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Archive for the tag “nature”

best five minutes of a perfect day

Pt.Reyes4It’s the middle of April, and I have been hiking a six-mile loop of trails at Bear Valley Trailhead in Point Reyes National Seashore: Bear Valley trail to Pine trail to Sky trail, and back on Bear Valley.

The best five minutes are in the early afternoon, when I’m about half-way and coming out of the trees and into the open.

The ground right here is hard and full of rocks and small stones instead of soft with the pine needles I’ve been walking on. The sun overhead is bright and glaring; it’s hot and I’m sweating hard.

In the mid-distance is Mount Wittenberg, but about an eighth of a mile ahead, the trail smooths out and winds to the left around a low hill completely covered in golden poppies waving and shimmering in the light breeze. It’s an amazing sight you don’t get to see unless you’ve worked for it, since it’s a considerable climb no matter which way you come up.

I’ve been anticipating this and I never, ever tire of it. I push ahead until the poppy-covered hill is on my right and a gradual, rolling, dark green, and lush drop-off on the left exposes specks of tents and tables from Sky Camp far below.

Beyond that is the blue-green water of Drake’s Bay lapping at the shore, sunlight rippling the surface. I’m so thirsty I stop and take a long drink of water from the plastic bottle in my backpack. The water’s warm but I gulp it, marveling at how much better water tastes when I’m hiking than at any other time.

I stand still, gazing at the distant water and letting the sweat evaporate from my skin. I smell the dust of the trail and the pine trees. I turn to look at the poppies again, drinking in the sight as a couple of orange and yellow butterflies flit in and out among them.

That’s paradise to me.

What are the best five minutes of your perfect day?

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celebrating trees in spring

springtrees6Spring is absolutely my favorite tree time of the year. Trees in spring almost—almost—make winter worthwhile. In winter, the leafless trees seem barren and forbidding. But in spring, the delicate green tracery of budding leaves dresses up the branches, showing off the trees’ underlying architecture to best advantage. (The architecture of trees is amazing!)

springtrees4It doesn’t last long, this lacy phase. And it’s ephemeral. Trees in summer—resplendent in green—and trees in fall—outrageously dressed—are easy to capture in photographs; trees in spring are not. So I celebrate this brief, ephemeral moment of trees in spring that signals winter is really over, life is being renewed, and brighter days are ahead.

springtrees1

What is your favorite “tree time” of year?

Note: This post is part of April’s 30 Days of Celebration. To read more, click on the category link for Celebration.

a new leaf

a new leaf

This plant (a variety of aglaonema) has thrived from the day I brought it home more than two years ago and repotted it into a square red pot.

On Sunday, the late afternoon sunlight streaking its leaves caught my attention. I picked up my camera and walked all the way around it, getting shots from every angle. This leaf was hidden from my view until I nearly came full circle. It’s the last shot.

The older leaves are darker–and dusty–but the new one unfurling is bright and pristine.

We Are

I just want to share these beautiful and heartfelt words with as many people as possible. Thank you, Connie.

Sorting it Out

flowers 2We are flowers, reaching, reaching, napping in the September sun, warming our skin, unwilling to say good-bye. How many more days before it has travelled too far south to impart even an ounce of warmth?

We are the moon, hanging orange and low and pregnant, keeping quiet company in the dark, waiting for birth, for daylight, whispering that you were conceived in love and brightly shining hope.

We are the wind, invisible, lonely, unable to stay in one place, unaware of our power, at times troubling, at others soothing, at others yet fanning the coals of a cooling fire.

We are cloud and rain, watering and cooling, then pooling back into ourselves.

We are bright bursts of electricity and light; we are loud unsettling rumbles of thunder. We are weeping willows and whispering pines; we are raging hurricanes and crushing surf.

We are, you and I in turn, the grandeur…

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color my world: rainbow eucalyptus

Winter doldrums. So many bare-branched trees in my apartment complex, all the same dun shade. If I could transform them, I would take my box of crayons outside and add some color to those branches. Nature beat me to it with a tree I never knew existed until now (not that I ever claimed to know every tree in existence). But, wow, how spectacular are these trees? How would you like to walk outside and see them in your yard…or along the sidewalk…or maybe everywhere?

rainbow eucalyptus

arainbow eucalyptus2

More amazing pictures here. You’ll swear these trees are painted. And check out the video:

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