happytrails08 happytrails08

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Leona  Inspired by nature 🌲 outdoor enthusiast • animal lover • North Vancouver BC, Canada 🇨🇦 🗻🌿

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The world was so quiet here. I loved it.
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I soaked up as much of it as I could.
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Feeling connected to nothing, and everything, all at once.
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#explorebc #sasamatlake #outdoorvancouver #vancouvertrails #hiking #nature #trailrunning #outdoorphotography #reflection #lake #bcisbeautiful #bcparks #belcarraregionalpark

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It is hard to believe that just minutes before this photo about 100 trail runners passed by.
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I do not race as much as I used too. And I am actually quite content with that. I still get out to cheer on the runners every now and then (especially when Vin is racing) and it is nice to feel the energy and remember those early morning race-start feelings of excitement. The end of a training journey and always a day full of adventure.
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I watched the racers start and then headed out for my own little run(s). It was a perfect morning around the lakes (Sasamat and Buntzen). Foggy, crisp and so very calm. Sasamat lake was like a mirror and the reflections were some of the best I’ve seen. What a peaceful and beautiful morning.
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Congrats to all the Diez Vistas runners. You are all amazing and it was so inspiring to see you out there chasing your goals and dreams.
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#sasamatlake #belcarra #nature #explorebc #neverstopexploring #earthpix #trailrunning #outdoorphotography #hiking #rei1440project #wildernessculture #pnwonderland #runhappy #optoutside #staywild #vancouvertrails #outdoorvancouver

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Happy Friday, everyone :).
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This weekend is looking a little soggy (ok, a lot soggy) on the coast. But all that rain keeps our forests beautiful and lush. I love how green everything is getting (in the lower elevations - still looks like winter up high). Feels like spring is truly here🌿.
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I hope you all enjoy your weekend. Remember to take some time for yourself and do those things that you love to do. You deserve it :).
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(P.S @jiripi3037 Hope you like this snowy mountain scene. It still looks like winter in the mountains!).
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#explorebc #choosemountains #hiking #snowshoeing #wildernessculture #earthpix #nature #staywild #optoutside #pnwonderland #getoutstayout #rei1440project #elfinlakes #garibaldi #squamish

I have always loved books and a good story (written or verbal). The words we choose to write and speak hold power. They can evoke emotions (good or bad), inspire us and even connect us (or tear us apart).
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As individual humans we may not seem that magical or significant at times, but the stories we choose to share and pass on can be. They can reach and touch more people than our physical presence ever could. That is pretty amazing.
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Our words and stories are powerful.
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Choose them wisely.
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#tbt #explorebc #hiking #earthpix #chilliwack #neverstopexploring #pnwonderland #pnwdiscovered #choosemountains #nature #bcparks #optoutside #getoutstayout #staywild

The first bird guide I ever got was published in 1977 (and I still have it on my bookshelf, with all my more recent guides). It is the “Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds”. I also still have the mammal guide from the early 80’s. My sisters and I got them as a gift from my aunt when I was around 10.
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I loved these books. I would study all the pictures and read up on all the birds and mammals. Diligently going through each page. I would pretend I was the various critters I’d read about and “live” like them for a day. Some days I would pretend my food was all seeds and other days I only ate fruit. I have even perfected some bird calls (well at least a mourning dove haha). I would recite what I read about them back to my sisters (I would also teach them what I learned in school and both knew how to write their names and a few words before they even began kindergarten). I was fascinated by all the wild creatures we shared our planet with. I loved them all.
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Last weekend we were walking along the beach and I spotted a little bird I had never seen before. He seemed out of place (wrong legs and plumage) and was definitely not a shorebird or duck.
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I took some pictures and as soon as we got home I pulled out my guides (updated versions haha) and determined he was a Snow Bunting.
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These tough little birds are Arctic specialists. They are the northernmost breeder of any land-based bird in the world. They inhabit patches of tundra not covered in ice.
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So why was this little one in the Lower Mainland? Well they are migratory birds, meaning they head down south for the winters and back up north to breed. These hardy little birds migrate thousands of kilometres every year. That’s pretty amazing, if you ask me.
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I feel pretty lucky to have crossed paths with this one on his journey back up north.
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(P.S. big thank you to those who saw my story on the weekend and confirmed what this little bird was too 💜).
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#snowbunting #bird #migratorybirds #nature #wildlife #explorebc #rei1440project #wildernessculture #neverstopexploring #pnwonderland #hiking #naturelovers #earthpix

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Roadside attraction.
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Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to find beauty.
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Nature has hidden gems all over the place. You just have to keep your eyes (and mind) open for them.
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Happy Monday, everyone :).
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#waterfall #nature #explorebc #pnwonderland #optoutside #beautifulbc #neverstopexploring #staywild #earthpix #explore #hiking

(*Make sure you have the sound on*)
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I love hummingbirds. These feisty little birds are beautiful to look at and beautiful to watch.
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This feeder is right outside the bedroom patio window and I love hearing them chirp and buzz around as soon as I wake up and the sun rises (my cats do too).
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We have some here all year but this time of year their numbers are tripled. I go from filling the feeder once a week (in the winter) to three times a week now. I love the constant buzz on my patio :).
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There are over 300 species of hummingbirds in the world and we get two of them here (Anna’s and Rufous). I find it incredible that we get to share our homes with these little guys (and so many other creatures).
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Wildlife interactions like this will always make me happy. I find it amazing I get to catch a glimpse of their wild lives.
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So grateful.
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(Thanks to @vincentpagot for setting up his gopro to catch these little cuties in action 💜).
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#hummingbird #annashummingbird #wildlife #nature #beautifulbc #explorebc #pnwonderland #birds #getoutstayout #optoutside

