Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

I had the pleasure of attending the Rabbit Room Retreat at Laity Lodge last weekend. The weekend included a stop for Texas bar-b-q, sessions on Tolkien and Flannery O’Connor, good conversation over mouth-watering meals, an intimate in-the-round concert, a hike up to a scenic overlook, star gazing in open fields, discussions on community and creativity, time with dear friends, breathtaking scenery, and so much more!

Words don’t begin to express what a magical and restful time I had. Here are some photos instead:

Driving through the Frio River is like a baptism.

Driving through the Frio River is like a baptism.

Great Hall, Laity Lodge

Great Hall, Laity Lodge

Great Hall overlooks the Frio River. The river is an astonishing shade of turquoise.

Great Hall overlooks the Frio River. The river is an astonishing shade of turquoise.

Consider the wildflowers...

Consider the wildflowers…

We had perfect weather for sitting outside.

We had perfect weather for sitting outside.

Wildflowers were in bloom. I was very happy.

Wildflowers were in bloom. I was very happy.

The hike up to Circle Bluff

The hike up to Circle Bluff

One view on the way up

One view on the way up

View from Circle Bluff

View from Circle Bluff

Threshold

Threshold

Blue Hole -- The water is 40' deep here!

Blue Hole — The water is 40′ deep here!

Winding Road

Winding Road

Morel Mushroom

Morel Mushroom

Texas Bluebonnets

Texas Bluebonnets

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

 

Read Full Post »

In the woods on the first warm day of spring

In the woods on the first warm day of spring

A friend posted this challenge a couple days ago. “Quick. Twenty things you love. (Not family, friends, or Jesus. We know that.)”

Here’s my list. Feel free to add your own.

1. The first warm spring day
2. Exploring country roads
3. Meteor showers (and the night sky in general)
4. Aqua, teal, and turquoise
5. Grapefruit
6. Being in the woods
7. Playing board games w/ friends
8. Exploring small towns
9. Flannel shirts and down vests
10. Bald eagles and hawks in flight
11. Coffee and tea
12. Pine cones
13. York Peppermint Patties
14. Clever Pranks*
15. Spring wildflowers
16. Maple trees in the May wind (Helicopters!**)
17. Old books
18. Fireflies
19. Pineapple, ham, and jalapeno pizza
20. Old houses

* Clever, but not nasty or (too) embarrassing
** Whirly gigs, spinners, or whatever you call ’em

Read Full Post »

I love walking in the woods any time of year, but there is just something peaceful about the woods in the winter. It could be that I usually have the woods to myself, or that the loudest noise is the crunch of the snow under my boots.

The downside to walking (and taking photos) in the winter is, of course, the cold. On the bitterest days, I don’t last long before I have to head back to the car and turn up the heat to revive numb (and sometimes blue) fingers. But it’s all worth it.

Here are some photos from recent walks in the nearby State Park:

Underneath white birches, our faces toward the sky  We will make snow angels with our white horse standing by. ~White Horse, Over the Rhine

Underneath white birches, our faces toward the sky
We will make snow angels with our white horse standing by.
~White Horse, Over the Rhine

The Magic Hour

The Magic Hour

Warm light on a cold day

Warm light on a cold day

Candlelit Hike

Candlelit Hike

Frozen Twilight

Frozen Twilight

Read Full Post »

This fall was brilliant. Here’s proof:

xx

This whole field of flowers was dancing in the evening breeze.

When in Iowa...

I turned down a gravel road in the middle of Iowa and met this cow.

"I do like a road..."

“I do like a road, because you can be always wondering what is at the end of it.” –The Story Girl, Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Morning Light

The Morning Light

An evening meal for sparrows

An evening meal for sparrows

Pilgrim at Maple Creek

Pilgrim at Maple Creek

EBB quote

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; And only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”  –E. B. Browning

I had to walk to work one week because I had two flat tires. If hadn't walked, I would've missed this tree. This tree! I still can't quite believe it, and I saw it...

I had to walk to work one week because I had two flat tires. If hadn’t walked, I would’ve missed this tree. This tree! I still can’t quite believe it, and I saw it…

Oak leaves ablaze in the evening sun

Oak leaves ablaze in the evening sun

Cheery Hill through the cheery tree

Cheery Hill through the cheery tree

I found every color of leaf this year, including rare blue leaves. This has been identified as jewelweed by my high school IB Bio teacher.

