Sunday Stills: Getting #Cozy

In our rushed world, now filled with fears of viruses, etc, many of us have forgotten what it’s like to be cozy. The last two years have hopefully taught us that being safe in our own homes and neighborhoods provides contentment and that feeling of coziness if we can’t be close to our loved ones.

I felt cozy in my former home. I started a family there in 1988 and lived in the house with both daughters. In 2009, I met Hans whom I married a few years later. He helped make that house cozier with his carpentry and building talents, and of course, his humor and love! Seems once we got her looking gorgeous, we said goodbye!

We scratched the itch to move and we began a new life in a larger home and property. It is surprisingly easy to keep it cozy and warm, which is a great idea when you live in the Pacific Northwest.

Cozy house in first snow
First snow of late Autumn

As I prepare to spend my second full winter here, I am still shocked at how soon the sun sets. Not only is the sun low in the sky all day, but according to this source,

“The sun will set before 4 p.m. every day after that until the Winter Solstice. Then, the days will slowly start getting longer again. The next time the sun will set at 5 p.m. is Feb. 7, 2022.”

I guess I’ll be getting cozy for a few months yet. Not hard to do with this guy!

Cozy at Home
A cozy selfie on Thanksgiving morning

When I’m home, I like a cozy, comfortable, calming space.

Stacy Keibler

How would you define cozy?

Oxford Dictionary defines COZY as “giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation:
“a cozy cabin tucked away in the trees.”

Everyone can identify with a fragrant garden, with beauty of sunset, with the quiet of nature, with a warm and cozy cottage.

Thomas Kinkade

“Cozy” can be found in the warmth of a kitchen or an inviting mountainside setting.

The Danish have a word to describe the idea of “cozy,” known as Hygge (pronounced hue-ga). Hygge is a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being, according to Oxford Dictionaries. Snuggling with pets and blankets suggests coziness and is good for your mental health.

Cozy or Hygge Hobbies

There are hobbies that are considered “cozy” or “hygge.” In this era of self-care, cultivating a hobby that brings you joy and contentment is a must-do. Depending on your interests, you can go for hobbies where you create coziness, like knitting, quilting, and crochet. Other home arts include soap-making, candle-making, and baking. I enjoy holiday decorating to make my home look cozier.

Cozy German Christmas Decor
Close-up German Christmas Village Scene

If you’re outdoorsy or fitness-oriented, hiking or walking and filling your eyes with beautiful scenery is always a win. While you’re out and about, try your hand at taking pictures and cultivating a love for photography. Our mobile devices make it impossible NOT to capture a fine photograph.

There are hundreds of wonderful hobbies available to explore.

Speaking of photography, it is up there in my top two favorite hobbies of all time (hiking is the other). I have not forgotten about Writers’ Quotes Wednesdays Writers’ Choice prompt (forgotten) this week. I think this quote works wonderfully for the idea!

Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.

Aaron Siskind

Even Bald Eagles Get Cozy

Last weekend, we drove 60 miles to Higgens Point on Lake Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, to see bald eagles congregate as they hunt for spawning kokanee salmon. We picked a great day with clear blue skies. More seagulls than eagles, but oh my, I finally got some of my own fab photos of eagles! This eagle pair hung out together and I can’t believe I caught this image of them looking “fondly” at each other and cozy together in the same tree.

Cozy Eagles
Bald Eagle Pair

Here is a close-up of one of the pair. The eagle photos were taken with my Lumix FZ300 at full 600 zoom in aperture mode.

American Bald Eagle
A cozy branch

As we walked back to our car, I looked back and caught the eagle couple in another cozy pose. Aww.

A cozy pair

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes when possible.

December’s themes are ready for your viewing pleasure on my Sunday Stills Photography Page.

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 ruby-wine color challenge photos.

Always Write

Beach Walk Reflections

Bushboys World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

The Day After

Deb’s World

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Geriatrix Fotogallerie

Graham’s Island

Hugh’s Views and News Image shared in comments

Jacquie Biggar, Author

Kamerapromenader

Light Words

Light Write Life

Loving Life

My Camera and I

Now At Home

Philosophy Through Photography

Photos By Jez

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

Robert’s Snap Spot

NEW TBL

This is Another Story

Travels and Trifles

Travel With Me

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post. I appreciate so many loyal participants each week and am blown away by your talents!

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

I’m looking forward to your posts featuring “cozy!” Next week, December 5th is the Christmas Song Lyric Photo Challenge, where you try to match your images to selected lyrics of your favorite Christmas song. We had fun this summer, click here to see how we all did it–easier than you think.

Wishing you a COZY week!

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: #Leaves have Fallen from the #Trees

Welp, it’s happened. Fall fell, at least here in Eastern Washington. Despite a lengthy Autumn due to warmer than normal temps in September and October, we experienced weeks of unprecedented Autumn color. Now comes November with the first frost and the leaves have danced to the ground into piles of color. Thankfully, no leaves in our yard. Yet.

“Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than daffodils.”

Cyril Connolly

The Sunday Stills theme this week is leaves and trees. No matter which hemisphere you live in, you have these!

Before the first frost and a few random snowflakes, our overnight temperatures were in the upper 30s to low 40F (3-5C), which kept the leaves on the trees a few more days. The bright yellow trees in their Autumn glory seem to be illuminated with sunshine on this late October gray day. I saw this view as I drove home from town and literally turned around and parked on this street, hopped out of the car, and took several photos.

Aside from amazing trees in our area like red-leafed maple and golden aspen, all juxtaposed onto deep green evergreens, a new (to me) tree has captured my imagination. (Hint: in the above image, you can see it to the left).

Arrowleaf Balsamroot wild sunflower

Why is it special? Before I share, just let me say that you already know my love for sunflowers and pine trees. Of course, here in Eastern Washington, evergreens are everywhere (they don’t call Washington the “Evergreen State” for nothing). I posted a few months ago about my surprise at discovering wild sunflowers growing amidst the pine forests.

So…drumroll please…imagine my joy at discovering a conifer (notice I didn’t say evergreen), that turns golden yellow in the Autumn and drops its needles just like a deciduous tree!

Whaaattt? A Golden Pine Tree?

The Western Larch (sometimes called Tamarack) is a majestic conifer found at higher elevations in the Pacific Northwest and into Canada.

This photo started it all when my brother-in-law showed me his pics from his weekly drives to Montana. I thought “how beautiful, look at the sunlight on those pine trees!” He said the trees were actually yellow! Swoon. This image shows the mountainside covered in larches shrouded in gray fog.

Without trees, mountains, fogs or rains, the Sun cannot create its own magic in the morning!

Mehmet Murat Ildan
Western Larch in Montana
Original image by E. Schrandt

In a foggy morning, sunshine coming through the trees looks so divine that we seriously think it is the hand of the very divinity itself!

