Tag Archive: Ducks


This morning I asked my facebook friends what the weather is like where they are and most answered that it’s cold and snowy. That’s not the case here! Today started out bright and sunny with a cool breeze and has stayed that way…for now. So even though I only got 5 hours of sleep last night I just HAD to get outside for a walk, especially since the forecast is calling for more rain this weekend. At first I thought I’d just make it a quick one, but once I got out in the sunshine and fresh air I felt energized and did my usual loop down by the river and over to Alton Baker Park. Everything looked so vibrant and I was reminded why I love yellow or green and blue together. Well, actually I love pretty much any color against a bright blue sky.聽 It makes my heart happy. 馃檪

Of course, I took a photo of “the tree”. It’s just hiding.

See the tiny black dot at the top of the middle tree? I would’ve totally missed it if it hadn’t been chirping. Yes, it’s a bird. A tiny, tiny bird that couldn’t have been more than 2in tall.

Here’s a shot of the bridge similar to one I took before, but this time there were gorgeous magenta flowers blooming. I love Spring!

The lack of water across the low part of the path allowed me to聽shoot the underside of the bridge. Interesting combo of metal plates and wood.

The beautiful day was bringing everyone together with one purpose…enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! I can honestly say I’ve never seen skaters on the path before (though I did see two people on giant unicycles once). It was聽a nice change from the usual cyclists and runners.

More trees…and ferns.

Pretty big cedar. I love how you can see the streaks of purplish wood through the bark.

This has to be one of my favorites. I took it looking straight up at the branch.Looking back at the same tree.I started noticing more interesting people on the path. I’ve never seen anyone carrying a purse before…or walking so close to the left side. I was a little concerned she’d get knocked over by someone on a bike coming around a turn.

Then I was passed up by a jogger. Pretty typical I guess, but I was happy to have some people in the photos.

Hey look! More trees! Seriously, though. How can this not make you smile? It’s as if it’s exploding with green.

This is the same tree that a few weeks ago only had leaves on the bottom branches. It reminds me of my first son who, when he was a baby, went a long time with hair only around the bottom and sides of his head and nothing on top. He kind of looked like a little old man. Fortunately, it all grew in. 馃槈

Oh, look! More people! I started getting a bit pickier about who I photographed. I only turned around and聽took their picture after they passed by if they smiled when we met on the path.

He was my favorite. Seemed to be quite a character. He was under the tree with the ferns.

There was no way to get a good shot of the most interesting couple I encountered without being too obvious. It’s not the two who are walking on the path, but the two looking at the map in the background. She was wearing a yellow and black dress that looked like it was designed for line dancing on Broadway and he was wearing聽a black and silver shirt with black pants. I wasn’t sure where they were going, but I don’t think they were anywhere near their destination. Pretty much anything goes in Eugene so not much shocks me, but yet they still seemed out of place. Gotta love it!

And back to the trees.

If swarms of ants make you uncomfortable, scroll past this next one quickly.

I had a few thoughts along the way, though I was mainly just enthralled by the beautiful weather. Since it wasn’t raining I was able to look up without being pelted in the face and some of my favorite photos were taken聽from that angle. I think it’s good to always remember to look up and see things from a different perspective. Too often we get caught up in ourselves, looking inward, and we miss the bigger picture. And even if we think we’ve seen something before, a second look can reveal a change in the situation. Spring is the time for new beginnings so why not try something new or decide to look at life from a different angle. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

聽And one last observation…people are curious and we all have influence because of it. Every time I stopped to take a picture, the people near me on the path聽looked in the direction I was pointing the camera even though they had no idea who I was or what I was doing. Those around us will naturally be drawn to the things we focus on. If we want to draw attention to negative things we simply have to make that our focus, but if we want to show people the good things in life that’s what we need to be paying the most attention to ourselves. And since our families see us all the time, it’s even more important to focus on the right things.

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I already rambled on about philosophical things today so this is just going to be a bunch of photos from my walk. I’m not sure if it was the weather or what, but everything looked incredibly interesting today and I took a ton of pictures. The ones that didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped didn’t make the cut, but there are still a bunch. Scroll over the images for more info (although they’re mostly trees).

