Sunday Stills: Is #Danger Closer Than You Think?

Dogs alert for Danger
Dogs alert for Danger
Dogs appear to be guarding me on the water.

What could be dangerous about a sublime day paddling on the river?

Don’t get me started.

As the former aquatics director for a public parks and recreation organization, it continues to be my duty to remind people to be safe in the water.

This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “danger.”

In the photo above, our dogs seem to be on high alert for danger as I kayak on the river. You can barely see me. Thanks to my daughter for the cool image!

And I was wearing a life vest, like the one in the shot below.

SUP transportation

Even Aero wears his life jacket when we go out on the paddle boards or kayak.

Aero hoping to shake off the life jacket.
May in National Water Safety Month

Every May, I post something about the importance of water safety, which coincides with National Water Safety Month, as the traditional start to summer begins this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

In a previous post from 2015, I share five tips for keeping your family safe on the water. Interestingly, “danger” was the prompt for this post when Ed hosted Sunday Stills!

A beautiful day out on a calm river or lake may look dreamy and fun, but danger is closer than you think. Regardless of what you believe about your own swimming abilities and others with you, the calm water can quickly change. A lifejacket WILL save your life!

Sadly, this is a common sight to see–too many lifejackets are still hanging up!

Kids Don’t Float Campaign sign at Sacramento County Access on Sherman Island

At least these school children exhibited good safety behavior as they explored shallow areas of the American River.

Middle school kids avert danger by wearing life jackets even in knee-deep water.
Averting danger by wearing lifejackets around the river.

We continue to celebrate National Water Safety Month to bring awareness to the dangers of playing in and around the water without a life jacket. Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe by wearing one and insisting they do, too!

Terri Webster Schrandt

I’m posting some news and Sunday Stills themes for June on May 31st. Stay tuned!

I predict many of you will share your unique perspectives on danger this week for the Sunday Stills photo challenge, and they do not have to be water-related.

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Evanescent Spring Snow

Snow in May creates a fleeting moment.

Snow falls for a brief time in Lake Tahoe in May

The weekly photo challenge suggests sharing our fleeting moments, those memories that will soon disappear and pass out of sight.

“It’s a moment that I am after, a fleeting moment, but not a frozen moment!” Andrew Wyeth

When spring and summer descent upon Northern California, you know it! But when winter descends onto a perfectly sunny late spring day in Lake Tahoe, it is Evanescent!

Snow in May creates a fleeting moment.


May is National Water Safety MonthIn the U.S., Memorial Day weekend begins today and ushers in summer fun! This is my last plea to ask people to be safe in and around any bodies of water (even chilly Lake Tahoe–the snow is melting quickly)!


May is National Water Safety Month! Please wear a life-jacket!

Our Leisure Heritage

Park Swings begging for children

Park Swings begging for children

The best intelligence test is what we do with our leisure.
Laurence J. Peter

Our Heritage of leisure, recreation and play has roots deep in our government infrastructure. Not just here in the US, but in most countries world-wide. This is not a post about a political statement (Heaven forbid!), but rather a reminder of the debt we owe visionaries who set aside public lands and leisure spaces for all of us to enjoy.

Although the first sandlot opened in Boston in 1886, the playground movement didn’t begin to develop until the mid-1890s, when playgrounds were opened in nine major US cities. The playground movement in America began as an answer to the industrial revolution realities of crowded cities and long work days. This idea sought to save poor, immigrant, and homeless children from unhealthy crowded tenement neighborhoods. The reformers believed that “supervised play could improve the mental, moral, and physical well-being of children.” Bachrach, J. “Playground Movement.” Encyclopedia of Chicago.

Think about how you engage in leisure on a daily basis…

Sign for River Bend Park County of SacramentoDo you ride your bicycle on a dedicated trail?

When was the last time you took your kids or grandkids to the local neighborhood park and played on the equipment and swings?

Did you enjoy your backpacking trip on the John Muir trail in Yosemite National Park?

How about that cool dip in the YMCA swimming pool?

I could go on all day. The point is our leisure heritage is alive and well.

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

I know school is out for the semester but the leisure educator in me can’t stop extolling the virtues of living a healthy leisure lifestyle!

"The best intelligence test is what we do with our leisure"

Remember, May is National Water Safety Month!

May is National Water Safety Month



Have a leisurely weekend!


Danger Averted, Too!

Middle School kids sporting their life jackets walk toward the river.

Middle School kids sporting their life jackets walk toward the river.

While out on a bike ride this morning on the American River Biketrail, I caught a group of middle-schoolers sporting their life-jackets. Seeing this made me very happy as they began their walk toward the water.

Bonus points for the bicyclist sitting with his bandaged knee, who apparently experienced a little Danger! of this own! He is wearing a bike helmet so in case he did fall from his bike, a skinned knee might be the worst of it!

Middle school kids avert danger by wearing life jackets even in knee-deep water.

As I was riding, and not to appear like a stalker, I came upon the kids knee-deep in the water searching for tadpoles and other water-life.

After 20+ years of being involved in swimming and aquatics, nothing makes me happier than witnessing this act of safety and a great leisure education lesson.

