Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Weekend at the Inn on Biltmore Estate

This is my attempt at playing with photoshop.  I believe this grand fellow is one of the largest in the state (possibly the country - I can't remember what the guide said.  Either way, he was huge.)   Using this photo as a guide, this could be a fun contemporary painting.  I might give it a try...

I paddeled the broad river in a kayak, rode my bike up the "medium-difficulty" mountain trail to visit the gardens which still had some very nice roses on display, enjoyed Bass Pond where part of the movie "Last of the Mohicans" was filmed, road a horse through the trails in the woods and walked each morning for miles.   Needless to say, this is a fantastic way to start out my new exercise/health DAILY routine.  But it won't be quite as much fun as it is in Asheville.  I do love that area of the country.

I have photos of everything but today and tomorrow I am busy "catching up" on my house chores and yard work.  Yes, there is a price to pay for 3 lazy, wonderful days with my teenage daughter and her two friends!  

Meanwhile, here is another version of this beautiful Belgian horse.  I will be posting the real thing later this week and sharing the photos I took.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Flash 55 - "Limitations"

Photo courtesy of One Stop Poetry


Success is often
a matter of the heart
longing and reaching
for the "impossible".
Dependence is often
seen as weakness
and often confused
with defeat.
Limitations require
a new approach;
like quicksand's victim,
the known disappears.
can be transformed
into victory.
can be harnessed.
Adversity overcome
is an inspiration
to us all:  a true

by Margaret Bednar, with inspiration from Joni Eareckson Tada, Art Happens 365, May 27, 2011

Photo Courtesy of One Stop Poetry - Art Work by Chuck Close

This is for One Stop Poetry's "Friday Poetically with Brian Miller"  The post today is about "Chuck Close", a gentleman who in the late 1980's became paralyzed from the neck down.  Click HERE for a short interview with the artist.  

I hope this qualifies as a poem.  I wrote it as a "Flash 55" for the G'Man's blog "Mr. Knowitall".  A story in 55 words or less.

A book I have read at least 5 times is "Secret Strengh" by Joni Eareckson Tada.  She is a quadriplegic in a wheelchair and has learned to paint while holding a paintbrush in her teeth.  She has written 14 books and I'm sure has inspired millions with her Christian ministry.   I have memorized many phrases throughout her book and use them on my children and on myself when I need a "fix" of strength.  Some of the words used in the poem above are gleaned from the pages of her books.  Words within stories and her pondering that I have internalized for the past 20 years.

* * * * *

These reflections were taken at Sea Pines Forest Preserve at Hilton Head, SC.  The one below I submitted to "Weekend Reflections" #88.  That might be a turtle in the lower right sticking its head out of the water for a few tasty bugs... as there certainly were plenty of mosquitos and bugs to go around!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hidden Beauty

We've lived here in NC for almost two years and are finally getting around to some much needed yard work.  It is amazing what one day of hard work has already accomplished.  I am going to attempt to save this little flowering bush; it has been overcome by the junk trees around it.  It will be fun to see what it will look like next year.

I am taking my oldest daughter and her friends to the Blue Ridge Parkway (Appalachian Mountains) this weekend.  They are visiting from Petoskey, MI and I am looking forward to hanging out with them ... just hope they can keep up with me.  :)  Hubby will be home with the rest of the gang - even our son, a newly graduated high school senior!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Horses, horses, horses and a cat

The theme for this week's "Perceptive Perspective" is "Outdoors".   It has rained a lot and has been really hot and steamy.  The haze in the background in the photo above shows how hot it has been - a typical southern late-May afternoon!  I love how the dirt road and fence winds its way through to the trees.  I had a hard time deciding which one to submit for the challenge as I really like these first two.  The mare and foal photo lovingly depicts how her neck protects her baby and that "motherliness" is what I was trying to capture with the perspective I used.

Hmm... I submitted the first one as I think it speaks more to the theme of "Outdoors".

I also adore this one:

A few weeks ago I mentioned we GAVE UP our house cleaning lady (I haven't been without one in YEARS) so we could lease two ponies.  So far,  it seems to be a great swap and I really don't mind cleaning up a bit of horse dodo now and then.  The photos below are a few snapshots from today.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Magpie Tales #67, "The Longing"

Photo courtesy of Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tales


The Longing

I searched for eyes dark
as the coming winter storm
Your light touch desired
ravishing my yearning flesh
like a fine lute, gently played

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, May 25, 2011

Hmm.  Is this any better?  I waffled between skin and flesh.  I thought the "f" in flesh and fine blended nicely.

I KNOW one isn't supposed to "explain" a poem but this is the way I understand my poem above:
She is not interested in the lute player, the music has made her think of her lover, who never showed up and this is a letter she wrote the next day.  She is surrounded by men that she doesn't have the least interest in (that's what I read in her face).  This is what I have been trying to convey with all my attempts...

