Sunday, April 11, 2010

To Win the Sky

"The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

"A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit." ~ Sarah Jessica Parker

"I don't ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful."
~ Pete Hamill

"No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings."
~ William Blake

“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.” ~ Victor Hugo

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.” ~ Frank A. Clark

"Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes." ~ Proverb

"I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn."
~Henry David Thoreau

"The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire."
~ Pamela Hansford Johnson


LadyFi said...

Just breath-taking - especially the first and last photos.

Dawning Inspiration said...

Hillary! Wow - what captures! Those squirrel images are beyond precious. I love the quotes you have accompanying your images, too.

Maggie May said...

Ooooh! Where do I start? They are all breath taking photos.
That one taken from under the bird in a branch makes me feel that it might poo on me any minute!
The squirrel eating a nut is wonderful. The colours in those twilight scenes...... fantastic. Brilliant bunch of photos.

Nuts in May

Jinksy said...

I loved the brown-black bird in the tree, with its feathers spread wide like a living fan...

Sueann said...

Fabulous photos Hilary!! They are all breathtaking! And the quotes are perfect for each piece.

25BAR said...


ellen abbott said...

wow Hilary. You've done it again. The silhouette of the first and the incredible colors of the sunset. I liked the squirrel in the crook of the tree too.

Brian Miller said...

oh my the purple sky in that last shot is amazing...

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Hilary: You were extra special with your images today. The camera allowed you to express yourself well beyond the saying.

Steve Gravano said...

A great collect of verse and photography. The color and design of the first one is awesome.

Phyllis E said...

Breathtaking! My favourite is the purple sunset, which is magnificent beyond thousands of words. Quintzy votes for the squirrels!

Cuzzie P

messymimi said...

Thought inspiring quotes and awe inspiring pictures -- great combo for the morning.

I agree with the Sarah Jessica Parker quote -- I know it is true of our squirrel.

Zuzana said...

The details of your photography never ceases to amaze. You also have a way of combining beautiful words-quotes and images.
I love the title of this post, it hold so much affirmation and dreaming.
Have a lovely Sunday dear friend and thank you for brightening mine,

Anonymous said...

Incredibly beautiful pictures, Hilary, all perfect in the own way but I have to say that the first took my breath away. And the words you have chosen were just right.


Joanne said...

What a wonderful way to begin a fresh week, with these insights. I like the Hamill quote. Sometimes we don't have to look for the meaning, the beauty is that the experience is just there.

L. D. said...

What a great post. I really enjoyed the comments of others matched so well with he photos.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Stunning photographs Hilary! Love the pairings you made with apt quotations. Thank you.

Linda said... favorites this time are the last two, the sparrow and the tree at dusk. I love the intricate patterns formed by bare branches against an evening sky.

Daryl said...

The first and last are my favs but the inbetweens are sooooo good .. I am disappointed .. no ducks ... ;-]

Display Name said...

Great pics Hilary! :)
Okay, my funk is over, and I'm over the trip cancellation, lol. I'm going back to the mountains for the summer, so that feels pretty good! I think I refound my spirit!

CiCi said...

How did you get the brilliant blue in the first photo???? Wonderful picture. And the close up of the squirrel is so cute. I like the quote by Sarah Jessica Parker that goes with it. The last photo of the sunset is worth it all. Reminds me how awesome life is that we are able to see and interpret natural scenes like this. Very very nice photos.

maddie said...

Lovely pictures, as ever. Especially the last one. Beautiful.

Tammie Lee said...

Each image, each quote powerfully brilliant and moving. Gorgeous post. Thank you.

Frank Baron said...

Lots to like here, Hil. You're getting bolder with your perspectives which is nice to see. (I'm thinking especially of the 2nd squirrel shot.) There's a starkness and drama in the first and last shots which makes them striking bookends for the post. :)

Frank Baron said...

Forgot to say I love the Thoreau quote. He had a pretty good perspective himself. :)

Karen said...

Well, you did it again!! Great pics!! That first one is amazing. Should be the cover of a book or something, but I like the others too. Where do you find your quotes?

lime said...

you know as breathtaking as your photos are (and they are!) the way you wed them to such perfect quotes is every bit as beautiful.

Cricket said...

Wow. That first one... I'm speechless. I posted about this on Holy Saturday: rising when it is still dark to hear the first bird break the silence? It's my favorite time of day, to be by myself, if not truly alone, with my coffee, and watch the sky turn from black to cobalt.

The first birdsong of the morning is the most eloquent hymn. I thought it was an amazing shot to begin with.

Then I saw the bird.

I tried to look at the others but it didn't work. I had to go back to the first one, and see that indigo sky again. There is a Sanskrit word for that time of day: Brahmamuhurta - literally, "the hour of God."

Beautiful. I can't say enough about it, so I will stop.

It speaks for itself.

Cloudia said...

