Tag Archive: leaves


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!

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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 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 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 Stadium. Just sayin’.

YELL – O!!!!!!!! 🙂 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.

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.