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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

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Get away from it all without leaving home—MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons by Bette A. Stevens


MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection) by Bette A. Stevens. 150 haiku poems, 49 of the author’s original photographs + interesting facts and symbols from The Pine Tree State. 

My Maine…

Staycation in “Vacationland” (One of The Pine Tree State’s nicknames). No need to leave your comfy lounge chair. No matter the season, MY MAINE is a collection of poems and photographs to soothe the soul. Put up your feet, sit back and relax. Let MY MAINE take you away…

Did you know?

In the early 20th century, lumber, textiles and other industries began to leave the state, and the government doubled down on stimulating tourism. In the 1960s, the state adopted a new nickname on its license plates and highway signs: “Vacationland.”

Every year, thousands of visitors from all over the world flock to the Pine Tree State to enjoy scenic vistas, outdoor activities and the unhurried pace of life. But a visit to Maine is more than just lobsters and lighthouses. USA Today

MY MAINE

“A nature-filled land that enlivens the senses and soothes the soul—to me, Maine is poetry!”

~ Bette A. Stevens

 

Summer Songs

Excerpts from MY MAINE Haiku through the Seasons (Summer Songs) by Bette A. Stevens

Pristine forest lands
Rockbound footpaths appealing
Seek your solace here

Lady slippers chant
Madrigalian ballads
Timeless tales reborn

Moose shielding twin calves
Wades tranquil mountain waters
Head raised, ears twitching

Swallows consuming
Millions of swarming creatures
Ouch, ouch—they missed some

Loons at lakeshore wail
Campers bewitched by the sound
Sacred summer songs

Waves play taps on shore
Tall pines salute by moonlight
Waking stars stand guard

Lighthouses stand tall
Regaling stories of ghosts
From a bygone age

Books by Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Hubby and I are enjoying a great “Staycation” right here at the farmstead. Confined by the 2020 pandemic restrictions, we’re playing it close to home and enjoying the magic of Maine moment by moment. Wishing everyone a blessed and beautiful end of summer and hope you’ve enjoyed a bit of a virtual Maine summer respite with us. ~Bette A. Stevens

[Visit Bette’s Blog]

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The Splendor of Diversity—discover it in the garden (poem by Bette A. Stevens)


Much of my poetry is inspired by the gardens, fields and woods here at the farmstead in central Maine as well as by the natural beauty and by the people of The Pine Tree State.

A peek inside Bette’s first poetry & photography collection:  MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons available in paperback and eBook. 

The Pine Tree State

Maine pines and people
Survivors, resilient souls
Standing tall and proud

Pragmatic figures
Independence their calling
Rugged yet limber

Growing where they choose
While rising ever higher
Strong limbs branching out

Tempering spirits
Amidst the boundless medley
Solid, steady, proud

Diversity (A preview into one of Stevens’s poems to be included in her second—”Heaven and Nature Sing”—collection) was inspired by the early June blooms (photograph), a soothing balm after those long, cold Maine winters. One that never fails to enthrall us each spring. The natural world has much to teach us about life and living…

Diversity

by Bette A. Stevens

Splendor of countless pigments
In gardens they combine
Echoing grandiose harmony
Serenity you’ll find

And so it is with people
Of every thought and hue
Diversity’s resplendency
Reflecting me and you

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to share it on your social media sites. Thank you! 

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Celebrate EARTH DAY with a Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch Butterfly eBook—ONLY 99¢/p Limited Time (April 21-24)


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ HAPPY EARTH DAY

Please share this post…

Monarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat. Yet these butterflies, once a familiar sight, are plummeting toward extinction due to landscape-scale threats from pesticides, development and global climate change. That’s why the Center is working hard to win them protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

AMAZING MATILDA written and illustrated by Maine author Bette A. Stevens ONLY 99¢/p thru April 24:

“Award-winning picture book adventure follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids important life lessons along the way!”

 

About the book

AMAZING MATILDA (Ages 5-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit, as you follow Matilda from egg to imago.

