It’s almost as if Terri (Second Wind Leisure) knew that my husband and I would be spending a few days up in the mountains when she came up with The Great Outdoors as this week’s Sunday Stills photo topic. Although I often have to search my files for images when I join in on one of her photo challenges, this time all I did was walk out the door of our little cabin and there it was… the great outdoors!
We were delighted when our friends, Kathy (Smart Living 365) and Thom, invited us to join them for a few days at their mountain retreat in nearby Idyllwild. The cabin they have rented for a number of years has a mini-cabin situated just a few steps away. It’s perfect for the hosts and the guests – lots of opportunities to connect, but enough separation so that everyone can have some privacy and alone time.
We hugged trees (and each other):
We moved boulders:
We watched the sunset… :
… just before the full strawberry moon rose:
We enjoyed great conversations:
And, we marveled at nature’s artistry:
The few days that we were able to enjoy the clear mountain air and expansive vistas were just what we needed. There is nothing quite like spending time in the great outdoors to reduce stress, encourage reflection, and help us appreciate the gifts of Mother Nature.
94 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: A Change of Altitude”
Hi Janis! We ALSO have such a great time with you and Paul. You are wonderful guests (besides being a great photographer) and recorded some of the highlights of our time together. What a fun way to remind each other how important it is for us to get outside and appreciate nature. Looking forward to seeing you again soon! ~Kathy
Watching the full moon rise was definitely a highlight… that and solving the problems of the world over cheese, crackers, and wine.
Why yes, Janis, I got out the crystal ball and saw everyone outside this weekend! How cool to be in Idyllwild with Kathy and Thom! I’m a bit jealous but so happy for. I’m home alone with the dogs as Hans made the 2-day road trip to Sacramento with a cargo trailer to pick up leftovers from our storage unit there. And got in some windsurfing, too. Please say hi to Kathy and I love all your photos–tree hugging a good for the soul. I definitely see a facial profile in that last pic, too, hmmm a troll maybe? Good job on that boulder move, LOL! Wonderful, this made me smile!
Your topic this week was so perfect (as are two of the upcoming ones for July that involve trees 🙂 ). I’m happy that I was able to share a few pics from our visit with Kathy and Thom.
Janis, what a nice journey with friends. I love the deck looking into the forest. So, the boulder did not budge, huh? Keith
We had some great discussions on that deck! And, yes, the boulder was very stubborn.
It was a privilege and a joy to share your change of altitude. Thx for sharing!
We had a great time and I was happy to be able to share a bit of our trip.
That sounds like a wonderful break!
It was nice to get out of town for a while and enjoy the forest.
Loved the shot of the strawberry moon and tree hugging is so good for the soul. So are good friends. I’m looking forward to my California cabin in the woods time coming up. Thanks for sharing.
I’m looking forward to reading about your California trip! Hopefully the temps will cool down for you. It’s nice here in Southern California (for now, anyway), but it’s cooking up north.
What a fun retreat, Janis. I’m glad the gorilla was friendly. You know how to get a boulder to move? First it has to decide it wants to move. After that, it’s easy!
Haha! I guess I should have tried to reason with it!
This is a great #SundayStills post, Janis. I absolutely LOVE the pics of the four of you enjoying time toghether — especially since we’ve all been housebound and socially distanced for so long! Fingers and toes crossed that our borders open soon!
I swear that Terri provided the topic just for me 🙂 Yes, fingers and toes crossed that we will be able to enjoy time on the north side of the border soon!
The place looks enchanted. You can definitely get way from it all here.
I forget how close the forest is to us. One moment we are at sea level, the next, we are in the mountains.
To experience the great outdoors is the perfect antidote against the often chaotic city life. Being an outdoors person, I enjoyed your photo essay very much, Janis.
Hi Peter! You have the forest pretty close to you so you are lucky to be able to walk out your door and enjoy it. It was a real treat to be able to breath the mountain air and hear the birds chatter.
