Archive for Nature Posts

published in Activity, Animals, Dogs, Nature, Safety by Maryanne | July 31, 2018 | 4 Comments

Tip: If You Are Going to Hold Onto Something for Dear Life, Make Sure It Has ROOTS


“A tree with strong roots laughs at storms.”

– Malay proverb

Hallo…hope you are having a super summer!

If you look closely at the above photo, you will see an orange & blue Chuck-it ball precariously perched on a ledge at the bottom of a small ravine. That ball was (I suspect) strategically dropped there by a certain retriever, just to test how good MY retrieving skills were.

But I didn’t fall for THAT trap…oh no, no! I knew better than to clamber down a steep and slippery embankment in the middle of the woods with no one around (other than Sadie) to pick up the pieces, should things happen to go awry.

So home we went.

But I have hung out with this particular retriever far too much to be able to actually forget about the ball. So when big brother came to visit two weeks later, I took him on the hike and showed him the ball (which, of course, was still on the ledge because who in their right mind would go down and get it?).

Big brother looked around and did a quick risk assessment. He shook his head. “Not worth it. Leave it there.”

But as I mentioned, I have hung out too long with a ball-obsessed retriever…and now, apparently, have become one myself.

I shook my head. “I think I can do it,” I said, then told him my strategy.

He sighed and gave me the big brother look. But before embarking on my descent, I gave him a second orange & blue Chuck-it ball and told him to hold it in front of Sadie – but not give it to her. That way, she would remain with him and not follow me down.

So big brother did exactly as he was told and all went according to plan. Sadie stayed with him, her eyes unflinchingly fixed on the Chuck-it ball on his hand. I made it safely down the embankment, stepped over the creek, retrieved the ball, proudly put it in my back pocket…and then made a last-minute decision to go up that side of the riverbed – instead of stepping back over the creek and going back up the same side I came down.

All was going well until I reached out to grab onto a big rock – instead of the little tree – and the next thing I knew, the rock gave way and came crashing down onto my shin. Ouch! The rock was actually a large slab of shale that was just waiting for a good excuse to release itself from the dirt of the eroding riverbank.

And along came the human retriever.

On the bridge above my head, big brother calls out in alarm, “Googie, are you okay?”

“Yeah,” I reply sheepishly, crawling up the embankment to the bridge. “But just out of curiosity, what did Sadie do when I fell?”

There is an awkward silence then: “Uh, nothing. She didn’t even blink. I knew this dog was ball-obsessed but I have never seen such intense focus. It’s extraordinary.”

It’s also humbling. But at least I know where I stand in relation to a Chuck-it ball 🙂

There are several morals to this story – the most obvious one being to never risk one’s safety for a silly $7 ball. Another one might be: if you are going to hold onto something for support, you better make sure it has roots.

In this photo from a week ago, you can see the wound on my shin:

Thankfully, it is healing up beautifully.

Other than that, I have been having a lovely summer! I am taking full advantage of my quiet rental home in Mill Bay and am making tremendous headway on some writing projects.

I also took a road trip down to the Oregon Coast and Portland for a few days. Here are some photos:

On the Coho Ferry, leaving Victoria and heading to Port Angeles, WA

Gearhart, Oregon Beach


Ruby beer (with a hint of raspberry…yum!) at McMenamin’s Gearhart


Gearhart, Oregon Coast

Back home, Sadie is making like-minded friends at the local swimming hole:

Sadie & Trevor the Retriever

Take care, stay safe and I shall smarten up and do the same!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. She is the executive producer of the documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here. Maryanne lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

published in Beauty, Dogs, Dreams/Goals, Freedom, Inspiration, Nature, Photos, Travel by Maryanne | March 21, 2018 | 12 Comments

Grand Canyon, Zion & Bryce…Oh My!


The surreal scenic drive through Zion National Park, Utah

“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.”

– Anon


Hope you’ve had a grand week…ours has been WILD! This particular leg of the Great Bohemian Gazelle Writing Road Trip has been heavy on the road travel and light on the writing – but boy, am I ever getting productive in one-hour chunks of time.

Mother Nature has stolen the show yet again this past week…the scenery has been stunning.

