Serenity Sunday: For the Birds

I captured these photos a few years ago when this beautiful pine grosbeak was visiting a tree in the yard to eat the remaining berries. It was an overcast day but the red berries combined with the red bird made for such wonderful images that I wanted to share them with you. So, while we won’t be traveling anywhere this week, I hope you enjoy these photographs, and, perhaps, take your own ‘flights’ of fancy. (Forgive the pun)

“Be like the bird who, passing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.” – Victor Hugo

“I don’t ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful.” – Pete Hamil

“A heart without dreams is like a bird without feathers” – Suzy Kaesem

“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark” – Rabindranath Tagore

Serenity Sunday: Gregoire Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

These photos were taken at Gregoire Lake, a provincial park not far from the city that offers beautiful trails through the woods and an opportunity to swim in the lake or simply sit on the beach on a warm summer’s day. Many use it to fish either from the shore or in boats. It was a haven I feared may be lost when wildfires swept through the area in 2016. In these times of great uncertainty, I am often reminded of the fear, stress, and worry of those days. The city was evacuated and we spent a month not knowing what the future held. Of course, we never really did know what the future held in store, not then not now, but have to have faith despite the cries that tell us the sky is falling. When all is said and done and we one day look back on these pandemic days it is my hope that we too, though perhaps somewhat scorched, will stand as tall and as fully alive as the pines and birch trees in Gregoire Park that survived the fire.

Gregoire Lake in Gregoire Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada
One of many ponds alongside the highway, this one is not far from the community of Anzac
Paved road way through Gregoire Park
I aimed my camera to the left at the edge of the lake, to the right trees were burnt and the vista hurt my heart, I am so grateful for all that was saved
A mix of dead and burned trees along with those that were miraculously untouched by the flames
A beautiful autumn day in the park
Blackened trees still standing alongside their more fortunate neighbors
“There’s got to be a morning after” a song by Maureen McGovern that played in my head often during those days, and is playing there once again. There will be a morning after, even if we cannot envision what it may look like.
Is there anything more perfect than a walk through the woods or along a lake shore in autumn?
Docks on the lake in Gregoire Provincial Park, AB, Canada I am so grateful that though the park was not untouched, the fire fighters managed to save the vast majority of it.

I leave you with a few quotes on autumn and nature as we move into winter, with its own brand of beauty.

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” –  George Eliot

“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

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.” –  Richard Bach

Serenity Sunday: Building bridges

These photos were taken mainly in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador, a few here in Alberta, and one in Ontario. At this time of great change and great challenges I thought it would be worth sharing and contemplating, as we all need to build bridges in this world of turmoil and challenges. May we all be architects of bridges and not of walls.

“The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.” – Andre Lorde

An old bridge that is no longer in operation, though it served the communities of Stephenville and Stephenville Crossing in Newfoundland well for many, many years.
sometimes, the gulf is not wide and we need only a little bridge to cross it. This one is part of the Gravels Nature Trail in Port au Port West, Newfoundland & Labrador
Crossing a river in St. George’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
One of the pedways that cross above the busy street and connects the various buildings of the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, AB, Canada keeping pedestrians safe….let us build bridges of safety
Bowring Park, St; John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
The “new” bridge over Romaine’s River near Port au Port East, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
A bridge to safety – the overpass over highway 63 taken during the enforced evacuation during the wildfires of 2016 in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Even little bridges serve a function, taken in Stephenville, Newfoundland & Labrador on the “Wee Care Nature Trail” behind the Kindale Public Library
Heritage Park, Fort McMurray, Ab, Canada
also taken in Heritage Park, Fort McMurray, AB, Canada
In Riverside Park, Guelph, ON, Canada
St. George’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

I leave you with this prayer, written by Alycia Longriver, because I believe in the power of prayer as a bridge between all peoples:

Creator, open our hearts
to peace and healing between all people.
Creator, open our hearts
to provide and protect for all children of the earth.
Creator, open our hearts
to respect for the earth, and all the gifts of the earth.
Creator, open our hearts
to end exclusion, violence, and fear among all.
Thank-you for the gifts of this day and every day.

~ written by Alycia Longriver, Native American (Micmac), 1995

Wonderful Wildlife or Pop goes the weasel

We went for a drive this morning and I dragged along my big canon rebel, you know, just in case. It was such a thrill to see a hare, a wolverine, which is part of the weasel family, and a tree full of red polls. I wasn’t able to capture the rabbit, it was just too quick and the photos of the birds are not the best. However, I wanted to share a few I managed to capture of the wolverine.

I think this guy must be a youngster. I don’t know but it was such a thrill to see.
Loping through the snow, possibly hunting the rabbit
He was moving pretty quickly
and away into the woods he goes

As you can see we’ve had a bit of snow already in these parts. Here in town it’s pretty much gone again, but these were taken outside the city where there was a bit more. I am not looking forward to winter, but maybe with a bit of luck I will get snow shoes so I can walk the trails more easily. If it means catching sight of the local wildlife, I’m willing to brave the cold.

