“Escape” to the Front Porch

A few days ago, the guys and I left home to hit one of the many nature trails in the area. As usual, I had my camera out ready to capture abandoned homes and scenes from rural life along the way. A couple of minutes into the drive, the gorgeous remains of a tree commanded our attention. I was ready to jump out of the car and snap a shot of the tree, when my hubby said, “I think this is your colleague’s home.” We weren’t sure. As we looked toward the house, which was set some distance from the road, we noticed a couple sitting on the porch. We couldn’t make out the faces, but I thought I recognized the SUV sitting in the driveway. We took our chances and drove up to say hello and ask permission to capture a few shots–even if we were wrong.

It was them! But the biggest surprise was the amazing view right outside their front door.

“Living the Pond Life”

The pond, built by my colleague’s husband, is beautiful and reminds me why I love living outside the city and in a place where a front yard can be a pond. It is well-maintained and serves as home to a lot of marine life–fish, turtles, and the occasional unwelcome water moccasin.

Back in May I accepted Books & Coffee’s challenge to share escape photos within our own cities and towns. I have to make good on my promise to share some of my (far too many) “happy place” photos, but what better way to “escape” life than by simply stepping outside one’s front door? I can’t claim my colleague’s home as my happy place, but it did provide the happy during our brief visit.

It’s clear that my colleague’s husband designed the pond to provide a bit of peace and beauty away from the daily hustle and bustle.  Water–in almost any form–has such a calming effect. Even though it was an unplanned stop along the way, visiting my colleague’s pond just about negated my desire for a nature walk.

As for the tree, I almost forgot about it, but I managed to snap a couple before we drove away. The knots and grooves give the tree such striking appeal! [Click an image for a closer view].

Don’t you think so?

Jan’s Tree: Pause for Sanity

Jan's Tree: My Colleague and I were "considering the trees" on our short walk to a meeting.  Jan noticed this one and we paused to consider it.

Jan’s Tree: A couple of days ago, Jan–a colleague–and I were “considering the trees” on our short walk to a meeting. She noticed this one and we paused to reflect on its beauty and the cloud-play beyond it.

I have been “considering the trees” a lot lately.  I have had little time to “just be,” so this has been a key part of maintaining my sanity.  On the drive home, while walking a bit on campus, or running an errand, I have just been taking note of trees. These unplanned pauses with nature have helped me exhale and shake off the stress at various points of the day.

Jan's Tree: Origina/No Filter

Jan’s Tree: Original/No Filter/iPhone Photo

Thank God for the trees!