NEELOJ   33,735
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So Glad to Get RID of 2011!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I have never been so happy to see a New Year!
My husband and I had a very rough year in 2011.
It started going bad in early May when he had major heart failure. Then his whole body started to shut down. He was in the hospital six times in four months. This was such a shock for us since neither one of us have ever been in the hospital and we just don't get sick!!

With heart failure, COPD, kidney failure, PAD in his feet and legs, and Vascular Dementia, our life has really changed. I finally had to put him into a Care Home the first of September. He is doing better now and has gained some weight after getting down to 100 pounds.
He is unable to stand or walk and is very confused most of the time.

But on a good note, I adopted two new baby kittens on Thanksgiving Day. They are so much fun even though they are very ornery! I wake up every morning laughing which is such a wonderful gift right now! And the loving I get from them is precious!!

I see the New Year as a start to a new life for me. I have the opportunity to take better care of myself. After gaining quite a bit of weight in 2011 I am ready to start getting healthy again and back to walking.

A spark friend sent me a great quote the other day that really spoke to me and is helping me to see each day as a new start at getting back into control.
I want to share it with you.....

"Being creative helps you feel in control of some things when you can't be in control of others."

So I am also getting back into photography which I really love!! The kittens make a wonderful photogenic opportunity! ha ha
So I of course have to add a couple of pictures!! I am just like a new mommie!! ha ha
I hope all of you have a great and Creative New Year too!!

KoKo, boy and CeCe, girl

CeCe and KoKo

KoKo getting into a NEW box of Kleenex!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INGMARIE 1/24/2013 4:48PM

    It is wierd, feels like I've known you forever,LOL but i have never visited your page,
now i just red your last blog from 2012.
So how did that year treat you ?2011 was not good.

I hope 2013 will be a fantastic year, with lots of walks,picture taking and cats.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUEJENN 6/12/2012 7:06PM

    You are an amazing woman. Look at what you have been through in the last year and you can still manage a positive attitude and a preparedness for personal growth. Kudos!

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DIET-DELIGHT 1/22/2012 5:26AM

    Sorry to hear about your husband. Please take care of you -- we don't want you having a heart attack, too!

I'm trying to get back on the healthy wagon this year, as well! I'll try to do more photo assignments, too.

I love your new kittens. Cats are the best!

Dana emoticon

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JOYSGARDEN 1/20/2012 10:56PM

    I haven't talked to too many people who had a good year last year! Mine wasn't good either. 6 deaths in the family for starters, so here's hoping 2012 is better for all of us! Sorry you had to put Charlie in a home, but it sounds like he's where he needs to be, for both of your sakes. I know it had to be a hard decision for you, but if you get down sick, who will take care of both of you? Hoping and praying he improves, and that you can get back to a good life this year, taking care of yourself. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the kittens!!! They are so sweet! Give them each an extra squeeze today, from me! Hugs!

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GRALLEN 1/18/2012 9:08PM

    Wondered what happened to you. I'm so sorry for your husband's health. I know the decision you made was not an easy one. Congrats on the kitties, they are very cute. Love the photos. See ya on Flickr.

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JRAUTIO 1/16/2012 9:54AM

    The kittens are SOOO precious. I raised Himalayans for a number of years and really miss the antics of the "babies"! 2011 sounds like a really hard year for you. I wish you all the best for a greatly improved 2012! --Julie

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COOP9002 1/13/2012 3:38PM

    Hopefully 2012 will bring you more joy than you can imagine as well as healing and strength to your husband.

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MARTHA-ANN 1/13/2012 5:13AM

    So glad Charlie has improved, you won't be worrying quite so much.
CeCe and KOKo are wonderful companions for you, I'm so glad you're getting out and about again.
My year was just as bad and hopefully 2012 is going to be better.
I've started my hospital treatment and got back to walking...albeit slowly and back to wonderful Sparking and I'm getting back to my camera too.
Here's to a wonderful 2012 emoticon

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SUNNY332 1/12/2012 10:59PM

    I know it has been a tough year for you. So glad that DH is doing a little better and so happy you are getting your camera out. Love the photos of the sweet little kittens.