It looks like you had a fabulous time, lots of smiles, and beautiful surroundings. All the photos are great, but the sunset shot is spectacular. The layers in the shot are great. Glad you had such a great time.
We had a great time! I’m glad you liked the sunset photo. I thought it was so lovely how the bare trees were silhouetted against the sky.
Beautiful, inspiring pictures, especially that moonrise.
I knew there would be a full moon that night but I figured we’d see it peeking through the trees. I loved how it rose over the hills.
What a marvelous trip you had!
Yes it was. Thank you, Anne.
What a lovely visit, showcase, and reflection, Janis. The great outdoors is a wonderful place to be. That moonrise is spectacular and I really like the photo of sunset in the mountains as well. Quite the retreat and exactly what the doctor ordered, it looks like. Did you hide those adult beverages from view? 🙂
We had a great time… and definitely what was needed after staying home so long.
Lovely pics, Janis! I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one who finds trees and their bark intriguing photo subjects. Nature’s amazing artistry never fails to impress.
I am forever taking pictures of textures that intrigue me. Fortunately, my husband is very patient… to a point 🙂
What great photos! It looks like y’all had a blast in a gorgeous setting.
We had such a nice time!
I can see that! Love it!
Ahhhhhh…what a relaxing and enjoyable trip. I feel the same after looking at the photos. I agree, being in nature is wonderful therapy. Thanks for sharing the photos with us. Cheers to some adult beverages too 😉
Long trips are nice, but little getaways lasting just a few days are wonderful as well. We live at sea level so it was nice to get up among the pine trees.
Yes, a little getaway in nature feeds the soul. 🙂
Your photos show such a beautiful part of the country. Very refreshing just to see what you saw. Nice that you could get together with another blogger, with or without, adult libations. *cheers*
Kathy was one of the first bloggers I met in person and we hit it off (as did our husbands), so it was nice to spend time together again at their cabin.
We stopped at Idyllwild in December, but instead of hiking we ate a huge brunch and walked around the town center. I love all the texture in your photos. Amazing!!
Idyllwild has a nice little village to explore. This trip, we had a couple of nice meals there but, for the most part, we stayed away. Maybe next time… 🙂
What a beautiful getaway, and with all of the best things…nature, hikes, and good friends to share the experience. Returning to a semblance of normal life feels so celebratory, doesn’t it?
It really does feel wonderful! We always had our masks ready if we were around people we didn’t know but we were mostly with other fully vaccinated friends so we felt comfortable to breath the mountain air fully 🙂
Great images & looks like the perfect getaway. Getting into nature is like one big exhale isn’t it?
That’s a great way to describe it!
Looks like the perfect trip! A great place to beat the heat and hug trees and people! Win-win
We planned our trip just perfectly (not that we had anything to do with it)… the heat came before and after our trip. It was just perfect when we were there.
Ahhhh such a refreshing glimpse into the real world…so happy that ‘normal’ is coming together for you guys.
I sure hope we can hold on to this “normal.” I’m hearing too many stories of people still refusing to get vaxed and places opening fully too soon. Fingers crossed that we can do this right and get to the other side.
“Holding thumbs” with you! (A South African term I learned from a blogger-bud that means the same)!!!!
Wow that really did look like a mountain gorilla – hahaha
And the photo with the four of you it almost feels as if you are offering us some grapes – very inclusive vibe
We were very inclusive… if you had walked down the path, I’m sure you would have been invited to join in 🙂
Right on!! 🍇🍷
What a great place to spend time alone, together. I do hope the four of you solved the problems of the world. Your photos are beautiful. I especially love the one of the rising moon.
I’m not sure we solved all the problems but many of them for sure. The rising moon was lovely. I kicked myself for opting not to bring my DSLR and tripod… next time 🙂
Wonderful photos, good times with friends, and marveling at what the great outdoors offers us equals a fantastic getaway! I love the boulder photo. 🙂 And we used to go there often when we lived in So. Cal. Thanks for sharing!
Just a couple hour drive brought us from sea level to the mountains. Sometimes I forget that the forest is pretty close and accessible.