This is for "Magpie Tales #67".  I was stuck for inspiration for the longest time until I searched the archives of "One Stop Poetry" for a poetry form.  I found:  One Stop Poetry Archives "Tanka". The Tanka poem is traditionally a poem used to convey a message to a lover.   Click on the highlighted "OSP" post above if you are interested in the details.

I also am entering this into One Stop Poetry's "One Shot Wednesday".  Flip over there and check out over 100 poems which will be submitted by midnight tomorrow.  It's the "Place To Be" on Wednesdays!

BTW - I recorded this on "Garage Band", but now I am trying to figure out HOW to upload it to my blog.  Does anyone know how? I even signed up with divShare and I still can't figure out how to upload to my blog.  (I'm so ignorant when it comes to computers!)


The Longing
I searched for eyes dark
as the coming winter storm
Longed for your sweet warmth,
Your ravishing stroke desired
like a fine lute, gently strummed.

TWO EARLIER ATTEMPTS below, before I realized the last line was only 5 syllables (it is supposed to be 7)  Hopefully you like the above final version the best...  A "Tanka" has a syllabic count of 5-7-5-7-7.

The Longing
Searching for eyes dark
as the coming winter storm
I long for his warmth,
His ravishing stroke enjoyed
like a well played lute.


I searched for eyes dark
as the coming winter storm
Longed for your sweet warmth,
Your ravishing stroke desired
like a well played lute.

I kept switching between "Your" and "His" in the 3rd and 4th line.  And then I wasn't sure about the "tense".  So I have two, slightly different versions.  Which do you like? 

The Donkey Next Door

I just love this little guy.   It is often really hard to get a candid shot of this donkey as he is so friendly he will walk right up and visit.  He tends to get very close and gets out of focus.

I just love his ears!

I love the idea of this shot, but it is out of focus.  I will try again!

This last shot is for tomorrow's "Black & White Wednesday".

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Comically Courageous", a poem

Comically Courageous

A bit comical I appear
as agile explorer I claim
all high ground.  But life is no game.

It's important I show no fear!
Warrior's heart, Thor's chariot
it pulls.  Chinese zodiac year

am I.  Willfully wild, my aim.
More courageous do I appear?

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, May 23, 2011

This is for One Stop Poetry's "Monday's One Stop Poetry Form".  A bit silly and I like last week's attempt a lot better, but I wanted to use these photos today.  This little goat lives next door to us and is quite a character!  I tried to do a double, or "High Octain", which was suggested, but I ran out of time AND the poem got a bit CRAZY.  Visit Luke Prater's poetry blog, "Word Salad".  He is the creator of this poetry form.

* * * * *

And for my favorite animal, the horse, I submit the first photo below for this week's "Creative Exchange".  I had a tough time deciding which one to choose.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Golden Surrender"

Photo courtesy of Walter Parada for "One Stop Poetry"
Golden Surrender

Golden Wheat
Swooning from the heat
As do I
To this farmer, my husband
In this sea of gold

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, May 22, 2011

This is for One Stop Poetry's "One Shoot Sunday".   The photographer interviewed and highlighted today is "Walter Parada".   I find his portraits stunning and beautiful ...  I mean the above is gorgeous!  We had a number of photos to choose from... but I seemed not to be able to pass up this one!  :)

I used a poetry form called "shadorma".  No rhyme scheme and the syllabic structure is 3/5/3/3/7/5.  I imagine many woman would surrender city life and all it's "benefits" for such as is pictured above! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Images from the Past, Part 5 - My Grandmother's 1915 Yellowstone Journal

Yellowstone 1915.  Marguerite Hutchins (Beckington) on the far right.

June 19, 1915 - Saturday
Ruth & I work together.  Made 32 beds and cleaned up 8 tents.  75 dudes to-night.

June 20, 1915 - Sunday
Ruth and I worked all morning.  Had 136 dudes to-night.  Sang sacred songs and wrote letters in evening.

June 21, 1915 - Monday
Made 49 beds.  This p.m. Mary, Vera, Elma and I went along lake to hotel.  Took 3 pictures.  Came back way of Sunset Hill.

June 26, 1915 - Saturday
Have had an average of a hundred dudes every night and have been settling bungalows.  Last two days have been very cold.  Mrs. Rhodes came to-night and we were so glad to see her.  Elma, Helen, Ethel S., Jam, and I washed yesterday.   (p.m.) saw the most beautiful sunset Wednesday evening.  Mountains were pink, lake blue.   Farther down, the mountains blue & lake pink.  Beautiful rainbow in the sky!

* * * * *

My Notes:

Here is my grandmother, far right, and her friends cleaning the tents (bungalows), it looks to me.  All with beautiful smiles on their faces.

I could not find a specific "Sunset Hill" featured in Yellowstone today, so I am guessing it is just one of many that people walk to and enjoy the sunset.  HERE is a beautiful photo of buffalo in a field during a sunset taken by professional photographer Ron Niebrugge - his photo blog in general (HERE) is quite stunning!  Another beautiful set of Yellowstone photos from "Ron" are HERE. of a waterfall and a view from an observation point overlooking a beautiful view of Yellowstone.

