While completing my 30x30 Nature Challenge, I blogged daily about the sights from my outdoor adventures. With the challenge over, I'm going back to my normal schedule for this year, which is Monday-Wednesday-Friday posts. I (mostly) remember to take my camera with me when I go out now, so I'll still be posting some nature photos. There is tremendous beauty around here!

Can't believe we are already at the end of May. Hope the weather is beautiful where you are.

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, May 31, 2015 4 comments
We're near the end of another May, which means the end of the 30x30 Nature Challenge. I am very happy to say I made it outside every single day! Yay! The weather has been fantastic and on the few days it rained, I made it out for my half hour of nature time without getting too soaked. The majority of my outdoor time was spent walking, but I also enjoyed some time outside reading under a tree, enjoying breakfast, or listening to the game. The next step is to keep going with the outdoor time all summer. If the weather is as good as it has been, it'll be easy to maintain these outdoor habits!

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, May 30, 2015 2 comments
I've seen some pretty views over the last month, as I've been spending more time outside. This is a shot of a neighbour's farm that I pass on my daily walk. I love the clouds and the Canada flag peaking out from the right side.

Posted by Jen B On Friday, May 29, 2015 2 comments
The weather has fluctuated from really cold (with frost warnings) to super hot, so these flowers have really taken their time getting here.

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, May 28, 2015 4 comments
Spending time outdoors leads to lots of photos of flowers. Here are some trilliums along the edge of the woods.

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, May 27, 2015 2 comments
It is amazing how quickly nature blooms after the winter. Reading under the apple tree a few weeks ago, my view was mostly brown branches. Now it is full of blossoms and green leaves.

Looking up:

Looking up and left:

Looking up and right:

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, May 26, 2015 2 comments
Noticing lots of blossoming tress on my walks. This is a very pretty time of year.

Posted by Jen B On Monday, May 25, 2015 3 comments
We hit the Elmvale Sales Barn on Thursday and there wasn't much going on. Some of our favourtie vendors weren't there (the $5 salami and pepperettes booth was sadly empty). Our favourite book/DVD vendor was there, but most of his items were in boxes and he was just in the process of setting things out. So not much to look at, but it was a beautiful sunny day and I got in some nice family time. On the way, I dropped off a book at the library and Mom ran into a cousin of hers. Then at the Sales Barn we ran into an old neighbour from when we lived out on the farm. So it was a rather social day, even if there weren't many deals.

One vendor we were happy to see was the cheese guy. Mom picked up some 'garlic brick' which I remember us getting when we were kids. We also got some cheese curds, which was my main reason for going to the Sales Barn in the '90s. So good.

Mmmmmmm...Cheese curds...
The Elmvale Flea and Farmers Market is open Thursdays and Sundays until Thanksgiving. I'm hoping that the reason it was quiet this week was because it's only May. Hopefully July and August are rockin'.

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, May 24, 2015 6 comments
One of my favourite things to do while walking is listen to an audiobook. I feel like I'm winning at life because I'm getting exercise but I'm also reading a book. I enjoy listening to books while cleaning or knitting as well, but walking is where I listen to most of the books.

Most of my audiobooks come from Libravox, which has public domain books that are read by volunteers. I have listened to many amazing volunteers read me books and I often pick my next book based on the reader. Lots of fun.

Do you ever listen to audiobooks?

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, May 23, 2015 6 comments
Walking daily over the past few weeks I have noticed the seasonal growth of many plants, trees, and flowerbeds that line my route. I'm not brave enough to snap photos of my neighbour's gardens, but take my word for it, I am surrounded by some very gifted green thumbs.

I did snap some photos of a few lilac bushes that line the road. We had a number of lilacs on the farm where I grew up and I just love them. They have such a beautiful smell that always reminds me of home.

Posted by Jen B On Friday, May 22, 2015 2 comments
Mom and Dad are coming up today and we are heading over to the Elmvale Sales Barn (aka Elmvale Flea and Farmers Market). They are open Thursdays and Sundays throughout the summer and this will be our first time heading over there this season. The weather is good so hopefully there are lots of vendors out. Dad is on the lookout for cheap DVDs, and I'm always looking for book deals. They have some excellent meat deals too. Hope it is a nice day of deal hunting.

