Spirit of Dragonflies

Kripalu Mindfulness Outdoor Experience Guide & Life Coach – Get Outside. Go Within.


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Enjoying Snowy Winter Days

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found? ~ J.B. Priestly ~

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When there is a storm warning we prepare in advance. It is best to keep some extra food in your home, fuel in your tank, wood for the fireplace/wood stove if you have one, candles, warm throws, and warm clothing. Only drive on the snowy roads if you have to. In the morning you may have to travel to work. Make a plan. Maybe carpool or work from home if you are so fortunate to have that as an option. If you do have to travel to work either leave earlier or later. Let the traffic be staggered so everyone is not out there at the same time. If you are truly frightened to drive in clear weather, do everyone a favor and stay off the roads in bad weather. If you are an aggressive driver – PLEASE stay off the road. Be kind while traveling and allow others in when on a ramp, yield to those walking.

If you can stay at home – don’t complain about the snow. Just be grateful if you are safe at home, pray for those who are not as fortunate. Here are some things to make a snow day enjoyable:

  • Go outside and make a snowman

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  • Take a walk or go sleigh riding and enjoy the falling snow
  • Listen to some peaceful music as you sit near a window to watch the snow flakes

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  • Wrap up in a nice comfy blanket and read a good book
  • Watch a movie
  • Make a nice soup or casserole – take the time to enjoy cutting vegetables and the smell that fills your home
  • Bundle up and go out for a walk in the freshly fallen snow
  • Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or a latte with a little whipped cream & red sugar with a scone and journal
  • Bake some sugar cookies
  • Bake a pumpkin or apple pie – enjoy the scent filling your home
  • Diffuse some uplifting essential oils – Wild Orange; a mix of Frankincense, Myrrh, and Purify; Grapefruit
  • Bake some bread – another lovely scent to fill your house
  • Color in a coloring book
  • Work on a puzzle
  • Crochet, knit, create jewelry
  • Pull out your paints and canvas create a winter scene

My little tree protector sits in his watchful position dusted with snow awaiting the Spring.

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What do you do on a snowy day?

If you have to drive, please be cautious and take your time. Enjoy every moment no matter what the weather.

Love and Light!


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3 – Day Quote Challenge – Day 3

 

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Mary has invited me to participate in a 3 – day quote challenge, which I have gladly, though belatedly accepted.  In turn, I invite , Sandy from https://hoardercomesclean.wordpress.com/about/ , Tom from https://aquietpath.wordpress.com/about/Chris, from https://chrisbreebaart.wordpress.com/albums/.  There is no pressure to accept.

Participant requests: Post an inspirational, uplifting quote for three consecutive days and invite three other bloggers to join you.

Anyone who would like to participate, please share your favorite quotes with us!

Love and Light!

Sandy


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Enjoying Snow!

What snow means to me:

 

Since I was a child, snow meant being outside until dark. When my two older sisters were babysitting I would build an igloo after school and hide in it until my mother returned from work. They would call out the door and never noticed that I was hiding right in front of them because the opening was facing the road. We would go sleigh riding down the small hill in our yard until our hands felt like they would fall off.

When my son was born I was 17. The first time it snowed he was around 3 months old. I bundled him up and took him out on the baby sleigh, it was 10 pm. My daughter was next. When she was around seven months I would place her in the carriage on the porch to get some fresh air as my mother had with my sisters and I. When my youngest daughter was born, ten years after my son, I had just started cross-country skiing. At the age of 3 months, I bundled her up and placed her in the baby sled. We attached a rope to the sled and my son, daughter and I headed out on our cross-country skis. We hadn’t gone far when another skier heading out of the park stopped and asked if I saw my baby. We turned and there she was lying sideways with snow on her little face. No damage done. We wiped her off, fixed the rope and off we went. This was years prior to my child welfare career.

