…that you don’t have to go far to get a completely different perspective. Last week, temperatures were in the 30s (F) and the fog in the Willamette Valley was so thick you couldn’t see three feet in front of you. But just over the mountains, just an hour’s drive away, the sun was shining on the coast and temperatures were pushing 60 degrees Fahrenheit!
…that sustaining life on our planet is a matter of delicate balance. I hadn’t been to the coast in a week. The day after our last visit, a tsunami generated by the volcanic eruption near Tonga hit the Pacific Coast of Oregon, carving cliffs on the shore and depositing piles of driftwood.
…that the Earth’s beauty is vast and easily accessible. Look up, look down, look deeply, look broadly. Colors and patterns and exquisite details are everywhere.
…that finding treasure is within reach, the moment you set out from your habitual routine. Moving during a pandemic makes building community difficult, but by stepping out of my little apartment and making intentional connections with local groups, I have found some precious new friends.
Thank you to Amy for hosting this week’s challenge and sharing some fabulous photos from her world travels. Click HERE to see her post and learn how to participate.
Ann-Christine’s challenge this week tells of memorable events from her travels through the Sahara desert in Morocco, illustrated with stunning photos. I encourage you to visit HER POST and see for yourself. My most memorable travels in the last decade have been domestic roads trips to National Parks. On one trip, I visited 11 federally protected sites – parks, monuments, and forests. They are chronicled in the page listed below my banner heading called “An American Adventure”. Here are a few of my favorite shots from that journey.
“Roads were made for journeys, not destinations.” – Confucius
“Once a year, go somewhere you have never been before.” – Dalai Lama
“Remember, the object only reflects a feeling that came from a human. It holds a story from where it came from, but it’s not alive.” ― Kim Neville
Patti invites us this week to share photos of “Interesting Objects”. I went on a photo hike this morning in the fog up a hill covered with mossy trees with that subject in my mind. I found many interesting things, but I came to make the distinction that what I was photographing was not Objects but Beings. Each mushroom and lichen and spiderweb and bark pattern was exquisite and interesting…and alive. So, I went into my photo archives to find Human-created objects that I’ve discovered on my walks.
I photographed these pendants I found in a Bayside boutique because I love the way the wrapped wire looks like trees. I wanted to show the design to my middle daughter, who makes jewelry.
Owning a beach house gives you the opportunity to show your affection for the sea. I liked this whimsical decoration above one garage in Santa Cruz, CA.
My daughter’s partner is a Bigfoot fan. I had to capture a shot of this chainsaw statue outside of my hotel in Mt. Shasta, CA for him.
This little rock was resting on a bench at the top of St. Joseph’s Hill in Los Gatos, CA. My siblings and I climbed the hill together to mark the anniversary of our mother’s death. She donated to the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District that protects this land. I loved finding this human’s message on that meaningful day.
The things that humans create are not Beings, but they certainly can be created from a place of awe and affection for the Beings that share our planet. I suppose it’s really that interconnection and respect that I find draws me to objects and makes them interesting to me.
“Each Saturday the Lens-Artists team presents an opportunity for our followers and/or visitors to add their images and accompanying thoughts on a subject for all to see. This week we’re suggesting that in addition to our challenge, you explore and link to some of the other creative opportunities our friends and fellow challengers make available in the WP blogosphere (or any other sites where you post images).” – Tina Schell of Travels and Trifles
I think the greatest lesson that I’ve learned during this pandemic is that Community is essential to individual mental health and resilience and may be the key to understanding how to live in harmony with Life on a larger scale. So what better way to practice Community Building in my photo hobby than to check out and participate on other photo challenges and get to know new bloggers around the globe?
I followed the link on Tina’s page to find the Last Image on the Card challenge hosted by Bushboy (Brian). The last image I made with my Canon Rebel t3I was shot on December 27, in my driveway. This is what I saw:
It’s an historic photo, I guess, because this kind of snowfall is not typical for mid-Willamette Valley, Oregon. It’s a fitting reminder of how unusual 2021 was…and how unpredictable 2022 will be. Let’s keep our eyes open and our community growing!
Happy New Year! I am so glad to be looking at 2021 in my rear-view mirror, and I know I’m not the only one. For so many reasons, it was a tough slog. But, as my first complete year living in the majestic state of Oregon, it was also a year to discover beauty outdoors that I’d never seen before. I have compiled 12 of my favorite photos into a calendar of the past. I hope you enjoy it!
My heartfelt thanks goes out to Tina for being our challenge leader this week. Do visit HER POST to see her favorite shots of the year and to read instructions on joining the challenge. I am in awe of the core team of Lens Artists – Tina, Amy, Ann-Christine, and Patti – and delighted to hear that the team will be expanded this year to include three new host bloggers: Sofia, Anne, and John. I wish all of you the joy of finding beauty in your lives every day as you look upon this marvelous world and the hope of being a blessing every day for someone in return. Make it a great year!