Proud as a Peacock

The tour bells rang at Filio, indicating the gardens were closed.  Being a photographer, always in search of the perfect golden-hour light, I was a straggler.  The sun was still too high in the northern California sky for my liking. I left, disappointed I hadn’t been able to capture the garden’s beauty in complimentary light, but accepting, to exhaust, that I’m a rule follower.

The sign on the closed exit gate read, USE SIDE DOOR WHEN LEAVING AFTER HOURS.  I exited through the archway of the door with my head down, disgruntled, and stuffing my camera equipment into my backpack.

However, as I learn time and again, we don’t decide when we’re finished. It’s the crazy, little surprises in life that break all the rules and tell us to carry on –

Entering into the side door, used for exiting, the Fioli resident peacock, strode up like a VIP on a red carpet, looked at me, stopped, opened its canopy of fabulous feathers, turned around and showed me its booty and then sauntered right past me and into the closed gardens. The peacock looked back at me, summoning me to join it on the other side, and I followed.

And there we were, back on the inside, after closing hours, with me, fiddling to get all my equipment back out of its storage and shooting this scene of a bird who’d broken all the rules –

Something someone would do who’s



On a Wing and a Prayer

We aren’t backed by wealthy investors.

We haven’t studied gemology or jewelry making.

Less than a year ago, we couldn’t distinguish between a crimp cover or an enhancer

or tell you where to find the best priced African bead or how to string the beads on silk,

but wow, have we traveled a pathway of discovery!

Heather and I have launched, on a wing and a prayer,

our business,


and with His Grace,

we’re praying it will fly.


He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;

Psalm 91:4

An Omen, May I Get An Amen!

Arrrghhhh, a bird flew into the front of my car today and feathers flew everywhere! I feared looking at my car’s front grill when I stopped up the road, but when I did look, I couldn’t find a clue of the witnessed murder.

I googled, ‘what does it mean when you kill a bird?’

The answer:

It’s an omen.

3. A Dead Bird

If you’ve seen a dead bird in the road or perhaps you accidentally hit a bird on the road, this usually feels like a bad sign. Actually death is typically a good sign showing us that an end to turmoil or pain is ending. This doesn’t necessarily mean physical death, just a metaphorical death. Perhaps you’re going through heartache of a break-up, perhaps you are struggling to find a job…this dead bird marks the end to your search and struggle. A new beginning is just around the corner.

At that very moment, two hands were shaking across town – a job acceptance.

I’m so sorry, Bird, truly sorry, but now I have a clue that it’s time for us to fly.


“An Omen – may I get an Amen!”

Wise Advice

Along the way, I’ve received a lot of wise photography advice, including

“never let the length of your lens keep you from a shot – just move closer,”

so this morning, instead of making equipment excuses,

I brought a ladder to the shoot.

The mama owl accepted my closer proximity,

the owlets barely cared that I was there,

and ultimately, by being closer,

I felt like we all got to know each other a little better.






“A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart”

– Confucius