Sunday Stills: Reflections of a Mother’s #Giving

Sunday Stills duck banner

Today is Mother’s Day in the US. In our current state of the world, many mothers will not see their families in person today.

This is the first Mother’s Day I am without my own mother. Many of you know she passed away on March 3rd, thankfully before the coronavirus prevented folks from spending time with their loved ones in the hospitals and care homes.

I dedicate today’s post and theme to all the mothers who give love, time, and their hearts to their families and communities.

My mom was a giver. She loved to shower family and friends with thoughtfully chosen and unusual gifts, especially to her grandchildren. She enjoyed perusing gift shops for just that right gift. This photo shows this tiny frog that hangs on the side of a potted plant. She gave me these years ago, both the frog and a tortoise. The plants are in my kitchen windowsill where I can see these all day and remember her thoughtfulness.

Frog plant hanger

Many commented on our Facebook post announcing her passing how much they enjoyed the gifts she had given them over the years.

Mom gave back to her community in many ways, most notably, her volunteer work with San Diego’s Project Wildlife. She spent 10 years from 1998, rescuing orphaned and injured ducks, nursing them back to health, and releasing them back into local lakes and reservoirs. She had a backyard full of ducks in various stages of need and health, some domestic and many wild.

Ducks enjoy the river
Wild ducks enjoy the river

I like to think that this photo of her as a teen (seen here playing with her pet skunk, while her brother plays with their pet, Lucky Duck), foreshadowed her interest in this happy endeavor.

Family enjoying pet duck and skunk

Mom’s giving was represented in her love for recreation and leisure. She loved gardening and cultivated beautiful roses. She taught me how to create potted flower vignettes in my garden and showed me how to cut back my roses for better growth. She would have loved my current backyard garden filled with sunflowers and plumeria.

Saucer-sized American Beauties
Saucer-sized American Beauties from my garden!

I believe her enduring legacy was that she instilled the love for our national parks and outdoor leisure spaces into not just her children, but her grandchildren and beyond.

Next generation in Yosemite

She was continually inspired by the words of John Muir and made sure we all received a healthy dose of nature and its awe-inspiring grandeur.

In every walk with nature...Muir
Yosemite Valley
Everyone needs beauty...and places to play in...
Sunset on Lembert Dome, high country of Yosemite

Like many moms, I will not be with my daughters this year. This lovely bouquet from my daughters arrived Wednesday night!

Floral Bouquet

Speaking of giving, last week was the traditional week of giving with Thursday designated as the Big Day of giving. Non-profit organizations really rely on monetary and in-kind donations to operate. I have my car full of bags ready to donate to local non-profits as soon as they re-open.


Sunday Stills is taking a break on May 17th but join us again on May 24th for our water-themed challenge.

Are you a mother, a daughter, a niece, an auntie, a grandmother or granddaughter? Please enjoy your Mother’s Day and reflect on those memories while making new ones!

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Winter’s Reflections

Duck reflections

Duck reflections

Now that it is spring and heading into summer here in Northern California, I can reflect positively on our long, gray winter. It was a rough one for me as Seasonal Affective Disorder insidiously paid me a visit.

Not one for sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I ventured outdoors with hubby on some of the rare, cold sunny days. In January and early March, we took short road trips.

In the photo above, my camera worked overtime capturing shots of ducks, geese and other birds enjoying the full reservoirs at Colusa Wildlife Preserve. I also got a beautiful reflection of the stark winter trees shown in the gallery below.

On this trip our purpose was to meet the breeder to pick up our new pup, Brodie. If I am to reflect on my gray winter, the bright spot was certainly chasing a rambunctious puppy around.

You can read more about Brodie and Aero in this recent post by fellow blogger Lori Strobel in her monthly Waggleview series. Please stop by and visit her blog!

On my daily walks with Aero, even sometimes in the rain, or right after a good downpour, I managed to catch some more shots of trees Reflecting in leftover puddles.

Of course I had to throw in the photo of me reflected in the mirror as I strained to get as many green photos as possible on our day trip to Sutter Creek in the Sierra Foothills!

Photographer reflected in the mirror
Photographer reflected in the mirror

Tomorrow is my last day of lecturing for the semester! This weekend, I am heading out for some windsurfing and stand-up paddling and hope to reflect on my water exploits. Have a fab weekend!