In the middle of winter, there is spring

I was given a homework assignment from my journalism professor to go out and describe things in various ways. Listing items, and describing them with verbs and adjectives. Finding an aspect. Reacting to a thing. My only limitation was doing this in a single room.

And what better room to describe than the Geyser Conservatory at Manito Park? It’s a special place to me. It calms me down and it makes me happy. It provokes my allergies in which every spring and summer I regret. The air is humid, the fans are humming, and the colors refracting in my eyes are vibrant and luscious. A retina screen on a macbook pro can’t ever compare to this lively beauty.


Panorama I took with my phone. This isn’t even the full view.

I walked into the conservatory frozen to the bone. The windchill was hovering around -18 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact on my walk from the bus stop a man looked at me, bundled up with a scarf over his face he said, “you’re being as foolish as I?”

Of course. I wanted to do my homework assignment.

The fresh air and the smell of green welcomed me as I opened the glass doors. Tulips and lilies greeted me. Unfortunately, the smell of pollen greeted me and the sneezing began.

While I let my camera warm up, I shed off my coat and my sweater, my scarf and my hat. What aspect was I going to focus on? How could I describe things? I’ve been sitting on this bench and nothing was coming to me. So I just started taking photos. I did what I normally did when I came here.

This flower’s petals remind me of tissue paper.

All the thoughts swirled in my mind. “These plants look like fire.” “I totally get why this plant is called ‘Bird of Paradise’ it looks just like one!” And that aspect question? Why not describe this room from the perspective of a macro lens? Everyone has an idea what a greenhouse looks like, but not everyone takes notice of the smallest things. At least with my camera, I’ve come to love the little hairs on plants’ petals and stems. I like seeing pollen looking like powder. The veins in petals resemble my own. In fact, plants look a lot like humans, from veins to hairs. They’re worn and torn just like us.

This little ramen noodle looking thing is no larger than my thumb. I walked passed this thing four times before noticing it.

I guess these details are why I enjoy macro. There’s much much more to see than we do at a glance. Taking up macro has made me more observant. And I believe that knack is something truly needed in a time when our attention spans are shortening so quickly.

Overall, I am so thankful for this conservatory. It allows me to practice my hobby. It can be -20 degrees and I can still walk into this little piece of paradise and be warm. I can see the cacti and still wish to never fall in their beds of spines.


It’s my small slice of happiness.


The Longest Beach Day

Today’s daily prompt asks us to create a holiday in our own honor.

Well this holiday isn’t really a holiday, it’s more or less just a giant celebration because on June 21, it’s the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. And therefore, another celebration will happen on Dec. 21. This holiday will require people to go out to the beach, have some pesto chicken sammiches, and hang out with their friends. And unlike other holidays, this day will start exactly at 12 a.m. and run until 11:59 p.m.

I just want people to go have some fun in the sun. And this way, people will have to make time to relax with friends. One of the best things about friends is that you don’t have to talk to them, but the mere act of sitting next to them, being in their company, THAT should make anyone feel good.

It’s all based on this one fabulous day at the lake I had with a friend this past summer. We lied on the beach, played in the water, had good food, and yet during that entire time, we didn’t talk much. And when we did talk it was about pointless things. No drama. Just good company. I feel that’s what everyone needs. They need to set aside a day filled with nothing but fun. Talking about serious issues should be out of the question. No aunts and grandparents would pester you about dating or school. No parents would be allowed to tell horrific stories about you.

And that’s the problem with these holidays. With Christmas. There’s too much pressure to do right. There’s too much pressure to put on a face and not be yourself. At least with my holiday, the fake face comes off.

Be yourself, relax, eat good food, play in the water and try to build an island. Celebrate the Longest Beach Day. Be a good person, and if your grandma asks if you’re dating, you get full permission to say, “suck it.”


Russia is the United States’ rebellious teenaged son. Yes, The White House is very very disappointed in you Russia. How could you? Russia and the United States are two bickering parents going through a rough divorce process, starting with the … Continue reading