May is National Water Safety Month


We continue to celebrate National Water Safety Month to bring awareness to the dangers of playing in and around the water without a life jacket. Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe by wearing one and insisting they do, too!



Danger Averted?

free life-jackets provided! Please use one!

free life-jackets provided! Please use one!

If you have known me very long, you might remember that I was the Aquatics Director for a parks and rec in my former day job. I lived and breathed water safety and still staunchly promote the benefits of being safe in and around the water.

Although people play in the water with the best intentions, doing so without a life-jacket is a recipe for Danger!.

This past week, I heard the tragic news of a 14-year old boy, who, while playing on the rocks in a shallow area of the American River near Folsom Lake, was swept away by the deceptively cold water and swift current and drowned. His body was found two days later.

Sadly, this will not be the only drowning incident that makes the news.

The temperature in Sacramento this week reached the mid-90s, hot for this time of year, but not unheard of. The largest snow pack ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada mountains will melt quickly into the lakes, rivers and streams within days. The rivers can be treacherous this time of year.

People believe they are good swimmers. I hold that belief about myself. But when the water is COLD and tons of debris like entire trees with branches and roots still intact, floating just below the river’s surface snag onto a person’s body, it WILL take someone under and never let go.

This is the danger of spring snow-melt. As temps heat up in the Northern Hemisphere, no matter where you live, please respect the water and put on a life-jacket.

Security dressed in pink!


I practice what I preach in my water sports stand-up paddling and windsurfing. Here are my lifelines when I am out in the water.

Last year I posted several articles about water safety. For more information on proper life-jackets, also called PFDs or personal flotation devices, please refer to Is a Life Jacket in Your Beach Bag?

The above featured image shows Type 2 life-jackets hanging free for use on a large sign. These signs with life-jackets are available in several spots along the Sacramento and American Rivers.

News media oftentimes shows clips of people swimming in the rivers just yards away from where the free life-jackets are hanging. Sad.


May is National Water Safety MonthThis week’s photo challenge saw me coming…for May is National Water Safety Month!

Please be safe and stay out of danger!


The ABCDs of Being Water Safe

kids play during swim lessons

Young children get swimming lessons and learn water safety skills.
Image by Kimberly Glaster, used by permission.

This is the third and final part of my series for May is National Water Safety Month.

Memorial Day Weekend in the United States heralds in the summer season. This three-day holiday weekend kicks off warm temperatures, family outings, BBQs, and of course, swimming and water recreation.

Memorial Day Weekend also brings an increased risk of child drownings, reports this article.

Pool, lake, and beach parties are favorite ways to celebrate, but parents must remember to stay alert and vigilant while children are in and around water.

For children between the ages of one and four, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States (just behind auto accidents). Even when not fatal, water-related accidents cause significant, life-changing injuries from the lack of oxygen to the brain, including permanent brain injury and loss of basic functioning.

There are thousands of tragic stories about children, teens and adults drowning in swimming pools, rivers, lakes and oceans.

Fortunately, most of these can be prevented by being aware of these four drowning prevention tips.

A is for Adult Supervision. Simply put–Parents, WATCH YOUR CHILDREN! Do not assume someone else is going to watch your child at a backyard birthday pool party, or that the lifeguard will see your child in distress in a crowded swimming pool or beach front. It is simply YOUR job to watch your child.

B is for Barriers. Backyard swimming pools without proper fencing can be a potential death trap for young children. Installation and proper use of barriers or “layers of protection” is crucial. Check your county’s ordinances for proper fence height and rules about self-latching gates. It only takes one moment for your child to slip away and head for the water.

C is for Classes. Children and adults should learn to be comfortable in and around the water.  Never consider children “drown-proof” or “water-safe” despite age, swimming skills, previous lessons or experience. Adults should take classes in CPR and first aid. Enroll children into swimming lessons. Non-swimming adults and teens should take swim classes, too.

In the featured image, the sheer joy of children taking their swim lesson is priceless! For children to be that excited about swimming while learning to be safe in the water should be encouraged and rewarded.

D is for Devices. In your backyard pool, keep rescue devices handy. Wear a life jacket (PFD or personal flotation device) in open water. In late May and early summer, water temperatures in lakes and rivers can be deceptively cold despite the warm sun. Rivers and lakes this time of year can be filled with swiftly moving debris which can trap unsuspecting swimmers and drag them under the water.

Additionally, there may be state laws and local ordinances requiring the wearing of PFDs. Children and adults should wear life jackets in open water and while on a boat.

May in National Water Safety MonthThe NRPA (National Recreation and Park Association) recognizes that May is National Water Safety Month and offers these water safety tips

Are there ordinances or laws about public water safety where you live? Has your community ever experienced a tragic drowning?

Please be safe as the summer swimming season begins.

The above photo was included in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Jubilant.

Sunday Stills: Lifeguard On Duty


For Ed’s Sunday Stills Challenge, the letter L is the theme this week.

Since May is (still) National Water Safety Month, I thought I would post a photo of a LIFEGUARD.

Education about water safety should be available all year round. If you want to read more about water safety, click here and here.

original image by Kimberly Glaster, used by permission

Please feel free to join Ed at Sunday Stills any time!