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Western larch (Larix occidentalis) and subalpine larch (Larix lyalli) grow in the interior Pacific Northwest (Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) of the U.S. and British Columbia, Canada. They are conifer trees like pines because they have needles instead of leaves, and their seeds grow in cones. Unlike pines they are not evergreen; they are deciduous. In the autumn, the needles of larches turn golden and then drop off the branches. Western larch is used for the production of Venice turpentine. The wood is highly prized as firewood in the Pacific Northwest where it is often called “tamarack.” The wood burns with a sweet fragrance and a distinctive popping noise.

Source

I’m obsessed!

We see two species here in Eastern Washington: The Western Larch (above) and the European Larch. Below is the European Larch, most likely planted, and distinguished by its long, willowy branches. Whereas the Western Larch grows wild on rocky ridges and has shorter needle clusters. Of course, both trees turn yellow and their needles fall to the Earth.

Golden European Larch

Willowy European Larch and its needle clusters.

And just like when you see that same car everywhere when thinking about buying a new one, yep, these stately yellow tamaracks are everywhere!

Autumn Splendor
Autumn splendor featuring golden Western Larch in center

My Festival of Leaves

Earlier I mentioned the leaves have mostly fallen and have now imbued the Earth with magical carpets.

“Listen …
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break free from the trees
And fall.”

Adelaide Crapsey

Below are a few images of fallen leaves enjoying laying around within their magic carpets. From this…

October Maples

To this…

Rosy fallen leaves

And more!

“I wonder if leaves feel lonely when they see their neighbors falling?”

John Muir

More Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by the following bloggers’ images and photo challenges.

Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesday Writer’s Choice (Writer’s Choice or Fog–I have a little of both)
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Dawn’s Festival of Leaves
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Jude’s Life in Color: Black or Gray

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Shapes and Design

I’m also adding this post with my walk through the Autumn leaves and trees to Jo’s Monday Walk!

Who doesn’t love seeing images of our furry friends, wild or domestic, and all kinds of birds as we saw last week? A fabulous variety as shown by the number of links this week!

Always Write

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Bend Branches

Between the Lines

The Bloggler

Bushboys World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Geriatrix Fotogallerie

Graham’s Island

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Kamerapromenader

Light Words

Life Lessons

Loving Life

Mama Cormier

Musin’ With Susan

Now At Home

Philosophy Through Photography

Photos By Jez

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

Robert’s Snap Spot

Soul N Spirit

Stevie Turner

Travel With Me

NEW Wolf’s Birding and Bonsai Blog

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

I can’t wait to see what your trees and leaves look like this time of year! Next week, the Sunday Stills challenge is all about the color ruby wine or burgundy, just in time for the Thanksgiving celebrations in the US. Have a wonderful week!

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: Fur-tastic Paws and Birds of a Feather

BW warm dogs

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge is all about fur and feathers. Or how about plumage and paws?

Although I draw inspiration from a variety of sources, this week, I’m extra-inspired by Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Feet or Paws and Marsha’s WQWWC: Cold. Images of my fur-babies will demonstrate this week’s theme, while my feathered friends will tell the rest of the story.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

November 7 marks the end of daylight savings time in the US (not that we were saving much this time of year in the cold north). At least it will be lighter in the morning instead of being dark until 7:30am here in Northeastern Washington. Less daylight means the feeling of cold is much more acute. Most of the fall leaves have fallen and are making beautiful messes carpets in people’s yards. The weather this week is predicted to be a rain-snow mix in the mountain areas.

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Aero and Brodie love keeping warm in their cold climate. Like Marsha’s Puppy Girl, Aero needs his sweaters for indoors and out!

BW warm dogs

In 2017, Brodie was still working on his nose scratching or paw-fives at 6 months old.

Dog high five

The American Kennel Club recommends:

Cuddling up with a dog is nothing new; think of the phrase “three dog night,” which describes a night so cold that one needs to sleep with three dogs to keep warm. Cuddling with another human, a dog, or both, not only keeps us warm, it releases oxytocin, also known as the “trust hormone” and the “cuddle chemical.”

AKC
It's Cold outside, for pets

And just for fun, how about some wool fleece “fur” as a liner for my snow boots? Keeps my feet warm!

Sorel Boots

Our pets know we love them and in return give us countless moments of pleasure along with their unconditional love.

Fur-Babes We Miss

Gone but not forgotten, we wish we could still cuddle our previous pets. It’s been 10 years since I lost my Oreo (shown in the gallery above). I will always remember my sweet orange Leon who loved to lay on top of the car, still warm from the engine.

Leon the Cat
Leon's Memorial

“The years may seem to slowly pass,
Memories may begin to wane,
The time we long for will come at last,
When we shall be together again.”

Gary Kurz, Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates

Fantastic Feathers

As much as we LOVE our furry babes, and they are fur-ever mine, let’s pay tribute to our fabulous feathered friends. I miss seeing my Anna hummingbirds. Hopefully, I will get some visitors this spring! Enjoy my feathered friends’ gallery below.

Happy Hummingbird

Magnificent bald eagle, not a magnificent photo…yet…

Bald Eagle circle Lake Couer D'Alene

…Which Bring Me to…An Amazing Journey

Last spring and summer, I had the delightful opportunity to follow a Facebook group called Blue Bell Court Eagles that featured a family of eagles that had built a nest in the photographer’s backyard. Diana posted daily her incredible images of Mom and Pop Eagle and their juvenile eaglet, Journey.

Disclaimer: Once again, Diana has graciously given me permission to share her photos on my blog today.

Bluebell Court Eagles c DianaGigler
Baby Eaglet Journey and Mom

I became emotionally attached knowing this bald eagle family lives within 5 miles of my house while marveling at Journey’s growth, through Diana’s stunning photography. Incidentally, some of her eagle images are on display at the local firehouse.

Bluebell Court Eagles c DianaGigler
Eaglet Journey keeps parents busy!

In June, due to oppressive and unprecedented heat in our area, Journey fledged early from the nest. He was rescued within the day and taken to Eastern Idaho’s Birds of Prey Northwest, where he spent weeks being nursed back to health and strong enough to be released back into the wild.

Bluebell Court Eagles c DianaGigler
Juvenile Journey Before the Fledge

Although his flight was strong and sure upon his release, he did not return to his nest, we were assured that he is still being cared for and trained to hunt and fish by his stalwart parents. Diana and I met in person at her home a few weeks ago where she showed me the nest. Although mostly empty now, save for a few curious local birds and occasional visits from Mom and Pop Eagle, Diana explained to me that they will be soon busy prepping the nest for a late winter hatching. I’m excited to be invited back in early spring for coffee and photography from her deck! My own eagle pics! I can’t wait!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

More Photo Challenges this Week

Cee’s Flower of the Day
Dawn’s Festival of Leaves
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Jude’s Life in Color: Black or Gray

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

This week I am looking forward to your creative ideas for fur and feathers! Go ahead, be “Paw-ssionate” and remain “Paws-itive” because I know you are each quite the amazing “photograph-fur.”