I found every color of leaf this year, including rare blue leaves. This has been identified as jewelweed by my high school IB Bio teacher.

A walk in the yellow woods

A walk in the yellow woods

October days are best spent under ruby oaks, golden maples, and sapphire skies.

October days are best spent under ruby oaks, golden maples, and sapphire skies.

These pink maple trees amazed me.

These coral maple trees amazed me.

Follow the moss-covered path.

Follow the moss-covered path.

This is my Father's world

This is my Father’s world

My mom spotted these violet leaves on a walk in the state park.

My mom spotted these violet leaves on a walk in the state park.

These four maples put on quite the show this year. I'm pretty sure they were yellow last year.

These maples put on quite the show this year. I’m pretty sure they were yellow last year.

Wildflowers

Asters in the prairie wind

All this color on one branch...

A kaleidoscope

Jewelweed revisted

Jewelweed revisted

I love how the golden leaves are set on fire by the day's last light.

I love how the golden leaves are set on fire by the day’s last light.

Beauty underfoot

Beauty underfoot

Sunset at the end of my street

Sunset at the end of my street

Fading colors of late October

Fading colors of late October

Ginkgo, aka maidenhair, aka goldilocks

Ginkgo, aka Maidenhair, aka Goldilocks

Illumination on the last day of October

Illumination on the last day of October

November woods

November woods

And now this remains.

And now this remains.

Read Full Post »

I spent a blissful week in Northern Michigan with my family. Here are some photos:

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Can you believe this is Lake Superior? It really is that turquoise!

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Upper Peninsula
(That’s Lake Superior!)

Pictured Rocks

Pictured Rocks

Old Mission Lighthouse

Old Mission Lighthouse

Glen Lake

Glen Lake

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

g

There was a 500' drop to the lakeshore!

There was a 500′ drop to the lakeshore!

g

Peterson Beach

Peterson Beach

We drove two miles on a narrow gravel through a thick forest to get to this beach. It was a hidden gem!

We drove two miles on a narrow gravel through a thick forest to get to this beach. It was a hidden gem!

The view from our lake house

The view from our lake house

It's not a vacation without some of this!

It’s not a vacation without some of this!

The Cannery at historic Glen Haven

The Cannery at historic Glen Haven

Joel and Belle built sand castles.

Joel and Belle built sand castles.

View of Silver Lake before sunrise on our last day

View of Silver Lake before sunrise on our last day

Read Full Post »

When I found out that the regional airport offers flight lessons, I decided it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. So, on a hazy Sunday morning earlier this month, I flew a plane!

The Piper and me

The Piper and me

When I met the instructor, Frank, at 7:30, he had already done the pre-flight. The first thing he asked me was, “Do you understand how planes fly?” I didn’t think “magic” was the answer he was looking for, so I had to admit that I didn’t. He gave me a brief physics lesson, went over the basic controls, and it was time to board.

As I climbed up onto the wing, he said, “The pilot sits on the left side.” I sat in the right seat and he corrected me. It became apparent that was the pilot! *Gulp* (Of course he still had full control, or we wouldn’t have made it very far.)

As we taxied down the runway, he let me guide the plane, which is done with foot pedals–one to go left and the other right. I wanted to grab the controller and steer it like a car, but flying and driving are two very different things. Let’s just say, I’m glad that no one was watching me. I didn’t manage to drive the plane off the runway, but I might have come close…

Once the plane was in position at the beginning of the runway, Frank took over. It was just like taking off in a commercial jet, minus the flight attendants’ pre-flight spiel. Oh, and the fact that this plane wasn’t much bigger than my Ford Fiesta. And of course, I wasn’t a passenger–I was in the pilot’s seat.

The view of the airport (Photo Credit: Degner Regional Airport... I was not even thinking of taking photos at this point!)

Photo Credit: Degner Regional Airport…I didn’t take any photos during the flight.

