My Side of the Mountain (April Changing Seasons)

hidden picnic nook mountain

Exactly one year ago I started a doodle calendar and writing month-in-review posts through Su’s Changing Seasons challenge. Maybe ironically, maybe fittingly, this month I dropped the ball on my doodle calendar. I’m not fretting about it though. This month I started a #healthyhabits challenge and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, so I have plenty of written records of my month. And I might go back and doodle in my April calendar later.

On April 7, I started getting up early and going hiking in the morning as part of my self-initiated #healthyhabits challenge. (I’ve been sharing daily reports on my Instagram stories.) My main goals were to get up early, exercise first thing, and eat healthier. I’m proud to report that I think I succeeded in all three goals. I got up at 6ish (anytime before 6 or until 6:30) 18 days this month, went hiking 12 days, and was better about cooking at home and eating better.

This month was really chock full of planning and projects and work, exercise and creativity and reconnecting with my mountain. It was so rewarding to really be able to witness the changing seasons every day. Seeing the flowers bloom and fade, the mountain slowly transform from brownish to greenish. I felt extremely grateful to live so close to nature, and I’m glad I finally took full advantage of this access this month. It only took two plus months of Coronavirus to get me to make positive changes.

Speaking of Coronavirus, there were only four new confirmed cases today, all inbound from overseas. The number of cases have been in the single digits for the past week. Next week, May 5, will hopefully be the end of the official social distancing policy. Fingers and toes crossed this holiday weekend (today is Buddha’s birthday) won’t lead to another cluster of cases. Everyone is still masked and being careful, but the absolute nightmare that was February seems like a distant memory.

In addition to the mountain, the warmer weather meant I could walk around the city a lot more. And I did so in order to avoid public transit. I spent five dollars on transportation this month, a tenth of my BC (Before Corona) budget. As I walked through new neighborhoods, one thought kept popping up in my brain: I love this city. I love how I can walk fifteen minutes in one direction and be in the middle of the woods, or fifteen minutes the other way and be in the city center. I think walking, both in nature and just in general, really helped my mental health this month. (That and the warmer weather.)

So that’s my month in a nutshell. And here are some photos as reports from my side of the mountain.

field of meadow blue violets
April 1 – meadow blue violets
korea mountaintop view
Apr 2 – view from the top (Namasan tower in background)
korea cherry bossoms forest
Apr 7 – cherry blossoms in the woods
sunny forest trail korea
Apr 8 – mountain trail
seoul apartments base mountain
Apr 9 – another view from the top – ubiquitous apartment buildings
sunlight through trees sunrise
Apr 10 – rising sun through trees
korean pagoda mountain
Apr 10 – spot along the trail
cherry blossoms forsythia mountain trail
Apr 14 – cherry blossoms and forsythia
pink peach tree blossoms namsan tower
Apr 17 – rainy day and peach tree blossoms
pink peach tree blossoms korea
Apr 20 – pink peach tree blossoms
cluster of cherry blossom petals ground
Apr 21 – cherry blossoms starting to fall
yellow kerria flowers
Apr 23 – yellow Kerria flowers
pink azaleas korea mountain
Apr 24 – bright azaleas
korea rocky trail mountain
Apr 27 – the hard way back down
blue bird in flght mountain
Apr 29 – Come back!

And below is the process video of an art journal spread. It includes some footage of the mountain and learning the names of the flora and fauna I met on the way. Hope you like it.

I know April was a challenging and difficult month for many. All I can do is send you all the virtual hugs and good wishes. Hang in there, friends. Be safe and well.

From Su’s post at Zimmerbitch:

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month. If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots. Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them.

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month. Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material! Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su’s post, Su can update it with links to all of yours.

36 Comments

    1. The Last Samurai! I don’t distinctly recall the cherry blossoms but I do remember being enamored with Tom Cruise and his swooshy long hair. 😍 Cherry blossoms are so lovely and this season it was nice to enjoy them daily in the woods, rather than the usual touristy streets. Hope you’re well!♡

      Liked by 2 people

  1. So jealous of your mountain hike. Miss hiking and nature fiercely. But GOOD on you for getting your butt out of bed and going hiking in the early mornings! More exercise was one of my corona goals but all we ended up doing was late evening walks around this parking lot nearby. (We are in such a concrete jungle.) Perhaps it helps to get out of the apt.