Amazing photos, thanks for sharing the beauty captured in them.
It was so nice to breath the clear mountain air (especially without masks 🙂 ) for a few days.
Bunch of no good tree huggers, is what you all are. 😉 Looks like a fun adventure. I just hope you didn’t get a hernia from pushing that rock!
Guilty as charged! That boulder was rather intimidating… best not to think about earthquakes while passing by.
It looks like it was a wonderful few days in a gorgeous spot with friends. I often pat trees and smell them while saying hello to them while on the trail. My favorites are the pines that smell like vanilla though. 😀
I think that is the Jeffery Pine. I have fond memories as a child of sticking my nose in the cracks in the bark and inhaling the scent of vanilla.
Looks as if you had a wonderful time! I’m so glad. And also impressed with the way you moved that boulder……
I was just happy that the boulder didn’t move my way 🙂
These are fabulous shots for the great outdoors Janis. Looks like you had a great time together.
Thanks, Debbie. We had a fabulous time!
Love the title. Janis! We all need a little altitude adjustment from time to time. We had a monsoon at our mile-high altitude today. Your photographs are fun and fabulous. I’m glad no one could move the rock or even hug all the way around the tree. – Perfect poses for Becky B’s #TreeSquares starting tomorrow, BTW. Here’s my rock lifting husband. You might have already seen it, but I’m so competitive. I think your rock is bigger, though! https://alwayswrite.blog/2021/04/30/bright-square-30/
I remember experiencing my first Arizona monsoon… I had no idea they even happened before then. There was an amazing amount of rain in a short period of time. I think large boulders are Nature’s way of letting us know we aren’t “all that.”
That is it in a nutshell. My neighbor and I were stuck in our separate garages. All we could do was watch in wonder.
Beautiful pics, Janis. I’m glad you were able to get a change of scenery and recharge in nature.
Thanks, Christie. We had a great time and the weather was perfect!
Fun, friends, hiking, a mountain retreat, the perfect getaway, Janis. 🙂The tree-hugging and moving boulder photos made me smile. I wholeheartedly agree with “nature’s artistry.” The red bark is something we do not have here. And, yes, the gifts of Mother Nature. (By the way – I see your glasses need refilling)😀
Haha! I think they may have been a few glass refillings that evening.
Looks like it was a wonderful time spent with good friends! Loved your photos, Janis!
We had a great time! Sorry that your comment got lost in purgatory but it is free now 🙂
What a lovely time! The caption on the boulder pic was my favorite! Ha!
I am mighty but it was mightier!
Yep. Little bit! 😛
Such interesting photos, especially the bark on the trees. Mother Nature truly is an artist.
Having a camera with me (at all times with my iPhone) has taught me to be a better observer, especially out in nature. That bark (and the gorilla face) really intrigued me.
Fantastic photos of your woodsy fresh air adventure. And I love the “gorilla” at the end. My guy and I spent a few nights up in the New Hampshire mountains last week, and as you say here – the change, the exercise while hiking, the views and vistas, the hugging (of trees and each other) all served to help us feel refreshed.
There is something about being in nature that restores us. I’m happy that you were able to spend time in the mountains too. (I also enjoyed seeing the picture of you and Liesbet with your books!)
It was so much fun meeting Liesbet … and Mark and Maya!
This was a fun post. I love your photos, textures, appreciation of nature and your wit.
When I got to your pushing the rock photo, I was reminded of time and story from my childhood that I thought you would like. I too encountered a rock that needing to be pushed but my results were a tad different. I captured the story at:
So how come no one ever does a rock pushing challenge? I’m ready for that one!
Thanks for the read and your comment (all comments with a link automatically go into my approval folder). I’ll check out your story!
This looks like my kind of getaway. Good friends, nature, trees, full moon…… I particularly love the photos. Yes I am a big treehugger as well. It is amazing how the energy of a tree can make one feel so very calm. I love the one pushing the huge boulder as well. Good times!
Funny that “treehugger” was first said as an insult. I’m a proud hugger too!
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