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 EERIE photos.

Always Write

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

The Day After

NEW ThreeSixFiveSnap

Geriatrix Fotogallerie

Graham’s Island

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Kamerapromenader

Kanlaon

Light Words

Loving Life

Musin’ With Susan

Now At Home

Photos By Jez

Priorhouse Blog

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

Stevie Turner

Travel With Me

Une photo, un poème

Wind Kisses

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Next week, our theme is all about leaves and trees! Enjoy your week!

paws signature

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: Indoor/Outdoor #Décor

Wood block Haloween decor

This might seem like a strange theme this week, but between Halloween and Autumn (or Spring) decorations, I thought it would be fun to see what everyone else sees. I like to surround myself with the colors and signs of the season. As the holidays approach, seems like indoor and outdoor décor is all around us in some form or another.

Porch Decor
Welcome to my festive front porch

In the first image you see, I bought these decorations from the Fall Festival local vendors and picked up a few pumpkins. I need a bigger porch! On the back of the Harvest sign is a Christmas-inspired theme. Double-duty–I like it!

Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesdays Writers Choice theme this week is resilience or fortitude. What has this got to do with decorating? Glad you asked!

“Resilience is the capacity of a system, enterprise, or person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances.”

Andrew Zolli

If you’ve followed my blog for the last year, you know about our move to the Pacific Northwest (Spokane, Washington) from Northern California. When you stage a home, you sadly put away any decorations, so we packed 99% of it and moved three-quarters of our stuff to Spokane and placed it in storage. (Yes, we are still unpacking).

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” – Fred Rogers

My fabulous re-decorated fireplace ala Joanna Gaines style

I used to be limited to décor in my former house, choosing to decorate around the fireplace mantel. I still have each and every piece shown in the picture (and more)!

One year ago this week, I tested positive for covid while feverishly putting the final touches on our home to ready it for sale.

Luckily my bout with covid was mild and we were back on our feet making final arrangements for the move. 2020 was crazy in many respects, proving resilience and fortitude are needed when buying and selling real estate and moving during a pandemic.

“Facing the pandemic, it’s not what happened (that) matters, it is how we respond.”
― Napz Cherub Pellazo

Indoor Décor

You will see that with a larger home, more time on my hands, and not being able to decorate last Autumn and Winter, I have made up the difference.

Autumn-Inspired

I found this vintage wall sconce at a thrift store in GreenBluff Farms area. A little DIY by adding no-flame candles and Autumn festivity. After Thanksgiving, to make it a seasonal decoration, I will add green and red garland.

This bowl of bird-like gourds seemed to fit well on my living room coffee table.

Autumn Gourds
Bird-like gourds grace my living room table

“Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.” —Charles M. Schulz

Halloween-Inspired

The skull in the first image was a specialty bottle of tequila. I picked up this adorable wood block trio from a local vendor while volunteering at the Fall Festival.

Décor Out and About

I frequently get inspired by indoor décor from others: restaurants, family and neighbors. The toy image is a Painnt-filtered version of my SIL’s Christmas village from two years ago.

Nature’s Decorations

No matter the season, nature does a fabulous job of decorating our outdoor spaces. Autumn is at its peak here in Northeastern Washington. Storm winds and rain are expected all weekend to inevitably blow the leaves from the trees. Good thing I did my leaf-seeking all this week and can post those images for a few more weeks!

On my former university campus in Sacramento, groundskeepers use fallen ginkgo tree leaves to decorate.

Campus Decor For Fall

Some neighbors don’t have to rely on store-bought decorations with nature providing most of the them.

I wonder if these folks know how gorgeous their home looks from across the lake?

Autumn Lake Reflections

Do you decorate your homes or work spaces for each season?

“An empty room is a story waiting to happen, and you’re the author.” Charlotte Moss

Photo Challenges This Week

This week, I am linking with the challenges of these talented bloggers and photographers:

Marsha’s WQWWC Fortitude or Resilience
Dawn’s Festival of Leaves
Jude’s Life in Color: Orange
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Becky B’s Past Squares

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

BLOGGERS’ IN THE PINK 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 34(!) bloggers who shared their favorite photos in pink that honor breast cancer awareness month.

Always Write

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Blog of Hammad Rais

Bushboy’s World

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

The Day After

Deb’s World Image shared on Instagram

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Equipoise Life

Geriatrix Foto Gallery

Graham’s Island

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Jacquie Biggar Author

Kamerapromenader

Life Lessons

Loving Life

Musin’ with Susan

Natalie the Explorer

Now At Home

Philosophy Through Photography

Photos By Jez

Picture This

Retirementally Challenged

Retirement Reflections image on Instagram

Stevie Turner

Shutters on the World

NEW Soul N Spirit

This is Another Story

Travel With Me

Women Living Well After 50

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Every week I look forward to reading your Sunday Stills posts and enjoying your fabulous photos and other creative ideas! Next week, we’ll celebrate Halloween and the theme of “eerie.”

Autumn Bitmoji

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: Burnt or Blood #Orange

Smiling orange teapot

Beware! This post has something for everyone today, including cute dogs, pumpkins, and lots of orange!

I don’t know what it is about October that it seems to represent the various shades of orange. Perhaps it’s the variety of the fall leaves, pumpkins and Halloween jack o’ lanterns. Hence our color challenge this month, focusing on burnt orange or blood orange. Those names just sound like October!

Burnt or Blood Orange Pallet
Orange Color Palette

Any shade of orange will do! I’m easy. I read somewhere that orange is the color of joy and creativity. I definitely agree.

Orange is the happiest color.

Frank Sinatra

Sinatra was right, especially when this image of my orange kettle smiled at me!

Smiling orange teapot
Do you see its smiling face?

That Hometown Feeling

We were ecstatic to learn that there is a local nursery/farm down the street from our house, about a quarter of a mile away—easily within walking distance. The owners sell trees, plants, shrubs, etc, and we have purchased a few items from them. When I discovered the farm puts on a harvest festival every year, four weekends in October, I almost died from excitement. The manager asked us to volunteer which gets us a deep discount on the trees we want to buy and plant! Just the small town feel we had hoped for when we moved here.

A few miles away in North Spokane, GreenBluff Growers Association boasts over 60 farms, wineries, breweries and event venues. When we visited there two weeks ago, stepping into the various farms felt like we were right at home during the harvest.

As much as I enjoyed what Greenbluff had to offer, our neighborhood Fall Festival is on par with any of those farms with vendors, entertainment, kids activities, pumpkins and food. Did I mention their homemade pumpkin donuts? Amazing!

Dogs Love Orange Too!

My liver brown dogs look darling in their orange attire. Aero seems to love his orange harness…because he know it means a walk is imminent…

Aero ready for walkies

I’m not sure Brodie is too thrilled pictured here 4 years ago in his life vest. Now he swims without it. He loves the water.

