Tag Archives: outdoors

Saturday Morning Reflections: on Butterflies, Birthdays, Blooms & Babies

Warning:  Long post.  But it’s mostly pictures, so it shouldn’t take too much time to get through.  😉

It’s a wonderfully rainy morning here!  Well, I think it’s wonderful.  I’m sure for some people a rainy Saturday is a real bummer, but I’m finding it the perfect time to sit and reflect…

I celebrated my birthday recently and thought I would share a lot few of the photos I snapped of the 3-day event.  Hey, 3 days is keeping it at a minimum – there’s been times over the years when my family’s birthday celebrations last an entire week.

I started it off at our local zoo.  But not to see the animals (although I would have enjoyed that too), I went to check out their new butterfly exhibit, and it did not disappoint.  It was so wonderful to see all of the lovely varieties of butterflies and to walk amidst them whilst surrounded by beautiful flowers.  I snapped oodles of pictures of them with my phone.

Forgive me for sharing so many, but they’re all just so beautiful, even with my phone camera…

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A highlight for me was when this little beauty landed on my arm!

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Another highlight was watching my sweet little granddaughter enjoy herself, she really loved it there too, and got so excited by all the butterflies fluttering around.  She may only be 6 months old, but she is very aware of her surroundings.

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 I bring her outside to my garden every day when she’s home when weather permits and she loves plants, she’s completely mesmerized by them actually.  I see a future fellow nature lover in this precious little human.  ❤

And I greatly appreciate these humans for coming along too.  Although it was cloudy that day, it was very humid out and it got mighty hot inside that butterfly house, but they were such troopers.

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 Gosh, I love them, aren’t they adorable?  They’re my favorites!  ❤

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The following day I went on a little road trip with my mom and a friend of mine for a picnic by some falls.  Our picnic was very nice, but the falls were a bit of a disappointment.  Plus, we had to hike a great distance to get to the falls, and for me with my arthritic knees, my friend with her broken ankle, and my nearly 80 year old mom who also has limited mobility, it proved to be quite a strain for all of us.  But with a name like “Hidden Falls” what else did we expect?  😉

The pathway to the falls was lovely even despite our pain…

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Mmm so green…

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I love trees…

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Oh, and we heard an owl along the way!

The falls themselves were mediocre, and with them being near a campground, they were completely overrun with people, so it wasn’t the peaceful experience I was hoping for.  But even so, being near water is always a win, and we did our best to enjoy ourselves despite all the people.

Here are a couple of shots I managed to capture without any people in them…

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My friend had less luck getting photos without any people in them… this weird lady totally got in the way of this shot.  😉

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That evening that same friend and I went to a nearby State Park to attend a meteor shower party to watch the Perseids.  That also ended up being a bit of a disappointment.  The “party” only went until 10pm and it’s not even dark enough out yet at that time to see anything, the best time for viewing is well after midnight.

 They had a campfire and a story teller sharing some stories from Greek mythology about how the Perseids came into being.  I love that sort of thing and tried really hard to get into the spirit of it all, but unfortunately it was just really lame.  His gestures were so severely overly exaggerated, and they were never at the appropriate times during the story.  But I gotta give the guy credit for his effort.  They also had a student from the University of Minnesota who gave a talk about the real source of the Perseids, but he was so nervous that he couldn’t get his words out and barely made any sense, I felt sorry him.

However, one highlight was that I got an amazing up close look at my moon through a very powerful telescope they had there, and it was sooo beautiful!  I LOVE the moon!  ❤

Another “high”light was when my friend found a bag of weed in the parking lot…

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I’m sure whoever dropped it was pretty bummed out to have lost their little stash, but it’s not like we could have turned it in to the lost and found.  Don’t worry, we didn’t smoke it… who knows where it’s been?  😉

We stopped by my sister’s place on the way home with the intention of watching the meteor shower from her deck, but just as we got all set up, the clouds started rolling in.  I did manage to see one shooting star though, so it wasn’t a complete loss.   And besides… seeing only one makes it that much more special anyways.