What a wonderful post, Hillary!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Hilary said...

• Thank you Lady Fi. :)

• Thanks, ED. My squirrel friend was being very cooperative. He knows who brings his peanuts. ;)

• Thanks kindly, Maggie. Your bird poo comment made me laugh out loud but he was very proper and didn't poop until after I moved along. ;) That squirrel was waiting for me and my pocket full of peanuts so he was feeling pretty relaxed while I photographed him. I'm glad you like this collection of images, Maggie. :)

• Jinsky, leave it to you to put such a poetic touch on my photos... ;) Thank you. :)

• Thanks so much, SueAnn. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Thank you, 25BAR. :)

• Thanks so much, Ellen. My squirrel buddy came through for me. So did the sunset. Thanks for your always-kind words. :)

• Thank you, Brian. I'm glad you could share my beautiful evening. :)

• Fishing Guy, thank you so much for such a lovely comment. Very much appreciated. :)

• Thanks kindly, Steve. I'm glad you think so. :)

• Cuzzie, thank you so much. I was pleased with how that turned out. Benny and Quintzy are quite in agreement about the squirrels. Oh they trouble they'd get into together.. ;)

• Messymimi, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed your morning combo. :)

• Zuzana, thanks very much, my friend. Your warm comments always bring a smile to my face. It's nice to know that you enjoy my posts. Hope you had a great weekend. :)

• Thank you kindly, Moannie. It's nice to know that my photos touched you. I'm pleased that you enjoyed them. Thank you for that. :)

• Joanne, thank you. I'm glad that you're enjoying the quotes along with the images. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Larry, thanks very much. I'm pleased that you think so. :)

• Thanks kindly, Bonnie. Very much appreciated. :)

• Linda, that poor tree was rather full just a few months back. The city saw to remove its branches after it was struck by lightning about a year earlier. I miss it's fullness but at the same time it allowed that purple sky to show up nicely behind it this way. Thanks so much for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Daryl but who in their right mind would want to see ducks? ;) (coming up in a few posts from now.) ;)

• Thank you, Rain. I'm glad to hear that you're out of your funk but disappointed that your trip is truly cancelled. If the mountains are calling you, you must respond. I'm happy for you. Any idea where you'll end up? :)

• TechnoBabe, that first photo was taken with a shutter speed of 1/80, 250 ISO and f/5.6 aperture if that helps. The blue was kindly provided by Nature. Thanks so much for your very kind words. I'm pleased that my photos can serve as reminders to the good things in life. Thank you so much for saying so. :)

• Maddie, thank you so kindly. Very much appreciated. :)

• Tammie Lee, thanks very much. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Thank you, Frank. That squirrel shot was almost a mistake until I saw it afterward. It wasn't the angle I wanted initially but it convinced me otherwise. ;) The framing of that first shot was your own suggestion so take a bow for that one. I'm happy with the last shot being your other bookend. And I was pretty sure you'd like that quote. :)

• Karen, thanks very kindly. You make me smile. I just Google for appropriate quotes depending on my subject matter. I seem to spend more time doing that than preparing the actual photos. :)

• Thank you so much, Lime. I'm happy to know that my efforts yield favorable results. Thanks for telling me. :)

• Cricket that you very much for your very beautiful words. You're much too kind. :)

• Thanks very much, Cloudia. :)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Hilary, you are an extraordinary photographer...and the pairing of your beautiful images with such poignant quotations is food for the soul...You have included some of my very favorites here...and the photos of the squirrels, the birds...and your photo finish are stunning! You are fantastic! I'm so glad you have this new format, and we can see your photos in all their glory! ~Janine XO

Scott Law said...

It must take forever to tie in all those great quotes with those great photos. Really nice job.

holdingmoments said...

Great quotes, love the second squirrel, and House Sparrow, and I can so relate to the quote by 'Henry David Thoreau'. Excellent post.

Unspoken said...

LOVE the last photo and the rat quote by Sarah JP.

Anonymous said...

SJP and I agree on squirrels; however, your photographs make me actually like them! The second squirrel photo captures such a look in its eye! And your final photograph is stunning. As always, you have chosen wonderful quotes to match the pictures.

Mental P Mama said...

Those squirrels are too adorable. And you gotta love Thoreau....

Paul C said...

Timely post on birds. We live close to Point Pelee where everyone is in a tizzy about the annual bird migration.

Suldog said...

Anything that begins with a quote from Saint-Exupery automatically has me hooked. Very nice, as usual.

lynda howells said...

What gorgeous imagesxxxlynda

Mage said...

I'm so slow to get back to you with a note. Darn. Still, I'm delighted with all the images, but the squirrels just amuse me no end. Thank you.

