Which Way: Thoughts on a Nature Trail

When you get the chance to enjoy a walk outside, which way* do you go? Do you prefer a stroll through the streets of your community or neighbourhood? Or would you rather a natural, more secluded setting?

If possible, I will always choose a walk in nature. Luckily, there are several trails, as well as plenty of beaches, in my area. I’m an introvert through and through, so my preference makes sense. An extrovert would probably choose a more peopled path so they could enjoy a few chats along the way. And there’s nothing wrong with that either.

Nature walks, where I can take the time to reflect and recharge, are like meditation for me. I don’t need a lot of external (people-y) stimulation to be happy. In fact, too much can feel overwhelming.

With all that is happening in our external world over the last couple of years—the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the political and racial unrest in our own countries—I believe I’ve retreated into introversion even more, as a way to preserve and care for my mental health.

I realize not everyone can choose to do so, depending on their jobs, etc., but if you are an introvert, don’t ever feel guilty for needing and allowing time for yourself. It’s a part of who you are.

“I’m an introvert… I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

“Asking an introvert to open up is as rude as asking an extrovert to shut up.” ~ Unknown

Where do you like to take your walks?

Which way are you leaning on the
Introversion/Extroversion scale?

Do tell!

*Photos taken on May 8, 2022 @ Business Pond Walking Trail, Valleyfield, NL

*Which Way Photo Challenge – Alive and Trekking

Earth Day 2022: For the Love of Trees

As we recognize and celebrate Earth Day this year, I fondly think about my favourite tree.*

This huge and flourishing maple tree is in the front garden of my daughter’s summer house in outport Newfoundland. I look forward to seeing it each and every July.

maple leaves

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
~ Kahlil Gibran

Caring for our trees is of vital importance, now more than ever. Strong, healthy trees help to clean the air by absorbing pollutants and releasing clean oxygen for us to breathe. They capture rainwater, which helps prevent landslides and floods. And, of course, they provide shelter and habitat for many forest creatures. All of this shows how trees help reduce the effects of climate change.

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees,
under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
~ Nelson Henderson

We can all play a part in countering the effects of deforestation. One way is the simple act of planting a tree or a number of trees. Check out the Canopy Project at https://onetreeplanted.org/

Do you have a favourite tree, woodland or forest?
Please share if you do!

*All photos taken on July 11, 2021 in Lead Cove, NL

A Love Affair with Words*

All around the world, people are playing Wordle. The popular daily word game has become a must for me (at least until a paywall presents itself), as it has for many of my friends, relatives and acquaintances.

Thinking about word games reminded me of a post I wrote ten years ago this month, not long after I started this blog. I spruced it up a little and added a couple of photos:

As far back as I can remember, I have had a penchant for words, especially the written word.  Whether that love was instilled in me by a father who himself had a strong interest in language and books, or because I genetically inherited from him, I do believe he deserves most of the credit.

A familiar scene from my childhood was seeing Dad enjoy a little “light reading” before bed—devouring such tomes as War and Peace and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. On more than one occasion he was known to take an atlas to bed, to study up on the world geographically in relation to the news of the day.

Remembering my father that way always makes me smile. If only I could talk to him more about the books we’ve read. If only we could watch one more episode of Jeopardy together or play one more game of Trivial Pursuit as a family. He would have been eight-eight years old tomorrow (March 21), but we lost him nearly twenty years ago at sixty-nine. I’ve missed him every day of my life since.

I usually read about a book a week, but my passion for words doesn’t stop there. When I think of games, word games have always been my favourite.  Give me a competitive game of Scrabble any day over other board games.  I also delight in solving a difficult crossword puzzle, anagram, cryptogram, or jumble.  And if playing Jeopardy, what is my favourite category?  You guessed it:  Word Origins!

When I think of word origins, one particular book comes fondly to mind, recommended and owned by our father, and now in my possession.  Our Marvelous Native Tongue – The Life and Times of the English Language by Robert Claiborne, is probably the best book ever written about the origins of our language.  Thorough in its examination and encompassing the first intonations of our caveman ancestors to the many dialects of today, I found it hard to put down, even on a second reading.  Particularly notable are the many words we ‘borrowed’, and then kept from other languages, making English a true amalgam, and the rich, colourful and ever-evolving tapestry of words and speech we know today.

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.”  ~ Truman Capote

Readers and writers:
Do you play Wordle?

What—or who—instilled in you your love of words?
Do tell!

*Most of the above is from an Evergreen Post written in March 2012.

Vivian’s View From Here: A Fresh Look

Hello everyone! Vivian K. Perry here, eager to bring you a fresh look of me enjoying Perry’s Point this morning.

It’s been an odd sort of winter here in Newfoundland and Labrador, with less snow than usual, particularly here on the Bonavista North coastline where a strong gale often whisks the flakes away before they can even think about settling. But overnight last night the light wind allowed a pretty layer of snow to fall, and the sun came out, so I couldn’t wait to go outside and explore.

This was my second trip outside this morning.
Time to make more tracks!

I’ve made plenty of paw prints but I look for the dry spots too.


I think I’ve had enough for now. Time to go inside for a cuddle.

“You know, sometimes the world seems like a pretty mean place.
That’s why animals are so soft and huggy.” – Bill Watterson

Check out my very short YouTube video below
to see how I try to retrace my snow-prints! ~ love, Vivian


Photo Challenge: Sunday Stills – Another Fresh Look At…

Sunday Snaps: Feeding the Birds, Parisian Style

Happy Sunday, all!

