Posts Tagged ‘little things’

Photo by Pat Bean


Whose to say these mushrooms, which appeared to have sprung up almost overnight after a rainstorm aren’t as spectacular on a small scale as the Grand Canyon is on a large scale?

What small creation of Mother Nature do you find magical?


  “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” — Robert Brault

 Travels With Maggie

 My first look, many years ago, out over the sprawling grandeur of the Grand Canyon dazzled my soul. More recently, my bow-front ride on the Maid of Mist into the mighty spray of Niagara Falls’ filled me with exhilaration. It is, I’m sure, the same reactions the majority of tourists have to these two wonders of Mother Nature.

The last three leaves on a winter tree suprised and amazed me. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 I’ve learned, however, that I can be just as dazzled and exhilarated by less grand things, for example three magical leaves. I use the word magical because against all odds they were the only leaves left on a tree that Maggie and I passed on one of our recent winter morning walks.

They reminded me of an O’Henry’s story, “The Last Leaf.” The tale is about a little girl with pneumonia who was determined to live until the last leaf fell from a tree outside her window. It never did – because it was painted on the brick wall behind the tree – and the girl never died.

 But my three leaves were not painted. They were as green as new grass on a spring day. And they amazed me. As did the colorful mushrooms that appeared in a city park overnight after a rain storm. And the one yellow cactus blossom on a plant with dozens of magenta colored blooms at Pancho Villa State Park in New Mexico. Or the Gambel’s quail that I almost missed because it blended in so well with its surroundings.

 Mother Nature’s canvases are both huge and tiny. While everyone may not be able to visit the ones we humans have identified as spectacular, everyone can see Mother Nature at work in the small things. You simply have to walk out your front or back door with your eyes wide open.

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Painted Wall of the Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison with the Gunnison River flowing below. -- Photo by Pat Bean


Travels With Maggie 

  “As we become curators of our own contentment on the Simple Abundance path… we learn to savor the small with a grateful heart.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach –

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

While visitors to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park may be awed by the deep narrow chasm carved by the Gunnison River below them – I certainly was – I didn’t forget to look right in front of my nose. I’m always amazed at Mother Nature’s more delicate landscape paintings, be it a single purple flower or a massive canvas of lichen, twigs, grasses, rocks soil and leaves.

I stayed in the park’s South Rim Campground, which has electrical hookups and is adjacent to a mile-long rim trail with excellent views of the canyon. Maggie and I encountered deer, squirrels and a marmot on our walks, while red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures flew above us.


I found the landscape of rocks and foilage painted by Mother Nature as awesome as the mighty canyon. -- Photo by Pat Bean

We even got a brief glimpse of a peregrine falcon flying in the canyon beneath us. Once nearly extinct, this speediest of birds has made a magnificent comeback.

Another hike took me along the canyon floor for a rendezvous with a boat, and a ride through the canyon, past a waterfall, on a ranger-led tour. Writing now about this visit to the park two years ago makes me want to go back.

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