Sunday Stills: #Awakening of Leisure

Hobbies

Have the last few weeks of staying at home awakened something in you?

The dictionary describes awakening as a recognition, realization, or coming into awareness of something. The example? a rude awakening to the disagreeable facts. That about explains it!

Awakening can mean the revival of an old interest or trying a new hobby. Lately, most of us have plenty of time to explore some new interests or revive old ones.

We call this leisure. We might have too much right now. Oh darn.

Some folks have awakened their creativity with crafts and art projects. Since I was a teen, I have enjoyed sewing. My old machine finally gave up, so I will be looking for a new one soon. Maybe one that quilts and embroiders!

Over the years, I tried a variety of other crafts like scrapbooking, rug hooking, crochet, and something called yarn art or “tuck and cut.” Some long abandoned, as shown in the picture. Anyone remember macramé?

Hobbies

As a young adult, I painted and drew with pen and ink and oil pastels. Once the kids were born, I put most of those projects away. I dabbled in painting 11 years ago after I met my husband and created this for him. Acrylic on a water-eroded wood plank.

My interpretation of a windsurf sunset. Painted by me in 2009.

Others have spent more time in their own backyards gardening, lounging, and pruning, not necessarily in that order. Many of us have grabbed our lenses and taken a closer look at flowers, insects, and birds that inhabit our yards or have spent time organizing digital and hard-copy photos.

Sunflowers awaken a petal at a time.

lazy opening of sunflower petals

Still others are just experiencing the awakening of spring in the northern hemisphere after a long winter or enjoying the fall in the southern hemisphere.

Awakening of spring and bee

Perhaps you have awakened to the idea of exploring more writing projects or registering for an online education course.

Of course, every morning we awaken to a new day.

The difference a new day makes in our quest for change

Here in Northern California, dawn comes early (5:30am) I recently began a Biblical-based meditation series called soul space. The app directs you through a 5-minute meditation that begins the day quietly and calmly, just what I need to combat monkey-mind!

I just read that Sacramento County along with the San Francisco Bay area upgraded stay-at-home orders through May 22, with some re-opening of services and leisure spaces. The American River Bike Trail has been open during this time. When I need a workout, and to clear my head, a 60-minute bike ride works for me!

Biking along American River Bike Trail

What has awakened in you these past weeks as we continue to stay at home? Show us in photos, music, poetry, and stories.

Sharing for Jude’s Being Creative with Light and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

I am pleased to share that we welcomed 8 new Sunday Stills participants in April. Please visit if you haven’t already. Backroads and Other Stories, Bellazaria, Easin’ Along, JP the Wide-Eyed Wanderer, Louis Dallara Photography, Stine Writing, Susan Rushton, and Transition of Thoughts.

My hope is we, as the resilient human beings that we are, will continue to enjoy and explore our newly awakened or revisited leisure pastimes!

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Sunday Stills: It’s A #Bug’s Life

Bee on Lavender

This week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge theme is all about a bug’s life.

Do bugs bug you?

I am tolerant of most bugs except black widows, ants, and cockroaches. In other words, I will go out of my way to save a hapless spider or insect that is trapped in the tub, or the random crane fly (they look like giant mosquitos) that gets stuck in the house.

I’m not alone in my thinking…

“I never kill insects. If I see ants or spiders in the room, I pick them up and take them outside. Karma is everything.”

Holly Valance

My husband and I both love dragonflies. This one was at the end of its life and had flown onto the outdoor sofa at our delta campground. I took it inside and put it up onto the blind valance where it rested peacefully and beautifully until the end.

Dying Dragonfly

By now, you know I love shooting macros and close-ups, either with my camera or my Galaxy Note 10+.

Recently I took my dogs for an early morning walk and saw the bees buzzing around the neighbor’s lavender bush. Placing my phone carefully among the flowers, some bees still chased me a little as I hurriedly backed away, but I think I got a great shot!

Bee on Lavender

In another nearby garden, the butterflies flitted happily among the colorful flowers.

yellow butterfly on pink flowers

I get inspiration from a lot of things around me – nature, hills, people, and even insects.

Ruskin Bond

Here are some oldie-but-goody images of other insects I have captured with my lens.