Self acceptance is tough. Because, let’s be honest, we are all a little weird. We all have our quirks and fears and have made mistakes. We all have moments we wish we could do over or take back. We are all learning and growing. Always. All of us.
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I have always been my own biggest critic (I bet I am not alone on this). Any criticism that has come my way from others, you can guarantee, I have always said to myself before. And probably much more harshly.
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I’ve said things to/about myself that I would never say to/about another person. So why is that? Why do we doubt the very person that does the most for us? The very person who will always be there for us? The only person we can never actually “escape”. The only one who actually has the power to change our own life?
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I think it is so important to learn to accept and embrace ourselves. We will never be perfect, but we can always work to be a better version than we were yesterday. We can always grow.
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I believe that in living true to yourself, whatever that may be, you will attract people that support and love you, just as you are. Your weird, quirky self.
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Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart. Learn to accept and love your imperfect self, and like a mirror, the world will reflect it right back to you.
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We could all use a little more of that. 💜.
. (📷: @vincentpagot ).
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#explorebc #beautifulbc #mountgardner #bowenisland #nature #hiking #headstand #wildernessculture #pnwonderland #optoutside #neverstopexploring #headstand #getoutstayout #rei1440project #earthpix

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I can hear everything you do not say with words.
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Much like nature, a person can say all kinds of things without ever opening their mouth.
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Try to hear to what they are really telling you.
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#explorebc #mountgardner #bowenisland #pnwonderland #pnwdiscovered #wildernessculture #hiking #nature #beautifulbc #optoutside #getoutstayout #vancouvertrails #outdoorphotography #earthpix

When you think about forests, what do you imagine? Trees? Ferns? Wilderness? Fairytales?.
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I see a whole community. A beautiful world filled with all kinds of flora, fauna and critters of all shapes and sizes. Spanning from the soil to the canopies of the giant trees above. All interacting and interconnected to each other. I love going out and learning more about these communities.
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Over the weekend, I head out on a “backyard” trail to look for owls. I know they are hiding in the trees here. I hear them at dusk when I’m walking my pup and have been fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a couple.
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No luck finding them this time around. But I will keep searching. I would absolutely love to find a nest and see some little owlets one day (from a respectful distance, of course). That’s actually a “bucket list” item for me. Same with watching a salmon run (with bears and eagles, again, from a respectful distance) and finding some wild mustangs.
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May not seem that extreme, adventurous, or complex. But these moments of connecting with wildlife in their habitat are pure magic for me.
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I feel grateful that I do not need to travel far or spend a ton of money to try to check off some of my “bucket list” items. Just loving nature and wildlife and spending time emerged in their world makes my life rich beyond measure. So grateful I live in a part of the world where the wilderness still exists.
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(📷: @vincentpagot ).
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(P.S. thank you for the “Find me in the forest” t-shirt @amptoutdoors . Super cute and comfy).
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#explorebc #nature #pnwonderland #pnwdiscovered #hikng #forest #northvancouver #rei1440project #earthpix #neverstopexploring #mountseymour #getoutstayout #optoutside #beautifulbc #thegreatoutdoors

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This past long weekend was the perfect mix of adventure and rest.
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I found myself playing at sea level and on mountain tops.
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I was in deep powdery snow, lush coastal forests, and on the shoreline of a peaceful lake.
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I slept in, cuddled lots with my furballs, met up with some friends, went looking for owl nests, started my spring cleaning, got cute Easter pics of my nephew and niece, and ate really well.
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Life is all about balance. Something I continuously try to be aware of and work on. It feels good when you get it right for a couple days.
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I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too :).
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#explorebc #elfinlakes #garibaldi #earthpix #wildernessculture #nature #snowshoeing #hiking #neverstopexploring #pnwonderland #pnwdiscovered #awesomeearth #optoutside #getoutstayout #bcparks

I have recently connected with an amazing woman, Ashley, from @backcountrywomen . She lives in the Prairies and wants to genuinely empower and encourage women to get outside. She got me thinking about why that’s important to me too.
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I have always loved being outdoors. As a young girl I spent countless hours playing in the forest, catching frogs, collecting snails, climbing trees, camping and hiking. As I got older, I moved out west to study fish & wildlife management, biology and natural resources & environmental studies. And now, I work in an environmental field. Nature, wildlife, and wild ecosystems are my passion.
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I am genuinely my happiest and feel my best when I am outdoors. Maybe part of the reason is because my focus is on my surroundings and I am present in moment. I’m not really thinking about “me”.
I am out there because I love it. Because it feels good.
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You see, men dominated my field of studies. They dominate my work field too. It is not uncommon for me to be in a meeting as the only woman. I admit I am small, quiet and look younger than I am, but I feel at times that with men, there is an assumption of ability and legitimacy. Where I feel like I have to work twice as hard to gain respect and to be taken seriously. Not always. But unfortunately, sometimes. And at times, this makes me doubt myself, my knowledge, and my contributions (yes, I know I need to work on that).
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But then I find myself back outside. Climbing a mountain, wandering through a forest, swimming in a glacial lake, and the little girl who didn’t think twice about running around wild outdoors, who never questioned her place in, or desire to learn more about, the outdoors wakes up. And I feel free and happy and like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.
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I would love for every women to be able to feel that way. To forget the limitations and/or labels that she, or society, or anyone else, has put on her. And to just truly live in the moment and know that she belongs wherever her heart takes her.
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(P.S. I have been inspired and encouraged by many incredible MEN and WOMEN. But I think it’s important for women to see other women out there. Sweaty, dirty, strong & happy)

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