I had only just bought myself my first digital camera for my 50th birthday 8 days before I went hiking at Lapham Peak State Park and this family of sandhill cranes flew directly overhead. I knew it would be a long shot that I had all the settings on it correctly programmed, but I snapped away in hope. There they are…
…and there they go….
Of course, three is a magic number. We all learned that from Schoolhouse Rock, didn’t we?
I wish I’d taken my camera up to Alcove House at Bandelier National Monument. I did not. But those ladders were thrilling! Here’s a shot from tripadvisor.com:
The descent is about 140 feet. Not bad. Another favorite spot is Holy Hill in Wisconsin. There are 178 steps in the tower.
Hiking in New Mexico and Texas this month led us down into some beautiful canyons: Mills Canyon (1000 ft. elevation change)…
…the Frey Trail down to the Visitor’s Center at Bandelier (484 ft. elevation change)…
…and our favorite, the ‘strenuous’ 1500 ft. Lost Peak trail that gave us views down into Dog Canyon and to our riparian campground on the other side.
Of course, in hiking, what goes down frequently also comes up. Steve turns 50 tomorrow, so we’re working on keeping our knees in shape! Which way is more difficult depends…he beats me uphill, I beat him downhill. (‘Course, he’s 6’2″ and I’m just 5’4″ and we’re weighted differently because of gender…and because I carry a pack and he doesn’t.)
May all your ‘down days’ include scenery like this!
I have always identified with autumn colors. My eyes are brown and green, flecked with gold. My hair is a sort of light brown with golden strands that catch the sunlight. I was a true blonde until my late teens when I began to shun the California sun for indoor time with my studies. My sister nicknamed me “Golden Girl”. I have never colored my hair and have only one gray one (which I pluck when it gets more than an inch long!). I love to stroll the green spaces where I live, and I get a little uneasy in a plane when all I see below are dusty expanses. Green is my go-to color. My mother never liked green and made pronouncements about why it was “bad” for a kitchen, for clothing, for just about everything except plants. I grew up revering my parents’ opinions, and learning to develop my own style is something I’ve come into rather late, I think. Sorry, Mom. I WILL wear green and decorate my indoor space with it liberally! This picture reflects a wonderful tapestry of fall colors, with a blue sky for background and a towering church which seems like it is being overtaken by vegetation. This is also me: my monumental Christianity is slowly being eclipsed and colored by a more prominent display of natural life. This is the hue of me:
Happy Columbus Day! As it’s a federal holiday, United States Postal Service workers got a day off, so Steve & I went on a 7-mile hike on the Ice Age Trail around Holy Hill. The air was crisp and sunny; the leaves were resplendent, and I couldn’t have been happier to be outside with my favorite trail partner. We’ve missed this in our recent life and are making plans to change our lifestyle so that slow walks in nature are given priority again. We talked about the process of awareness and making decisions. We can do better. This is an infinite process, but it’s not about the results; it’s about the journey. The climb. The progressiveness. “Pointing the canoe” and paddling toward your values – like integrity. I am dedicated to giving it my best shot. And here’s my favorite of the day – very fitting for the theme, I think:
The first and last hour of sunlight in the day is what photographers often refer to as “The Golden Hour”. I am not the dedicated kind of hobbyist that will actually go out looking for that kind of light specifically, but I do sometimes find myself with my camera out on a hike or an outing that lasts until near sunset. A serendipitous meeting might then occur, and I’ll get a great shot. Here’s one of which I am especially fond: Enjoy!