Remember the molting dragonfly? I was truly transfixed by this moment and lucky to capture it all.

Molting Dragonfly: The Wonders of Nature

Recently, with my camera, I caught the lovely pink lady in the Sierra Foothills last June.

Pink Lady Butterfly

My last blog post about bugs was The Bugs of Summer, where I showed my image collection of some interesting bugs!

This whip spider, found in Mexico, was quite frightening!

October’s Sunday Stills themes are available here!

What wonders of the insect world can you share? I can’t wait to see what sorts of bugs you like or would like to see eradicated from the planet. But keep this in mind…

We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics.

Bill Vaughan

Until next time,

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© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Being Amazing Over 50

SUP transportation
SUP transportation

I am thrilled to be featured as Sam’s guest this month in her series Amazing Over 50’s. Her blog Loving the Fifty-Something caught my eye a while back and I’ve been following Sam’s outdoor adventures ever since! We seem to have a lot in common, and I have enjoyed reading about her previous 50-something guests.

Sam herself is a wonderful inspiration to a healthy fit and leisure lifestyle. If I ever get over to Yorkshire, England, you will find us together on a bike ride or out on the water!

I also want to acknowledge this post is the first for my newly launched Fitness Fridays, a monthly feature highlighting the importance of physical activity in our lives.

Here is a short excerpt from the post:

What are the things you are most proud of achieving after turning 50? My short list would include obtaining the master’s degree, remarrying at age 53, retiring at 55, writing my blog and becoming a self-published author. Adding skilled photographer to that list is also satisfying!

Comments are closed here so please click over to Sam’s page to read the full article.

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Sunday Stills: Back to #School

graphic for back to school

graphic for back to school

Last week I took a short break from Sunday Stills to travel to San Diego for my high school’s 40th year class reunion (1978).

Did you enjoy the break? I know a few bloggers posted a couple of Sunday Stills’ favorites!

By the looks of my e-mail inbox, I see more folks are posting more often now that summer is over, and we are back to our normal routines.

By mid-September, everyone who is going to school is back by now, even the universities on quarter system. The traffic on the roads has definitely picked up in my area!

This week’s theme is “back to school’ which can have the potential for a lot of ideas. As a university lecturer, I went back to school at the end of August. I mentioned before that I love the beginning of the school year where everything seems fresh and new as the Fall gets under way.

Back to School Ideas

I’m looking forward to what your posts will cover for the theme, whether you find a fantastic image of an actual school or write a poem or haiku about the subject or just reminisce about a topic related to school. I can see someone posting about adult education, online learning or a myriad of other ideas. Did someone in your family have their “first day” at kindergarten, or high school? Those are important milestones that I’m sure you celebrated to some degree.

The sky is the limit. Here are a couple of mine to get you started.

Nothing says “back to school” in the non-traditional sense than celebrating with fellow classmates at a class reunion.

Classmates at a high school reunion
Photo credit: A friend’s husband took the pic!

I can’t say I miss the teenage drama of those days, but fortunately, after 40 years, most everyone has grown up (I say “most” with tongue planted firmly in cheek) and become responsible, wiser adults who have proven to be good friends over the years. There were two events: a Friday night mixer at a San Diego bar and grill, then the reunion itself. I have to say it was the best reunion I have attended (I went to my 10th, 20th, & 30th). Lots of talking, dancing and catching up. Many thanks to the ladies on my immediate right and left who were part of the reunion event committee.

Sadly I’ve heard that class reunions are becoming a bit of an anachronism these days, now that social media keeps people together in some sense. But there is nothing like seeing your fellow classmates in person years later with glasses, wrinkles and extra weight to level the playing field of teenage angst and insecurity that defined high school.

Of course I am back to school on my university campus as the semester has gained a foothold into September. A variety of competing coffee shops provides much needed caffeine for overworked students.

Students walking through library breezeway
Spurred on by the promise of campus “Grumpy Mule” coffee, student pedestrians make their way to the library.

Last spring, I took my leisure education class out onto the campus bridge and had them play by blowing bubbles, but not without coffee!

In this photo, a group of youth tour the campus in hopes of becoming future university students.

Future students touring the university

Almost four years ago I wrote a post about The Haunting of Old Coloma School House, which is a historical look at a building where I worked.

