videos throughout the process – starting with the mother butterfly laying the eggs on the milkweed right outside her front door.  If you do plan to take a look, I would recommend scrolling to the very first post and going from there.  Her videos of them hatching from their eggs, munching on milkweed, crawling around, and then pupating and emerging are really amazing!

(As a bit of a side note and a proud mom’s shameless plug: Wolfehartwoods is her secondary Instagram account, she also has https://www.instagram.com/rachaelswiregarden/ for her business where she shares the exquisite and unique wire wrapped tree of life pendants she creates.)

But back to the butterflies…

Interestingly, the most moving and meaningful part of the process for me personally, was watching the caterpillars transition into a pupa.  It looked extremely uncomfortable and difficult, and on some strange level – I related and resonated, and empathized.   Here are a few photos of one of them I witnessed…

Eventually the chrysalis hardens and then becomes transparent as the butterfly gets closer to emerging.  Here are two next to each other that are at different stages…

The chrysalis’ are absolutely beautiful!  You can’t really tell from the poor quality of the above image, but there are gold metallic dots and a gold line on the outside, it’s super cool!  It’s also super cool to realize what is happening inside those little pods.  Just wow.

Just a few moments after I snapped the photo above, it started to emerge…!

It happened so fast!  I tried to take a video of it, but it didn’t really turn out.

And here she is unfurling her new wings…

A few hours later we took her and the other lovely girl (who emerged at the exact same moment!) outside, where I took billions of photos.  Many of which turned out blurry in all of the excitement oops! 🙃

But it was completely and utterly delightful!  Especially because it was experienced with my daughter and my precious grandchildren.  Sorry, not sorry, for sharing all of these…

As you can see, my sweet granddaughter fully enjoyed the butterflies!  😍

At 9 months, my grandson was only mildly interested in the butterflies, and seemed mostly intent on examining the grass and the Creeping Charlie (as you can see in the background in one of the photos above), but here he seemed a bit more interested…

So much more interested, that five seconds after I snapped that photo, he made a grab for it.  Thankfully my daughter was alert and her hand was quicker than his.

But he was barely aware when one of them was exploring his head.  But just in case, my daughter was ready if his hands happened to reach at his head…

Such an adorable little head…

💙

Neither butterfly was in a hurry to leave and even when they finally took flight, they came back to where we were in the yard and one of them landed on my hand for a little while before she took to the air and eventually disappeared from view…

Such an amazing creature.  I appreciated her special little goodbye.  ❤

And I appreciate my beautiful daughter.  I love her so much…

She’s always had sort of an affinity for butterflies and I feel like the universe wanted her to have this experience. She’s been a wonderful foster mom and hopefully with her assistance 13 little monarchs will have a better chance.

🦋

 

Happy Monarch Monday! Wishing you all a beautiful week ahead!

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Wordless Wednesday

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1