Thursday, July 21, 2016

There's a First Time for Everything + Fun Announcement

Hello my friends,
Before I go on sharing some photos from early Spring that I did not get to share with you yet (also, a fun announcement at the end of this post!), let me tell you what happened yesterday. It was a wonderful day - first of all, it is always joy to visit with Erica (my hair stylist), and this time it was even more fun because I took Anya with me. After the salon, I took Anya shopping for clothes for her, and as we were marching to the food court of our outlet mall, a woman came to me and said,
"I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog!"
What? That has never happened to me before! In almost 3 years of writing this blog, I have not met a reader, with the exception of my wonderful fellow bloggers (which is fantastic, though a little different). Meeting my blog reader Susan was a wonderful feeling, and she was so lovely to say that she feels that I write from the heart. Thank you so much! You've really made my day, and I will always treasure that. 

And now let's leave the shopping mall and visit with Nature. 
I wrote about the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge before: 1, 2. (The list of all US National Wildlife Refuges HERE - check it out for other states, there might be one just near you!)
Justin and I enjoy taking a walk there, and we did it a few times (once with Anya) this past Spring. Both Anya and Justin felt inspired to take photos of the beautiful surroundings and amazing creatures we saw on the way, and I am happy to share their photography here on my blog. As always, there will be my outfits too - casual and comfy for walking, and fun at the same time.

In early April, as we got warm temperatures, trees started growing fresh green leaves, and the pond at the refuge got covered with a beautiful carpet of red plant. That color combination was so striking, and together with the blue skies, unexpectedly matched Justin's Southwest-inspired shirt.

Like us, animals got out to bask in the sun - frogs and turtles in the pond, a great blue heron on the roof of an old barn...

Are you familiar with skunk cabbage? It is another plant found in abundance in woodlands all around here. It's as gorgeous as it is stinky (just like the name suggests).

For the first time in my life, I've seen a wood duck - a type of duck found only in North America. What a magnificent bird it is!

This is another bird I haven't seen (or haven't paid attention) before - American coot (or mud hen). They are often mistaken for ducks, but it's actually a different kind of a bird. It does not have webbed feet as ducks do, as it is said in the Wiki article, "coots have broad, lobed scales on their lower legs and toes that fold back with each step in order to facilitate walking on dry land", which is fascinating to watch.

Below is a photo of a Northern shoveler (shoveller) which is a duck with a long and flat "shovel" for a beak - you could have seen them in your area, as they are pretty common in North America and also northern areas of Europe and Asia.

Canada geese are some of the most common birds around here and in every state I've lived or visited in the US. Gorgeous!

And one more rare sight we spotted that day - the Three Bears :)

I hope you enjoyed the walk through the wilderness, and as a bonus to all who've made it this far ... ta daaaa! An early fun announcement I promised you in the beginning of this post. I am hosting a new link-up party this coming weekend, with two beautiful and talented co-hostesses, each with her own unique individual style. We are working on our posts now - we want to make this collaboration an interesting and beneficial one to all!

I named the link-up Midlife Fun, and this particular feature will be Midsummer Midlife Fun!
Everyone is welcome to participate! There will be a theme (not telling you all the secrets yet), but you can join as you are, no need to be prepared (or even to be middle-aged, for that matter). Let's just all have fun together. Invite your friends too. It will be awesome!

The link up starts on July 24, at 00:05 am (Seattle time) and will be open for one week. 
Whether or not it'll become a reoccurring feature on my blog, time will tell. :)

Save the date:
July 24, 2016!

My outfits are a mix of Lane Bryant and Old Navy pieces, for the most part.

Both shirts (light and breathable), red/orange linen pants, panama hat - LB
Cropped pants and floppy hat - ON
Sandals - Merrell via Nordstrom Rack
Denim jacket - Chico's (old)

Linking up with Tina's Pink Friday

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  1. How awesome to randomly meet one of your blog readers! Love the pics!


    Hope to see you for TBT Fashion link up.

    1. It really felt wonderful! I insisted on giving her a hug! :)

  2. I like particularly to watch all those (exotic) birds, so interesting!! and all those beautiful landscapes!. Love your comfy&cool style when going for a walk, and your pretty sandals!
    (Lovely link-up!)

    1. I am fascinated by birds myself. I've never seen such a wide variety in nature before moving out here.
      I hope you'll join our blog hop - it is so much fun!