Brodie, Boykin Spaniel in life vest
Brodie not too sure about his life vest

Needing More “Orange”-spiration?

Smoky Suns

Smoke during the summer from nearby and distant fires in the west gave us unhealthy air quality but strangely beautiful orange sunrises and sunsets. Our firefighters worked overtime and we are grateful for their efforts.

Fabulous Flora

The trees and wildflowers are showcasing their orange right now. My neighbor’s maple tree is orange now but will turn bright red in a matter of days.

Even the Rocks Cry Out in Orange

While we visited Sedona, Arizona, in August, the “red” rocks for which Sedona is famous, showed their joyous orange hues in certain lights.

A Past Look at Orange

October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.

Nova Bair

Photography Challenges this Week!

As always, I appreciate the inspiration and dedication necessary by bloggers who host their weekly and seasonal photo challenges. This week I’m inspired by the following challenges:

More Fun

A shout-out to successful blogger (and friend) Janice Wald at Mostly Blogging in her article Blogging for Fun . Last week I posted about leisure, sports and hobbies and most of us who blog fall into the category of hobby blogger. We do this for fun and a variety of other reasons. And its nice to get validation from Janice. Her blog started out as a hobby blog but moved on to helping bloggers with her experience and words of wisdom.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills if you share on social media.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Busy Bloggers’ Who Love Their Hobbies

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 photos of their hobbies, sports, and leisure pastimes.

Bushboy’s World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Deb’s World

Equipoise Life Image shared in comments

Graham’s Island

Geriatrix Fotogallery

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Jacquie Biggar Author

Kamerapromenader

Loving Life

Now At Home

Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

Picture Retirement

Stevie Turner

This is Another Story

NEW Toortsie.com

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

A Young Retirement

I can’t wait to see all your joyful orange colors this week! Remember you can link to Sunday Stills all week and feel free to link to other challenges in the same post. Next week we’ll be “in the pink” as I make my annual nod to Breast Cancer Awareness Month with current and past pink images. Pink works for Becky B’s Past Squares challenge, too. Have a wonderful week!

Autumn SIGNature

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: #Sports and #Hobbies

August Kayaking with Friends

Hello October! As spring ramps up in the Southern Hemisphere, I’m sure many folks can’t wait to get back to their favorite outdoor activities and hobbies. Here in the cold north, most of our outdoor sports and pastimes are ending or adjusting as the changing weather and cooler temps of Autumn close in.

A hobby a day keeps the doldrums away.

Phyllis McGinley
Fallen reflected leaves
In the gutter but still beautiful

Hiking, biking and walking are still doable in Northeastern Washington with cool sunny days, but colder nights dictate warmer clothes. My last day on the bike was in Sacramento in November 2020 when I visited the American River Bike Trail for the last time.

Autumn Bike Ride American River Bike Trail

Hiking

Last week, my good friend and her fiancé visited here from Sacramento. We hiked around the area that included The Bowl and Pitcher and our local trails.

Make a commitment to having fun. See your best friends and make time for your hobbies and passions.

Robert Holden

Shopping/ Exploring

We visited GreenBluff, a farm area featuring over 60 local growers, wineries, breweries and other venues. Autumn is a great time to visit and purchase famous Washington apples while getting in the groove for harvest-themed activities and food, like pumpkin donuts and sparkling mead. Did I mention shopping is a legit hobby?

Kayaking

Last weekend while outdoor temperatures were still in the upper 70’s and low 80s (25-27 C), lines of vehicles drove down the main highway to get their last warm days of kayaking in. Although I did not get out on the water this time, I managed a few trips over the summer.

Kayaking on Little Spokane RiverAugust Kayaking Little Spokane River
The second image is the Painnt App Filter
August Kayaking with Friends
Kayaking with Friends
Kayaking Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ
Kayak Trio on Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ

More watercraft were out enjoying the late summer weather.

Other Hobbies

While many of us think about what defines a hobby, our blog and the photography that goes alongside the blog are year-round hobbies that engage us in many ways. From these, we get creative with poetry, writing, visual art and other fine arts that keep the creative juices flowing.

Photography

Of course, you know I’m all about photography. With mobile devices, snapping a pic is easy and provides hours of fun. Creating the blog signatures is also part of the fun!

I spent last week leaf-chasing. With my dogs leashed to my left arm and phone in my right hand, I found beautiful Autumn scenes within my own neighborhood and beyond.

Red Maple Close-Up
Bright Red Maple Close-Up

Many photographers experiment with filters, apps, and other creative measures to enhance their photos. I put some of my existing images through a mobile app called Painnt. Hope you enjoyed them throughout this post.

Learning a New Language

As of today, I have logged 673 days in a row learning German on Duolingo. I actually began in August 2019 but managed to accidentally skip a day. The streak before that was 50. You’d think with all these days logged I would know more. But given a decent context, I can understand some spoken words and read a variety of words. I can also correct some of my hubby’s German to a small extent, with his excuse being that I’m learning high German, LOL. Not bad for him speaking the language since birth. He also speaks Spanish fluently. I’m just relieved that I can speak English fluently 😉

Wildlife Watching

My love of the outdoors involves seeing as much wildlife as possible. So far in the Spokane/Nine Mile Falls area, I’ve seen a few bald eagles, two moose (while kayaking), heard the bugle cry of an elk late one night, and adorable flocks of quail. We see white-tailed and mule deer almost daily.

Flock of Quail
Quail family from 75 yards away

Volunteering

Volunteering is a wonderful hobby that benefits both the giver and the receiver. In our new community I have had several opportunities to volunteer. Over the summer, our church operated a free weekly day camp at a nearby school. My job was to help prepare 180 sack lunches every Wednesday. Two of the days were hot dog BBQs on site. This month, at our local nursery/farm (down the street!), we are volunteering each weekend as they host their annual Harvest Festival. Saturday was our first day and it was a blast, meeting neighbors, and just being out in the Autumn air. We are going to get some free trees for our efforts!

Yay for Photo Challenges!

Today I’m sharing this post for several other photo challenges including Becky B’s October Squares, where past meets present. In many of these images, I present “bright, trees, blue, lines, perspective, and time.”

Squares

Also, JohnBo’s CellPic Sunday, Cee’s Flower of the Day, Jude’s Life in Color, Jo’s Monday Walk, and Dawn’s Festival of Leaves

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Last Week’s Linkers

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 29 bloggers who shared their favorite Autumn and Spring photos.

Bushboy’s World

Cath’s Camera

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Deb’s World

Denyse Whelan Blogs

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Equipoise Life

Frost on the Moose Dung

Graham’s Island

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Jacquie Biggar Author

Kamerapromenader

Leya

Loving Life

Light Words

Light Write Life

Now At Home

Photos By Jez

Stevie Turner

NEW The Sandy Chronicles

NEW TBL

This is Another Story

Travels and Trifles

Travel With Me

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

A Young Retirement

It is in his pleasure that a man really lives; it is from his leisure that he constructs the true fabric of self.