Share your “back to school” themed posts and images for Sunday Stills. Link up below or simply create a pingback to this post!


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Guest Post: Riding a #Bicycle

Riding a Bicycle

As summer winds down, more folks may be getting out on their bicycles to enjoy the cooler weather. More riders on the roads and trails may mean more chances for accidents and injuries. Bicycling is a fun activity, but, unfortunately, like any other activity, there are dangers and injuries that may arise from accidents. I am happy to introduce local attorney Mr. John M. O’Brien who shares his thoughts and a useful infographic on the intricacies of bicycle safety.

Riding a Bicycle: A leisurely activity with its own set of rules

It doesn’t matter if you are a child, a teen or a full-grown adult. Riding a bike is a great way not only to do some exercise, but also to relax and have fun. It is a cheaper transportation option and you will even make Mother Nature happy by taking a bike ride rather than your car or the bus. You can take a ride around the city, participate in races with friends or even ride a tandem bicycle with your loved one.

With this said, there are some laws that apply to bicyclists to make sure that they won’t get hurt or hurt anyone while they are out enjoying themselves.

When you are on your bicycle, you must use a permanent seat.
Make sure that you, your passengers and even pedestrians are safe. Always use a permanent seat on your bike and screw it in tightly. If you don’t, there is the danger that when you brake abruptly, the seat may detach and you may fly off and injure yourself or others.

Cyclist on street
Image by Roman Koester, Unsplash

Never attach your bike to a vehicle on a roadway.
We have all seen people on bicycles or skateboards grabbing a tram, a bus or even a car and letting the vehicle drag them. Not only is this illegal, it is also extremely dangerous. You never know when the vehicle in question may stop suddenly, and you can bump into it, or worse, be thrown under it.

You are risking your health if you do it, so please, follow the law and avoid such incidents.

You must always signal your movements.
Unlike cars, bicycles don’t have a turn signal. Therefore, it is mandatory that every time you ride your bike on the road and you need to make a turn or to stop, you have to show this to the other drivers with an arm signal.

Learn which ones they are and always be sure to practice them when you are on your bike, so you can ensure your safety and avoid a crash. It is also forbidden by law to carry any object that prevents you from keeping at least one hand on the handlebar.

You must make sure you are in complete control of your bicycle in case you need to make a sharp turn.

Your bicycle must always be properly equipped.
If you decide to ride your bicycle at night, you must install two accessories. The first one is a red reflector which goes on the back of your bike. It must emit a red light powerful enough to be seen from a distance of 300 feet. On the front of the bike, you must install a headlamp with enough power to emit white light visible from 500 feet away.

These precautions are necessary to make sure that you are visible in traffic. Cars must be able to spot you, and you should be able to see what’s coming from the front to avoid any possible obstacle.

You must have powerful brakes.
Your bike must be equipped with brakes that are able to skid on dry, level, clean pavement when the brake is applied. In case you need to stop suddenly you won’t slide on the pavement and crash into the thing you wanted to avoid.

Bikes on the trail

In the end I would like to urge all readers to be very careful when on the road. These laws were made to ensure everyone’s well-being, so abiding by them will give way to more secure and pleasant traffic.

Don’t risk your safety and that of others, just follow the law and have fun!

John O'Brien Attorney

O’Brien & Zehnder Law Firm are personal injury attorneys located in the Sacramento, California area.


Thank you, John, for your valuable insights on bicycle safety. Not only should adults adhere to the laws and rules of the road, but children and youth should also be taught these same rules. Adults and youth should always wear a helmet when riding.

Now get out there and safely ride your bike!

Featured image originally from Unsplash by Robert Baker 

The Wonders of the Public Pool

Children playing in swimming pool

I have managed to combine three photo challenges into this one photograph.

Summer in July finds children counting the minutes until their neighborhood public swimming pool opens for the day. Although I no longer oversee the daily operations of these pools, I do appreciate the lengths leisure professionals must go to to ensure clean, safe pools with well-trained lifeguards.

All that training and preparation for the opening of the pools makes no difference to a child.

Child plays in fountain

Inspired by these photo challenges

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Sunday Stills: Who Are #Tourists?

