Continuing Education in the School of Life

For many years, one of my greatest joys and deepest held beliefs has been the practice of getting to know the Place where I live in a deep and intimate way. I believe that if everyone in the world passionately cared about her or his own backyard or neighborhood, then every place in the world would be cared for and saved.

~ Joanna Powell Colbert


This is an old-school-how-I-used-to-blog-with-pictures post. After abandoning my online business shop last year, I eventually decided to write a book. I considered posting an excerpt from the book but I was really in the mood to write a blog post. That doesn’t happen as much as it used to when I was blogging more frequently.


It feels freeing not to have anything to promote. This is just about me and what I’ve been doing to stay active and engaged in a new community, how I’m trying to find my place again.


Two years ago I moved from Utah to Wyoming. We lived in Utah for 24 years and raised our children there. It hasn’t been an easy adjustment. Discovering the Springs Trail on Red Grade has helped a lot. I started walking in March with my little miniature Schnauzer, Hoover. He was desperately in need of learning manners. I decided I needed to get in better shape for a trip to India and Bhutan this fall. Hoover and I love our walks. Look at that happy face!




Trying new activities helps me to grow, learn and meet new people. (It’s also a key ingredient in sublime aging.) I started attending a wonderful yoga class taught by my sweet friend, Kyan Sanderson of Soulspace Yoga. I was afraid that I would be too stiff, or get too dizzy, or be too uncoordinated to enjoy the class. It turns out that I am just fine. It’s ok that it’s challenging. It feels good to stretch, to arrive on the mat for centering and exploration.




I have a regular meditation practice I do in the morning. Our trip to Bhutan includes a 5 day retreat with our Buddhist teacher, Lama Thupten Rinpoche, along with French Buddhist author and photographer, Mathieu Ricard. If you want to read more about this fabulous pilgrimage, check out Two Truths.




The time I spend on the trail is also meditative. Usually I take a camera because there is beauty everywhere. Each week there are new flowers which is wonderful because I never get tired of taking flower pictures. As a photographer, I’m always examining the interplay of light with the foliage while seeking new ways of composing a shot. I enjoy getting into “the zone” this way.




Sunday I drove my ATV up into the mountains to my first birding class. The class was held at Spear-o-Wigwam, formerly a guest ranch frequented by Ernest Hemingway. In its current incarnation, it’s a Mountain Campus owned by Sheridan College. Dr. Jackie Canterbury taught the class, covering bird identification, local habitats, and songs of local birds. Birding is a new way for me to practice my observational skills, to stand quietly, listen and look.




Today on the trail I heard, then spotted, the Ruby Crowned Kinglet. I was introduced to this bird yesterday. For the first time since we moved, I’m starting to feel a sense of place. It feels good.



  1. Tammy vitale on July 3, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Beautiful piece. I have a great quote somewhere about considering that your place,may love you too. If I can fid it I will tag you. Meanwhile I had to go to Michigan to see my first Baltimore oriole.

  2. Sue Jorgenson on July 3, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I love this post. I’ve birded over nearly 15 years and that just jones your observational skills and connects you to place. Two years already??

    • Loran Hills on July 25, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Yes, two years plus!

  3. Lewis Perry on October 27, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Wow, perfect view on my desktop! Love the angle of the photos!
    Lewis Perry recently posted..I Can Therefore I WillMy Profile

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