Apparently there was no permanent damage to any of them because as you can see from the photos above they are all quite healthy and still loving the snow. Even my granddaughter enjoys spending time sleigh riding with us. Her first experience was at the ripe old age of 3 months as well. My older daughter would fly in from southern California just to go sleigh riding with us before she was married with a baby. Being out in the snow is invigorating, refreshing, and energizes the spirit.

Today I prefer snow shoes to cross-country skis. This is due to the snow shoes still being a novelty. Last year when my daughter and her husband were visiting from California with their three months old son we had a snow storm. My son-in-law, who did not grow up with snow, went to LL Bean and purchased a beautiful baby sled. We bundled up my grandson and took him for his first adventure in the snow. He slept the entire time. This year at 13 months, they brought him to Colorado where he enjoyed his first ride on a plastic sled down a small hill. His little face beamed all the way down.

All I can say is if you live where there is snow in the winter you may as well learn to appreciate it. Find an outdoor activity and live life to its fullest. If you don’t live where there is snow, please visit a location that experiences this beautiful white powdery mix to enjoy the pleasure. To all those communities that are thinking of making sleigh riding illegal, I say “Are you kidding me??” Let people take responsibility for themselves. You cannot legislate common sense – this is something people must learn. Do not let children sleigh ride near roads or trees. When you are recording someone sleighing down hill, don’t stand in front of their path.

To all those sleigh riders who are new to the sport there is a certain way to maintain the path. Walk to the left or right of the sled pathway. This allows for the path to form and make the ride smooth. When you walk in the pathway your boots leave gullies and break up the path. Also, by walking to the side you do not disrupt the flow. Follow the lead of those who are experienced and they will show you a great time. If you are near us, we will even share our sleds because that is what sleigh riding is all about, sharing and having fun!!

May you all learn to have fun, experience new things, and see the world through the eyes of a child – not so you are childish but so that you can remain open to the world around you and see with fresh eyes everyday.

Love and Light!

Sandy


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Santanoni Preserve

Today when I left my home the sun was shining but the roads were a bit icy. As we traveled from Albany north on I-87 we weren’t sure if we would see snow especially when it started to rain. When we pulled off the highway at exit 29 the rain seemed to be following along but after a while the rain turned to snow as we climbed the mountains roads. What a beautiful site – the trees covered in snow looked like a winter wonderland. Ahead we could see the snow falling on the mountains ahead and we knew it would be a good day for snowshoeing. I have been wanting to visit Camp Santanoni Preserve located on Rt. 28N, Santanoni Rd.in Newcomb, NY for quite some time. It is a little over a two hour ride from my home. Today was a perfect day to check it out.

When we arrived we were told that the preserve was open for the holiday weekend so it was our lucky day. Apparently the preserve is not open daily in the winter. A Monday off, snow, the Preserve was open, and perfect weather with the temperature around 30 degrees. Our clothing was layered and waterproof so we were ready for any kind of weather. Miracles do happen!

I thought it would be nice to share some of the photos for those of you who may live in New York State and are looking for a place to hike, explore, snowshoe or cross-country ski. For those of you who do not live in New York and weren’t aware that we have a very large, diverse state in more ways then one these photos will give you a different perspective of this beautiful state. Most of the people I have met in my travels think of New York as Manhattan and don’t realize how large this state is. The majority of New York State’s population live in NYC but the rest of us are very proud of our state and our environment – especially the nature that surrounds us. So enjoy!

Welcome to Santanoni Preserve in the Adirondacks

Welcome to Santanoni Preserve in the Adirondacks

Bridge to Santanoni Preserve

Bridge to Santanoni Preserve

Information station at Santanoni Preserve

Information station at Santanoni Preserve

Some original buildings in Santanoni Preserve

Some original buildings in Santanoni Preserve

The buildings are original to the Preserve – check it out on FaceBook at Camp Santanoni and Santanoni Preserve or you can check it out by doing a Google Search.

