All posts filed under: Nature

A Slice of Vacation Life

Leave a comment
Blogging / Just for Fun / Nature

Today’s assignment is to recreate the events of a single day. This one will be easy, since I will draw on memories of my recent stay with my friend, Sue, in her rental condo in Orange Beach, AL   I wake up when I wake up, without an alarm or obligation. I know without getting out of bed whether Sue is up before me. The first thing she does each morning is open the glass […]

Welcome, Fluffy New Neighbors

Leave a comment
Animals / Nature

Maples at the Sonatas has welcomed two new families in the past two weeks. First, we have the Robins, living on Verdi, and then we have the Robins, living on the other end of Verdi. It is unclear whether the two families are related. But yes… we are definitely going to the birds here! One mama robin chose to build her nest in a wreath on Sue and Mike’s front door. It’s a nice, private […]

Beginnings

comments 4
Construction / Nature

One of my favorite parts of spring is all of its new beginnings. Flowers reappear from the soil and bloom again. Or they are planted for the first time, sharing color and fragrance from their very beginning. Baby animals come into the world. Trees begin another year by putting on their loveliest blossoms. Like this one. And it’s not only nature celebrating new beginnings. The Maples is all about new beginnings too. For as long […]

Welcoming Spring

comments 5
Nature / Neighbors / Social Life

Yes, spring has sprung here at the Maples. After countless days of dark, cold skies, punctuated by driving rain, the sun returned today. And a most welcome visitor it was. This afternoon I sat at my computer, diligently working on a writing project. At one point, I glanced out the window behind my monitor and saw activity across the street. First, it was two neighbors talking near our community garden. Then a third came along […]

A Postcard from the Beach

Leave a comment
Mostly Musings / Nature

​​  Orange Beach, Alabama  “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea–whether it is to sail it or watch it–we go back from whence we came.”    John F. Kennedy There is a magic in the ocean that draws me to it, as if my DNA remembers that all life began in the sea. It holds the power to reset mind and body and spirit. I may stay here […]

Orchids Are Calling Me

Leave a comment
Nature / Pictures

Are you as ready for a break from winter as I am? Is the lack of sunshine getting you down? Does your world look like something like mine—gray, dark, and dismal—day after day after day? Then let me make a suggestion. You may want to head to Rockford to visit Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens’ orchid exhibit. “In Full Bloom: The Orchid Exhibit” opens today and runs through March 7. It is well worth the hour’s […]

Tom’s Trail

comments 4
Nature / Neighbors / Pictures

My neighbor Tom prefers living off the beaten path—taking the road less traveled, if you will. Sometimes that even means constructing the trail himself. And that is fine with him. He and Brenda moved into their Portico a year ago. Their Phase 3 lot nestles along the treeline at the edge of the Maples. A few steps beyond their courtyard is a low stone wall marking the line between our property and undeveloped land owned […]

The Beauty of Maturing Landscaping

comment 1
Nature

When I moved into my Abbey in October 2010, I didn’t really have expectations for how its landscaping would change over time. I guess I was concentrating on the home’s interior and just assumed that bushes would grow larger and I would plant flowers in the spring. That, of course, is exactly what happened. But this summer I’ve opened my eyes to the changes and the beauty that now surrounds me. Before I offer some […]

May Thunderstorm

Leave a comment
Nature

First comes the thunderstorm watch notice scrolling along the bottom of the TV screen. Then ominous clouds roll in, darkening the sky when it should have yet been light. Then the winds gust. In the distance, thunder rumbles and lightning streaks through the black clouds. And then it is here. Sheets of wind-driven rain send me hurrying indoors to protect my camera, and myself. The storm is Mother Nature’s display of drama, beauty, danger. It […]

Happy May!

