Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Lake

Today was my first visit to the lake this year. By now you know about my weekly walks around the lake with my friend Jo. I've shared many pictures with you. For Jo and me the lake has become a synonym for a good time together where we share with each other what is really important to us, when we talk about our dreams and fears, about motherhood and our children (our daughters have been going to the same schools since 5th grade - that's how we met). It's also the time when we can vent, be it about our husbands, our kids' school or politics (not necessarily in that order) and simply know that the other exactly gets what we're trying to say.

The lake is also the place where we share our mutual love for nature. It was during a walk with Jo when we discovered the nest of the Great Horned Owls. She is a real expert in everything nature, and thanks to her I can name so many birds and native plants now. We crawl through some brush, hoping to see a bittern (we did). We can stand forever and watch the Great Blue Heron, egrets and Green and Black Crowned Night Herons. I can now recognize some birds by their sounds, like the kingfisher (not difficult) and, of course, the red shouldered hawk - a pair of them circles over our house almost every day.

But I also love to walk around the lake on my own. Very early in the morning is my preferred time, when I'm almost alone there except for a few other photographers and bird watchers. At that time - especially now in winter - the sun is not even over the hill and there are interesting big shadows on the lake. Thursday before Christmas I even saw six otters playing in the water. I had heard about them, but never seem them until that day. There's also a bobcat roaming around the lake, but so far I haven't seen it. Sometimes I see deer, and one morning I discovered a muskrat near the shore. In the summer there are snakes, mainly gopher and garter snakes, sometimes a California king snake, but they are very shy. And, of course, a lot of birds.

Walking around the lake alone always gives me a good opportunity to contemplate things that are important to me. Like my Etsy shop. This is the time when I think of new inventory and ponder about a new file system, so that it doesn't get too chaotic when tax time comes along. I think about blogposts I want to write either here or on Vision and Verb. And sometimes I simply dream - of places I want to travel to, goals I want to achieve. In my mind I'm designing my garden in a different way. I try to figure out how to save more water. And how to be more budget savvy.

It's a good place for me, the lake. A place to relax and refresh. And truly a place of my heart.

Do you have a place like this? Would you like to share?



alexa said...

Beautiful photos - I especially love that top one ...

Biomouse said...

Oh Carola your walks sound like just what I need, and I'm so impressed with your increasing knowledge of the local flora and fauna. It made me feel better today just to think about taking this walk with you ladies and enjoying the moment.

Darla said...

Walking, dreaming, planning. You have a wonderful place for it.
You've seen photo's of my walks which mostly happen in the neighborhood. My favorite place for contemplation is on the deck of our house in the mountains tho.


Lynn Cohen said...

As always your photography is breathtakingly beautiful.
The idea of a bobcat being in the vicinity would scare me to not going there; so be safe please.
Otherwise it sounds a perfect place for contemplation.
I don't have a place like that but have been to places that remind me of how much I love nature and natural beauty. Crater Lake, The Grand Tetons, The Sawtooth Mountains, are all recently visited areas I've seen and fallen in love with.

Chantal said...

I have no special place nearby... but I can find it elsewhere too.
As for your photos, first and last one I love best for the reflections

patty said...

Well, like you, Carola, I like to walk in the morning and get a lot done in my head at that time. Sometimes I feel more meditative and other times I am writing a lot of notes or shooting photos with my phone. I do not have a special place like you with your lake - just my neighborhood, which is "semi-rural" I guess. Nothing special, but I have found so many treasures, just by keeping my eyes open. You are lucky to have such a good friend to share all of this with! Wish we could walk together some time!!

Ginnie said...

My walk around our citadel city is my place, Carola, where I usually can mull things over and get a bigger perspective on Life in general. I love that you have such a beautiful spot in nature, where so many creatures can keep you company...and even teach you.

Anonymous said...

The photo with the reflection is amazing!