Way to go!

BTW - loved the quote.


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MS.ELENI 1/12/2012 9:53PM

    I do hope things are going better.Last year was bad for me too.Love the pics of kittens

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I think I am a Loon!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The loon is a most interesting bird. It spends a long time submerged under water, and is slow to take flight. It has to flap its wings and run halfway across the surface of the lake before it gets enough momentum to hoist itself into the air.
But sometimes it can soar higher than an eagle.
- Margaret Wente,

I did not know this about a Loon. It is interesting. It make me think of myself and my Spark friends.
In my last blog I mentioned I had back slid the last several months and many chimed in, in agreement.
So I think we are like the Loon. We let ourselves get submerged with everything going on in our life and can't seem to get started flying.
But we keep running in hopes to get enough momentum to hoist ourselves up and get going again.

So far my "run" is doing much better this New Year and I have faith in myself and all of us that we will soar with the eagle.
We just have to keep running!!
Well, maybe walking.... I can't run anymore! LOL

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWINKIEQUEEN 6/8/2013 8:04AM

    like your quote......and attitude about it......I don't run either, but occasionally move at a faster waddle...*abrazos*

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MARTHA-ANN 1/13/2012 5:07AM

    I'm on the up again too Jo...power to the loons!! emoticon

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LRAMLPZ 7/2/2011 1:18AM

    Being a loon isn't so bad. Birds can be quite graceful. Now if you had compared yourself to a sloth, I may have been worried, but they too have their good qualities.
:) Laura

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MS.ELENI 3/13/2011 10:47AM

    I think a lot of us have been loons. emoticon emoticon

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LENIASTY 3/8/2011 11:13PM

    I had to laugh when I read your description about the loon - that is me right down to a t - except that take off has been eluding me for months now, I've been stuck on a plateau. But I refuse to stop running, at least it keeps me from sinking!

Sunny is right - we have faith in us all and we keep going, sooner or later we will get there... emoticon emoticon

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EH932011 2/21/2011 10:30PM

    Sometimes I feel I'm like a Loon and I whistle like a Loon,literally! Everyone says I do a wonderful job sounding like a Loon. I had a conversation with one when I was younger in Minnesota @ Woman Lake with my cousins. It was fun.
I get so busy with things that aren't as important as reading, exercising and walking and going places along the river. I enjoy nature, but I tell myself I'm going for a walk with my fiance and it never happens, because I'm either worried about my job situation, creating more jewelry, etc. When the weather gets better my fiance and I have told each other that we are going to get our bikes out and ride. We love riding our bikes.
We have to keep running forward. One step at a time!

Erin -EV1959 emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARTHA-ANN 1/5/2011 8:01AM

    great analogy Jo but i think I agree with TER199

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TERI99 1/4/2011 9:10PM

    I am most certainly a loon! (if not also just a bit loony!)
We'll be airborne soon enough. Happy New Year!

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GRALLEN 1/4/2011 8:39PM

    Walking is good.

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MS.ELENI 1/4/2011 6:53PM

    Keep on walking. emoticon

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    you're right joleen.
i slipped back and i refused to keep slipping. I'll keep "running". You keep "running" too.

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SUNNY332 1/4/2011 6:19PM

    I have faith in you and I both.

Best wishes from one Loon to another.

Hugs, Sunny

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Old Age.....

Thursday, December 30, 2010

You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.
- George Burns

Boy, some days I feel that part about getting older!
But I have always said that I know I can't stop getting older but I can do something about being healthier!!
I may not be a teenager anymore, in fact it has been so many years ago I am not sure if I ever was! But I don't need to feel like a 100 hundred year old either. I have a few years left yet before that! LOL

So I plan to start the new year by doing just that, getting healthier!!
I will keep losing weight and walking most everyday. I love walking outside, even on cold days, but I am having more trouble with my chest getting irritated when I breath the cold air. So may have to spend some time on the treadmill instead of outside. Do not like that as well.

