Oh Deer!

Drawing Practice #55

Went for a run again last night with William. It was much colder than it has been, but we didn’t back down. We also ran during sunset and not in the dark. It was beautiful and I was (am!)  grateful for this connection with my husband and nature.

As we approach the new year, I’m reflecting on this past year. It was pretty awesome. One thing I’d like to have more of is outdoor time as a family: more hiking and less technology. (Technology is great, don’t get me wrong, but using it most of one’s waking hours is not necessary).




Stawamus Chief Park in Squamish, BC

We rode the Sea to Sky gondola in Squamish today. It was a 12 minute ride to the top and, after three days of looking skyward to the tops of pine trees, now we were looking down on those beautiful giants!
After our ascent, we walked around and crossed a pedestrian suspension bridge. It’s thrilling to cross the vast expanse when the entire bridge reacts to your every move. 

The fog, as you can see, was thick all around us. 

A visit to this place is highly recommended: https://www.seatoskygondola.com/adventures/suspension-bridge




Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
John Muir

I live in a sprawling suburb outside of Phoenix. We need to get in the car in order to go shopping. I wish I could walk to a farmer’s market, but suburbs weren’t made for walking.

Once in awhile, my family goes out to the protected county park adjacent to our neighborhood. We hike the trails and talk and laugh. The outing is relaxing and refreshing both physically and mentally.

My favorite places to be out:


Where do you go?







This morning, my husband and I woke up, started making coffee and wondered out loud, “Should we make coffee and THEN walk, or walk and come back to coffee?”  Since the Arizona weather has cooled, we’ve started a new weekend ritual: while our daughters sleep in, we go for a walk with Opal, our pitbull rescue. We have been going to a new park next to the elementary school in our community. The design includes a winding walkway, a water pump, simple signs describing wild life and cacti and of course, quail, jackrabbits, ground squirrels, roadrunners, gila woodpeckers, mourning doves, cactus wren and various cacti.


We’re out for an hour or so. Yesterday, we went to the new park. This morning, we walked in Usery Park. We walk down several blocks from our home and cross a wash and voila! Usery. It’s protected and the plants there survive without any irrigation, it’s xeriscape at it’s best. Opal darts in and out and inevitably catches cholla on her paws. But she’s in heaven and so are we.

Walking in nature, one feels a sense of peace unmatched in one’s daily life. The open, blue sky above….the vast landscape of untouched nature ahead….the utter joy of one’s dog leaping and chasing jackrabbits and then limping back to us, asking us to remove thorns from her paw. It’s times like these, where you feel you’re really looking at the Big Picture and you realize what is truly important: love and presence.