Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Majestic Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

This past month I had the amazing and rare gift of seeing a Blue Heron, a Marsh Hawk and a Snowy Owl all in one day. It was a sequence of fortuitous events.
During my search for the snowy owl I drove by marshy lands and kept my camera ready. 
I was delighted to get this picture of a lovely Blue Heron perched on an Osprey nest. It seems that the Osprey had already headed South for the Winter and this Heron took advantage of the vacancy for a better view of the landscape in Napeague. 

Blue Herons are the largest of the North American Herons and can be found along marshes, slow rivers, streams, fields, swamps and the ocean. They are most active at dawn and dusk and their breeding season is between mid-April and late June. 
They may feed at night or during the day due to their exceptional eyesight. 
The oldest recorded Heron was 24 years old.

As an animal totem, this beauty represents determination, exploration, transformation and balance. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gifts from Nature

This past Autumn I collected many new pictures of colors, textures and forms from nature to create this collage. Berries, nuts, fruits, flowers, bark and seeds! From this image I made beautiful gift certificates for my on line store and private practice. 

To purchase one of these sparkly holiday gift cards kindly contact me at 

Sending my best wishes!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dreaming with Dolphins and Whales

   I often dream at night that I am swimming with dolphins and whales. Last night I dreamt that I was on a small boat in the Pacific followed by a baby Humpback that was breaching in its wake. In my dream, it was so close that I could see the bumpy texture on it's shinny skin and beautiful dreamy eyes. My heart was so opened by this night time encounter, I told my dreamy self that I want to feel like this all of the time!
I awoke this morning with an urge to share how much I love being in the water, especially where the whales, dolphins, whale sharks and other deep sea creatures swim in many shades of blue. 

These are dolphin pictures from my last days of free diving in Kona. 

I have never been afraid of deep water. When I had my orca encounter, the water was roughly one mile deep. I often feel very safe and almost supported by the open ocean. Over the years it has given me great comfort to be in the vast and beautiful sapphire depths.
It is an elixir to my soul. 

  The photographs above and below are my very first photographs of the Pacific bottle nose dolphins. I have been with them from a distance and had the joy of swimming with them at night with the mantas  in Kona but I had never taken a picture of one so close. The sonar was very strong and it felt wonderful to meet these curious eyes, face to face. 

     Each time that I am able to make contact and document what I see underwater, a feeling of joy flows through my entire body. It is a somatic experience that feels blissful and exciting. I love making contact with new sea creatures and sharing my experiences with my friends and family. I also enjoy learning about new environments, the animals and my journeys.
       When I share with the little ones there is always an immediate sense of curiosity and wonder. They are always eager to know more, children really appreciate and pay special attention to each detail of my stories. Adults on the other hand, often look at me with a dubious glance followed by a tilted head and often have a confused look in their eyes. 

    When I am underwater,  I feel that I am in the flow of life, and that nature is much bigger than me. My soul sings. As I swim with my weight belt and my camera I am in my perfect element. This is a feeling that many people who spend a lot time in the ocean understand. We are like a secret society, participating in two worlds at once, it can feel sacred. 
There is something magical about being submerged in this beautiful aquatic world. It is mysterious, delicate, unknown and expansive. The ocean teaches me something new during each encounter and she also gives me  profound and beautiful healings.

     It is my hope that my pictures may open another world for people to experience or know the mysteries of the ocean.  
 If we love and appreciate something close to our heart then we will take good care of it, and protect it's future. 
 Jacques Yves Cousteau said: 

"People protect what they love". 

     I love the dolphins, the whales and other sea creatures so much so that  I am now sharing my pictures with more frequency. I am deeply concerned about the Pacific Ocean and the leak of the reactor in Fukishima, Japan. What has been my personal sanctuary and retreat is now being continuosly poisoned by pollution. I am feeling the push to go deeper inside myself to find what I can do to curb this immediate  crisis. In my heart, I feel that beauty is what moves people and so it is my hope that these pictures of amazing sea creatures will open others to a new level of curiosity, wonder, consciousness and respect for what lives beneath us in the watery realms.
The time is now.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mahalo to Pele

Upon returning to my life in the Springs, I have come appreciate the value of being on retreat and spending time away in a different environment and changing the geometry of our every day lives. I had the great fortune of staying in a very magical place while I was away, the former home of Herb Kane, one of Hawaii's most famous artists. His former residence is now a bed and breakfast that is run by two amazing people, David and Michael.

Herb Kawainui Kane was a well known historian of Hawaii and artist who painted detailed images of the life and culture of the islands. His paintings are colorful and powerful celebrations of the rich and layered history of these magical islands. 
In 1984 he was named a Living Treasure by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Honolulu and received an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts by the school of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Original works and prints hang on the walls of this beautiful retreat. 

Upon my arrival I was greeted by an orchestra of frogs, soft lights and a ti leaf that wrapped delicacies of macadamia nuts and chocolate. 
I slept in the magical energy of Herb Kane's original artwork, soft Pacific winds and the embrace of Pele's arms. Each morning I was welcomed with fresh fruits, lilikoi yogurt, wilelaiki blossom local honey, homemade banana bread, selected cheese and homemade treats. I can not thank my hosts enough for their generous hospitality. 

