I hopped on my bicycle for the first time in a few months. Optimistic and excited about being active and outside and curious about what I may find on my journey today. When I got to the La Chua trail the sun was beating down heavy on me and I knew I was not there at the magical lighting time of day.
I could see and feel nothing except for the sensation of being too hot. I am amazed by this ever changing prairie. Everything was so grown out it was hard to see any creatures beyond the sun. I decided to take the path less tread upon on my way back. I had given up on seeing anything interesting and to taking any pictures. I just wanted to escape the heat and get back on my bike and ride the shady part of the hawthorne trail before returning home. All of the suddenly I saw 1,2,3,4,5 butterflies all together just waiting to have their portrait taken I am sure. I very sneakily and patiently snuck up to them in hopes that they would not fly away. I took some pictures. Got closer took some more. Got even closer and doug my elbows down into the dirt and took some more pics. They did not leave. I have startled many a butterfly pollinating a gorgeous flower. But these Pollinators had me in shock. They were all getting down on some horsey dung. They were so into it that they did not even care that I was there. Is it possible that this dung is even more of a treat than a flower. There were beatles underneath the dung moving it all the while the butterflies continued to surf the dung and fight for the juiciest spot. Again my elbows are in the dirt….Fortunately not in the dung and I am in utter amazement. I love that nature never fails to amaze me and even when it seems like there is nothing going on on the praire there is more happening then I will ever be able to imagine. I will admit that I did start getting hungry watching them chow down on this pile of dung. The butterflies were almost at full capacity for this dung cafe.
I forgot about the heat, the dirt, the smell of shit, and was over taken by the beauty. By the contrast. I love contrast. Eventually I left after spending quite a long time with them. I am leaving. On my way out I find a smaller pile of dung with more butterflies getting down. I am amazed that they don’t seem to be bothered by me.
I do some research when I get home and find out they are so down with this dung because they are getting salts and other nutrients. I also learned that they drink their meals so who is up for the dung diet smoothie.
To find out more about butterflies you can go to many places online here is one I just checked out. www.gardenswithwings.com/facts-info/FAQ.html
Finally I am so hot and hungry I can’t take it anymore and as I am heading to get on my bike and ride home I look down and I see a little furry ball with bones peaking out at me. I pick up the ball of fur I look into it. It is filled with goodness. I look up in wonderment of where the owl was that spit this up. I have been learning a lot about owls from my co-worker Charlotte Loomis and I know that the owl must be just above me. I shuffle through brush. I look beyond the glare of sunlight. I try to use my camera as binoculars I take a few pics. I am sure that this is the owl but damn it is well hidden. Suddenly I have to move because my feet are covered in ants. I stay a bit longer. I don’t get a good picture of the owl but I get the thrill of knowing that I think I know where it is. I leave I hop on my bike I hit the hawthorne trail again. I feel my glutes burning, I am loving it, I feel my lungs grasp for air. I am out of shape but having a great time. I let my cat smell the treat when I get home because he is so nosey and loves smelling everything.
It was my third day of seeing and doing qigong with the hummingbird. I decided that I should back off a little and moved 20 feet away from where he/she was feeding. I did this because she stopped coming around while I was there. I had moments of imagining that I was this delicious flower that hummingbirds would love to be around. I sent off as many loving vibes as I could to this hummingbird to let it know that it would be safe around me. I remembered a moment in time when I helped a hummingbird who was stuck in a garage to find its way out. I felt strongly that it was time to give space to this beautiful creature even though yesterday I was doing qigong 2 feet away from her feeding grounds. She came and fed from the beautiful flowers but every time I slowly reached around my body to bring out the camera she would fly away. Right at the end of my qigong yesterday I decided to sit down next to the irresistible red flowers and just see if I would be gifted with her presence again. I waited with camera in hand set to manual mode, manual focus, aperture, and ISO. I waited and the moment that my camera rose to eye she appeared in front of my lens but every time I set the focus she would be onto another flower. 30 seconds into this beautiful experience I feel her fluttering right in front of my camera, suspended timelessly in the air in front of me. I see her hovering before me picture perfect with my camera in hand but I am set to manual mode so I just see a blur through the lens she then hovers over to my right side, still no pictures taken and within a matter of secondlessness she is gone to I don’t know where. Wow how lucky I felt, even though I did not get to even see her through the blurry lens as she fluttered 6 inches away from my face. I am thinking that this qigong thing is working. Qigong and photography. Qi gong not only helps me increase my Qi it also helps me get really get in touch with my own internal nature and also the breath of the bird and the plants around me. It allows me to become a part of the environment.
