The Colors of Early Winter in Portland

I just went for a run from my backdoor to Back Cove.  I sometimes can’t believe that from my home, in an urban neighborhood of Portland, that I can run or walk to such beautiful places.  I brought my phone with me to listen to music and track my mileage.  When I got to Back Cove, the vibrant colors on this early winter day took my breath away.  I had to stop and take photos.  I considered waiting to take photos until I finished running the mile around the cove (stopping earlier in the run isn’t as desirable as stopping later in the run), but I didn’t want to miss the light at that exact moment to capture these colors.

Most often, on sunny days, you’ll find me wearing polarized glasses.  I wear polarized glasses for racing sailboats to help me see puffs and changes in the wind direction but I wear them all the time.  I currently have really nice Maui Jim glasses that I bought at an auction for a significant discount.  (Thanks Gray Family Vision!)  I mention this to make my point.  Before wearing these glasses I never would have dreamed that good sunglasses were really worth the money.  The world looks better when I wear them.   Today, I wasn’t wearing these fancy sunglasses but the world still had the most incredible color contrast.  I’m afraid the camera on my phone doesn’t capture the beauty of what I saw today and it certainly can’t capture what I felt within my body when standing, walking, or running near this natural place.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m so grateful to be taking this 365 Everyday Outside journey.  Getting outside almost every day has helped me weather the many bumps of 2012.

Happy Thanksgiving dear readers.  I wish for each of you some beautiful outdoor moments this holiday week–whether you get outside to walk with family after a Thanksgiving meal or make time to be alone in your woods–may you take several deep breaths and be fully present in the colors of the moments.


6 Weeks Left–6 Days Missed

Wow–I only have 6 weeks left in my Everyday Outside journey for 2012.  Most days I get outside for an hour or more but some days I just go out for my minimum of 30 minutes.  As some of you may remember I gave myself an allotment of 12 days that I could miss for health reasons, family responsibilities, or whatever made it impossible to get outside.

On a recent trip to the Bay Area in October for the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE), I came down with strep throat.  When I get strep throat I feel like I’m going to die.  I get an extremely high fever and am useless–I sweat through my clothes and shiver and shake.  Getting strep any time is pretty miserable but in a hotel room far from home… well, I survived. I didn’t get outside for one of my strep days.  It happened to be the day I took the redeye home.  If it wasn’t for the travel I could have sat outside during a medicine induced break in my fever… but I had to catch a plane so I didn’t have time.  I feel I also need to share that on Thursday of this trip my only outdoor time was when I was teaching a workshop to educators.  I normally try not to count outdoor time that is connected to work.  But on this day, I did count this work time because it was drizzly, cold, and I was feverish… most educators would teach the workshop inside under most conditions and certainly under these conditions.  I took our participants outside to do our activities and because I was really close to saying, let’s just stay inside for this hour-long workshop, I’m counting it as outdoor time.

There are six weeks left in this calendar year and I can still miss six days of going outside–the odds are looking pretty good that I’ll make my goal.  As the calendar days flip by I wonder if I will keep doing this.  Should I up the time requirement to make it a greater challenge?  Shall I keep blogging about it?  Should I just do it for my own good now that I know how much I need to get outside and how possible it is, especially when I get outside at night?

I do know that this blog and my goal holds me accountable.  Last night, as I sat with my husband in my PJs, I realized that I hadn’t gone outside yet.  It was absolutely a time when I would most certainly have skipped an outing without this here responsibility to my readers.  Because of you I got dressed–again, put on my winter gear, and went outside for a late night walk.  I was a lot less frustrated about needing to change back into clothes to go outside than I would have been a few months ago.  In fact I was grateful to get under the night sky and to get a little exercise.

6 weeks left–I’m excited to make my goal and I’m excited for all the possibilities.