Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Cicadas Keep Coming

Cicada invasion

Cicada invasion

Cicada invasion

It's been over two weeks now and I keep waiting for the sheer volume of cicadas to start winding hasn't happened yet! They just keep multiplying. At first I was patient and curious about these red-eyed insects, but now my patience is wearing thin and I'm ready for them to be gone! They are literally everywhere and I can't walk outside without hearing the "crunch" as I step on their exoskeletons. They are perched on every available leaf of every tree, flower, and bush. My dog ferociously eats them like they're candy. And the noise...I wish I could capture the noise with these photos! It gets louder every day. The worst is at night when I take the dog out and the cicadas are literally everywhere, including perched all over our yard's gate and latch. *shudder* Our local paper has been getting inquiries in our community about the "constant alarm sound that sounds like alien spaceships landing". That's a pretty good description of what we're hearing all day long! Thankfully, they stop "singing" at night.

We have at least several more weeks to go...once very seventeen years is most definitely enough.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blue + Green = Serene

iphone sun tree

iphone tower

iphone yogurt store

iphone spring tree

My days have been busy...a blur of errands and to do lists. But always, in the midst of it all, I have my trusty iPhone to capture some snapshot moments of my day. There have been lots of blues and greens in my photos lately: beautiful blue skies and spring trees evolving into their summer greens. Plus, a cute yogurt shop with apple green walls! I love the picture I captured while in their store (and their yogurt was delicious).

Blue and green are my two favorite colors - my closet is filled with them, or some combination of the two. It's interesting that we're each drawn to certain colors depending on who we are. Blue and green are "calming" colors - with my anxious temperament it makes sense to me that I'd want to surround myself with these soothing tones! Are you drawn to certain colors?

Thanks for stopping by - I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Iphoneography Fun: Percolator Stars

Orvis percolated

Flowers open every night
across the sky, a breathing peace
and sudden flame catching.

The warm temperatures have arrived, and as always I find myself super busy in these summer months. I'm giving myself permission to post more sporadically this'll still see me but my posts might be spread out a little more! I think I'll feature my iphoneography a little more because I'm always taking iPhone photos and there are so many I'd love to share. That's one thing I love about my iPhone - no matter how busy I get, it's always with me and I get new photos to play with almost every day.

Above is a recent image I took and processed with my iPhone using several of my favorite apps. I put the original photo in Glaze first to give it a painterly feel, and then I also put the original into Percolator and used the "full of stars" filter to create a second image. I combined these two images in Blender - I was very pleased with the starry results!

Have a wonderful weekend - thank you for stopping by! I'm @sherribrannon on Instagram if you'd like to follow me.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Cicadas are Here

Virginia cicadas

Virginia cicadas

Virginia cicadas

Virginia cicadas

Virginia cicadas

Virginia cicadas

Virginia cicadas

Virginia cicadas

Virginia cicadas

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade a grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. ~Eleanora Duse

The cicadas showed up in Virginia this past Friday...suddenly they were perched on tree trunks and bushes everywhere. So far they've remained very quiet - no singing yet. I'm wondering if it's because of the unseasonably cold temperatures that have showed up for the last few days? This morning we're breaking records with low temps and I hope it won't hurt them. Meanwhile, I've been taking lots of photos of these strange looking insects...they won't be here again for seventeen years! I'm normally very skittish around insects, but cicadas fascinate me despite their beady, red eyes. And they've been very willing subjects so far - they're very low key, and no flying into my hair yet!

I'm linking up today with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday - today's prompt is black and white with a touch of color (and one of Kim's textures). What a great prompt! I used Kim's "Reentry" texture for my first image, Soft Light/30%, and a reverse layer mask to bring back the cicada color.

Have a wonderful Tuesday and thank you for stopping by - if you're in the U.S., do you have cicadas in your area? I'm curious if they're everywhere or only in certain states.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Copper Poems

faux falling star

A wonderful thing about poetry is that it lets you say (via your imaginary friends) things that you would never dare say in real life. ~Michael Lipsey

The poetry is really flowing lately. I wrote this poem in response to the prompt from Poets United this week: we are to write about a personal experience. Writing poetry is one of the most personal things I do. It's where I'm at my most vulnerable and able to express emotions I might not otherwise. I find it to be incredibly therapeutic when I'm stressing or feeling turmoil about something. And also when I'm feeling really grateful about life!

In "real life" I tend to keep emotions to myself, but when the poetry writing starts it all spills out. I also find that I do my best writing in the morning with my cup of coffee. I'm alert and well rested...this is usually when my muse hits me. It also means that there are many mornings when my to do list gets cast aside for a couple of hours! After every poem, I always feel as if these words I've written have been resting inside of me the whole time, waiting for the "write moment" to come to life. Honestly, it feels like a spiritual collaboration.

