Category environment

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 […]

Lyn Boyer painting on South Rim - photo by Julie Dodd

Grand Canyon is ‘grand’ from South Rim

After my post about hiking in the Grand Canyon, several of my blog readers who haven’t visited the Grand Canyon asked me if a visit to the Grand Canyon would be so “grand” if they weren’t hikers. Yes! Grand Canyon National Park — as with other national parks – is designed to provide a wide […]