My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, February 1, 2013

SkyWatch Friday: Savoring Sunrises

Happy February!

After a mosey into the sunset last week, let's celebrate this first day of a new month with a return to our ever-dependable, beautiful sunrises...

Pretty good instructions for blogging, too! :-)

same scene - wordless version. :-)

Love those serendipitous birds!

Several months ago I read an article about the sunrise paintings of Debbie Wagner. Following a couple of brain surgeries in 2002 to remove two malignant, pear-sized brain tumors, Debbie had lost many of her abilities and as a result was unable to pursue several of her favorite activities. Though she lost her abilities to sleep through the night, multi-task, or manage complex tasks like following a recipe or plot of a novel, she instead gained heightened visual perceptiveness and an irresistible desire to express herself through painting. 

Noticing that no two sunrises are ever alike and appreciating how they represent new beginnings, Debbie began painting sunrises in December 2005, when an especially vivid, colorful sunrise left her feeling grateful for the ability to greet a new day. And she has painted the sunrise nearly every day since. How's that for following Mary Oliver's wise instructions? :-) You can read more of Debbie's story and view (and purchase) her beautiful sunrise paintings on her gallery's web site, or enjoy an interview with her and glimpse some of her paintings in this video...

Often when I share my latest sunrise photos, some people will leave comments saying they wish they were early risers so they wouldn't miss the sunrise. If you are one of those people (or are like one of those people), maybe this will help...

The Most Successful Techniques for Rising Early from the wonderful blog, Zen Habits

Wakey-wakey and happy SkyWatching! :-)


  1. Beautiful sky photos. Love the rich orangy colour of the sky. Have a nice weekend.

  2. How absolutely stunning!

  3. A spectacular sunrise and how life changes.

  4. Wow. Thank you for sharing Debbie's story. I enjoyed checking out her website too - her sunset and other paintings are all amazing. I'm new here, but I love all the quote and photos you have along side your blog! And looks like you live in a very beautiful part of the country. Congratulations on a lovely blog, and I think it's wonderful and inspiring that you are managing your health with good natural foods! Thank you so much for letting me comment here...and here's to more Happy Blogging :)

  5. Beautiful photos with a nice scenery, I like the clouds.

  6. Beautiful pictures, I love those skies, beautiful clouds. They are visual poems. Greetings.

  7. Even if I were to arise early and look towards the East, I would see mainly clouds in an overcast sky. I guess I could keep a cloud journal. You have such beautiful sunrises! Thanks for sharing the video. I love Debbie's work, and yours!

  8. What a lovely story, Debbie sounds like a remarkable person. I find the simple things like sunrises and sunsets are pretty special. Your sky shots are beautiful, glad you were there to witness this beautiful sky. Have a happy weekend!

  9. Beautiful photos, and I enjoyed the video clip too!

  10. Beautiful photos, as always! That last one looks like it's a vortex of some sort. So cool!

    I'm at work before the sun rises for most of the year (6:00- ugh!) and I often wish I started later so I could see the sunrise more. It can be so beautiful over Lake Michigan.

    Amazing story that Debbie has! What a great way to make the best of her situation. So, so inspiring!

  11. That is a fantastic sunrise, great captures.

  12. Good post chuck full of good things. Especially liked the Zen Habits -- lots to read from his site -- will read in small pieces Always am amazed at your sunrises. Good suggestiosn from Mary Oliver. I have something similar to her words that Thoreau wrote -- its on my old school chalk board -- barbara

  13. Beautiful sunrise! I love drama like tis first thing in the morning.
    In some ways, I am fortunate to work nights so that when I am done, the sun is just coming up and I get to witness its splendour. Though today was not very splendiferous. And it is very cold, too cold to be out taking pictures.
    though our own prognosticating groundhog did not see his shadow.

  14. Thank you, everyone! ~ I appreciate your compliments on my photos (can't take credit for the beauty of the sunrise, of course, but am always glad to hear that people enjoy them as much as I do!) :-) I was pleased that so many of you also took the time to read the article and/or watch the video about Debbie's story and her paintings, and that some of you also visited Zen Habits. It was fun to share those extra goodies as part of SkyWatch Friday.

    Thanks again for visiting!

    SweetPotatoMayas ~ Welcome! No need to thank me for "letting" you comment here - I should thank you for your lovely comment! It made my day. :-) Thank you also for following my blog, I hope you'll continue to enjoy your visits!

    Andrea ~ I know, overcast skies are just not very photogenic. Maybe you can take advantage of your sunrises and sunsets when Seattle's dry season rolls around again! (And thank you for saying you love my work!) :-)

    VioletSky ~ A bright and beautiful day is dawning here, which is supposed to foretell a late spring ("If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year.") But the coming week, at least, is supposed to be pleasant. I hope your groundhog is right, and you can enjoy nicer weather soon.

  15. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Lovely photos! And what a beautiful, inspiring story of the sunrise-a-day artist! Next time I get out of bed extra early... I'll know who to thank! ;)

  17. Bea ~ Thank you for visiting! I'm glad this post inspired you. :-)

  18. Gorgeous photos, and I really loved the story about Debbie Wagner. She exemplifies the idea that for every loss, there is a gift.

  19. Cadry ~ Beautifully said. And she does indeed!

  20. Whoa! Stunning skies -- and special thanks for the Debbie Wagner video. Her pastels are almost van Goghesque.

  21. Stan ~ Thanks! And you're right - her paintings are a bit van Goghesque! Only prettier and not as heavy-handed (says me). :-)

  22. Beautiful photos, TW! As always, you know how to capture the beauty nature gives us everyday....thank you ;-). xoxoxo

  23. Spud ~ Thanks, Spudly! And you're welcome - but you give me too much credit. Mother Nature and the skies are really doing all the work - I just have to aim my camera and push the right button! :-) Glad you enjoyed these!

  24. I'm starting to run out of new things to say about your sunrises. Every one seems better than the previous.

    So I shall say "I paid attention, I was astonished and I'm letting you know that my favorite was the fourth one." It had the most movement as well as the most colors.

  25. Jo ~ I know, it's sometimes hard to come up with new adjectives for comments on all the beautiful SkyWatch photos, especially when I'm late in visiting and commenting on the really gorgeous posts, and the word "gorgeous" (as well as "beautiful," "breathtaking" and "stunning" have already been used repeatedly!)

    My next two planned SkyWatch posts are a bit different, though. Neither sunrise nor sunset.

    Btw, did you have a chance to check out Debbie's story and paintings? This was one of my posts that was going to require a little extra time to visit thoroughly. I think you'll be impressed with her and her art, so I hope you'll get a chance to check it out if you didn't already.

  26. Thanks for your comment which prompted me to come back in here today. When I was in here last, the video wasn't working (it was all black) but today it was ready to go. First I went into her blog and enjoyed not only her beautiful sunrises but also her fiber art (of course) and then I noticed the video was working so I watched that. Definitely worth coming back into this post for. Her story is really cool and I love how people are buying the sunrises that she painted on a day that is special to them like a birthday or anniversary. I bet she never would have expected that - it's very heartwarming.

  27. Jo ~ I thought you'd really like her story and her art, so am glad you returned here to give the video another try and visit her web site!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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