They have graciously opened their plantation to guests and I highly recommend this slice of heaven for a retreat. 

Each day fresh flowers filled the rooms with their perfume. 

There was so much attention to detail in this sacred place.
 Herb Kane created his artwork on the premesis for many years with his wife, a harp player. I could feel the creative energy still flowing through and around the gardens, the lanai and within the hearts of everyone who lives and works on this beautiful land.

Each night a small gift was left for me accompanied with a Hawaiian saying:

'A sweet treat for sweet dreams'

Mau moe'uhane'olu'olu
(pleasant dreams)

I walked the property and collected beautiful seeds and flowers to photograph in the afternoon Hawaiian light. I enjoyed finding new textures, beautiful shapes and colors to document. 

I hope to return again soon. 

Thank you Michael and David !

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dreaming in Orca

Since my encounter with a killer whale in Hawaii, I have become more curious about their history and lore. Yesterday I made this image of dolphins, osprey and the orca. There is a creation myth of the Pacific Northwest that tells the story of the blackfish falling in love with the osprey. In order to meet, the osprey would sweep down from the skies to the water and the blackfish would jump out of the water into the air. The offspring was believed to be the orca, this explains the white markings on its body. 

On Easter Sunday, I took pictures of osprey flying into the sun here at Accabonac harbor. I layered many images of the spinner dolphins, killer whale and the osprey over an old Japanese map of Hawaii. 
I am currently trying to create images that convey the dreamy energy of the orca and the gift that I experienced by being in it's presence. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Songs of the Ocean

I have just returned from the sapphire Hawaiian waters where I had gorgeous encounters with beautiful sea creatures. Mantas, Spinner dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Spotted dolphins, Turtles and an Orca! Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to meet an Orca in person, much less in the Hawaiian waters. This was a rare and special gift, perhaps a once in a lifetime experience. 

    Making contact with this beauty in the wild has had a profound effect on me. Of all of my underwater encounters in different parts of the world, this has been the most significant. I felt a power and grace emanate from this gorgeous animal that I have never felt until now.  Once I was in the water with this adult male killer whale, I heard and received the sonar that it emitted as it swam past me. It sounded like metal clinking on metal. I swam in with Deron Verbeck, a fellow underwater photographer and captain of a small boat. We were close to a research vessel that was tagging a pod of Orcas for the very first time in Hawaiian waters. These pictures were taken three miles from the Kona coast in water approximately one mile deep.  Since the encounter,  I have felt a very different energy in my body. I feel an opening inside of my heart and deeper connection to the songs of the ocean. I can see and feel that there are webs in nature that are interwoven, we are all connected, to the great mystery. 

     Orcas are considered the 'lords' and 'guardians' of the ocean. They invite us to explore the energy of alchemy and they are considered by many indigenous cultures to be portals to the stars and the cosmos. Dolphins are believed to be their warriors and sea lions their messengers. Since they travel in groups and mate for life, they are also symbolic of family ties, romance, harmony, longevity and power. 

 I also met the mantas and experienced their grace and beauty. 

The dolphins also moved me and I was thrilled to have this time underwater to discover their habitats and photograph them in the wild.  
All of these pictures were taken while free diving. 

Spinner dolphins. 

 Thank you Roberta, Carlos, Mike, Kavika, Daron, Brett, and Jeremy!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Autumn Sky

This beautiful sky and winds of change have arrived with the new moon. 

New light and textures from my afternoon walk today.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hummingbird Medicine (Archilochus colubris)

 The magic of the hummingbird appeared this week the day of the full Harvest moon. 
 It drew nectar from the Cleome flowers and I was so happy to see this little green irredescent bird shimmer in the morning light. I could hardly believe my eyes. I had enough time to get my camera and take pictures of the beautiful juvenile female Ruby Throated hummingbird.

This sweet little photograph was taken with my iphone and it is a portrait of a Cleome flower.

The totem of the hummingbird represents the energy of joy. These little birds remind us to draw the sweet nectar from life and to work with the medicine of flowers. Hummingbirds are flying gems that encourage us to  step back and appreciate beauty in the forms of scent, taste and color while also  encouraging us to lean into a life of joy.

In late September they begin their migration South, they may fly as far away as the Gulf of Mexico. 
The are approximately 3.5 inches long and weigh less than an ounce. These are the only birds that can  fly backwards and upside down. 

Because this beauty arrived the morning after the full moon, I layered an image that I had taken the night prior with one of the hummingbird pictures. In the lower right hand corner of the picture is a tree peony flower that also grows in the garden here. While it is not in season, I added it to the image because I though it was so beautiful.

Below is one of my very first portraits. Last week I took pictures of my friend's beautiful children and layered a profile picture with the whimsy of the hummingbird that came to visit. It has been a very magical week and as the season is shifting and we are now officially in Autumn, there is a lot of activity in the woods and the butterflies appear to be heading South while the hummingbirds gather their last drops of nectar for their long journeys. 

