Say purple and Minnesota Vikings’ purple and gold might come to mind and, I would add, not my favorite color combo. Yet, when I learned of the Colour Challenge (and, yes, colour is spelled correctly as the challenge originators are from Yorkshire and Canada!) I thought of the amount of purple perennials in my garden; purplish accents in our living room; once upon a time, a favorite pair of shoes; most recently, a purple streak in my hair as a “wild and crazy” homage to my 70th birthday; and one dare not check my knitting project page or my yarn stash.
With a visual nudge from BeckyB of Winchester, I am opting into the challenge set by bushboys world, to “post the last photo on your SD card or last photo on your phone for 28th February.” Mine is a quick snap (no edits) of our Christmas cactus in its second blooming. November’s blossoms numbered over 60 and we were thrilled with the burst of vibrant color amidst winter grays. This is the first time we have had a second flowering just as the days grow a bit longer. #The Last Photo
Today’s whim – – join a blogging challenge. I’ve done Squares times four with BeckyB of Winchester, reading challenges with The Uncorked Librarian and this month I signed up for Bloganuary. (There is even a badge for participants!) With a promise of daily writing prompts from WordPress, the challenge is intended to nudge writers to write. Now, lest you worry you will be inundated with posts, I promise only sporadic musings.
With today’s prompt: “What does it mean to live boldly?” Mary Oliver comes to mind. While her poems, inspired by our miraculous natural world, might not on first reading seem audacious – they are. And, her advice in Sometimes is bold indeed.
Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
When you grow up the daughter and the granddaughter of carpenters, you appreciate trees and the lumber they provide. Fond memories of tagging along to Kleiner’s Lumberyard while Dad handpicked boards to be planed accompanied by harsh noise without benefit of ear protection in those days long before OSHA required safety and the sweet smell of sawdust or sweltering summer days spent planting trees at The 40 – trees that have grown from seedlings as small as my hand to stately pines.
As BeckyB of Winchester’s Square Challenge moves into week three of TreeSquare, I wondered what photos I might have of these natural wonders, these organic composites of cellulose fibers which have graced our planet for more than 375 million years. It turns out – not too many but enough to cover a year of seasons.
Mirroring an earlier installment for this quarter’s Squares Challenge by BeckyB — This time from my travels as near as Wisconsin and as far as Italy with water made bright as sunlit waves break on a rocky shore, from a high vista over the river and even higher clouds filter sunlight on the Trans Canada Highway , or white rapids on two rivers half-a-globe apart at sunset.
Lake Superior along the Minnesota shore – 2013
Columbia River above Revelstoke Dam, British Columbia, Canada – July 9, 2017
Pozza di Fassa, Italy (in the Dolomite mountains) – September 6, 2018
Chippewa River from the High Bridge in Eau Claire, Wisconsin – May 6, 2016
While following BeckyB of Winchester in the WordPress blogosphere, I became intrigued by her Squares Challenge. The directions are simple: Post a photographic square every day, or once a week, or even just occasionally. Her April theme is Bright with a definition covering a wide spectrum of adjectives “sparkling, polished, shining, clever, cheerful, colourful, astute, brilliant, sunny, glorious, translucent, distinct and clear.” Inspired by her Bright and Early in Portuguese Moments on April 1, I’ve selected a small collection of far and wide travel pictures some on sunny days and others just capturing the bright wonder of the moment.
Cathedral of God’s Mother’s Birth at the Curchi Monastry, Orhei, Moldova – October 15, 2018
Phoenix Botanical Garden – March 23, 2019
Lake Como, Bittersweet National Forest, Montana – May 17, 2017
Usually Earth Day arrives, as it does every April 22, and catches me unaware. I go oops I should have [fill in the blank – read or investigated or donated or something] before now. So this year, still living in these Covid times, I am starting early and Gum Trees and Galaxies provided just the right incentive. The blog’s co-authors, who self describe as “…a couple of Australian empty nesters (not grey nomads, at least not yet), exploring, experimenting and recording life,” invite their readers to a nature reading challenge. Yes, I am still exploring reading challenges for 2021. They even provide a downloadable Gaia Book Bingo card to enhance your Gaia/Nature reading adventure.
Join me in reading and celebrating Earth Day 2021! You can start early too. Reduce. Recycle. Reuse.
After decades of librarianship and managing countless summer reading programs for children and winter reading programs for adults – all encouraging the pure enjoyment of reading (whatever form: paper page or tablet or headphones), I have discovered the phenomenon of reading challenges. While I have participated in any number of knitting challenges: 52 hats in one year, 12 shawls, themed cowls, etc., I never thought about reading challenges other than to set an annual Goodreads goal along with 2.6 million other Goodreads participants. But trust me they abound! I’ve listed a few resources I found inspiring but, if these are not to your liking, a simple Google search will yield 700 million more. Thanks to Swedish school librarian, Elin, for my introduction to 2021 reading challenges.