Observe life at its best, Listen to life’s songs, Embrace life’s bounties, Breathe the breath of life, Savor life to its fullest!

Flora ’n’ Fauna

catnipoflife is honored to feature more of Barb Beacham’s photography from Life in the Foothills. Barb has been recognized as one of catnip’s featured photographers on You have but one life, LIVE it! and Twilight.

Thank you, Barb, for sharing your awesome photography!


Flora ’n’ Fauna


Splendiferous, copious forests
Mark territorial landscapes
Where impressive oaks and lofty pines
Show off their stout and woody shapes


Desert plants and wildflowers
Adapt to extreme heat and aridity
Fierce, wild, red-to-orange and white
Emerge the cactus and desert chicory


The ubiquitous howling coyote
Announces its presence at night
Truly a song out of the fierce Wild West
Instead of a cause for sheer fright


Deciduous trees and shrubs
Common to most habitats
Shed their dry leaves in autumn
Forming nature’s welcome mats


Crackling sticks, dry leaves underfoot
Announce squirrels, rabbits and such
Deep in the woods silence is broken
As gunshot startles a strong buck


The nervous pristine white-tailed deer
Tan in the summer, brown in winter
Once statuesque at early dawn
Now suddenly becomes a sprinter


Stopping to rub antlers on a tree
The deer looks warily ahead
Time for a rest by a babbling brook
For a few shrubs and nature’s bed

Sharla Lee Shults

As a matter of fact, an ordinary desert supports a much greater variety of plants than does either a forest or a prairie.

—Ellsworth Huntington (Yale University professor, 1876–1947)


Crazy Food Art

Art comes in many forms but probably some of the craziest is food art. It is a great gimmick to entice kids to eat and makes for fantastic decorations. From the childish to the fruitiest to the most intricate to the absolute grotesque…Enjoy! See if you can name all of the foods!

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Don’t leave without checking out 25 Crazy Pieces of Food Art!


Free Write Friday #30: Image Prompt

Welcome to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday. I know it is Sunday but better late than not at all! New here? Read the intro.

This week Kellie has provided a FWF image prompt. These are always fun to work with and for me, usually spark inspiration for a poem. Not this time. As you all know, sometimes thoughts move in the direction for me to venture outside my poetry box.

Is there a story behind this week’s image prompt? Of course and here it is in Kellie’s own words: “FWF was not posted last week. Again, I apologize for my absence and I thank you for not sending me hate mail. This weeks prompt is actually the reason for my disappearance. I photographed a wedding for a friend of mine which was not only so much fun, but extremely time consuming. I hope you will forgive me.

I decided to share one of my favorite shots with you for your prompt. I can’t wait to read what your imagination creates!”

Jackson Wedding

Today is a special day, a time of joy and celebration at my friend’s wedding. Vows of love and commitment are exchanged within smiles and teardrops. As thoughts drift much like the floating balloons, I feel you kick and gently pat your tiny feet pushing against my skin. It was only a little over a year ago that similar vows were being made with hopes of great things in the years ahead.

We were in love. L.O.V.E. The kind of love that binds two people together through thick and thin, good and bad, easy and hard times. We were strong always confiding in one another, laughing at our faux paus, and understanding each other’s individuality, while being head strong, sometimes stubborn, at the same time.

Suddenly concentration is broken. I sense someone drawing near. I turn toward the sound of footsteps. A smile crosses my face as you approach returning the smile in my direction.

“He’s kicking. Give me your hand.” The sensation elicits soft sighs from both of us. “One day you and Gina will be celebrating another new beginning, different but similar. Just as you are beginning a new life together today you will one day be celebrating the beginning of a life – a miracle conceived together.”

The tears just could not be held back. I nestle my head against your shoulder as visions of Danny, my husband, your best friend, weave in and out the corridors of my mind. The only thing keeping me sane are the memories and the joy of knowing he is with me, not in the flesh, but in the spirit flowing through the veins of our son.


Thank you, Kellie, for keeping the creative juices flowing. While I may not always receive the message to participate on the designated Friday, it is great to contribute when I can. It is amazing what comes to mind from just a simple prompt…but, then, that is exactly what you are after!

Other Contributions: There are more so head on over to Kellie’s place.

~ graypoet

Great to see another prompt Kellie. I hope this sounds as I heard it in my head….

