I woke up to beautiful sunshine this morning,
after a very stormy weekend.
The wind and rain created a lovely carpet
of fallen needles for my morning walk.
A golden carpet.
A casualty of the storm....
My rose arbor.....
Luckily the roses survived with minimal damage.
Another project for my sweet Ramblin' Man.
There were also plenty of fallen branches
for Champ to play with.
I interrupt a game of 'tug'!
Whitey Bear knows I have treats.
We take our morning walk to feed the birds.
A surprise along the path....
I have never seen this variety growing here before,
aren't they beautiful?
Don't let their beauty fool you, though,
these are the poisonous Amanita muscaria
I believe this subspecies is called Flavivolvata.
You can see how large the opened cap is
next to my hand.
They are delightful to look at,
just don't touch!
I look around to see there is a little colony
hidden among the leaves.
Tiny 'magic mushrooms' also reside close by!
Nature is not to be feared, but respected.
Each species serves a purpose in the delicate
balance of life and needs to be protected.
We leave behind the magic of the forest and head for home.
We are in between storms and the sky is quite moody
despite the sunshine.
I took this photo of dramatic skies over the weekend.
But I had plenty of 'sunshine' over the weekend,
as my sweet daughter, Heather and cousin Shawnee
stopped by for a visit!
Heather made homemade lemon cookies :)
We had a wonderful visit and stuffed ourselves
with homemade minestrone soup, slices of banana bread,
and cookies for dessert!
She gifted me with the charming cookie dish and this
sweet bouquet of flowers
in the painted canning jar.
In my favorite color, turquoise!
(notice there are a few cookies missing :)
My Ramblin' Man bought me sunflowers...
You see, it was my birthday....
Today I am celebrating the first day in the last year
of my 5th decade.
My goodness, where did the time go?
But I am feeling so blessed on this beautiful morning.
I have so many wonderful memories to look back upon...
And so many yet to come....
(including a shared birthday celebration
this coming weekend with my Dear Daughter-in-Law, Erica)
As I reflect upon the years of my life,
and those yet to come,
I am truly grateful for every moment-
the struggles that gave me strength and clarity,
patience, resilience, and courage...
and the sweet things that fill my life with
joy, contentment, fulfillment and love.
Yes, it is a beautiful morning -
the first day of the rest of my life.
Wishing you, Dear Friends, many lovely blessings
for your 'first day', too!