Look closely

This little creature sat amazingly still while I took many photos. Our York back yard, July 2015

This little creature sat amazingly still while I took many photos.
Our York back yard, July 2015

“Look closely. The beautiful may be small.”Immanuel Kant

Sometimes I choose the photo, and find a quote to go with it.  Sometimes I choose the quote and look for a photo.  This is one of the times I chose the photo first.  It wasn’t easy to choose the quote for it.

When I first considered this quote in connection with the photo, I thought, “The beautiful may be ugly, too.”  I can appreciate why so many people are fascinated by dragonflies, but I can’t look at this photo and see pure loveliness.  The wings are striking, but those eyes…

The stillness of the insect was beautiful, though, and the memory of how it didn’t fly away as I took photo after photo. The cool serenity of the evening when I was taking the picture was beautiful too; that wonderful glare-free light that bathes everything just before dark settles in. It all comes back to me when I look at this shot.

Today you will be surrounded by small glimpses of beauty; moments and memories that are easily missed.  Look closely!


  1. Nancy

    It’s a stunning shot, Julia! We are in Outer Banks on vacation so think we’ll look huge and awesome today at majestic ocean! Heading home tomorrow!

    Nancy and boys

    • Hi Nancy! Wow, you guys were only three hours from us. How did you like OBX? We have been a couple of times and really enjoyed it both times. Keep saying we are going back. I am looking forward to seeing the guys’ Christmas photo this year. They will be young men and not kids anymore! Hope you had a nice trip home.

  2. You’re right, they’re pretty and maybe, pretty weird looking. The road up to my grandpa’s house on the farm was simply cut through a swath of tall growing wheat. I remember once, one of the hundreds of dragonfly’s zoomed in the window and landed on my chest. I looked down and freaked out, I think I was maybe 8. After that, I’d run inside at the first sign of one. I’m better now but still don’t want to have one on me. HA!

    Your reward for being so brave was a beautiful photo. What has it landed on there J? I also think your quote is perfect. I’m a details person myself and often have micro mini this and that on my scrapbook projects. Life is a cacophony of itty bitty eye candy xo k

    • K, that was our fence, but for some reason it looks way more red in the photo than it does normally. Maybe it was the evening light. I used to have a costume jewelry pin of a dragonfly (remember the 60’s when we wore those on our coats?) but it was not as ugly scary interesting as the real thing. That pin was about as close as I would have wanted to get to one — I would have totally freaked out too if they landed on me. YES your projects are full of itty bitty eye candy! Each time I look I discover something different. I will never forget the tiny message I found on one of the first tiny boxes you sent me: “miracles do happen” — and another favorite was the tiny letter “P” on the card you sent me after Pasha died. I have always loved miniature anythings, so I love to look at your creations again and again.

      • awwww, then it works out wonderfully J, you love looking at them and I love making them. What a good team we are <3. You know, I still wear pins on my jacket lapels. I guess I'm a 60's fashionista wanna-be throw-back. That would never fit on a business card, ha! btw "ugly, scary, interesting" made me laugh x k

        • I love those pins too. I would wear them more often if I took the time to put them on. We used to exchange them as gifts at Christmas when we were young. Do you remember in the mid 60’s when those little circle pins were all the rage?

          • I don’t remember that but I’m sure they were a joy. I adore 60’s fashions. Not surprising, current fashion is all very bohemian and 70’s inspired. The 60’s can’t be too far away, polish up those circle pins! x K

            • Will do — but I plan to draw the line at bell bottoms and tie dye. At a certain age, I just can’t get away with some styles anymore. 😀 I can remember when my favorite jeans were about 14 inches wide at the bottom hem. Boy, did I think that was cool. I’m so glad to be an old woman now!

              • Take that back!! You are positively not ‘an old woman’, you’re gorgeous and have a very youthful spirit. I’m watching a TV series called ‘The Americans’ and it’s set in the 70’s. The cars and fashions are a riot. I love every detail. Somewhere’s in Hollywood, there’s a warehouse full of this stuff. It’s fun to see what Kari Russell wears each week. She plays a Russian spy, living in America during the cold war. We’re totally hooked. x K

                • Wow, what a compliment! Thank you. I don’t mean to be putting myself down when I say I’m old. As one who was always called “childish” I relish being “of a certain age.” I hope we can reclaim the term “old woman” and wear it with pride as it once again begins to garner the respect it deserves. I should put that TV series on my list of things to watch on DVD someday. I love costume dramas, even fairly recent ones. 😀 I imagine there are many warehouses full of fun props and costumes in LA — just think how much fun we could have if we could be turned loose in there to play dress up. Talk about photo ops!