Review Excerpt Blurb:

“Matilda crunched and munched and lunched, leaf after leaf, day after day.”

If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here! ~Jacqui Murray, WordDreams 

DOWNLOAD a copy of AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens ONLY 99¢/p April 21–April 24award-winning monarch butterfly picture book— at YOUR AMAZON

Free Reading Resources for Amazing Matilda

Meet the characters and download Bette’s  #FREE Character Puppets HERE.

Beyond the book

  • Find monarch butterfly resources at your finger tips:

Have fun and learn even more about Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ our amazing monarch butterflies by downloading Bette’s FREE PDF Click here: FUN & LEARNING with Monarch Butterflies where you’ll find:

  • Monarch Facts
  • Coloring Pages
  • Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Video: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
  • Butterfly Teacher Guide and so much more…
  • FIND OUT how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs

 Find out more about Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and her books

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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Book Reviews: My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons by Bette Stevens and A Soldier’s Children by Jan Sikes


Thanks so much for a lovely review of “My Maine.” Honored and delighted to be featured along with with my talented author friend, Jan Sikes. Readers, I invite you to check out the full reviews on Miriam Hurdle’s blog. Miriam is a talented poet in her own right! ~ Bette A. Stevens htttps://www.4writersandreaders.com

The Showers of Blessings

My Two book reviews –  My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons by Stevens and A Soldier’s Children by Jan Sikes.

reading-logoMy MaineA Soldier's Children

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons by [Stevens, Bette]My Review

In her poetry book My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons, Stevens showed the nature she experienced in the Pine State of Maine. The presentation of the book reminded me of attending a concert to watch the performance of the Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi’s violin concerti “The Four Seasons.” In each season, Stevens opened the curtain and presented the sights and sounds in the nature. For the taste, a lobster dinner was in order. The performance of each season retreated toward the end and invited the next season to come in; and the audience gave a standing ovation.

“Spring Awakening” began with the ice slowly melted, rivers and streams sang, to the birds, animals blossoms awakened, and ended with:

Standing ovation
Awaiting next performance

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Happy Birthday, Maine! + #WritingChallenge


Celebrating #Maine’s Bicentennial through Poetry

Maine officially celebrates its 200th Birthday on March 15, 2020! Find out more about “The Pine Tree State” and help us celebrate all year long with a haiku of your own. #WritingChallenge

Did you know?

Maine (nicknamed The Pine Tree State) remained a province of the Massachusetts Bay Colony when America declared its independence from Britain on July 4, 1776. At that time Maine was not one of America’s original thirteen colonies because it had never been granted a royal charter from Great Britain. It would be decades after the American Revolution and the signing of The Declaration of Independence (summarizing the colonists’ motivation for seeking independence) before Maine gained official statehood.

The Eastern white pine tree helped fuel the region’s economy in an era when shipbuilding and lumbering reigned supreme. The value of those pines actually provided a spark for the American Revolution. Massachusetts didn’t want to lose any of those pine profits it gained after the war, while Mainers struggled for political and economic independence. Maine officially celebrates its Bicentennial on March 15, 2020.

“A nature-filled land that enlivens the senses and soothes the soul—to me, Maine is poetry.”
–Bette A. Stevens

The Power of Poetry

How Readers & Writers of All Ages Benefit from Poetry

  • Improves Verbal Skills & Memory
  • Enhances Cognitive Function
  • Develops Empathy & Insight
  • Encourages Creativity

Why Haiku…

Inspired by the beauty and bounty of my home state, I write poetry in many forms; but I chose haiku for My Maine to offer readers a collection of story poems and photo snapshots of the unique land I know and love.

I invite you to join me as I celebrate #Maine2020 by submitting one of your favorite photos taken in “The Pine Tree State” and writing a haiku too! I’ll be publishing submissions here on my blog throughout 2020. Simply email me at bettestevens@tds.net SUBJECT: “Maine Bicentennial Haiku.”