Stone House in Santanoni Preserve in the Adirondacks

Stone House in Santanoni Preserve in the Adirondacks

Loved this stone building in Santanoni Preserve

Loved this stone building in Santanoni Preserve

Snow covering trees in Adirondacks

Snow covering trees in Adirondacks

Birds nest waiting for spring

Birds nest waiting for spring

Snow covered Cross-Country ski trail through Santanoni Preserve

Snow covered Cross-Country ski trail through Santanoni Preserve

As you can see from the photo below I was dressed in warm clothing, not the most attractive dress style but very comfortable and warm. It was such a great time being outside.

Snowshoeing in Santanoni Preserve

Snowshoeing in Santanoni Preserve

It is always difficult to leave these trails whether in the winter or summer. I find it exhilarating when in nature. I hope that you enjoyed the photos.

Love and Light,
Sandy


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Waiting for Snow in Upstate New York

Although most of the people I know like the idea of snow, the photos of snow, being inside on a snow day, the reality is they despise it and can’t understand my love of it. My love of snow started early in life. My earliest memories were of my father out in the backyard of my aunt’s home shoveling the snow and spraying the ground with the hose to make a skating rink for my four sisters and I. Even though I never learned to ice skate, I did love the idea of skating but more so I loved the piles of snow left over from the prepping for the ice rink. In those piles we build forts, igloos, and tunnels. My sisters and I would stay outside until our hands were purple and our fingers could no longer move. I am not sure if children still play outside in the snow as we did back then. When we moved to our own home down the road from my aunt’s home I would spend hours sitting outside in my igloo, lying in the snow making snow angels, snowmen, or having snowball fights with friends. The small hill in the front of our yard was just steep enough that we could sled down the hill and sometimes reach the back of the yard if the snow was icy enough. My own children as well as the nieces and nephews carried on the tradition when they were young. Even today, my own grown children and I will travel to the local golf course to sleigh down the hill spending hours riding down and walking up whether there are smaller children with us or not. We have a love for snow and sleigh riding as we laugh all the way down the hill. You are never too old to have fun!!

In the photo below I captured the shadows of the tree on the snow. It reminded me of a painting.

Artistic Shadows

Artistic Shadows

This next photo was taken after the first snowfall in 2014. We hiked through the woods enjoying the discovery of turkey tracks in the snow along the trail. If you look in the lower left corner you may find a few yourself.

Winter trails

Winter trails

 

This next photo is of the Stillwater Block House which was originally located in the Saratoga National Park but due to it not being original to the Battlefield was removed. It spent several years sitting on the side of a hill on a farm without easy access until the historical society was able to raise enough funds to relocate the building to Route 4 in Stillwater, NY where it proudly stands next to the Hudson River.

Stillwater Block House

Stillwater Block House

The next photo was taken last year during a snow storm. This little house and barn in the background sit out behind my home, bordering the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. I love how the red of the buildings and brownish red of the bushes pop out in the snow.

Little Red House

Little Red House

The bench below looks a bit lonely as it reached out from the snow. I think it’s trying to peek out in search of spring. I love how anything with color pops out of the white backdrop.

A bench waiting for spring

A bench waiting for spring

Last year while driving to a training in the Adirondacks I stopped to photograph this little cabin in the woods. It made me want to pull in the driveway, knock on the door and ask if I could sit in front of their fireplace. I didn’t but I did stop to take the photo.

Cabin in the Adirondacks

Cabin in the Adirondacks

The whole world looks different when blanketed in snow, especially freshly fallen snow. Now I sit and wait for the next snowfall. The temperature here in upstate New York was 8 degrees today and is expected to reach below zero with the windchill factor by the weekend. I braved the cold and walked at lunchtime with my coworker. If bundled properly walking in the cold can be quite invigorating. Next week we are expecting a heatwave of 20 – 30 degrees. Maybe snow will fall on the weekend. If so, I will be outdoors on my snowshoes looking for tracks left behind by the wildlife.

Love and Light,
Sandy