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Archive for the ‘landscapes’ Category

Spring April 3 2020

Another week has passed, and even though we’ve had night-time temperatures as low as -6C, daytime temperatures in the single digits C, April showers, and … yes, even some snow yesterday! … spring is still springing. A week ago I took some plants from indoors to the greenhouse, thinking night-time freezes were finished. Wishful thinking, I’m afraid. Despite that, the plants are doing well–and the temperature in the greenhouse today got up to 30C (check out that thermometer!) though it was only 7C outside. The smell in the greenhouse was lovely … warm, moist soil and fresh new plants. The garden plants are doing well, too–wild strawberries, chives, green onions, rhubarb, and more. Flowers and bushes … and early fruit blossoms … are in bloom around our complex, too!

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Then off for another solitary walk through the neighbourhood oxbows. As usual, I didn’t meet a soul during my trek … at least not humans … but lots of flying creatures (check out the ducks taking off from the pond and the robin looking for worms), beautiful skyscapes (including the man in the moon peering down), and, of course, plants springing forth to welcome the spring!  When I was just about home, a man came out of his house and demanded, in a cranky voice, what I was taking pictures of. “Spring!” I announced joyfully … and a smile broke out on his face. “Yes, it is!” he agreed.

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Spring Break March 27 2020

Is Spring springing? Well, take a look at these photos, and tell me what you think!

The last set of photos I posted were taken March 15–the beginning of Spring Break here in Penticton. Since then we had a lot of beautiful sunny days, clear blue skies, daytime temperatures around 7 or 8 C. and night time as low as -6 C. In the past few days the clouds have moved in … and temperatures have risen as high as 14 C in the daytime and usually – 1 or -2 C at night — except for last night when the temperature only dropped to +3 C! That must mean spring is springing, right? So how does that explain the weather predictions for tonight for heavy snow in all the highway passes (but rain here in the valley)? Oh right, it still is March for a few more days … and you know what they say about March weather: “Comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” … Hmm… A bit more “lamb” would be nice, don’t you think?

The photos in this slide show have been taken over the past few days, and it does look kind of hopeful that spring is springing 🙂 Check them out 🙂

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Spring Break March 15 2020

It’s been a long while since I’ve walked around my neighbourhood and our Okanagan River Oxbows to snap some Penticton Pedestrian photos. But it’s the beginning of Spring Break, the sun is shining gloriously, it’s warmed up to 3 C (that’s 37 F for you folks south of the border), and despite Covid19 social distancing, it’s still okay to get out and enjoy nature. Lots of snow still up on the hilltops and a forecast of -7 C (19 F) tonight–but still, plenty of signs of spring popping up here and there 🙂

Perfect Crispy Autumn Morning

I love autumn.  I love living in a place where we truly have 4 seasons.  And every time a new season rolls around, I find myself exclaiming, “This is my favourite season of all!”  Truly though, there is something very special about autumn.

I awoke this morning to amazing sunshine streaming through the window.  I couldn’t help but run downstairs and fling open the front door–and be stopped in my tracks by a blast of ultra-chilly air! So back inside I went, and for the first time this fall, got out my wool jacket, snuggly scarf, and hat and gloves.  Then I picked up my camera and set off for a lovely morning jaunt through my neighborhood, delighting in the crunch of dry autumn leaves and crispy frosted grass beneath my feet. I knew it was chillier than usual, but was still surprised when I stopped by the oxbow across the street, and discovered it had a thin sheet of ice over much of its surface.  Still, the warmth of the sun wrapped itself around me, and the fresh air was invigorating. As always at this time of year, the colours of the vegetation, ranging from the deep greens of coniferous branches, through the multi-hued tones of reds, oranges, yellows, brasses, and browns, splashed the world with a thousand tints from the Artist’s brush.  What glory!

I hope you will take a moment to wander my neighborhood with me through my camera’s eye in this slide show. Enjoy!

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Autumn changes

It truly is autumn today.  Early November and the snow line creeps lower down the hillsides morning by morning. Skies are gray, mostly, though the sun bravely pokes through when it gets the chance. It rains most nights, and creek beds dried up in summer are filling with small ponds in low-lying spots. Trees have shed their leaves and their branches are skeletal against the sky. Birds’ nests, hidden all summer, are suddenly clearly seen, as barren and empty as the branches that support them, the chicks grown and departed. On the ground, however, is a glorious riot of oranges, reds, yellows, and shiny browns, crunching underfoot and letting loose the damp-autumn-leaf scents that awaken happy memories of autumns past.

