Category environment

sandhill cranes - photo by Julie Dodd

Birdwatching at Sweetwater Wetlands Park

By 7:30 a.m., we were on the trail at the Sweetwater Wetlands Park, and the birds were there to greet us. We started by checking a location along the boardwalk where we’d seen purple gallinule a few weeks ago. We heard the purple gallinules and caught a few glimpses of them as they slipped through […]

LeConte Lodge cabin - photo by Julie Dodd

Joy of hiking to Mt. Le Conte

Time for one of the special treats of the year – hiking to Mt. Le Conte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After finding a parking space in the Alum Cave trailhead parking lot (which can be a challenge, as Alum Cave is a popular trail), we double-knot our hiking boots, adjust our hiking […]

painted trillium - photo by Julie Dodd

Hiking views in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is always uplifting and challenging. I was fortunate recently to spend almost two weeks in the Smokies. A highlight (literally) was hiking to Mt. Le Conte, the third highest peak the Smokies. At times we were hiking inside a cloud. Other times, the sky was clear and […]

Spring here. Snow elsewhere.

It’s April, and it’s snowing. Snowing not just in Colorado and New England, but in Texas, Kentucky and Tennessee. I wanted to post a reminder that Spring has arrived in some locations, including Gainesville — and surely will be reaching other parts of the country soon. These photos are from Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park […]

dark pink azaleas by Julie Dodd

Azaleas in bloom

What a beautiful time of year with the azaleas in bloom. I’ve taken these photos of azaleas around town, in a nearby park and in my yard. I hope the photos can brighten up the day for those of you who are in cold and snowy locations. This is a reminder that Spring will reach […]

Barcelona street

Walking in Barcelona

One of the many delights of visiting Barcelona was daily walking. In El Born, the old section of Barcelona where I was staying, the streets between the old stone buildings are more like alleyways, just wide enough for a car to pass through. The small streetcleaning truck did drive through the alleyways at night, and […]

Walking in woods

Opt Outside (#OptOutside) as often as you can to improve your health & outlook

Opt Outside (#OptOutside – promoted by REI for the Friday after Thanksgiving) and National Take a Hike Day (held each year on Nov. 17) are reminders to get outside and enjoy nature. Being outside and in nature should not be a slogan or campaign for just a few select days. That’s a worthy goal for […]