Ezra and the hummingbird. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Butterfly People, Moths, La Luna and Mermaids.

The past lunar month has been filled with so many new energies and magical gifts from nature. It is almost impossible to share in words how beautiful the unfolding of this new experience has been for me and my dearest friends. 
After much dedication, creative design and focus I have opened my new online store:     

I am now selling my creations that relate to nature. My collection includes perfumes, photography, silks, stationery and one of a kind pieces. 
I am thrilled to share my work in this new venue. 

 For those who participated in the launch party of Prettymedicine, it was a night that few could ever forget. My beautiful, kind and generous friend, a true butterfly diva,  offered to host the party in her incredible potato barns in Bridgehampton N.Y. These buildings were transformed into an elegant theater for a showing of my work and a sit down dinner party for over one hundred people. Magnificent scrim was printed with my artwork, delicate silks hung from the ceiling of a barn, over a hundred moths printed on glass graced a pale blue wall and sparkly crinkle lights shed warm light on everyone who entered the whimsical barn.
A dolphin, whale and peony graced the wall of one of the barns through a projector. It felt as though we were all transported into another dimension.

The finest delicacies were served with warm smiles and gentle hands. Candelabras lit the night as the sound of gongs, laughter and good company filled the air of a beautifully decorated space. 
The collaboration was perfect. Magic was around every corner and it was thrilling to create an event with such a beautiful,  generous and supportive friend. 
Thank you, thank you Queen of the Butterflies!
That night the stars were aligned, the sun softly set into the clear night leaving jewel tones in the sky, and the moon rose with a halo of light that looked like a pearl. For all of the guests, there was a feeling of magic, joy and an inner peace while nature was playing the muse and we were invited onto her stage. 

Nature, the beautiful hostess, my friends, and the helpers were all participants in the magic and transformational energy of the moths, the butterflies, the moon, the ocean and and the hummingbirds. 
All of my encounters with nature that have been documented were layered through my artwork and the decorations for the launch. A warm felt thank you to everyone who attended, gave me support, kind words and participated in the opening of the portal. 
There were so many beautiful helpers too....thank you everyone!

Many thanks to my special butterfly people, mermaid and mermen friends and mother nature for all of the support this past year!

The image above is featured in the Mermaid Collection. 

Please stop by my store and enjoy! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Patterns in Nature

When I take pictures in nature, I often look for where the light creates patterns and there is a rhythm between light and dark. 
I often see patterns repeat and speak to me through texture, color and form.

I have collected photographs that I have taken over the years that have eye catching details. When I placed some of these images together they began to tell a different story.  
Ferns from Hawaii, flowers from all over the world, a sea shell from my grandmother's collection, an abandoned  paper wasp nest, coral from Bimini. a turtle shell, tree bark with lichens,  peacock and turkey feathers, and the magic whale shark skin. 

The light is growing fainter and more golden now and I am delighted to catch this light in my pictures. 

As the season is shifting, the leaves are beginning to curl a bit and change color. 
The wrens have left their bird houses and the bay waters are deliciously warm. 

The cicadas are singing as I write this piece, they too have their own rhythm and patterns to their songs. 
One group sings, while another will pause, they go back and forth, like a symphony performing for the stars. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Peace of Wild Things

This past week I had several experiences that moved me very deeply. 
I began a three year program for health care professionals in healing trauma where I met many truly amazing people who inspired me. 
During the class, a small dragonfly landed on a chair in front of me. I watched it with great curiosity as it stayed still for a very long time. 
Later that day I went for a walk around a body of water in Southbury, Connecticut and photographed these lovelies. 
I was struck by their stillness and beautiful wings. 

This is the first time that I have ever photographed dragonflies.  
When I came home I read about the meaning of the dragonfly and was reminded that they are symbolic of prosperity, harmony, happiness and purity. 
They are also symbolic of life cycles and change,  joy and new light. 

 This lovely poem was shared on the second day of class by one of the students. 

Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, 
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Magic of the Day

~Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower~
Shigenori Kameoka

Monday, June 24, 2013

La Luna

The moon was so beautiful this week and there were clear skies for new pictures. 
This one was taken on Saturday evening just before the full 'strawberry' moon. A tricky walk through  a sparkling audience of fireflies gave way to the entrance of Accabonac harbor.

These lovelies below, were taken in the fog on Sunday evening at Gerard Drive.
The moon is symbolic of Yin and as it was so close to the earth this week, I thought about how this Yin element was effecting us. The moon is the matron to the water and all of the sea creatures. 
It is the guiding energy of intuition and the feminine.

When I think about following intuition I think about following the heart and trying to step out of the chatter of the mind. This little saying sits on my desk,  I am not sure of the origin. 

"It's impossible" said pride,
"It's risky" said experience,
"It's pointless" said reason, 
"Give it a try" whispered the heart. 

La luna, the moon, whispered her encouragement and sweetness into my heart this week. 

And so did the moths.