This was part of the "Sepia Saturday" fun.  Click and check it out!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Poetry Jam and Friday Poetically, "Beloved Hands"

Beloved Hands

The gentle hands of a strong man
are what she noticed first.
His teasing smile and keen wit
not too far behind.

Let go, he didn't, throughout the years;
her fingers often tucked under his arm,
his securely wrapped around hers.  The
intimacy of their hands, often enough.

His beloved hands taught their children
discipline, fairness, and perseverance; a
slightly calloused touch that soothed away
a daughter's tears and a son's fears.

Over the years his hands showed them love
and caressed many a fevered brow.
Hands willing to lighten her load
and lead the family in prayer.

She found his leathered gloves
in the drawer and slipped her hand inside,
the warmth familiar, and laid the softness
against her cheek reluctant to let go.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, May 20, 2011

This is for "Poetry Jam" and the topic is "Father".   I reworked this from a poem I wrote for "Magpie Tales" entitled "Memories" back in December of 2010.  I also linked "Beloved Hands" to One Stop Poetry's "Friday Poetically" with Brian Miller.

* * * * * 

This is Newhall Audubon Nature Preserve at Hilton Head, SC.  Its description is: "Features a wide variety of fauna and flora, this scenic nature reserve also serves as home to many species of birds".  Well, we didn't see many birds, but we did attract the attention of a baby alligator.  It was a short hike around this place; the pond was the highlight for us.   The above photo is for "Weekend Reflections".

I thought the leaves on his nose added a bit of a comical look. 

There were a number of turtles darting about as well.  He didn't pay them any mind.  I realized he was watching US.  My daughter moved away and his eyes followed her, and he backed up and followed her down the path for a bit.   I think he gets fed tidbits from visitors.  I'm sure that is not a good idea...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Poetry Jam, "Thunder and Lightning" (first two poems) & Friday Flash Fiction 55 (3rd one)

Thunder & Lightning

I cower beneath my skin,
his thunder penetrating my brain
causing flashes of lightning
to explode behind my lids.
Negativity pushes down upon me,
flowing about my huddled form
shivering here upon this bed.
Destroy me through fear his goal,
but his thunder is only hot sound.
Lightning, the true danger, lies
in believing his hateful words.
A safe shelter I must seek
before a lifelong injury occurs.

By Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, May 19, 2011

The theme for "Poetry Jam" is "Thunder and Lightning".  I have never been in such a "storm" as I wrote about, but so many children and women have.  Perhaps a few men.  Each week a new poetry challenge is offered.  I believe this is the old "Poetry Bus" which has been given "new wheels".  Check out the other entries by clicking on the blog title above.   (The photo is of my husband when he played Coach Bolten in High School Musical)

I also tried another approach to this prompt with a "Villanelle" - a form I went back to One Stop Poetry's "Poetry Forms Archive" and brushed up on the rules.

Escape, I Must

His thunder penetrates my brain,
My full serenader is the goal.
Escape, I must, from all this pain.

Exploding flashes, unrestrained
It's nature's fury in my soul.
His thunder penetrates my brain.

With hateful words I'm almost slain
Like lightning, doubt consumes me whole.
Escape, I must, from all this pain.

My huddled from must not remain
a victim.  Seize, must I, control.
His thunder penetrates my brain.

My dignity I must regain
He rages, threatens like a troll
Escape, I must, from all this pain.

Allow self confidence to reign
Forget, I must, this lethal hole.
His thunder penetrates my brain,
Escape, I must, from all this pain.

By Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, May 19, 2011

And here is another version, A Friday Flash (Fiction) 55.  (A story in 55 words or less)  Visit the G-Man (HERE) to read other 55's or try one yourself!  


She cowered no longer
from his explosive thunder.
As her limbs unfurled
from their protective huddle,
the shivering stopped.
Self-loathing and negativity
possessed her soul;
her destruction, his goal,
was complete.  Escape
was no longer necessary.
She aimed
for his withered heart.
The flash of lightning
took him by surprise.
He never heard
the explosion.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, May 19, 2011

...and just for a trip down memory lane, my son portrayed Ryan and my husband played the coach, as I said.  I think it was four years ago.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bonaventure Cemetery: Savannah GA, Photos, Part IV of V

The first photo above is for "Black & White Wednesday".   This is my stash of some of my favorite photos from my morning at Bonaventure Cemetery.  The photo below breaks my heart as it is of four (Schwarz) baby graves placed within a few short years of each other.

I.M. Marsh published a poem in 1860 about this place.  I understand it was a 21 page composition.  Here is an excerpt:  "Here man can calmly sleep the sleep of death; Fanned by the swaying breezes gentle breath, the dreamless sleep - the sleep eternal, laid Darkly shrouded beneath the cooling shade.

Every grave, every name has a story but I think I will let the beauty of each memorial "speak" for itself.  I hope you enjoy the photos.