Agnes Repplier
Burnt or Blood Orange Pallet

I hope to see you next week for the Monthly Color Challenge! October is all about Burnt or Blood Orange with shades in between! Have a great week.

Please bear with me Sunday as I am away from the internet for a few hours while we volunteer for a local Harvest Festival, as I mentioned earlier. I will share about that next week!

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: #Signs of …Autumn? Spring?

Little Spokane River nature Trail

This week, as the Autumnal and Vernal equinoxes we experienced on Sept 22 have brought the planet to equal days and nights for a moment, I’m sure we are seeing weather and temperatures play out as such! In either hemisphere signs of the seasons are already playing out depending upon where you live.

Fall Has Fallen and Spring Has Sprung!

Hint of Autumn in the Aspen trees
Hint of Autumn in the Aspen trees

“Autumn calls the forest to rest, to exhale in a flood of colors rubbed to a fiery warmth on the hearth of both hill and plain before nodding off to a winter’s slumber.”
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

As I shared in June about the summer solstice making our days a minute shorter each day in the northern hemisphere, Autumn really shows the impact as nights are longer than the days and glorious colors begin to pepper the landscapes. The shortening of daylight will continue through the winter solstice.

Smoky Spokane in September 2020
Last year’s smoky September in Spokane, Washington

All at once, summer collapsed into Fall.

Oscar Wilde

Ah, darkness. As a sun-lover, I appreciate early morning sunshine and late evening sunsets, especially here in Northeastern Washington. Already, I switch the lights on when I awake at 6-ish and back on by 7pm. By December it will be dark here by 4pm, which is what I’ve already experienced when we moved here in December 2020! Oh well, l hope the glow of the reflected light off the snow will help illuminate what daytime hours we do have.

As we are finishing the month of September, the warm days (mid-70s this week), but colder nights are teasing us with signs of Autumn. Here in the Spokane, Washington area, Autumn colors reach their color peak about mid-October, with reds dominating the vibrant colors, mixed with abundant evergreen trees. A stunning sight to see!

According to my favorite meteorologist, Jeremy Lagoo, on KREM news (Spokane), he says, “Enjoy it while you can…” This image tells you what we are expecting! Brrr!

Those temperature drops each month bring the promise of this…by mid-October.

Glowing Auburn leaves

For the time being, September gives us these signs of Autumn:

What are the signs of the season changing where you live?

Fall Florals

Early Autumn shows off her sense of humor with spent sunflowers, heavy with seeds:

Spent Sunflower
Spent sunflower heavy with seeds

Or, Fall Asters, a purple contrast to the yellows and golds.

Purple Fall Aster
Purple Fall Aster

Apart from the obvious plant life changes, other signs of Autumn include:

  • September’s Harvest moon
  • Migrating birds
  • Crisp, clean air
  • Less daylight
  • Cool (and cold!) temperatures
White Teapot on black stove

Fire in the wood stove or fireplace
-Smell of smoke from chimneys

Cozy blanket Autumn Decor

-Cozy blankets

-Seasonal home décor

Retail pumpkins signs of autumn

-Store displays for Halloween and Christmas(!)
-Lots of apples, pumpkins and squash

Inspired By Other Bloggers’ Photo Challenges

This week I’m linking with the following bloggers who offer their creative photo challenges:

Cees Flower of the Day; Dawn’s Annual Festival of Leaves; Marsha’s WQWWC: Communication; JohnBo’s CellPic Sunday, Jude’s Life in Color: Gold, and Lens-Artists Challenge.

For those in the Southern hemisphere, spring awakens from its winter slumber to the promise of warm days, green pastures and riots of colorful flowers and blossoms.

October themes for Sunday Stills can be found on my Sunday Stills Photography page.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Fall Has Fallen and Spring Has Sprung

Share your season’s signs of changes this week. Any type of creativity is welcomed, with your images, stories, poetry, etc.

Golden Bloggers’ 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 golden moments. Please stop by if you haven’t yet.

Bushboy’s World

A Day in the Life

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Deb’s World

Denyse Whelan Blogs

Easin’ Along Image in Comments

Graham’s Island

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views & News

Kamerapromenadar

Light Words

Light Write Life

NEW Linda Schaub Blog

Loving Life

Natalie the Explorer

Priorhouse Blog

The Day After

This is Another Story

Tranature

Wind Kisses

Woolly Muses

Working On Exploring

Have a wonderful week!

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: City #Sidewalks

sunday stills sidewalks

In a few days, I am trading my city/suburban sidewalks for rural ones, as we make our way north to the Spokane, Washington area.

This week’s Sunday Stills theme is sidewalks, walkways, rural paths, etc! Join me for a walk down memory lane as I share some of my favorite walks.

One of my favorite views as I walk my dogs is this one below of a suburban street a few blocks from my current house of 32 years.

fall in the neighborhood
Last look at neighborhood street

My brother-in-law shot this of the first snow in October on his suburban street in Spokane Valley. Image credit to him. I’m asking for snowshoes this Christmas!

snowy suburban sidewalk

Luckily I don’t need them to “walk” in this miniature Christmas street display.

Christmas Village

The theme of City Sidewalks reminds me of Christmas and the beautiful Christmas song, Silver Bells. My favorite rendition of the song is by Anne Murray.

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style
In the air, there’s a feeling of Christmas”

Last Sunday, hubby and I had to leave the house so the inspector could do his thing, and parked on the street that leads to the American River Bike Trail. A beautiful Autumn day in Sacramento!

Road to Bike Trail

Taking a more general approach to the theme, I’m sharing galleries of sidewalks, paths, and walkways I’ve collected on my walks.

Campus Memories

Last Wednesday was my last time to walk on the university campus where I have taught for the last 10 years. I met our department chair to turn in my building and office keys. Having not been on campus for months due to Covid, I felt slightly cheated for missing these views this semester.

Memories of Sidewalks and Pathways Gone By

This is one of my favorite photographs taken in 2014 in Lake Tahoe. We walked down this stairway to the beach on the north shore. I turned and looked back and caught this image. I believe this was a defining moment when I became a photographer.

a long walk up from Lake Tahoe shore
Long Walk Up

Here is another gallery of previous photos taken on walks in San Diego, the Sacramento River Delta, Sedona, Spokane, and Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include this image of my hubby in his green bike helmet looking toward Yosemite Falls. Have I mentioned I have been to Yosemite National Park 26 times so far?

walking path to Yosemite Falls
Path to Yosemite Falls

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

John Muir

On my walks, I see many types of birds. Frequently seen in my own neighborhood are mockingbirds, mourning doves, and robins. Bluejays are also everywhere as pictured below (on my backyard feeder). Shared for Lisa’s Bird Weekly: Birds beginning with “B.”

Blue jay contorts to get some yummy treats!
Blue jay contorts to get some yummy treats!

