Post Navigandum

After any big event, there’s the letdown. So much energy has gone into planning and anticipating, the experience flies by in moments, and then…?

I don’t think we realized how many major life transitions we were going through in the months prior to the sailing trip. We sold our apartment and almost all the furniture, gave away books, paintings, clothing, and dishes, we both retired, and in the midst of it all, we were planning our grand sailing expedition.

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The weekend before the sale of the apartment closed, we made one more trip to the new place (about 400 km or 250 miles one way), the car jammed with boxes. Then there was one more trip to drop the car at the new marina so it would be waiting for us at the end of the trip, and a train/bus ride back to the marina where we would start our travels.

So lots to organize. Lots on our minds.

Now, the sail is history, part of our personal lore. We’ve had a few days to settle in to our home. And the question that keeps coming up is “Now what?”

The reality of being retired is starting to hit. There are no deadlines, schedules or routines  (even on the boat we had routines). We can do what we want, when we want, and while that’s a novel experience, it is going to take some getting used to.

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Friends who have already retired warned me that it’s an adjustment. I now recognize that, in spite of all the other changes we’ve gone through in the past month, retirement may be the biggest transition yet.

So far, we’ve been doing a lot of puttering, watching waves and clouds from different vantage points, and snapping photos of birds and butterflies.

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Hey, maybe it won’t be so hard after all!

 

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Play Day

All adventures need some quiet time built in. Today was a play day for us. We spent some time ashore (ice cream was a big hit!) And sailed for a few hours in the bay just for fun.

There were several sailboat races going on at the time (small one-person boats) so it was an interesting challenge to get a good sail in while staying out of the way of the racers. At one point we sailed alongside a docked lake freighter and waved at the crew way, way, way, way above us.

We’re anchored in the cove again tonight. About six snowy egret did grace us with their presence just after sunset last night. So we are settled in a bit closer to their nightly perch, waiting for them to soar over the horizon in the orange glow of dusk to roost for the night.

Pure joy.IMG_20180707_134352

Daily Joy

If you’re open to it, each day is full of surprises and moments of joy. Today, for example, on a bitterly cold winter’s morning, we suddenly noticed a flock of birds flitting back and forth among the trees.

Curious, we took out the binoculars to get a closer look.

Robins, a bird we normally identify with the return of spring, were happily flying about the snow-laden trees.

A surprise that brought a smile, as well as a shake of the head. Did they miss the memo about flying south for the winter?

robin on branch in winter

A robin on January 8, 2017!

Feathered Rainbows

One of the joys of travel is experiencing new and unexpected delight.

For example, birds that would be considered “exotic” (and only found in zoos in Canada) are commonplace in Australia.

This rainbow lorikeet is one of many that regularly come to the trees and veranda railings asking to be fed. In fact, there is a pair that have become so comfortable with me that they follow me around everywhere I go, landing right beside me, chirring and chatting.

Just one of my many feathered friends!

rainbow lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet ~ Photo by Julie Wise

It Takes Two

It may take two to tango, but apparently in the world of the red-necked grebe, it also takes two to sit on a nest.

This pair of grebes has been building and rebuilding their nest for several months. Although they do leave the nest periodically, they both seem to take their parenting responsibilities very seriously. To the point where they sit on the nest together.

I guess it’s true that it takes a community to raise a child, even in the bird kingdom.

2 red necked grebes on nest

Somewhere under there lies an egg. ~ Photo by Julie Wise

Focus

I was watching a great blue heron one day. It stood motionless at the edge of a small lake, yet every cell of its being was intently focused on what was happening in the water by its legs.

Suddenly it lunged forward and plucked a fish from the water with its long beak. Hunger satisfied!

Photo by Julie Wise

Photo by Julie Wise

Focus is the ability to ignore distractions and to tune in to what you want.

Focus matters.

Oh The Wonder!

Lately I’ve been trying to see the world through the eyes of a child…with wonder at the incredible magic of the place in which we live.

This past weekend, I had an experience that was truly wonder-filled.

As a flock of fifty Canada geese made their way to the water’s edge, I noticed one had unusual markings. It was the same size as the rest of the geese, but its head was white, and its neck was mottled grey and white. It also had a light-coloured bill and pinkish feet. The underbelly of this goose was also predominantly white. Yet for all its differences, it was accepted as one of the tribe.

Later, after checking the bird book, and getting some photos, we determined that it was likely a Blue-morph Snow goose. Clearly it had missed an exit on its migration path!

Imagine seeing a Snow goose in southern Ontario in the summer! Oh the wonder!

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Canada goose and possible Blue-morph Snow goose – June 19, 2016, southern Ontario (photo by Ralph Morgan)

 

Poetry in Motion

Nature can take your breath away.

On a recent sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands, we caught a rare glimpse of a spectacular bird. Rare because they are seabirds, and are only around land during breeding season. Spectacular because these White-Tailed Tropicbirds have a long white tail plume equal to the length of their body.

We saw a pair nesting in a rocky crevice on a remote island, and I managed to capture a photo of one in flight.

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Poetry in Motion ~ White-Tailed Tropicbird, BVI 2016, JW Photography

To see them soar and glide in the strong ocean winds was a breathtaking experience.

When have you experienced something you would call “poetry in motion”?

For The Birds!

Birds have been singing up a storm lately when I’ve been out in the woods. They’ve also been busy finding seeds wherever they can. Perhaps they know something I don’t about the coming winter?

Here are a few of my feathered friends.

So Downy! ~jw designs

So Downy! ~jw designs

Hesitating chickadee ~ jw designs

Hesitating chickadee ~ jw designs

Elusive Nuthatch ~ jw designs

Elusive Nuthatch ~ jw designs