    And that’s another thing, need to get up early again. I feel myself slipping into later and later wakeups. Not because I don’t have a reason to live, but just exhausted these days. I think just being busier since we’re at home. That might not make sense, but I think you understand.

    Happy for Korea! Hugs from Thailand!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It took a few months to get motivatednto make these changes, that’s for sure. Have really liked getting up early but I still haven’t gotten a good sleep schedule yet. Hopefully starting the day earlier will help you get your things done before you’re too exhausted. But definitely listen to your body!♡

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful post full of positivity. I especially enjoyed your art journal video, lots of interesting tips, love the mixed media. I love Seoul and wonder which mountain you live near. I have a Korean daughter in law so have visited a number of times.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So glad you enjoyed the video and enjoyed the mixed media! Thank you for watching! And happy to hear you have been to Seoul many times! It’s an interesting city, that’s for sure. Especially thankful for all the mountains nearby during this season! Please be safe and well!♡

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow, that mountain looks staggeringly steep. My knees are protesting just looking at it. 🙂 It was lovely to see the views of your city from the mountain top. It really is very precious to have such a wonderful so close by. The yellow Kerria flowers were so sunny. I am sure you will find such creative inspiration from your walks/climbs. Take care and stay safe. So relieved that your countrymen and women continue to be very careful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, my knees do protest on the steep slopes so I always take the windy and less steep way down. I’m glad to share my part of the world with WP friends. It is bloggers like yourself who helped inspire me to get to know my natural environment better! It’s a holiday weekend here so next week will be an important turning point in the pandemic.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Such a lovely and hopeful post!! Love all your beautiful landscape pics and especially the pink peach tree flowers and the kerria. 😍 I’m so happy for you and Korea that you’ll soon be able to get back to ‘normal’! Or what will pass for normal. In any case it’s going to be much better than in February. I couldn’t watch your video, it just stopped working for me, so will pop over to your YouTube channel later. So impressed by your daily early waking up around 6 in the morning – today I woke up at 11.30!! 😂💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, dear friend. I’ve actually been thinking about learning photography and maybe investing in a camera. (Any tips or recommendations?) I want to do these beautiful flowers justice! I just checked the video link on my phone–it seems to work but I’ll check on my PC too. As for getting up early… this is a VERY new change for me. Believe me, my whole life I’ve been the nightiest of night owls so I’m a bit amazed myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It worked!! Just got to see your video – it’s so peaceful watching you doing your art! And I loved that scene when you covered up your “mistake”! 😀
        As to cameras – same thing happened to me a few years ago: I wanted to be able to make better photos and so invested into a mirror reflex camera, a Nikon D3400. It’s the beginner’s model and actually perfect if you haven’t any experiences with mirror reflex as it doesn’t overwhelm you with too many functions and also has this nice guide function you can use when you feel unsure. It comes usually with a 18-55 mm lens which at first felt like whoa! after having taken pictures with a compact camera all my life, but after a year or so I knew I would have to buy another lens because I wanted to be able to make even better pictures (it’s the photographer’s disease: you ALWAYS want a better lens 😉 ). The thing is, I wanted to do both, tele and macro shots, to either photograph animals far away or insects and flowers much nearer. Normally you have to buy two lenses to make that happen, at least if you’re really picky. But, there are lenses who can do both at the same time! They’re of course not perfect, but still being a beginner, I really like the one I chose in the end, a Sigma 18-250mm that came on a special offer.
        If you don’t want to spend too much money, you could also have a look on eBay, many serious photographers sell their cameras at good prices to be able to afford the next better one. The thing is, however, that these can have some little damages, like scratches on the lens, which is why I opted for a new one.
        Hope this helped!

        Like

  5. Yours is the first post I read this morning – it was such a delight to look back at your April & an inspiring way to start my reading day.

