Tag Archive: flowers


Today was a rest day from my intense workout schedule, but I still wanted to do something so I took a little walk around the neighborhood. It’s was great to be outside and take some new photos since it’s been a while. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the honeysuckle blooms. I finally saw signs of progress and could smell just a hint of their intoxicating aroma as I was right next to them. Soon the air will be filled with their perfume. I can hardly wait!

Normally I would cross the street and head over past Autzen Stadium (GO DUCKS!) to Alton Baker Park, but I turned around to go home and see what the kids were up to. I hung out with them at the basketball court for a while where the older one was shooting hoops with a friend and the younger one was riding his brother’s scooter. As I stood there watching him we both learned a little lesson. While it’s important to look ahead at the big picture, be careful of the little things along the way because ignoring them can really trip you up.

Once I was sure he was ok, I took that photo of the tiny pebble that caused him to go sprawling on the ground. He survived with no major injuries and hopped back on which of course made me proud. I took one more photo and then attempted to sink some shots with my other son. It was definitely an off day for me, but that’s ok because we had a good laugh which I think is much more important than showing off my skills. 😉

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With only three hours of sleep last night, I decided to go for a walk. I was tired and would normally crawl back in bed (ah, the joys of working from home), but nature was calling…in the sense that it was unbelievably gorgeous and begging to be photographed. Who was I to say no? And I am so glad I went. Not just because it was rejuvenating to be out in the sunshine and fresh air, but because I made a new, unexpected friend. If there’s one thing I learned while out walking today, it’s that you should never get too comfortable with how you see the world around you. Someone or something could surprise you and shake up the way you think at any time if you’re paying attention.

First of all, this van parked at Autzen Stadium cracked me up.

Then I saw some “wildlife”.

And of course, “the tree”.

Most of the time I look up to find interesting things to photograph, but today down was interesting, too. I couldn’t believe how clear the water looked.

Normally, I would head out to the North Bank path, but something caught my eye so I went in a slightly different direction.

I was loving how some of the leaves were a shiny silver, reflecting the sunlight.

Of course I couldn’t help taking lots of pictures of interesting trees…

…and flowers…

…and birds.

I made it over to the main section of Alton Baker park where there were even more flowers blooming than the last time I was there. Especially in the garden area.

As I headed back, I passed by the “triplets”. When I walked through here in winter when they had no leaves I wondered what they would look like in the spring. I think they turned out pretty great.

It was at this point that my walk got really interesting. While I was standing there taking that last photo I saw a squirrel out of the corner of my eye scampering up the tree to my left. I thought the tree was pretty so I took a photo. It was then that I realized the squirrel was watching me from one of the lower branches.

I waited a few seconds thinking for sure he would be scared off by the camera noise, but no. He stood his ground so I kept getting closer taking more and more pictures. Part of me was a little concerned that he was going to pounce on me at any second and infect me with rabies, but I couldn’t bring myself to stop. I’m posting all of the photos so you can understand just how long we were there staring at each other. Keep in mind there was at least a 10 second delay between photos and I didn’t zoom in or crop them. I was easily less than 5 feet away from him when we were closest to each other.

I looked away for a moment and noticed that the ground looked interesting there, too. I was certain that the squirrel would run away once I broke his gaze, but he was still there just watching me.

Finally, he (or she I suppose) decided to move. Possibly so I could get his other side.

By this point my heart rate had gone down and I figured I should move on. There was no telling how long we were going to stand there staring at each other so I said goodbye, let him know he was going to be famous (there wasn’t anyone else around to think I was crazy talking to a squirrel), and headed home…taking a “few” more pictures along the way. Just a few steps past the tree were two geese, one of which could’ve been a little nicer like the squirrel. It hissed at me several times as I walked by. Other than that, it was a fantastic walk and experience!

Don’t like how your life is going? Stick around because it’s about to change. Actually, it’s changing now. We just don’t always see it because the change may be happening outside our perspective or slower than we can detect. Have you ever seen those time lapse videos where they show clouds moving across the sky, a plant sprouting or a flower unfolding? I love them because you get to see incredible changes that would normally go undetected even if you were staring at the thing for hours or days.

Sometimes change comes more abruptly. My husband has been in school for over six years now and that’s about to change along with what our family has come to know as normal. There have been some minor changes along the way like new jobs, new schools, and moving into town from a more country-like setting. But now we are looking at the possibility of relocating to a new state so he can find a job teaching. We’ve also considered going to Korea for a while. There’s even a possibility of moving to China for a year. That would certainly be a big change! I know I’d survive as long as I’d still have access to facebook, though. 😉

Even as I was walking around the track at my son’s school while they played basketball I was reminded how much things have changed in my lifetime. I don’t consider myself old, but I do remember a time when you had to actually get up off the couch to change the channel on the TV and adjust the rabbit ears. As a rounded the end of the track I heard a car alarm go off and it made me think about how people used to leave their cars and houses unlocked. Now it seems we focus a lot of time, energy and money on protecting ourselves from each other. Of course, there have always been people who wish others harm, but the more elaborate our means of security become the more ingenious are their ways getting around or through them.

