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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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge: Writer’s Choice or Culture

Create a WQWWC Post

I took a one day break from Sunday Stills to celebrate the Independence Day holiday. My good friend Marsha is busy with her new property as they prepare to get it ready for its new AirB&B status! So I offered to return the favor to host her weekly blog feature Writers Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge (aka) #WQWWC for her this week!

WQWWC Requirement

More About Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge

I have been participating lately…I originally misunderstood the prompt thinking it was more of a writing prompt responding to a chosen quote. Just shows you how wrong I was. Like my Sunday Stills photo challenge that has a prepared weekly theme, WQWWC also has a weekly theme. This week is writer’s choice!

If you think this is still a writer’s challenge, you would be right, sort of. As bloggers, we are all writers to some degree. Many of us focus on different types of writing, whether the subject and focus is poetry, photography, DIY, lifestyle, food, travel, and others. Most bloggers share their craft in several creative ways, combining photography with some form of writing.

Many bloggers also combine their posts into several challenges or prompts—i.e. photo, poetry, flower-of-the-day, color challenge, and more. Hot this month is Becky B’s square trees challenge. Need more inspiration? Check out Cee’s page For the Love of Challenges and click on the challenge of your choice.

If you were planning to share your trees anyway, why not search for a quote about trees?

For Writers Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge, the sky is the limit. Especially this week as it is writer’s choice—that’s YOU, the writer.

WQWWC Suggestions

Now that you have the hang of it, let me take a moment to provide a few examples and illuminate the prompts.

Culture

As host this week, it is my sworn duty as a patriotic American to mention culture with a word or two about USA Independence Day, July 4th and what it has morphed into. While freedom and pride are the overarching themes, Americans love a party!

While many cities solemnly celebrate Independence Day with speeches, parades, and a little pomp, as it should be, most Americans are happy to have a summer holiday and blow off fireworks!

Erma Bombeck says it best…

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”

Erma Bombeck

Do you have a favorite culture quote from your own country?

Writer’s Choice

From here we explore writer’s choice, so share your creativity… c’mon, you can do it! I’m back outside to enjoy water and trees.

Like Marsha, who loves to combine photo and writing challenges in her posts, I’m linking some images to other photo challenges today.

Last week, hubby spent the week traveling back to Sacramento to bring back the rest of the items in our storage unit—bicycles, BBQ, random outdoor furniture, his tools, etc. Once he was done, he celebrated by doing his favorite activity—windsurfing!

Hans Schrandt Executes Big Jump
Hubby with a Big Jump!

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

Jimmy Dean

Shared for John’s On the Water LAPC and John’s CellPic Sunday

While hubby was camping in his truck and hanging with friends in the windy and cool Sacramento delta, my dogs and I endured the record heat by rising early. At 4am I was greeted by this amazing sunrise over the ridge.

Colorful dawn in the mountains

John Muir says it best with this quote:

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!”

John Muir
Painnt Filter Forest
A serene walk in the forest. Image enhanced with Painnt

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

These wonderful Ponderosa pines that surround me are shared for Becky B’s squaretrees.

Now It’s Your Turn

What inspires you more, your images or quotes? Now you will be doubly inspired. Your choice or culture…maybe both?

Create a WQWWC Post

Post it on your blog and link to this post. Leave me a comment to make sure I see it. I will respond to your posts while Marsha is busy! For more information on the writer’s quotes challenge, visit Marsha’s page. Themes for the next few weeks are posted for those who love to plan in advance.

Last Week’s Freedom WQWWC Links

Marsha and I thank you for linking your freedom posts last week. Please visit if you can!

Sunday Stills is Back on July 11 with the Theme: Under the Trees

In the meantime, there is no reason for me to wait to share all the amazing Great Outdoors Bloggers links until July 11th. With 32 link-ups, you ‘all seem to love the great outdoors!

Have a wonderful week and thank you for linking to all the wonderful blogging prompts and challenges available.