These first two were actually taken from the deck before I headed out.

I put my cell phone next to these tiny daffodils for scale. I’ve never seen ones in bloom that were so small before.

This one surprised me when I uploaded it. I had no idea I’d gotten a shot of that bird flying by.

Ok, that’s it. Hope you have聽a great week!

My son missed the bus this morning because he wasn’t moving very quickly (don’t you just love the time change?) so I ended up walking a little later than usual. I considered just skipping it because I’ve got places to go and people to see. There are still things that need to get done for the first weight loss/fitness challenge meeting tonight which I’m very excited about. Even as I’m sitting her typing this, I’m looking at the time trying to figure out the fastest way to get everything done. So no long, rambling philosophical thoughts today. I got most of that out of my system last night finishing up an earlier post I’d started last week. I spent some of my walking time planning my day, but most of it I just enjoyed the sunshine taking photos of things I liked…just because.

Ok, maybe I will get just a little philosophical. I passed lots of people this morning, some twice, and most everyone was enjoying the day. Many, like myself had removed their jackets by the time we met the second time around. It was definitely feeling like Spring and I started noticing trees that I never had before because now with their new, tiny green leaves, they look completely different. There was one man, though, who was missing it all. As he walked, barely able to keep his footing, he stared down at his cell phone as he frantically pushed buttons with a look of frustration on his face. He was too busy to enjoy everything around him. I think that if he had stopped聽a moment to focus on what he needed to take care of he wouldn’t have been having so much trouble and then he could’ve appreciated the gorgeous morning. He probably thought that by doing two things at once he was making his busy life easier, but it seemed pretty clear that he wasn’t succeeding. We all have stuff we need to take care of, but there’s a way to do it so we can still enjoy the truly important things like walks on a beautiful morning, uninterrupted conversations with our family and friends, and time to just relax and think about the things we’re thankful for.

Here are the photos I took today…

Of course, the tree. I like this angle because it looks like it’s clapping.

Love these trees with their white bark. Never even noticed them before.

High water from yesterday’s crazy downpour.

Seriously, how did I never notice the giant heart on this tree before? It’s even the only one leaning out toward the path as if it’s trying to get the attention of anyone passing by.

I thought maybe it was carved by someone, but close up it didn’t appear that way.

Another tree I’ve never given much notice to.

Shout out to my happy sculpture peeps!

I always notice these trees. They look like exploding聽fireworks to me. Can’t wait to see what they look like once they’re not bare.

Puddle was still there from a while ago. No raindrops disturbing the surface today, though.

Tree getting its leaves, but only at the bottom. Thought it looked pretty cool.

If you need some latex gloves, there’s a whole bunch outside the south entrance of Autzen聽Stadium. Just sayin’.

YELL – O!!!!!!!! 馃檪 Or it could be a ‘d’ for Ducks…that works, too.

One last photo of some trees that also have white bark and I also love.

I hope that you will take some time from your busy lives to enjoy the simple things around you today. At the end of your life you don’t want to look back and wish you’d spent more time with people you love and less time doing things that in the end don’t really matter after all.

Vulnerability. Not a comfortable concept. Even the word itself if hard to say. All of us have to face it to some degree or another. This morning I was so excited to get out in the sunshine and walk. I had high hopes of finally meeting the woman who’s husband said she’s been wanting to walk in the mornings. I even took the stairs instead of the elevator because I didn’t want the usual mess and occasionl smell of PineSol to ruin my mood. But by the time I burst through the聽exit into the great outdoors, the sun was covered by clouds and the woman was nowhere to be found. I stood there, alone again under a grey sky, waiting…hoping she would appear.

After a few minutes passed and there was still no sign of anyone coming to join me I headed for the tree despite the overwhelming urge to turn around, crawl back in bed and forget the whole thing. And by the whole thing, I mean the walking group, the weightloss challenge (which hasn’t even started yet), this blog and being a coach. Each and every one of the things on that list makes me feel vulnerable and this morning it was almost too much. My success depends not just on what I do, but also on other people and their willingness to trust that I have their best interest at heart. I can do all the right things, but ultimately they have to take that leap of faith.