Tourists gather on the beach in Coronado

The last week in June finds the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge exploring the theme “tourist.”

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere sees an abundance of tourists.

We all think we know who tourists are, but did you know that YOU are a tourist? Any time you step out of your locale, you become a tourist.

“Stop hating the tourist—after all, tourists are just us in other locations.” Dr. Greg Shaw

Tourism can be defined as the act of travel for the purpose of recreation, and the provision of services for this act.

In two of the classes I teach, we discuss the idea of tourism. In fact, the major in which I teach is called Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration. Adding “tourism” and changing the major from Recreation and Leisure Studies brought hundreds more students seeking courses in this major which include 14 career tracks beside the traditional public recreation services, parks & natural resources management, and therapeutic recreation.

Future students touring the university
Future students tour the Sacramento State Campus

Tourism and hospitality play a huge role in this major which opens doors for careers in event planning, professional and collegiate sports management, and theme park management, to name a few. One of our class discussions includes these questions:

  • What would you say are your hometown’s best tourist attractions or special features worthy of tourist visits?
  • What special places in your town would tourists ruin?

Food for thought!

“Move to a new country and you quickly see that visiting a place as a tourist, and actually moving there for good, are two very different things.”
― Tahir Shah, Travels With Myself

Photographer reflected in the mirror

Are you a tourist this summer? When we went to the Big Island of Hawaii last winter, I KNEW I was a tourist and was very happy to be one. How else can one learn about the places they travel?

Did I mention I have been to Yosemite National Park 25 times in my life so far? I do not feel like a tourist there at all, more like a local who has chased a few bears away, camped in tents in the frigid alpine nights, and enjoyed countless ranger-led hikes and campfires.

It’s all in our perspective.

SundayStills_blogbanner

Please join the ever-growing list of bloggers sharing for Sunday Stills!

Feel free to use this image for your posts.

The July calendar is posted on the Sunday Stills page.

 

 

Where was the last place you felt like a tourist?

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Sunday Stills: The #Future Is Ours

College graduates walk at commencement

The future, the Sunday Stills theme this week, asks us to think about what this means to us. Nothing says “future” like a commencement ceremony.

Jubilant student graduates from University

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the college graduation of one of my students (who was also a long-time employee of mine and one of my daughter’s best friends). I also witnessed several students from previous classes walking toward their futures!

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

The smile on her face (the one in the middle in the white glasses) says it all. Her future is exciting because she moves out of state to be with her husband who serves in the Air Force.

Students graduating from Sacramento State UniversityThe College of Health and Human Services at Sacramento State University, where I teach, had over 1200 bachelor and master candidates for graduation for Spring 2018 out of a university total of 6,600! Impressive when you consider this includes majors in recreation and parks, criminal justice, physical therapy, kinesiology, nursing, and social work.

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. William Shakespeare

These women and men are our future!

College graduates walk at commencement

Today’s theme was chosen by Hugh.

Remember, you can always refer to my Sunday Stills page for the monthly themes always posted in advance. Your posts can be published any day of the week! The link-up is optional, but if you do link-up, please visit a couple of bloggers.

What does “future” mean to you?

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Sunday Stills: #Furry and #Feathered Friends

Sunday Stills Fur and Feathers Graphic

Today’s Sunday Stills theme is “fur and feathers” but feel free to add photos of your scaled and slithering friends as well.

Aero loves going to the delta
Aero loves going to the delta

Boykin Spaniel Brodie loves the water
Boykin Spaniel Brodie loves the water

Did you know today is National Animal Rights Day? Many organizations dedicate themselves to the betterment and loving treatment of ALL animals.

According to Christian author Gary Kurtz, who wrote Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates: A Book of Hope for Those Who have Lost a Pet, he writes that “pets are God’s creatures…merely on loan to us.”

With Biblical support, Kurtz suggests that all animals have eternal spirits. As a Christian myself, I believe this to be true, which gives me great comfort knowing that my past, present and future dogs, cats, birds and even fish have a place in God’s eternity. On some spiritual level, I shall see them all again.

Almost every day, I read online from friends and family who grieve a pet who has died. I often recommend this book and have been surprised at the positive responses from those who have read it.