How to Write Haiku…

 

 

A Peek Inside the Collection

~Excerpts from “Spring Awakenings”~

 

March shakes the remnants
Of sleep from wintery boughs
White confetti swirls

Granite boulders rise
Above the winter mantle
Midway the meltdown

Dark mask shrouds the land
Soaking downpour foreshadows
Season’s renewal

Rivers spill over
While ice jams—slowly melting
Weep upon their beds

Pot holes irk drivers
As roadways turn to washboards
Kids giggle in back

Hills and vales exult
Rivers and streams sing arias
Mud season arrives

Verdant shimmering
Emerald fields bursting forth
Souls rise from slumber

Sunbeams composing
Springtime melodies, humming
Tapping to the tunes

About the Author

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight. Stevens lives in central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat). Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture. As of July 2019,  Stevens has self-published five books and has a second poetry collection on the drawing board. Find out more about the author and her books at https://www.amazon.com/author/betteastevens

 

Contact the author at DBS Publishing to order author-signed copies of her books or to schedule a Poetry Event tailored to meet the needs and interests of your school, community group, company or organization, or simply to find out more.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I look forward to hearing from you. (Comment Section Below)

“Happy reading & writing poetry!” 

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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Celebrating #Maine2020 through Poetry with Author John W. Howell


More Maine—Arts & Culture

  • Maine officially celebrates its  Bicentennial (200th birthday as an independent US state) on March 15, 2020.
  • The Pine Tree State (Maine’s official nickname)—provides a sanctuary for arts and culture—check out these famous Maine people (Arts & Literature) at Maine.gov.
  • Maine has been inspiring artists and art lovers for more than two centuries and continues to provide a cultural haven for residents and visitors alike. You’ll find a treasure chest of museums and galleries spattered throughout the state. Be sure to check out these “10 Must-See Maine Art Museums.”
  • Maine is known as Vacationland From pristine wilderness to pine forest mountain ranges to crystal clear waterways and majestic shorelines, Maine is a perfect place to spend your vacation.

Maine Watercolor by John Cable JOHN HOWELL

 

I’m delighted that John W. Howell stopped by to help celebrate Maine’s Bicentennial with a fine piece of Maine art that inspired his My Maine haiku poems! John is one of my Rave Review Book Club #RRBC author friends. I invite you to check out his bio and books— His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. Howell’s John Cannon series rank among my favorite mystery thrillers. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

John Howell: “This is a watercolor by Maine artist John Gable. I bought it when I was on vacation at Kennebunkport, Maine. I had the pleasure to meet the artist and discuss some of his art while there. This painting has been with me since I bought it in 1981. If you would like more information on the artist here is a link to his website—John Gable Fine Art.”

My Maine

by John W. Howell ©2020

Before the parade,
A treasured water color. . .
Created in Maine.

Is a physical,
Reminder of such good times. . .
Which are forever.

The air and seashore,
Are still pondered in the heart. . .
Someday to return.

 

About John W. Howell

John W. Howell, author of suspense thrillers, short stories and poetry.

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. Howell’s first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The fourth, Circumstances of Childhood a family life story published (2017). The fifth book, The Contract is written with Gwen Plano (2018).

John is currently finishing his sixth novel Eternal Road – The Final Stop, to be published in June 2020. All books are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Follow the author and find his books on Amazon.

The Power of Poetry

How Readers & Writers of All Ages Benefit from Poetry

  • Improves Verbal Skills & Memory
  • Enhances Cognitive Function
  • Develops Empathy & Insight
  • Encourages Creativity

Bette A. Stevens is celebrating Maine’s 200th birthday as an independent US state on her blog all year long through her new release,  My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection). She’s inviting friends and readers to join in the celebration with their own photo and haiku creations highlighting The Pine Tree State.