I back slid the last six months but here I go again!!! LOL
Have a great New Year everyone!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEESPARKLE 12/29/2012 8:41PM

    I have come back also. I took months off and being from Canada. It was nice to walk but around Sept , end of Sept my osteoarthritis kicked in bad even though I was walking daily and my sciatic in left leg and hip pains.. So after my Birthday 8th. I must start getting down in weigh with eating portions. I have my food tracker up and the gain weight tracker on page. Yikes. The hardest will be the exercise. So then I seen the shutterbug team. I said why not for my hobby here.. I added you also.

Yes you and your sister have each other. How lovely. To do things like that with your pictures.

Comment edited on: 12/29/2012 8:43:04 PM

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MARILYN1260 1/3/2011 9:20AM

    Very encouraging blog and I'm joining all of you with a new commitment. Here's to a wonderful, healthy New Year for all of us. emoticon emoticon

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MARTHA-ANN 1/3/2011 1:15AM

    We all sound like we need to recommit, I'm joining you! emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 12/30/2010 12:44PM

  We all sound like we are in the same set of circumstances, so...........we can all be there for each other.
It's a new year!!!!! WE CAN DO IT!!!!! emoticon

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SUNNY332 12/30/2010 12:12PM

    There are a lot of us "backsliders" joining you on your continued journey.

Have a GREAT New Years and a GREAT start.

Hugs, Sunny

emoticon Lets go!

Comment edited on: 12/30/2010 12:18:35 PM

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F8CONE8 12/30/2010 11:43AM

    We make a great pair. I appreciate your support and as another back slider we need to lift each other up whenever possible. No excuses we are women with power.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MS.ELENI 12/30/2010 9:44AM

    That slide was here too. But it is a new day and a new year coming. Onward and no more sliding back. emoticon

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TERI99 12/30/2010 9:36AM

    I'm afraid I was sliding back with you! I'll join you on those walks!
Happy New Year emoticon

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The Wonders of Nature......

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Spark friend this morning posted a blog that I just loved. It was about the blessing of simple things around us that sometimes we miss.
It made me think of the love I have for doing Macro (close-up) photography. There are so many small things in the world of nature that we never see unless we stop to really look.

I am not sure why, but when I was young I loved to see things up close.
It fascinated me to look at a flower close enough to see the pollen on each separate part or look a butterfly right in the eye. I would sit, cross legged, for long periods of time in our pasture and just watch nature!

When I was eight years old I received an allowance each week. This allowance was 10cents!! I would try to save it but usually found things to spend it on before I had very many dimes saved up.
Then one day I saw an item in the Sears and Roebuck catalog that I knew I had to have! It was a microscope!!! It cost $10!! But I knew I had to have it!!!
What fun it would be to see the scales on a butterfly’s wing that I had read about. Or the many eyes of a fly! And the tiny lines on a flower petal and the grains of pollen!

I started saving my dimes! I help mother when she killed and clean the chickens we raised. I was given 10cents for picking off the feathers, 10cents for scraping the pin feathers off the chicken and a whole quarter for cutting them up!!
My sisters and I had the job each summer to help out, but this summer I did more then usual!!
A few other jobs around the farm helped my bank fill up too.
By the end of summer I had enough to order the microscope!!
It was so exciting when it came in the mail. And everyone in the family had fun looking through it to see the wonders of nature!
We really did see the scales of a butterfly! The eyes of the fly! Tiny grains of pollen!! And did you know that grasshoppers have tiny little claws on its feet!!

Well, this long and probably boring story, is just to share how amazing I have always found God and Nature to be!! And what is so great now days is that I can share it with you!! With digital cameras and the Macro lens they have I get just as excited taking pictures as I did looking through my microscope! (Which I still have! Ha ha)

Here are a few I would like to share……

Morning Dew

This is a dandelion

A small fungi growing on a rotting branch

This bug is only 1/8th of an inch in size

A Robber Fly - Looks like it came from outer space!

