Thursday, January 2, 2014

Capturing Beauty {a picture recap of 2013}

As I was looking back on the photos I took in 2013 I was thinking about how much I truly enjoy capturing God's beauty with my camera.  It's a way for me to pause in amazement at the wonderment all around, all the time.  So, I wanted to bundle together some of that beauty here, in this space, all in one post.  Want to have a look with me? 

Capturing a bit of Valentine cheer against the backdrop of beautiful white.

My favorite tree in our backyard.  I love to watch the changing of the seasons through this tree.  It's always beautiful, whether bare-branched, covered in snow, bright green or autumn yellow.  Such a gift this tree is to me.

It's sometimes a challenge to find the beauty in the often dreary dark days of winter, but I love capturing the everyday bits of cozy and comfort in our daily rituals.  And I've always been a lover of steam in sunlight. :)

There is such beauty in the dishes we create!  The color!  The art!  I love snapping a few shots of kitchen beauty made.

Amidst the waking of Spring, the kids were blowing bubbles this sunny afternoon.  Bubbles are always stunning!

The first violets of Spring lovingly picked and given to me by the kiddos. :)

This picture was taken at the park while feeding the ducks.  I love the reflection of the trees on the water, and it also makes me chuckle because, right in the center, is an ENTIRE slice of bread my daughter hurled into the water, as opposed to tearing it up into little bits.  So funny. :)

Springtime always makes me wild for a bit of green.  Seedlings on the window sill--perfect.

Whenever the buds start to turn all pink and irresistible I find myself wanting to capture them all on camera.  Such a symbol of newness and such balm to my winter-weary soul!

more buds!

I've always loved ferns, and these bright cheery fiddleheads popping up all over make my heart sing!

I've always been a sucker for the beauty of flowers.  I mean, they're just BEGGING to be photographed!

Field of clover in the of the benefits of putting off mowing ha-ha!

These tree stumps are happily perched at the foot of our backyard.  I love to watch the kids hop about them on green afternoons.

Peonies--one of my favorite flowers.  They were my mom's favorite, too, so they always make me think of her. :)  I especially love this pale pink variety.

Just a little helicopter seed amidst the grass.  Love finding the simple beauty all around.

Gorgeous hilltop view at one of our favorite parks.

This picture doesn't even do justice to the sea of green that was this swamp.  It was breath-taking to be there in person.

Along with flower shots, I'm also a sucker for shadows!  So simple and, quite literally, always around! :)

bouquet of clover the kids brought me.  (The perks of not mowing frequently give all summer long!!)

This picture screams 4th of July!  I just love the memories it evokes--BBQ with the family, hot sticky happiness. :)

Fore is endlessly captivating.  I could stare at it for hours!  (But it's hard to photograph!)

This shot was taken at a children's museum with the kids.  I'm continually amazed by the God's beauty reflected in man-made art.

Sunflower against a brilliant blue sky.  End of summer awe.

Marsh grass.  So simple.  Amazing.

These budding morning glories in our backyard were so serendipitous!  Since it was our first summer at the new house, I had no idea what was planted anywhere.  All summer long I thought these were just weeds that but then, one day in August, they burst into bloom!  They lasted well into the Fall, and I just loved watching them open and close each day.

Morning Glories in all their...well, glory!

A last bit of summer's wildness as chilly Fall nights start to make there way.

Late summer is one of the best times to capture amazing sunsets!  Every evening the kids and I would run outside to catch a glimpse of the sky on fire.
More baked goodness.  A gift of deliciousness, enjoying the last of the season's blueberries.

End of summer is also an amazing time to catch the moon looking GIANT and amazing. (Another toughie to photograph without a DSLR!  I do what I can with my point and shoot.)

While on an afternoon walk with the kids at the pond down the street we happened to see this swan.  So beautiful!  We were lucky enough to catch him visiting a few more times throughout the season.

I LOVE succulents.  Always have.  This beauty is extra special to me because it was given to me by one of my oldest friends at her wedding.  I will always treasure it. :)

Stunning view from atop a lighthouse while on vacation in North Carolina.

Amazing sand dunes on our vacation.  I love to see how God's gifts of beauty differ so much from location to location.

The ocean--one of the most amazing of God's creations.  So vast.  So powerful. Always changing.  There's something therapeutic about sitting and watching the waves for hours. I always feel renewed.

Aaaah...Fall bursting in all it's technicolor splendor.  This shot was taken at a nearby apple orchard.

One of my favorite fields down the road from me.  I love to see how the seasons change the view throughout the year.  Here it is a lovely golden brown as the last of the golden rod dies off.

Nature silhouettes are always so much fun to snap.  I love the simple shapes, without all of the color.  It's such a different way to see beauty--through outlines.

Another one of my favorites in nature are colorful gourds!  Lit up by afternoon sun, they are breathtaking.  Each one is so unique.

A bit of Halloween yum I made for the kids' birthday party that past Fall.

The leaves were falling, and we spent the afternoon soaking up the late-autumn beauty at the park.  It's amazing how things still look gorgeous, even as they're dying.  The muted browns and spent seedpods have a rustic beauty of their own.

More late autumn beauty.

We were delighted to find this Praying Mantis at the park!  We watched it for a very long time.  God's creatures are so amazing!

Autumn path on a sunny afternoon.

Jack-o-lanterns!  So much fun!

Feeding the ducks on a chilly November day.

My favorite backyard maple turning a late-autumn golden yellow.  This tree turned colors long after most of the surrounding trees had already faded.  It was extra special that way!

More evidence of the beauty in nature, even as the colors fade.

This gorgeous sky was greeting me right outside my backdoor!  I ran to grab my camera before it floated away!

I love finding mushrooms on trees.  The patterns they make are captivating.

The first snowfall of the winter, at sunset.  Amazing.
I just love Advent.  The calmness.  The stillness.  The anticipation.  The sense of renewal.  Though it's a challenge to make room for the quiet in the midst of obligations and to-dos, each year I fall in love all over again with this 4-week season.  It was extra special for me this past year, since it was the first one settled into the new house. (Last year Advent was all about unpacking, since we'd moved in at the beginning of December!)

December afternoon moon.

We were lucky to have quite a bit of white this past December (pretty unusual in Connecticut!)  I just love how snow highlights the shapes of everything (much like silhouettes!).  Whether it's the first snowfall of the season or the fifteenth, snow never ceases to look stunning.

Aaaand, that's all!  It was wonderful to look back on all the ordinary everyday beauty I was privileged to capture these last 12 months.  It's so much fun to wrap up the year and all its changing seasons in one post like this--a first for me.  Thanks for looking with me! :)  I can't wait to see what everyday beauty 2014 brings.


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