Whether you’re a Mainer or from away, I invite you to join me as I celebrate #Maine2020 by submitting one of your favorite photos taken in “The Pine Tree State” and writing a haiku too! I’ll be publishing submissions here on my blog throughout 2020. Simply email me at bettestevens@tds.net  SUBJECT: “Maine Bicentennial Haiku.”

“A nature-filled land that enlivens the senses and soothes the soul
—to me, Maine is poetry.”
~ Bette A. Stevens

 

 

“See Maine through the eye of a poet…”

Grab a copy of My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons today! 

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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Compassion is a Beautiful Thing… (poem) by Bette A. Stevens


Compassion is a Beautiful Thing…

 

Compassion in life
Is a beautiful thing

Sharing its beauty
Gives others their wings

Stirring love into each
Little thing that we do
Is sure to help their dreams
And our dreams come true

© Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

 

Compassion in life is a beautiful thing. But exactly what is compassion? I’ve always thought of compassion as “love in action.” After writing the poem Compassion is a Beautiful Thing…, I searched Google for a definition to share. The synonyms fit perfectly into my preconceived notion for the poem because they not only include love and mercy, each synonym requires action—stirring—on our part to metamorphose the idea of compassion into the reality of compassion.

 

Google Search:

noun: compassion; plural noun: compassions

sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

“The victims should be treated with compassion.”

synonyms: pity, sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, charity

“Have you no compassion for a fellow human being?”

antonyms: indifference, cruelty

Origin Middle English: via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin compassio(n-), from compati ‘suffer with.’

 

May compassion reign in our hearts and hands each day. ~ Bette A. Stevens

Enjoy more of Bette’s poetry in her new collection—MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons.

Stevens has released a poetry and photography collection inspired by Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people. The author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons takes readers on a poetic journey through the state’s four distinct seasons. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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Celebrating #Maine2020 through Poetry with author Mae Clair


Welcome to Vacationland

  • Maine is known as Vacationland.  From pristine wilderness to pine forest mountain ranges to crystal clear waterways and majestic shorelines, Maine is a perfect place to spend your vacation.
  • Maine (nicknamed The Pine Tree State), has 6,000 pristine lakes and ponds for residents and visitors to savor  and explore.
  • Maine officially celebrates its Bicentennial on March 15, 2020.

 

I’m delighted that Mae Clair stopped by to help celebrate Maine’s 200th birthday! Mae is one of my favorite authors. I invite you to check out her bio, website and books—you’ll find mystery and suspense at its best. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Mae took this glorious photo in late September 2019 during her first Maine vacation. (Note: postcard frame and text added by me.) I think you’ll agree that Mae’s haiku is exquisite.

Outdoor cathedral

Sun fire and water as one

Tranquility speaks

More from Mae…

In late September of 2019, I had the pleasure of visiting Maine for the first time. My husband and I stayed in a beautiful A-frame overlooking Flanders Pond in the small town of Sullivan. We drove to Bar Harbor twice and spent a day in Freeport, but I think I enjoyed our moments on the deck watching the sun set, the most.

The photo I’m sharing today doesn’t quite capture the magic and fire of the sun when it sinks behind Flanders Pond, but the moments were spectacular—just like everything else we discovered in Maine. Naturally, we’re already talking about returning in the future. ~ Mae Clair

Mae Clair, Author
Mystery and Suspense, Flavored with Folklore
Website | Blog | BookBub |

Newsletter Sign-Up | Twitter | Goodreads

 

The Power of Poetry

How Readers & Writers of All Ages Benefit from Poetry

  • Improves Verbal Skills & Memory
  • Enhances Cognitive Function
  • Develops Empathy & Insight
  • Encourages Creativity

Bette A. Stevens is celebrating Maine’s Bicentennial on her blog all year long through her new release,  My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection). She’s inviting friends and readers to join in the celebration with their own photo and haiku creations highlighting The Pine Tree State.

Whether you’re a Mainer or from away, I invite you to join me as I celebrate #Maine2020 by submitting one of your favorite photos taken in “The Pine Tree State” and writing a haiku too! I’ll be publishing submissions here on my blog throughout 2020. Simply email me at bettestevens@tds.net  SUBJECT: “Maine Bicentennial Haiku.”