Regardless of your own beliefs in an eternal afterlife, or not, we must treat all creatures on Planet Earth with care and respect.

Of course, I will swat a mosquito or kill a tick that crawls on my skin. Believe it or not, even pesky bugs have a place on Earth.

To illustrate my point, while camping with family two years ago, I almost fell over as I watched my little nephew stomp on an unsuspecting beetle while hiking in a national park. I asked him why he did that, and he replied, “because he was going to bite me.”

I told him that all critters and animals are protected in a national park and he could go to jail for killing bugs and animals (yes, a teeny white lie, but bear with me here). I then asked him, “What if you were just walking along one day and a giant walked up and stepped on you?” His eyes widened with the realization that his eight-year-old imagination allowed.

A little leisure education hurts no one.

Bewildered swallow looking for its nest
Bewildered swallow looking for its nest

This swallow and her mate decided to build their nest in our neighbor’s windsurf sail shed. One of the other fellows who keeps his sails in the shed noticed the partially built nest and knocked it down with a stick, complaining about bird droppings (my word, not his). Luckily it was still under construction, so no eggs or birds were harmed.

It was an abrupt decision, one that I both disagreed with and supported.

On one hand, these swallows build their nests here on Sherman Island in the delta and there are plenty of safe areas in which to build them. On the other, these skittish birds would not have succeeded trying to hatch eggs in a noisy area with us walking in and out of the shed.

In the long run, I guess there is no right way to move a bird nest. They can quickly rebuild one in a safer location.

But these incidents beg the question, how much have humans encroached on natural habitats in the name of progress, lifestyle and leisure?

To what extent do we continue to banish native animals from their own environments due to urbanization?

It is a little sad to think we need organizations to protect Earth’s creatures from harm and violence, mistreatment and misuse.

So, let’s support our fellow creatures today by posting a favorite photo of yours for Sunday Stills!

Please help me promote Sunday Stills so that we can have more talented bloggers participate in this photo challenge, now that the long-time WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge posted its final theme this week.

Sunday Stills Fur and Feathers Graphic

Link up here:

A hearty shout-out to May Sunday Stills Photo Challenge participants!

A Day In the Life
Adventures in Weseland
CactusCatz
Cee’s Photography
Debbie Scott Photography Digital Art
Field Notes From Over The Hill
Feel Purple
Heaven’s Sunshine
Hugh’s Views and News
Idaho Bluebird
IScribler
Light Words
Living with My Ancestors
Misty Roads Blog
Mucho Spanish
NorCal Zen
Now at Home
Proscenium
Retirementally Challenged
Terry’s Desk
This, That and the Other Thing
YasminKhanBlog
zestnzealblog

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Sunday Stills: #Recreational

recreational fishing on Hilo Bay

recreational fishing on Hilo Bay

This theme is right up this blog’s alley…that’s right, when you’re the host of a photo challenge, you get to pick them! I know you will love it though, since recreation and leisure are essential in our lives.

I bet you find yourself participating in something recreational or leisurely every day. Why not share what you do for recreation for the Sunday Stills photo challenge?

In the above photo, I watched as these two fishermen enjoyed their experience on Hilo Bay juxta-positioned against the backdrop of the apartments. It was a Friday, a school holiday, and these fishermen shared the beach with several young surfers.

And I’ll bet you didn’t know that today is also “National Take Your Parents to the Playground Day.” Playgrounds appear in parks and in swimming pools.

Pool Playground

I would be remiss (as a former aquatics director) if I didn’t include my annual plug for May is National Water Safety Month.

May is National Water Safety Month

For more information on keeping yourself and your family safe in and around the water, visit these links:

Together We Play

National Water Safety Month

and a previous post: Is a Life Jacket in Your Beach Bag

Speaking of Liquid, this is also submitted for the Weekly Photo Challenge! I love it when this happens!

Don’t forget to link up your fabulous recreational-themed photos this week! You have all week to link up and I will share your posts!

 

My Place in the World as a (Leisure) Educator

University students blow bubbles to prove that spontaneity in leisure is rewarding.

University students blow bubbles to prove that spontaneity in leisure is rewarding.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela

I spent 35 years in the world of public parks and recreation providing clients with quality leisure experiences. The last 13 years before I retired in 2014 was spent as the aquatics director overseeing 15 public swimming pools and several sports facilities.