  3. Great pictures. Yeah another link up! Count me in!

  4. Natalia, I loved reading and taking in each bit of this post. The photos are magnificent, love the ducks, and of course the "three bears". Such an engaging visual diary, and I loved all of your colorful, easy outfits. The new link up sounds great! Your smile is what I love most about your photos, each so crisp an lovely!

    xx, Elle

    1. Come and join us please, Elle - the more, the merrier! :)
      Thank you, I also love this pics, Anya and Justin did a great job! Anya felt particularly inspired that day, I remember.

  5. Congratulations on being recognized, that is awesome!!
    xx, Elle

    1. It felt good, I was so thankful that Susan talked to me.

  6. Did you know I'm almost as keen on birds as I am on fashion? I feed a great range of birds from various feeders around my house. You and I both live in a rare sort of zone: one where the hummingbirds stay all winter long. Put out a feeder in the fall, make sure their nectar is always clean and fresh, be patient, and they will come... and come... and come, little jewels in the dull grey of winter.

    I've met some of my readers in odd ways too. It's always so ... I feel all sparkly and famous. I was at a cafe the other day, talking to a woman I knew a bit, when Beau walked up and she said, "You're Beau!" She turned to her sister, "This is Beau!" So suddenly he was a little famous too. That was fun for me but nerve-wracking for my shy husband. He kept poking me in the back to tell me that he really wanted to go now.

    The other day, I was at synagogue and saw a guy I hadn't seen in maybe 9 years. He asked what's new. I said, "Well, um did you know I'm disabled now?" Yes, he did. "Did you know I got married?" Yes, he did. He's been reading my blog all along. Who knew?

    1. Oh yes, this is such a unique climate zone! And I do see hummingbirds from our window! I love them and always take them as good sign. :)
      Yes, that's what happens with our families if we blog about them - Susan also said to Anya "And I kind of know you too", something like that. I think Anya didn't mind. :)

  7. what a wonderful event at the mall! but its no wonder - you are fabulous and your blog ist so full of life and love!!!

    you know i love your reports of the beautiful nature of your area!
    the shirt-landscape-match ist pretty nice! and how wonderful to explore all this beauty as a family!
    i´m totally exited about the party :-)))

    1. Thank you, Beatochka! It's one of our favorite places to go for a long walk (we did it again... today!) :)

  8. Natalia, I really enjoyed these photos of the nature reserve, it really is outstanding.You looked perfect for convening with nature.
    I am not surprised you were recognised in your own area, your blog is always such a joy with your wonderful writing and Justin's photography.
    Look forward to your link up , though being in opposite seasons can prove tricky for themes.

    1. Thank you, Jill! Justin will be so pleased with your compliment too - we really do work as a team on this blog.
      Don't worry about themes - just come as you are!

  9. What a wonderful place to visit, those ducks look very different to ours. Lovely family photos and I love the tones in your first outfit, bursting with colour.
    I remember how gobsmacked I was when someone first recognised me from my blog (Glastonbury Festival, 2010) and even today it still amazes me how many people read my ramblings! xxx

    1. You are a talented and unique blogger - of course many people love reading your blog! What a fun word - gobsmacked :)
      Glad you enjoyed our outing, and yes, those ducks are quite amazing, aren't they!

  10. That is soooo awesome! Congratulations on being recognized by a blog reader. It has happened to me a number of times over the years and is always a near surreal experience (especially since I'm a super shy introvert and it can be a little intimidating for me to suddenly have a complete stranger "fan girling", if you, over me in public - I hugely appreciate it though and one would never know from my face or voice that I feel so shy about the situation). Your blog, like yourself, is fantastic and I bet this will be the first of many times you'll be approached by fans as time goes on.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you, Jessica! I am also a little shy and sensitive to others' energy. Susan was kind, appreciative and calm - I was very thankful for her nice gesture.

      I agree that it does feel a little surreal, because as probably all writers I pretty much write for myself. But it's great to receive a feedback and know that my words can touch others - can be helpful or inspiring in some way. :)

  11. so nice that you met a reader of your blog. I can imagine that it is a lovely even if a bit surreal experience. It is interesting how most of us never really think of how many people may read my blog. I'm aware of other blogers that read my blog, but I still need to process the fact that it is probably also read by someone I don't know:)

    Such a lovely outfit btw!