Previous Meat Deals!
Posted by Jen B On Thursday, May 21, 2015 4 comments
We had some wonderful weather on the weekend, with Sunday getting to a high of 32°C (90°F). Beautiful. After walking (and then relaxing) in the hot sun, I threw together a homemade ice cream sandwich that was cold and sweet. Yes the ice cream all smooshed out when I bit into it, but it was all part of the fun.

This is my current favourite oatmeal cookie recipe. It has 1 tsp of cinnamon in it that really adds to the flavour. Love it.

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, May 20, 2015 4 comments
There was a risk of thunderstorms yesterday, but I sat outside with a book, wanting to maximize my time in the sunshine before the storm hit. When there is a risk of a storm coming, it's a good idea to keep aware of one's surroundings, as weather can change suddenly.

Looking up from my book, I saw beautiful blue skies and sun, and no reason to want to head indoors.

But then looking over my shoulder, I saw some menacing clouds that made me rethink where I was sitting.

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, May 19, 2015 4 comments
It's a holiday here in Canada, and I'm spending it with the five books I have out from the library. I only had a few out, but then some interlibrary loans came in, so now I'm making my way through the pile.

Hope you are having nice weather where you are! I plan on reading outdoors 'til it rains.

Posted by Jen B On Monday, May 18, 2015 4 comments
I started reading The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King yesterday, so it was fitting that I spotted this little guy while I was outside reading. He was very photogenic and didn't mind me getting into his personal space for some photos.

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, May 17, 2015 5 comments
We got a nice helping of rain on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday which allowed for a big burst in growth from many of the outdoor plants.

A patch of daffodils that I forgot about was suddenly blooming, and it was nice to see them again.

Our small patch in the backyard has made a lot of progress. I snapped a photo before the rainstorm and another the day after and the rain really made a difference.

The day before the rain:

The day after the rain:

 They will be blooming soon.

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, May 16, 2015 2 comments
I got on board with the 30x30 Nature Challenge and I've been having a lot of fun with it. The weather has been wonderful and I haven't missed a day outside yet. I hope I don't miss one at all, as the fresh air has been fantastic.

I'm also on a walking challenge, which I started the last week of April, and today marks my 20th day in a row of going for a walk. I spend most of my Nature Challenge time walking, so it's easy to complete both these activities at once. Plus the weather has been sooooo good! I already mentioned that, but it has made getting outside really easy for me.

I also realize that I have sort of been doing a blogging challenge too, as I 've been posting every day about my outdoor adventures.

Fifteen days down and fifteen more to go.

Thanks for reading.

Posted by Jen B On Friday, May 15, 2015 3 comments
I'm getting my outside time in early today, as I'm heading to Barrie for a late Mother's Day get together of lunch and the new Avengers movie. I'm happy to say I haven't gotten any spoilers of the new Avengers movie and Mom and I are both super excited to see it. Can't wait!

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, May 14, 2015 4 comments
Thanks to Suzie the Foodie, I won a Magic Bullet! The prize was part of a giveaway for the sixth birthday of Suzie the Foodie's blog. I also won five coupons to try So Good Soy Milk for free. Excited to make some awesome smoothies. Many thanks to Suzie and So Good for the awesome prize pack! :)

Check out Suzie the Foodie on social media:

Suzie the Foodie Blog

Suzie the Foodie YouTube

Suzie the Foodie Twitter

Suzie the Foodie Google+

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, May 13, 2015 6 comments
Some days I spend my outdoor time reading under the apple tree. It's a great place to get some shade and hear the birds sing. I took a few photos of my view looking up -  it's a cozy place for reading.

Looking up:

Looking up and left:

Looking up and right:

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, May 12, 2015 4 comments
Part of the 30x30 Challenge is to spend more time outdoors. One way to do that is to move something I typically do inside, outside. My normal breakfast routine sits me in front of the computer, but while having a sunny morning breakfast outside, I can read a book or just listen to the birds sing. A great way to start the day.

