Improvised Life » nature http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:00:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Fallen Autumn Leaves are a Material for Making http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/fallen-autumn-leaves-material-making/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/22/fallen-autumn-leaves-material-making/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:05:02 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46107

assembledhearts.blogspot.com

Walking in the park the other day, we saw a young woman lying in a huge pile of brightly-colored leaves…half buried really, resting; she looked relaxed and content.  Around her three little girls were all happily making things out of leaves. And we thought LEAVES. What a beautiful material-for-making things all around us.

That got us looking for Fallen Leaf Creations. (more…)

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So Many Pathways At Any Given Moment http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/many-pathways-given-moment/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/16/many-pathways-given-moment/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:59:48 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=46015

Ellie Davies

This morning we ready this haiku by Buson:

       Coming back—
so many pathways
       through the spring grass.

Only nine words, it has been resonating all day (more…)

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Unexpected Bird’s Eye View http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/unexpected-view/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/unexpected-view/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:03:08 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45570

In cities across America, pigeons are widely viewed as “garbage birds”. They feed on whatever is around, drink from sidewalk puddles, and seem to fly only a few feet at a time. We’ve heard them called “the rats of the bird world”.

Since we moved across the way from an expansive park, our view of the lowly pigeon has changed completely. We’ve come to admire their surprisingly-graceful flying and gliding abilities— when they have room!— sunlight often turning them silver.

This picture also expands our sense of the common birds we SO took for granted: Look at what they get to see!

The bigger lesson: to (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/unexpected-view/feed/ 0 Tom Ashcraft: Artist and Sprite Hunter http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/tom-ashcraft-artist-sprite-hunter/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/14/tom-ashcraft-artist-sprite-hunter/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 08:00:50 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45969

Tom Ashcraft

When we’re a little blue, or wondering where we’re heading, we find it helpful to look beyond our own small life and get a bigger picture. And the best way we know to do that is to look at either nature, or art, or both.

The person we know that combines these two transformative forces best is our friend Tom Ashcraft, recently profiled in the New York Times for his cutting edge work tracking sprites: wondrous, rather mysterious emanations of light that flash for an instant above thunderclouds. They can look like and are named for  jellyfish, carrots, angels, broccoli and mandrake root. (more…)

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Beaver Brook’s Mind-Expanding Deep Woods Retreat http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/07/deep-woods-skate-park-paradise/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/07/deep-woods-skate-park-paradise/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 21:32:39 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45082

snarkitecture.com

The folks of Beaver Brook, “a forest preserve shared by a community of friends in Sullivan County, NY,” have put a creative twist on the traditional woodsy escapes we so lust after. Check out the wooden hot tub overlooking everything…

…and the curvaceous little skate park flanked by acres and acres of trees…

Everything communal and everything D-I-Y, you can take a look at the newly-erected skeletons of ambitious new buildings and Andy Goldsworthy-esque art installations on their official website. It offers inspiring ideas for any country retreat.

We especially love the burnt path installation by Snarkatecture, above.

via (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/10/07/deep-woods-skate-park-paradise/feed/ 0 Climate Change’s Essential Questions: Why Not? http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/21/climate-changes-essential-questions/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/09/21/climate-changes-essential-questions/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 21:00:31 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=45621

@sizeofwhales

Due to a family emergency, we couldn’t be at the worldwide People’s Climate March BUT we were there in spirit, checking in throughout the day.  We LOVE these essential Improvised Life-esque questions.

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Trees Growing Through Obstacles (Like Us) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/06/trees-growing-despite-obstacles-like-us/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/06/trees-growing-despite-obstacles-like-us/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 23:00:07 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44854

Fast Forward

Our friend Cara De Silva sent us a link to images of trees growing through concrete, with these words.

…I was startled and grateful when I looked at these beautiful and inspiring photographs.

But not only for the usual reasons. For months now I have been seeing such trees as a metaphor, (more…)

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Ornithology Wall Mural: Proseck’s Practice of Seeing http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/ornithology-wall-mural/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/05/ornithology-wall-mural/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 17:00:20 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44289

(Video link HERE.)  There is something enchantingly low-tech and intimate about artist James Proseck‘s painstaking process of making this wonderful, public wall mural: painting bird silhouettes a la Field Guide series of nature books. His technique is very interesting and could easily be applied to the walls of any interior or exterior space – bedroom, dining room, patio, pool house, you name it.

We’ve excerpted a saliant chunk of the rather long, slow video. It shows not only Proseck’s technique but delves into his view of what it means to “see” nature, a practice that can be cultivated. (more…)

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How to Think in Haiku (and a Haiku about Grasses) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/21/think-haiku/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/21/think-haiku/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 08:41:12 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44333

Sally Schneider

At the very end of May, we planted grasses in the planter on the Laboratory’s patio. Since then, they’ve grown like wild fire, along with the Morning Glory vine we plunked into their soil to further screen us from our neighbors. We love watching the grasses move in the breeze; they seem to constantly change and catch the light in new ways.  The other day, we read a haiku by Issa that revealed a quality that we hadn’t been conscious of:  (more…)

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Gif of the Week: Spreading Wings http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/16/gif-week-spreading-wings/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/16/gif-week-spreading-wings/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 23:00:28 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44206

 

If this beauty of of a gif doesn’t show in the post (gifs can be glitchy), click here.

 

via Hedviggen]]>
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Makoto Azuma’s Living Walls and Floors http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/15/makoto-azumas-living-walls-floors/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/15/makoto-azumas-living-walls-floors/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 17:00:39 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44052

We’ve recently come across Japanese botanical artist, Makoto Azuma who works with plants as sculpture and installation. He’s made a career out of using micro-climates as an art form, but we’re particularly taken by one installation which brings botanicals into the home — with walls and floors covered entirely in living plants. (more…)

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GIF of the Week: Fractal View http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/09/gif-week-fractal-view/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/09/gif-week-fractal-view/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 23:00:27 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43301

If the gif isn’t here, click here to view.

via Holton Rower via Beautiful Decay

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3 Animal Improvs: Inspired, Inspiring, LOL Funny http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/08/animal-improvisations-useful-inspiring-lol-funny/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/08/animal-improvisations-useful-inspiring-lol-funny/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 23:01:49 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43885

(Video link HERE.) Over the past few weeks, we’ve inadvertently collected three strangely fabulous animal videos and gifs. (We recommend watching with the sound off.) The first is of a guy transporting his goat on a bike…and the goat holding tight and looking like he travels that way all the time.

The second, (more…)

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Ordinary Joy. The Joy of Ordinary and…Linden Tea. http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/26/ordinary-joy-joy-ordinary/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/26/ordinary-joy-joy-ordinary/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 08:05:34 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43514

Courtesy of Steidl/ Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

On Friday morning, we were blasted out of our normal routine by a call from a friend in dire straits. With that, we abruptly entered another world: of Emergency Room and hospital…different air, vibration, requirements altogether as life and death co-existed (as they always do) but now we felt them clearly.  Priorities reordered instantly: many things had to be set aside in order to help, keep vigil, suss doctors, make food, comfort…we hoped that all else would take care of itself, or others would take care of it…

We posted sporadically and still notices of new subscriptions kept appearing from strangers who seemed to be saying, It’s all fine. Take some time. We’re there!

In the midst of it, going to or coming home from the hospital, we were aware of the scent of linden in the air. (more…)

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