SUPSIG

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Sunday Stills: A Solstice #Sunrise-Sunset

Sunday, June 20th marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. What a perfect week to show off our sunrises and sunsets!

But First, The Solstice!

If being celestial two weeks ago wasn’t enough “geek” for you science buffs, let’s talk about the solstice.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”), because at the solstices, the Sun’s declination appears to “stand still”; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) pauses at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction.

Wikipedia

It’s hard to believe we will lose two minutes of daylight a day in the northern hemisphere for the next six months as we head into Autumn and Winter. As the southern hemisphere experiences their winter solstice Monday, folk down-under will gradually see two extra minutes of daylight each day.

After years of living in both Southern and Northern California, I got used to summer nights lasting until 8:45pm or so, with first light around 5:30am. One year I spent the 4th of July celebration with my Dad in the town of Alturas, in the most northeast corner of California. The fireworks didn’t start until 10:30pm when it finally got dark! As much as I thought that was impressive, Spokane (Nine Mile Falls), WA, sees 16 hours of official daylight on the summer solstice.

Image screenshot from Weather Underground App

You can google more information here if you are interested in seeing your own daylight hours.

There is also something called “Civil Twilight,” where light begins or remains in the sky before the sun rises or sets. Spokane’s begins as early as 4:10am and the light in the sky ends at 9:35pm, that’s about 6.5 hours of darkness. I know many of you live in more northern latitudes (Alaska, Canada, Sweden, etc) and it would be interesting to know what your sunset time will be on the solstice.

For you in the southern latitudes, what time did the sun go down on this cold winter day?

The construction crew is slowly building the polebarn/shop. This was taken at 10:00 pm a few days ago. Still a lot of light in the sky, enough to hide the stars.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

John Steinbeck

And so the world turns.

Now that all the science is out of the way, how do you celebrate the solstice? In my world, and for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme, we will simply enjoy sharing our favorite sunrises and sunsets.

The Heat is On

Similar to our experience with the summer solstice is the heat that comes with enjoying what summer brings. Marsha at Always Write challenges us this week with “heat” for her Writers Quotes Wednesday Writers Challenge. Marsha has a series of hilarious quotes you don’t want to miss. I found a few of my own to share. But I thought this one seemed appropriate since we just read about daylight hours.

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

“Dear weather, stop showing off… We know you’re HOT!!!”
“I’m glad it’s finally hot enough to complain about how hot it is.”

Authors Unknown
Weathered sun

And with Summer’s Heat Comes…

To me sunflowers are a wonderful representation of all things “sun.”

red gold sunrise sunflower

The sunflower’s name comes from its tendency to reposition itself to face the sun. It’s genus, Helianthus, is rooted in two Greek words — “helios” meaning sun and “anthos” meaning flower. Here is really great article about sunflowers if you want more information…

I miss my sunflowers, the ones I planted from seeds back in my former home in Sacramento. I spent hours taking photos over three summers. I even got great close-ups of bees seeking pollen!

As I’ve mentioned before, I now live in Eastern Washington where sunflowers and their close cousins, coneflowers, grow wild on our property among the pine trees and lupines.

As always, my sunflowers are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day!

Ready for Some Sunrises?

It has been a few years since we visited Baja Sur, Mexico. We typically went in late December and early January. Sunrise was at 7:00 a.m. and I made sure I set my alarm to enjoy the spectacular sunrises over the Sea of Cortez. A real treat to see the sunrise over the ocean instead of the sunset expected on the US West Coast over the Pacific Ocean.

Sunrise over Sea of Cortez
Sunrise over Sea of Cortez
A sunrise brings a new day and a renewed chance of happiness.

How About Some Sunsets?

A sunset over the Sacramento River Delta never failed to inspire.

Clouds and waves combined with a sunset provide lovely textures in nature

After a warm, windy session windsurfing, sometimes a sunset sail is the most memorable.

Summer Sun sets on windsurfer getting the last bits of wind.

“Wind is God’s way of balancing heat.”

