The Little Things/Photographing Life’s Small Wonders


As I was flipping through my photo library, I realized how many times I have focused my camera on the small, the seemingly insignificant, the miniscule and often overlooked things in the world. The tiniest bloom, the slightest movement in the grass and the smallest speck against a bright background will grab my attention.  Then I become engrossed in the effort to illuminate and magnify whatever it is I see. I loved miniature toys, dolls and dollhouses as a child and still collect little things, even the tiniest seashells!

Perhaps it is due to my own small size, barely making 5’1′ and wearing shoes that I can get in the kids’ department. Feeling overlooked and under-appreciated is a common occurrence for me. I mean, when you are small people often want to help you out, which is sweet. All too often, however, what makes you magnificent is your ability to be stronger than you seem.  Much like the ant that can carry many times its own weight, big things often come in small packages.

I decided to dedicate this post to all those small wonders that are often overlooked as we bustle through life, making our fortunes, seeking grand experiences and living life “large”. Those are wonderful things; but I would like to pay homage to the little miracles in life.  When you gather them all together, they can make one big, beautiful canvas.

What follows are a collection of some of my favorite “small wonders.” If you have some of your own to share, please let me know!

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On a beautiful hillside near the Savegre River in Costa Rica, was an apple orchard.  The stark white splashed with pink was like a morning greeting.

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As if the wild orchid growing atop a six foot stalk before my window weren’t small miracle enough, look at the little bee seeking sweet treats from its mouth.

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The red caught my eye as I loaded my little outside washer with clothes.  Of course this photo took precedence.  So the water ran and so did I-back inside for my camera. How many times must our friend Chico have heard me scurrying across the wooden boards to grab my dearest companion.

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Half blown Dandelion..I wonder

Does this mean only half a wish is granted?

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Flitting from bloom to bloom,

stalk to stalk.

Do you know you are under the scrutiny of my lens?

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Beauty and the beast.  In nature, there are no prejudices as long as there is enough fruit to go around.

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Along the bank of the rushing Savegre River, we found rest after a long hike. And so did our little friend. Stopping to dry its wings and visit with us awhile.

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Little red joy.  That is cardinal.  So proud, so cautious. So lovely

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Millipede, come to welcome us to Byblos Hotel in Manuel Antonio. Wow, I thought, an international insect.

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My favorite by far, my astrological icon, the crab. And this tiny one showed up to remind me of my own significance that day.  Tenacious, persevering and resourceful, it told me to be larger than my physical body, for it is, after all, only temporary.

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And someone, just maybe, will look more closely to see the wonder that is me.

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So many little faeries, they have become my mascots as I walk through my days….

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Little lovely monstrosity.  He strolled across our walkway outside the jungle house in Costa Rica, just another miraculous thing to brighten my day.

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And even if we are surrounded by refuse and neglect, we can still glow brilliantly, adding our own touch of beauty to things.

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Like a gem lying on the desert floor, this little beetle stopped for a few moments, allowing me to capture his brilliance before scuttling away into the muddy woods at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center in Baton Rouge.

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Not much to say.  He was small. He was there. I grow tomatoes.  We relocated him. 🙂

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So often I am photographing flowers, in this case wild trumpet vine, and will hear a rustling sound and look over to see another wonder that begs to be captured.  The prehistoric creatures are dearest to me.

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The click, click sound of the many Halloween Crabs echo throughout the mangrove in Costa Rica as our boat makes its way down the watery path. You can’t see their color here, but they are so named because of the bright red orange and black of their bodies.

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A “little” adventure.  During the Balloon Festival in Baton Rouge, I was out for a walk when I saw one of them flying awfully low over the houses in my neighborhood. I had a camera with me (imagine that!) and caught the scene as it played out.

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Narrowly missing the tops of several houses, they made a safe landing in the middle of the road where someone came to “rescue” them.  Now that’s something to watch over morning coffee.

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Little hummer at Savegre Mountain Lodge, near San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica.

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Sometimes small wonders come in clusters..

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Remember that little old ant I mentioned above? Well, this was poetry in motion for me as we toured the ancient ruins of Guayabo National Park where these leaf cutter ants were busy helping the Eco-system as they foraged.  Oh, you don’t see them? Wherever there is a green leaf, there is an ant.

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Sometimes the miracles are so small they even escape my notice! I was busily photographing this cool fungus in the arboretum; but when I looked at the photos, I realized there was another smaller miracle in the shot as well!  Millipedes are not my favorite insect, although they are indeed incredible. I just like to keep my distance, if you know what I mean.

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Little mushroom commune.. hey maybe that’s what I’ll name our place when we get back to Costa Rica. 😉

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Little family making a nest in the winter.

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Little orb in my photo. I get those sometimes.  I love them.

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Taken in the mangrove near Quepos, Costa Rica, these little wonders know how to camouflage. The Owl Butterfly is so named due to the large spots on their wings that, when they cluster together, resemble an owl’s eyes and face, thus warding off potential predators.

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This little art in nature wonder was described as looking like a Picasso by our guide from Savegre Lodge. I agree!  What do you think?

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Small unfurling fern. Fern is my very favorite plant and this birth caught my eye as it glistened in the mid morning sunlight.

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Now you swim. Soon you will climb out upon the ground to hop into your future. Making more tadpoles, no doubt.

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Tiny ripples on the water in the lake at LSU…

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Turn out to be little turtle heads..peeking to see if the intrusive lady with the camera is gone yet…

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My very first little photographer’s miracle…catching a Quetzal in flight.

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One of our favorite “littles”… a little appetizer and beer on a hot high season day in Quepos, Costa Rica at Dos Locos. sigh….

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A little love from a passing friend…

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A little white bloom alone…

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When joined by the rest looks like fireworks in July!

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Little menace.  I’m still looking for the miracle of the yellow jacket..and the wasp. I know it is there. Until then I’m using a good zoom and wearing my running shoes.

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Little sweet gifts of the Earth. Behold the fig-nature’s candy.

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And my very favorite little miracle of all!  Little people.  May their Spirits grow beyond the confines of the human form.

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And to you, I give a tiny bouquet of teacup roses-right from my flower bed.  Thank you for sharing my “little moments.”  I’d love to hear what you think is a little treasure in your own world.

Pura Vida everyone.

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6 thoughts on “The Little Things/Photographing Life’s Small Wonders

    1. Oh thank you. I know I saw how many and thought it too much, but for me my stories often unfold through the pictures. Thank you for taking the time to look at them. The things in nature give me appreciation of life.

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  1. I really enjoyed ‘little moments’ they made me smile on a rainy morning here in NY. My favorite photo is the turtles peeking out of the water, it reminded me of the turtles in our pond – they are shy and dive fairly quickly, so we don’t get to see them for long.

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    1. Hi,
      I’m so glad I could give you a smile. Turtles are my very favorites. They can move much more quickly than they get credit for! I had a box turtle in my back yard not long who enjoyed my cucumbers. I’ll bet you get a real Autumn up there, great for photography. Thanks for the post.

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