Back then, my Place in the World consisted of training lifeguards and staff in how to save lives, teaching kids and adults to swim and providing a cool, refreshing respite from the hot summer days found here in Central Northern California. It was also chatting with families, youth and adults about programs and activities in which they could be involved.

What is the role of a leisure educator? Simply to encourage and provide individuals with quality leisure experiences and activities to improve their skills and knowledge.

One teacher can change the world

Although I enjoyed my career in public recreation service, I knew I could contribute more to the goals of wise use of leisure time. And a little extra money wouldn’t hurt.

Following the lead of some of my colleagues, who were teaching part-time as lecturers in the parks and recreation departments at various universities, I got a master’s degree at the age of 50 and began my second career teaching students the values of leisure and sharing my 30 years of knowledge in management, communication, marketing and human resources.

What started out in 2011 as teaching one three-unit night class per semester, grew into teaching 15 units a year once I retired a few years later.

My place in the world grew to include teaching and mentoring hundreds of university students.

In the featured image at the top of the post, is my leisure education class experiencing spontaneous play by blowing bubbles on the Guy West Bridge on the Sacramento State University campus. Selfies and smiles, what’s not to love?

This past spring saw me temporarily putting aside the blog to focus my energy on creating relevant curriculum for a class new to me.

As this week marked my last class, I shared with my students that it has been an honor to be their instructor and that I am proud of what they accomplished with their assignments and quizzes. I say this on my last day of classes every semester and I am still amazed at their applause.

My reward is to see them graduate and to hear about them in the future as a recreation and leisure professional.

The last night of class, I was surprised to see a dozen students lingering around chatting among themselves. Many came up to me to thank me as well as inquire about other classes I’ll be teaching.

As we said our good-lucks and goodbyes, I recall several messages from students over the week:

“This is the only class this semester that is supporting my growth as a student!”

“Thank you for a great semester! I really think that our program will benefit from your instruction of this class from now on. You have brought a lot of valuable and relevant information to the course which will set students up for success in their future careers.”

“Thank you, professor Terri, it has been an honor learning from your courses.”

I am humbled.

Truly this is my place in the world.

I hope we can all express gratitude to those who teach our children and grandchildren, or those who teach in adult education. I worked with many dedicated and tireless volunteers who taught for free just to give back skills in photography, art, music and sports.

For those new to my blog, you may be interested in reading an older post Reconnecting with my High School Teacher.


A great teacher inspires!


Do you like these quotes? I was nominated by A Momma’s View, a long-time blogger friend, for the 3-Days, 3-Quotes Challenge. I’m cheating a bit because I have three quotes in this one post, and I won’t be able to post consecutively. Here are the rules if you would like to play along–the rules are simple:

  • Thank you to the person who nominates you
  • Post one quote per day for 3 consecutive days
  • Nominate three new bloggers each day

I’m nominating anyone interested in this challenge!


It is not too late to thank a teacher today!

 

Ascending Steps to Greatness

the ascent to greatness

More steps to education

The weekly photo challenge asks us to show  our interpretation of upward movement with the theme Ascend.

This was my last week of teaching classes for the semester. As I graded my last online final, I recalled how, the week before, I asked students in my classes to stand and be acknowledged for their achievement of graduating this weekend. The smiles on their faces as each class applauded their pending walk to the podium simply demonstrated how much I love teaching and watching this phenomenon happen each year.

The image above was captured last spring on my way to the building in which my office is housed, and where many classrooms seat hundreds of students daily.

The morning sunrise lighting the stairs leading to the building punctuated with the lovely white blooms of the tree gave me a feeling of ascending into a higher place where we can find and reach our potential.

If we look, we easily find this theme ascension, the upward climb, taking flight and soaring among the clouds every day.

Earlier this year, I caught a photo of the Canadian snow geese ascending into the sky after feeding in the Colusa Wildlife Sanctuary.

Geese ascend

Last fall, I managed to capture the Blue Angels soaring overhead at the airshow.

Blue Angels Ascent

 

As I edited these photos depicting “ascend,” I am reminded of the poem I used to hear as a teen watching late night television (remember when network stations actually signed off each night?)