Today I decided to stand with my feet in the water of the pool 20 feet away from the hummingbird likes to feast. My plan is to give space to this creature and observe her from afar as I do my practice. At the very end of my qigong Session I decide to embrace the energy of this fastly fluttering bird and take all of the qi that I have manifested throughout my practice and I place it in my dantian right into my belly button. As I am planting the energy of the humming bird inside myself she appears 20 feet away from me feeding. At this point I have had multiple encounters but still no picture. I am blown away by this moment and I am feeling quite excited. I am far away enough that she does not seem to be bothered that I am taking out my camera. I place it up to my eye and decide at least I will get one photo even if it is from farther away than I imagined. As soon as the camera is resting against my eye she begins to fly away and I follow her curiously with my camera. Suddenly it appears as if she is not flying away at all but flying right next to me. Yes! There were some flowers next to me that I had no idea that humming birds were interested in. Because my camera was already in position she seemed not to notice or be bothered by me or my camera. I felt extatic to be able to be so close while she was feeding and to be finally be able to photograph it. What a gift. It inspires me to think that right as I placed the hummingbird energy inside me that she flew up right next to me and that I was able to take the close photograph that I had wanted so badly. It is so beautiful to photograph creatures in their natural habitat. It is their choice and decision when and where to share themselves and I feel so blessed and thankful that I was able to experience this. I had an experience similar to this once but it was years ago, a hummingbird visited me in a dream and hovered before my face and I felt so lucky. It seems some of my dreams are starting to manifest. I always get interested in animal totems so here is a link to what the hummingbird means! http://www.birdclan.org/hummingbird.html
I have my first photograph of this hummingbird up for sale. You can purchase an 8×10 matted and framed into a 12×15 inch frame for $44. Does not include shipping.
Here is one of my favorite facts that I just read about the hummingbird, "The hummingbird is the only creature that can stop dead while traveling at full speed; can hover; or can go forward, backward, up or down." Please share your experience and or encounters with hummingbirds.
Here is a link to time warp video of a hummingbird on youtube http://youtu.be/D8vjYTXgIJw
Here is another link to another cool video that I found on humminbirds featuring Hummingbird babies growing up in the nest, from “Eggs” to the actual moment they leave the nest! The only thing I don’t like about this video is the music, play your favorite song and turn theirs down and enjoy the hummingbird growth process http://youtu.be/gG59PaCiiDg
I have recently been thinking about what a wonderful tool qi gong is for personal transformation and for my photography. Today I went outside very resistantly to do my qi gong practice. I missed 2 days in a row and was just feeling really down in the dumps. I was feeling quite angry, scared, judgemental, and sad and I did not want to do qi gong even though I new it would help me shift. I went outside into my backyard and found a wonderful place in the shade to stand and do my practice. I could hear the woodpeckers and see them much better than I have been able to in the past. There was 1 wood pecker a few hundred feet off to my left and there was one that kept inching closer to me just about 20 feet away. I remembered following a woodpecker a few weeks ago and everytime I would get close enough he would fly to the other side of the tree. While doing qi gong I realized that he was not trying to hide from me but perfectly in my vision for quite a long time. I began to really realize that doing qi gong makes me much more a part of my environment and allows me to meld into my surroundings. The woodpecker was able to have time to sense my energy and to choose whether to come into my field of energy. I watched this beautiful creature as i moved my arms and breath. It is important for me to really become a part of something before I just start clicking away on my camera. I decided to get my camera after my session of qi gong. I knew that It would be different leaving the field and then coming back. I came back and the woodpecker was gone. I stood and waited, I sat and waited I was able to get a shot or two. I am now going to bring my camera with me on my qi gong journeys so that I can remain in the space without having to re-enter. I can wait for the woodpecker or other animal to share itself with me rather than chasing it down. I will continue to share my journeys on here. Through qi and phototgraphy. Everything is so integrated. What a beautiful morning. I feel less angry, sad and judgemental. I am looking forward to what I may see as I explore photography with more patience. Here is a little bit on woodpecker medicine that I looked up online http://www.birdclan.org/woodpecker.html I just found that my birth totem animal is the snake http://wolfs_moon.tripod.com/birthtotemsnake.html
I am on the edge of a new frontier. Hoping to make a living doing what I love standing at the edge of the cliff and diving into my dreams hoping to land in clear blue water and to see all that nature has to offer.
