Sunday Stills: Under (And Over) the #Trees

suburban pine forest

Welcome back to Sunday Stills! I took a weekend break over the July 4th holiday, but I managed to publish two posts between July 2 and 7…whaaatt? I do like my once a week blogging schedule, but I enjoy mixing it up a little now and then, so thanks for reading.

Most of you know I love all types of pine trees, and finally moved to Eastern Washington last December where I am surrounded by Ponderosa pines. Having spent most of my childhood in San Diego surrounded by palm trees (which I love, by the way), my preference for pines was undoubtedly influenced by our two-year stay in Portland, Oregon. We lived on the corner of this Beaverton suburb and you can see the gorgeous view of the Sugar Pines (taken recently while there for a family memorial service).

suburban pine forest
Childhood home under the trees

While we were in the Beaverton area, we stayed in a lovely AirB&B and I discovered a wonderful suburban trail….

pathway under the trees
Suburban trail in Beaverton, OR

…That led to this pocket forest.

Suburban pocket forest

How wonderful to find a surprise forest in this neighborhood!

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

Tree images are shared for Johnbo’s Cellpic Sunday and Becky B’s July Tree Squares.

I am still inviting links to Marsha’s Writers’ Quotes Wednesdays Writer’s Challenge while she is out and about exploring trees! Please link to THIS POST until next Tuesday–your choice of theme.

“But Don’t the Trees Seem Nice and Full?”

You may have read last Friday’s Bird weekly post where I shared our neighborhood eagle “Journey,” and my former home’s sweet hummingbirds. Journey, the young eagle is still being monitored at the Birds of Prey Northwest facility in nearby Couer d’Alene, Idaho, and is progressing nicely. He is housed with another adult eagle who can mentor him until he is ready to be released. The temps are still very hot, in fact record breaking for this area and time of year, so he will stay at the facility a while longer. The parents are still visiting and maintaining the nest which is a really good sign.

Partially inspired by Lisa’s Bird Weekly (common birds found in your neighborhood), I have three species of birds that can be found over and under the trees.

R-rr-rr–Raven

On my morning walks with my dogs, I take a tree-lined path off the main road. A huge family of ravens inhabit the area and seem rather tame. They are certainly not bothered by my presence even when I creep toward one to take a pic! Of course one will scold me for getting too close! Now that I know the heat caused many young birds to fledge early, perhaps they were keeping track of the fledglings (none that I saw).

High Above the Trees

Birds of prey abound here in Eastern Washington and especially in our rural area of Nine Mile Falls, 20 miles north of Spokane. On any given day one can look up…way up, and see a variety of birds circling. The best times to see them are early mornings and twilight as they search for food.

Hoping to see more eagles, I was surprised to see this particular bird, the Turkey Vulture, also seen in California, circling the skies here. They soar over 300 feet up but I got this shot with my Lumix!

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture

Another busy bird around these parts is the Western Osprey, a member of the hawk family. Lately a family of three soars the morning and evening skies, often heading back and forth between the forest and the nearby Spokane River (Long Lake). The osprey has distinctive face marking, like a black mask across its eyes. A really stunning bird and fun to capture in flight with my Lumix.

Western Osprey
Western Osprey

I’m always a little worried that these huge birds might see my little dog Aero as a tasty treat, but luckily, the Osprey prefers fish while the Turkey Vulture feasts on carrion.

So what does my heading have to do with this section? Let me explain:

The quote in the heading was inspired by an old Andy Griffith TV show from the 60s starring Andy Griffith as the Mayberry, North Carolina sheriff and Ron Howard as his son Opie Taylor.

In the 1963 episode “Opie the Birdman,” Opie accidentally kills a mother bird, then he becomes a foster parent to its three orphaned nestlings and hand-raises them, naming them Winkin, Blinken and Nod. After successfully releasing the birds, Opie sadly remarks, “The cage sure looks awful empty, don’t it, Pa?

Andy Taylor replies, “Yes son, it sure does… but don’t the trees seem nice and full?”

Awwww….I love that reply and the whole episode! And isn’t that how it should be with our birds?

Join me for Sunday Stills the rest of the month:

  • July 18 Monthly Color Challenge: Evergreen (yes, more trees if you wish)
  • July 25 Geometric–think triangles, lines, squares, etc

Great Outdoors Bloggers links

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. With 32 link-ups, you ‘all seem to love the great outdoors! Previously shared on last Wednesday’s Writers Quotes Wednesday, in case you missed the list.

Have a wonderful week!

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Winter Macro in #DecemberSquares

snowy bough

I don’t always get to see snow, but when I do, I am so happy to capture an image that depicts a winter day.

snowy bough

We still have some colorful autumn leaves hanging on for dear life, but wintertime is here!

The pine stays green in winter, wisdom in hardship. – Norman Douglas

Submitting for December Squares and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Close Up or Macro.

 

Sunday Stills: #Aroma

Mouthwatering Aroma of canapes

Mouthwatering Aroma of canapes

While the U.S. celebrates Memorial Day this weekend (holiday observed Monday), my co-host Aixa at Mucho Spanish chose the theme “aroma” for the Sunday Stills photo challenge.

Memorial Day weekend is the traditional “unofficial” kick-off to the summer season here in the Northern Hemisphere. I, myself, am at the Sacramento Delta for a long weekend as this publishes. Part of the tradition includes backyard BBQ filling the air with mouthwatering aromas of chicken, salmon, tri-tip (my hubby’s specialty) and other grilled treats!

The above image shows an array of canapes perfect to whet your appetite!

Deepest gratitude to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.

Last week as I rode my bike around the neighborhood, I noticed many folks preparing their RVs for a long weekend excursion.

Here in Northern California we are within two hours of either the Sierra Nevadas (Lake Tahoe, Gold Country, and Yosemite just 4 hours south east) and the San Francisco Bay area and the ocean. In between are countless campgrounds, lakes, rivers and other wonderful leisure places.

Each with their own, distinct aromas.

In one of the classes I teach, we study a concept called “smellscape,” sort of an exploration of the senses. Students are asked to think about their favorite leisure places and identify the scents, smells, odors and aromas associated with them.

For me, my favorite scent is the blast of pine that fills the cool mountain air as you enter the forest. As kids on our long drive into Yosemite from the Mohave Desert along the Eastern Sierra Nevada, we rolled down the car windows and drank in the scent, as soon as we reached 7000 feet elevation and saw the trees.

Morning glow on I-5

Similarly, there is such a distinctive smell associated with the ocean as soon as you pull into the parking lot at the southern California beaches.

The salt air, sun-warmed asphalt and sidewalks, BBQs, sand and ocean air create a cacophony of smells that announces “you are now at the beach.”

the beach is calling

So, take a moment, close your eyes and think of scents that bring you joy and remind you of your favorite leisure activities.

What are your favorite aromas? Please share photos that represent them!


May is National Water Safety MonthBeing that this post publishes during Memorial Day Weekend, I am compelled to share one more Water Safety post. 20+ years working in the public swimming pool and aquatics industry will do that to a person!

ABCDs of Being Water Safe

 


Too busy to post because of the holiday? You are never too late to post and link-up. Join us anytime!

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