Tag Archives: wildflowers

A Noticing Day: SOLC 2019 Day 30

With reports cards written and parent conferences ahead of me, today was low-key. Sandwiched between errands, lunch out, and a chiropractic appointment, we fit in a noticing walk on the beach.

Today is part of a warming trend in our parts, sunny and clear, breezy with temperatures in the low 70s.  Beach goers were out in full force, taking advantage of a beautiful spring weekend.  (This has definitely been an in like a lion, out like a lamb March!)

Some days at the beach I have no idea what I’ll take a photo of.  I have tons of beach photos from all seasons, so I’m always alert to something new or unusual in some way.  We walked a different beach today, one further north than my usual Moonlight Beach, just because it was on our way from one errand to another.  As I walked my eyes were drawn to the maze of stairways from multimillion dollar homes on the cliffs zigzagging their way down the steep bluffs.  I took several shots, trying to capture that effect in my photo. (There are more–I was wishing to get an even wider view through my lens!)

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As I pressed the shutter, my husband called out to me.  “Do you see that?  Right there on the ladder…see the osprey?”  I didn’t at first (even though I had just photographed that very ladder!), my husband had to direct my gaze to see the bird in the distance.  We carefully moved closer, picking our way across the stones in our bare feet.  We photographed and watched, mesmerized by this majestic bird of prey.  After a few minutes of close observation, we walked back closer to the water’s edge.  As we took a last look over our shoulder, we saw it flying away in the other direction.  I am so glad my husband saw what I hadn’t noticed!

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We continued our walk, and I found my eyes alternating between watching the brilliant cobalt blue sky where sea birds soared and searching the sand and rocks for sea glass. Looking up, I saw a variety of gulls and terns, ravens, and even an egret in flight.  And always a favorite, pelican squadrons made their runs up and down the coast.

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As we headed back the car I couldn’t resist a close look at the wildflowers growing along the beach path.  I noticed the bees busily buried in the centers of these native yellow beauties.

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While I ended up spending the majority of my day out and about, it was a day for relaxing and noticing rather than hurrying and worrying.  I watched and wondered, taking time to breathe deeply and enjoy time out with my love on this perfect spring day.  I can feel my energy levels charging–just what I’ll need for the week of parent conferences that are just around the corner!

In My Hiking Boots: Day 11

Footwear in my daily life usually involves flip flops, tennis shoes, and whatever “fashionable” shoes I decide to wear to work.  Footwear on this trip to the Pacific Northwest has taught me the importance and value of my hiking boots.  I brought them thinking I would need them on days when we decided to do some “real” hiking–but I have worn them everyday…walking on the beach, on the mountain, in the forest, and around town.  Here’s a little ode to my hiking boots:

In My Hiking Boots

 

In my hiking boots

I explore wild and windy coastlines

briny breezes upending my hair

spectacular vistas soothing my eyes

 

In my hiking boots

I climb snowy mountains

strapped to red snowshoes

breathing in unspoiled air with my head in the clouds

 

In my hiking boots

I tromp through forests

of a million shades of green

gazing up at waterfalls

that drop torrents of water

feeding ferns, moss, and a wonderland of wildflowers

 

In my hiking boots

my feet are dry and warm

my heart is full

and life is good.

 

Douillard 2018

This is a gallery of some of the wildflowers I found along my watery hikes today as we went out in search of waterfalls and witches’ houses!

I got another student poem via email today.  Here’s her vision of the night sky…another ode of sorts!

Stars

When the sun melts down into the bleeding horizon,
my twinkling friends appear.
First one, then another, then they all come,
like raindrops falling from the clouds.
They dance as if they are swimming,
making ripples in a watercolored sky.
Their silver images are like a million rockets,
dazzling nocturnal eyes.
Sadie

And here’s another student poem, inspired by Williams’ The Red Wheelbarrow:

The Voice

So much depends upon

People’s voices

Sharp or dull in the day or night

Inside a friend’s heart.

By Kai

What are you appreciating today?  Maybe it will find its way into a poem!

Quiet Forces of Nature

When we think of a force of nature, our thoughts often turn to those terrifying and often devastating earthquakes, tornados, avalanches, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, and wildfires.  But sometimes in nature, forces whisper and almost go unnoticed.

In the solitude of the hiking trail, the rhythm of our boots joined the whoosh of the wind as it races through the tree tops.  When I look closely I can see how the wind shapes those tall sentinels, bending and curving them with its quiet force.

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Could have been wind or water (or the lack of water) or something else that worked this tree trunk loose from the ground.  Now it continues to contribute to life in the forest as it decays, providing a home to insects and fungi, enriching the soil…and providing a natural frame for this photo!

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Tiny flowers spring up, planted by the wind and passing wildlife, watered by the increasingly rare raindrops, and nibbled by the local inhabitants.  In the meadows they create a carpet of color, a delight for the eyes.

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Look closer and you can see the individual blossoms as they sway in the breezes, their beauty fleeting…it won’t be long before the blooms dry up and fall off and this colorful carpet will turn to dry brush.

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The barbed wire hints at the cattle that graze these spaces.  As I see the fences I remember a photo recently posted by a friend…and it becomes a mentor for one of my own.

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I hear birds and look up.  On this hike I have seen birds of prey floating on the wind currents and what I think are local woodpeckers, with bright red heads, chatting with one another in the tall oaks high above me.  I see other evidence of their presence, the creation of granary trees where they store their acorns.

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There are so many forces of nature at work in this magnificent place in our local mountains.  Nature’s forces weren’t roaring, but they whispered their power, begging me to take notice and appreciate the intricacies of her systems at work.  I’m part of this system too, and when I care I can make a positive difference, remembering that my needs and desires need to stay in balance with those of the trees and the birds and the wildflowers.

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