High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air… .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

I leave you with this quote for those still struggling with the upward climb.

Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness.
Publilius Syru

the ascent to greatness

Speaking of photos, don’t forget to check out my photography page where you can access free photos. I just added a set of holiday-themed photos for anyone to use!

In my next post I will share how I easily created the signature below using PicMonkey!

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The Glow from “The Range of Light”

-...it still seems above all others the Range of Light.- john muir

Alpenglow

Alpenglow is an optical phenomenon in which a horizontal reddish glow is observed on the horizon opposite to the sun.

Tuolumne Meadows, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada’s high country of Yosemite National Park, is the place to witness the amazing alpenglow at sunset. The phenomenon often lingers for several minutes after the sun has completely set, filling the sky with the ethereal orange-red glow.

alpenglow on high Sierra
High Sierra sunset creates alpenglow on opposite horizon

Not only is alpenglow an amazing phenomenon, but John Muir described the Sierra Nevada Range as “The range of light.”

“Then it seemed to me that the Sierra should be called, not the Nevada or Snowy Range, but the Range of Light. And after ten years of wandering and wondering in the heart of it, rejoicing in its glorious floods of light, the white beams of the morning streaming through the passes, the noonday radiance on the crystal rocks, the flush of the alpenglow, and the irised spray of countless waterfalls, it still seems above all others the Range of Light.” — from The Yosemite (1912)

Hard to capture with anything other than the naked eye, there is something magical about the sunlit Glow reflected on the billions of pine needles that give off a light of their own.

Light emanates even from the pine needles

Even the shining granite known as “glacial polish” adds the ethereal glow Muir described.

Glacial Polish on Lembert Dome

The Range of Light has infused inspiration into my soul since I walked these meadows in 1968 as an eight year-old. TWSchrandt

For earlier post on this subject visit, No Room, But There’s a View.

Pin or Flip Me! 
-...it still seems above all others the Range of Light.- john muir

I hope you enjoyed some light and inspiration from my backyard (wink)! Posted for the Weekly Photo Challenge “Glow.”

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Playing in the Trees

Students hanging out in the trees

Students hanging out in the trees

Mid-October finds me longing for trees decked out in Autumn splendor. Here in Northern California, as the nights get cooler and the day time temps hover in the upper 70s, the leaves have a couple more weeks to go before we see significant color changes.

For now, as I post for Sunday Trees hosted by Becca at “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea,”  I will have to settle for some photos of leisure and play time in the trees.

Last weekend, I had arranged for one of my recreation classes to participate in the campus Peak Adventures Ropes course. Facing their fears, they embraced their opportunity to climb up trees over 40 feet in the air to a platform, rope or pole from which to execute the challenge.

In spite of them being harnessed in and belayed by professional staff, students reported the lasting affects of the adrenaline rush of walking across a wobbly rope while looking down on fellow well-wishers.

Student scales a tree showing perspective

And…she jumps!

Student takes the "leap of faith" 40 feet in the air at the Peak Adventures Challenge Ropes Course in Sacramento.

I can’t wait to read their reaction papers!

I am also including these for the Weekly Photo Challenge Scale! Please feel free to participate in these photo challenges!

What did you do this weekend?

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Layers of Autumn

Layers of Yellow Leaves

Layers of drops on layers of leaves

As the autumnal equinox makes its mark today on the Northern Hemisphere, (Fall is here), I’m sharing these photos of layers of leaves.

Layers of Yellow Leaves

Fall is my favorite time of year, and this week the unseasonably cool weather brought a hint of Autumn to Northern California. I am so ready.

Layers of Fallen Autumn Leaves

I got some good news this week about my job as a university lecturer, and peace, along with the Fall-like weather, just seemed to descend upon me after a few weeks of dealing with uncertainty.

Today, as this blog posts, I am spending the morning with 80 university students playing various games and engaging in some fun water sports and activities at the Aquatic Center, enjoying the layers of leisure.

Students engage in dual kayaking for a leisure class.
Students engage in dual kayaking for a leisure class.

These images are from last year’s play day. And yes, I get paid for this!

Layers and reflections of water craft

Posting for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, Layered

What does your first day of Autumn look like?

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