One day this week, we took a break from packing the POD to visit my dad and step-mom 45 miles away in the Sierra foothills. A long dirt road to my dad’s house up the hill. I’m not sure when I will be back to see this again.

Western States trail
Walking up Turkey Hill Road in Foresthill, CA

As winter sets in, we drive north to Washington in a few days.

Winter Scene Spokane

For this California native, I will enjoy and embrace my new paths in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you for walking down memory lane with me this week. Images in this post are submitted for the following photo challenges:

I look forward to your interpretations of City Sidewalks this week!

shoe graphic

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: The #Textures of Our Lives

textured close-up

A similar theme to weathered from a few weeks ago, textures all around us seem to be abundant in Autumn. As we bundle up for warmth in the northern hemisphere, we wrap ourselves in textures.

Art is the colors and textures of your imagination.

Meghan Trainor

This week’s theme for Sunday Stills is texture if you haven’t figured that out already. Reminder to title your post differently than mine.

Textures in Nature

Close-ups of a fallen autumn leaves reveal a mix of textures.

textured leaves on the sidewalk
Ginkgo Leaf Carpet
textured close-up
Textured maple leaf

Our backyard was home to many species of birds. My favorites were the hummingbirds that darted and cavorted in and through the redwoods I planted years ago.

Fluffed up hummingbirdall fluffed up in BW

This little hummer was puffed up after a rain shower and is submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge (birds in color and mono) using “image compare” with the block editor. I also added the desaturated black and white version to Cee’s Black and White Challenge, Close-ups.

Man-made Textures

I meant to post this image of the fence for the previous auburn color challenge but find it works for texture, too. This is called a pine-pole fence which is what will eventually surround our new property.

Pine Pole Fence

Our backyard also shows a variety of textures with the deck planks, fences, and trees.

I will definitely miss my little yard.

The Textures of Our Lives

My daughters traveled to our house to spend their last Thanksgiving there before we move out in two weeks. Both were very young when we moved into the house in February 1988. My youngest was only a month old and it’s really the only house she ever knew until she moved out of the area in 2016.

We say goodbye to our family home

Hubby took some pics as my daughters reminisced how the house transformed the textures of our lives into indelible loving memories. After a walk through the house, hugging corners and outdoor trees, the girls drove away on Friday with tears in their eyes.

I discovered these partial lyrics written by Melissa Schneider (can’t seem to find a song that goes with these heartfelt words). Get a tissue…

Goodbye house it’s time to leave you
And I’m sure feeling low
I know you’re only pine and stone
But the time has come, so goodbye home

Goodbye house I’m gonna miss you
Your walls have sheltered us over the years
Memories overflow along with our tears
Never thought I’d say, oh goodbye home

Goodbye house goodbye home
You won’t be lonely long
Soon a brand-new family will call you their own
But our time is done, so goodbye home

Leaves are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day and Dawn’s Festival of Leaves photo challenges.

December themes are available on my Sunday Stills page. Please take a quick look and note that Susanne from Cats and Trails and Garden Tales is hosting on December 20, and there is no challenge on December 27.

I hope you all had a great week and enjoyed Thanksgiving for those who celebrated.

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: We Are #Thankful Through it All

sunday still banner

As folks prepare for Thanksgiving in the US this week, it will be a completely different holiday this year. As we navigate through a pandemic that has sickened millions and taken the lives of loved ones, we stand in fear of continuing the spread of the Covid virus by reducing our time spent with family and friends. Some have found it difficult to be truly thankful.

For Sunday Stills, this week, let us all reflect upon the things for which we can truly be thankful.

Our road trip to San Diego this past week was emotionally and somewhat physically taxing. We needed to bring some boxes of items to our children and grandchildren while picking up a few things to take back with us. Our plans were not just to visit with our families, but for me to say goodbye to our family home that was recently sold and to visit my mom’s commemorative brick placed in a local city park.

While driving, we had phone conversations with family. I have two younger brothers; one still lives in the San Diego area and the other recently moved to Arizona. When I mentioned that a few of us were going to visit my dad next week in his rural town in Northern California, the oldest brother chastised me pretty good by stating, “if Dad gets Covid, he’ll die! Do you want to lose both parents in 2020?”

“Umm, no,” I answered contritely (my mom passed in March of this year). Sadly, many rural areas of California are seeing a rise in Covid cases as new people merge with locals, who haven’t practiced good social distancing.

To protect my 84-year old father who has COPD, I had to be the one to tell the family over the course of days that we were not going to converge at his home for Thanksgiving.

Despite the disappointment, it is better to miss one Thanksgiving in order to enjoy many more in the future.

Thanks for the Memories, San Diego

I was born and raised in the San Diego area in southern California. I moved north to Sacramento when I was 20 and never moved back. I am thankful many family members still live there and I can visit most any time.

My brother and his family want nothing to do with COVID-19 and to see them, we stayed behind their driveway gate while they sat on the other side a few feet away. I brought some books and other goodies for them. No doubt my brother will spray everything with sanitizer, but we enjoyed family time. Better than Zoom for sure!

No covid allowed here!
Thankful for family!

It was time to say goodbye to the family home I had lived in since I was 10 years old. Once my mom entered the nursing home in 2010, my brother moved in and lived there for a while. We eventually rented it to my stepson and his family, and once Mom passed this year, we opted to sell it earlier this Fall. We drove over to the house and the owners had not moved in yet, so I was grateful to get this pic of me hugging the house goodbye.

House hug
Hugging my family home goodbye

The next day, I met my childhood friend in the park to visit my mom’s brick and we shared a few memories of days gone by. This image was set up by my daughter and shared in an earlier post.

Mom's Brick

Thankful for Home

The week prior to us leaving for San Diego, we listed our house in Sacramento and potential buyers visited Saturday through Monday, while we were away. By Tuesday we had several offers and decided to go with one, in particular, that was solid and over the asking price!

After signing several online disclosures, my husband and I are grateful that a young couple is excited about the house and wants to start a family in it, just like I did 32 years ago.

Before the family home in San Diego was sold last summer, my daughter transplanted my mom’s favorite roses into two pots for me to take. My mom would be happy knowing her roses will continue to bloom in another state.

Mom's last rose

I dropped off my beloved plumeria plants to my daughter since they will not grow well in the cold North (Spokane, WA). I had just planted four plumerias from stalks in 2019 and one flowered. I will ever be grateful I got to see these plumeria grow. For some reason, the same plant did not produce in 2020. Here is one shot from 2019.

Unexpected Plumeria blooms

Autumn is finally in full swing in Sacramento. My Japanese maple frames one of the last looks at the front of my house, soon to be occupied by a new family.

Japanese Maple Fall

This is submitted for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves. Flowers and leaves are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

My daughters are visiting over Thanksgiving to eat a small meal and say goodbye to their childhood home. We are keeping it simple and ordered a turkey dinner from a nearby grocery store. Trust me, with few dishes left in the house, I’m thankful someone else is doing the cooking!

