standing amongst the clouds

Healthy Mindset – Days 50-52

I’ve been thinking a lot about Maui lately as somewhere I would like to go when it’s “safe” (I’m very tired of that word) to travel more widely again, and when I feel ready to get on a plane again (there will be some time in between the two). It was an otherworldly experience to visit Haleakala National Park and take photos amongst the clouds at the Summit. Next time I would like to go at sunrise – Google “sunrise at Haleakala” – the pictures I’ve seen are amazing!

When we look up, it widens our horizons. We see what a little speck we are in the universe, so insignificant, and we all take ourselves so seriously, but in the sky, there are no boundaries. No differences of caste or religion or race.

Julia Gregson

Be smart and be healthy!

Spring in Colour

Healthy Mindset – Days 47 – 49

This is my favourite time of the year, and I’m happy that despite the uncertainty that still surrounds us, the one thing we can count on is that Spring will come. (Although as I type this, it sure doesn’t feel like a warm Spring day).

The deep roots never doubt spring will come.

Marty Rubin

Getting outside, digging your hands in the soil and getting dirt under your fingernails will always make you feel better. Like so many others, I’m going to try growing a few vegetables this year. Not a full-blown garden, but instead of mostly all flowers in my containers, I’m planting a couple of different kinds lettuce and cucumbers, peppers, various herbs, and of course, tomatoes! Why do they taste so much better than store-bought tomatoes?? I had a problem last year with crows picking at my tomato crop, and since I’m going to buy a few more plants than I normally do, I’m going to have to rig up some kind of deterrent to keep them away. What’s your favourite veggie to eat straight from the garden?

Some colourful Spring pictures for a day that’s a bit too chilly for digging in the dirt (all taken in May from previous years, mostly around Regina – except for the poppies in Jardin du Luxembourg and the pansies in a restaurant window in Paris two years ago).

The first real day of spring is like the first time a boy holds your hand. A flood of skin-tingling warmth consumes you, and everything shines with a fresh, colorful glow, making you forget that anything as cold and harsh as winter ever existed.

Richelle E. Goodrich

enough room for everyone

Healthy Mindset – Days 44-46

The thing that has given me the greatest peace of mind through all of this has been going outside. From the beginning, I didn’t interpret “stay home” as having to stay inside. I took it to mean don’t go out unnecessarily (limit shopping to once a week and if the store doesn’t have what I want, I go without instead of searching for it at other stores), don’t gather with others, and practice physical distancing. But, going for a walk? I’ve always thought of it as essential to well-being. Really isn’t that what this is all about? Keeping as many people as healthy as possible? Living in Saskatchewan, we have never been truly “locked down” and for that, I’ve been grateful. I know others elsewhere have not had the same freedom to simply go for a walk where and when they want to. I’ve thought of that often in the last number of weeks.

Be smart and be healthy. I’d like it if those terms replaced “stay safe”. The reality is that we are going to be under some measure of restrictions for the foreseeable future so we need to keep ourselves physically and mentally healthy. Cities and towns need to adapt to make it possible for more people to be out and about while practicing physical distancing. Things like closing streets so that runners, cyclists, and walkers have enough space between them. This needs to become the new normal for the warmer months ahead. This is also an opportunity to seek out other places to enjoy the outdoors that aren’t as populated. For example, in Regina, everyone seems to flock to Wascana Lake to walk the loop, but there are many other areas in the park to explore. Since we can’t travel far for awhile, this is an opportunity to find those hidden gems in your local area. The first “healthy mindset” post I wrote was about adaptability. We again have to learn to adapt so we can make the best of the situation and enjoy the warmer months ahead as much as possible.

Some video of birds singing the other night (if you listen carefully, there’s an owl in there, too, but I couldn’t find it – darn!)

prairie crocus

Healthy Mindset – Days 41-43

The top three subjects on my Saskatchewan-related photography list are crocuses, owls, and foxes. Finally, yesterday, I photographed some crocuses! They are a sure sign of spring, only bloom for a very short period of time, and difficult to find, usually only where natural prairie grassland still exists. As with most things photography related, it’s a matter of the right place and time (and then making the best of what nature gives – it was very windy yesterday!)


A single crocus blossom ought to be enough to convince our heart that springtime, no matter how predictable, is somehow a gift, gratuitous, gratis, a grace.
 

