Magic moments of light

July 25, 2007 at 2:46 pm | Posted in 4th of July, blogging, country living, dating, dogs, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, gifts, knitting, love, marriage, pets, photography, relationships, romance, scarf patterns, summer, yarn | 19 Comments

In my photography and painting, it is the magic of light and shadow I love most and hope most to capture and communicate. When I look at life outside our livingroom window, or driving down a country road, or as I wait on the bank of the river by our cottage while my husband mows the lawn, I see bits and pieces of light at times that cause me to catch my breath because in those fleeting moments of perfect light I see God.

In Western New York I find many magic moments of light in my mornings and evenings. Golden hour, that ninety minute interval in early morning and again each evening when light turns gold and shadows long, is especially lovely here because of our latitude and also because of the lush growth of trees and shrubs.

More Magic Golden Light at Fireflys CottageThe many branches heavy with leaves crowded together in tight stands create a fantastic texture of light and shadow, casting singular momentary importance on a portion of trunk, a piece of lawn, a particular wild flower. The light gently points out the fact that we are surrounded with perfect beauty in all the little details of life … it beckon us to take notice, take a moment out of a busy life to appreciate some small, seemingly meaningless, detail.

Back in June, just before I went to Los Angeles, Blu and I went over to the cottage one evening to meet up with my husband. He was there mowing the lawn on the upper part above the river, and wanted us to be there when he went down to the river level to mow the lawn by the boat house. My husband wanted to introduce Blu to the river and see how he would respond to water.

It was a beautiful evening. Blu enjoyed sniffing every square inch of lawn, dock, boat house, river bank, etc. he could get his nose to … over and over and over again as I sat with him and my husband finished up the lawn. Afterwards, the three of us spent some time walking along the dock, looking in the water at fish, and hearing the quiet sounds of evening.

Blu is about to go in for a dunk at Fireflys cottageShortly after this shot was taken, Blu slipped right off the dock into the water, dunking fully under and treading water frantically below the surface and looking up at us with eyes wide open. My husband reached in quickly and pulled him straight up and out by the collar. Blu was a little bit startled for a moment, shook himself off briskly and then didn’t seem to care what had just happened to him.

I suppose that answered my husband’s curiosity as to how he would react to water. Fourth of July weekend we had a little barbeque at the farm with some friends. At one point we drove up to Lake Ontario (just a few minutes drive away) and spent a bit of time playing in the water with Blu. It was his first time attempting to catch or fetch a stick thrown into waves on a shoreline. It was great fun, and he seems to love water quite well. I was amazed at how warm the water was that day and enjoyed my own time splashing around at least as much as Blu enjoyed his.

Fireflys Hand Knit Girl Friend ScarfPictured here is a scarf I made as a gift for my son’s girlfriend. When I was in California, she was in Hawaii and she left her car at my son’s place for me to borrow while I was there. I wanted to give her this scarf as a token of thanks for her consideration.

I have promised to share the pattern for this scarf, and it is an entirely easy one. I used two balls of Berroco’s incredibly soft “Plush” nylon yarn in Crema (color number 1901) on size U.S. 8 needles. I cast on 18 stitches, which made a nice narrow scarf about five inches wide. I used straight knitting until the piece was about fifty-six inches long, then I cast off.

Fireflys Hand Knit Girl Friend Scarf Detail ShotTo decorate it, I used scraps of a bronze colored ribbon yarn (I don’t know what the brand was, it was just ribbon yarn I have had a few balls of for quite some time) to make little bows, which I scattered along both ends of the scarf and a few in the body of the scarf — all on the “right” side. To make the the bows, I threaded a short piece of the ribbon yarn into a tapestry needle, and then pulled it through one stitch of the scarf. Then I tied the ribbon yarn into a tight little bow and trimmed the ends to even them up.

Next I took a few vintage turqoise buttons from my collection and sewed them on top of a few of the bows, again a little bit randomly rather than in any particular order. I only sewed buttons on bows that were at the ends of the scarf, but you could sew them on anywhere. I also sewed a couple of buttons directly onto the scarf, rather than on top of a bow.

Delicious Strawberries from Fireflys Amish NeighborsI’m calling this the “Girl Friend Scarf” and will post the pattern on the I Live on a Farm website soon … but you have the directions for it right here in my blog. It is a sweet little scarf, and perfect (I think) for a lovely young woman who lives in Southern California.

Time for me to take a break and have a cup o’ tea. Wish I still had some of these delicious sweet strawberries from our Amish neighbors up the road. Alas, this photo is from way back in June and fresh local strawberries are now a thing of the past. I’ll just have to use my imagination to eat a handful of them this morning.

Best to you and yours,


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  1. I think that is a great scarf, I would be honored to receive such a gift!

