Morning Routine

These days, I spend the first two hours of each morning at the garden. My mom once told me that everything looks so serene at 5:00 in the morning and after finally having the strength to wake up that early, I had to agree.

Our garden is usually a blend of colors but at 5:00 in the morning, everything looks like it’s desaturated and under a blue filter with an opacity of approximately 25%. It’s not the depressing kind of blue. Rather, it’s the kind of blue that makes you want to sit back and enjoy your cup of hot tea and patiently wait for the sun to show up.

I recently took on the responsibility of looking after my mom’s Echeveria collection and I’ve been trying to apply the things I learned from various articles online. I wasn’t born with a green thumb, but taking on this project is such a huge responsibility so I try to lessen the casualties as much as possible. I make it a point to water them once a week, give them enough sun, and make sure they are healthy. The Echeverias are looking fine, so far. As a matter of fact, I noticed some mini Echeverias this morning:

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Pups also started to appear in some of our cacti. It takes so much time and effort to nurture these plants that’s why my mom and I were thrilled when we saw the teeny tiny versions of our cacti and succulents.

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Yellow Mandala | Canon 550D
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Grafted Gymnocalycium mihanovichii | Canon 550D

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I usually spend the whole two hours at what I call the “propagation station” and monitor the progress of the herb cuttings and some of the succulents. Majority of the first batch of herb cuttings I planted during my grandfather’s birthday died so I tried use a different technique in propagating the second batch of cuttings.

It’s a nice break from all the articles I’ve been writing and crafts I’ve been doing. I have to admit though, there are days when I feel extra impatient. I understand that it takes some time for the plants to grow, but sometimes I can’t help but feel like it’s taking forever to see any progress. There are days, however, when I’m rewarded with blooms from our plants. I must say, seeing their beauty makes the whole waiting period worth it.

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The last picture is actually a Spearmint. I removed the flowers after taking the picture because according to some articles, the leaves begin to taste bitter once the flowers appear.

 

It’ll take a few more weeks for the pups and herb cuttings to grow into healthier and well, much older versions of themselves. Until then, we’ll have to continue our morning routine and take good care of every single one of these plants.

How about you? What’s your morning routine?

The Devil is in the Details

 

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Rise and Fall | Olympus C-5060

I was closing the gate yesterday when I noticed that the flowers in our garden were in full bloom. Just imagine, in a sea of green, there were spots of yellow, purple, lavender, pink, and red in different shapes and sizes. I grabbed my Olympus C-5060 and started taking pictures of the flowers. Determined to highlight the details of each flower, I decided to use my camera’s macro feature.

Here’s the thing: it’s been seven years since I last used that camera so it took a couple of epic fail photos before I managed to capture the photo above. The bud is smaller than my fingernail and I’m just happy that the details are visible.

I guess I also wanted to zero in on seeing beauty in adversity, rising after each fall, bouncing back, or simply… paying attention to the tiny details that we often neglect. The downside of social media is that it’s so quick to react and bash people since we’re given that venue to do so.

I believe it’s still important to take things with a grain of salt, pause, and research before channeling our inner keyboard warrior and saying things that will be screen capped at some point in the future.

No really, I just wanted to take pictures of the flowers.

The Garden

I’ll admit – there are days when I don’t want to do Project 365. It’s only been seven days but there are nights when I just want to sleep after dinner, but the thoughts about drifting off to la-la land would always be interrupted by that tiny voice inside my head that says “you promised you’ll finish this, why are you giving up now?” And of course no matter how hard I try to reason out and argue with that tiny voice I’d always end up doing it anyway, so here goes.

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January Bloom | Canon 550D

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you don’t have anything to wear despite the n number of clothes you have in your closet? Well, today’s Project 365 felt like that. I had possible subjects, but for some reason the elements didn’t work. I decided to shoot anyway.

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Patience | 550D

I managed to take this picture of Marley. He actually caught me, but he was too busy to care. He just stood there and watched the busy world outside our gate. The dogs were trying to play with him, but he was unfazed.

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Text twist | Canon 550D

I also chanced upon these building blocks that were resting on our yoga ramp. I used to spell random words with these blocks when I was a kid. These blocks were then passed on to my younger brother when we were teaching him the alphabet. Sometimes I miss moments like that. These days we’re too “digital”, too busy swiping left and right on our mobile devices.

So there. I guess the key is to keep shooting. Even when you’re bored, even when you’re tired, and even when you feel like there is nothing to shoot, shoot. The elements that don’t seem to work just might, when you change your perspective.

Another Rainy Day

I love the rain. I love waking up to a room with just the right amount of darkness. I enjoy listening to the sound of raindrops falling gently on the rooftop, as if making sure it doesn’t disturb anyone as it makes its landing. I like how all of a sudden my room feels so cold, making it impossible for me to fight the urge to just snuggle my pillows and go back to sleep.

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I was on my way to work this morning when I noticed how radiant the colors of the plants in the garden are. The droplets of water resting on the petals and leaves were like glitters that made them glow, even with the little amount of sun.

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It’s always nice to take some time off our busy schedules and allow ourselves to be wowed by the beautiful things that have been there all along, waiting to be noticed. I found comfort while twisting and stretching my limbs to get good angles; it’s been a while since I’ve done that.

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When I saw how the photos turned out, my heart was really happy. ¬†It’s as if the plants were telling me to stop worrying too much because everything will be fine. I guess when you allow yourself to listen to what God or what the universe wants to tell you, the message is heard with so much clarity that it travels from your ears to your mind and heart.

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Most of us are too scared to take a break because we think about the money that we’ll lose. What we don’t realize is that we gain so much and we give so much to ourselves just by taking some time off our daily routine. We say we live only once. The beauty around us will only live once, too.

-Canon 550D. Lens 18-135mm. ISO 100-200-