Notice the aphid in this fly's mouth!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEESPARKLE 12/29/2012 8:48PM

    I love your hobby also. All Spring and winter I walked myself alone and took pictures of everything in nature it seems.

I spent two hours alone in the Bush.

I live in Black bear land, wolves, deer's and moose.

Lord willing next year I think I better take a whistle and blow as I enter the bush land. I was so into taking close ups.

I never thought.

Your pictures are lovely.

I use macro outside also. Pictures are so close up.

Like you say. A bee you can see on a flower or the whole inside of a flower.

This year at end of summer. I started myself taking pictures of fences on all angles.

Then I started to put little characters on the fence and them talking.

So you like the fairies . I use fairies as my characters in my pictures.

Now I do also CDS with my pictures and give away to friends for Birthdays.

Photography is wonderful. On my title is Imagination from where I enter from today. My blog.

But the sky is the Lords. I wont go above the sky. Ha,ha .

Comment edited on: 12/29/2012 8:56:53 PM

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BLBH16 1/4/2011 6:53PM

    Great macro shots! Bette

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HERBKAT 8/6/2010 1:00AM

    Gorgeous photos! I'm discovering the tiny world too, and I'm amazed at what shows up in the photos.

Thanks for sharing!

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    Gorgeous! I love detailed pix of stamens etc too.

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TERI99 7/25/2010 8:12PM

    Oh, I LOVE your pictures! My next purchase is going to be a macro lens. I am amazed by the beauty of creation that is evident in such pictures. Thanks for sharing. Just stunning!

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GRALLEN 7/25/2010 4:28PM

    Awesome photos Joleen. Makes me want to get out with the camera today.

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KAT573 7/24/2010 8:01AM

    ohhhhhhhhhh you got the microscope bug too, eh? LOL I am planning a series of pix based on microscopic textures. LOVE your pix and your curiosity and drive.

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MARTHA-ANN 7/24/2010 2:56AM

    Stunning pix Jo, you're so clever. I suppose I'll have to give in soon and upgrade to a camera with a macro setting...LOL..
The funny thing is when I was a child I so wanted a microscope, my brother got one for Christmas but wouldn't let us girls touch it (we thought he was a horrible brother...LOL...not so now of course!) and that set me off. I never did get one but when my eldest boy was five that's what he asked for from Father Christmas and I shared the pleasure with him as he was learning from it.

Comment edited on: 7/24/2010 3:03:00 AM

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MS.ELENI 7/23/2010 5:31PM

    I so want to be able to do this. I tried to use my macro function today.I haven't quite got the hang of it. I am going to do some practicing this coming week.Any tips you can send my way I would appreciate. I have gotten some very good close ups here and there but I would love to get some like yours. I did get one of a dragonfly recently that i like.Unfortunately my new camera does not have the ability to add lens. The zoom will not work when in macro on my camera.
You pictures are awesome as usual. I looked at a bunch of them on Flickr the other day. I went ahead and got the pro so I can store my photos there instead of on my computer. You are one that showed me how to use flickr.Thanks again. I do need to organize pictures better now.
Ok Always enjoy all your photo's. I wish mine were near as good.

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WILMALOU 7/23/2010 3:32PM

  Loved the pictures! You are so talented! Thanks for sharing.

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SUNNY332 7/23/2010 3:23PM

    Wow - Love the photos, Jo. They are awesome. I am trying to get used to the new camera.
I did post a few on flicker last week and have some more I need to get posted.

It does take some time, I suppose. Any how, looks like you are getting some great shots with your camera. I also love Macro Photography so we have one more thing in common.

Have a GREAT weekend.


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I Believe in Fairies.....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Fairy hiding among my flowers.

I like to believe in Fairies and Elves, mainly because it is just fun to do so.
I posted two pictures on a Spark team this week and it has been fun to see all of the comments. I enjoy seeing other people’s responses.