In some ways it was easier to go to a job each day that paid well, but deep down I knew I was wasting my time doing something I wasn’t meant to be doing for all the wrong reasons and it was making me miserable. Too many times I’ve taken the safe route, the path that appeared to be the best choice when looking at it logically, but failed to take into consideration what it is that motivates me to be the best I can be. Now I do something that I love, but the very nature of what I do makes me vulnerable.

As I walked along, thinking about how we rely on others for support and encouragement and are often times let down, I starting noticing things all around me that are also vulnerable.

The worm was completely unprotected, relying on the world to first notice it was there and then be kind enough to avoid squashing it. The bird was also vulnerable and clearly saw me as a threat, but had a back-up plan. It protected itself by flying to the top of the tree, out of reach, where it could see when the danger had passed. Some聽people are like the worm and expect too much from others, putting themselves in situations where they can be easily hurt not realizing that they are at least partially responsible for the consequences. Others are like the bird. While they don’t put up defenses like a blackberry bush, making sure no one can get close without getting hurt, they recognize the possibility of danger when putting their trust fully in the world around them. They know that they can protect themselves by going higher which gives them a better perspective.

As聽a society we’ve put certain rules in place to protect us from each other. For example, traffic laws. We trust that other people will follow the rules and stay in their own lane or not turn right in front of us. Even though they’re perfect stangers, we trust the other drivers with our lives. However, once we’ve experienced the consequences of someone breaking the rules we become distrustful and even angry. I know that while most of the time I’m a pretty relaxed driver, there are times when another person does something that makes me wonder if they’re paying attention and it makes me angry. Some people have been hurt so many times, they’re constantly on the defensive, ready to lash out at any moment.

I’ve been a worm before. And I’ve been an angry driver. I don’t want to be either. I purposely walked along the road in front of Autzen Stadium because with the way I was feeling I knew I needed a better perspective. The Xs and Os in front of the stadium have quotes engraved at the bottom and I figured someone had decided to put one on there that would help me find the determination to keep moving forward.

Mentally, reading those helped me get the perspective I was looking for. Emotionally, I was still feeling down and discouraged. The batteries in my camera were just about spent, but lasted just long enough so I could photograph the one thing that made me smile as I headed home.

It reminded me that even when the people closest to us let us down or we allow ourselves to feel judged because others don’t seem to have faith in us, there is only one who has the right to judge us and chooses to love us unconditionally. There is only one who knows the number of the stars and every detail of every flower and always notices us…every hair on our head and every thought inside it…and never hurts us, but takes us higher so we can see life from a different perspective.

I’m not going to lie, even as I’ve been聽sitting here writing this I’ve received news that on another day would’ve been somewhere around a 7 on the disappointment scale, but today feels like 1,000,000. One more thing I was excited about, not just for me, but even more for the other person…gone. Over before it even began. Leaving me wondering why they didn’t trust me to come through for them or why they didn’t talk to me before making the decision final. Part of me, a big part, wanted to say screw it, delete what I’d already written and close up shop. Obviously, I chose a different way of handling it. Perhaps that means I’m growing. I’m sure I’ll get over it, but for now it hurts and that is the reality of being vulnerable. But if we close ourselves off and never take risks we will never live up to the full potential of our lives, robbing those who may have been helped if we had been willing to聽get hurt along the way.

Oh yeah, can’t forget the tree.

Originally, I was going to title this one Get In, Get Out聽& Get On With It because it was raining again and I just wanted to get to the tree, take the photo and get on with my day. Here’s聽a reality check…as “responsible” adults, sometimes we’re going to have to do stuff that we just plain old, flat out, DON’T want to do. I’m learning that the best way to deal with these situations is to just deal with it and move on. No point in wasting time dreading it if you know you have to do it sooner or later. Forget later…sooner is better. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t dreading my walk this morning. I just had a feeling it wasn’t going to be one of the more enjoyable ones I’ve taken. (Although, I suspected it would still be better than the train incident.)

Turns out I was wrong. By the time I got to “the tree” the outside of my sweatshirt (which was a gift and I love because it’s from a place my mom and I visited years ago and the color makes me happy) was definitely getting soaked, but I was still dry.

My glasses were also showing the effects of the rain and I realized I could probably see better without them even though my vision is horrendous.

