Feel Good Tuesday

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Manzanita Lake, with Chaos Crags in the background. 

How is your week so far? I thought I’d share some feel good photos to inspire your Tuesday. They are from last weekends adventure in Lassen Volcanic National Park, in northern California.

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Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.  –  Thomas Berry

As we often do in the weekends, we headed towards the mountains. We have three choices, within easy driving distance for a day outing; the Trinity Alps, Mt. Shasta, and Mt. Lassen. If we want to drive a little longer we have the Sierra Nevada’s as well. Somehow we often find ourselves going to Lassen Volcanic National Park. I’d say it almost feels like a second home. This past year we’ve gone hiking there at least twice a month, often every weekend.

If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.”
-David Sobel, Beyond Ecophobia

Two weekends ago we ended up hiking a little later in the day than usual. It was a hot, and my five year old did not enjoy the hike as much as she usually do. There was some complaining, not like her at all. I do take responsibility for that, since I didn’t anticipate it being so hot on the trail. This weekend I made it my business to make sure she would enjoy it very much. I really wanted to give her the best experience possible. I knew it was going to be the last hike we did together, before she takes off to be with her dad for the rest of the summer. It had to be a good memory!

We started out early, and I’d chosen a much easier hike than we usually do. We picked up a Junior Ranger booklet at the visitor center. It had different animal tracks, and photos of animal, and trees, that are common in the park, for kids to identify. It made it interesting on a different level. The hike itself, around Manzanita Lake, is one that we’ve made more times than I can count. It’s only 2 miles, and very easy. My daughter knows this hike inside out, and knew that it wasn’t going to be very hard. (That itself made it more enjoyable for her.) Especially compared to the adventures we usually go on. My 5 (almost 6!) year old can handle 5 miles on a trail rated difficult, and 8miles on a trail with medium difficulty. 2 easy miles is a breeze. More like a stroll. It was exactly what she needed to make it fun again.

Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. ….A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world, especially in larger cities.

– Natural Learning, Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature’s Way of Teaching, Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong

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Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. – Rachel Carson

This is a scenic hike, around the little lake, located very close to one of the entrances. At times it can be highly trafficked, because of its location, and level of difficulty. It’s accessible, and extremely beautiful all year round. I have winter photos in my gallery.

We stopped and had a wonderful picnic lunch half way around. We played in the water for a while. It was impossible to resist. Just the kind of memory I wanted my daughter to take with her.

Let Nature be your teacher. – William Wordsworth

Thanks for enjoying the hike with us! I hope it was a great experience, and that you had as much fun as we did 🙂 Have a blessed day ❤

Love,

Ms Zen

Lassen Volcanic National Park

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We went on a couple shorter hikes in Lassen Volcanic National Park earlier today. It was very peaceful. I thought I’d brighten your Saturday with some of the photos. Above is Reflection Lake with Chaos Crags, and Lassen Peak in the background.

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Does anyone know what this is? I would love to know! It looks kind of like a fungi, or mushroom? It grew in abundance around Reflection Lake.

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Lassen Peak seen from the devastated area.

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Lily Pond

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Chaos Crags, with rain clouds almost touching the peak.

The highway is still closed through the park. It’s expected to open next weekend. Fingers crossed 🙂 I can’t wait! Those trails, and views, that’s been hidden by snow over the winter, is like a long time lost friend, that I’m about to see very soon.

This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge; Liquid. I hope that your weekend got of to an amazing start!

 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

 

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Place in the World – Lassen Volcanic National Park

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Where do you belong? In the hustle and bustle of a big city or amongst friendly faces in a small town? For this week’s challenge, show us your place in the world.

The weekly photo challenge this week is Place in the World. I could take the challenge literally and say that my favorite city is (take a pick); Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Reno, Seattle, Anchorage, Honolulu, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Madrid, Rome, Prague, London, Oslo, Paris, or a number of other perfectly marvelous cities I’ve enjoyed, but I know that artistic freedom is encourage here (that’s what I like about this weekly challenge.) To tell you the truth, I do enjoy visit these places..for a few hours at a time. After a few hours I wish that I was up in the mountains. Almost any mountain. The mountains are my place in the world. They give me peace of mind. I feel good. I have everything I need, when I breath fresh mountain air.

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I’m blessed to live close to Mt.Lassen. I go there as often as I can. I could spend the rest of my life exploring that park, and still not see everything. The photos in this post is from last weekend. Only a fraction of the park is open now, there’s massive amounts of snow covering the road that passes through the park (Highway 89.) The areas closest to the two entrances are open, and you can hike/snowshoe/ski out from there.

The park has two entrances, and we entered by the northwest entrance last weekend, and drove all the way to the road closure, some 9 miles into the park. Our first hike was on Highway 89, right after the road closure. I took the snow covered photo above during that hike.

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After my daughter had her fill of playing in the snow, we drove back to the entrance, and Manzanita Lake. It’s a super easy 1,5 mile stroll around the lake. The views are spectacular the whole way, and it was a great way to end our day.

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Manzanita Lake is surrounded by Jeffrey and Ponderosa Pine.

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During our visit it hit me, that it was exactly 5 years ago since my very first visit in the park, Mother’s Day 2013. My daughter was less than a year old, and experienced snow for the first time.

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Since Manzanita Lake is so easily accessible all year round, it’s a very popular place. I have not visited the park one time without seeing fishermen enjoy this place. The biggest campground, and picnic area, in the park is located at the beach furthest back, in the middle of this photo. We ate our lunch in the picnic area there, before walking around the lake.

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Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. – Mary Schmich

I’m afraid that the beauty here already soften my sharp edges a bit. It kind of put everything else in life in another perspective. It’s the effect of seeing the world through northern California glasses. When I think of our beautiful state, especially the northern part where I spend most of my time, I think about freedom. I think about the wilderness areas. The beauty of all the Western States, to me, is taking the backroads, climbing the mountains, hiking in the National Parks, creating a beautiful garden, enjoying the best nature has to offer. It makes me humble, and grateful.

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Manzanita Lake, with Chaos Crags, and Lassen Peak in the background. 

I hope you enjoy the visit to my neck of the woods. I’ve written many posts, and shared hundreds of photos from Lassen Volcanic National Park. You can see my favorite photos in my gallery.

I often participate in the Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post, as a way of interacting with photographers around the world. I enjoy that very much. I’m looking forward to explore your place in the world. 

Love,

Ms Zen