A Day Outside

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.

A Forest View. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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.

An outdoor inquiry toolbox. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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.

Teacher Cartoon © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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.

Book gifts. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Yesterday was a lovely day and one that caused me to smile all day long.

What has made you smile this week?

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmile© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

View of a Lake

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A Lake and a Catamerang. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The wide expanse of water soothed my soul: a soul that is daily surrounded by the man-made skyscrapers of a city.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
View  of a lake. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

There were some people on the lake enjoying its serenity and tranquillity.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A canoeist on the lake. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We took a slow boat ride on the water and admired the shoreline and nature’s beauty.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
View seen from a boat. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The shoreline looked rugged – especially where there were no docks signalling human habitation.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A lake shoreline. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

I enjoyed the boat ride and my afternoon at a place I found invigorating.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Enjoying the boat ride. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Sunset on the Lake

This weekend I had the opportunity to watch the sun setting behind a lake. Watching the colours change in the sky in this beautiful setting was peaceful and relaxing.

Sunset on the Lake. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Sunset on the Lake. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

As we watched the sun sinking, we noticed a change in the brilliant colours of the sky.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Sunset om the Lake (2). © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The colours were not only illuminating the sky, but were also reflected in the water.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Sunset on the Lake (3). © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Some were enjoying a sunset ride on the lake:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A sunset ride on the lake. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

However, I enjoyed watching the colours ripple on the water from the edge of the lake.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Sunset on the Lake (4). © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

As the sun sank even further, I noticed the blue once again in the sky and water.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Sunset on the Lake (5). © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The water began to darken, and I knew the sky would soon follow.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Sunset on the Lake (6). © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

It was a wonderful experience watching this sunset. I don’t get much opportunity to do so in the built-up city where I live.

Did you watch the sunset this weekend?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

A Golden Hour in Swaziland

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A view of a Swazi mountainside. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Twilight in Swaziland. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A silhouette. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

Do you enjoy the the golden hour?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

A Fleeting Rainbow

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A Fleeting Rainbow . © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We looked out and saw it faintly hovering over the land. It seemed almost hidden at times:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Can you see the rainbow? © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We enjoyed our brief glimpse of this natural gem. Once it had disappeared from the sky, we turned our thoughts to other activities.

Do you often get to see rainbows?

(This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge prompt given by the folks over at WordPress.com)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Spring Blooms

My children and I pass these blooms at least three times a week – and every time we stop to admire them, and to smell the blossoms. Yesterday I decided to take my camera and take some pictures.

Tulips and a park bench. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Tulips and a park bench. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The beautiful tulips encourage one to sit on the bench and admire them while looking at passers-by. Often when we pass, we see someone sitting on the bench who has given in to the temptation.

Tulips in a park. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Tulips in a park. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

And who would not be tempted by such a beautiful garden? The trees are green and alive with the colour of blossoms.

Lilac tree blossoms. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Lilac tree blossoms. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The colour, the scent, and the warm spring breeze encourages one to sit on a bench and soak up the beauty of the moment.

Blossoming trees in a park. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Blossoming trees in a park. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The profusion of blossoms is what I enjoy most about this springtime garden – a garden which my children love running through every time we pass.

Bountiful blossoms. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Bountiful blossoms. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

When all the blossoms have fallen off the trees, we will know the heat of summer has arrived. In the meantime, we enjoy the beauty of Spring.

Do you pass by many blooming trees during your day?

(This post was inspired by Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

A Tropical Island Escape

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A perfect escape to relaxation. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A Mauritian beach. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A rocky beach in Roches Noires, Mauritius. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

Sunset on a Mauritian Beach. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012
Sunset on a Mauritian Beach. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

Walking on the beaches at dusk certainly add another dimension to your escape from the rat race.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012
Grand Baie, Mauritius at dusk. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

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)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The Seven Coloured Earths

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A view of the sands as we entered the area. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
The contrast between the dunes and the surrounding forest. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Noticing soil erosion. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We found that when we looked at the sands from a shady area, the colours of the sands were more evident.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A view from the shade. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

We could see the different hues and the almost striped effect of the sands.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Looking down at the sand dunes. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

I like the contrast between the uncovered sands and the dense forest area that surrounds the dunes.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Showcasing the seven colours. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Myself in front of the seven coloured earths. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Have you been to see the seven coloured earths?

(This post was inspired by Jake’s prompt: Attraction)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

A Blustery Day

Man with umbrella in storm vector
Man with umbrella . (Image from http://www.vectorstock.com)

Here I am.

In the moment.

Feeling the rain slash into me as I push through the wind.

I wish to be elsewhere warm and dry,

But Nature’s stinging needles keep me here.

Present.

Experiencing the anger and force of the wind.

My cannot wander as I focus on my destination;

My goal to get there in one piece.

Howling wind and slashing rain,

Umbrellas no protection.

The heavens have opened to wash the earth clean

To the accompaniment of banshees howling in dismay at what they see.

Here I am.

In the moment.

But wishing for a gentle breeze and warm sunshine.

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: Here)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

A Rocky Bay

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Looking out from a bay at Roches Noires. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A rocky bay. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Those rocks had many hidey-holes in which my children found shells and saw some wriggling sea life.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Fishing boats. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The fishing boats were anchored, ready for use by the early morning fishermen.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Tethered fishing boats in Roches Noires. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The grey clouds were reflected in the water: water which felt cold as we dipped our toes in.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A rocky beach at Roches Noires. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A view of Roches Noires. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013