Mindfulness Challenge Week 18: Nature

forsythia w

Forsythia and Other Garden Discoveries

Until very recently, I had no idea what grew in my garden.

We moved here in the fall, when I was starting a new teaching position and spent all my spare time unpacking and planning.  There was no time to explore the yard, and soon the plants were buried in snow.

Spring came late this year.  Now, though, I can enjoy the bursts of colour coming up.  Crimson tulips, pink rhododendron, and bright yellow forsythia.  Soon, I will have blossoms on the apple tree and hydrangea.  I’m almost certain one plant is an astilbe; another I think is a dahlia.

Nature provides much beauty, but in spring it’s the flowers I enjoy the most.

 

#createmindfulness2017

Two Pink Doors

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Two pink doors, side by side, simply begged to be photographed.

For starters, I have always been drawn to the colour pink.  Pink in any shade appeals to me:  coral, champagne, or watermelon.  So when I spotted these doors, the only logical thing to do was to make a picture.

They are almost perfect symmetry, twin doors separated by stripes of white and blue with identical silver knobs.  Salt air and rain have aged them separately, however.  It seems one has been more affected than the other.

Soon, these doors will open to ice cream and summer breezes.  Sand will be tracked over their thresholds.  They will be witness to sandcastles and sunburns.

I can’t wait.

Into the Woods

into the woods

Some days my son disappears into the woods.

Armed with nothing but his imagination and sense of adventure, he heads into the woods behind my parents’ house, often with his cousins and friends.  He’s done this on gorgeous summer days, drizzly evenings, and crisp snowy mornings.

I’m never exactly sure what he does there, nor do I care to go investigate.  I hear the occasional shout and the hard crack of wood against wood, so I know they’re safe.

The woods are the setting for untold stories, and the fallen trees are material for a fort. The darkness is a filter from the rest of the world.  There is just enough distance between this forest hideaway and the watchful eyes of parents to allow him freedom to invent without boundaries, to play without rules.

I can’t see my son when he’s in the woods, but this is what I know:  I know he is developing his independence, his creativity, and his appreciation for our natural environment.

He may come back to the house bug-bitten, scraped, or splintered, but he comes back happy.

Later…

I got to see the efforts of the boys’ hard work.  They proudly led me through the woods to their fort, and I was so impressed I went back for my phone so I could share what they had built:

A (Chilly) Walk in the Woods

black squirrel

It turned out to be a chilly walk in the woods, but one we enjoyed nonetheless.

With my children, parents, sister, and nephews, we braved the crisp fall air (and snow!) for a walk at Lemoine Point in Kingston, ON.

When my camera wasn’t tucked inside my jacket to protect it from the unexpected snowflakes, I managed a few shots – including this one of a fluffy black squirrel pausing for a snack.

 

Through the Window

through window

When it’s cold, I often take pictures of the outside, from the inside.

With my zoom lens and some selective positioning, it is possible to create some interesting compositions.  This shrub is actually an odd shape and wouldn’t make great photos standing directly in front of it.  But when looking at it from inside, it worked quite well with the warm colours of the house behind it.

What Fall Should Be

leaves

This week has been absolutely gorgeous.

It is November, and we have had temperatures of 17 and 18 degrees celcius.  The sun has been shining, the breeze has been calm, and the fall leaves are hanging on.

Last year at this time, winter was in full force.  Our yard never got cleaned up before the snow because the snow came so early.  This is what fall is supposed to be like.

What a difference a year can make.