Friday, June 2, 2017

Celebrating Summer and Vacations With Super Clipart and Photos For Your Seasonal Projects

Clipart Image of a Time for a Break Sign Beside a Stack of Books and an Alarm Clock
"Isn't it amazing how much stuff we get done the day before vacation?" — Zig Ziglar.

Ha ha. I was actually thinking that very thing this morning as I ran out the door on my way to work. In the previous half hour I had packed suitcases, watered plants, washed dishes, threw in a load of laundry in the washing machine and paid bills.  It was frenzied and chaotic but imperatively essential that I had gotten things organized and settled. I am, you see, leaving for my a summer vacation right after work this glorious Friday. 

Taking an extended absence from our regular life ensures there is always plenty to do — not just in preparation for the things we will not be able to do in the upcoming days but in tidying up loose ends before we depart. Having met all the demands on my essential lists, I'm ready to now relax guilt and worry free and enjoy my vacation.

It might seem I'm beating the starter's gun on this one. There are still weeks remaining before spring fades to summer. But, with no children in our home any longer, my husband and I have the advantage of choosing our holidays at any time during the warm months, not just when school lets out. As such we often book one of our breaks early in the season and at least one towards the end. Temperatures might not soar but these times of the year can be a little quieter than the typical summer sojourns. They are the perfect bookends to the loveliest, most social, enjoyable time of the year in our northern climate.

This first one is going to be less about recharging my batteries than it is about a change of pace. One afternoon will be spent with old friends, three other days will be in the company of my two siblings and their spouses. Yet even though there won't be lots of time to kick back and relax, I will be seeking out hours of sunlight on my deck, book in hand. There will be slow walks on the beach to watch the sunset, cold beer and chilled wine.  Mostly, I'm eager to enjoy morning coffees without worry over what needs to get done.

Everyone has their favourite thing to do on summer vacations. For example, for years my daughter and her husband revelled in the deep-in-the-woods style of camping.  Accompanying them on many occasions my guy and I opted instead for a stay at a four-star lodge nearby.

There are RVers and cottagers, boaters and world travellers. Some even prefer a stay-cation, enjoying the pools, gardens, patios and decks at home that they seldom get to take advantage of in the busy work world.

There are those for whom the idyll is anything but idle as they cycle, swim, hike, kayak and jetski their way through the days. Others want a more restive time, choosing to spend slow, lazy hours rocking in hammocks,  lounging poolside or relaxing on the beach.

Whatever your choice, the time of year is here when we will all have our time to get away from it all, to spend precious moments doing all the things we crave but have no time to do in the real world.

For a little inspiration as I look forward to my own little piece of quiet here are some super summer vacation clipart and photo collections perfect for seasonal promotions and personal projects:

Clipart Image of a Top View of a Beach Towel and Parasol on Sand


Clipart Image of a Little Girl With Beach Toys


Photo of a Back View of a Woman Sitting in a Chair Looking at a Green Garden on a Summer Day


Photo of a Woman Holding a Kite While Walking on a Country Lane in the Summer

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

This Collection of Thousands of Photos from iPHOTOS.com is for the Birds

Photo of a Robin Finding Worms in the Grass
"Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?" — David Attenborough

A lazy Sunday morning. The sun had begun its slow ascent above the horizon hinting at the possibility of a perfect day. Outside the window a mixed chorus began, the music of cardinals, robins and finches, the cacophony of crows and gulls. Though their songs and calls had awakened me and had reached such a level as to make a return to sleep almost impossible,  I also found them conversely soothing.

Which is strange, given that this was the weekend and as a working girl I'm rather selfish about the two opportunities it provides for a bit of extra sleep. To disturb me then is to take your life into your hands. Yet, though the sky still held a shadow of darkness, though the clock hadn't struck six, I felt content. Though the discordant cries of the larger birds were something I could have done without they were balanced by the pretty tones of the songbirds. It was the best alarm clock.

Perhaps it's my age; I don't recall being so enamoured with our feathered friends when I was younger. But, in recent years I have found myself becoming increasingly fascinated in their actions and activities. Robins and their welcome return to the area heralding that spring is here,  offer some of the best entertainment. From the playful pleasure they demonstrate in a rain to the skips and hops around the yard in search of worms, they are ever present and habitually on the move.

With two nests in our garden this spring, there have been an abundance of fluffy baby robins to amuse us. We discover them in various places close to us— on the deck, on a chair — sitting for hours before puffing out their chests a few times then testing their wings. Their short flights to the closest branch always make me smile after a performance of such bravado.

Our red-chested friends aren't the only ones to intrigue me, however. The elusive cardinal teases as it moves from treetop to treetop. My eyes turn toward its distinctive song in the hope of catching a glimpse. When they do come near us, at feeders or in flight, they never linger long. I am, therefore, inspired to stop everything I'm doing to watch.

Photo of Blue Jays at a Bird Feeder
The pretty, though noisy, blue jay is an aesthetic treat and a mischievous scamp. In the bird world, he's the dude with colour as vibrant as his squawk is strident. That he's also the symbol for our Canadian Major League Baseball team makes him a fan favourite too.

Then there's that little mimic, the oriole. Many slow minutes can pass as you listen to him repeat the whistling sounds you sent its way. Its brilliant colour enlivens the space it enters.

Lively golden finches, tiny sparrows and cute chickadees flitting and flying around the yard might not get quite the attention of their more flamboyant peers, but they're always welcome.

With a few weeks of spring remaining and summer waiting for us, it seemed the right time to celebrate our feathered friends with a collection of amazing photos:

iPHOTOS.com Bird Photos