Monarch Moments and More

Clematis Flowers for Mom July 15 Chautauqua

 

In Miss Rumphius, the classic picture book by Barbara Cooney, the main character was inspired as a young girl to explore the world and to find her unique way to leave the world a better place. Explore she did, before landing in her home by the sea where she became known as the Lupine Lady. The legacy of the real Miss Rumphius can be seen in the countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine. What a way to make the world more beautiful!

 

Milkweed Chautauqua Flowers for Mom July 5

 

Because of many individuals like Miss Rumphius, Chautauqua Institution, in western New York, is filled with gorgeous blooms that are a treat to thousands of summer visitors. The “Flowers for Mom” series was born in this place that sparks creativity in me and so many others.

 

Thistle Flowers for Mom Chautauqua July 17

 

The Chautauqua Bird Tree and Garden Club provides amazing programs to foster the beautification of the Chautauqua grounds in addition to teaching summer visitors about gardening, pollinators, bats, birds and more. I give them my deepest thanks for encouraging the hands of the many gardeners who nurture the flowers that inspired me. In this place where it all began, on July 16th at 12:15 p.m. in Smith Wilkes Hall, I will be speaking for the Monarch Moments and More series. If you are amongst those reveling in the many offerings of Chautauqua on the 16th, I hope you will join me as I talk about “Flowers for Mom.” On August 2nd, I intend to return to the very same Chautauqua roadside spot to begin Volume III of my daily photographic journey with a shot of Queen Anne’s lace.

 

Monarch Butterfly Flowers for Mom Chautauqua

 

If you are one who nurtures gardens, I give you my thanks. If you are one who enjoys the flowers, make sure and thank the gardeners! Here’s to each of our unique abilities to make the world a better place. Now go about seeking beauty today. It abounds.

 

Callaway Garden Flowers for Mom

 

If you are curious, check out my redesigned website. Let me know what you think. Share photos of flowers you discover in the Flowers for Mom Facebook Group and join the discussion with others around the globe. Thanks for joining the Camera Journey!

Flowers for Mother’s Day

Have you ever planted lantana and watched it grow and flow over the border of your flower bed?  When I began photographing a flower a day on August 2, 2016, I never dreamed the project would still be going at the 650 day mark, much less flourish and grow in unexpected directions.

This photographic odyssey has become a celebration of nature in addition to a way to honor an Alzheimer’s journey.  Through the discipline of deliberately connecting with nature on a daily basis, I have come to understand that every individual needs to seek ways to engage with the natural world.  As shared by Michael McCarthy in the recent On Being podcast about nature, joy and human becoming, “We have a link to the natural world that goes to the essence of who we really are.”

In a presentation this week by some of the amazing researchers at the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, one of 27 active centers in the nation supported by the National Institutes of Health, it was explained that inflammation in the body and related health issues such as diabetes and vascular disease are present as long as two decades before Alzheimer’s symptoms begin to present themselves, so the time to do something to prevent the disease is today.

While some factors are beyond our control, there are things we can do for our long term health.  To me, that circles us back to nature.  We can decrease inflammation by reducing stress, avoiding toxins in our environment, making good food choices, and exercising.  Each of those things can be done when we spend time outside and when we develop a passion for appreciating and nurturing our earth.  So doing allows us to better care for ourselves as we aim for a healthy future.

As “Flowers for Mom” bloom beyond their original border, it is a gift to exhibit and speak about the series, so do let me know when you discover unique opportunities for sharing this work.  One day, modern medicine may discover a cure for Alzheimer’s, but that day has not yet come.  So, on this day, I encourage you to celebrate nature!

On Sunday, we celebrate Mother’s Day, so how about some flowers in honor or memory of your mom or someone special in your life?  Join the blooming Flowers for Mom Facebook group to share photos of what you plant or give to that special someone.  Do it for your health!

Becoming Real

According to the Velveteen Rabbit, “Real isn’t how you are made…  it’s a thing that happens to you.”  Perhaps a photographer’s project becomes real when she puts down the camera and agrees to be interviewed on the other side of the lens.  I hereby present “Flowers for Mom” in a humbling piece created by the talented Ronny Taylor at Troy University.  

Clearly, this Camera Journey adventure has bloomed well beyond me.  Now go forth and seek beauty in your days.  It’s always there if you simply pause and look.  If you are inspired to add to a garden celebrating mothers, you can make a special Mother’s Day tribute in honor or memory of a loved one.  Pick your flower by April 20th and let it bloom for years to come in the Jackson Hospital Healing Art Collection.

If you have not already joined the Facebook Flowers for Mom group that I just created, please do so you can celebrate nature as we all share flower photos, help identify flowers others find, and more.
“Once you are real you cannot become unreal again.  It lasts for always.”
The Velveteen Rabbit

All I Really Need to Know I Learned Through Flowers

There is much to say, but for this Camera Journey message, I am going to let the images speak.  My inspiration comes from flowers and All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum.

Take a moment to pause and ponder.  Thanks for joining me! 


Like nature, people are full of surprises.



We can weather storms and still bloom.




We are healthier when our toes spend time in rich soil.




We are born alone and we die alone.




We leave behind nutrients for those that follow.



We all love being seen for our beauty. 
Stay Tuned
If you are curious, prints in multiple sizes are for sale and multiple flowers blooming together on the wall look marvelous, so contact me.  If you do not follow me on Facebook and Instagram, please do.  If you are new to this missive, welcome and invite friends to follow along.

Gardeners


“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust


November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize and thank those who do so much within our communities.  What a perfect opportunity to celebrate and give my humble thanks to family, friends, and respite volunteers who are indeed charming gardeners allowing Mom to blossom and find great joy in her days. May these images that serve as examples of daily reminders of gifts surrounding us serve as my expression of gratitude.


In case inquiring minds want to know why I have been a bit quiet on this front, it is because I have been busy!  To date, I have taken over 450 daily flowers in 11 countries and 19 states.  Each day I post a photo on Instagram and my Elmore DeMott Photography Facebook page.  Join me in each spot for different images honoring an Alzheimer’s journey and celebrating nature.  To view Volume I, the entire first year of “Flowers for Mom”, click here, and for the start of Volume II, check here.  


Great things are ahead including a video feature about “Flowers for Mom” and a solo museum show.  Stay tuned, and join me in sharing your gratitude with the caregivers amongst us.


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