~

The following day was my actual birthday, and I decided to spend part of it at a local rose garden like I have in the past.  It smelled absolutely amazing there!  It was another hot summer day though, so we were all melting, but once again everyone rallied so I could do something that I enjoy on my birthday.

Here are a few pictures I snapped of the roses while I was there…

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And it’s not only roses they have there.  They have little sections of plantings that are color themed.  This isn’t the greatest shot of it, but I loved this planting made up of all purples.  Purple is my favorite color…

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What I loved the most though, was having all my favorite people there with me.  I’m so truly grateful for my family and for good friends.  ❤

And my whole birthday was made all that much more special having this new little precious one in my life now…

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She is such a joy to me!

And a great help…. she also helped me pick out what to order at the restaurant that evening…

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Hmm… pasta or… pasta?  Definitely pasta!  🙂

And helped me blow out the candles on my cake…

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Yes… my cake does say “Happy Birthday Poop”

 

Well, I think I’ve probably taken up enough of your time, thank you for letting me share this with all of you.

 

Oh wait, one more thing… I also got these freaking awesome barefoot sandals as a birthday gift from my daughter…

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Pay no attention to the worn off nail polish on my toes – these feet have been mighty busy lately

 

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.  Hope you have some time to put your feet up and reflect on all that is good and lovely in your world…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

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Silent Sunday

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✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

 

Autumn is happening!

I got my first glimpses of the autumn colors here in my area while out on a bike ride yesterday and thought this would fit perfectly for this week’s theme…

 

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I can’t even tell you how delicious autumn colors are to me, such a beautiful feast for the eyes!  Autumn is one change I will always welcome in coming.

 

May your day be filled with the delicious kinds of changes too, and with…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

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WPC: Change

Julie, Julie, Tell Me Truly, How Does Your Garden Grow?

With yellow bells

and pea pod shells

and tiny beans all in a row.

I’m just realizing that I haven’t posted anything about my vegetable garden yet this summer.  There’s been tons of stuff going on out there and I’m so thankful for how nicely everything is growing.  Well, I’ve had a few setbacks along the way, but for the most part, everything is flourishing.

Peas allow me to share a few of the highlights so far.  For instance, my peas

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I adore fresh raw peas straight out of the garden and never cook the ones I grow myself, I just pop them open and then pop them into my mouth, they’re so sweet and delicious!  🙂

They’re at the end of their peak now and I’m sad to see them go.  Here are a couple other photos I snapped of my peas as they were growing.  I only have a small amount of sunny space for planting, but I wanted more peas, so I planted them in two different areas this year.  Along the back side of the fence…

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And along the side of the house…

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Oops hi Mom!  🙂

I found that the peas grew way better in the area along the back of the fence.  But even though it’s technically our property, it’s basically in the neighbors yard, so I don’t really feel comfortable puttering around over there.  It’s a rental property though and the tenants are rarely outside, so it’s been fine.  There is also a nice strip of sun back there behind our garage and I’ve entertained the thought of growing corn back there, but I’m not sure I feel completely comfortable doing that.  I’ll have to ponder it some more…

Another crop that is sadly nearing its end is my lettuce.  I can’t even say how much I’ve been enjoying eating fresh salads each day, and I will miss going out there and picking my lunch every day…

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But there are other things ready for the picking out there.  I just picked my first zucchini yesterday!  I don’t have a photo of it, but I have this one of when it was first developing…

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Since I snapped this, there are 4 or 5 others that will be coming ready soon.  Yay, I love zucchini!

A few other things that will be coming ready soon are my beans…

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And my peppers.  My yellow bells…

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And my jalapenos…

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I’ve also got tiny cucumbers developing…

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And tomatoes…

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A few of these are starting to change color now. They’re a yellow cherry variety of tomato and I can’t wait to try them.

