The Magic of Rainbows

I really enjoy the view from our balcony. This evening we were blessed with yet another rainbow. They really do seem somewhat magical to me. I couldn’t resist sharing a few images I captured. No – not a perfect rainbow but still so colorful and vibrant. In these grey days I appreciate them even more….

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
― Maya Angelou

Serenity Sunday: Port aux Basques, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Back to the island! Port aux Basques is situated on the southwestern coast of the island of Newfoundland and is the main point of entry when traveling by vehicle. It is a beautiful port city with a small population of approximately four thousand people. As you drive North from the ferry onto the Trans-Canada highway you will reach a section called the “wreckhouse”, near Codroy Valley. Truckers are well-advised to check with Transport Canada for wind advisories before docking at Port aux Basques as the winds in the wreckhouse can be incredibly strong and have, on occasion, flung fully loaded trucks off the road and into the ditch! I hope you will enjoy my photos of the Long Range Mountains and the sunset near Port aux Basques.

On the road to Port aux Basques
a perfect day for the drive with blue skies and green hills
The Long Range Mountains stretch all along the west coast of the island
More hills the tail end of the Long Range Mountains
small shrub and bushes as well as spruce pine are common
the hills grow larger as we neared Port aux Basques
sunset over Port aux Basques
ponds and small lakes are common
Fresh water streams offer excellent and potable drinking water
Officially known as Twin Hills but aka locally as Mae West
Traveling North along the highway you are treated to ocean views on the left while the mountains soar into the skies on the right
The sun going down behind the hills in Port aux Basques

Serenity Sunday: Beauty of Nature

One of my all-time favorite songs is It’s a Wonderful World by the great Louis Armstrong. Every morning waking up to the beauty of this good earth how can I not feel it is anything but wonderful world? There is so much beauty in every nook and corner of the planet. Yes, this pandemic weighs heavy at times, but when we go outside nature is always there to provide balm for the spirit. I hope you will find balm for your soul in this week’s offerings. We won’t be going anywhere today but I hope you enjoy the wonderful beauty right here at or near my home.

On Canada Day in 2018 we were treated to a double rainbow. The colors were especially vibrant that day on July 1st

“Mirth is like a flash of lightening, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” – Joseph Addison

The skies always amaze me, constantly changing with clouds that morph into various shapes in the blink of an eye

“You see, I had been riding with the storm clouds, and had come to earth as rain, and it was drought I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me.” – Black Elk

I don’t know which is more beautiful to witness, dawn or sunset, both are so beautiful

“When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.” – Joy Harjo

This was just one of many beautiful sunrises

“Ah, Hope! What would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles, that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of today, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow.” – Susanna Moodie

Sacred night, when the clouds separate and the moon shines down on the city

“Never lose hope. The darkest clouds precede the loveliest rain!” – Avijeet Das

Summer, season of long days and beautiful flowers….life seems to expand in summer

“At the entrance, my bare feet on the dirt floor, here gusts of heat, at my back, white clouds. I stare and stare. It seems I was called for this: to glorify things just because they are.” – Czeslaw Milosz

Summer beckons us to come to the water . . .

“Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” – Regina Butt

Nature at it’s most dramatic …

 “Only he shakes the heavens and from its treasure takes out the winds. He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain. Only he realizes miracles permanently.” – Michael Servetus

Blue skies, smiling at me …

“I think I will be able to, in the end, rise above the clouds and climb the stairs to Heaven, and I will look down on my beautiful life.” – Yayoi Kusama

A new day, a new dawn a sacred gift, always

 “Religion is among the most beautiful and most natural of all things – that religion that ‘sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind,’ which endows every object of sense with a living soul, which finds in the system of nature whatever is holy, mysterious, and venerable, and inspires the bosom with sentiments of awe and veneration.” – William Godwin

Over the hills and among the trees, what new mystery awaits?

“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” – St. Augustine

No matter what storms may come, a new light will always break through

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther

Serenity Sunday: Fogo Island, part two (as promised)

Last week I shared photos taken by my son and his wife, Ryan and Paula Hopkins, and Paula’s son, Carey Penton. It was difficult to choose which ones to post – they’re all beautiful. Fogo Island is one of many small islands that lay off the coast of the island of Newfoundland, Canada. It has gained a lot of attention in recent years with the famous, and the not so famous, vacationing there. Here is a few more samples of this beautiful place:

Icebergs are plentiful there and many visitors enjoy watching these natural phenomena.

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”- Unknown Author
Newfoundland is known for its colorful cottages and homes that dot the coastal communities, Fogo Island is not exception.