    I love that you made time & effort to wake up for your walks – such a stunning setting for your healthyhabit challenge. Thank you for sharing the beautiful scenery and flowers you encountered. I can almost smell the cool air and fresh blooms!

    How has it been since the restrictions were eased on May 5? Do you find getting about very different? Ours are starting to gradually ease as well so it will be interesting days ahead.

    So excited to see you have been working on The Artist’s Way – this book was rather influential on the Young Adult me. You inspired me to look at what else she has written since, and I borrowed an online copy of “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity & Meaning at Midlife & Beyond” from the library.

    Wishing you another creative & healthy month ahead! Looking forward to more good news on the easing of restrictions!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ju Lyn, thank you for your comment. It was so nice to read!♡♡ Happy to share some of the Spring blooms with you!

      To be honest I haven’t noticed a big difference since the official “social distancing” policy was downgraded to “distancing in daily life” (my translation). Mostly people are still masked, restaraunts never closed so people are still out and about. Perhaps more people are going out more, but that might be due to the warmer weather. High school seniors will return to school next week, and then the other students in phases after that, so I guess that’ll be another milestone in this recovery.

      So many of my blogger friends have worked through The Artist’s Way! I’m so happy to hear it had a good impact on you. I’m in Week 3 and have been working through lots of imposter syndrome and feeling unsure if my art-as-a-hobby qualifies for this program. I’d love to hear how you like “It’s Never to Late to Begin Again.” How nice you can get an ebook version from the library. I can’t wait for the libraries to open again.

      Thank you again for your thoughtful comment. Hoping you have a safe and healthy, creative and fulfilling May♡

      Like

      1. We 4 were just chatting over tea yesterday about what life would be like as restrictions ease. Like you, we haven’t seen a while lot of difference so far, and anticipate that perhaps there will still be a degree of caution (which is not a bad thing).

        School is starting up? Do you guys have a summer break?

        The Artist’s Way has been quite a cornerstone in rediscovering one’s creative self – I am glad that Julia Cameron has continued her work and has revised her process to include other groups.

        It’s interesting to hear you working through the imposter syndrome and your self-doubt. I have only seen a little of your work on WP, but you are without a doubt an Artist to me. I am believing that you will come out of this exploration a stronger & more confident artist and claim it for yourself!

        Enjoy the warmer weather, especially on your monrning hikes! Be safe and well!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, I should’ve been more clear. I meant students are physically returning to schools after weeks of online school. The school year starts March 1, so this year the start of school was initially delayed for a few weeks. Then they started online school. Now kids are returning to physical school in phases (seniors first, then the other grades. Seniors especially because of the be-all end-all uni entrance exams in the fall. I believe Singapore also has a very rigorous education system/uni entrance exam?)

        Thank you so much for your kind words! I am grateful to be able to have the time to work through this book and build my self image as creator and artist.

        Be well! ❤

        Like

      3. Ah! How interesting that the school calendar has been shifted about to accommodate the closures.

        Singapore’s system is pretty rigourous, not so different from Korea’s. I am pretty sure exams will continue, but perhaps on an amended schedule.

        Hope you are having a good weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I recognise some of the bloggers who commented here and wonder how is it that I haven’t come across your wonderful blog before. I am here now! I just delighted in watching your video and some of the fabulous photos of the cherry and peach blossoms. I started to draw and sketch a drawing from those few photos even before I saw that you journaled your walk. Your journal now has a beautiful keepsake entry of your walk. I enjoy early morning so will have a look at the healthyhabitschallenge too.
    Btw,I have a son who likes to visit South Korea so some of the scenes were familiar and so lucky that you are able to take a short walk and experience nature in the middle of a metropolis like Seoul. Nice to meet you, a wonderful sheep! I love that name!
    Cheers from Amanda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Amanda! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. I am so happy to hear the flower photos from April inspired you to sketch and draw. Your telling me that has inspired me as well. I had fallen off the healthyhabits routine for a bit with work getting busier. But actually got a good night’s sleep last night and got up early to start a productive morning, so fortuitous timing! Your comment was such a nice welcome back to the blogosphere, I feel motivated to get back in nature and share more as well. Thank you again for stopping by, and be well! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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