Author Unknown

Or how about a sunset in the Yosemite high country?

Half light of Tuolumne Meadows sunset

Turn around and even better, alpenglow appears on the opposite horizon from the setting sun!

Alpenglow Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows
Unlike the direct sunlight around sunrise or sunset, the light that causes alpenglow is reflected off airborne precipitation, ice crystals, or particulates in the lower atmosphere. source

A look at my world during the summer. Linking to Lens-Artists challenge “World.”

In case you need ideas, consider sharing anything anything related to sunrises and sunsets: sunflowers, glow, lighthouse, brilliance, alpenglow, dusk, twilight, dawn, rooster crowing, Stonehenge, stone circles, sun god, ancient myths, etc.

In the Pink Blogger Links

Color challenges seem to be waayyy popular! Bloggers shared 17 links just on Sunday alone with a grand total of 33 by Saturday! Thank you for your continuing support and I hope to see a lot more for this week’s prompt!

I am also “sharing my snaps” over at Denyse Whelan’s blog this Monday!

I’ll sign off with this image of me from 2019 enjoying a very boozy sunset Mai Tai at the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego in Fall 2019.

Terri enjoying a beverage at Bali Hai

Next week, we explore the Great Outdoors (June is Great Outdoors month somewhere). I will share a sneak peak perspective of Becky B’s July Squares: Trees.

Enjoy the solstice and have a wonderful week ahead!

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Sunday Stills: The People’s National #Parks

Half Dome View from Glacier Point

Did you know that today, Sunday, August 25th is the National Park Service Anniversary? So what, right? The NPS celebrates this day along with two other days with FREE entrance to all US national parks!

“For the first time in human history, land—great sections of our national landscape—was set aside, not for kings or noblemen or the very rich, but for everyone, for all time.”

From the National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Dayton Duncan, Ken Burns

The last time I was near a national park was during our winter road trip to Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. We were thisclose to the Grand Canyon, but icy roads, unexpected snow, AND the US government shut-down prevented us from getting to it safely.

One of these days! But we did visit Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park and I got my photography fix.

Slot Canyon Hike
Almost Antelope Canyon

Here are a few photos of the National Parks I have visited. After 25 separate visits in my lifetime to Yosemite National Park, I may have a few pics! Here are some of my favorites.

A view of Mono Lake (National Monument) in the Eastern Sierra Nevada along Hwy 395. You can just make out the road in the bottom right that winds through the town of Lee Vining and connects with Hwy 120, the gateway to Yosemite through the Tioga Pass entrance.

View of Mono Lake

As much as I thrill to the iconic image of Yosemite’s Half Dome located in the Valley…

Half Dome View from Glacier Point
Half Dome View from Glacier Point

…my heart belongs to Tuolumne Meadows in the high country a few miles in from the Tioga Pass entrance. At almost 10,000 feet in elevation, the air is crisp, the water insanely blue, and the tourists are few!

Tuolumne-Meadows-River
Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River runs near the campground (Yosemite National Park)

For more on National Parks, consider visiting my previous post NPS Celebrates 100 Years.

Moving away from the North American continent, Hawaii boasts several national parks and recreation areas.

In January 2018, before the Kilauea crater and nearby vents erupted again, we spent a day walking around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park near Hilo on the Big Island.

Kilauea Crater
Steam rises from the very active Kilauea Crater (Painnt filter applied)

On an earlier trip to Oahu in 2006, I also was fortunate to visit Pearl Harbor National Memorial and see the sunken remains of the USS Arizona. Within this structure is the huge memorial plaque with the names of those who perished.

I have been fortunate to visit a variety of national parks, monuments and recreation areas, mostly in California, all US public lands. I never will forget my parents’ insistence on visiting these locations during my life.