The challenge I posted on facebook earlier in the morning popped into my head. Do something new today. Well, I’d never taken my walk without my glasses so I slid them into my pocket and continued on. Pretty much everything was ridiculously blurry and I wondered how I was going to take any more photos. Then something caught my eye. I had no idea what it was so I took a picture hoping I’d be able to figure out later what it was.

It’s bright and colorful so I’m thinking some kind of wrapper.

As I continued on, I started taking pictures of only the things that stood out in the otherwise dark, blurry and mostly green and brown聽surroundings.

Beginning to see a pattern here?

If I was surprised the day before that I hadn’t noticed the trio of posts, my discovery of many more left me dumbfounded. How did I miss these on all the walks I’ve taken this way before? Even though I didn’t have my glasses on it was becoming clear that something used to be there, other than just some random posts. I wondered, as I moved along taking more photos, if the bench from the day before would聽also catch my attention as it had before.

Yep, it did, as well as the bright orange construction sign farther down the path.

Did you figure out the one thing that they all had in common? Whether it was the shiny wrapper, the neon mossy stuff on the trees (which is even brighter in real life), the bright yellow of the paint and banners, or the pure white whatever it was, they all reflected the light. The dark path, the web of branches, even the deep green leaves absorb more light than they reflect.

If we want to get people’s attention we have to reflect light. What does that mean? It’s not about thinking we’re the greatest thing that’s ever graced the earth with聽its presence. There are plenty of people out there who do that and end up making fools out of themselves. They may get attention, but not the kind that actually helps anyone. I’m sure we can all think of an example of just such a person who’s sadly getting a lot of attention right now.

To get the kind of attention that helps the people around us we must first spend time around positive influences. That could be reading books that teach us how to live more effective, powerful lives (might I suggest the Bible) or studying the lives of people who are truly successful (we may all have a different definition of success). By beholding we become changed. The more time we spend focussing on something the more we see that thing in ourselves and reflect it to others. If we want to be positive, helpful, successful people we need to spend less time focussing on negative things/people and more time looking at those who have achieved what we hope to.

Maybe you don’t think you have what it takes to stand out in a crowd. Even if you think you don’t have much to offer or have been rejected and discarded, to a person who’s hit a rough patch and can barely see how they’re going to get through the day let alone the possibility of having better days ahead, something as small as a smile or kind word will shine brightly in their otherwise dark existence. So let your light shine! Be a reflection of the all the good that surrounds us so others can see it, too.

Every once in聽a while something happens that聽causes us to take notice聽and reminds us that we could be paying a little closer attention to what’s happening in our lives and to the people around us. Sometimes a reality check comes unexpectedly like the reminder I got that I’m not as young as I think I am when I popped my knee, not working out, but shifting on the couch. It hurt so much I had to put my head between my knees because I was starting to pass out. Sometimes we know those reminders are out there, but we avoid thinking about them like the scale sitting there waiting to let us know where (or how heavily) we stand. And there are some reality checks we purposely set up to make sure we’re headed in the right direction like a list of goals we want to achieve.

As I walked with a friend and we talked about this and that, she said that there are people who, when they see her, cross to the other side of the street or pull their children closer or clutch their purses a little tighter…even though she herself is walking along with her own children. Not only have I never experienced anything like that, but because it’s not part of my reality it hadn’t occurred to me that that kind of thing still goes on regularly. I realized that it’s too easy to live in our own little bubbles, not paying attention to what’s really going on around us. It’s so easy to go about our comfortable lives and never see the injustices and tragedies happening around us. Maybe that seems a bit melodramatic, but only because many of us are fortunate enough聽to have never experienced prejudice, poverty or violence firsthand.

Watching the news isn’t the same as seeing the world up-close and personal. Growing up, I’d seen footage of starving children on TV聽and always felt sorry for them, but it wasn’t until I had the privilege of going to Africa on a mission trip and interacting with children just like I’d seen on TV that it really hit home. We may not all be able to go to another country, but it’s not necessary. There are people suffering in one way or another right around us.聽We just have to聽pay attention. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with people who need our help. And please, while it does take money to help people, just giving a donation here and there is not the same as getting involved.

