Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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All those extras

An evening walk.


For the past three weeks I’ve been walking a bit every day…part of a challenge to walk for 365 days, each day sharing on Facebook a photo of something I’ve seen.

I don’t think it’s a formal challenge, not something a whole lot of people are doing. It certainly hasn’t gone viral. But it intrigued me, and I figured it would get me out the door.

Plus you know me. I like to find things, big and small, to share with you when I go for walks.

I know you’re not all friends with me on Facebook – some of you probably aren’t on Facebook at all. So maybe you haven’t seen the images I’ve posted there. I guess I could put together a slide show of the first 24 days or so….

A patch of trillium hidden back in the woods.

…but this post was meant to talk about the photos that didn’t make the cut. After the first day I decided to limit myself to posting on Facebook only one photo per day for the challenge. I’m posting my favorite one out of the inevitable batch I’ll have taken on each walk.

Crab apple blooms bright in the evening light.

It turns out, not surprisingly, that I can’t take just one photo on a walk. Even when all I have with me is my phone.

Early spring oak leaves show subtle color.

And now I wonder what I should do with the extra photos. Are they destined for obscurity, never to be seen by anyone but me?

Hungry horse down the road.

All the photos on this post were leftovers, extra images, not used, but not unloved.

What do you think I should do?

Evening light shines through new maple leaves.


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Benefits

Katie here!

If you’re Facebook friends with mama you know she’s working on a new challenge. She calls it her #365project. Seems like mama always has some project going on but most of the time I ignore it because it’s not about me, and, as I’m a princess, I believe it should always be about me.

Come on! We’re going for a walk!

But this project is brilliant! It makes mama go on a walk every day and post a picture on Facebook of something she saw. Think about it. A walk every day!

Even before the leaves come in there’s plenty of pretty in the woods.

And guess what? Sometimes mama takes me along with her! I’ve been to more parks in the past 13 days (today is day 14 of her project) than I’ve been in months! Why this week alone we’ve been to three parks!

It’s a perfect day for a walk!

I tell you, mama should get involved in stuff like this more often! I can’t believe my luck, though yesterday we didn’t get going until late in the day and it was too hot for me.

It’s hot mama, can we go back?

We only got a few hundred yards into the woods when I turned around to go back to the car and air conditioning. Mama said that was OK, we still got a walk in. She’s a good egg, my mama.

Earlier in the week we were at one of my parks and mama was busy taking pictures of pretty things that were not me! Most of the pictures in this blog post are from that walk. It was rainy and cool, perfect for a Sheltie Princess.

We had time to enjoy the reflections on the quiet lake.

Also perfect because no one else was out there and I got to walk off leash. When mama was busy taking pictures of not me I got to wander around. Mama didn’t worry, because she knows I won’t go very far away from her.

I’ll wait over here mama.

We saw lots of pretty stuff, even on a gloomy rainy day. It was one of my best walks ever!

The willow trees announce spring.

Mama said she was a little worried about taking on this 365 day walking project, but she’s been enjoying herself, and I love the fact we get to go go go! You might want to try it too. Don’t let the big number overwhelm you. Take it one walk at a time.

And if you’ve got a Princess (or Prince) at home, bring them along too. It’s good to spend time together outside exploring.

This path looks interesting.

You’ll both enjoy it!

Less talking, more walking mama!


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Took time to notice

Ann, over at her blog The Year(s) of Living Non-Judmentally, posted recently about noticing the things around us. I used to do that, notice little things, when I was a runner. I don’t run anymore, but on a good day I can still notice pretty or interesting things.

Yesterday was a good day, and I thought I’d show you a few of the things I noticed. They made me smile, I hope you smile too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hey!

What about me, mama? Aren’t I pretty?

Why yes baby, yes you are.

I thought so. Geeze…


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Mountain dog continuing saga

Katie here!

I thought this sign was pretty. Plus it helps me remember how to spell Cherokee.

Early yesterday mama was complaining that it was cold. Really really cold. I checked and it was a balmy 36F (2.22C) when we went out to explore the yard around 4 a.m. I don’t know what she was complaining about, it was perfect if you ask me, but she never asks me. At 4 a.m. she mostly grunts.

Anyway, she was messaging with a friend later in the morning and mentioning how cold it was and then it hit her. Cold. Sheltie. Hiking in Alabama. She figured out she shouldn’t waste such a good opportunity to take me somewhere fun. And, because she’s a good mama, she hopped right off her comfy sofa and bundled me up in the car and away we went!

Her friend Jamie told her last week about this cool trail called the Cherokee Alpine Trail not too far from where we’re staying. So she looked it up and decided we’d explore it!

Turquoise waters on a sunny day.

