Naturally Nature

More nature shots this week. Too many good ones not to share…

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Even weeds can be beautiful.

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Confluence Park, Denver

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My favorite place to bike to in Denver. REI and Starbucks together–so perfect!

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This big guy was injured. The State Park rangers came and picked him up and sent him off to rehab.

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Watching me closely.

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Perfectly still…

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God’s Artwork

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A Denver Broncos sunset.

Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life itself.  -L. Wolfe Gilbert

 

 

Black Friday

Black Friday

For every person who loves Black Friday, there’s another that dislikes it equally as much. I’m of the latter camp. Shopping and everything that relates to “stuff” is my least favorite part of the Christmas season. I’ll take the lights, the music, the uncomplicated joy of the season well before Thanksgiving–much to my husband’s dismay–but shopping? If I could completely forego it, I would.

REI, one of my favorite stores to browse (it’s the halfway mark of a 30-mile bike ride my husband and I enjoy in permitting weather) closes all of its retail stores on Black Friday so their employees can have the day off to enjoy the outdoors, sharing experiences. Their initiative started the #OptOutside campaign and encouraged others to do the same.

I love this idea!

REI Chief Customer Officer Ben Steele said, “When we started this four years ago, it was that consumerism was spinning out of control, in a frenzy of consumption–I’ve got to have it, I need it, I’ll leave Thanksgiving dinner early to go get it.”

That’s a powerful statement. We spend Thanksgiving grateful for what we have and then get up early the following morning to go buy more.

“Black Friday: Because only in America people trample each other for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.” Author Unknown

Many stores have even intruded into Thanksgiving evening to get the shopping started, using messages with a sense of urgency to get people in:

  • Limited Time!
  • Today Only!
  • Act Now!
  • Final Close-Out!
  • Deadline!
  • Offer Expires!

I’m not saying Black Friday is all bad. For some people, the sales are what allows them to purchase gifts for Christmas presents. And some people genuinely enjoy the shopping experience with family and friends. Though I have to admit I’m not one of those people. But what saddens me the most is when people go into debt buying “stuff” they don’t need or even want, simply because it’s on sale. When we buy what’s on sale because it’s “on sale,” we’re not saving money, we’re spending it. Too many times Black Friday leads to Red Saturday with people going into debt.

That being said, the Black Friday scrooge that I may be, sincerely wish everyone a Christmas season filled with family and friends, good health, peace, and experiences that bring you joy.

PeaceJoy

 

A Glorious Sunday Drive

 On my bike.

As strange as this may sound, there’s nothing more relaxing to me than a long bike ride on a beautiful Sunday morning. Of course by the time the 30-mile ride is done, there’s nothing more relaxing than being back home, showered, with a bowl of popcorn and an A&W 10. 🙂

The half-way mark, or the destination where we turn and make the journey back home, holds an REI, Starbucks, and park by the river.  Those things in and of themselves will get me out of bed and on my bike.

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It’s while my feet and legs are pushing the pedals that turn the bike tires, that my mind turns, creating ideas for writing, and connects in conversation with God.

How can one not quickly develop a heart of gratitude for over-the-top blessings when those blessings surround me, filling all of my senses as I drink in the beauty of wildlife and vegetation, and as I inhale the aromas of the flowers, water and trees. I try to avoid the taste of an occasional bug or two, however.

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Even those things that are not extraordinary and go unnoticed on a daily basis, draw a smile on my face.

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A wild turkey? And my first thought wasn’t “Thanksgiving Dinner,” but “Magical.”

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Can’t you just smell the sweet aroma of cherry?

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This little guy was watching me as closely as I was watching him. 🙂

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Unlike babbling voices, there’s nothing quite so serene as a babbling brook.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
— Rachel Carson
As I mentioned in a precious post, I’m heading off to Camp Tuesday morning–Camp NaNo. And it’s there I will get to explore unlimited nature as I create worlds and places yet unknown.  It’s not too late to come along.  🙂