                  • It would be like going to be best vintage store ever. It might even be fun to get paid to shop for props. I wonder if there is such a job? Oh boy, that’d be a great job! We could be detectives, hunting down leads, going to yard sales and bring back the loot. LOL, back to reality.

                    • There has to be somebody who gets paid to do that. Since Alys used to be a costume designer, she probably knows what that job is called, assuming it has a title. How about “privileged prop provider?”

                    • LOL, 3P or Threepea or P3, anyway you slice it, ‘privileged’ is a given. Maybe my next job, right now I’m having too much fun xo

                    • I do think you are in the job you were born for. I’m so glad you are enjoying yourself – I’m sure their business is BOOMing since you came along!

                    • snicker, you little wordsmith you ❤

                    • Just think of my desk as a literary Boom-Room. 😀 Actually I should say “a wannabe literary Boom-Room.”

                    • Welcome to the Virtual Boom-Room! It has infinite space and BTW, we’d not get a single thing posted cause we’d be talking the whole time, haha! xo K

                    • Sounds like my kind of Happy Place. 😀

  3. MaryAnn

    The best walk is with a small child. They want to stop & touch, see, explore. I have had many beautiful “sightings” from a child’s viewpoint. Reminds us to enjoy God’s Creation all around us. Thanks, Julia, I will look closely!

    • Mary Ann, kids are great that way. They are closer to the ground and so they see things we miss. Also, they see everything from a different angle. I love to get on the floor and play along where kids are playing. It makes for some interesting camera angles too! Hope you have a wonderful weekend…sending love and hugs.

  4. Jack

    But I’ll just bet you that to another dragon fly, that dude (or gal) is smokin’ hot!

    I can’t count on all my fingers and toes the number of people about whom I used to think they looked a “little funny” that look like God to me now that I’ve gotten to know them, have experienced something of their inner nature. And how many I thought magnificently proportioned that turned out inside to be quite something else . Thankfully, my wife hopefully sees it the same, for I’m pretty sure I’m not all I used to be (or ever was!).

    Blessings to you all.

    • Jack, you’re right — and probably that dragon fly was hanging around hoping to be spotted by a dragonfly dude or gal.

      I too can remember some people — guys in particular — who became more and more handsome as I got to know them. I am sure your wife does see it the same. Women tend to be good at that. Besides, as I always tell Jeff, age is attractive to me; most people become so much more interesting as they grow older. Hope y’all have a great weekend!

  5. Beautiful…but as you mention those eyes…are something else. 😀

    • Merry, the eyes remind me of that old horror movie “the fly” or the remake of it that came out a few decades ago. As with so many insects, they are best appreciated from a distance!

  6. Wow! That is a GREAT photo! I have never seen the body of a dragon fly. Those eyes make it look almost like a cartoon character to me. You are correct. We pass through our day and see very little of the beauty in it. Time to slow down. 🙂

    • There is something cartoonish about those eyes. They are so big and exaggerated and weirdly colored. Have you ever seen those photos in Reader’s Digest that are taken of some everyday object from a very close angle? Often it’s hard to figure out what they are. This page has some that are along similar lines. Taking pictures helps me slow down and notice things.

      • Wow! I did not know you could get Readers Digest online.I will subscribe now that I know. I’m trying not to bring more physical material into the house. I could insulate my house with magazines (craft, science, spiritual) and fabric. I stopped subscribing and have given away so much to simplify. Online is a good way to read and I always loved Readers Digest. Those photos were incredible. I’ve learned a lot from taking pictures as well. I get to see things when I put them on the computer and make them BIG. 🙂

        • Marlene, I have the same problem with magazines. I have way too many, because can’t stand to throw them away without reading them. To me, they just get more interesting as they get older. I am trying to convert to the digital edition for most of them, but there’s nothing like having an actual magazine in hand. Reader’s Digest is special because I have loved reading it ever since I was a young girl, and Daddy used to get me a subscription each year. Two days after he died I got the notice in the mail that he had given me another year (he always renewed it early though the subscription ran through December). Of course that was quite an emotional moment for me and I’ll save that particular gift notice the rest of my life, I’m sure. I’m glad you enjoyed the online photos!