Leave a comment
Holidays / Nature

I wanted to wish you a Happy May Day yesterday, but Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating. And what’s May Day without some flower pictures? With an entire weekend of fog, rain, and wind, with a little thunder thrown in, I couldn’t get the photos of Connie’s tulips that I wanted. But this morning the sun returned to lift our spirits and brighten our lives. So, though it’s too late for May Day, it’s not for the […]

Snow, Snowed, Snowing

comments 4
Nature / Pictures / Uncategorized

This time the forecast was right on. Several days ago, the weather man began talking about significant snow heading our way. When I woke up yesterday, a heavy snow warning had been issued. The disturbance was even given a name, Winter Storm Bella. And yesterday at 6 pm, precisely the time predicted, the flakes began falling. Snow fell fast and furiously—at times more than an inch per hour. City snow plows and our snow contractor, […]

Autumn in Phase 3

Leave a comment
Growth/Sales / Nature / Pictures

It’s a beautiful fall day in Maples at the Sonatas. I’ve begun posts like this before, and probably will again, because our community is lovely during all of the four seasons. But today is an exceptional, bright, peaceful Sunday. It’s the kind of day that begs for photos to look back on when the winter snows begin to fly. Before you read farther, you may want to take another look at this post from October […]

September at the Pool

Leave a comment
Nature / Neighbors / Social Life

Labor Day is considered the traditional beginning of fall. But that was not the case this year at Maples at the Sonatas, where we enjoyed three-plus weeks of bonus summer. There were still several sizzling hot days for swimming. Our walking group, known for getting outside in challenging weather, took their exercise in the pool a few days. Don’t they look nice and cool here? And they can spell too. A-A-R-P… The weather has turned […]

Consider the Lilies…

comments 2
Mostly Musings / Nature

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Symbol.” Something white caught my eye when I walked past my neighbor Ollie’s flowerbed this morning. Something that, as beautiful as it was, felt out of place. I had never seen an Easter lily growing outdoors before, nor had I ever seen one blooming in July. Yet there it was, a glorious, serendipitous surprise. Symbolically speaking, the Easter lily is identified with beauty, purity, hope, and […]

Escaping the Gray

Leave a comment
Nature / Pictures

It’s record-settingly official. The Chicago area just survived its cloudiest June on record. Books close on Chicago’s cloudiest Junes on record and one of its wettest; May-level chill settles in as July 2015… http://t.co/znnu4eCmIv — Skilling (@Skilling) July 1, 2015 If you were to read the entire post, you would find all the depressing statistics. If that sounds too gloomy to tackle, here are the highlights—or, should I say, lowlights:  Last month our total sunshine […]

Nighttime at the Maples

comments 3
Mostly Musings / Nature

Sunset is one of our loveliest times at Maples at the Sonatas. There is so much to savor in this time of transition. And then comes nighttime, which is downright magical. Darkness settles gently, gradually over the neighborhood, bringing with it an altered perspective. Our homes, our lawns, our streets — everything so familiar that we may not even see it any more — all becomes subtly new, demanding a second look. ••• It’s a […]

Mother’s Day 2015

comment 1
Holidays / Nature / Woodstock

Happy Mother’s Day… to all moms… and to those who want to be moms but aren’t yet… and to everyone who loves a mom today. Please enjoy this image that Marlene Frisbie, of Woodstock, captured on our lovely town square yesterday. The haiku that accompanies it is hers too. Trip to the market Enjoying spring’s finery Soft rain of petals.

Spring Serendipity

comments 2
Nature

Spring is taking her own sweet time arriving in Northern Illinois. We’ll have a couple of warm, sunny days, followed by far too many cool, cloudy ones. Still, Mother Nature keeps offering up reasons to hope. This morning, as I walked over to our clubhouse, I looked up to see a lovely promise of spring. It is no exaggeration to say that this tree made my day. I hope your day holds at least one […]

It’s March. Give Us a Break.

Leave a comment
Nature / Neighbors / Uncategorized

This time the weather forecast was right on. A winter weather advisory posted yesterday was amazingly accurate. Unfortunately. The sleet hitting my bedroom windows was loud enough to wake me just after 6. I peeked through the blinds to see that 3″ of snow had fallen during the night. The sleet continued off and on — mostly on — for an hour. No yoga class for me this morning, I said to my cats. ••• […]