~ Lorraine

I love the photo…very emotional. I hope you like my attempt:

~ gotmeghan

I’m hoping to finish it, but I usually never do. :( I am glad you’re back this week though. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. :D

~ Roberta

~ Terry

Hi Kellie

~ Rishal

Yay you are back with a lovely picture this time. Here’s my take for the week

~ buildingalifeofhope

So glad to hear from you Kellie! Here’s my prompt just off the top of my head!

~ Annie’s Muse

Trying something new — my first FWF on WordPress. Still need to work on that section, but here is my entry for this week.

~ Tracesofthesoul

What a beautiful photo! Here is my attempt to share my first thoughts…


First Day of Fall 2013

Animated Fall scraps, glitter graphics, Autumn myspace

Last remnants of summer will soon be only memories for the autumnal equinox is upon us today. At precisely 4:44 PM EDT, Sunday, September 22, 2013 the beginning of fall graces the Northern Hemisphere while spring bursts forth in the Southern Hemisphere.

Are you ready for this?

 AutumnSunRead MORE @Awakenings!



Catch the Falling Leaves

If you ask me about autumn…

It is a graceful ballerina
Whirling and twirling across the ground—

The essence of a former life
Wherever nature’s spirits abound

 It is one last fling before winter’s sleep
Flitting and flaunting vivid hues of gold—
Dramatic, enchanting, ah-h-h breathtaking
Awe-inspiring colors to behold

 It is a season of predestined change
In a distinctive way nature acknowledges—
Random yellows, rusty oranges, bold reds
Exciting the soul through emblazon images

 It is nature in action
Intensely, magically changing—
Summer’s palette transforming
As leaves gently fall off the trees

 It is multicolored leaves blowing in the wind
Like the wild strumming of a fiddle—
The crux of fun for someone to rack in a pile
Then jump right smack dab in the middle

 Run, jump, catch the falling leaves
As they flutter round and round
Stuff them in your pockets
For the child in you is found

©2013 catnipoflife©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”

                                                —John Burroughs (American Naturalist and Essayist, 1837–1921)

Animated Fall scraps, glitter graphics, Autumn myspace comments


Beauty to Behold

Other than writing, being outdoors is my passion, whether mowing the grass or working in the garden. Today actually featured both and through the clearing away of accumulated growth came the uncovering of much beauty to behold beginning with the rising sun.

The brightness of day
Flaunts its glory
Be thankful
Look up


Awakenings: Word of the Day: Bacon

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

I love trivia! Do you? And what better subject than BACON! Perhaps all you know about bacon is that it is a meat product prepared from a pig and it goes with just about anything! We will get to some bacony combinations (usual and unusual) later but right now let’s take a walk down history lane and when, where, how this succulent meat found its way to the table, especially America’s breakfast table.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

What is your favorite bacon dish? Share your thoughts as comments @ Awakenings! I would love to hear from you 🙂

See on


Awakenings: Capitol Cornerstone Laid

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

On September 18, 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone for the United States Capitol – a most impressive monument for its builders, the American people and the government.

Awakenings invites you to Embrace the Past, Empower the Present, Enrich the Future!

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

The timeline for our nation’s Capitol is remarkable from its initial construction, devastation, rebuilding, extensions and restoration.

See on


Unusual Best Friends

Just a quick little touch of catnip!

Not sure how many of these may have been ‘doctored’ but they bring out their intended emotions! ENJOY!


Awakenings: Voyage to America

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882)

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

This Day in History: September 16, 1620

The spirit of European expansion stirred adventurers to set sail for the New World. Having already been discovered much earlier, the richness of this new land beckoned voyagers to set sail in 1620 for a more profound purpose. Such exploits resulted in surveillance of the terrain and possibilities for settlements.

Go to Awakenings for poetry Voyage to America!

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

Perhaps some of your ancestors financed or even traveled across the sea to America! How cool is that!

See on


Cattitude Tip #3

Keep your cat from becoming bored!

Cats learn routines…break all habits!

1- Leave from a different door

2- Do NOT rattle your keys

3- Do NOT drag out a mournful ‘Good Bye

There is one thing, however, that must NEVER be forgotten

Prepare a special treat plate!

If out of cake, let him (her) have the cat treats!

You will have a HAPPY cat!

Meow! Purr-r-r-r-r-r-r. . .


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