Making a difference could mean volunteering at聽a homeless or women’s shelter, or at a school (don’t even get me started on the subject of our school system), or at a food bank. Another option is to adopt a “grandparent” at a local nursing home or retirement center. Or adopt a soldier overseas who doesn’t have anyone supporting them. Or it could be as simple as deciding to smile at every person you come in contact with each day. You never know, you could be the only聽one who showed kindness to one of those people you encountered and what a difference that would make.

Psst…come closer. I’m going to share聽a little secret with you. Ready?

I’m a little weird. Ok, maybe that wasn’t much of a secret for those who’ve known me a while. Sometimes I forget, though. Today, it was once again聽brought to my attention shortly after I started walking. Thankfully, it wasn’t raining buckets like yesterday聽so I was happy to be able to walk a little farther. Still longing for some variety, I turned right before reaching the stadium with the plan to loop around and take the tree’s picture on the way back instead of at the beginning like I normally do.

As I made my way along the busy street, looking forward to seeing what kind of photos I could get of the Xs聽and Os in front of Autzen, I thought about sharing the importance of being a duck. Yes, being a Duck fan is great, especially since we get to enjoy stuff like this which includes some great footage of the Xs and Os…give it a couple of seconds. Good stuff. 馃檪

And we can’t enjoy the first without including the sequel. If you look real close you can even see the tree at around 2:45. Hee hee. 聽锘

Is it football season yet?? Back to what I was saying about being a duck. I was thinking about some advice my brother, not the one who chased his remote control truck all over the place…other one who came to visit, shared with me when I was going through some drama. Be聽a duck. Just let negative stuff slide off you like water off a duck’s back. Good advice.

About the time I reached the Xs and Os I realized what I was doing.Just like聽I always聽have when walking on pavement, I was avoiding the cracks. But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. Always聽one who’s enjoyed patterns, lines and spacial relationships (wanted to be an architect聽for a long time), I聽mentally extend the lines that I can see in my peripheral vision and avoid stepping on those, too. A little crazy? Sure. A little OCD? Perhaps. I don’t really like labels unless they actually facilitate help for the person. (Scroll over the images to see what I was thinking.)Even when I’m walking with someone else or thinking about other things I’m still doing it. My little “game” may seem mentally exhausting, but trying to break the habit would actually be much more challenging because old habits are hard to break.聽I’m sure this one started one innocent day when I was just a wee lass, walking along with a friend or on the playground at school. No doubt someone said, “Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back.” I’m sure I didn’t believe I would actually cause my mother’s back to break, but it probably seemed like a fun challenge.聽I have no clue when I decided it needed to be more challenging, adding in the other imaginary lines. Probably about the same time I started matching the vertical lines (phone poles have 2, etc.)聽I pass as I’m riding or driving down the street to a song I learned for a piano recital. Now, it’s not so much a song as it is a rhythm. I have to fit each line into the pattern so I’ll add faster beats if I’m passing, say, a fence or something. I don’t know if anyone reading this gets what I’m saying, but that’s ok. It is what it is.

You may be thinking I’m completely nuts, or at least somewhere around the same crazy level as Monk. I can assure you, I’m not. (I suppose most crazy people would deny being crazy so I don’t know how much good that does.) But, there聽are times when I miss, or technically hit, the cracks or lines and I don’t freak out. I am聽always aware when it happens, though. For a split second, I get a mental picture of my foot coming down on it. Sometimes I even deliberately step directly on a crack…just because.聽聽

There are “rules” that keep me from losing it. For example, I don’t expect myself to fit my foot in a space that’s smaller than my foot. Monk would, just saying. In the photo above, I did extend the short lines in the border, but not the bricks. In the one below, I ignored the radiating lines because it just wouldn’t work, unless I extended the lines out so far that my foot would fit between them which would happen eventually, but I’d be really, really far away from where I was actually walking. That leads to the second rule…

I actually mentioned this before. I only take into account聽the lines that are within my natural line of vision. It’s not like I’m out there looking for lines to avoid. That would be insane. Take this wall. At first I started trying to deal with just the lines in the bottom row, but found that I wasn’t enjoying the challenge so I moved a few steps to the right and they were no longer in view unless I deliberately turned my focus to them. Problem solved.