  • Alcatraz Island in San Francisco
  • Cabrillo National Monument (Point Loma, San Diego)
  • Death Valley
  • Devil’s Postpile Nat’l Monument in Mammoth Lakes
  • Fort Point Presidio and Presidio of San Francisco, Golden Gate park
  • Lassen Volcanic
  • Mojave Nat’l Preserve
  • Muir Woods Nat’l Monument North San Francisco Bay
  • Pony Express Trail (came through Old Sacramento),
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
  • Yosemite National Park

Even if you miss the free admission day, paying the entrance fee for a day or a week is worth more to you in the long term than paying your HMO’s co-pay when you must visit the doctor for effects of lack of exercise!

Have you heard of ParkRx? Doctors in South Dakota get these prescriptions through a new program run by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and the state‘s Department of Health. For me, I would love to get a prescription to visit a park rather than drugs to lower my cholesterol!

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”

John Muir, Our National Parks

Whether you live in the US or another country, why is it so important to visit our national lands? Because someone with vision understood the vital importance of setting aside public lands for all of us to enjoy and for future generations.

Next time you visit a National Park, a public playground or any other public leisure space, say a quick thank you to those visionaries: Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, Jane Addams, Steven T Mather, among many.

I dearly love this image of my brother-in-law’s posture as he takes in his first view of Tuolumne Meadows.

Yosemite is the People's Park

This post is partially inspired by Snow’s Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Tourism.

I am taking a short break to get caught up with school prep and other exciting things, so there is NO photo challenge for September 1, Labor Day weekend. Thank you to all who participate each week!

Sunday Stills resumes September 8. September themes are up on my Sunday Stills Photography page

Which national parks, monuments or public lands have you visited so far?

Sunday Stills: In Your World of #Blue

I am on the catwalk

Sunday Stills this week is all about “Blue.” Why? Because I am helping Becky B promote her July Squares photography challenge, which is, you guessed it, BLUE.

I am also continuing with Journaling in July hosted by Sue of Sizzling Toward Sixty.

The journal prompt for today, July 7th is “My Favorite Quote and Why.”
I thought about this for a while. As a blogger, I get inspiration from my own images and many inspire a quotation. I love John Muir quotes as you know, but two quotes really stand out and have been anthems for my life.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

When I attempted to learn how to windsurf at age 49, I thought I would die trying. I wanted to be a part of my new husband’s (then boyfriend) life, so I took on the challenge at the expense of various body parts. Sailing in the delta is challenging enough, but in Baja, Mexico, the waves can crash over your head.

Windsurfing in Baja
Windsurfing in blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, Baja, Mexico

In this photo, you might not see my body language quaking in fear as I’m already in waist deep water navigating the shore break and kite surfers. But I got myself into a water-start position, as the wind pushed up the sail, which pulled me up and onto the board. I had a great time!

Do I do something every day that scares me? Probably not, but that quote is a great source of inspiration to get off my a$$ and learn something new.

This next quote resonates strongly with me as I get closer to 60. I have taught university classes in leisure and lifestyle development and love to see the lightbulbs go on when we talk about aging and leisure in class.

“Man does not cease to play because he grows old, he grows old because he ceases to play.”

George Bernard Shaw
I am on the catwalk

In this photo, I’m walking the catwalk on the campus challenge ropes course. This catwalk is 30 feet high, situated between two tall pine trees and anchored by telephone poles. I don’t know why the students are always so fascinated when their professors take part. I’m not afraid of heights and we are harnessed in. A trained Challenge Course staff person is below belaying the line, but it’s nerve-wracking for sure.

Facing our fears is healthy especially done in the context of play and leisure.

My last photograph simply shows me doing my photographer thing. Ironically, I took none of these photos for the challenge today and I ended up being the subject.

Photographer in Blue

Oh yeah, and they are all blue!

I’m making my photos square today to submit to Becky B’s Blue July Squares.

Say hello to our new bloggers who have joined Sunday Stills in June! PhotographyOCD and Savoring Sixty and Beyond. Big thank-yous to all the faithful bloggers who participate each week!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme.
  • Title your 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 shared all week. Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Show us your world in blue this week!