  2. Hello again, firefly!

    You gave me here, great pleasure with your writing about light… shadows… and darkness; discussing the interplay of each to create and present for any who will take a pause and look to beauties not found on pages and in books. You entice one to pull the life that is present up close for personal inspections, enjoyments and pleasures! So very much like Life itself!

    While I cannot experience first-hand the love that Blu, as himself, evokes from those who know him personally, I can imagine myself patting his head, looking into his eyes and saying to him, “Hello old Blu, you funny dog you!” And getting back from him, “Hey to you, what would you like us now to do? I like to run and sniff, test the air and feel the ground, running to whatever I’ve found. This is my land… it can be yours too!”

    Maybe my imaginings carry me away a bit, but I truly love that friend you’ve found and call Blu!


  3. beautiful post and the scarf is adorable!

  4. Blu is simply lovely…what a beautiful spirit he has. I love how you share the small things here, the quiet, fleeting moments–such as the mingling of light and shadow. Makes me stop and think, and see…Lovely scarf, wonderful gift. Strawberries have not been too good here this year–too much rain. So your picture feeds my eyes and memory–thank you! Happy Day to your & yours! :o)

  5. Hello Firefly,
    Isn’t it wonderful how our God places such beauty for us to enjoy! And you give us a chance to veiw a little of that through your pictures, thank you.
    Your friend, ann

  6. Firefly…

    What beautiful photos…just breathtaking. I know your son’s girlfriend will love her scarf, the yarn looks so yummy… The strawberries look delicious. Strawberries and summertime go hand in hand. Blu took an unintentional dunk, so glad he shook it off and is ok… Enjoy the beauty of your farm and the abundance of summer time….



  7. and I feel God in that light at the end of a day. The blue light. I love your photography and descriptions.

  8. Thank you for your kind words!

  9. How beautiful! The photos are so pretty, they look like paintings, you caught the perfect moments in time! Looks like Blu is getting his experiences in quite quickly! Poor baby, he’ll learn as he goes like any child would 🙂 The new scarf is precious!

  10. […] Magic moments of light [image]In my photography and painting, it is the magic of light and shadow I love most and hope most to capture and […] […]

  11. I just happened to pop over to your site tonight from a link on another site and had to take a moment to tell you that I completly enjoyed my visit. Wonderful photos and writing. I will definately be back to visit and read more!

  12. Gorgeous photos and a lovely post.

    Those strawberries look incredible! Fresh strawberries are one of my favorite parts of early summer and I always find myself eating as many as I can during their short season to sustain me through the year.

  13. The dapple of sun here, the stray ray there, the deepest shadow in that spot all draw the eye and lift the hearts of those who are willing to look. I hope you enjoy the long light of summer bring out those simple memories and cherish them for the long dark of winter.

  14. I love the scarf! I had been trimming the tassled ends of my scarves with charms that contain japanese symbols for good fortune and love. But I hadn’t thought to sew them on directly to the scarf and to add ribbons. I think it’s time for a few embelishments! 🙂 Thanks firefly!

  15. firefly…

    It is me again…I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a “Blogger Reflection Award”… Congratulations, you so well deserve it!



  16. I made the lavender scarf and hat for my daughter, using Debbie Bliss “baby cashmerino”. Instead of knitting the band for the hat, I simply knitted and attached to the side of the hat a few flowers in varying size, similar to the ones your daughter crocheted on the pretty blue scarf she knit for you (I can’t crochet yet). They gave the hat width and knitting them was faster than the band. She left for four months in Pamplona, Spain, on Friday, and I wanted her to be able to take them with her. She liked them and the color was becoming. Thank you for the pattern. Everything looks lovely on your website.

  17. “I see bits and pieces of light at times that cause me to catch my breath because in those fleeting moments of perfect light I see God.”

    You have captured my thoughts in your beautiful words. I stumbled on this late but, but still in perfect time. I will check with you often. Thank You for sharing

  18. While searching for scarf patterns, I came across your “magic moments” and wanted to tell you of the quiet peacefulness that filled my heart and mind as I looked at the photos and read of some special times in your life. Thank you for letting others see, through your photos and words, the joy of beautiful days, and of precious time spent with a curious, happy four-legged companion. Some of the many loves of my own life were brought to mind — our Living Savior, my husband, grandchildren, dogs, blessed days of sunshine and peace, and, of course, knitting. Thank you again for the mental oasis of calm and beauty in the midst of a too often stressful and hectic life.

  19. Dear Firefly,

    I was looking for knitting patterns for scarves and found your lovely site. Thank you so much for sharing your good life and serene view of the world. I share both with you. I’m American, 63 years young, a very recent retiree and have lived in the Saône Valley near Lyon, France most of my adult life. Again, thank you so much for this beautiful site and the knitting ideas. (I’m going to be selling scarves I knit at a Christmas fair for charity in December.) All the best to you, Louise

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