Fairies have been in art throughout the centuries taking the form of visual art, literature and song.
In the book “Real Fairies” by David Tame, people’s real encounters with the fairy kingdom are described. It makes great reading if you have ever asked the question Are Fairies Real?

A Man Fairy or Elf, gathering leaves in my yard.

Are Fairies real?
Don’t discount the possibility. It may simply be a case of believing to enable you to see them. They are as real as you want them to be.
Open yourself to “nature spirits”.
Feel the wind gently caressing your face and listen to the sounds of nature. Listen to the voices of the fairies that carry the sounds of nature.
Sit and just look at nature, especially close up, I mean really close up!
Try lying in the grass and looking at one single blade. Or look at the world as if you were a mouse.
Look at a flower, under one petal, or right into the center of a flower.
Really close up, many things are magical!

I have read that some people believe that fairies were angels sent from heaven because they did not take either side of Satan or God. On earth they can choose to take the side of good or evil.
Maybe they are asking us to respect the environment and to live in peaceful coexistence with all creatures on this earth.
Maybe they will bless our gardens and flowers.
Whatever your stance I find that Fairies bring joy to all who believe in them.

I like to think they are real because it is fun when I am sitting in my backyard.
When I see the magical world of nature it is hard to think that they are not real!
I love nature and the joy that it brings me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WEKIMER 4/27/2010 5:10PM

    awesome pics and interesting topic. I believe!

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PYNNER 3/30/2010 9:04PM

    As you can tell by my picture, I am a huge fairy fan too. And whenever we look close at nature we really do see amazing and inspiring things.

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    I am so inspired. I will take your advice and look a little closer.

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PENNYAN45 3/15/2010 2:31PM

    Thank you for the beautiful, magical tale!


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PATSYANN47 3/15/2010 10:50AM

    You definately have a way with words and photos. You've made me open my eyes! Thanks for sharing.

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TEXASG-MA 3/14/2010 9:03PM

  I like to think fairies are real. I know that Angels are. If fairies are angels sent because they did not take sides then they are absolutely real. I enjoyed your blog. Fairies and fantasy are a good thing for the imagination and a good thing to think about to relax you.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MS.ELENI 3/14/2010 8:41PM

    Fairies are great

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MSDELISLE 3/14/2010 8:22PM

    Thanks for posting this. I am reading a book about an Irish family and there is a banshee in there. The same is said about the banshee, that they can take the side of good or evil. Makes me want to find out more about both.

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TWINKIEQUEEN 3/14/2010 7:40PM

    ah, neeloj...loved your fairy outlook and pics....i always tell myself that no matter i choose to believe or disbelieve to try and be open to the possibilities.....your pics, especially the top one, looks like a fairy to me.... emoticon

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GROGGY!!! 3/14/2010 5:57PM

    Your pictures really made me smile! Loved them!

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GRALLEN 3/14/2010 3:35PM

    What a great blog Jo. I like sitting in my backyard watching nature too. I'm like you, I like to believe in fairies and elves too, it's fun!

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SUNNY332 3/14/2010 2:46PM

    I believe....

Great post, Jo!

Hugs, Sunny

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CRICKET412 3/14/2010 2:27PM

    I believe...

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7ANIMALSMOMMA 3/14/2010 2:26PM

    I really liked your post. The pictures are awesome. emoticon

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CWAITES 3/14/2010 2:14PM

    Great blog!

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F8CONE8 3/14/2010 1:40PM

    Why wouldn't we believe in fairies and angels? Life is full of wonder - thanks for this post I really enjoyed it. Carol emoticon

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TERI99 3/14/2010 1:38PM

    I love what you can see through the lens of a camera that seems so easy to miss with the naked eye! The beauty of nature around us never ceases to be amazing!
Great post!

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LESSJAYNE 3/14/2010 1:24PM

    I really enjoyed the post. Thank you!

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