My image is an iPhone photo I took awhile back. It's not actually a fallen star but it sure looks like one. :)


A walled heart is
Smoother and smart
So much safer
Than an open gate
But then a blank
Page blossoms

Winged thoughts
So feather soft
Opal-throated words
Joys expressed
Pure and white
Like falling stars

Lessons humming
Like gospel hymns
Secret polls and
Holy roads
Fears that morph
Into midnight mountains

Copper poems with
Patinaed flaws
Stitched scars
That come undone
In the clarity
Of early morning.

© Sherri Brannon

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Beautiful Spring Blooms

lily of the valley

dreamy azaleas

azalea bloom


lily of the valley

How passionately we love everything that cannot last: the dazzling crystallory of winter, the spring in bloom, the fragile flight of butterflies, crimson sunsets, a kiss, and life. ~Dean Koontz

I've enjoyed seeing the bright, pink blossoms of my azalea bushes this past week, and also the heavenly scent of my lily of the valley flowers. I thought I'd post a few photos of them to share. Thank goodness they're both very hardy plants who somehow survive despite my complete lack of a green thumb. These photos were taken last I look out the window today, the heavy rain has battered them down and the blooms are starting to fade. The beauty of their blooms may be fleeting, but they sure make me smile year after year!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Yellow Introvert

two orange tulips

If you’re an introvert, you also know that the bias against quiet can cause deep psychic pain. As a child you might have been prodded to come “out of your shell”— that noxious expression which fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go, and some humans are just the same. ~Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Orange is not a color I am drawn to often...I don't have any orange decor in my home, and I don't have any orange in my closet. It doesn't suit my skin tone so I tend to steer away from it. However, I do love orange flowers! Today I'm sharing a photo I took of two orange tulips that show up in our yard every year. I'm always thrilled to look out my window one April day and see them there. This "orange" prompt comes from a wonderful Facebook group I'm a part of...we all took a Kim Klassen online class last year and created a group to support one another. I value this group so much and am really happy to be a part of it. We're starting a new weekly prompt to spur our creativity.

In the spirit of the word "orange", I thought I'd also share a poem I wrote about being an introvert. Awhile back I saw a lone yellow tulip amidst a bunch of beautiful, red ones. It was a lovely, pale yellow and it was surrounded by vibrant reds. It made me start thinking about living as an introvert in an extrovert-dominated world. Growing up, I aspired to be that sociable, outgoing extrovert that society values so much...I often felt inadequate as the shy, quiet observer I was. Many times when I was young, I felt pressured to act as an extrovert and it was always a big wasn't authentic and it wasn't a good fit for me. Mixing that red with my yellow turned me a very ill-suited shade of orange. It took some time for me to fully embrace my yellow...I'm happy to say I now love my introverted nature and wouldn't want it any other way. Yellow is definitely my color! And I have to say, I think there are actually a lot of us yellows out there...more than one would think. :)

Are you a red or a yellow? Or are you an orange? Whatever your true color is, it's perfectly you! Thanks so much for stopping by.


My yellow is soft
Silent and swaying
With petals that
Softly blend in
A hue that disguises
A deep inner world
Rich and elusive

Reds all around me
Strong and dynamic
Perplexed by my
Delicate yin
Their petals are bold
Mine are more muted
Yet we all blow in time
With the wind

I live in their world
I tried on their reds
But my soul blanched
From the orange blend
So I embraced who I am
My softly spun yellow
My rhythm in sync
Once again

I value the reds
So vivid and vibrant
And breathe in their
Strong, heady scent
But I cherish my yellow
My quiet, my mellow
And I shine as a
Paler shade of them.

©Sherri Brannon

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gold Letters

kitchen light

Let my heart have its say and my mind stand idly by,
For my mind is proud and strong enough to be silent,
It is my heart that makes my songs, not I
. ~Sara Teasdale

I can't explain this poetry thing that is such a part of me...I'm not sure why this form of writing has captured my heart so completely. But I know it's as authentic a part of me as my eye color. I will write poetry until I take my last breath. I'm linking up with Verse First, and this week's prompt is "Authentic Life", with the added challenge of writing 13 lines or less. My image is an iPhone photo of my kitchen at sunset.

As an added note, a few months back I finally got the courage to submit my poetry to a was scary to put myself out there but I was also excited to do it. As of today, the notification deadline for chosen authors has passed. I made it through my first's to many more. :)

If anyone has any advice to offer about submitting poetry for publication (or reputable publications), I would love to hear it. I'm pretty clueless and would appreciate any tips.


My heart is a home
Of love-filled moments
Soul-woven treasures
Tucked gingerly onto shelves
Between the fears and shadows
And inside there resides
A sensitive poet
Who gratefully hammers
Beneath tear-blurred stars
My soul's gold letters
Amidst piled up memories
Of tender bliss, so
Sweet and soft to tread on.

© Sherri Brannon