Yesterday I left home earlier than usual to go to a workshop on outdoor education. The goal was to gather ideas on how to take learning outside. I was excited as I looked forward to learning new things and spending some time outdoors.
I loved being surrounded by trees for most of the day. I walked a bit in the forest – and had my sessions surrounded by trees. I enjoyed smelling the fresh air and listening to the sound of the trees whispering in the wind. Rejuvenating!
In addition to being surrounded by nature during our sessions, we were introduced to some nifty ideas that we could implement with our students. I loved the idea of an outdoor inquiry toolbox for children to use while outside.
The day ended with a motivational speaker, Kathleen Lundy. I have heard this experienced educator speak before and both times she has spoken to the heart. Yesterday she put up a cartoon that encapsulates what a difficult task it is to teach.
As always with the group of people who run the workshops in the Beginning Teachers department, we received a gift of books. One, Natural Curiosity, I have been wanting to read for a while. And the other? I am always on the lookout for ideas on how to integrate the curriculum in my programme. And even though the picture book we received is in English, I can use the pictures to talk to with my class.
Yesterday was a lovely day and one that caused me to smile all day long.
Last weekend we had the opportunity to spend the afternoon lakeside. I have already shared with you the pictures I took of the amazing sunset (here). What made me happy too, though, was spending time just looking at the wide expanse of water and the beautiful greenery that surrounds it.
The wide expanse of water soothed my soul: a soul that is daily surrounded by the man-made skyscrapers of a city.
There were some people on the lake enjoying its serenity and tranquillity.
We took a slow boat ride on the water and admired the shoreline and nature’s beauty.
The shoreline looked rugged – especially where there were no docks signalling human habitation.
I enjoyed the boat ride and my afternoon at a place I found invigorating.
I hope that my family and I can visit this spot another day. We enjoyed our time there and created some beautiful memories.
Do you enjoy visiting a lake?
(This post was encouraged by Paula’s non-challenge: Thursday’s Special. Head on over and browse through some inspiring posts)
Cheri Lucas Rowlands discusses the golden hour in this week’s photo challenge on WordPress.com: the first and last hour of sunlight in the day. The moment I want to share with you took place in Swaziland, on a warm winter’s day. After a full day, we were spending time on the manicured lawns of the Royal Swazi Sun. The quiet of nature surrounded us as did the beauty of the mountains.
As the sun was sinking in the sky, the colour on the mountainside appeared to be golden. The trees, as their branches reached up to the sky, were thrown into relief against the fading blue of the sky.
As we sat on the grass, the children played their game and I watched the sun sinking lower and the natural silhouettes appearing on the horizon.
Looking at these photographs now from the other side of the world, I feel a yen for the stark beauty of the African landscape. It is a beauty that is shown in relief as the sun sets on a warm winter’s day.
There is nothing as fleeting as a rainbow, I find. It appears in the sky unexpectedly and, before you know it, the sky is once again blue and white. The last rainbow I saw, and managed to capture, was during our trip to Mauritius. We were driving in the car when my children suddenly called our attention to it.
We looked out and saw it faintly hovering over the land. It seemed almost hidden at times:
We enjoyed our brief glimpse of this natural gem. Once it had disappeared from the sky, we turned our thoughts to other activities.
The best form of escape from the day to day routine of our lives is to escape to a tropical island for a couple of weeks. I do not need the excitement of bungee jumping, or the adventures of painting the town red. What I enjoy escaping to is the beauty and calmness one can get from soaking up the atmosphere of a tropical beach.
Relaxing in the warm air and listening to the sound of the surf is one of my favourite ways to escape to relaxation. I close my eyes and my soul absorbs the tranquillity of nature.
On our trip to Mauritius, we came across a number of beaches that tempted us to enjoy the beauty of the beach and the hypnotic sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Not all beaches were postcard perfect; but the rocky ones had a beauty all of the own.
The tropical beach is the perfect escape not only during the day, but also when the sun is setting. The oranges of the sunset give the sand and water a beauty you wish you could capture and hold within you for a long time.
Walking on the beaches at dusk certainly add another dimension to your escape from the rat race.
I enjoyed my last escape to a tropical island – and I know I will enjoy the next one.
Do you ever escape to island beaches?
(This post was inspired by the prompt Weekly Photo Challenge prompt: Escape)
During our visit to Mauritius, my husband and I had to take our children to Chamerel to see the seven coloured earths. This tourist attraction is found in the Riviere Noire District in the south-western part of Mauritius. Seven distinct colours of sand can be seen in this area:red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow.
The area has changed and become more of a tourist attraction site since my last visit. In addition to the fee that is now charged, people are kept off of the sands. I recall standing on the dunes during my first visit and being able to touch the sands. Now it is all fenced off to prevent people from digging into the sands.
If one looks carefully, one can see some sign of soil erosion near the roots of the trees – probably one of the reasons why the area is now more protected.
We found that when we looked at the sands from a shady area, the colours of the sands were more evident.
We could see the different hues and the almost striped effect of the sands.
I like the contrast between the uncovered sands and the dense forest area that surrounds the dunes.
It was an interesting trip – and our children enjoyed seeing something that they had not known existed. As for myself, it was interesting to notice the changes that had occured since my last visit.
Have you been to see the seven coloured earths?
(This post was inspired by Jake’s prompt: Attraction)
When visiting Mauritius, we spent a few nights in Roches Noires, on the north-east side of the island. We could not do any swimming from the beach in front of us, but the view was stunning.
Looking out onto the bay, I enjoyed the view of the black rocks jutting out of the water – a far cry from the sandy beaches that are normally advertised for this island.
Those rocks had many hidey-holes in which my children found shells and saw some wriggling sea life.
The fishing boats were anchored, ready for use by the early morning fishermen.
The grey clouds were reflected in the water: water which felt cold as we dipped our toes in.
Not much sand could be found on the beach in front of the bungalow we were staying in. To swim, we would have to take a quick walk to the public beach.
A little further along we found a small stretch of beach on which to sit and enjoy the view. I found the time we had there calming and rejuvenating. Another special moment in a holiday crammed with special moments.
Have you visited a rocky bay? Where was it?
(This post was inspired by Jake’s prompt: Bay. Head on over to his site to see links to more interpretations)