A Spring Walk

Several weekends ago, I took a lovely walk at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Not surprisingly, I came home with over 300 photos. It was so much fun! There was so much to see and marvel over.  I felt like I could oohhh and aahhh over the flowers all afternoon long.

The beautiful spring came;
when Nature resumes her loveliness,
the human soul is apt to revive also.
Harriet Ann Jacobs

It was colorful everywhere and my happiness soared just to see it all. The paths were an invitation – come walk me and see what’s here. Explore what’s new. Enjoy the present moment.

Let us decide on the route that we wish to take to pass our life,
and attempt to sow that route with flowers.
Madame du Châtelet

Colors matched and colors clashed. Flowers were tall and short, with individuality just like the many people with whom I interact. But they were all beautiful – the jumble was eye catching.

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
Robin Williams

The fields of daffodils from several weeks ago have already died back, but new daffodils have taken their place. These were quite different though – double blooms, white on white, and a flat faced one.

I thought of how quickly this year is going already. It seems only a few days ago that I was blogging about my accomplishments last year and my goals for 2012. Like the days of our lives, the daffodils are also coming and going quickly. By the time I return, these will be gone also and replaced by something else.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
 They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth

Of course, these daffodil pictures weren’t yellow, but the azaleas were. I’d never seen yellow azaleas before, but I looked it up on the Internet and yep, they can be that color. The flowers have as much variety as the days of our lives and remind me to embrace the differences that each day brings, to enjoy them for what they are as the days fly by.

Spring—an experience in immortality.
Henry D. Thoreau

There was peacefulness everywhere, even for this mallard drake as he pedaled around the pond. There’s nothing magical about a duck of course – they’re ordinary as can be – but they’re fun to watch.  The iridescent green of their head feather glint in the sun, a pretty decoration as a consolation prize for their ungainly bodies.

I liked the texture of the waves and could look at this picture indefinitely. It’s a good vision to have on the days that I need to calm down and relax. Not, of course, that ever happens to me at work or home :)

This is the day the LORD has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

I have more pictures, but I think that’s enough for now.  I challenge you to look for beauty in everything, from the ordinary to the spectacular.  Be mindful, pay attention to the present moment, and live your life fully.

Other walks are posted for January, MarchOctober, and November.

Spring Came

Today’s theme for Six Word Friday is “spring”, an appropriate word considering the flowers in bloom that I showed you recently.  However, there is one other sign that spring is coming – and I am right another year – haven’t missed one yet – YES! –

spring comes with snow shivering robins

A few weeks ago, I wrote that I didn’t think it would happen this year.  The day after my walk at the botanical gardens, we woke up to 4″ of snow.  It melted by mid-day, but my favorite boy toy got me a picture of a robin in snow using his iPhone.

I took this one with my own iPhone before I went to work.  Unfortunately there are no robins in the picture.

A Daily Life

Keeping a daily journal or blog is a great way to increase your powers of observation.  A Daily Life has some posts to help you practice observing the world around you.  If you need help finding ideas, check out this post.

Spring Is Coming Early

Today’s theme for Six Word Friday is “bare”, which is a good way to describe this unusually mild winter in central Virginia:
Bare trees no more, spring comes.

Last year was snowy and icy for most of the winter.  One of my Nancyism’s – that’s true even here in Virginia – is that spring doesn’t come until I see robins shivering in the snow.  There’s always one last snow after the robins come back.

I don’t know if that’s going to happen this year.  The maple is leafing out already, nearly two months ahead of schedule.
© 2012 dogear6 llc

Even my favorite oak tree is in bud!  That is so wrong.  It’s not the last one to bud; the oak willow is always last and it’s not in bud yet.  I expect it will be any day now.

© 2012 dogear6 llc

This weather is just weird and I’m not sure I like it.  Not much I can about it though.  It is what it is

A Daily Life has a new post on using HTML to create extra blank lines in your posts.  Additionally, the post on embedding a YouTube video was edited and updated for some experimentation I did after it was published.

Have a good weekend!  I think my favorite boy toy and I will be off wandering.  We’ve been home just a little too much the last few weeks and are both itching to get in the car and just drive.  Hopefully I’ll have some good pictures and stories to tell next week.

Taking A Walk In January

I got off work early enough on Saturday to take a walk at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

Not too surprisingly, the gardens were fairly empty.  The temperatures have dropped considerably and the wind had a bite to it.

