Hummingbird Profiles #2 – Ganbatte 頑張って

Hummingbird Profiles #2
Hummingbird Profiles #2, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

hummingbird miracles
and determined perseverance
nature’s masterpiece

I’ve been a resident in my mother’s hospital room at the cancer hospital this past week.  She did well with the surgery and will require several weeks of recuperation, but we are playing the waiting game again with pathology results.  We do our best to persevere.


Here is the second image in my hummingbird photomanipulation series.  This is a male Black-chinned hummingbird, one of the first hummingbirds that usually arrive at our feeders for the season.  Since purple is one of my favorite colors, I love the glistening purple gorget when the light catches their throat just right.  Hummingbirds symbolize many things, as I’ve posted in the past, two of which are perseverance and overcoming the seemingly impossible.

In my opinion, hummingbirds are one of nature’s many great masterpieces!

The Japanese word for perseverance, to not give up or to “do your best” is:
Ganbatte  頑張って (がんばって)

…and more formal and more polite:
Ganbatte kudasai  頑張ってください

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

Sunflower Morning
Sunflower Morning, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

morning brilliance
entices with fresh nectar
sunflower greeting


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Hummingbird Profiles #1 – JOY

Hummingbird Profiles #1
Hummingbird Profiles #1, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

rubies emeralds diamonds
precious gems dazzle in the sky
hummingbird splendor

First of all, thank you very much for all the kind well wishes for my mother and our family in my recent postings.  I really appreciate and am touched by all your supportive and encouraging words.  Last week was hectic with more tests and procedures, but we are in the “waiting mode” right now – waiting for test results, waiting for surgery, etc., etc.  Cancer is a very wicked thing.


Last year, I created a few photomanipulations of hummingbird photos I took in our yard.  I intended to post them at the time, but I would develop a brain cramp whenever I tried to create a blog posting using the images…that is, until now.  It could be that now feels like the right time to post these images because hummingbirds symbolize what is needed so much right now:

A common symbolism of the hummingbird is JOY!
(Joy in Japanese is 喜び, which is read yorokobi.)

Tiniest of all birds, the hummingbird is quite spectacular.  It also symbolizes powerful energy, the ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible, and flexibility in life circumstances.  When in the air, their wings are continually in motion, which symbolizes tirelessness and perseverance.

I start off my hummingbird photomanipulation series today with an image of a male Broad-tailed hummingbird.  I find his pose sweet and adorable.  Also, my mother’s top two favorite colors are red and green, similar to the beautiful colors on this bird.

If you are in need of JOY today or at any time, I hope this image will bring you some.

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That Dreadful Word No One Wants to Hear

Vortex, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

This post is different from what I normally post.  Over the last several weeks, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a constant spin cycle, increasing in speed and turbulence due to escalating health problems and other issues.  Constant shaking, rapid and forceful heart palpitations, passing out, and intense stomach pains landed me in the emergency room the first week in June, hooked up to several wires and an IV.  Eventually the doctor determined the main issue was “extreme stress.”  Some of these symptoms still continue.

In my last post, I talked about spending several days in the hospital with my Mother because of an unexpected surgery.  That occurred in the middle of June after my own ER visit.  Last week, after recuperating with us, she had what we thought would be a routine follow-up with the doctor, where we would be told she was progressing as expected.  We spent a few minutes talking with the nurse and telling him how my Mom was doing since her surgery.  We had no inkling what was to happen next.  He handed us some papers and said, “I have your pathology results here…there is cancer present…”   What!?!?  The chance of cancer, we were told after surgery, was remote.  But now, that “remote” chance was smacking us right in the face!

We were both shocked.  My Mom’s eyes were welling with tears and her voice was shaking.  I held her hand.  I saw the nurse’s mouth still moving, seemingly in slow motion, but I didn’t hear the next few words.  I was shaking uncontrollably.  My stomach was knotted and churning so violently I thought it was about to explode out of me.  The room was spinning and I felt like we had been yanked right into a vortex.  It is a very rare cancer.  “I’m so sorry to have to give you this news,” he said to us.  The doctor came in next.  We asked him several questions, then he gave us the next steps.  We would be continuing her care with a surgical oncologist.