And I’m sure this suburban turkey is grateful it escaped this year’s Thanksgiving table and my Boykin Spaniel’s greedy jaws. Submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge.

suburban turkey
Turkey in my front yard

Thank You to My Fellow Bloggers

I want to thank you all who continue to support Sunday Stills and share images every week, and those who continue to read my ramblings.

I have a long list of loyal bloggers who post every week for Sunday Stills, but I also want to acknowledge bloggers who took a break and are back to share their talents!

And a hearty shout-out to Joe at Easin’ Along and Hugh Roberts of Hugh’s Views and News who often share their photos of the themes in the comments! Not that easy to do!

Please show us what you are thankful for in 2020. There is more than you might think. We’ve all had our ups and downs, but we will prevail!

Have a wonderful week and if you celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, please stay safe and make the best of these unprecedented times in which we live.

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Fall Color Challenge—Shades of #Auburn

Auburn leaf carpet
Auburn Color Graphic

Welcome to this month’s Fall color challenge. In October we explored the color ochre and its myriad interpretations. We aim to discover the various shades of auburn this month. In the image above you get an idea of the range of Auburn shades.

November, with its Autumn colors, seems like a great month to enjoy nature’s color schemes. Even if you are in the southern hemisphere, the rich tones of auburn may be evident all around you. While I would love to bore you with autumn leaves from this year and years past, I should set some different examples for the color challenge!

But who doesn’t love a tumble of leaves that have fallen?

Auburn leaf carpet

My sis-in-law always has a beautiful seasonal display in her dining room window. I caught this just in time for the late afternoon sun to peek through the tiny house window that illuminated the glow of the auburn leaves in the background.

Catching the light

Now for some other images of auburn created in nature. Within the past two years I was happy to be able to visit Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada and be surrounded by the auburn rock formation.

A walk through the narrows

I also visited Sedona in 2018 and the Grand Canyon in 2019 where vivid red rocks were the norm.

Winter View of Grand Canyon
A cold day at the South Rim!

Sunsets and sunrises also give us variations of auburn.

Some auburn photos are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day and for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves.

I want to thank all the bloggers who have joined Sunday Stills for the first time in the past two months and shared their wonderful images. Please stop by and support their efforts!

Of course I must “leave” you with another auburn view of Autumn.

Glowing Auburn leaves

I am looking forward to how you interpret the color auburn!

Autumn SIGNature

You may also like these posts from last year.

sunshine yellow leaf

Sunday Stills: #Yellow Leaves of Autumn

This Veteran’s Day weekend finds me relaxing at home amidst the changing Autumn landscape here in Sacramento. As a city with a large urban forest and a “City of Trees” distinction, Sacramento’s Autumn show does not disappoint once the leaves begin to color. Between Vet’s Day and Thanksgiving (barring any crazy wind or storms) the … Continue reading Sunday Stills: #Yellow Leaves of Autumn

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: A Celebration of #Leaves

Red Maple

How is it November first already? This morning, here in the US, we set the clocks back to end daylight saving time. Lighter in the morning, darker at night, but I am glad to get that hour back!

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is all about leaves. No matter where you live, you may have some kind of display of leaves, whether they are newly green from spring in the southern hemisphere or a downright festival of leaves here in the northern hemisphere.

Believe it or not, here in Northern California, our leaves have not turned yet due to unseasonably warm weather. Once it gets cold enough overnight, the sap stops running within the trees and leaves start the process of changing colors to eventually drop as the trees become dormant.

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower quote

Join me as we celebrate leaves!

My current leaf images were gathered from central Oregon and Spokane, Washington during last week’s road trip to move another load of household items.

Our trip was delayed due to an Un-Named truck rental company’s decision to cancel our reservation for no reason. Although we were delayed by two days, we eventually got a great deal on the new rental and saved $1,400. To do this we had to drive the 20-foot truck there and back. Apparently, a lot of folks are moving out of California and trucks are not making it back. Oops, that would be us.

October Autumn Central Oregon
Central Oregon

So while hubby drove the first two days, I captured some fab Fall leaves on the road.

“I wonder if leaves feel lonely when they see their neighbors falling.”

John Muir

Once we got into Spokane, I wandered through my BIL’s backyard and took a lot of pics. I took these on Tuesday and Wednesday before we left early Thursday morning. On Friday, a major winter storm landed in Spokane, Eastern Washington, and Western Idaho and dumped over 7 inches of snow, breaking an October snowfall record from 1959! One more day of lingering and we would have been delayed getting home.

Red Maple
Red Maple

Needless to say, most of the beautiful leaves dropped like stones after the first snow! This image was taken two years ago right after the first snow on Veteran’s Day.

Fallen frosted leaves

Here are some more from my archives.

A California Fall, a mix of autumn leaves juxtaposed with palm trees.

Autumn leaves and palm
Autumn Birch Tree
Autumn birch leaves look like butterflies.
Autumn leaf on wood shows it's splendor

This was taken last December! I have a feeling our Fall colors may be delayed again until this December.

leaf reflections

I’m also joining the Lens-Artist challenge “Focus on the subject”, hosted by Patti Moed. I enjoy focusing on leaves as they have fallen onto the ground.

fall leaves on ground

This week’s images are also shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day (because every leaf is a flower) and for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves.

I look forward to seeing your images of leaves! Please feel free to share poetry, music or stories of your leaves!

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Your #Happy Place

If you have followed my blog for very long, you know that I write about the concepts of recreation and leisure and our ultimate pursuit of happiness.

The year 2020 has shown most of us that, like it or not, we are living in a new normal. Oh, how I resisted that notion! After all, isn’t “normal” being able to hike trails without wearing a mask or worrying if we are 6 feet apart from others?

Hiking in Valley of Fire State Park
More walking in the Valley of Fire

Isn’t “normal” having the ability to travel without fear of taking a flight to visit friends, family or traveling abroad? How about simply being able to use your local gym, campground, swimming pool or neighborhood park without fear of infection or the disappointment of closure?

Play-all-Day

The fundamental spaces and places we love and visit on a regular basis have been compromised due to the new normal of living within a pandemic.

For me, March 18 was the day California shut down, exactly 7 months ago.

Sacramento County has recently re-opened with some restrictions and I am so happy to be able to get back to my gym! I’ve been a member there since 2008 and have made many friends, and I get great workouts, too. One of my happy places. I will miss this gym once we move.

exercise equipment

As motivated as I am for physical activity, our hot smokey summer deterred me from being able to get outside. I tried my share of working out to youtube exercise videos, but I settled for walking the dogs a few days a week.