So now that you know I’m at the very least a bit weird, why did I decide to share this? Because I think it makes a good point, maybe two, we’ll see. Habits are hard to break, especially if they’re so deeply ingrained in who we are that we don’t even think about them unless we’re really paying attention. Some habits are harmless, like my obsession with lines and whether or not I step on them, and can be left alone. Some are even beneficial, like the fact that I don’t really have to think about taking my walk every morning. But, many habits are harmful, to ourselves and those around us.

I used to have a habit of sitting on the couch all day watching TV or playing hour after hour of online games stuffing my face the entire time. It was harmful to me because I gained a LOT of weight and I always felt exhausted and depressed. It was harmful to my family because I wasn’t setting a good example for my kids and I wasn’t engaged in their lives even though I was physically right there the whole time. I also didn’t keep the place clean or even ask the kids to help which created stress for all of us, especially my husband who already has enough stuff on his mind. We all need a clean, clutter-free environment to be able to think and fully participate in life and ours was the opposite.

I’ve definitely made some positive changes and the kids are learning the importance of taking care of yourself and eating healthy. They’ve also seen how hard it is to break free from habits once they’ve been formed. I wish I could say my life has completely turned around and everything is as it should be, but I still struggle with keeping everything clean and uncluttered. Right now, there’s laundry to put away, dishes to be done, a floor that needs vacuuming,聽a layer of dust that needs to go away and trash to take out. Ok, some of it the kids can do when they get home, but I certainly need to pitch in, too. So I’ll wrap this up by saying I hope you will come back now that you know I’m a little “different” and I hope you’ll stop聽to look at your life to see if there are聽harmful habits you’ve had so long you don’t even them notice anymore, then聽take the first step toward breaking them.聽Oh, and GO DUCKS!!

Boots…check. Sweater…check. Hooded jacket…check. Spandex…check. (This time, the pants were worn under another pair of regular pants, for warmth.) Camera…check. Fully charged batteries…um, check, I think. Turns out not so much. And on one of the few days I’d have聽a chance to photograph some snow. Good grief. My camera still works when the batteries are low, but does some funky things with the color. As I was taking pictures, I was thankful I had a back-up plan…Picasa.

My battery situation reminded me of a story my cousin told me about one of my half brothers who passed away a few years ago. It seems he wasn’t always good at checking batteries, either. He used to spend a lot of time on weekends with my cousin and her husband taking their remote control trucks out to the desert, gravel pits, etc. I think my cousin tells it best…

“We drove out to a gravel pit and聽he was ready to try out his relatively new gas truck with a body he had painted himself. The body was an El Camino painted maroon and he had worked pretty hard on it.聽My husband聽asked him if he had checked the batteries in his remote and got the normal of course!聽He also warned聽him not to get the truck out of range or he would have a long walk to it because the truck would just keep going until it ran out of gas…are you seeing where this story is going? : )聽

He started running the El Camino and it took off like a shot and headed to a big mound of sand. All of a sudden聽he said he had no control and that’s when he realized the batteries were dead in the remote control! For some reason, he decided he could go run after the truck (running out of control now and could go 35 mph) and get it. So聽he takes off after the little truck and we watch, the truck hit a bump spun around and now the truck is chasing him! We started laughing hysterically as聽he is sprinting towards us with the truck hot on his heels! The truck hit another bump and spun around and took off the other way…of course聽he turned around and took off after the truck again! Are you with me, do you know what happened next?

The truck hit a bump again and took after聽him again…my husbnd聽and I were laughing so hard it was all we could do and we wished for a video because I know it would have won money! Finally the truck hit a big bump and flipped over on its top, so聽he was able to go get it and shut it off. We all three laughed until we cried and asked聽him what he was thinking! All he could say was he wanted his truck back.”

Ok, now the pictures which I think turned out pretty well considering the low batteries. Thank you Picasa! Scroll over the images for more info.

Some people have suggested that I put some photos of me on here so here’s my foot.

As I made my way back home I was thinking that it was unnecessary聽to close the schools, but by the time I reached my destination I thought maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Finally back in the warmth of home, I ventured out into the cold once more. This is the view from our deck.