A few days later (last Friday), we met with this oncologist.  More tests and scans, another surgery, and more cutting and removing to determine the extent of the cancer and further treatments, if necessary.

We are still in shock with this new challenge and we’ll have to take it one step at a time.  Yes, it’s scary, and yes, we have cried.  This is my Mom’s second battle with cancer.  Both cancers are rare and both are unrelated to each other.  This second cancer is even more rare than the first, and because it is so rare, its treatments have not undergone clinical trials.  There is also no known cause.  However, she will receive care at a good cancer hospital just 40 minutes away from our house.  My Mom is strong and healthy for her age, and a truly wonderful, genuine, generous and compassionate person anyone would feel privileged to know.  She has been there for us consistently to help out, provide support, and pull us out of the deepest, darkest holes.

This is not just her battle, it’s our battle, and I will be with my precious mother every step of the way supporting her the best I can.

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The Last Iris – Woodblock Print

Iris - Woodblock
Iris – Woodblock, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

welcoming summer
with a respectful surrender
spring blooms nap

Usually, our irises finish blooming before summer officially arrives.  This year, a couple of our iris blooms, similar to the one in the above image, insisted on meeting the summer solstice.  They have since retired for their long nap until next spring.

I have been clearly absent from blogging for a couple of weeks.  An escalated roller coaster ride with my own health issues, as well as spending several days in the hospital with my mother due to a sudden and unexpected surgery left me with no time or energy for much of anything else.  She is now at home with us recuperating from her surgery.  But I’m able to pop in today for a quick post.  Thank you so much for your patience.

I hope the new season is off to a wonderful start for you.

This image of an iris bloom is another photomanipulation I did to digitally convert a photo into the likeness of an old Japanese woodblock print.  I also learned from fellow bloggers, Francine and Frizz, that the image is also called a “xyloglyph.”

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Graceful Peony – Woodblock Print

Single Peony - Woodblock
Single Peony – Woodblock, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

delicate pink chicks
shielded by caressing arms
silken peony


This image of a single peony is another photomanipulation I did to digitally convert a photo into the likeness of an old Japanese woodblock print.

Single peonies are composed of one or more rows of a few broad petals, known as guard petals, which surround a center of pollen-bearing stamens, which in turn surround the pistil.  I believe the name of this peony is Sea Shell.  I like how delicate and silky the petals are, and how the formation of stamens and pistils looks like a birds nest.

Hope your week is off to a splendid start!

Here is the original photo I started with:

Peony, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Hiking / Soul Searching

Soul Searching
Soul Searching, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

soul searching
continuing the journey
through a daunting world

Five years ago, I took this photo at beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah, USA, along the Queens Garden hiking trail.  I was still able to hike at that time, at least on the less difficult trails.

This is the photo I used in my first posting to introduce this blog.  I created this blog almost two years ago as part of my healing process through many, many health issues, debilitating and including widespread chronic pain.  (I’ve explained some of these in my other health blog.)  It is a much-needed therapeutic way to explore my own creativity, whatever may arise, with a primary goal to help me heal, and a secondary hope to develop and improve artistically.

Last week the number of followers on this blog reached and surpassed 1,000!  I never imagined this would happen when I started blogging, but more importantly, I am encouraged and appreciate that many have found my blog worthy of following, commenting, liking, or even just visiting.  It does help with the healing.  Thank you very much!

I am still on the journey through several health issues, and I don’t know yet what is on the other side.  Perhaps I will be able to hike a trail like the Queens Garden Trail again.  But in the meantime, Soul-Searching is still applicable.

This photo is for the Wild Weekly Photo Challenge where we are encouraged to take you along on a hike.
This is also for the “Tagged” letter challenge (letter “S”) by Frizztext,
(“S” is for Soul Searching.)