Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

166. Birdsong

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

I love having a home in the treetops!

Today I opened my door to my balcony and got to listen to birdsong all morning (until it got too hot).

156. A Snowy Walk

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

I am thankful for this every year, but this year I almost didn’t get one. We got just enough snow to make for a lovely walk. And I stayed home and enjoyed it. And it was glorious.

151. A Personal Greeting from a Great Blue Heron

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

One morning this week, I was in a traffic jam close to home. (I’d tried to go around a traffic jam but was still in thick traffic, moving slowly toward a stop sign.) Up ahead of me in the distance, I saw the silhouette of a great blue heron flying. (I know their silhouette!) It flew toward me. Yep, definitely a heron…. It continued to fly straight toward my car and dipped a little right smack in front of me, then flew on behind me.

It was just nice. Instead of being grumpy about the traffic jam, it gave me a big smile.

149. Cardinals and Blue Jays

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

I think my neighbor has put up a bird feeder — the neighbor right underneath me. I never felt right about putting one up on my balcony, since it would make a mess below me. This is perfect. The birds perch on the trees outside my window and dive down to the bird feeder. So most days, I get to watch lots of beautiful cardinals and blue jays hanging out in the trees outside my windows.

143. Colorful Birds

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Today colorful birds were swarming outside my windows. At one point, three blue jays and a cardinal came onto my balcony. Later I saw a colorful woodpecker moving up a tree. Just a lovely sparkle of color.

133. Details

Sunday, November 6th, 2016


My life changed when I got a camera with a zoom lens.


That was when I discovered how much zooming in and looking at details could be beautiful.


I wasn’t necessarily seeing the trees for the forest.


Yes, there’s wonderful Fall Color in the trees.  But there are also little patches of color which, if you zoom in, are also beautiful.


They’re hiding in plain sight.


It’s so easy to not even notice them.


But a zoom lens helps me look more closely.  It highlights the quiet beautiful details, the colorful corners.


The zoom lens helps me to see and notice.


I’m pretty sure God uses a zoom lens when he looks at me.

He sees my details and sees my beauty that others overlook.

131. Leaves as Lucky Pennies

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016


Tonight I went for a walk as the sun was going down and hitting the brightly colored leaves up on the ridge that I can see from my window.


Several threads came together and exploded with wonder in my thoughts while I was walking.  I’m going to try to express some of those.


It started with thinking about a Project 52 post I wrote last night.  I had reflected on the year I was 20 years old and started dating my husband-to-be.

This morning I remembered something I’d forgotten to write about.  We used to hide pennies for each other.  It came from an Annie Dillard quote that I’d read that summer from A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. What you see is what you get.


I had included in the Project 52 post lots of pictures of my friends in the S.I.K. Club, a club about not being afraid to be silly and about embracing joys.  This morning my friend Jovial Gina, one of the S.I.K.s, indicated on Facebook that she really enjoyed remembering back to those silly days.


Gina has recently written a book called Camino Divina, a book about taking meditative walks.  In each chapter she highlights a different “saint” and looks at their inspirational writings.  For several months now, I’ve been reading a short section of Gina’s book right before I go on my walks, to give me something to think about.

Tonight I started a new chapter.  I was in a hurry because the sun was getting lower in the sky.  And guess who the saint of the new chapter was?  Annie Dillard!


I was in a hurry, so I’m afraid I read Gina’s thoughts on Annie Dillard’s writings hastily.  But she did get me thinking about finding pennies, and how they represent finding small joys.

I started reciting in my mind the passage I quoted above.


Another thread:  On Saturday, I did the same walk among the trees.  (Though they weren’t quite as bright yet.)  As I was leaving and the sun had stopped lighting them up, a couple passed and told me I should go to Skyline Drive if I really want to see beautiful leaves.

Now, I’ve been to Skyline Drive in the past, and it is indeed beautiful.  But I’m not going to ignore the gorgeous beauty lit up outside my window just because there’s a more spectacular place an hour away!

Tonight I decided that each bright leaf is like a copper penny.


A lot of people don’t think a penny is worth picking up.


It’s really easy to just drive by and not notice how beautiful the leaves are.

(Though my growing up in southern California helps me to be amazed every year.  The leaves all turning at the same time always seems miraculous.)


And I decided that taking pictures of the leaves was a little like picking up the pennies.


Only this way, I could pick up a million pennies, a million little miracles, all at the same time.


It’s that simple.  What you see is what you get.


130. Ponies!

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Today after checking out from Waterside Inn, I went back to Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge — and today I spent about an hour at the Pony Overlook off the Woodland Trail watching a herd of 12 ponies.

And it was Awesome.


129. Reading on Waterside Inn’s Balcony

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016


I’m on a Personal Reading Retreat!

When I found out I get to be a Cybils judge this year for Young Adult Speculative Fiction, I was daunted by all the reading I’m going to need to do.  When I talked with my coworkers about it, it occurred to me that I should just get *away* and read.

So — I booked two nights at Waterside Inn in Chincoteague!  And I took Monday off work.  It did take me 4 hours to get here, but I listened to an audiobook on the way.

But now the plan is to read and read and read.

I got here just in time to see the sun going down from the balcony.  There’s a view of the bay, and it’s going to be a perfect place to read!

I’m going to try to finish my first book tonight.

But what a lovely place to do it!

99. Wildflowers

Friday, July 8th, 2016

When I get out of the habit of posting blessings, I start to think they need to be for big, momentous things.

But the point of doing this blog was to remember to be grateful every day.

So today I’m picking something small and wonderful — all the many wildflowers that bloom beside my lake.  Each day there are different ones blooming.  And they are beautiful.