Posted by Jen B On Monday, May 11, 2015 4 comments
Armed with my trusty umbrella, I'm heading outside on my walk. (Aside: I have had many untrustworthy umbrellas in my life...they are an item that one must spend over $5 on for them to be reliable). The weather network thinks I'm safe for the next hour or so, but I'm ready if the rain starts again. I can't complain, though. The weather for the past two weeks has been phenomenal. It's been so good, it's almost made me forget the oppressively cold and miserable winter we had. All my memories are full of sunshine.

But today: cloudy and rain. We need a good downpour, so hopefully I'm back inside before it hits.

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, May 10, 2015 4 comments
There are a few things that make me feel like I go back in time. One is going to the Drive-In, and another is catching the ball game on the radio. A wonderful Saturday afternoon for me includes outdoors, sunshine, and the Jays on the radio. Good times.

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, May 09, 2015 4 comments
Walking around outside I've found various patches of daffodils. They are one of my most favourtie flowers, and it always brightens a Spring day to see one blooming. A sure sign that winter is behind us.

From our backyard, just starting to come up. This patch is always late.

From Grandma's flowerbed. It was nice to see this one blooming.

Some blooming in the ditch along the side of the road. They grow where they want!

Posted by Jen B On Friday, May 08, 2015 4 comments
I borrowed J.K. Rowling's new book from the library and gave it a quick read in the backyard. The book is a transcript (with some illustrations) of a commencement speech she gave at Harvard University in 2008 and it was a nice read. I love reading outside in the sunshine.

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, May 07, 2015 4 comments
Living in a rural area I am surrounded by forest. Except for the ten years I spent in Toronto, I have always had many, many trees around me. I like it. This tree keeps watch over the side of the road and I walk or drive past him daily. 

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, May 06, 2015 4 comments
My camera is much better for daytime shots, but I've been spending some of my 30x30 Challenge time outside in the evening too. The temperature has been nice, still warm from the sunny days we've been having. Plus no mosquitoes yet, so I'm maximizing my time out there before they come for me.

There was a full moon on the weekend, and I enjoyed some time outside looking at it. So pretty.

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, May 05, 2015 3 comments
There are lots of ways to spend time outside, one of which is cleaning up. We had a long winter, but now that the snow is gone, it's time to rake up last year's mess and get everything looking pretty.

John worked on flower beds and I got my arms in gear for some good time raking. I find with leaves there are always way more than it looks. This photo represents about 1% of the total.

Posted by Jen B On Monday, May 04, 2015 6 comments
Yesterday I went to Jacks on Queen in Elmvale, Ontario and scored some free comic books during Free Comic Book Day. I'm still really new to comics and don't really know what I like, so picked up all the ones that I thought might interest me. And because I'm spending lots of time in nature this month, I read some of them outside in the sunshine. Wonderful.

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, May 03, 2015 10 comments
Over the next few weeks I'll be posting photos of my adventures outdoors, as part of the 30x30 Challenge. I will be scheduling some posts, but some might be done live after a fun experience outdoors. My blog is syndicated in the morning, so if you receive my blog through email, live posts won't get to your inbox until the next day. As always, thanks for reading.

On a walk yesterday I found the last remaining sign of winter - a small pile of snow out near the woods. This tiny remnant used to be part of the giant 'snow from the driveway' pile and it has almost shrunk down to nothing. A little more sunshine and it will be gone gone gone.

Posted by Jen B On Saturday, May 02, 2015 4 comments
It's May in Canada and for the past few years that has meant participating in the 30x30 nature challenge. Get outside for 30 minutes, for 30 days in May. I participated last year (and posted some photos) and this year I'm going to try and capture lots of sights while I'm out exploring (or just relaxing) in nature.

I feel like I'm ahead of the game, as the weather this past week has been amazing (and coat free!) and I've already been out every single day this week. Looking forward to even more outdoor time in May.


Posted by Jen B On Friday, May 01, 2015 4 comments
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