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Sunday Stills: The Great #Outdoors

Great Outdoors American Flag

The last day of June 2019 is a wonderful way to spend in the outdoors, our theme for this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge. June was National Great Outdoors Month, which seems appropriate as many folks begin their summer vacations.

To help inspire you, today I am sharing some of my favorite photos of this year’s visits to the great outdoors along with some motivational quotes.

You know that I am an outdoors person, therefore most of my leisure time is spent outdoors appreciating nature. Since hubby is an adventurous spirit, anything outdoors is our first choice for time together.

Last December found us in the Arizona desert enjoying a warm hike on one day and snowy New Year’s the next.

“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.”

Edward Abbey

In January we completed our road trip in Las Vegas in awe of the red rocks of Valley of Fire State Park. Once home we towed the trailer back to its storage location in the Sacramento Delta (in Antioch) and enjoyed the serenity of the valley fog.

During my spring break from teaching in mid-March, we spent as much time as possible outdoors in Hilo, Hawaii.

April is the start of windsurfing season. We moved the trailer again for the summer and enjoyed some water sports.

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and winds long to play with your hair.”

Kahlil Gibran

In May, I spent a lovely weekend in South Lake Tahoe at our ladies retreat taking moments to contemplate the still waters of Zephyr Cove.

There is no wi-fi in the forest, but you will find a better connection.

Before the retreat, I arrived early to take a bike ride around the Tahoe Keys Marina, a residential boating area amidst the pine trees. How amazing to walk outside your back door and hop on your watercraft! Yes, please!

Boats in Tahoe Marina

Of course, John Muir inspires countless generations to enjoy the great outdoors!

Wander a whole Summer
Everyone needs beauty...and places to play in...

“There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in this process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

I love this quote. The U.S. will celebrate Independence Day on July 4th this week. In the image below, the American flag stands tall and proud amidst the sacred lodgepole pines of Yosemite National Park.

Great Outdoors American Flag
Flying the flag at the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite

Did you notice that this image is square? Beginning July 1, join Becky B for Blue July squares. Until then, Happy Independence Day!

Sunday Stills July themes can be found here!

Sunday Stills Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme.
  • Title your 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 shared all week. Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

As the first half of the year comes to an end, did you experience the great outdoors?

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Veering off the #Path

Curiosity Leads to new Paths Quote

I’m ba-a-ack!
This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “paths.” When I think of a path, my literal brain takes me to pathways, roads, and trails. As we celebrate Father’s Day in the U.S. this Sunday, I think of how my own father blazed trails in our leisure lives and set in motion the way we choose and experience leisure.

80-year old dad hiking on his birthday in Mammoth Lakes
Dad loved the trekking poles he got for his 80th birthday!

Brief Surgery Update

My Knee Scooter

This month I have veered sharply off my normal path, but this temporary path is helped along by this knee scooter as I continue my recovery from foot surgery. The surgery went as expected and I was well taken care of by the surgical team. Although I experienced pain during the first two days, five days after surgery, the pain diminished to where I no longer needed the prescribed pain meds. I still take ibuprofen for swelling but the pain is rated as 1 out of 10. By the middle of the afternoon, I do feel a little fatigued as I know my body is healing and focusing energy toward that process.

I have a post-op doctor’s appointment this coming Tuesday and I am anxious to know how things are progressing. I’m hoping for a walking cast ASAP, so I can begin a new path to normal. More about my surgery experience to come.

Thank you to Hugh Roberts for hosting Sunday Still on June 2 and 9th while I recover from foot surgery. I appreciated your good wishes and enjoyed your comments about your own experiences!

On With the Challenge

“When the path ignites a soul, there’s no remaining in place. The foot touches ground, but not for long.” ― Hakim Sanai

I love this quote, for this is the moment where your path meets your passion. My husband found windsurfing as a passion in his early 40s. The quest for places in which to sail has taken him on paths I’m sure he would never have thought existed. From the Sacramento River Delta, meandering northward to the windy Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, all the way south to La Ventana, Baja, Mexico, these paths toward windsurfing are just the first steps on the rest of the world’s paths for fun and leisure.