“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
– Jacques Cousteau
“The Titanic hit the iceberg not because they could not see it coming but because they could not change direction.” – Dean Devlin

“Let the waves carry you where the light can not.” – Mohit Kaushik
“You will love the ocean. It makes you feel small, but not in a bad way. Small because you realize you’re part of something bigger.” – Lauren Myracle
“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” – Robert Wylan
“Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.”- H. P. Lovecraft
“Being out there in the ocean – God’s creation – it’s like a gift he has given us to enjoy.”
– Bethany Hamilton
“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” – Sarah Kay
“Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.” – H. P. Lovecraft
“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too”
Vincent van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

I hope you ave enjoyed this sneak peek at Fogo Island. I, myself, have not yet been there and I am so grateful to Paula, Ryan, and Carey for generously allowing me to share this treasure with you. I will leave you with one last quote:

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

Serenity Sunday: Fogo Island, NL. Canada

Several years ago my son met a girl from Fogo Island, which lays off the coast of the island of Newfoundland. It is becoming more well known as famous people vacation there, even Prime Minister Trudeau and his family. Later my son would marry the girl and she became my daughter-in-law. When they came home for a visit in 2014 my son gushed about the beauty of Fogo and they both showed me fantastic photographs they’d taken during their visit. It is an absolutely gorgeous place. This week’s blog features some of their photographs as well as Paula’s son’s. So, thank you Ryan & Paula Hopkins for allowing me to share them. I also thank Carey Penton for sending along a few he’d taken during his visits back to Fogo.I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Paula tells me this is Brimstone Head in the fog
icebergs are a thrill to see

I have never been to Fogo Island but these photographs make me want to add it to my list of places to go. Come back next week to see more photographs of this wonderful and beautiful place.

Serenity Sunday: Back to the Rockies

I think we all feel like we are deep in a dark valley, hemmed in on all sides as this pandemic continues to cause much anxiety, sickness and death. I invite you to come to the mountains, one of the Creator’s great miracles. I pray you will find a renewed sense of wonder, peace, and renewal.

“Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace.” – Janice Anderson

“Although I deeply love oceans, deserts, and other wild landscapes, it is only mountains that beckon me with that sort of painful magnetic pull to walk deeper and deeper into their beauty.” – Victoria Erikson
“Mountains know secrets we need to learn. That it might take time, it might be hard, but if you just hold on long enough you will find the strength to rise up.” – Tyler Knott
“Mountains are the beginning and the end of all-natural scenery.” –John Ruskin
“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary
“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Over every mountain, there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.” – Theodore Roethke
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir
“When the sun is shining, I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.” – Wilma Rudolph
“I love to sit on a mountain top and gaze. I don’t think of anything but the people I care about and the view.” – Julian Lennon
“Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.” – Richard M. Nixon

Thank you for coming with me to the mountains. These photos were captured by my talented daughter, Kelly Hopkins, and I am grateful to her for granting me the honor of sharing them here. May your Sunday bring you serenity and peace.

Serenity Sunday: Summer days around the coast of Newfoundland

Along the coast of Western Newfoundland are many beautiful little communities and wide expanses of wilderness with frequent vistas of the Atlantic. These photos were captured at various points, but mostly near Stephenville. Come and see.

Boswarlos features sandy beaches where people love to come and enjoy a swim in Port au Port Bay
Bridge over the Humber River near Corner Brook
Ocean Waves
Sunsets are always so amazing
Port Harmon, near Stephenville, NL, Canada (Photo credit: Kelly Hopkins)
A view from Irishtown, across the bay from Corner Brook, NL
St. Johm’s Harbour, on the East coast of the island of Newfoundland
More beautiful skies
Burgeo, NL also features outstanding sandy beaches
Skies on fire in Stephenville, NL
Port au Port Peninsula, NL
Shoal Point, near Boswarlos, NL
Beautiful Burgeo, NL

“The Earth is a complex, fascinating place. From its vast oceans to its towering mountains, arid deserts, and lush forests, the beauty and wonder of our planet is truly staggering.” – Michael Bright, 1001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die

May we get to visit the wild places, the stupendous spaces, and take in the beauty of this planet we call home.

Light on the water, or Another fine day for fishing: in response to lynntuesdaypictureprompt week 8

In the breaking dawn he settles into the cabin of his little craft, hoping for a good day of fishing. These hours are precious to him. The citizens sleep on as he starts the motor and points his boat toward the horizon where light is beginning to filter through the darkness. These pre-dawn hours are like an elixir for his soul. He knows that when he stops to drop anchor and set about the business of the day it will feel as if he is all alone in the universe. He will take a few moments to enjoy the view and to listen to the morning’s song: the flap of a bird’s wings; the lap of water against his small craft. Perhaps he will be graced with the lonesome sound of a loon or the hoot of an owl as it returns to its nest after a night of hunting. He takes a deep breath, filling his lungs with the clean, fresh air and smiles. Yes, it will be a good day.

If you wish to participate in the prompt go to

You will find the rules and specifics there. Have fun, I know I did.

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.

Appreciating beauty of small blessings

“Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities in the world.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Callie-cat loves to smell the flowers photo credit: Anastacia Hopkins

I am giving thanks for these small blessings today: my sweet Callie-cat and the beauty of flowers. Callie loves to smell the flowers, she never chews them (thank goodness, as some may be harmful to her). During these difficult days may we all remember to stop and smell the flowers and let their beauty uplift our hearts and souls. Stay well my friends.