Nature

The beauty of nature

Pelicans Port Aransas Texas Gulf Coast

Pelicans Port Aransas Texas Gulf Coast

My solo road trip to Port Aransas on the Gulf Coast of Texas was planned around the whooping crane festival in February. I didn’t see any whooping cranes but I did see plenty of brown pelicans in Port Aransas Texas. I visited the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas and was surrounded by some […]

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Rideau Canal Walk from Dows Lake to Ottawa Locks

Rideau Canal Walk from Dows Lake to Ottawa Locks

Ottawa is a great city for outdoor activities. On my solo trip to Ottawa I chose an overcast day to walk from Wellington West to Dows Lake and along the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa Locks near Parliament Hill. I wanted to visit the Rideau Canal since I was a kid in Calgary Alberta. I […]

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5 Days of Solo Travel in Ottawa – Highlights of my Trip

5 Days of Solo Travel in Ottawa – Highlights of my Trip

My first solo trip to Ottawa – the capital of Canada – the Motherland – was in August. I took a train from Montreal and stayed in beautiful Wellington West – just south of the Ottawa River. Walking to catch the bus to my AirBnB accommodations I stopped on the overpass from the Via Rail […]

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Ammolite – Colorful Gemstone of Alberta Canada

Ammolite – Colorful Gemstone of Alberta Canada

Ammolite is a gemstone made from fossilized shells of the extinct ammonite mollusks – squidlike creatures –  found primarily in Southern Alberta. The shells could grow to as large as 1 meter in diameter. Ammolite is often made into colorful gemstones and Feng Shui practitioners refer to it as the “Seven Color Prosperity Stone”. That’s […]

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Zilker Botanical Garden – A Little Zen in Austin Texas

Zilker Botanical Garden – A Little Zen in Austin Texas

Zilker Botanical Garden is a little piece of Zen in central Austin. I often stop by in-between bookkeeping client appointments to take a meditative break. Spring is my favorite time to visit Zilker Botanical Garden because I love to see the redbuds begin to bloom but there is beauty in every season. The setting is serene with […]

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YYC = Calgary Alberta Canada Airport Code

YYC = Calgary Alberta Canada Airport Code

YYC is the airport code for my hometown Calgary Alberta Canada. I enjoyed a visit with my family and just returned yesterday. I like to visit Calgary towards the end of June so that I can enjoy the long summer days. It’s great weather for hiking and being outdoors. I’ll just give you a little […]

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Urgup Turkey – Historic Town – Tourist Center to Cappadocia

Urgup Turkey – Historic Town – Tourist Center to Cappadocia

Urgup is a town in Central Turkey that I visited in 2009 with a Turkish friend I had met the previous year on my first solo visit to Istanbul. Mehmet worked in the tourism industry so he made all the arrangements for a two-day tour of Cappadocia with our base in Urgup. Although solo travel […]

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Canon Powershot SX-700 w/30x Zoom Lens Test Photos – Initial Review

Canon Powershot SX-700 w/30x Zoom Lens Test Photos – Initial Review

I just purchased the Canon Powershot SX-700 for my upcoming solo trip to Barcelona Spain (read my post-trip review here). My previous camera was also a Canon Powershot – the pocket-size SD1300IS which is a great little camera for everyday use. However, mine had developed a grey smudge mark in dead-center on certain photos – most […]

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Pretty Peacocks of Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve in Austin Texas

Pretty Peacocks of Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve in Austin Texas

Exotic peacocks can be seen wandering about the grounds of central Austin Texas. The peafowl living at Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve are descendants of the original pair of peafowl given as a Christmas gift to the Mayfield’s in 1935. In the springtime visitors to Mayfield Park are often greeted by the peacocks fanning their tail […]

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Hiking is My Cheap Therapy – Exploring Nature Trails in the City

Hiking is My Cheap Therapy – Exploring Nature Trails in the City

Taking a mid-day break to hike a nature trail is my cheap therapy – I think only of the  exact moment I am in, walking the trail, exploring nature. Time doesn’t exist. Hiking at Bull Creek Park in northwest Austin recently I lost all track of time. I had planned to spend a half hour […]

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Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – Bluebonnets and Hiking Trails

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – Bluebonnets and Hiking Trails

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin’s southwest includes botanical gardens, hiking trails, as well as a research center including the Restoration Research Trail. After leaving Washington DC Lady Bird Johnson worked to encourage the beautification of Texas highways. Mrs Johnson’s passion for the environment and wildflowers eventually lead to the creation of The National […]

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Mayfield Park – Peacocks and Hiking Trails in Austin City Limits

Mayfield Park – Peacocks and Hiking Trails in Austin City Limits

Mayfield Park is an absolute gem – this Central Austin park includes a 27 acre nature preserve, 2 acres of beautiful gardens, an historic cottage, water-lily ponds, and peacocks greet you at the entrance! Mayfield Park and the surrounding nature preserve was gifted to the City of Austin by Mary Mayfield Gutsch in 1971. Her parents […]

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