Narrow paths to the action.

“My father raised me to think independently and follow my own path in life.” Antony Garrett Lisi

Daddy and Daughter at the beach

As much as we both would love to instill the love of windsurfing into our respective adult children, this is not the path they would choose for themselves. As a father, Hans is content to enjoy his daughter’s company.

When you are passionate about something, especially your leisure choices, sharing that love may take the form of teaching other parents’ children the ins and outs of windsurfing as shown here. (Even with a beer in one hand).

Hans teaching windsurfing
Hans teaching windsurfing to a friend’s son.

Perhaps you are seeking the right path for you. We all search and discover that path’s change, diverge or simply end. I will leave you today with some quotes and images.

not all those who wander are lost
Take a dirt path to leisure
Tuolumne Meadows high country, Yosemite
Curiosity Leads to new Paths Quote
What to do at the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Perhaps my favorite is this image of a man surrounded by kite-surfers and stand-up paddleboards. His attire and posture seem to project his desire in contemplating a new path. He may have been a windsurfer before and is experiencing the nostalgia of days gone by.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Where do the paths take you in your own life?

Sunday Stills Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme.
  • Title your post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
  • Entries for this theme can be shared all week. Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Special note: Due to ongoing problems with pingbacks not consistently working on WordPress, please also leave a link to your Sunday Stills post in the comments section of this post.

I am glad to be back and hope you can celebrate Father’s Day with an important man in your life!

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Sunday Stills: The #Spirit Moves Us

Yosemite Falls John Muir Quote

There is much we can do with this week’s Sunday Stills theme: SPIRIT.

Humankind yearns for spiritual connections, whether to nature, to other people, to the God of the Bible or to an un-named higher being.

Notre Dame Cathedral Pigeon

I want to take a moment to acknowledge this week’s devasting news about the horrific fire that all but destroyed the Notre Dame Cathedral. I grieved virtually alongside Parisians and the rest of the world as images unfolded showing the crumbling spire and damage to the nave and much of the church’s interior.

Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

This happened on the Monday during Holy Week, the traditional time of Christian celebration between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.

“The cathedral is home to exquisite religious artifacts, paintings, sculptures and other priceless works of art. A chaplain and a French official were among a group of people who formed a human chain to save many of the church’s holy relics such as the Crown of Thorns believed to be worn by Jesus Christ.”

Notre Dame Cathedral on Fire

As our spirits grieve for the 850-year old church, an architectural marvel built in the Middle Ages, we must also acknowledge that our faith is not confined within the physical structure of the church itself, but in the belief that God is eternal, as are our souls.

As a Christian, I have accepted God’s grace through Jesus Christ that, when upon my death, my spirit shall live in eternity with God.

Cross and palms

“For I remember it is Easter morn, and life and love and peace are all newborn.”

Alice Freeman Palmer

“And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 1:4
Green-framed door of this quaint, steepled church in Sutter Creek California
Green-framed door of this quaint, steepled church in Sutter Creek California

Out of the ashes springs hope as we celebrate Easter Sunday today.

Earth Day

Monday, April 22 is Earth Day, a celebration of the Earth’s spirit as we inhabitants clean up and care for our environment.

Enjoy the memes celebrating nature’s spirit:

Yosemite Falls John Muir Quote
In every walk with nature...Muir
Nature holds the key to our...satisfaction. Quote

“May your spirit soar throughout the vast cathedral of your being.”

Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Whether you believe in a higher being, a natural Earth, follow an organized religion, or simply just believe, show us something that moves YOUR spirit.

Happy Easter!

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Sunday Stills: #Gates to Fun

Pergola Gate with Quote

Today’s photo challenge is that indeed, at least for me. I had a whopping total of five gates in my vast digital photo file, including one I had posted over 4 years ago! I found lots of doors, windows, fences, and marinas with ramps, but few gates.

