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It’s that time of year again! And I felt so great last year at the end of May that I signed up to do the 30×30 Nature Challenge from the David Suzuki Foundation once again.

Day 1 (Thursday, May 1): We met up with 2 other families just after lunch down at the Ashbridges Bay Skate Park. I had a great time taking photos of our kids and of the older guys skating, like this one:

There’s more at http://lynnslids.com/skate/ – I posted them just in case the guys I talked to wanted to take a look. They were pretty sick out there, and a total joy to watch.

Day 2: I had some errands to run, to which I took the bus and subway, but on my way home instead of hopping right back on the TTC, despite the light rain, I decided to take an hour’s walk through the neighbourhood I was in, including Kensington Market, which is always fun. I spotted the well organized gardening neighbours taking advantage of the free compost pile:

 Toronto Ward 20 free compost 1 Toronto Ward 20 free compost 2

Day 3: Not much outside time, but the required 30 minutes walking around the ‘hood with the family doing errands and shopping local. A quick note on that: we went to the new Pantry, which is a cheese shop in our hood and they have the most amazing Canadian cheeses. I highly recommend it if you’re in for a cow/sheep/goat treat. They also sell other local treats like Kozlik’s mustards, local soup mixes and other great stuff.

Day 4: Today we made up for lost time. I meant to get outside for my morning physiotherapy routine, but I never got to it, so late morning I hung the laundry out on the line and we decided to have brunch out on the deck (first time this year!) and didn’t go back in until around 4:45pm. It was excellent. Reading, playing, gardening, working on my other blog and my feedback page, all outside. And we needed this day. All of us. It was perfect.

Post-first brunch on the deck of 2014! #30x30Challenge #getoutside

A post shared by Lynn W, Amherst Is. ON Canada (@lynnslids) on

Just a quick post to pass on a few things on this lovely Earth Day.

I started my day on public transit, and later saw this on Facebook. It’s a good point:

A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars, it's where the rich rice public transportation. - Mayor of Bogota

Post by Conscious Consumers.

Later I went for a bike ride with my youngest (he’s moved up to gears and hand brakes, which is exciting for him!) and saw the newest local community garden, with folks in it prepping for growing season!

Happy Earth Day! Nice to see folks out in the new Greenwood Park Community Garden!

A post shared by Lynn W, Amherst Is. ON Canada (@lynnslids) on

Last year, as you may know, I partook in the David Suzuki Foundation 30×30 nature challenge. They are on it again this year! Check it out. I highly recommend being a part of it. It made me feel spectacular. It’s geared for Canadians, but really, just join. Their daily tips are great and you will feel so much better for it!

Join Canada's 30x30 Nature Challenge

As much of my life revolves around Etsy these days, I thought I’d pass on their Earth Day workplace initiative:

http://blog.etsy.com/news/2014/etsy-cup-exchange-for-earth-day/

Cup exchange at Etsy HQ

Cup exchange at Etsy HQ

Happy Earth Day, folks!

#30x30Challenge mating American Toads at Bluffers Park, Toronto, May 2, 2013

Day 2 was another gorgeous one, and we went to Bluffers Park with friends and discovered 3 pairs of American Toads mating. They were there for hours, swimming around like this, and then right before we left, all three (within an hour of each other – two within minutes) started laying long strands of eggs right then and there! Raise your hand (or “Like”) if you, like me, had no idea that this (see below) is how toads lay their eggs:

#30x30Challenge - Day 2 American Toad laying eggs

So many eggs!

So, needless to say, yesterday’s time in nature was educational and enjoyable. Who doesn’t love digging in the sand, and feeling the sun’s warmth after a long, long winter?

Today I was up later than the construction crew, so I decided to forego the yoga on the deck and just enjoy breakfast out there, despite the noise. My son and I rode our bikes to the kids hair cutting shop.  I put the laundry up on the line. It’s a perfect day for outdoor drying today: sunny and windy. I’ve decided that winter is over… those are the winter curtains on the line. Let’s hope I’m right!

#30x30Challenge - Day 3 laundryOh, by the way, CBC’s LiveRightNow site is posting little #30x30Challenge daily tips here. Yesterday’s is actually how I started my day, identifying bird songs. It helps to have a birding app on my phone. 🙂

 

Insomnia drove me out of bed early this morning. (That’s one thing it’s good for, I guess.) Which means that I got outside before the construction vehicles for this year’s nearby town home development started making their racket. And during the morning bird cacophony.

I decided to quietly sneak out for a walk/run warmup (only 1.2 km) before some yoga on my deck. I noticed things like the daffodils that are up in so many gardens, that wonderful smell of freshly cut grass, pink fruit blossoms trees, and the half moon! Next time I will bring a camera, or at the very least my phone, because I forgot what great light there is in the early morning. The photo below is from my back deck, with my phone (apologies for the poor quality).

#30x30Challenge day 2 morning moon

When I got home I did some yoga and afterwards lay down for savasana, listening to the birds. With so many mature trees in our row of backyards, we have a lot of birds around, despite being a block off a couple of busy east/west and north/south main veins in the city. I could distinguish the swee-tie call of the Black-capped Chickadee, and the whoit, whoit call of the Northern Cardinal.

What a great start to the day. I’ve also just now made a plan for a lunch picnic with friends down at Bluffers Beach! Happy spring, folks!

Canada's #30x30Challenge

Have you heard of the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30×30 Nature Challenge? Well, here’s David Suzuki to tell you about it:

Honestly, this (spending 30 minutes/day in nature every day for 30 consecutive days) isn’t such a stretch for me. I go out with my kids almost every day. On one afternoon a week we head outside for 2 or 3 hours with our homeschool group, try to hike together as a family one day a weekend, we walk to the local library once or twice a week, toboggan in winter, ride bikes in summer… really, just hanging (and bringing in) the laundry out on the line 7 or so months of the year takes me 20 minutes. But some days I don’t make it outside, and I just wanted to give myself the extra push. So if I don’t have a plan to get out with the kids, I’m challenging myself to get out on my own first thing in the morning. Bike ride, yoga on the deck, walk, whatever. Maybe I’ll even try jogging again.

Today is the first day of the 30×30 Challenge and it was gorgeous out. I sent my eldest out in the morning to read his book on the back deck, and we had 2 meals and a snack outdoors as well.

#30x30Challenge day 1After lunch we rode our bikes down to the end of the beach with our homeschool group and the 17 kids played on the rocks, in the nearby playground, in the sand, and later 3 of them showed the rest of the the Morris Dance for May Day. It was great fun.

All in all, we probably spent 5 or 6 hours outdoors today, and it felt great.

Why get outside? Check out the infographic from the 30×30 Challenge below. And how about you? Never too late to join the challenge!

20130325-233244.jpg
On Saturday there was a grand opening of our local park’s very own Free Little Library, right next to the playground. The path it’s on gets a lot of foot traffic, and in the hour or so that we were at the playground at least half of the passers-by stopped to have a look and some borrowed a book as well. We will go back tomorrow and add more books, as we borrowed a lovely children’s book today.
It’s been a long time coming. Well done friends of the park!