Tina at Travels and Trifles hosts this week’s challenge with an invitation for us to pick a place to which we’ve traveled and feature it in our post.
I have not traveled abroad since the death of my husband 11 years ago, but I have done a bit of traveling throughout the western portion of the United States. I am particularly fascinated by canyon country, places where the geology of the place takes center stage an overwhelms the senses, leaving you awestruck.
“When your spirit cries for peace, come to a world of canyons deep in the old land, feel the exultation of high plateaus, the strength of moving waters, the simplicity of sand and grass, the silence of growth.” — August Frugé
“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.” —
“Beauty in front of me, Beauty behind me,
Beauty Above me, Beauty below me,
Beauty all around me,
I walk in Beauty…” — Navaho prayer
I just came home from a walk along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to check on the photo challenge theme for this week. Our host, Tina, encourages us to slow down and focus on rest and relaxation. “Taking a Break” for me is also “Restoring My Sanity” by being out in nature.
Nothing restores me to a grounded pace as well as hiking in a natural area where the presence of people is the exception to the rule.
An outdoor walk helps me take a break from sitting down at a computer screen…something I spend far too many hours at every day. And if my feet start to swell and feel hot, dipping them in a cool stream is the perfect antidote.
Thanks, Tina, for reminding us to take it easy. It’s a long road, and it’s not a race.
Amy chose a topic for this week’s challenge that is sure to make a splash! She coaches us:
In Jim Hamel’s “Top 10 Features to Bring Your Seascape Photos to Life”, his list includes piers/docks, lighthouses, sunrise and sunset, rock formations, patterns in the water, animals, powerful waves, people, reflections, and clouds.
I am lucky to have lived near some of the greatest coastlines of the U.S.A. I was born in Massachusetts and lived for 15 years in California. However, for the bulk of my earthly years I have lived in the Midwest near Lake Michigan, one of the 5 Great Lakes that together hold 21% of the earth’s surface fresh water. Here’s the western shore of that great lake.
My father’s family built a beach cottage on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, and so far, four generations have enjoyed its recreational opportunities and sunsets.
Just before I entered High School, my family moved to the Bay Area in California. I got to explore the West Coast while I lived there and as a visitor returning to see my family. The drama and diversity of the shores of the Pacific Ocean is something that I never fully captured in photography. I was more often just looking around, overwhelmed.
I have to say that some of my best shoreline photos were taken along the smaller waterways of the Midwest.
I like to remember that my first shoreline experiences were on the Marblehead Neck, jutting into the Atlantic. I moved away from Massachusetts when I was four years old and probably never took a picture. But I did get a chance to go back for a visit. My daughter snapped this shot in Plymouth.
Patti poses an interesting challenge this week: when the scope of a scene is visually overwhelming, choose to focus on a detail that hints at the grandeur of the whole.
For me, that sense of overwhelming wonder is always present when I am outside in Nature. I love the Earth. I work for a Conservation Foundation, and I am often dazzled by the beauty of the land while I am also stunned by the complexity of biological interactions and the enormity of the task of preserving ecosystems that are under constant threats of degradation. I believe that showing people the accessible beauty of the world around them can engender the kind of affection for Place that will motivate them to protect it, to safeguard it for the future.
Have you ever looked at a common plant up close? Or gazed into the intelligent eyes of an animal? There are details all around you capable of blowing your mind with the immense and intricate magnificence of Life. I invite you to become a Lover of Life — a Biophile, if you will.
Ann-Christine and I share a love of trees. I’m glad for her challenge subject today.
Much of the wisdom of the natural world is about how to sustain life in harmony with others. It turns out that Trees are no exception. They share a unique kind of communication via threads of fungi and operate as a living community. That discovery changes the way I see forests and individual trees completely.
“A tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it.”
“It appears that nutrient exchange and helping neighbors in times of need is the rule, and this leads to the conclusion that forests are superorganisms with interconnections much like ant colonies.”
“We have learned that mother trees recognize and talk with their kin, shaping future generations. In addition, injured trees pass their legacies on to their neighbors, affecting gene regulation, defense chemistry, and resilience in the forest community.”
“If a tree falls in the forest there are other trees listening.”
I feel now more than ever how important it is to conserve larger tracts of land containing whole forests, especially mature growth forests. It’s not enough to plant a tree in the yard. Trees are the lungs of the planet, breathing the oxygen that we all depend on into our world.
“An organism that is too greedy and takes too much without giving anything in return destroys what it needs for life.”