writer traveler photographer


Columnist Doug Larson once said, “Spring is when you feel like whistling, even with a shoe full of slush.”

As I look outside, I see parts of the ground covered in that white, wet stuff. Yeah. Slush. And it’s almost April. But I still feel like whistling! I’ve actually been practicing my whistle. Sounds corny, but when I sit out by the river each morning, it’s my way of joining in the conversation. The bird sounds are almost deafening this time of year; mating season and all. And I heard the loons a couple of days ago. I may try yodeling.

Meanwhile, three days before Christmas, I made an idiotic statement to the effect I’d be posting every week in the New Year. DUH. How silly of me. But I have been taking the time to refocus on the “heavenly invisibles” that Mary Oliver wrote about in her book Our World, which became so central to my own journey during The July Project five years ago when Melanie and I scooted around in our own backyards for 31 days and blogged about it.

Now, when the world is so topsy-turvy during this pandemic, focusing on what that means and finding the heavenly invisibles in the every-day, has provided me with much comfort. It keeps me grounded. Of course there are zillions of heavenly invisibles in nature and I’m so grateful to be exposed to the wild and live where we live. But I’m also seeing many acts of kindness all around the world and this, too, is comforting.

And humour. It’s been said that laughter is the elixir of the soul. Amen to that.

Let’s keep in touch. Would love to hear from you.  I’m working on coming up with a list of new-to-me resources related to writing essays so will seriously make an attempt to share soon (and, ahem, not three months from now).

NOTES about photos: The first photo was taken here on the banks of the Tusket River a couple of mornings ago. The temperatures actually hit 15 Celcius around noon! The icy one was a shot taken of our car windshield about a week ago when we woke up to a wonder world of frost. Loved the contract between dark and light … and the beauty in both.


  1. Kathleen Bunin Kathleen Bunin
    March 30, 2020    

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos this morning Sandra. Spring, heavenly invisibles, writing essays materials. Lovely.

    • March 30, 2020    

      Ahhh Kathleen. Popping into view all the way from way up there in Cape Breton! Been thinking of doing a Memoir Workshop your way this fall but heaven knows what will transpire. Keep well!

  2. March 30, 2020    

    A lovely read on this otherwise gray and dismal day. Thanks for getting back on line!

    • March 30, 2020    

      Are you taking photographs Ceci? It’s one way to pass the time these days! Happy to see you here!

  3. I I
    March 30, 2020    

    Hi Sandra,
    I have been going for walks as well. We live on the Assiniboine River 8 km from the western edge of Winnipeg. My husband (a retired electrical engineer) was very excited on Saturday because a transmission line which crosses the river about five minutes from us was having its lines, etc. installed with the help of a helicopter to deliver need material, two men on the tower to attach things, and some men on the ground– couldn’t quite see what they were doing. Anyway we spent 20 minutes or more watching this and it made Don’s day.

    • March 30, 2020    

      This makes me smile. I can only imagine his excitement as I’m sure he’d appreciate the intricacies of it all! Lovely to hear from you Irene.

  4. Jennie Morrow Jennie Morrow
    March 30, 2020    

    I read this post shortly after lunch. While sitting at the table Murray & I were actually talking about whistling. Wanda used to whistle. I think she is the only person I knew who whistled. She died on this day, (March 30) 2012. I love the serendipity of talking of whistling and then, within minutes reading your post which began with a quote about whistling. Thank you for this.

    • March 30, 2020    

      Well Jennie, this gives me goosebumps! Thank YOU for sharing! Wow. Eight years today. Sending cyber hugs your way!

  5. Sheila Nichols Sheila Nichols
    March 30, 2020    

    I always love your writings, Sandra. I got a message from someone on vacation recently, finally having the time to read your book “WAKING UP IN MY OWN BACKYARD”. It gave us a chance to say how much we like “travelling” with you.
    Your morning photo here, is a place where dreaming happens. Thank you for sharing! XO

    • March 30, 2020    

      Ahhh Sheila, as soon as the world rights itself we need some time together in Canaan. May not have this sky around lunch time, but we’ll have the river to gaze at. Thanks for popping into view!

  6. John Irving John Irving
    March 30, 2020    

    Hi Sandra, Did you ever learn to cup your hands and whistle through them like a loon? I used to as a junior youth, but, so help me I can’t do it now. It took a lot of practice to learn. I guess I have time to learn again.

    • Jennie Jennie
      March 30, 2020    

      I know how to make the loon sound with my hands. One of my talents.

      • March 30, 2020    

        Aha! Would love a lesson Jennie!

        • Jennie Jennie
          March 30, 2020    

          I would be happy to.

          • March 30, 2020    

            It’s a date as soon as the world rights itself! WHOOP!

    • March 30, 2020    

      Oh! Wow. That would be sooo cool. Alas, not something I know how to do. I once saw 11 loons in a line stand up on their toes in Quinan and flap their wings for minutes on end while singing their hearts out. It was surreal. One of the paddlers said that it was a common practice by loons (although rare for people to witness) at the end of the summer when they gathered before leaving the region for the winter. Something like a goodbye concert.

      • Robin Eaton Robin Eaton
        April 12, 2020    

        Thanks for sharing that, I have also witnessed the end of summer gathering (aka goodbye concert) on our lake near Kentville. They usually are in a circle and often there are 4 or more loons! What an amazing spectacle! FYI, I can do the loon call with my hands too! That reminds me, I must teach my granddaughter that call… she has become a fabulous whistler recently.

        Sandra, we met at the Old Argyler Inn when I joined SWPA for a supper and meeting in February. Thank you for your friendly welcome. I have yet to buy a kayak, but have high hopes that we will be able to find our peace on the water soon…

        • April 12, 2020    

          Oh! Robin, yes! That was such a fun meeting of the paddlers last February. Hope you can join us again. We normally have dinner together followed by a program from Oct.-through to Marrch. Here’s hoping you’ll be able to get a kayak and into the water soon! Happy to hear you witnessed the loon’s goodbye concert. How special! Where do you live? And do you canoe also? I have several friends who canoe who live in Wolfville area. Could introduce you if you wish.

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