Serenity Sunday:West Coast of Newfoundland

Another trip back to the island of Newfoundland. These photos were taken at different locations along the coast, so many beautiful vistas, whether of sea or land, marshes or ponds… time spent in nature is never wasted. Summer is the perfect season to wander a little and drink in the wonders of nature. I hope you find a bit of serenity in these photographs.

This was taken on the Port au Port Peninsula near the community of Felix Cove. “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Cousteau
Red Island, off the coast of the community of Mainland on the Port au Port Peninsula. “Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo
Overlooking Little Port Harmon in the town of Stephenville. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir
There are also many species of birds to be seen on the many beautiful nature trails. This is the common American Robin, which can be seen just about anywhere. “Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” – Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Wild flowers are many and varied in the meadows and fields … “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir
A bee busily gathering nectar. Despite having a lot of challenges everywhere around the world, bees are doing well in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador “Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard de Nerval
Summer brings birds, bees, and butterflies “Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen
Overlooking the city of Corner Brook. “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey
Fog hanging over the water at Gull Pond near the Trans-Canada highway between the communities of Stephenville and Corner Brook. “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” – William Shakespeare
Sunrise, soon the sun will burn off the fog that hovers in the early morning hours. “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” – William Wordsworth
Incredible views as a new day begins taking my breath away. “The day of the sun is like the day of a king. It is a promenade in the morning, a sitting on the throne at noon, a pageant in the evening.” – Wallace Stevens

“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” – Jules Renard

May we be so blessed as to spend time in nature and in it find the peace and the pieces of heaven.

Serenity Sunday: Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada

In 2016 wildfires forced the evacuation of this city where I live. We were so blessed to spend the month of evacuation in the town of Sylvan lake, a small town located at the halfway point between Calgary and Edmonton. I hope you enjoy these photos from our stay there.

From sunrise to sunset the lake is a beautiful place to be
Is there anything more serene than time spent at (or on) the water?
The marina at Sylvan Lake
Beautiful paths along the shoreline
Stairs provided from street level to the the beach
Downtown Sylvan Lake
resting places are provided
A boat at anchor on Sylvan Lake
We spent many hours walking along the shore and I often had my camera in hand
These benches provide a wonderful view of the lake

We lived with many unknowns during the evacuation. It was stressful in many ways, but being able to walk the shores of Sylvan Lake and experiencing the kindnesses of the people of this small town helped tremendously. I hope that these photos lend themselves well to creating a small bit of serenity to your day. Be well. Be blessed. Be safe.

When a Raven comes to visit

I was surprised to see this big guy sitting on the window box on the balcony. He did not fly away but stayed a few moments, his head cocking back and forth as I spoke to him, as if he understood what I was saying. The Raven is often held in high regard by indigenous peoples, sometimes called “The Trickster”. I quickly grabbed a few photos of my afternoon visitor.

He’d been mouthing the flowers as if checking to see if they were edible. they do kind of look like popcorn.
He cocked his head sideways when I asked him to please don’t eat my flowers, as if to say, “I was just having a taste”.
Gazing out over the green space
My daughter took this one just before he flew off

When I was a child we would count crows: “One for sorrow, Two for joy, three for a letter, Four for a boy ….”. Crows and ravens were often thought to bring bad luck, illness, or even death due to their black feathers. I didn’t feel any such thing as I “conversed” with this fellow. He seemed quite amiable and he didn’t eat my flowers. I’ll take that as a sign of friendship.

Serenity Sunday: Clearwater River

The Clearwater River is one of five that run through Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The city has many scenic spots and several nature trails. These were taken on Macdonald Island, near where I work.

Taken at dusk, the skies are always so beautiful
Macdonald Island in Fort McMurray
I can picture fur traders that used the rivers to distribute (and collect) their furs
Near the highway that runs through the city
Meandering waters
This sculpture of an eagle in flight is near the Aboriginal Nature Trail that is a pleasure to walk on Macdonald Island near the city’s downtown core

Chipmunk visitor

“What’s that over there?”
“This smells good”

I enjoyed watching this little guys the other day. He was quite busy gathering something off the ground in the parking lot. I have no idea what it is – perhaps nesting materials? It didn’t look to be anything edible. Wildlife in the city, gotta love it!

Serenity Sunday: Back to Newfoundland

These photos were taken in communities near Stephenville, Newfoundland, on the island’s West coast. Rugged beauty is everywhere with trails to hike or bonfires to enjoy on each and every beach, if you choose. Or, if you are fortunate, local fishers will take you out fishing on the bay. The sturdy and the brave may even enjoy a dip in the ocean….