I don’t have a lot to say today, especially since I’m distracted by my husband and kids who are home because of the snow.聽 Just remember, always be prepared and have聽a back-up plan or you may end up running in circles. 馃槈

The kids didn’t have school today so I ended up sleeping in. That, and the fact that I’m addicted to facebook left me with exactly聽2 minutes to make my breakfast and get going on my walk. Even though no one from the apartment has shown up yet for the walking group I still feel the need to be there on time just in case. So, I threw some water, milk, and a scoop of Chocolate Shakeology into my handy dandy shaker cup and off I went. As always, scroll over images for more info. 馃檪

It won’t be long before those honeysuckle bushes(?) will be covered with blooms and filling the air with their intoxicating scent. Today was so beautiful and sunny it made me long for Spring. Just look at that bright, blue sky!

I headed onto the path that runs along the south side of the stream and stumbled upon this. If you’re not sure what it is, scroll over the picture.

Um, thanks…I guess. I didn’t quite understand why they went to the trouble of the bag, but not throwing it away. You may be wondering, as I was as I walked on, why I didn’t just pick it up and throw it away myself if it bothered me that much. Well, one hand was busy holding my breakfast and the other was busy taking pictures of things like bags of poop. My only other option was to put it in my jacket pocket until I came upon a trash can. Turns out there are limits to my sense of community service. Just as I was thinking that person was for the birds I noticed an actual bird out of the corner of my eye. Crane? Heron? Bird lovers help me out here.

Taking a different trail took me past a part of Alton Baker Park I don’t normally visit, but I was there before when my brother came to visit聽in 2009. He introduced us to geocaching which was a lot of fun. This聽was one of the areas where we found some.

I really wish my camera would wake up faster. If it did, you might have been able to see the worm in this little guy’s beak. Unfortunately, I got the shot just after he gobbled it up.

Near the bridge, there’s this tree that I love. I have a question, though. Isn’t moss only supposed to grow facing one direction? Maybe it’s not moss.

I’m starting to notice some “regulars” when I’m out walking in the morning. Like the lady who brings her dog because he like to chase the squirrels. I recommended Dorris Ranch. She knew the place well and said they call it Squirrelville. : ) So, if you’re walking or running through Alton Baker Park and see a lady with red hair and a camera (possibly wearing聽spandex)聽stop and say hi! Maybe I’ll take your picture. 馃槈

Let me just say that I’m going to need some people to start walking with me because today I think I spent more time taking photos and video than actually walking. That’s ok today, though, since I have ChaLEAN Extreme Burn Intervals and Ab Burner to do, too.

I headed out, down the same street I always do, past rows and rows of apartments with cars lining both sides. I was stopped in my tracks when I saw this. As I stood there taking in the scene the owner of the car pulled up. He said that no one knew who did it. Unbelievable! Who smashes someone’s car to that degree and just drives off?? I found out later from his wife who was standing there with tears in her eyes that the person hit two other cars, too. Her’s just got the worst of it. I can’t even believe the person was able to drive away from it. I can only speculate, but it seems you’d have to be drunk or high to cause that kind of damage and keep on going. I felt so bad for them. All I could do was offer to let her use our third car if she wasn’t able to get聽 rental. (The fact that we have three cars is a whole other story involving more rude people who seem to think taking someone’s car for a joy ride is acceptable behavior.)

I went on my way, past Autzen Stadium like I always do, but decided to take a different part of the path. Had to take a few shots of “the tree”. It’s shown up in all of my posts with photos from walking so far. No reason to stop now. Looked at it from a different angle today. It had some visitors. The large bird was very impressive. Not sure what kind it was and I wish I had a better camera. The smaller black bird was not happy about sharing the tree and was letting everyone know. The video quality isn’t great, but I still found it amusing.

The large bird stood its ground…or limb…and I moved on.

As I headed back home I heard a tap tap tap above all the other sounds. It was a woodpecker with a bright red head. He was still long enough for me to take several pictures, but my camera was not cooperating and I didn’t get any good shots. Back at the apartments I saw another cute little bird chirping away. It was not as cooperative as the woodpecker. Just as I took the picture it flew away. It landed nearby, but went under a car. Rude. 馃槈