Honoring Turtle – a symbol of Mother Earth
For the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of watching a very determined Snapping Turtle climb the rugged, tangled bank of the Big Eddy along the Delaware River in Narrowsburg, New York as she makes her annual birthing journey. This is a tedious and lengthy step-by-step process to lay her eggs in a familiar and not so safe location. She begins her climb at the first light of dawn and once she reaches her nesting ground, she begins clearing away the grass and digging a hollow nest in the dirt. Then, for what can be hours, she slowly lays her eggs by alternately rocking and stretching and turning and gently pushing them into the prepared ground. When the last egg is released, she carefully spreads and tamps down the dirt over the nest and slowly makes her way back down to the river.
She never returns to check on her offspring. They are on their own, left to the forces of nature to decide their fate.
I have my calendar marked for her arrival during the first or second week of June and again in early September or even into October for the hatchlings to emerge. Sadly, they rarely make it out of their nest alive. The first year I was completely naive and thought I would protect them from getting crushed during the lawn mowing. I put a small circle of sticks and netting around the perimeter of the nest area as a marker for the mower to avoid. It was more like a come hither beacon for a band of night-stalker skunks that made a raucous feast of the fresh little eggs. I was in tears the following morning when I saw the shrivelled shells and smelled the nauseating stench of skunks.
I had read a lot about predators of turtle eggs and this time, I spent a few hours constructing a reinforced and very grounded chicken wire cage much larger than the nest perimeter. I waited patiently throughout the summer and once it was close to the earliest hatching time, I checked the nest morning and night every day. Another month passed and still no baby turtles. I read some more and learned that they could take up to 120 days if the weather conditions were not as favorable. By the end of October, I removed the cage and gently scraped the nest area. Nothing was there, not even a chip of an eggshell. This time, a different breed of stalking, nest robbing villans must have attacked from underground.
I’ve learned that perhaps the best I can do is to patiently watch, imagine and hope for the survival of the baby snappers. I’ll continue to watch the calendar and check the nest – which does again have a simple fence marker for the lawn mower to go around, but like the Mother Turtle, I have to be patient and allow the laws of nature to determine when and if these turtles make it to the river alive.
Mrs. Turtle returns on June 5th, 2016 to the same spot on the riverbank to lay her eggs and leave them to the whims of nature for the third year that I’ve been observing this. I dearly hope these little turtles have a chance of survival. The skunks and apparently tunneling creatures are very fond of fresh turtle eggs 🙁
Turtle Painting for 26th Annual Riverfest Poster Art Auction
When I received the Call for Riverfest Poster Art, I knew I wanted to honor Mrs. Turtle but first, I wanted a different kind of information, the kind that resonated with Her and the River and all of the elements of nature that intrigue me every day when I look out over the Big Eddy. Turtle is an ancient creature with some serious history and mythology. I wanted to paint the meaning, the feelings I have about Turtle. What resonated with her energy and felt true for me as well? I sketched for several days until a few designs felt promising. I read more about snapping turtles and I looked through old photos and notes. I’d forgotten about “Turtle’s Bad Day” a startling, too-close-for-comfort, food chain experience during my last visit to Shark Valley in the Florida Everglades and, I realized that Turtle has been one of my nature guides for many years. So I reached for ‘Animal Speak’ by Ted Andrews knowing I would find mythical and relevant information that would help me align the painting and my feelings with the energetic patterns and symbolism of TURTLE…
“The Turtle – is one of the oldest reptiles and thus has one of the most ancient mythologies surrounding it. Turtle is a symbol for Mother Earth, for longevity and for awakening to heightened sensibilities.” – Animal Speak, author Ted Andrews
In the mythology of the Far East, Turtle’s outer shell represents the heavens and the shape and patterns on the shell underside are a symbol of earth.
Turtle represents wisdom, longevity. She is slow and steady, predictable, reliable, persistent.
A symbol of Mother Earth – divine feminine energy
Turtle is a shore creature – living in the water and on the land. Shores are associated with doorways/passages to other dimensions and Turtle is sometimes called ‘the keeper of the doors’.
The markings/sections on many turtle shells number 13 which is associated with lunar calendars and the alternating annual cycles of 13 full or new moons which correspond to female cycles of fertility.
Turtle is a reminder to listen carefully and ask: What am I not hearing or seeing?
Andrews also writes: ” turtles are opportunistic. When Turtle shows up in your life it is usually a reminder to pay attention or you will miss opportunities.”
Turtle painting by Debra Cortese for the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance Annual Riverfest Poster Auction.
