Welcome to a Nice Round Number

Mmmm. I'm cozied-in up in the Great White North, illuminated in a glow of ultra-white from the persistent snow outdoors reflecting diffuse sunlight in through the windows of my winter retreat. I think it is warmer today, but I am not sure because I haven't been outdoors yet and I am sitting on the couch adorned with the electric blanket and my woolen slippers and leg warmers are doing their jobs well.

It's morning and school is in session so there is no sound of kids gleefully bombing the toboggan hill they constructed on the weekend just outside my porch door. If I were a daring sort, I might envision taking a flying leap right off my second floor balcony onto the top of the run. But that's a pretty good gap. Maybe off the roof then, but the pitch is at the wrong angle. Ah well.

At long last I have posted a selection of photographs from the summer of 2009 and the activities enjoyed: camping, fishing, hiking, foraging and cooking up meals on campfires! Despite a long campfire ban, almost every weekend through the summer was spent on the camp. The heat was hard to beat, but by seeking out the coolest nearby temperatures and then finding a high-altitude lake at that location, preferably 4x4 required for access (to reduce incidence of camping near other people), it was possible to stay somewhat comfortable through the hot summer. There were a few days out there though that pushed my limits.

I wonder where is the most sun, the least precipitation, and the coolest weather. It would be some kind of desert I would imagine? So maybe not the least precipitation and the most sun, but how about the coolest temps mixed with about 30 days of rain a year, and no more than 15 days a year over 80F? That would be ideal. Avg temp around 70 with partial sun and no chance of flooding.. that would be nice.

In any case, these pictures, reflect but a tiny percentage of all that was experienced and enjoyed these last months. Regrettably, both my aging digital cameras have developed lens flaws and I get frustrated by the dark spots in my pics, so I stopped taking photographs almost entirely for awhile now. I would like to get a new camera, but that will be a process and I've just had other things on my plate.

I'm so grateful for the opportunities and time I have had to explore the planet and get to know the earth in a new way, to develop a personal language with nature and a growing understanding of it from my own visceral experiences.

Breathing in the clean air of the remote, less inhabited areas nourishes and supports me. The peace and the quiet are like the finest velvet blankets that surround and warm me. Mental elevation has unobstructed passage, a manna of bliss, fast track to openness. Aural, and visual disturbances of the urban environment demand a body protect itself from the jarring vibrations, create defensiveness and a closed attitude. I would like to remain open. This challenges me.

May your goals be close enough to be attainable and yet far enough away to transform you.