          • I started subscribing to RD online now that I know I can. Been reading inspirational stories. I loved that magazine but quit taking any while I was technically homeless for 2 years after my divorce. Magazines were not on the “need” list. I don’t subscribe to anything except “Angels on Earth” from Guideposts. It’s tiny, bi-monthly and I always pass them on. Books are still a big priority before food still. 🙂 I can sure make the print big online so that’s nice. I keep thinking I will read them “someday”. I have photographed articles in craft magazines and donated boxes of them to clear out my space. My son has as many as I do. It’s an illness and there is no cure. :))))

            • Hey, that’s a great idea to take a photo of an article or recipe that you like. Much quicker than scanning it. I too am in recovery for the “someday I’ll read/sew/craft this” syndrome. 😀 Even if there is no cure, there are treatments that help. Meanwhile it’s nice to know you understand!

  7. blseibel

    Thank you for the reminder to look for beauty in the small stuff. I need some beauty and smiles today. It is so wonderful that the little guy sat still for you.

    • Thanks! I was surprised to be able to get so many good photos. I started to wonder if maybe the dragonfly was dead or dying, but it flew away shortly after I took the pictures. Maybe it was waiting for some publicity. 😀

  8. raynard

    Julia I was just at work for four hours sitting and looking at the trees by The Brandywine River. Peaceful other than cars coming across the old iron bridge. Your picture just reminded me of the praying mantis that’ hitched a ride on our van to P.A this past summer. I dont bother ” creepy crawling things as my wife” just gave me a piece of that chocolate you gave us on our visit. ( didnt know she kept it that long lol Hope all is well with you and the family. Getting ready for another and last church potluck. Going to try to pull off a cake and a dish..So far a brown and orange 4 layer cake with salted carmel frosting is plan a.Dish might be root beer chicken or strawberry bbq chicken or beef in a crock pot. be blessed

    • It must be nice to be able to look out on the river from work. WOW, I can’t believe the chocolate lasted that long — I hope it was still good. I’m sure you can imagine that I don’t typically get the chance to find out how long chocolate might last. 😀 We are doing OK. For me, the sadness comes and goes; I stay busy and that helps, but then there are so many things — photos, gifts, something I hear or see, all of which remind me of Daddy and I start missing him all over again and the pain feels very fresh. I’m sure that’s the sort of thing that gets easier over time, but will never completely disappear. That salted caramel cake sounds perfect! Root beer chicken or strawberry BBQ sound exotic but it’s hard to beat beef in a crock pot, especially with gravy (I used to make mine with onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup — that tells you the limits of my culinary skill). Hope you have a wonderful week coming up. Hugs to Mary and Ms. Ella.

  9. Sheila

    Julia, when I saw a butterfly earlier today, I couldn’t help but compare it to your dragonfly. I suppose beauty really is in the eyes of the beholder. I’m sorry to say that the butterfly is gone and the rain has set in for awhile. We are doing much better than so many in South Carolina. Our daughter, Ashley, and family are in Garden City until the Waccamaw River recedes and they can repair their flooded home. I’m sorry for the circumstances but glad to have them here. It’s busy, but we’re going to watch some football games and just relax. I so hope you and your family are well. Love to all, Sheila

    • Oh dear, I am so sorry Ashley and her family are having to deal with flooding. I know they are grateful to be able to stay with you. I imagine it will take awhile to get everything fixed since there will be so many people needing to have the work done. When I hear stories such as this it reminds me to be grateful for everyday things such as dry floors and warm cozy homes and electricity and running water and…on and on the list goes. We are all doing OK. Some days are easier than others but everyone seems to be surviving. Mama really likes her in-home caregiver so we are thankful for that (and thankful that the caregiver has lasted at least the first 6-day week! 😀 ), and each day brings its notes of grace to heal and bless us. Thanks so much for being with us. Sending you hugs and much love! ❤ ❤ ❤

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