Sunday, July 24, 2016 is the 26th Annual Riverfest event that takes over the entire length of the Main Street
business district in Narrowsburg, New York. A total of 60 original artworks will be auctioned to the highest bidders
in this immensely popular event which benefits the Delaware Vally Arts Alliance.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL OF THE POSTER ARTWORKS FOR THE 2016 RIVERFEST AUCTION
Bee populations are plummeting! Yet the Environmental Protection Agency recently sided with Dow AgroSciences to approve a new, highly toxic bee-killing pesticide called sulfoxaflor.
And now the EPA is considering expanding the number of crops this pesticide can be sprayed on to include corn, alfalfa, oats, and several other significant and widely grown crops.
Will you help? Tell the EPA to deny Dow AgroScience’s application to expand the registration of the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor now.
Nearly one-third of our crops—including many vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds—depend on bees for pollination. But bees in our country are dying at unprecedented rates, and scientists are pointing to pesticides like sulfoxaflor as a cause.
A world without bees is unimaginable. Earthjustice is doing everything we can to save the bees, using the law and the power of the courts. But we need your help to change this latest proposal.
Help us ensure the health of the bees and our planet. Take action now to save bees!
That’s why I signed a petition to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which says:
“As a citizen concerned about our nations health and food security, I urge you to deny Dow AgroScience’s application to expand the registration of the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor so that it can be sprayed on corn, alfalfa, oats, and several significant and widely grown crops.
Honeybees are dying at rates unprecedented in history, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to warn that it is no longer confident in our ability to ‘meet the pollination demands of U.S. agricultural crops’; Rather than expand the number of crops that can be sprayed with highly toxic and systemic insecticides like sulfoxaflor, the EPA must take immediate steps to help bees recover. I join with other members of Earthjustice in calling for you to suspend the use of sulfoxaflor on all crops pending a thorough analysis of the impacts to bees and the many crops that depend on bees for pollination.”
Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:
Just updated my Gift Certificate page with three new spring design custom gift cards. Each one features a detail image from my mini abstract acrylic paintings.
You can choose the amount you want to gift, choose your favorite card design and then either send it instantly via email, or choose the print your own option and download a high resolution pdf card that you can print, trim and write your own message on.
The printed cards trim and fold to baronial or invitation card size which is 5.5 inches wide by 4.25 inches in height and opens to 5.5 x 8.5 inches.
If you have any questions about these, send me an email at: debra at debracortese.com or call: 845-684-4206 between 9 am and noon monday through friday.
Please share this with any friends that love handbags – especially Bags that Share the Beauty, Power and Magic of Nature 😉
Choose one of my new Gift Card designs
and you can have it emailed directly to your recipient
or, download the high resolution pdf file, print the card yourself
on a standard lettersize sheet of paper,
fold it in half twice and you can personalize your message.
Debra Cortese Design Gift Cards can be used to purchase
contact me at: email@example.com
or call 845-684-4206
between 10 am and 8 pm Monday through Saturday.
Gift Certificates are always the right size, color, design – especially for
the discriminating nature lover on your list!
Take advantage of this great Holiday Offer and get 20% of additional value on any Gift Certificate you purchase between November 29th and midnight on December 3rd, 2013.
Example: you purchase $100 worth of Gift Certificate credit and your recipient get a $120 Gift Certificate which can be applied to any handbags, art prints or paintings by Debra Cortese Designs.
Click HERE to order your perfect “Gift Certificates” today!
I’m in the process of rebranding my handbag business and all of the messages I am receiving reaffirm that my childhood passions for gardening, hiking, exploring, beeing in nature were the original blueprint for the story of who I am. Along the way, sacred geometry and Flower of Life joined my list of major inspirational alignments. The symbolic and energetic vibrations of Flower of Life and all of its variations have become the basis for many of my paintings, projects, and designs over the past decade, which is especially significant in light of the challenging background story of bankruptcy and foreclosure that I was living during that time. The energy and alignment that I experience while creating art and designs using the underlying grid that represents the Flower of Life and all of its power is phenomenal.
My close friends and family knew the background story and as the foreclosure process signaled that is was time to move on they also understood why I chose to return to my childhood home town of Narrowsburg, NY. It was time to review the full circle, time to help my only sister with the care of our 88 year old mother. Mom had a severe stroke in 2005, is paralyzed on one side of her body and needs full-time assistance for all the basic daily grooming and feeding activities that most of us go through on auto pilot. I now also realize from conversations and the posts of many Facebook friends that we are among so many others taking care of aging parents and, as much as possible, we are maintaining and expanding our own stories along the way.