Walking two dogs

On my walks around my neighborhood, there is only one street in which I am fond. No, not mine, as you will read shortly, but a street a few short blocks away. This photo shows a morning walk in early Fall.

favorite neighborhood

There is something about this street with its well-kept yards, lack of chain-link fences, and fewer cars parked on the street. Really a gem in an otherwise deteriorating neighborhood. Autumn will show its lovely face on this street in November with elms, birch, and liquid amber trees that will look more like this photo taken two years ago.

liquid sunshine in liquid amber tree

As we kinda got used to our own backyards, many of us found them to be our new happy places. We longed for our vacations abroad, road trips in our RVs with abundant campground choices, open restaurants, and the like, but grudgingly stayed home to stay safe.

My backyard has been a happy place for me since June 2019 after my foot surgery, and then more so in late March, 2020. Here I planted sunflowers, plumeria, hydrangea and other garden flowers and enjoyed the hummingbird shows.

Sadly that summer, bound to my backyard by crutches and my knee scooter, I was exposed to one neighbors’ rantings and ravings as she loudly cursed her children and dropped the F-bomb all day. These were new renters behind us that shared our backyard fence, so there was no getting away from her. This behavior led us to begin our search for another place to live and inspired us to move to Washington to be closer to family and enjoy semi-rural living.

You will be happy to know that the renters were evicted after the owner discovered they destroyed the house! The new renters are quiet. The random shouts of happiness from their young children playing in their backyard is music to our ears! Their yard sounds like their happy place.

This Monday, we are on the road north with a moving truck full of boxes and furniture. Hubby is driving the U-Haul while I follow behind in his Ford truck. Our first stop is near Bend, OR, then we are back on the road Tuesday to Spokane. Wednesday we will unload into a storage unit and get that much closer to our new happy place.

We love this walk near where my in-laws live in Spokane Valley.

Spokane's Urban Forest

Even in the smoky air, there is beauty in nearby Washington’s Riverside State Park along the Spokane River. A short 15 minutes from our new home.

We won’t make the final move until mid-December.

Other happy places I’ve visited include Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, the delta and lakes, beaches, and rivers, near and far. But as 2021 approaches I am still open to find more happy places to discover and love!

Forgive me if what you’re reading sounds like my post “Happiest at Home,” published in early June. With our world turning the way it is, I predict we will continue to enjoy our happy places at home or close to it!

I am thrilled to link my happy places with this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge: My Hideaway!

Some images are inspired by Becky B’s Kinda Squares, Dawn’s Festival of Leaves, and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Is your happy place a state of mind or a place you can visit and enjoy? Share your interpretations through images, stories, poetry, and music!

Autumn SIGNature

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Sunday Stills: Fall Color Challenge–Acres of #Ochre

Banner yellow ochre color challenge

I’m introducing some color into the Sunday Stills photo challenge! Once a month, I will feature a seasonal color, which I hope will spark loads of creativity on your part as a photographer or writer.

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com

October’s color is ochre, a brownish yellow, as shown above, but can range from yellow to deep orange. Perfect for showcasing your Fall colors!

I dug into my archives to find images of the range of colors seen in ochre.

Seeing the Fall display of leaves is what I miss by not being on the university campus these days. By late October the ginkgo trees have shown their glorious yellow leaves. Once the leaves fall, the groundskeepers arrange them into circles and other shapes.

ginkgo leaf display

This next image isn’t very exciting but it shows yellow ochre in the form of saffron fields grown in the Central Valley of California.

saffron field of ochre
Saffron Fields

I managed to find an image of a yellow Anna’s hummingbird, perfect for Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge, starting with letter A. I have to admit, I’m not sure hummers have yellow feathers; it may have been a trick of the light. I did not change the color, but it sure works!

yellow Anna hummingbird

These dried marigolds could have been the star of last week’s “dry” theme. They show a nice range of the ochre color.

dry ochre marigolds

On my last visit to the Big Island of Hawaii, I captured this gorgeous peachy-orange hibiscus on my walk with Graham at Hilo’s Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. Both floral images are submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge.

Orange hibiscus
Orange hibiscus

What do I miss now? Having my fall decorations on my fireplace mantel. They are packed away!

hello fall

The rusted yellow sun is still hanging from my backyard shed. Why haven’t I packed it yet?

Metal Aztec sun showing a little rust

Last winter, I held some of the orange sand from Nevada’s Valley of Fire in my hand. I was surrounded by this rich ochre color.

Valley of Fire's Sand
Reddish-orange glow of sand

In November, the show begins in my front yard with the reds and oranges of my Japanese maple juxtaposed onto my mulberry tree’s yellow leaves.

Autumn Peak

These leaves and the ginkgoes’ are submitted for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves challenge!

I hope you enjoyed the color challenge today and that I sparked your imagination! I attempted to show each image from ochre’s lightest hue to its darkest. I’m looking forward to your version of ochre!

Autumn SIGNature

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Sunday Stills: Walking Through the #Calm Before the Storm

Walking Along Pacific Beach Bayfront
Calming Autumn Scenery
One View of My Weekly Walk

Despite the cliché post title, this week for me is seriously the calm before the storm!

Not only are we making the 15-hour drive in one day up to Spokane Washington this Friday, but I also have 80 final papers to grade to the tune of 135,000 words, over the next 10 days.

My students used to submit hard copies of their papers in which I could read while my hubby drove, but in the classes I teach these days, students submit their assignments online through the university portal. So much for multi-tasking.

Other frenetic moments looming include food shopping, packing for the road trip and waking up at 3:00 am to begin the drive. Not to mention, enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with 35 other people occupying multiple generations. And the threat of Black Friday deals, the stress of overeating, then the inevitable long drive back home.

Winter Scene Spokane
Last November’s walk in Spokane, WA

For the Thanksgiving holidays, we are staying in a dog-friendly hotel which should help with the feeling of calm. Usually, we stay with family, but other family members beat us to the available guest rooms. Believe me, I am thankful for our large family and we have loads of fun, but daily walks and hikes (weather permitting) and some downtime are the only ways I can cope with most holiday gatherings.

A Leafy Path

Autumn is my favorite time of year and enjoying the fall leaves and colors brings me peace. Hiking in the woods with my dogs provides a calm respite from the craziness of the holidays and helps me work off that extra piece of pumpkin pie. Unlike many, when walking outdoors, I choose to unplug any tech and just listen to nature and the wind in the trees. Breathing in the cold, crisp air is also calming.

leaves red riot
Calming effect of nature’s beauty

Walking along the water is another way to calm my spirit when stress is nigh. Before we traveled home from San Diego in October, we took a walk on the bayside of Pacific Beach near where my step-daughter lives.

Walking Along Pacific Beach Bayfront
Walking Along Pacific Beach Bayfront

I am blessed to live in a decent suburban neighborhood where it is safe to walk my dogs. I’m linking with Restless Jo’s Morning Walk this week and sharing why walking in nature brings me calm!

I am also linking with Dawn’s Festival of Leaves.

As I seek some calm this week, I hope you can share your version of “calm” in your creative ways through images, poetry, music, and stories.

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