In the wild woods on the east end of Lion’s Park, someone has been hacking away at the underbrush. Daylight rushes into places that have been dark and tangled for a long time. Dead brush lies scattered on the ground; hopefully whoever chopped it down will have the foresight to return and remove it before summer dryness returns and a carelessly tossed spark from a cigarette, or from a transient’s campfire, starts a wildfire. Perhaps a letter to the public works department is in order.


Treks and Salvator ambulado

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES“Salavtor ambulado” (It is solved by walking)–St. Augustine.

Coming up on my 60th birthday in a couple months, and thinking about friends who have celebrated their 60th (or 65th) by heading out on a long trek/pilgrimage. I was feeling sad that I can’t do that just now … but listening to CBC radio early this morning, a piece from Australia about World Labyrinth Day and the new labyrinth in Centennial Park in Sydney …

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWhich led my fingers walking through some googled articles on “salvator ambulado” … and I realized that I can “trek” every day, even if only for short periods at a time. After all, I live in a perfect spot … beautiful community parks, oxbows, community food forest, wild meadow, walking trail along the river channel, all within view and within a 5 minute walk of my house … and Okanagan and Skaha Lakes within 20 minute walks north and south …

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESTime to stop dreaming of (or at least focusing on) ocean cabins and beach trails, and stepping out into what is right in my own backyard (including my sweet tiny backyard full of raised garden beds and a bistro set and comfy lawn chairs!). Combine that with my art supplies, camera, and beautiful new notebook … I AM going to trek … and solve … by walking, and sitting down and writing and drawing …

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe articles I’ve been reading promise walking will help me move, get out of my box, let go, go with the flow of my imaginings, be shaken from my complacency and pride, take creative turns, live without regrets, listen, connect, feel more centered, bring clarity and peace and well-being, become reorganized and refreshed and revitalized, engage in new responses and perspectives, literally be moved forward, gain emotional and physical well-being …

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESrestore resilience and focus, add mindfulness to life, stop anxiety-producing mental patterns and allow my body chemistry to return to health with stimulated circulation of nutrients, gain improved energy and mood and immune functions, push stress and tension from my mind, restore alertness, prepare for worrisome appointments or meetings, increase resourcefulness of body and brain, reduce illness and fatigue, feel better and perform better …

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESreconnect with the things that are truly important in my life (spirituality, family and friends, health, writing and other creative pursuits, life-long learning and sharing), help tap into my creativity and wisdom and capacity for wonder, connect with what I really value, relax and clear my mind of jumbled and stressful thoughts, really attend to the beauty of the world around me, think deeply and efficiently, be lifted out of depression …

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESbuild relationships and discover solutions and discuss life’s questions while walking with companions, become more generous and community oriented, improve my community and society by improving my own life since we are all inter-connected, force my brain to process my environment and engage it more fully, improve my cognitive performance (and stave off the horror I feel about the possibility of dementia down the road), become fitter, reconnect to my true self, personally affect climate change and other environmental factors by walking instead of driving (and cut down on personal financial costs at the same time!), hug some trees, lay on the grass and soak up the sun…

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIn one of the articles I googled, Arianna Huffington quoted a poem and then commented:

When you set out on the voyage to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
But over the years I came to realize that a journey — one that can also be full of adventure and knowledge — doesn’t have to involve planes and cars and passports. The benefits of a journey are always available simply by walking.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMaybe someday I’ll take a long trek like my friend Yasmin John-Thorpe did for her 60th when she  trekked the Camino or as my friend Robin Edgar-Haworth is doing right now as he treks across Canada to Ottawa seeking to Right the Wrong

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESBut right now, I can get up from my easy chair, put down my laptop, put on my walking shoes, put my backpack of journal and camera and sketchbook over my shoulder, and step out the door, wander through my little garden, and out into my neighborhood …


Hike North of Skaha Bluffs

Another wonderful hike with my friend Cabrini, this one on November 26, on the hillside at Penticton’s south end (just north of the famous Skaha Bluffs).  Along the trails (which are mostly narrow “deer trails” in a very natural environments), you’ll find little rock towers left by previous hikers, to mark the way forward). The views of Penticton and Skaha Lake beach are spectacular–and on this late November afternoon, a brisk wind was blowing, and hardy sailboarders were getting lots of height above the water!