I hadn’t intended to wear my winter coat to walk, but did so as I’d left my lighter fleece coat at the office from my lunchtime walks.

I was glad for the coat; shortly after I started walking, the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped more as the wind got stronger.

The leaves have been gone for a while; the pitcher plants have died back.

But there was still beauty to be found.

It was rather bleak though and I found my mood matching it.

Which made no sense.  Work had gone well.  We’re over the worst of it.  My co-workers continue to be a strong team.  We care for each other and encourage each other to hang in there.

But I was tired and needing a nap.

I couldn’t resist looking at everything though, even if I didn’t know what it was.

It was nice being in the fresh air.

It was nice paying attention to look for beauty, even in winter.

I saw things I hadn’t seen before.

There was still a lot of green, from the pines to the ivy to the red berries.

As tired as I was, I went into the greenhouse to see what was there.  It was warm and there was no wind.

The Christmas tree was still up, but the flowers made me think of Valentine’s Day.

Then I came home, kissed my husband, cuddled some dogs, and took a nap.

Other walks are posted for March, April, October, and November.

For other ideas on taking a walk, visit A Daily Life to see examples of how others do this type of a post.

Clear Trees Gave Visibility

I’m so thankful that our miniature pinscher was inside snoozing when this visitor came by.  The trees are clear of leaves, so there was good visibility to see that the tree suddenly acquired something additional.  The hawk was big, so it’s probably a female redtail in winter plumage.

It was facing our neighbor’s yard until it heard my camera, so I can’t be sure if it was hunting rabbits (of which our neighbor has plenty) or if it was hunting a miniature pinscher.  Earlier this summer we had to keep him locked up because there were an unusual amount of activity over our yard from a pair of hawks who were living in our subdivision.

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Word for tomorrow – NORTH.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

Riot of Color

Apparently I didn’t get enough of the fall colors from earlier this week.  Yesterday I went both to our local park and the botanical gardens.  The trees are a riot of colors in central Virginia and although the air was cool, I had a great time walking all morning and taking pictures.

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Word for tomorrow – LESS.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

Air In The Mountains

Henry David Thoreau once said,

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.

I can’t believe it’s already early November.  2011 has flown by.  I’ve enjoyed my life this year, but each day goes by so quickly.   I look back over my blog and how much I’ve written since starting it earlier this year.  The things I’ve gotten done far outweighs what I haven’t gotten done.

My favorite boy toy and I have taken several short vacations.  I’ve seen my daughter several times.  Her Dad helped her close down the kennel business and move back to her house.  I’ve gardened, photographed, played with dogs, caught up with old friends, and made new ones.  My job continues to go well, I contribute to the bottom line, and my employees are growing and learning.

I wrote how I enjoyed the mountain air and the warmth of the stones I sat on.  As the nice days grow fewer, I will do well to remember them and to take time to simply savor the seasons as they happen.

Bald Eagle In The Blue Ridge Mountains

Word for tomorrow – INSTEAD.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.


Sunk Costs = Skyline Wandering

As I was musing on how to use today’s word, I did a Google search and found the term, “sunk costs”, a term I have not used for a long, long time.  Wikitionary defines it as “a cost that has already been incurred and which cannot be recovered to any significant degree.”

Which explains perfectly why we did Skyline Drive on our way back from vacation.  We’d already stayed an extra night in Harper’s Ferry and I’d already taken an extra vacation day.  Those were sunk costs that would not be recovered.  There would be some new prospective cost – i.e., :”future costs that may be incurred or changed if an action is taken” – in other words, our gas and a few more meals out.

So we drove the Skyline Drive, taking eight hours to get home.  That included the time driving to it and from it, the time on it (3 hours due to the 35 mph speed limit), and pulling into every overlook to see the scenery.  We had a blast.  We’d not done it before and we now did the entire length of it.

Thanks to everyone for their kind words on the pictures.  I posted them for my staff who wanted to see the scenery and have been wonderfully surprised at everyone else who’s enjoyed them also.  This weekend I will get them onto Shutterfly and send out a link, in case you wanted to see them large size (this also by request of my staff at work).

Here are pictures from our day on Skyline Drive.  I was asked how to do the slideshows in WordPress.  This link will take you to the directions for it.  If you have trouble, leave me a comment and I’m happy to help you out.

Have a good weekend!

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Word for tomorrow – AIR.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.