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Magic moments of light

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In my photography and painting, it is the magic of light and shadow I love most and hope most to capture and communicate. When I look at life outside our livingroom window, or driving down a country road, or as I wait on the bank of the river by our cottage while my husband mows the lawn, I see bits and pieces of light at times that cause me to catch my breath because in those fleeting moments of perfect light I see God. In Western New York I find many magic moments of light in my mornings and evenings. Golden hour, that ninety minute interval in early morning and again each evening when light turns gold and shadows long, is especially lovely here because of our latitude and also because of the lush growth of trees and shrubs. More Magic Golden Light at Fireflys CottageThe many branches heavy with leaves crowded together in tight stands create a fantastic texture of light and shadow, casting singular momentary importance on a portion of trunk, a piece of lawn, a particular wild flower. The light gently points out the fact that we are surrounded with perfect beauty in all the little details of life ... it beckon us to take notice, take a moment out of a busy life to appreciate some small, seemingly meaningless, detail. Back in June, just before I went to Los Angeles, Blu and I went over to the cottage one evening to meet up with my husband. He was there mowing the lawn on the upper part above the river, and wanted us to be there when he went down to the river level to mow the lawn by the boat house. My husband wanted to introduce Blu to the river and see how he would respond to water. It was a beautiful evening. Blu enjoyed sniffing every square inch of lawn, dock, boat house, river bank, etc. he could get his nose to ... over and over and over again as I sat with him and my husband finished up the lawn. Afterwards, the three of us spent some time walking along the dock, looking in the water at fish, and hearing the quiet sounds of evening. Blu is about to go in for a dunk at Fireflys cottageShortly after this shot was taken, Blu slipped right off the dock into the water, dunking fully under and treading water frantically below the surface and looking up at us with eyes wide open. My husband reached in quickly and pulled him straight up and out by the collar. Blu was a little bit startled for a moment, shook himself off briskly and then didn't seem to care what had just happened to him. I suppose that answered my husband's curiosity as to how he would react to water. Fourth of July weekend we had a little barbeque at the farm with some friends. At one point we drove up to Lake Ontario (just a few minutes drive away) and spent a bit of time playing in the water with Blu. It was his first time attempting to catch or fetch a stick thrown into waves on a shoreline. It was great fun, and he seems to love water quite well. I was amazed at how warm the water was that day and enjoyed my own time splashing around at least as much as Blu enjoyed his. Fireflys Hand Knit Girl Friend ScarfPictured here is a scarf I made as a gift for my son's girlfriend. When I was in California, she was in Hawaii and she left her car at my son's place for me to borrow while I was there. I wanted to give her this scarf as a token of thanks for her consideration. I have promised to share the pattern for this scarf, and it is an entirely easy one. I used two balls of Berroco's incredibly soft "Plush" nylon yarn in Crema (color number 1901) on size U.S. 8 needles. I cast on 18 stitches, which made a nice narrow scarf about five inches wide. I used straight knitting until the piece was about fifty-six inches long, then I cast off. Fireflys Hand Knit Girl Friend Scarf Detail ShotTo decorate it, I used scraps of a bronze colored ribbon yarn (I don't know what the brand was, it was just ribbon yarn I have had a few balls of for quite some time) to make little bows, which I scattered along both ends of the scarf and a few in the body of the scarf -- all on the "right" side. To make the the bows, I threaded a short piece of the ribbon yarn into a tapestry needle, and then pulled it through one stitch of the scarf. Then I tied the ribbon yarn into a tight little bow and trimmed the ends to even them up. Next I took a few vintage turqoise buttons from my collection and sewed them on top of a few of the bows, again a little bit randomly rather than in any particular order. I only sewed buttons on bows that were at the ends of the scarf, but you could sew them on anywhere. I also sewed a couple of buttons directly onto the scarf, rather than on top of a bow. Delicious Strawberries from Fireflys Amish NeighborsI'm calling this the "Girl Friend Scarf" and will post the pattern on the I Live on a Farm website soon ... but you have the directions for it right here in my blog. It is a sweet little scarf, and perfect (I think) for a lovely young woman who lives in Southern California. Time for me to take a break and have a cup o' tea. Wish I still had some of these delicious sweet strawberries from our Amish neighbors up the road. Alas, this photo is from way back in June and fresh local strawberries are now a thing of the past. I'll just have to use my imagination to eat a handful of them this morning. Best to you and yours, ~firefly

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