Welcome to my year-long visual poetry project, inspired by the brilliant Brogan Micallef. Here are four seasons of creativity—just me, my camera, and a LOT of animal noses out and about on the farm.
And now for something a bit different…
The figure looks bulkier than usual, especially its torso and arms. A cheerful woolley covering perches on its head, topped with a pom-pom. In its hands, it holds a long pole with teeth on the end.
Arms stretching out, the figure thrusts the head of the pole away from its body. The teeth bite into the soft ground. The figure drags back in and the teeth scrape up the bits of parchment-like debris. It repeats the action again and again, collecting the scraps into a pile. Some are brightly coloured yellow, orange, or red. Others are a dried, wrinkled brown. They seem to have been shed by the taller figures towering around.
(Can you guess what’s happening? This is an exercise from the creative writing course I’m currently doing: to describe an everyday activity from the point of view of someone who has no clue what’s happening. It’s so much fun!)
On the topic of autumn and fun…
I’ve been out and about with my camera a lot lately. I might be slightly obsessed with autumn colours – from the poplars turning into gold, the maples turning red, to the orange glow of the sun setting in the early evening.
So, here’s a spot of creative fun + visual poetry + some of the adorable animals I get to hang around with:
Here we go again. How are you going in Lockdown 2.0?
I hope you’ve been finding time to rest and recharge. I know I’ve been finding it more difficult to keep going with my creative practice. It’s so, so tempting to turn into a hermit and ignore the world. And planning? Forget it!
In amongst all this uncertainty, there is one thing I know for sure. (And it’s science-based – have I mentioned I’m a nerd?)
Nature = the perfect retreat
I’m working from home at the moment. Which means that when I need a break to clear my brain, I can grab my gumboots and get outside for a stomp. There’s something about having grass underfoot and the breeze on my face. It always makes me feel better.
Turns out, there’s a bunch of research that shows that yes, time in nature is good for us emotionally and physically.
Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, improves our mood, energy, and general wellbeing. It reduces stress, anxiety, anger, and fear. It helps us to focus and gives our overactive minds a rest. And it actually activates the parts of our brain associated with empathy and love – the feelings that give us a sense of belonging, and connect us to each other and our environment.
So there IS something to the advice, “get out and go for a walk” because getting outside and into nature is so good for us! And if you can’t get outside, studies show that looking at images of nature actually has the same benefits.
So I’ve made you a short video and it’s full of nature.
Here’s some more visual poetry for you – the highlights of winter. Okay, I confess. There’s also an awful lot of Kepler the goat being cute. And the sheep because the lambs are adorable! But I left out the thunderstorms, hail, gale-force winds, and months of trudging through the mud… You’re welcome.
Hit play and enjoy crunchy frost, glowing fog, trees laden with blossom and tuis, and plenty of noses.
For more restful ideas, my artist friend Flavia Bennard shares some habits on her blog to help navigate times of uncertainty. Be sure to watch her video as well – it’s so calming and peaceful and beautiful.
As she so eloquently says, “And there is always a better tomorrow. Even if you can’t believe in one now, even if you can’t envision it, trust that there’s a better tomorrow.”
Click play for bright, cheerful blossom, getting messy in the garden, and of course, a lot of cute noses.
You might have noticed the lack of one particular nose. I’m sad to report that Kepler goat died. It’s a mystery. One day he moaned at me that he was a bit under the weather. So, we gave him some medicine and he seemed happy enough. And then suddenly he was dying in my arms. I miss my little buddy so much. Rest in peace, little Kep.
My favourite things about summer:
- The sun! (Yes, I am solar powered)
- Long, lazy, hot summer evenings with a soundtrack of cicadas.
- Watching puffy white clouds billow across insanely blue sky.
Thanks for watching! I had a lot of fun creating these videos. I hope you enjoyed!
How about you? If you were filming seasonal inspiration, what sort of things would you capture?