Boswarlos is a small community on the Port au Port Peninsula and features sandy beaches
On the way to Stephenville from Boswarlos, this is Barn Hill in the community of Agathuna
A boat slip where fisherman pull their small dories ashore. This one was in the community of Fox Island River.
Larger fishing vessels are a common sight on Bay St. George
A river in the small town of Stephenville
Heading toward the community of St. George’s passing through Stephenville Crossing
Driving through Stephenville Crossing the “new” highway runs parallel to the old roadway where this old bridge still stands
Approaching St. George’s is a stand made for the Osprey a.k.a. fish hawk, where, if you are lucky, you can see these birds on their nest
Osprey nest
Another old bridge crossing a river near the community of St. George’s
On our way back from St. George’s we stopped at a beach where this jelly fish was stranded on the sand. Many of these fish are pink in color, but there are also clear jelly fish which are very hard to see when you’re out for a swim in the ocean. My mother always warned us about jelly fish because they can sting.
Loons are common to see out on the water. This one seemed to be injured and did not move as I approached. A call to wildlife once I got home sent help for this bird.
A broken dory is a sad reminder of the strong fishery that had made life on the island possible
Another shot of the river through St. George’s and a more modern bridge
Pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea L.) are a common sight on the marshes. It was adopted as the provincial flower in 1954
Little Port Harmon is part of the charm of the town of Stephenville where people walk, bike or roller skate along side of the roadway.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour. All communities included in this post are dotted along the bay and near Stephenville, NL, Canada.

Serenity Sunday: Alberta

These photos were taken over the past few years between Fort McMurray and Edmonton. Alberta has many beautiful places. There is lots of rural farmland as well as hills and mountains with lakes and rivers carved into the land.

The mighty Athabasca River taken in the town of Athabasca
Highway 63 winds over hills and through lush farmland from Fort McMurray to Edmonton
Horses, cows, sheep, llama, alpacas, and even buffalo can be seen on the drive to Edmonton
Rivers, ponds, and lakes aplenty
And lots and lots of cows
Lac La Biche
Beaver Dams are a frequent sight as well
Look up into those wide Alberta skies and you may catch sight of a hawk or two
North of Fort McMurray
Gregoire Lake, just outside Fort McMurray, near the community of Anzac
Fort McMurray Golf Course

Into the woods

Last week my daughter and I went on a hike on a nature trail here in town. I love the woods. I hope you do too. Here are a few photos from our little adventure.

Does anyone else see a face here? Admittedly I have a vivid imagination.
Mushroom growing out of a tree trunk – fantastic!
A promise of wild strawberries – they grow abundantly on the edges of the trail
The Birchwood trail goes on for many miles through the city
Another mushroom! A very oddly shaped mushroom!
At some points the trail is a narrow footpath
Almost looks like something out of a sci-fi movie but this is no special effects job – nature does it well with no help at all
One minute it was sunny but off and on the clouds moved in
A fairy hoop – the woods are magical
More mushrooms!
I kept seeing them everywhere – maybe I was hungry….
While there are many level areas the Cougar Trail can be quite arduous as well – lots of hills!
Another “monster”
Evidence of insects – it was too low to the ground to be wood peckers
What do you see?

I hope you enjoyed the hike. Come back soon and we will go again. Thanks for visiting.

Serenity Sunday: In my backyard, birds, bugs, and blossoms

Normally I try to go through my photos and share some of the beauty I have seen in other places, at other times. Today I am inviting you to come see the backyard (so to speak, it’s actually the green space behind the apartment building where we live). I have been watching for babies in the pond where a pair of common golden-eyed ducks have made their home. For a long time I could not catch sight of them, I guess mama duck was keeping them hidden in the reeds and cattails that surround the waters there. I was delighted to see the pair do have four little ducklings, which have finally come out of hiding. Come see a few small miracles I was blessed to see this morning.

All four babies keep close to their mama
There were plenty of hiding places in the long grasses surrounding the pond
They were diving under the water and enjoying swimming around the pond, a pleasure to watch
Tall grasses, cattails, and reeds make for great camouflage making these ducks a challenge to see
Dragonflies are plentiful around the pond
How amazing is nature?
This red-winged blackbird stayed close by as I photographed the ducklings
he made me wonder if he is guardian of the pond judging by his constant chattering at me
The flash of color when the wings are extended is so beautiful
I am rather enamored of these birds, always a joy to see
Wild strawberry blossoms hiding in the grass. These wild berries may be very small, but they’re also very sweet

Next week we will go further afield. I hope you didn’t mind spending today at home with me.