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Appreciating the Beauty of Nature - Nature Photography Blog

Nature-bite: a Quick, Daily Nature Fix to Help Lower Stress

Nature Photography with marysejansenart

Calm your nervous system by looking at a nature image

Nature-bite #1 Thunderstorm by Maryse Jansen
Nature-bite #1 – Thunderstorm

What is a nature-bite?

We already know that going out in nature is good for us. But did you know that even looking at an image depicting a natural scene lowers your stress levels? It literally calms your nervous system and helps you relax and recover from stress! This very fact led me to create the nature-bite!

Just over 2 weeks ago I introduced the nature-bite on LinkedIn. In my mission of connecting people to nature I present a new nature image every day! Even if you don’t have the time or energy to go out in nature you can just look at this image for a few seconds, take a deep breath and already experience a positive effect! This way even the busiest people can reap the benefits for their mental and physical health. Anyone who is interested is invited to follow me on LinkedIn!

Setting a challenge – mobile phone photography

The challenge that I’ve set myself is to come up with these nature-bites on a daily basis, in real time! Just sharing what I find on each day regardless of the circumstances, so no archived images.

To make this feasible I needed to set myself a second challenge: all images will be taken with my mobile phone camera so that it is easy for me to share in the moment (I guarantee you: all my regular work is taken with a proper camera!!). So I’m now engaged in exploring the possibilities of shooting with my mobile phone and still creating enticing images! Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy these challenges! And hopefully you will enjoy the result!

My first week of nature-bites

I’m going to present you with my first lot of nature-bites and the little stories behind them. It is interesting how each image has its own little story, but there is also a larger story unfolding over the course of the 2 weeks that I’m sharing here. Because I’ve committed to post a photo each day, taken on that day, it’s turned into a sort of photo-diary!

Nature-bite #1: the first shot I published I took during a big thunderstorm, which is the featured image in this post. This is the only shot that wasn’t posted in real time, but because of it the idea was born and I posted it straight away the next morning to introduce my new project. I just love the purple colour of the sky!

Nature-bite #2 was taken during a Sunday morning walk, looking out over the water of our local dam. It’s a beautiful spot and it’s one of those places where Blue Space meets Green Space which I talked about in my article Instant Calm.

Nature-bite #2 - The Lake by Maryse Jansen
#2 – The Lake

Nature-bite #3 comes from my garden. One of my Grevilleas had produced this amazing flower that I wanted to share. Nature-bites can be all around us, they can be big or small. You don’t have to travel to find them, just make the effort to look! Do you experience a sense of awe, looking at this (or any of the other) image(s)? In that case, the benefits will be even stronger!

Nature-bite #3 Grevillea Flower  by Maryse Jansen
#3 – Grevillea Flower

Nature-bite #4 is a very special moment. At first glance you see a stand of Gum Trees and it’s a beautiful sight on its own. But when you look closer you can see who is also enjoying these Gum Trees. It’s a koala!! Now here’s the fun of taking this photo with a mobile camera: you really need to look for the animal! This is much closer to how you would experience the sighting with your own eyes, not looking through the zoom lens of my proper camera. I had to circle it because a lot of people didn’t see it at first! If you’d like a closer look at the koalas, feel free to check out my koala gallery!

Nature-bite #4 Koala in Gum Tree  by Maryse Jansen
#4 – Koala in Gum Tree

Nature-bite #5 comes from my garden again. Dream away in a world of lychen! Always an intriguing subject with all the different colours and patterns they create on a rock or, in this case, a tree trunk.

Nature-bite #5 Lychen  by Maryse Jansen
#5 – Lychen

Photography in rainy weather

Nature-bite #6. It was a rainy day. So it would be easy to just stay inside and forget about nature. But I went out for a walk around the neighbourhood and found these beautiful Frangipani flowers. The fact that they have raindrops on them and the light is a bit gloomy really gives the photo something extra!