To assist with inspiration for this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge, I enlisted the help of my daughter who visited Athens last year and she graciously let me borrow this photo she took of Hadrian’s Arch.

Hadrian's Arch Athens
Hadrian’s Arch, Athens. Original Image by Megan Matal

Hadrian’s Arch “is a monumental gateway resembling a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, Greece, to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus.”

At the Southern California Expo, also known as the Del Mar Fair north of San Diego, a building had this pretty, white welcoming gate into the State Exhibition building.

Gateway to Del Mar Fair

Friends have a beautiful vacation home in Los Barilles, Baja, Mexico and this pink wall with its bright green gate faces their property.

Pink and Green Gate

Not a fabulous image of a gate, but here is my hubby (who is pretty fabulous) standing next to the gate to the Ocean Beach Pier in San Diego.

Gate at Ocean Beach Pier
Gate to Ocean Beach Pier

Funny how my limited choice of gates are from southern and Mediterranean geographical locations.

I will leave you with this lovely quote from JRR Tolkien.

Pergola Gate with Quote

What is the secret to finding great gate images? I am looking forward to your creative ideas on the theme this week.

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Sunday Stills: Can You Capture the #Wind?

Windy clouds at sunset

Today’s Sunday Stills theme challenges you to capture the wind! Wind is a very broad theme which is open to much interpretation.

Like last week, I challenge you to get creative with your photography or other projects! Perhaps you captured the wind in a poem, a song, a quote. I’m sure there are hundreds of songs with “wind” in the titles.

This is one of my favorite quotes.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward

We can only see the effects of wind, whether it’s a gentle breeze fluffing a bird’s feathers, or hurricane force winds ripping piers from their docks, or clouds scudding across the sky blown by the beginnings of a storm.

The featured image above shows wind’s effect on the clouds and the ever-present wind turbines.

Wind plays a big part in my life since I became a windsurfer in 2009. The wind is ALWAYS the topic of conversation from April through September in our household and at the delta as every windsurfer I know checks their wind meters, their weather apps or asks if there will be enough wind for sailing.

When it’s a BIG day, it looks like this.

windsurfer getting air

Brodie loves the wind and waves. You can tell it’s windy by his flapping ear!

Wind blowing dog's ear

I manage to have good days windsurfing. Just last week hubby caught me coming off the water with a big smile on my face after 45 minutes of fun in the wind.

Smiling Windsurfer bringing in her windsurf gear

Did you know my logo for Second Wind Leisure represents stylized sails in an abstract “W”? A graphic artist friend created this for me years ago when I started blogging, and for my website Windigen Consulting (which is German for wind).

I’m looking forward to what your interpretation for WIND!

Link up here with your post! I share all posts on my Second Wind Leisure Facebook page, on Twitter and on Flipboard.



 

Sunday Trees: Autumn’s Transformation

From tree to tree for "Sunday Trees"

Autumn in Transition

As long as it is autumn, you will see a few more autumn-themed posts from me, and today is no exception.

From tree to tree for "Sunday Trees"

Both images are from my front and back yards. That redwood was planted 28 years ago (from a seedling I received at Cal Expo State Fair). It is the tallest tree in the neighborhood and makes a beautiful evergreen backdrop to the autumn show all around it.

I love to add an inspirational quote with these posts, but instead, discovered a lovely poem by another blogger. Rebekah Stephenson, who blogs at  We Live Inspired, wrote this beautiful poem, so perfect for the theme. I hope you like it. Please visit her lovely website.

“Leaves of gold, their former green,
The richest color briefly seen
A canopy of purest light,
Falls glittering down into the night.
As winds of change draw ever near
The trees, they seem to have no fear;
They know it’s time, they must transform
And with that something new is born…”

copyright Rebekah Stephenson

Isn’t this a beautiful poem?

I’m sharing these lovely leaves depicting Transformation, for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, for The Day After’s Festival of Leaves, as well as for Becca Givens’ Sunday Trees.

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Where are You Going? Here’s to Strong Women

May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.