David Steindl-Rast

three little birds

Healthy Mindset – Days 39 & 40

You know what song I immediately thought of when I saw these three birds last week at Wascana Marsh (I think it’s one of the hidden gems in Regina). I wish I’d brought my other camera to get a better picture, but sometimes you just have to go with what you have in hand!

There is much to be concerned with given our current situation, but it’s not healthy to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Do your part to keep you and your loved ones healthy, keep maintaining your distance, and also remember to find those moments each day that make you feel good (like getting some exercise, doing something creative, and eating well. Hopefully, more often than not, all three each day!).

Poser

Healthy Mindset – Days 35-38

I love photographing animals because you just have to stand back and capture what they give you. Most of the time it’s pure gold.

How often do you see a llama by the side of the road? This one has loads of personality! Sometimes you just gotta let your inner light shine.

“No one is you and that is your power.”

Anonymous

A Sunny Spring Afternoon in Paris

Healthy Mindset – Day 33 & 34

One of the great things about posting regularly on my blog again is that it’s making me go back in my photo library and think about the places I’ve been (I think I might have said that last week, too. It’s hard to keep track of the days!).

As a tourist, I’m not overly fond of visiting museums, galleries and monuments. Sometimes I think I should be more interested, and I have enjoyed some of them, but they generally haven’t been the highlight for me. Plus I’m not someone who has to take a selfie at a famous place just to prove that I was there. For example, I found the Louvre incredibly overwhelming because of all the jostling of people taking selfies in front of every famous piece of art. It was insane, but as a people-watcher, also incredibly entertaining. My favourite thing is to walk around neighbourhoods and find interesting things to photograph (which is keeping me entertained on my daily walks here).

The weather in Paris in May 2017 was absolutely beautiful! These photos are from a walk to Place Dauphine on  Île de la Cité in the first arrondissement of Paris (an island in the middle of the city). If you are day dreaming about your next trip, many of the major attractions are within walking distance so I highly recommend staying on Île de la Cité or the other island, Île Saint-Louis (which is full of charming shops). Being from land-locked Saskatchewan, I enjoy being near the water, and I loved watched the boats on the Seine at night.

The last time I saw Paris, her trees were dressed for spring,

And lovers walked beneath those trees and birds found songs to sing.”

Oscar Hammerstein II, 1940

Wildflowers in the Great Bear Rainforest

Healthy Mindset – Day 32

One of my favourite days of the year is when I get dirt under my fingernails and plant my flowers. That’s still a few weeks off, but it was the first warm day here yesterday so I filled my pots with new soil, and figured what will go in each pot. To have more of a summer project since we are still anticipating how we’ll live our lives over the next few months, I ordered some vegetable seeds a few weeks ago. Looking forward to finding out what kind of green thumb I really have.

In the meantime, in honour of Earth Day, some wildflowers pics from the Great Bear Rainforest (June, 2013). It really is one of the most special places I’ve ever been.

Had to include a bear pic!

my favourite tree

Healthy Mindset – Days 28-31

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

Dr. Seuss

Or, as my Mom would say when I was a kid and couldn’t find something I was looking for, “open your eyes and look!”

I’m fascinated by this tree! I’ve photographed it before when it was full of leaves, but never in the spring until the other day.

Scenes From A Walk

Healthy Mindset – Day 26 & 27

I feel very fortunate to live where I do. Even in the middle of the city, it’s not hard to find open space to go for a walk while maintaining physical distancing. Yesterday’s walk was the best part of my day, as it so often has been during the past month. I went out a little bit later than usual so the light was different, and I went in a different direction to avoid other walkers, so it gave me a different perspective, and new things to look at.

It’s simple things like this that provide some variety when travel within our own neighbourhoods is as far as we can go for awhile.

The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.

Kakuzo Okakaura
Honouring Tree, Wascana Park (commemorates the arrival of people of African ancestry to Regina, and Saskatchewan, in 1910)
I haven’t walked around Wascana Lake since this started – to aid physical distancing, people can only go in a clockwise direction around the lake. Although there was hardly anyone out last night, it’s usually pretty busy, and dodging people doesn’t seem like a relaxing way to get fresh air and exercise.
The creek has melted, but there is still a thin layer of ice on the lake.