Near where the above photo was taken, Frank took his hands off the controller and declared that I was now flying the plane. *Gulp* I took hold of my controller. “So, what exactly do I do?” He had me pull the controller toward me, which lifted the nose of the plane and brought the plane higher yet.

Soon, we were 1,000 feet above the ground, with the whole town spread out like a blanket below us. I had a whole new perspective on this town where I’ve lived most of my life. We circled around my neighborhood, and I was able to pick out my house! Then we turned back toward the airport and Frank landed the plane, safe and sound.

It was a short flight, but it was a great introduction to flying. I won’t be in the air again anytime soon, but I’m thankful for the experience.

When I was recalling my adventure to my friend Reagan, she was reminded of a poem that hangs on the wall in her home.

High Flight
John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (WWII pilot)

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

A post-flight photo op with the instructor

A post-flight photo op with the instructor

Read Full Post »

I hope to write some posts soon, but in the meantime, here is some photographic proof of what I’ve been up to…

Opera Under the Stars (Clouds is more like it.) Shattuck was the perfect setting for this!

Opera Under the Stars (Clouds is more like it.) Shattuck was the perfect setting for an outdoor performance of La Boheme!

My first (hopefully only) accident...

My first (hopefully only) accident that resulted in a two-week stay at the shop for my Giant.

A lot of game playing, including this favorite: Puerto Rico.

A lot of game playing, including this favorite: Puerto Rico.

Enjoying time on my "front porch," here with lemonade (yes, I made it!) and some good books.

Enjoying time on my “front porch,” here with lemonade (yes, I made it!) and some good books.

My first soccer match! My 12-year-old cousin and her team were in town for a game.

My 12-year-old cousin and her team were in town for a soccer match!

Picking strawberries on the 4th of July!

Picking strawberries on the 4th of July!

Enjoying an outdoor lunch at the bagel shop/

Enjoying an outdoor lunch at the bagel shop.

Cheery cherries from my very own trees!

Cheery cherries from my very own trees!

I ate some good desserts...

I ate some good desserts…

The Piper Warrior that I flew!!!

Early one Sunday morning I flew this plane…

Enjoying the lovely blooming trees, like this gigantic Dogwood.

Enjoying the lovely blooming trees, like this gigantic Catalpa. (That’s a two-story Victorian home in the background for comparison.)

I saw the Oh Hellos at First Ave with some friends. So much fun!

I saw the Oh Hellos at First Ave with some friends. So much fun! (This is a photo I took when my cousins played here in 2010.)

Enjoyed an annual birthday tea party with a couple of friends. Last year's theme: Alice in Wonderland. This year's: Downton Abbey.

Enjoyed an annual birthday tea party with a couple of friends. This year’s theme: Downton Abbey.

Stopped in Mantorville on my way to Whitewater State Park and ended up being talked into attending the afternoon melodrama at the Opera House: Dogsbreath Deveraux the Dastardly Doctor or Nurses Foiled Again! There was plenty of booing, cheering, and sighing.

Stopped in Mantorville on my way to Whitewater State Park and ended up being talked into attending the afternoon melodrama at the Opera House: Dogsbreath Deveraux the Dastardly Doctor or Nurses Foiled Again! There was plenty of booing, cheering, and sighing from the audience. Too fun!

The view from Inspiration Point at Whitewater State Park. (At least I think it was...)

I did make it to Whitewater and went on a short, but scenic, hike to Inspiration Point.

I welcomed a few new paintings by my artist friend Jennifer. The one on the left, Wild Blue Yonder, is the most recent addition to my home gallery. I love it oh so much!

I welcomed a few new paintings by my artist friend Jennifer. The one on the left, Wild Blue Yonder, is the most recent addition to my home gallery. I love it oh so much!

I also attended at local showing of Jesus Christ Superstar with a friend. Her son’s doctor played Jesus and her friend played Judas. I didn’t have any close ties to the cast, but they did a wonderful job!

I’ve added some things to my list of things to do, such as see Pride and Prejudice at the Guthrie. Did you know that this year is the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice? Definitely a great reason to see the play! (Who wants to go with me? Mom?) Also, thanks to Audrey’s post over at Minnesota Prairie Roots this morning, I would love to go to Walnut Grove to take in the Little House celebration.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »