Treasures everywhere

A picnic spot, a wildlife garden, and a Little Free Library, all in one place?
Not to mention the adjacent public library, full of discoveries. April 2019

“You don’t need to go to exotic places to find meaningful things. With a bit of curiosity, you can unearth treasures everywhere.”Mark Zeff

Zeff heads an architecture and design firm, so he’s referring here to collections that are featured as part of interior decoration. However, the principle applies to all sorts of treasures, and my favorite kinds are the ones you don’t have to buy or own to enjoy. Let your curiosity take you exploring right in your own home town, and you’ll see there really are treasures everywhere.

The photo above is taken at the garden of what surely must be one of the best small town libraries anywhere, but I’ve been to others just as full of unique treasures. There’s no telling how many more of them are out there, just waiting for us to discover them. Here’s another photo of a lovely memorial sculpture at that same library.

Even on an ordinary day, surprises are tucked away if we venture out a bit. Matt and I attended a benefit for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and along with more kinds of “free” food than I’ve ever seen in one place, there were other fun discoveries, such as this cautiously friendly fellow, a great horned owl:

I was amazed that, the minute I raised my cell phone to take a photo, he swiveled his head 180 degrees around. “He must be afraid of a flash,” I said to his handler. “But I’m not using a flash.” As soon as I said that, he turned his head back around and I snapped this photo. It was fun to pretend that he had understood what I said.

Finally, in the category of ordinary treasures, here’s a photo of my azaleas and dogwoods just starting to bloom. There’s nothing exotic about this everyday scene, but it’s one of the most meaningful aspects of home for me.

I never get tired of this sight, no matter how many times I see it. April 2019

Right where you are, there are treasures waiting to be discovered. Where will your curiosity take you today, and what will you find?


  1. Chris

    Hi Julia,
    Nice pictures. I couldn’t agree more. We’re almost always surrounded by meaningful things, or treasures. It simply takes awareness, and appreciation to unlock the treasure trove of blessings!
    We haven’t seen our owls in a very long time. They may have moved on. Now, we have a red tailed hawk that seems to like our neighborhood. We usually see him swooping among the pine trees in the wooded area behind the house. We even saw him fly by with “dinner” in his talons last weekend! He carried a snake and perched high in a pine. Although a couple hundred feet away, we watched as he devoured the meal! Really fascinating!
    Well, I hope your week will be be chocked full of treasures! 😊

    • WOW, if there’s anything better than a hawk, it’s a hawk eating a snake! Someone told me yesterday about how a hawk had grabbed his puppy (who fortunately wriggled out of its grip before getting fatally far off the ground) and I’ve heard a lot of urban legends about the sort of things hawks can steal. I think owls are pretty good predators, too, but hopefully they eat mostly mice and rats? In any case, these birds are fascinating to watch. And speaking of finding treasures, I’ve heard that ravens and crows and similar birds actually do collect “treasures” which they stash away. I once had a scarlet macaw steal the button off my shirt; supposedly they hoard “treasures” too. I’m sure they would agree with Zeff!

  2. MaryAnn Clontz

    God has blessed you with curiosity & an eye for His Beauty! I love how you encourage us to get outdoors & FIND the joyfully, marvelous, everyday treasures that surround us! I ride my bike in & around new construction, near us. It is fascinating to view how the weeds are so tall & look gorgeous! Purple, white, yellow & fuchsia all proclaiming God’s Creation!
    I sent a photo to your phone of my clematis bursting with blooms & buds! Such anticipation of so much more to come!
    See you soon! WOW!

    • Mary Ann, anyone who can find beauty in weeds is my kind of person! Yes, WOW we will be chatting in person very soon! 🙂

  3. Alan Malizia


    • Thanks Alan, I’m glad you like it.

  4. Oh Julia – a wonderful meditation. May we keep our hearts and minds open to the infinite possibilities! Hugs

    • Thank you Clanmother, I’m happy you enjoyed it. Yes, we need to stay open to wonderful things the day might bring. Sometimes this is difficult but the rewards are worth the effort. Hugs right back to you! 🙂

  5. Sheila

    Good morning, my dear friend! How I love your yard in bloom and I’m so happy you’ve taken us there once again! My pink Majestic Hawthorne’s are in bloom and they play out for me every Spring like a long awaited friend. I get so excited and then they have to give way to new growth. Sunbeams dance through my little cottage this morning! Treasures abound! 💛 Have a wonderful Holy Week! 🙏🏻♥️

    • Sheila, I love those Hawthornes. We had the landscaper plant one on either side of our front porch steps at York County, but one died within a couple of years and the other one still struggles. I’ve resisted planting anything else, but I may have to replace the one that didn’t make it. I wonder whether they are getting too much sunlight, or not enough? I was thinking they like shade but maybe not, as the prettiest ones I remember were from San Antonio. I love thinking of the sunbeams dancing through your cottage by the sea! Hope you are having a wonderful Holy Week too. Spring is the perfect reminder that “He is risen indeed.” ❤

  6. Harry Sims


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