One of the ways I maintain an optimistic perspective is to begin my day with great coffee, my two favorite inspirational daily emails (Thoughts from The Universe and Abraham’s Daily Quote). If that isn’t enough to get my energy and attitude in the flow, because some mornings just need an extra dose of positive energy – I’ll listen to a short meditation or watch an inspirational video.
Today I ‘listened’ to the messages that, not surprisingly, came through a link in an email, and followed one to the video on this post. I’ve been aligned with the work of Esther and Jerry Hicks/Abraham for many years and as I allow more of what feels right to me, I understand, to the point of tears of joy, why nature is such an inspiring, vital part of who I am and what I can share.
Please share your thoughts on this in the comments below and share this post with your friends (share buttons below).
Enjoy the video and NATURE!
The Universe Always Provides Signs. Pay Attention
a YouTube Video of Esther Hicks/Abraham that reminded me of the power of my connections to nature:
I had the pleasure earlier this summer of meeting Mark Rawson along with Grandma Michelle during an art opening at The Stray Cat Gallery in Bethel, NY. That connection opened the door to a live radio chat with Mark and Pamela Latour on Mark’s “Spiritual Connections Radio” show.
The main topic of our conversation revolved around my “Create Your Own Seed of Intention” workshop/exercise. This seemingly simple exercise is not only fun to do, it engages playful images and memories and energetically connects you to your own source energy, the ideal place to be when ‘setting’ your intention for a specific goal!
Listen (when you have a spare hour – yes, it is that long and hopefully interesting enough to listen to the end).
Here’s the link to the recording: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/spiritualconnectionsradio/2013/11/08/debra-cortese-thursday-930pm-est
Please do participate- it’s free, fun, easy and you’ll remember your favorite childhood games, characters and more!
You can download the free pdf version of “Create Your Own Seed of Intention” HERE.
You will need to send an email so I know how many people are trying this exercise… and I’d love any feedback for future versions.
SHARE THIS POST WITH YOUR FRIENDS… you know, the ones who enjoy this stuff 😉
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As long as I’m still breathing, I’m here to learn. Every day, something old is new again or more specifically, every day I see the connections and alignments of past experiences as they integrate into my present story of life. I’m constantly assessing experiences to learn how the energy of thoughts and actions affect life situations. I consider myself a life-long student and prefer to focus on what I do want as opposed to what I don’t want.
I’m always eager to learn more about the hows and whys of bee-ing*.
Last year, I returned to a painting/design style that has always intrigued me and began creating art and designs that incorporated geometric shapes of nature. (the hexagonal shape of the honeycomb in particular). The Flower of Life is a design that is found in many cultures throughout the ages. It embodies all sacred geometretic shapes and is considered the visual representation of source energy. All alignments, connections, shapes, sounds colors, tastes, feelings, sights, experiences are physical reflections of source energy – all emanating from a divine source as represented by the Flower of Life. You can read more about this at: The Ancient Flower of Life by Drunvalo Melchezidek,
or watch this Youtube video by Spirit Science which presents the information in a much more succinct and entertaining format.
(*Bees have been a recurring and significant part of my life experience and they are a major element of life on planet earth – far beyond the pollination of all of our foods, but that information will be shared soon. Suffice to say, the tiny winged creatures represent the physical manifestation of a search engine beyond Google’s wildest dreams!).
“The Honey Queen”, an original acrylic painting on canvas measures 24″ x 24″.
is not for sale because I am quite attached to it/her.
Fine art prints on paper or canvas are available – click here.
Contact Debra for price and shipping details.
Since I’ve recently packed up my life’s belongings and made the move from Miami back to my childhood hometown, Narrowsburg, NY, I’m rediscovering work that I had tucked away in folders, portfolios and boxes. I was delighted to rediscover a folder of small, 5×7 inch acrylic paintings, really exercises in painting, small studies feels like the correct term. And, with my more experienced designer eyes, now saw these previously not so special works as prime material for derivative works. The waves and swirls of color are perfect for patterns and repeat designs. I see home decor textiles, wrapping paper, kitchen and bath designs, handbags of course, and oh, so many possibilities!
I’ve scanned all of them into high resolution files and have already begun the re-design process. And, since I really no longer need to hold on to these colorful little gems, I’ve decided to post them here on my ebay page so an astute and appreciative new art collector will be able to add to or start a collection of original paintings that literally vibrate with joyful shapes and colors.
If you may be that collector, here is the link to all of the small works. Happy bidding and if you are really interested, contact meand make an offer. You will make my day just by appreciating the art 😉
Pattern 2B derivative pattern based on original painting by Debra Cortese
Pattern 01 – derivative pattern from painting by Debra Cortese