Serenity Sunday: Shoal Point, on the Port au Port Peninsula, Newfoundland & Labrador

Shoal Point is a strip of land jutting out into Port au Port Bay, not far from the small community of Boswarlos in Newfoundland. Except for the few fishing huts there is no evidence of habitation. I took these photographs in the fall of 2010. Shoal Point is mainly bog but fishers continue to use the area to ply their trade and many local residents enjoy riding a quad to visit the point. If you’re lucky, you may catch sight of a moose out on the bog. At one time an oil rig stood at the outermost point of land. I confess to feeling great relief that oil companies never exploited the area, even though oil was found there. The oil rig that once stood on the point was an exploratory venture only. shoal Point is a great place to watch sea birds and water fowl as well as pods of porpoise and sometimes pothead whales.

I hope you will enjoy these photos of the area and gain a sense of how this land has been used and enjoyed for millennia. I have included a short video at the end of my post of the kissing rocks off the shore of the Port au Port Peninsula.

Driving along the highway enroute to Boswarlos we drive through the community of Agathuna, a little further along we come to the quarry which once promised a bright future for the area
Known locally as “Barn Hill” at the bottom of which lays the Agathuna Quarry
Lobster pots are stacked in wait for the next lobster season
One of just a few fishing cabins on Shoal Point
A dory sits in wait for another day of work, taken in the community of Mainland on the Port au Port Peninsula
A small trawler at work out on Port au Port Bay
In preparation for the winter’s cold, logs for fire wood are stacked and ready
Vibrant vegetation in the fields surrounding Shoal Point
One of several huge boulders that provide a place to sit and gaze out to sea
Old pallets a.k.a. skids form a make shift walkway across the swamp at Shoal Point
“Red sky at night, Sailors delight ….Red sky in morning, Sailors take warning”
The hill across Port au Port Bay from Boswarlos is known as Pine Tree

Serenity Sunday: Beauty

I won’t be taking you anywhere again this week. There is a lot going on in life at the moment. But, I did want to share a couple of photos of a mother robin who made her nest in my neighbor’s flower box in the spring of 2018. Yes, I know it’s fall (in our part of the world, anyway). I hope this photo will bring a smile to your face and peace to your heart.

A lesson in trust
Seen from my window every day until the hatchings fledged

Wherever you are, I hope you find serenity in this day. Wishing you all an abundance of blessings. Cheers!

Neglected and Abandoned; in response to Lynn’s Tuesday Photo Challenge

And so, it stands like an orphan child left all alone. Abandoned. Empty eyes and torn clothing, shabby and forlorn. My mind wonders as it wanders through the past years: what children may have played in the fields out yonder? How many sticky fingers touched the door? Were they happy here, that family who once sheltered here? Where did they go, the family who once called it home? The romantic in me pictures it as it once must have been, when hard-working hands pounded in the last nail and then stood back with pride, admiring his handiwork with pride. Poor old thing sure has seen better days. But I wonder what secrets lay between the floors? What story would this old house tell of yesteryears? Poor neglected child.

Glen over at justabitfuther is the host of this photo challenge. To participate go to:

I am so not ready for this

The weather network said we’d have rain all day. They were wrong and I am so not ready for this. But I was happy to see my camera caught the action:

Early morning surprise
Hey, Mother Nature, it’s Thanksgiving weekend, not Christmas!

I know it won’t last long, first snow never does but it’s still coming down hard out there. I mean, will the children be out making snowmen this afternoon? I refuse to dig out winter boots and parkas just yet. Still, there is a bit of magic around the first snow.

Yesterday I dropped hubby off for his dialysis treatment then went to the grocery store for a couple of things. I bought these flowers to decorate the table for Thanksgiving. Isn’t it wonderful that we live in a world where such color exists and we can have beautiful flowers on the table, even while snow covers the earth?

Giving thanks for the beauty and the bounty this good earth provides

I hope all my family and friends enjoy this Thanksgiving weekend. And may we all recognize the blessings that flow into our lives and give thanks for them.

Happy Thanksgiving

It is thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Sadly we won’t be hosting a dinner this year. Covid really sucks, but I am thankful we are all still here and will look forward to future family dinners for nothing lasts forever, not even covid (though sometimes it feels that way). Here are a few photos of the beautiful fall colors that remind us life is not all dark!

Have you met Callie-cat?

It’s been a while since I posted any photos of my fur-baby and constant companion. Still one of my favorite things to do: photo sessions with my kitty . . .

Mmmmm yummy
A favorite game of hers: Hide and Seek
She leads such a hard life
and knows the secrets to life, the art of just being

Time to take a page out of Callie’s book!