My goodness, what a beautiful place! Though I had to ask mama why we drove for like 20 minutes so that we could have a view of the lake when we have a view of the lake from home? Mama said to hush. But it was really really windy and cold up there, so we headed to the woods as fast as we could.

Hurry up mama, let’s get to the hiking part of this adventure!

The whole Alpine Trail is 4 miles and mama says even though it was refreshingly cool four miles would be too much for us, so we decided we’d just go part of the way and see how it went. Mostly it went downhill.

This is the last time I’m posing mama!

Mama was kinda worried that we’d have a long climb to get back to the car, but I told her what did she think it would be, seeing as we were on top of the mountain at the parking lot? Nowhere to go but down!

Watch your step mama! I’ll wait for you!

She was trying to hold my leash and hang on to her camera and not slip down the pine straw covered path. Eventually she just let go of my leash and let me trot down at sheltie speed while she bumbled her way down behind me. I had to wait for her a bunch, but I didn’t complain. You have to be patient when you’re hiking with a senior citizen.

Isn’t this the best fun mama?

We got down to the bottom of the mountain and I got to play on the lake shore at a pretty little beach. I just loved it!

Worth coming all the way down here, right mama?

I ran and ran, back and forth, barking at the waves and grinning the whole time. Mama told me they were just teeny tiny waves but I wanted to show them who was boss so I told them off. Mama did a lot of eye rolling.

I got the zoomies on the beach!

Then she said we had to head back up the mountain. It felt like we had already walked a gazillion miles and she was worried I’d get tired. I didn’t want to go back the way we came and pointed out that the sign said the parking lot was the other way anyway, and only .6 miles away!

Ahem…mama…I think we should go this way.

Good thing I can read. Mama would have taken the long way back!

The trail went up and down and all around through the woods. Sometimes it was just stuck on the side of the mountain and you had to watch where you were going. Mama let me walk it without her hanging on to me. That works best for us. That way I’m not dragging her along too fast.

This is a good spot to rest while I’m waiting for my mama.

Mama said I was a mountain goat. I think that’s a compliment.

When we finally got back to the car mama checked the map again cause it felt like we walked all four miles, but darn it, it really was just a little over one mile. I think miles should count double if they are straight up or straight down, don’t you?

Back on top of the mountain again!

On our drive home we got sorta lost. The GPS said to turn left but some guys were paving the road so we went straight and eventually the GPS took us on a little road that just got smaller and smaller.

Go ahead and take the long way home, mama, I’ll be resting my eyes in the back.

Mama was starting to say bad words and she didn’t even breath when we had to go over a rickety one lane bridge. But she got to see a barn so that made her feel lots better even though it took us twice as long to get home as it did to get to the park.

Obligatory barn photo.

When I got home I took a really long drink and then wiped my face on mama’s bed. And then I took a nap.

What you lookin at?

What a great day! I think the temperature in Alabama should never go above 43 degrees. I’m sure everyone would agree that it’s better to be cool than hot. Am I right?

Maybe I should try to get that on the next ballot. It would probably be the least controversial issue there!

Talk later, your Mountaineer Princess-gal Katie.

A little wind in my furs.


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I’m helping mama

Katie here. Just call me helpful, but mama has been a little stressed out. I guess something called a laptop (what the heck is that? I thought I was the only one allowed in her lap??) died. Mama didn’t cry or anything, and I don’t think there was a funeral, but she seems stressed.

I try to distract her by asking her to pay attention to me. Me me me me! Every morning when we get up I get her to make me a big breakfast and then I bug her to take me out, go for a walk, give me a treat, take me out, go for a walk, give me a treat…repeat. You doggies know the routine, right?

That way she’s not so stressed over that stupid laptop. I can tell it’s working too. This morning she took me for a walk in the neighborhood for a long time. Even though it was very very cold out. Now I’m working on getting her to take me to a park. Or three.

I personally think cold weather is good for her, but she says she has to find her gloves. Mama is a wimp.

Mama says change is hard.


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Trees and color and sky oh my!

I drove down a side road to turn around and look what I found.

People go north around here to ‘leaf peek;’ to drive and wander while enjoying the fall colors that are usually stupendous in northern Michigan each year.

Looking for color, but can’t ignore the lake!

This year the color is a bit muted, a bit late, sometimes not there at all. Everyone has a theory about why that is.

Still pretty green back in the woods.

Maybe it’s the lack of rain earlier in the year. Or the above normal temperatures.

I found these way back on a dirt road while looking for a lake. Never found the lake but that was OK.

Maybe it’s because we haven’t had a frost yet.

Even without a lot of color I just had to stop at this field.

Maybe it’s all of that and more.

These maple trees made us stop and take notice.

