Tag Archives: walk

Photo Challenge – Hope

Canada Goose on Nest. Photo: TLClark, 3/31/2020.

“Oh, they’re back,” I thought as one Canada goose stood at attention and honked at me to stay away. Another was floating in the run-off pound. A third was sitting on the nest. Canada Geese don’t seem to ever fully leave this area; my thought had to do with the nest.

It’s a sign of hope. The pond used to be an excellent place for a goose to raise a family. Four or five years ago there would be six or more goslings there. Occasionally the parental units would stop traffic to march the young ones across the street to the larger neighborhood pond.

But then a medical building went up just south of it. And now new condos are being built to the west. I saw the geese and their nest a year ago. But never did see any goslings. Hope springs eternal.

Canada Goose & Mallard Ducks. Photo: TLClark, 3/31/2020.

The nest was my first thought for the Tuesday Photo Challenge of HOPE. So I grabbed the camera when my best beloved and I headed out for a walk yesterday. One Canada goose was on the nest; a pair of mallard ducks was nearby.

The walk itself – with proper physical distancing from whoever else might be out – provides a bit of hope in this era of COVID-19 pandemic. Getting out of the house to enjoy sunshine and blue sky is as much for our mental health as it is for physical well-being.

An annual sign of hope are swelling leaf buds. I marvel at the variety. Here are a few pictures from our corner of the world on the last day of March.

Leaf Buds. Photo: TLClark, 3/31/2020.
Leaf Buds with Shadow. Photo: TLClark, 3/31/2020.
Illusion of a Shadow. Photo: TLClark, 3/31/2020.
Look Up. Photo: TLClark, 3/31/2020.
Look In (Miniature Lilac). Photo: TLClark, 3/31/2020.

Puddles

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Heron and ducks on the pond near 36th between Trilein and the Woodland Preserve Bike Trail.   Photo:  TLClark, 9/4/18

The Woodland Preserve bike trail in my neighborhood isn’t very long, but it’s just right for a daily 2-mile walk easily made shorter or longer.  Out my front door, south on Trilein past the pond, head east on the bike trail along 36th, then turn north parallel to Four Mile Creek for a walk that goes by the pond again and then through the woods (albeit on a concrete path).  At the other end, near 47th, the trail opens to large field.

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The field as seen from sidewalk along 47th – the path is at the top right.  Can you see the baseball diamond, complete with pitcher’s ‘mound’ and catcher’s place behind home plate?  It was created by boys and girls, ages 5 to 15, playing unsupervised!

More than a week ago a mom was squatting, watching her little ones play in the field as I exited the wooded part of the path.  Both children wore rain coats and rain boots.  Mom stood up as I approached – keeping her eye on me and on the kids.  I commented about it being a great day to be outside.  She relaxed and told me they didn’t get out early enough; the puddles from the overnight rain were mostly gone.

I thought of them yesterday on my first walk this week.  Thunder, lightening, and too many brief heavy downpours meant little time outside Sunday and Monday.  It also meant plenty of puddles!

Although puddles weren’t on my mind when I grabbed the camera as I left the house, the pictures in the puddles quickly caught my attention.  Clouds, trees, shadows and light reflected off the surface; the images shifting as I got closer and walked by.

The reflections reminded me of last Sunday’s reading from the book of James:

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.  For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forgot what they were like.  – James 1:22-24 NRSV

Too often we forget we are made in the image of God, beings made to reflect God’s steadfast loving mercy and never ending compassion in word and deed wherever we go.  We aren’t called to do it alone; Jesus promised the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of God that was with him – would also be with us.

May you take time to see reflections in puddles this week.   May your words and deeds reflect our maker’s love.