Sunday Stills: Are You Ready for the Great #Outdoors?

Walking dogs on a trail

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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Sunday Stills Color Challenge: A Portland Summer in #Pink

Painnted Rose
SS Banner Color

Welcome to the Sunday Stills Monthly Color challenge this week!

June’s color is any shade of pink.

“Pink is a beautiful color, because it is one of the colors that the sun makes at twilight and in the dawns.”

C. JoyBell

Depending on where you live geographically, you may be experiencing shades of pink all around you as we near summer here in the northern hemisphere. If the color pink escapes you in nature now, I’m sure your photo archives are full of pinks. And who needs nature to see pink, right?

Since summer is basically here, it’s time for water sports and I won’t be caught dead (poor pun, I know) without my pink life vests. More about water in a minute.

Security dressed in pink!

Before I begin sharing examples of pink, I’m joining Marsha from Always Write for her weekly feature WQW Writer’s Challenge. This week’s quotes focus on summer. Nothing says summer like the image above, or this quote:

Roses quote

Portland’s Parade of Pink

Portland, Oregon, is home to the Portland International Rose Test Garden. It has been a few years since I visited, but the gardens are stunning. Roses really love the climate and in fact, Portland is known as “the City of Roses.”

Last week we spent the weekend in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland, Oregon to gather with my cousin and our family as she put her beloved husband to rest. We stayed in an Airbnb in the Highland area and I had the chance to take a walk through this gorgeous neighborhood. It was a bit overcast so the various lush shades of green made the pink pop even more so! Please enjoy my gallery of pink roses and other pink florals.

I was THISCLOSE to visiting my blogger pal Cee but we didn’t have time. These florals are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge.

My mom’s birthday was this week (June 9th). She would have been 81. Turns out she shares her birthday with blogger Anne Leueen of Horse Addict! Anne shares her spot-on thoughts on aging and I miss my mom every day. My mom wanted to be healthy and she strove for an active lifestyle. But RA and dementia took their toll and she passed in March 2020. Before we sold mom’s house last August, my daughter attempted to rescue her beloved roses.

Mom's last rose

Sadly, the two plants did not survive our trip north. I intend to plant some roses in her honor once we figure out our backyard landscape plan.

As I continued my walk, I found the opening to the suburban trails that so uniquely define the Beaverton-Tigard neighborhoods. I happened along a youth baseball game in progress and stood for a moment to watch youth playing, as proud parents watched the game. Even this mom was in a pink mood to go watch her child play baseball!

Walking to the game
Wearing pink for the game!

I’m pleased to share this post for Denyse’s Life This Week Link-up!

Summer Hummer

Inspired by Lisa’s Bird Weekly challenge, at the 11th hour, I found a freckled hummingbird in my archives, interestingly surrounded in pink.

freckled hummingbird

No editing here (other than crop and exposure), just a trick of my camera and lighting I suppose!

Closer to Home

I felt I was in heaven on Memorial Day as we took the eight-minute drive to Tumtum, a lakeside resort area that sits on the oxbow of the Spokane River, dammed on either side to create Long Lake. This was our first time paddling in Washington waters and on my brand-new inflatable pinkish-purple SUP. Hans got in on the action, too, as we took turns watching the dogs.

Isn’t it a relief to see the world getting back to normal?

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.

I hope you had as much fun posting your celestial images as I had to see them all. Many mentioned that this was quite the challenge but we had 19 links to the theme. Celestial moments in blog land indeed! Please take a moment and visit two or three if you haven’t already. Reminder, each week I share your posts on the following week’s post, so please link to my post by Saturday 5pm to make it onto the list!

Out of This World Bloggers!

Next week’s theme is “sunrise or sunset” as we celebrate the solstice. Did you notice that the solstice could be considered a celestial event and many sunrises/sunsets are pink? Cornfused? No worries, have fun, and have a wonderful week!

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