Dianne said...

the first quote is so lovely and so true, it is exactly how I feel about trees

they took my fallen tree away today, I cried one more time

that last photo is stunning beyond your usual level of stunning - I have to get a thesaurus and come up with new words for you and your photos

Pauline said...

absolutely splendid, like a guided tour through the soul of earth

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots of great quality.

Indrani said...

Whoa! Hilary!!!
The shots you take! And add to them the perfect quotes... they leave a mark in my mind.

MaggieGem said...

Wow, you have some wonderful nature closeups! They are all great, too hard to pick a fave this time!

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Wow. Delightful post. I find myself as eager for the quote as the photo. The colors in the last most beautiful, but the quote of the squirrel being a rat with a better suit? Gotta like that guy.

ds said...

Oh, I think this is one of your best matches of quote to photo yet (and the first & last pics are stunning--those colors!). Wonderful. Thank you.

ethelmaepotter! said...


That blue in the first photo is spectacular; I love silhouettes.

And the Sarah Jessica Parker quote is hilarious...and true!

LadyFi said...

Hi again. I'd like to recommend this wonderfully inspiring post by Coffee Rings Everywhere (from India) for Best Post of the Week or runner-up:

Samson said...

Awesome photo's, love the first one

Kerri Farley said... must know that this post touched my heart! LOVE all of the super quotes and the FABULOUS images!

Leah J. Utas said...

Those are amazing. I love the first one where the tree has extended a limb out and is pointing.

Jean said...

La VIE est là , sous des formes multiples !
La VIE !
J'aime beaucoup la beauté de vos photos .
J'adore particulièrement celle du tronc sans branches .

Clowncar said...

The first quote (and accompanying photo) is just magical - had never heard it before. "Win the sky" - what a beautiful phrase.

My Dad is quite fond of the blind sow finding an acorn saying.

LadyFi said...

Another recommendation for post of the week. (Hope you got the comment I posted earlier today?)

photowannabe said...

Pure romance in your quotes and photos to accompany them. Its always an adventure to visit your post and see where the creative jucies take us.

Merisi said...

i am in awe!

May I ask what lens you are using?
Are you out there with a tripod?

Unknown said...

love love love.

the words, the photos. Again you bless.
make me feel alive.
Thank you.

Hilary said...

• Janine, you're much too kind. Thank you so much for your lovely words. I can't tell you how much that means to me.. but it's a LOT. Thank you. :)

• Thank you, Scott. It does take time. Often I think it's the easy way out because I don't have to really write anything but it ends up taking more time than I anticipate every time. You'd think I'd learn. ;)

• Holdingmoments, thanks very much. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Thank you, Amy. Much appreciated. :)

• KC, I quite like squirrels. They each have their personality.. aside from skittish that is. I'm glad that my photos made you take a close look into his eyes. Thank you so much for your always-kind words. :)

• MPM, and I Thoreauly do. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Paul, that would be a very cool place to be. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Suldog, I'm glad Saint Ex and I were able to hook you. ;)

• Lynda thank you, kindly. :)

• Maggie, thanks very much. You're not slow.. you're just on time. :)

• Dianne, I know how you're such a great lover of nature. I'm glad that first quote spoke to you. :)

• Pauline, what a lovely thing to say. Thank you so much. :)

• Rajesh, thanks very much. :)

• Indrini, thank you kindly. I'm so glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Maggie Gem, thank you. No need to pick a favourite. I'm just glad you like them. :)

• MJ, I'm pleased that so much of this post was enjoyable for you. I'm really happy that so many like to read the quotes too. It makes it quite worthwhile. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank YOU, DS. Such very kind words. I'm so pleased that you like the post. :)

• Ethelmae, good to see you. Thank so much for your visit and kind words. Always much appreciated. :)

• Lady Fi, thank you. I've noted it and will include it as your recommendation. :)

• Samson, thanks very kindly. I'm glad to hear it. :)

• Kerri, thank you so much. Just what I love to hear. :)

• Leah, I'm so pleased that you do. Thanks very much for letting me know. :)

• Jean, merci beaucoup pour ça. :)

• Clowncar, it happens once in a while. ;) Thanks very much for the kind words. :)

• Thank you, LadyFi. I'll add this one to it. :)

• Sue, thanks very much. You're always so kind. :)

• Merisi, thank you. I haven't been using a tripod. Most of the photos were taken with a Canon lens 17 - 85mm. The bird and squirrel images were shot with a Sigma 70 - 300mm. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Deb, thanks thanks thanks. :) You pay such lovely compliments. Thank you so much for that. :)

Tabor said...

What a nice thing to return home and once again read your blog entries.

Hilary said...

Thanks Tabor.. much appreciated. And welcome back. :)

SandyCarlson said...

I love, love, love your squirrel shots. These guys keep us humble--I think that every time I watch them find exactly what they need when they need it--randomly. Wish I could do that!

Hilary said...

Sandy, that sure would be a fine quality to possess. Thanks so much for your visit. They're always just what I need. :)