After leaving Sedona, we headed to the Grand Canyon:



Then we drove north towards Zion National Park, passing Vermillion Cliffs on the way:

Zion National Park was absolutely incredible…rather surreal at times:

And the drive itself was a hoot! Here is one of the tunnels:

After Zion, we had some time so we took someone’s suggestion to visit the Old Pariah town site, just east of Kanab, Utah. This turned out to be a bit of an adventurous drive on an isolated, muddy road so after one too many slippy-slides, I turned the old CRV around and headed back from whence we came. But not before getting this great shot:

And, of course, a fun selfie with Sadie:

Then we continued north to Bryce Canyon and oh my good golly, what a magical place! Here are a few pics:

After Bryce, we had quite the hoof north to Salt Lake City and then west towards Reno, Nevada…more photos to come in next week’s blog.

We are now settled into a cozy ski cabin in Lake Tahoe and are staying put for a whole four days. I am writing to my heart’s content and getting caught up on some other work, while Sadie recuperates.

Sadie wearing protective glasses as she receives laser therapy treatment

Unfortunately, my furry friend had an elbow injury – not on the slopes, as you might surmise from the sunglasses…rather, just getting out of the car and stepping into too deep of a snow drift, I suspect 🙁

But I am pleased to report that she is already doing a bit better.

Take care, thanks for reading and have an excellent week!

P.S. I love this Emerson quote (and would probably benefit from adhering to it a bit better):

“Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are just joining us on our Bohemian Writing Road Trip Adventure & would like to do a little catch-up reading 🙂 here are my previous blogs:

She Packed Up Her Potential…

Write On – Writing What We Know May Help Teach Us What We Need to Learn

On the Road…But Nearly Not

Surprise! Greetings from Newport

Is That a Dipstick in Your Pocket – Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Dipstick Theme Continues – Don’t Get Excited

Hunkered Down in Hollywood

Celebrating 50 in Style

California Chillin’ (Sorta) in San Diego

Sedona Unplugged

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life

published in Animals, Change, Environment, Nature, Wolves by Maryanne | August 29, 2017 | No Comment

One Quick Way YOU Can Help Stop Wolf Cull in BC

(And no…you don’t have to be a BC resident)



“Gunning wolves from helicopters and using strangling snares on the ground have been the main tools used in an ongoing experiment to recover caribou herds protected by federal law.  These herds were pushed to the brink of extinction not because of wolves, but due to continued destruction and fragmentation of their habitat by logging, resource extraction and motorized recreation.”

– Wolf Awareness Inc


If you’ve heard about the wolf cull in BC and don’t support it:

One quick way you can take action, right now, to speak up on behalf of wolves in BC is to fill out this quick survey at

If you’re not familiar with the culling practice, here’s a bit of background from Wolf Awareness Inc:

On Feb 24th, 2017, British Columbia announced that aerial gunning of wolves would begin in a new area – Revelstoke-Shushwap – as the third provincially designated “wolf kill zone.”

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations stated they are “taking immediate action to save the Columbia North caribou herd from wolf predation.”

But killing wolves won’t repair what’s been damaged. Instead of protecting the homes and habitat caribou require, industrial interests have been allowed to trump conservation, ecology and ethics.

Over the winters of 2015 & 2016, a minimum of 288 wolves were killed in BC – most often through callous methods that prolonged suffering – under the guise of conservation.

More than $1.5 million tax dollars have been spent on aerial gunning wolves, despite no evidence to show this is increasing caribou numbers. In fact, there is a lack of scientific evidence that wolf kill programs will increase caribou populations.

Scientists and governments recognize that caribou populations are low because of ongoing destruction and impoverishment of the habitat they need to survive. Yet destruction and impoverishment of critical caribou habitat continues for industrial and recreational interests.


Killing wolves over a prolonged period creates major ecological repercussions that negatively impact many plants and animals in the ecosystem.

Those involved in planning the expanded wolf and cougar kill disregard the considerable damage that scientists understand happens in ecosystems when top predators are removed, and callously exhibit an indifference to the suffering experienced by wolf families as pack members are killed.”

– Chris Genovali, Executive Director, Raincoast Conservation Foundation

How you can take action:

If you haven’t already, please take the 5-minute survey (it actually only takes 3 minutes) at

If you are on Twitter, please follow Wolf Awareness Inc @wolfawareness and use the hashtag #NoWolfCull


About Wolf Awareness Inc.

Wolf Awareness Inc. is a non-profit charitable foundation, established in 1987,  whose primary goal is to promote positive attitudes towards predators in general, the wolf in particular, and to foster an appreciation for the environment of which we are all a part. They achieve their mission through the development and implementation of educational programs and by supporting scientific wolf research. Please visit for details.

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Wolf Bounties Abound in Alberta

A Wolf Named Nakoda

Wolves in British Columbia Need Our Help

Help Stop Wolf Cull in Alberta

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.