As you read last week, the northern hemisphere experienced the summer solstice and people are heading for the great outdoors. According to the US National Park Service and National Today, June is Great Outdoors Month. There are still 4 days left in June to get outdoors and of course, that door is still open next month and all year long!

I wanted to title this post: “Can you handle the great outdoors after a pandemic?” But no, enough about it! While some countries still struggle with vaccinating its populace, here in the US, most of us are out and about with few restrictions. Make no mistake, Covid is still floating around, so stay safe if you find yourself around a crowd of people.

“During Great Outdoors Month, I encourage all Americans to explore our Nation’s beautiful outdoor spaces. As we enjoy the great outdoors — from national parks to our own backyards — let us rededicate ourselves to conserving our Nation’s natural spaces for our own well-being, and for the health, safety, prosperity, and fulfillment of generations to come.”

US President Joseph Biden

Ways to Celebrate “Great Outdoors” Month and Beyond

Take a Vacation!

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is prime vacation time. Join Marsha at Always Write for her weekly feature Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge, where “vacation” is the theme. I commented back with now that I am retired, every day feels like a vacation. Hard to get used to but I’m managing!

“A vacation helps to relieve stress and boredom, gives us a change of scenery, provides us with adventure, and helps to bring us closer to the people in our lives.”

E. S. Woods

“Life’s short. Eat dessert first, work less and vacation MORE!!”

Lea Mishell
Breakfast in Waikiki

I enjoyed my first Hawaiian breakfast outdoors on the lanai of our beach-front hotel in Waikiki (Oahu) in January 2006.

Enjoy Backyard Birding!

Join a birding or photography group. I follow Spokane Birders on Facebook but I hope to find some fellow local birders to learn more about birds in the area.

Backyard Birdwatching
Anna Hummingbird

“Bird watching is now North America’s second most popular outdoor activity (second only to gardening).”

Bernd Brunner

Hike a Trail!

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

John Muir

Over Memorial Day weekend, we got to take my daughter and boyfriend on an easy hike to a local area along the Spokane River called the Bowl and Pitcher, in Riverside State Park, just minutes from our new home. Large blocks of basaltic rock lie in and above the Spokane River in the formation of the bowl (right) and pitcher (left).

Walk the dogs. Another trail, just 100 yards from our house, is a great place to walk the dogs. With this heat wave, we get up early to accomplish this!

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Henry David Thoreau
Walking dogs on a trail
This tree-lined path is a prequel to Becky B’s July Squares

Stop to smell a flower. Remember the earlier quote about gardening being the number one outdoor activity? Plant a garden or simply admire flowers and plants. Sharing for Cees’ Flower of the Day.

More Ways to Celebrate Great Outdoors Month and Beyond

In your backyard or neighborhood
Throw a block party. Grill in your backyard. Start or join a walking club. Relax and read a book on your porch.

In public lands...go camping. Plan a picnic. Swim, kayak, or boat on an ocean, lake, or river. Go fishing.

Visit a National Park!

Painnted Half Dome
View of Yosemite’s Half Dome from Glacier Point

In case you REALLY need ideas, visit 125 Ways to Celebrate Nature!

Hot Blogger Links

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite sunrise and sunset photos as we celebrated the solstice. Please visit a few when you get the chance and welcome three bloggers as they share their posts for the first time at Sunday Stills!

Be sure to visit my Sunday Stills page for July’s themes. There is no challenge for July 4 as I celebrate Independence Day. But I will see you for Lisa’s Bird Weekly challenge on July 2. Get outdoors and be safe!

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132 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Are You Ready for the Great #Outdoors?

      1. Oregon is getting hit hard where Cee lives, few people have A/C. Nine Mile Falls will see 97 today with forecasts at 109 by Tuesday. Very hot for here. I will never regret paying cash for our heat pump/AC unit last September when we ordered our new house.


  1. Terri,
    I envy your place for dog walks. There’s nothing like a nice stream to follow. I’m sharing a picture from this week’s Easin’ Along and our walk under the massive Coastal Redwoods in Klamath, CA. We love being outdoors and in the woods. Have a great week! Joe

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are definitely outdoors folks, Joe! Thanks for adding that cool shot of the Coastal redwoods to make my day! As hot as it is out west, the California coast is getting it’s usual marine layer which will help with temps!


    1. Thanks, Graham, we are certainly doing that, all though today and into next week, I’m staying in. A massive heat wave has descended on half of North America (so it seems), well up into Canada. Expecting 109, a record, here by Tuesday. We were smart to order a heat pump/AC last year for this new house, but so many folks don’t have a way to cool down. Shouldn’t need to.


    1. Right-on, Wayne! When the pandemic first reared its ugly head, I was still able to ride my bike on the nearby bike trails (when I lived in Sacramento). I would see people riding with masks on (whaat?) as if covid was in the air! Stay outdoors and hope you are not experiencing too much of this ridiculous heat!