For me, heading up north is usually about the Lake, and last week was no exception. But we did spend one day wandering the interior of the peninsula, looking for color where we could find it.

Color hides everywhere, even underfoot.

If you look you’ll see it’s there. Sometimes brilliant…

Glowing.

..sometimes more demure.

Shades of neutral fungus.

But it’s definitely there.

I hope you have the opportunity to get out and enjoy whatever’s around you too. Take a wander and share what you find with us!

Around here it won’t be long until winter descends. We need to make the best of these warmer temperatures while we still can!

A little blushing pink tucked underneath.


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It’s October – let’s walk!

It was a windy day.


I’ve been on lots of great walks this month. Casual walks around the neighborhood, fun walks with Katie the dog, beautiful walks through the autumn woods. I could have done a Walktober post about any of them.

But this week I’ve been in a very special place that I thought was perfect for Robin’s challenge to share a walk with her readers.

So let’s take an October walk in northern Michigan along the beach of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes, and as far as I’m concerned one of the most beautiful places in the world.

I arrived ‘up north’ late in the afternoon and after a bit of chit chat we headed down to the water. For me it’s all about the lake.

It was a windy day and the lake was racing toward the shore, big jade green waves and pounding foam.

Rollicking waves danced.

The water was high, leaving very little beach to walk and sometimes we had to leap back up on the dune to keep our feet dry. We’re weren’t always successful.

It’s dryer up here.

Along the way we saw remnants of the summer just past. A pretty boat resting after weeks of riding the waves…

A day of rest.

…a bench hoping to be used a few more times this season…

Come sit for a bit.

…the artwork of people who have walked the beach before me.

A mini stonhenge with evening light.

The sun was getting lower, bathing everything in a warm golden light. Nature’s artwork on the landscape was evident too.

Shadows and lines.

The grasses waving in the wind began to glow, and we knew it was time to turn back.

The grass began to glow in the evening light.

Walking toward home, into the wind, we watched the sun lower and the sky warm the tips of the waves and the water swirling on the packed sand.

Rose gold on the beach.

The light made everything glow.

Pretty in pink.

We watched the entire sunset as we walked, making it back to the house after dark. I felt so lucky, lucky to spend an afternoon walking with a friend near my lake in mid-October. Lucky to hear the lake roar, to see the leaves changing, even lucky to get my feet wet as the waves raced to shore.

See you tomorrow sun!

I hope you can imagine yourself there with us. It’s a very special place that I am pleased to share with you all. And thank you Robin for coordinating the annual Walktober. It’s a wonderful way for us to see such wonderful places.

I can’t wait to see your Walktobers soon!

Friends


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Katie’s Walktober

Katie here. Mama says she’s going to go on something called a Walktober. I was not exactly sure what that was, but I heard the word “walk” and I wanted to make sure I was included. Because mama should never go on any walk without me!

This is my friend Deuce.

I asked her what a Walktober was and she told me all about Robin’s blog and how everyone was going to take a walk in October and post about it, and then Robin would do a wrap-up post with links to everybody’s walk at the end of the month!

Mama said the dates were originally Oct 1 through Oct 18, but now Robin has extended it to Oct 28!

We don’t sit real close to each other. We each like our personal space.

Mama says she hasn’t decided where she’s going to do her Walktober, but, as usual, I’m way ahead of her. I went on my Walktober last weekend with my friend Deuce and his mom. Oh yea…my mama was there too.

We went to a park I’ve never seen before! Oh my! I do love new places! I guess I get that from mama, who also loves to explore. This new park was in the woods, so there was shade everywhere! And a beautiful river ran right through the middle of it!

Such a beautiful day!

I loved being cool while I explored, and I of course loved being in the woods. There were all these beautiful trees, and lovely new smells.

I’m 10 years old! So nice they have a sign for me!

It wasn’t a very big park, so mama and Deuce’s mom decided we’d just go around on the trail twice. I didn’t even notice. I loved being there. I even jumped a log without touching it. Mama said I looked like I was flying.

I can fly mama!

Then she made me do it two more times because she wanted to get a picture. Figures.

I felt really good on this walk. We walked way over a mile, and I even ran a race with Deuce! He won, but that’s because he’s only 5, just a youngster. And because I let him.

A Princess runs sedately.

You might not know, but this summer has been so hot that I haven’t really wanted to go on very many walks and mama has been sort of worried about me. But she can tell now that it’s getting a little cooler that I’m feeling much more like myself.

She’s really glad.

I want to say thank you to Deuce and his mom for sharing their park with me. It was the perfect park to do my Walktober and now I want to challenge all of you to get out this month and take a walk. Post about it and link to any of Robin’s posts. She’ll collect them all and everyone will get to come along with you on your walk!

I can’t wait to see your Walktober!

Deuce can fly too!