This afternoon has me wistfully looking back on our European trip, yet again. For this post in particular, I’m reminiscing about Paris and our visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

As enthralling as it was to take a tour inside this extraordinary example of French Gothic architecture, I was equally enamored with the feathery congregation outside!

In April of 2019, a massive fire tore through the roof of the Notre Dame, but a restoration by artisans is in the works. I have a feeling these birds have missed the tourists and will be happy when this historic cathedral reopens in 2024.

By the way, did you know that February is National Bird Feeding Month in the U.S.?

“Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom. We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious.” ~ David Attenborough

Photo Challenge: Sunday Stills — Are You a #Bird Feeder?

My photos originally shared here: Scenes From France – Part 3: More Paris!

Which Way?

Happy Friday, all!
Here’s a fun photo challenge from the blog Alive and Trekking.

Which way do I go for my favourite local walking trail?
To Greenspond, of course!

Greenspond Walking Trail

And which way to Bennett Island?
Across the water from Newtown, that’s where.

Rowing to Bennett Island

“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

While visiting Italy, which way to Siena?
Through this archway!

Our group entering Siena in Italy.
Most of the walls built in the 10th and 11th century still surround the city today.

And which direction do we go to spend lots of money?
This way!

Shops and boutiques line many of the streets in Siena.

Here I am getting ready to leave Grand Central Station
to explore New York City. But which way should I go?
There’s so much to see!

Excited to visit the Big Apple

Back in Newfoundland, what is the only way
to enter St. John’s Harbour from the Atlantic Ocean?
Through the Narrows.

From Signal Hill, watching a boat enter the Narrows of St. John’s Harbour

“Happiness is a direction, not a place.”
~ Sydney J. Harris

Signal Hill, St. John’s

And finally, which way was Maisie going on that lovely August day?
Where was she leading Vivian? Who knows?

“Right behind you, Sis!”

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
~ George Harrison (and perhaps Louis Carroll?)

Photo Challenge: Which Way by Alive and Trekking

Weathered

“Some old things are lovely warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them.”
~ D. H. Lawrence

I snapped these photos with my phone on July 11th last year while visiting my daughter and her family at their summer property in Lead Cove, NL. They are of my son-in-law’s shed, which once belonged to his father, and to his grandfather before that. The above quote came to mind from one of my previous posts, titled Old.

The weathered closeup depicted in the last photo takes me back to that summer afternoon, when I pressed my hand on the sun-warmed clapboard, grey as driftwood under its flakes of peeling paint. There’s something about old structures that inspire a longing, speak in soft whispers, as if sharing with me the poignant aura of days long gone.

Photo Challenge: Weather(ed) – Travel With Intent
Photo Challenge:
Closeup or Macro – Cee Neuner

Sunday Snap: Sunrise

Sunrise over Bennett Island

Happy December, everyone!

Wait—what?? How can this be? I had thought my November would have dragged by much more slowly, after I signed up for NaNoWriMo and sequestered myself to my writing cave for thirty days. Most of those days started early too—pitch-black early before the clocks rolled back on the 7th—and yet the month flew by anyway.

It was pleasant rising with the sun on those mornings. Most of this blog’s “sun photography” has been of the sunset variety like the one on my header, but there is something special about the quality of the sun at dawn. The stillness, the quietude, the fresh hope that gives birth to each new day is perfect inspiration for writing a new chapter in a novel or starting a new chapter in your life.

“I write for the same reason I watch the sun rise every morning. Not to express some great truth, but because it makes me feel wildly, gloriously alive.” ~ Marty Rubin

A Photo a Week Challenge: Sunrise

Viv in the Moment: An Ordinary Day

Happy Sunday, peeps and pets!

Vivian K. Perry here, filling in for Jennifer who is up to her eyeballs in paint cans, brushes and rollers this weekend. Besides that, she needed a break from her laptop, as she’s been busy this month outlining a new novel.

Anyhoo, I’m sharing several photos of yours truly today. I want to show you a little bit of what an ordinary day looks like for a fourteen year-old feline like moi. I love to explore around Perry’s Point every day, rain or shine, because I’m an excellent watch-cat. These two photos were taken during a misty morning vole hunt.

I spend a lot of time listening for the tiniest of movements in the grass.
No luck this morning. Not even a measly shrew. I’ll try again later.

I happen to have a fondness for ordinary, drama-free days. No pressure, no worries, and oodles of moments I can spend any way I please.

My peeps noticed that I’m doing something new recently. I look for warm spots! Does this mean I’m finding it colder than I used to? Perhaps it goes along with my advancing years. In the photo below, I am in Jennifer’s recently vacated (warm) spot. I’m always stealing it.

May I help you? No, this isn't a guilty look. This is my spot now, so kindly buzz off.

“It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now – the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.” ~ Katrina Kenison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir

A little late, but this has been my take on Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 169: The Ordinary

Have a purr-fect week, everyone!
Head bumps and nose kisses, Vivian

A Thankful Heart

Hi, everyone! It’s a wild and windy Thanksgiving weekend with storm surges in my corner of the world, so I thought I’d share a few photos that show weather that is more, shall we say, temperate.

“The unthankful heart
discovers no mercies;
but the thankful heart

will find, in every hour,
some heavenly blessings.”
– Henry Ward Beecher

“I’m grateful for always
this moment, the now,
no matter what form it takes.”
– Eckhart Tolle

Autumn sky

Happy Sunday, all,
and Happy Thanksgiving
to my Canadian friends and followers!

♥♥♥