May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.

With all the turmoil and sickness plaguing us these last few weeks, I want to take a moment to celebrate my daughters’ January birthdays.

If we were having coffee today, I would invite you in for a hot beverage of your choice (coffee’s ready!) and perhaps some virtual birthday cake.

Today is my oldest daughter’s 32nd birthday. My younger daughter turned 29 on the 21st. They spent many of their childhood and teen birthdays with just me, when I was a single mom raising them with little financial help.

There is something about our children’s birthdays that incites reflection.

Two years ago I wrote a reflective piece when my oldest turned 30, a milestone birthday for the both of us. Here is that post, Where are You Going, My Little Ones.

Through the grace of God, some luck and sheer grit, I raised these incredible women to be strong and independent. Perhaps you can see this in the photo of them fist-bumping after walking me down the aisle after my second wedding in 2013.

Daughters celebrating after marrying off their mom!

My oldest (pictured on the right) is an Aerospace Engineer living in the San Francisco Bay area and has happily worked for the same defense contractor since 2007. She put herself through 4 years at UCLA, graduating with honors, then receiving her master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering. She lives with her boyfriend and two cats and does not plan to have children.

My youngest (on the left), after a long, stressful educational journey, where she was academically expelled from university, ultimately clawed her way back in and graduated with her bachelor of science degree in Recreation Therapy. One year ago, she sat for the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist exam and passed on her first try.

She chose to move away from her friends to a town on the California Central Coast and now works for a State Hospital as a Recreation Therapist. She shares her first apartment with her dog and a fellow co-worker. She is not dating at the moment, but hopes to have children someday.

We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.Both daughters make more money at their young ages than I ever made at the height of my career.

And I am damn proud.

I want them to live their lives in a world where choices matter and living the strength of their convictions takes no effort.

My oldest daughter was severely affected by the outcome of the US elections. I sat helpless as she sobbed over the phone in her disappointment. Not to be stopped, she recently took part in the women’s march in San Francisco.

But even with all this recent turmoil, I am still a mother.

If you have children, enjoy them at every age. I am blessed to be a mom of these lovely, talented young women. Enjoy this lovely version of the song, Turn Around. Here is a sample of the lyrics:

“Where Are You Going (Turn Around)”

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you’re two,
Turn around and you’re four,
Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door.

Notes: by Harry Belafonte, Malvina Reynolds and Alan Greene. Published by Clara Music Publishing Corporation (ASCAP). Administered by Next Decade Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.

I am also linking this song to Hugh’s Views & News 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.


Winter Weekend Coffee SharePlease join the coffee clatch at Part-Time Monster’s Weekend Coffee Share

 

 

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Half-Dome in the Half-Light

Half-Dome in the Half-Light: Come forth into the light of things...

Another entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Half-Light.

Half-Dome in the Half-Light: Come forth into the light of things...

While recently in Yosemite National Park, I captured several photos of Half-Dome. The image of Half-Dome is the well-known icon of Yosemite. I usually visit in the summertime, so it was nice to get my own photos with snow on the peaks.

“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.” -Williams Wordsworth

I thought this quote went perfectly with the challenge.

Have you visited Yosemite? It is a “bucket-list” location.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rain Dance

Let your life lightly dance like dew on the tip of a leaf

Let your life lightly dance like dew on the tip of a leaf

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time, like dew on the tip of a leaf.
-Rabindranath Tagore

Dance is the theme for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

Plenty of rain in Northern California and a couple of new tricks with my Samsung Galaxy gave me new perspectives of rain droplets on leaves and grass. Droplets bead up and roll, taking several other unsuspecting droplets with their miniature dancing deluge.

Droplets dance after the rainvariation of drops on blades of grassRain drops dance on a spring leaf

What do you think of this quote? To me it implies that life is precious and finely balanced, precariously perched in a delicate dance.

The last photo includes “Razzmatazz” a bright fuschia color for Jennifer Nicole Wells’ Color Your World Photo Challenge.