I really enjoy Valentine's Day. I think if you get caught up in the romanticism of the day it can be disappointing. But if you embrace it as a way of spreading a bit of happiness to family, friends, even strangers, I think it's much more enjoyable. I always loved decorating that little shoebox in grade school so it could hold valentines from classmates. I've always enjoyed making valentines for others, no matter how simple. Homemade hearts, cut out cookies, CD mixes (I'm old, and I miss those). Let that inner artist shine!
As a nature enthusiast, advocate, and amateur photographer, I love finding hearts out in nature. A naturally occurring heart shape found in the bark of a tree, in a stone, a leaf, a flower, a pine cone poking through snow. Of course, these can be spotted any day of the year. But the closer it gets to Valentine's Day the more I seem to search for them. And they are there! I wrote about this in more detail in a post last year entitled Let Nature Be Your Valentine.
I spotted this pine cone heart on the trail at Carver-Roehl County Park just a few days ago. I nearly stepped on it!
I recently discovered that there are heart-shaped snow molds. The same kind of thing you could use to make perfectly formed snowballs. Which gave me an idea. I ordered one, and on days when the weather cooperated and the snow had melted to the right consistency, I went out for walks on the trails, and in the parks, and made some snow hearts. Sometimes I used fallen natural elements to embellish them. Then I placed them along the trails to photograph, and to leave for other hikers to enjoy. Eventually they would simply melt away.
I don't know if I'd say I was gleeful, but it was a lot of fun. And, hopefully, they brightened someone else's day, too.
Once I got started, the ideas just kept coming. I couldn't wait to get out and make more. I came up with just a couple props that I could carry with me, utilized the natural elements, set logic aside, and let my artistic side play. I hope you enjoy the results. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
A traveler, singer, novice photographer, humane gardener, and nature lover.