“A nature-filled land that enlivens the senses and soothes the soul
—to me, Maine is poetry.”
~ Bette A. Stevens

 

 

“See Maine through the eye of a poet…”

Grab a copy of My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons today! 

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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From the Poetic to the Factual: Two Book Reviews


Lovely to find My Maine featured on author Annika Perry’s Writing Blog today along with a great review of A-Z of Dumfries by Mary Smith and Keith Kirk! ~ Bette A. Stevens 4writersandreaders

Annika Perry

After a lifetime of New Year’s resolutions … and often failing to keep them, these last years I’ve steered away from making any.

However, one aspect of blogging weighs heavily upon me, my failure to review as many books as I would like, particularly indie-published ones. If my TBR pile was a real heap of books they would fill a room, I fear; luckily many are kept safe on my Kindle, hidden from immediate sight but never forgotten. I’m determined to share these books with you on my blog, a couple every month and I am happy to start with the two below.

Ironically, these are paperbacks, one a poetry book kindly gifted to me by Bette A. Stevens. The other by Mary Smith caught my interest as an unusual factual book about her local town.

“My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons” by Bette A. Stevens

‘My Maine’ is a…

View original post 595 more words

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Celebrate #Maine2020 through Poetry


Happy Birthday Maine!

Did you know?

Maine (nicknamed The Pine Tree State) was initially a province of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In fact, it was decades after the American Revolution before Maine gained official statehood. The Eastern white pine tree helped fuel the region’s economy in an era when shipbuilding and lumbering reigned supreme. The value of those pines actually provided a spark for the American Revolution. Massachusetts didn’t want to lose any of those pine profits it gained after the war, while Mainers struggled for political and economic independence. Maine officially celebrates its Bicentennial on March 15, 2020.

“A nature-filled land that enlivens the senses and soothes the soul—to me, Maine is poetry.”
–Bette A. Stevens

The Power of Poetry

How Readers & Writers of All Ages Benefit from Poetry

  • Improves Verbal Skills & Memory
  • Enhances Cognitive Function
  • Develops Empathy & Insight
  • Encourages Creativity

Why Haiku…

Inspired by the beauty and bounty of my home state, I write poetry in many forms; but I chose haiku for My Maine to offer readers a collection of story poems and photo snapshots of the unique land I know and love.

I invite you to join me as I celebrate #Maine2020 by submitting one of your favorite photos taken in “The Pine Tree State” and writing a haiku too! I’ll be publishing submissions here on my blog throughout 2020. Simply email me at bettestevens@tds.net SUBJECT: “Maine Bicentennial Haiku.”

How to Write Haiku…

 

 

A Peek Inside the Collection

~Excerpts from Winter Tales~

Frozen polar winds
Wave the ice crystal scepter
Dawn’s magic appears

Silvery branches
Unveil the old, old folktale
A spellbound story

Pine cones and tassels
Mirrored in moonlight upon
White weighted branches

Chickadees dozing
Nestling, captive to pine boughs
Till dawn sets them free

Shovels and snow plows
Storm’s rook ravings unraveled
Till the next arrives

Soups, stews and chowders
Stories told round the table
Favored winter fare

Silently—Snowfalls
Reign over field and forest
Supremely sovereign

Winter white gemstones
Glistening across meadows
Perfect snowshoe day

About the Author

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight. Stevens lives in central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat). Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture. As of July 2019,  Stevens has self-published five books and has a second poetry collection on the drawing board. Find out more about the author and her books at https://www.amazon.com/author/betteastevens

 

Contact the author at DBS Publishing to order author-signed copies of her books or to schedule a Poetry Event tailored to meet the needs and interests of your school, community group, company or organization, or simply to find out more.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I look forward to hearing from you. (Comment Section Below)

“Happy Reading & Writing Poetry!” 

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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