A hard time of year to stay inside

Fall here is beautiful in its own way, not in a familiar North Carolina way, but in a way that catches my breath nonetheless.

The salmon are beginning their run, and happy fisher people (mostly fishermen) are daily swarming the river, giddy with the prospect of catching a big fish. A happy man popped up from the riverbank just this morning, a large, pink fish swinging from his side.

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Why do you think they fish all together instead of spreading out?

Rain came back in a big way, too, over the weekend. More than two inches over four days. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Continue reading

O, Yosemite!

We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. (John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra)

Let the mountains bring peace to the people. – Psalm 72:3

Have you ever been somewhere and not wanted to leave? Somewhere that filled you with boundless energy and measureless peace at the same time? Yosemite is such a place for me.

My husband and I made a trip there last week, our second time ever visiting Yosemite and our first since moving here. Our goal is to visit Yosemite in all four seasons. The weather was kind to us, and we didn’t have to put chains on our tires. We spent time hiking and running and strolling. Sometimes, we stood still, awed by the splendor rising up to surround us.

If you long for nature’s grandeur, come to Yosemite. If you need a reminder of your smallness, come to Yosemite. If you need to be rejuvenated in body and mind, come to Yosemite.

You may not be able to drop everything right this minute and make your way there, and so I’m sharing some favorite photographs with you. Will you carve out a little space at the end of this busy day and sit with these views? I hope they fill you with peace and renewed energy in equal portion.

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This bobcat was the very definition of nonchalance, paying us no mind as it went about its business. (Apologies for not being able to get a front-end picture)

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On the way to Mirror Lake

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Half Dome on an overcast morning

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A thin winter coat of snow

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Mirror Lake

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Half Dome with the skies clearing

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Words fail me: Yosemite falls with rainbow and snow

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Fog through the trees

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Another quiet moment

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Ubiquitous (and well-versed in the music of a snack bag opening)

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Saying goodbye in the valley

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Sun and snow at play

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Impossible not to stop and look back

Have you ever been to Yosemite? What was your favorite part of your visit? If you’ve never been, did any of the photographs inspire you to start planning a trip?

Delicious fall

Fall starts here in the States on Saturday, and I can’t wait! I had a brief conversation with a friend of a friend this past weekend, and he was bemoaning the end of summer. He’s a teacher, and so that might explain part of it, but he’s cold-natured, too, and so that’s another reason he prefers summer to fall. He couldn’t quite understand why I was so giddy about the upcoming season of crunching leaves, pumpkins, hot cider, sweater-and-jeans weather and the smell of evening fires.

Now I know not all of you reading this are heading into autumn (I’m thinking of my Aussie and Kiwi friends particularly who are bidding winter goodbye), but I expect there are beautiful changes in nature poised to happen wherever you live.

This week, the comic strip Mutts is paying tribute to the joys of autumn. I especially love the quote from yesterday’s strip: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” (Albert Camus)

Every leaf a flower

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The beauty all around

Those of you who have followed my blog for any length of time know that I’m an avid track and field fan, and so I’ve been pretty useless this week – an unusual couch potato-ness setting in thanks to the Olympics.

On Friday, in between the morning and afternoon sessions of track and field, I tore myself away from the TV and live Web streams to meet a friend at a nearby arboretum. The beauty that surrounded us as we walked and talked was breathtaking.

That beauty got me off the couch and out of the house yesterday – this time with camera in hand. So for today’s post, I’d like to share some images of the beauty I might have otherwise missed by spending too much time watching others run and throw and jump.

The grand promenade through the arboretum

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