I suppose in some ways there are things that never really change at all. The same basic concepts get recycled over and over like good vs. evil or positive vs. negative. They may just look a little different each time around. I find that comforting because it means we can learn from the past if we pay attention. As individuals we can choose how to react to each situation, or even better, to be proactive. We can choose which side we want to be on and how we perceive what’s going on around us and in us.

As I walked, thinking about change and taking a few photos, I noticed that the sun was setting so I decided to do a bit of a time lapse experiment myself. Every third time I came around the track I took a photo of the sky to see how much it would change in a short time. I was pretty pleased with the results despite the fact that I had to use my phone since I’d left my camera at home (must remember to take it with it at all times). The first few shots were taken when we arrived and the last four were the ones taken from basically the same spot every three laps. Just as I had taken the last one, the dark clouds that had been slowly moving in unleashed a downpour on us so we ran for the car and headed home.

As the sun dropped lower in the sky, the shadows grew longer and dark clouds moved in from the northeast.

I was even surprised myself how much of a change there was between the last two photos. Once those dark clouds picked up momentum there was no stopping them. So don’t give up. Things may seem to be at a standstill in your life, but you never know what’s coming. Just be thankful for the time you have to prepare yourself for what’s ahead by cultivating a positive attitude and an open mind knowing that you’ll never be asked to face something you can’t handle if you have the faith to believe there’s someone watching out for you every second of every day.

I said I was going to post photos from my walk on Sunday yesterday, but it didn’t happen. More family time. Now the kids are in bed and my husband is working so I’m catching up on a few things. Have I mentioned that I love Spring?

Thanks for visiting and being patient! 😀

Even though it wasn’t an official walking group day, I headed out for a quick stroll around the neighborhood before taking my son to his basketball game. Since I was staying pretty close to home I wasn’t sure if I’d find too many interesting things to take pictures of. I don’t normally enjoy photographing buildings and I was surrounded, but was pleasantly surprised, though, that several things caught my eye. I guess I shouldn’t have been since we always find what we’re looking for if you’re paying attention. For example, the grass not two steps outside the door to our building.

Or the flowers already blooming on the tree…

…five feet away from the tree that was having a hard time letting go of its leaves.

Nature was spreading out and taking over, forming a canopy of intricate branches and deep, vibrant green.

Didn’t notice the almost hidden view of the stream until after I had passed it. Once my brain registered what I’d seen out of the corner of my eye, I back-tracked to see if I could get a good shot. This one’s not perfect. Maybe I’ll try again next time.

Another sign Spring is just around the corner.

Love these trees. They’re everywhere around here and each one is different.

Happy with the images safely stored in my camera and realizing it was almost time to leave, I headed back home. That’s when I saw him. He was sitting on the sidewalk next to a medical building across the street from our apartment, surrounded by his backpack, other bundles, and a sign that said FOOD. My initial reaction was to immediately turn left and cut across the parking lot to avoid him instead of continuing on past him. Just as quickly as the desire to escape an encounter with him entered my mind, so did a pang of guilt. I’ve been talking about treating people, even the ones society has forgotten or looks down upon, with respect and kindness and have even stepped way out of my comfort zone to interact some of them.

So why was my first reaction to this man to go out of my way to avoid interacting with him? Perhaps it was a hint of fear because I wasn’t used to seeing homeless people so close to my home and he didn’t appear to be fully capable of making wise decisions, but I know it was mostly because I didn’t want him to ask me for anything. Even though telling him I didn’t have anything would’ve been the truth, I knew I’d be uncomfortable. Yet there he was in my path, a person just like me, so I kept going. He did ask me for something as I approached, something I could give. Instead of asking for food or money or a cigarette, all he wanted was directions to the nearest place where he could get a cup of coffee.

It was a good reminder that it’s much easier to tell other people what they should do than to actually do it ourselves, but if we want the respect of others we must talk the talk AND walk the walk. We are an example to everyone we come in contact with, especially if we have kids. They hear the words we say, but ultimately imitate what we do and if those don’t match up they won’t respect us or embrace the values we want so much to teach them. Each and everyday we need to look at ourselves and make sure our walk is in line with our talk. Not an easy task, but like most things that push us outside our comfort zone, worth the effort.