Oh, I almost forgot about my strawberries.  They’re one of the setbacks I mentioned.  The fruits have been really sub-par, much too tart and also misshaped, but the blooms are pretty…

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Strawberry blossoms are such delightful little things, so even though I’m not getting any sweet strawberries to eat, I am fully enjoying their sweet looks.  😉

There are other sweet looking blooms in the flower bed and in miscellaneous pots on the patio too, but I’ll save them for another time.  Thanks for letting me share about some of the things growing in my vegetable garden.  Growing my own food truly is so rewarding, and tending to the little growing things nurtures my own soul at the same time.

I’m about to head out there right now for some more nurturing.  I hope you’re enjoying your weekend, may it be filled some nurturing too!

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

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Silent Sunday

 

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✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Marvelous Magnolias

 

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.

                                                                       ~ Aristotle

 

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I couldn’t agree more!  And right now a bit of that marvelous is showing up in the glorious magnolias that are in bloom here!  Ah… so much absolute loveliness!      I got totally caught up in the splendor of their soft, delicate beauty while I was outside enjoying the perfect spring weather we had here yesterday.

Here are a few photos I snapped while I was at it…

 

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 Rejoicing, I’m so thankful for eyes to see such beauty.  And for a heart that feels it too!

 

Wishing the same for you…

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

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Winter’s Last Hurrah

I awoke to a world of snow yesterday morning, and even for as much as I am longing for spring, I couldn’t help but find the fresh snow incredibly beautiful.  So much so that I spent a good portion of the day outside enjoying it.  I had a lovely time, and I didn’t even get cold.  But I did stop at my favorite coffee house along the way to pick up a wonderfully warming chai tea latte, and that really hit the spot.

I know that everyone is filled with spring fever, myself included – gosh, I’m so excited at the thought of getting back out in my garden, and being amongst the green and growing things, I can hardly wait.  But as I am always aiming for being content, I also do what I can to try to live in and enjoy the present moment, no matter the circumstance.

Besides… we can’t control the weather, especially here in Minnesota, so it’s best to accept whatever we’re given and embrace the beauty.  And the beauty of the fresh, white snow beats the drab, dreary brown any day.  Plus, the moisture will help bring back the green and growing things.

I had my camera along with me while I was out there enjoying the beauty, so I took a few photos that I’d like to share.  Feel free to look away if you’re sick of winter and not in the mood, they’re not any big deal anyway, just some things I came upon that I thought were pretty.  I went to a few of my favorite spots, so if you’ve been here with me for a while, you may recognize some of them.

Spring, summer, fall or winter, nature is so beautiful to me, and being out in it feeds my soul…

 

Even in the dim lighting of this photo, how pretty is the contrast of these little red fruits against the white snow?  I had a bright red cardinal land on a branch on the tree outside my bedroom window yesterday morning and the contrasting color of him against the snow was a delight to my eyes.

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The white snow also makes the green of the pine needles look fresher

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It was definitely a very gray day out there, but I thought it was well suited with the white snow.

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And two of my favorite trees looked lovely dressed in white…

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These two bridges looked pretty too…

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And these geese didn’t seem to mind the snow…

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Although, they did mind me, and walked off quite hurriedly, honking at me, as I was trying to get closer to take their picture…

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I tried to tell them “I’m not gonna hurt you, I just want to take your picture, you silly gooses,” but they didn’t listen.

Even though I didn’t come across any people, you can see by all the footprints on this path, that many others besides myself had been out there walking around in the snow…

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I was happy to see that a little snow wasn’t stopping other people from getting outside and enjoying nature.  Those are my kind of people.  😉

And the snow isn’t stopping these cute, fuzzy little buds from emerging…

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See… spring is coming, this is just winter’s last hurrah.

Thanks so much for joining me, and I hope you find beauty wherever you are today…

~

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

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