Nature-bite #6 - Frangipani Flowers with Raindrops  by Maryse Jansen
#6 – Frangipani Flowers with Raindrops

Nature-bite #7. It rained more and more… Again, I tried to find some beauty in the circumstances and I created this image of the silhouette of this palm leaf against the grey sky in my garden.

Nature-bite #7 Palm Leaf Silhouette  by Maryse Jansen
#7 – Palm Leaf Silhouette

My second week of nature-bites

I made it through my first week and was receiving some love and a good amount of views on my posts so I was ready to continue. I was presented with an extra challenge as the weather here in south-east Queensland turned for the worst. The ongoing rain turned into an extreme weather event with ongoing downpour. Hundreds and hundreds of mm of rain in short periods of time continued to fall! These massive amounts of rain resulted in lots of flooding, road closures and warnings to stay at home and shelter.

Thankfully, I live on top of a hill so my house wasn’t at risk of getting inundated. It looked so miserable outside though that I wasn’t sure what nature-bites I was going to produce. I mean – as much as I am fascinated by the forces of nature – images of a raging river, more then 10m above its normal level, can be quite distressing when you’re in the middle of it and are not exactly serving the purpose of my project here.

So I stayed in my garden!

(They did serve the purpose of another project though, about which you can read here)

Photography in rainy weather continued …

Nature-bite #8 In my very wet garden I noticed how the leaves on this plant have a beautiful shine on them due to the layer of water that covers them.

Nature-bite #8 Shiny Wet Leaves by Maryse Jansen
#8 – Shiny Wet Leaves

Nature-bite #9 This is the worst day of the extreme weather event. My garden suddenly hosts a myriad of rivers and waterfalls. Even in these circumstances there is newfound beauty!

Check out another article about photography in extreme weather here.

Nature-bite #9 Falls in my Garden by Maryse Jansen
#9 – Falls in my Garden

A new chapter: blue skies and yellow flowers

Nature-bite #10: Thankfully, the next day rain finally stopped and for the first time in days I saw a little bit of blue sky. Sometimes a bit of blue in the sky is all you need to lift your spirits! Take a breath and let it relax you and alleviate your worries for just a moment!

Nature-bite #10 - A Piece of Blue Sky by Maryse Jansen
#10 – A Piece of Blue Sky

Nature-bite #11: I followed the blue sky up with a yellow flower, one of a native Australian Hibiscus. Yellow is a cheerful colour and the world needs a bit of cheer at the moment!

Nature-bite #11 - Native Hibiscus by Maryse Jansen
#11 – Native Hibiscus Flower

Nature-bite #12: Blue and green are the most calming colours, so I picked a blue flower this day to induce that peaceful feeling!

Fun Fact: It’s an Australian native ground cover that listens to the name Scurvy Weed! It’s edible leaves contain high vitamin C levels.

Nature-bite #12 Blue Flowers Scurvy Weed  by Maryse Jansen
#12 – Blue Flowers – Scurvy Weed

Nature-bite #13: Another beautiful yellow flower today. Celebrating World Wildlife Day with a little bug on it! Enjoy the little things in life!

For even more yellow flowers, check out this article.

Nature-bite #13 - Yellow Flower and Bug by Maryse Jansen
#13: Yellow Flower and Bug

Nature-bite #14: Staying with the little things in life today because they can be so beautiful. What do you think of the blue metallic shine on this little bug?

Nature-bite #14 Metallic Blue Bug by Maryse Jansen
#14 – Metallic Blue Bug

Have you noticed the little yellow and blue theme that’s been running through my subjects the past 5 days? This is my subtle way of showing that I am aware of what’s going on in the world and it’s a big stressor for most of us. So let these nature-bites help you release some of that stress. Look at nature’s beauty and take a deep breath. It really helps!

Would you like to join and receive your daily #naturebite? Then follow me on LinkedIn and ring my bell!

I would love to see your nature-bites in the comments! Please share if you saw something beautiful today!

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