I have just recently started selling my artwork and the process has been quite a journey. The step that comes before and in between every step for me is being my own cheerleader encouraging myself every step of the way. Realizing that if there is the possibility of disaster there is also the possibility of success. I must also say that when I have not been able to find the motivation to completely believe in myself there have been friends and family along the way who have arrived at the perfect moments where I have needed a nudge and encouragement to make it to the next step. I feel very thankful to have supportive and loving people in my life. Step 1 deciding what the hell to print. Step 2 getting my photos printed. Step 3 figuring out framing and picking out mat board. Finally deciding whether to sign the mat board or the actual front of the photo. In the professional world everyone seems to have a different opinion on this. I have decided to sign the front of the mat board and the back of the photo. I have read so many different strong opinions on where people should sign and I have come to the conclusion that it just does not matter that much. Many years ago someone decided what the standard was for signing and some people have followed and some people have rebelled and that is why I think it is important to make my own logical decision. I like signing the back of the photo so that if someone wants to re-matt the photo in the future it will not be separated from its signature and I also like signing the front of the mat.When being confronted with the thought of signing my work I became very nervous wondering what my signature would look like. I was hoping that it would not look like that form of chicken scratch that I have developed over the years from signing credit cards. I had such good hand writing in 3rd grade. Before going into the store to sign my framed photo I practiced signing my name on a piece of paper over 100 times only to find out that my neatest handwriting looks like my 3rd grade handwriting. I was hoping to have my handwriting look like a professional photographers handwriting. I have taken the photos that I am selling and I am doing the best signature that I can do as myself and that has to be enough. I don’t know how to change or fake it and I am sure with time it will evolve into something more beautiful and maybe with time I will realize that what I am doing now is just beautiful enough. I remember a day in second or third grade where we got a sillhouette cut out of our faces and I remember hating mine thinking how big and ugly my eye lashes looked and how my lips were too big. I wish I still had that cut out because I now remember it as beautiful. This silhouette above is not my own just one that I found online to remind you all of what I am talking about.
I do agree on using acid free pens, tape etc. Now that everything is framed, matted, and signed I must put a price tag on it. I am at the place in my life where I am selling my photos and tapping into my desire and confidence to dare myself to do something that I love doing so much.
Peacock in Full Bloom
12×18 photo double matted to an 18×24 frame
If you like you can pre-order. Please allow 1 week for printing and framing This does not include the price of shipping. Can be picked up in Gainesville, Florida. If you would like it shipped send in a request and price will be adjusted accordingly.
Baby Bison on The Prairie
12×18 photo double matted to an 18×24 frame
This does not include the price of shipping. Currently Shipping is not available for this photo. It can be picked up in Gainesville, Florida.
Please note that this buy now price does not reflect the price of shipping. Shipping will vary depending upon where you live and may be available upon request. Some of my smaller prints can be purchased on etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/marcelamartinez?ga_search_query=marcela+martinez&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade
Are you making a living doing what you love doing the most? If so what are you doing and what do you love about what you are doing? What was the easiest thing about following your dreams? What has been the most challenging? How have you overcome or are you overcoming these challenges? Please share any of this info along with a link to your website and or blog.