Category Archives: tumblr

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Morning

Ed’s note – since the demise of Storehouse, I have been at a loss as to the best way to display images linked to PlayGroundology stories. I’ve gone back to tumblr to try and capture the look and flow of a series of larger images. This is my first tumblr post in a number of years. It’s the visual companion to this WordPress post.

We’re at chickadee corner waiting for birds. In sub-zero weather, the black capped chickadees drop from surrounding trees landing gingerly on upturned palms. With soft, rapid pecks they gather seeds before retreating to nearby cover. We are breathless as they alight oh so briefly on our hands. The timorous beating of their hearts is exhilarating and humbling. Today there are no chickadees and the girls are momentarily disappointed.

tumblr photo story here or click through on image above

Fortunately, there is plenty to do when stopping by the woods on a snowy morning. A freshly fallen tree beckons for solo and duet balancing. After several back and forths, the girls discover a small dip nearby.

A defining feature of this hollow is a large, partially exposed, snow dusted boulder. The steep incline of its scalable face makes for a tricky ascent. In the end, after numerous unsuccessful attempts, it is ingenuity that wins the day and conquers the summit.

Next are the vertical climbs – hanging on and scrambling up trees so tall. The big mama conifer shelters the girls under its boughs. Close to the trunk the almost symmetrical branches are spaced like steps inviting the climbers skyward. They are all smiles and giggles from their perches on high until one gets fretful thinking she won’t be able to get down.

Closer to solid ground there is space for some casual boulder hopping. Each activity is rooted in connections with the natural environment. We embrace a wonderful simplicity, a sense of unhurried ease and familiarity. The light and breezy unscripted play is punctuated with moments of intensity fuelled by physical exertion and the sometimes fright of self-induced boundary testing. And then it’s over, time to bid the snowy outdoor morning adieu.

Just play,
play with mud, sand, sea
blocks and balls
sticks and trees
just play…

Road Trippin’

It’s just coming up to four weeks on the road for us through the Maritimes, Québec and Ontario. As it turns out, blogging and web surfing aren’t all that compatible with this edition of family road tripping.

We’re frequently unplugged from the net and there’s no opportunity to set aside blocks of time to write and prepare material for posting. Go figure, I don’t know what I was thinking… With three energetic kids under five years of age we’re kept hopping even more than at home. We’re having plenty of fun with family and friends and discovering a few new playgrounds along the way too.


Parc Saint-Pierre Claver, Montréal, Québec

Regular posts at PlayGroundology will resume the week of July 18. Upcoming stories include the Mont-Royal playground in Montréal, PlayGrounds in the News, the Sorel Playground Marathon and Global Playground Bloggers II. Click here for a slideshow of some of the playscapes we’ve visited in the last few weeks. It’s interesting to see how public play spaces display their own distinctiveness from place to place.

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Tumblring around a new Playscape

I’ve started playing around with tumblr, a new-to-me platform, to publish short playground related posts and promote PlayGroundology through teasers on upcoming activity. The result is PlayGrounding. I hope you can take a moment to drop in and flip through the posts. There is a heavy bias to more images, less text. So far, I’ve been posting every day but there will be fluctuations in the posting schedule.

It’s thanks to PlayGroundology readers that I discovered tumblr. This ‘discovery’ happened three years after the launch of the service so no early adopter prizes for me. Less than a month in and I’m loving it.

I woke up one morning in mid-April to start my standard blogging routine, a little web based research, tidying up some files, checking in on my dashboard for visitors and comments. I had to rub my eyes because at 5h30 there were already in excess of 300 page views. The page view ticker continued to climb, charting like the hottest song on Billboard. By the end of the day there were over 2600 views. The following day clocked in at 1600 and then the crash – numbers dropping to previously established averages.

The blizzard of activity was due to a reference being made, and a link posted, to metafilter – a community weblog that attracts 3.5 million unique users per month. Many of the metafilter directed visitors were tumblrs who shared PlayGroundology within their respective communities. So thanks for spreading the word and for introducing me to a cool and easy to use new platform. Keep on tumblrin’…

A general thanks to flickrites, tumblroos, playground bloggers and playground lovers everywhere who are helping to build awareness of PlayGroundology. I appreciate your support.