      1. riding with masks on? I saw someone who was doing that once (and only once) and they actually pulled over into someones driveway until I passed!
        By me going out in my boat and hiking into Nature it literally has kept me grounded.
        This heat is something however that I cannot escape! Having said that because Tofino is beside the ocean we are cooler than anyone else!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning the heat is tiring me out. Hope you are doing okay with it. Stay off of highway 95 is a death trap as at least 3 people were killed one weekend. The local authorities are expecting record-breaking traffic this weekend. Be safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, not going anywhere, BL! We’re near Hwy 291 and no room for bikes anyway. Can you imagine running the Iron Man Triathlon in Couer D’Alene today. My nephew is a fire captain and he is out there today manning a first aid station. Stay cool, BL!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Terri, What a great post. I like what you did to your hair! And several of your pictures. Now that’s a different perspective. We are actually quite a bit cooler than Cee today. It’s 9, which is the high today. We have lots of smoke due to the forest fires, and our air quality is a moderate 76. Scottsdale has good air at 46, but has reached its high of 109. You’ve inspired me to do a prequel for Becky’s Tree Squares. You are so with it. I’m so glad you joined a local birding group. What a great idea. Lisa will love you. I’m slammed this week getting things ready with the Scottsdale condo/Air B&B. Pictures on Wednesday and hopefully rented by Friday! So I’m doubling back at you with my post on vacations from Wednesday. I’ll do better next week. Have a great week. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I heard AZ is cooler than the PNW which is just annoying, LOL! Sorry to read about smoke already, but I fear there is a lot more to come this summer, Marsha. I’m only on a local Facebook group called Spokane Birders but they know where the good areas are to get good pics. I’m glad your AB&B is going well and keeping you busy. It’s time well spent for sure! It’s always OK to take a teensy break from blogging! I could even host WQW for you somehow if you ever need it! Hope to see you Tuesday!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I may take you up on your offer. I have Wednesday’s post ready except for last minute links, but the following week is writer’s choice. Would you like to do that one? I won’t be at this meeting since we will be in Scottsdale with repairmen and air conditioner guy – the air con is really noisy in one of the bedrooms. Other than that it is really quiet in the condo. I’ll be back to normal somewhat after next week. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That is HOT for you guys, Donna! I haven’t left my house for two days! My car has AC but still! I realized after I looked at a large pic of me and my breakfast on the lanai that I’m in my pjs, LOL! Definitely in vacation mode in that shot 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh boy Terri, I guess the national parks are a bit toasty right now! On that front, I’ve seen many images of half dome but this is the first one from that particular perspective. Awesome!! Have a wonderful summer whatever you choose!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All those quotes are so fitting Terri, especially the John Muir one – that’s me to a tee! I didn’t know there was a Great Outdoors month so am happy to join in with yours 🙂 Great ideas for getting outside even if the weather is a bit cooler than yours. I’m looking forward to Becky’s Tree squares in July too.
    Always good fun to join in and my post is here

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my, we here in Australia know heat waves very well indeed (and wish we did not!). I am hoping that yours are short….and not causing too much trouble but not much more I can say. Nature WILL do her/its thing. Sadly for those who have to work to put out fires etc.

    yes, to the great outdoors and my images are from times of fun with grandchildren and one updated pic of me on a beach I loved to visit back in 2015.

    Here’s to co-incidences…”I” was in Hawaii, staying a little way back from Waikiki beach but could see the water from my hotel room, in January 2006!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Now that is an amazing coincidence, Denyse! My hotel was the Waikiki circle, so small and in a rounded shape. I bet it’s gone now. It was pleasant. I loved Waikiki Beach, so full of life! My brother, daughter and I all got tattoos there. I got a little plumeria on the inside of my ankle. Maybe you and I passed each other on the beach or boardwalk 🌴🍹

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes Terri! I decided to have a blogging break a couple months ago, since I felt that my blog was outdated and didn’t represent me very well any longer. Its hard to stay away from all my friends though, and I have to admit I have been reading some posts from you here and there. I have been thinking, and thinking and yesterday I launched my new blog

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Here I am blogging about being outdoors and I can barely take my own advice! …for now! The bees were cooperative when I took their pictures a couple of years ago in my former home’s garden. Glad you liked it Frank! I have a good AC, all good!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great tips for busting out of isolation and enjoying the outdoors this summer. We were just up at Glacier Point about 3 days ago. It was gorgeous. Hopefully this outrageous heat will pass in a few days and we’ll be enjoying the back deck. Happy Summer, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. pretty sure I missed the cut off for this but I have still submitted it. I can’t seem to get in the swing of when to post and it’s always late on the following Sunday when I pull it together. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I mostly don’t blog in the summer but then the theme seems to speak to me Sunday night and I try to pull it all together! Thanks for hosting. Guess I should get in the habit of checking the upcoming themes so I can be more prepared.

        Liked by 1 person

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