Category Archives: Photo Journal

Journey

Who knew what a journey a chance meeting would spur.  And perhaps it’s still only beginning.

It wasn’t long ago that I was forced into early retirement.  So I gave myself a couple of years to find a new home.  I wanted a fresh start.  A clean slate.  A new beginning where I had no personal history.  No evil employers.  No ex-wives.  No pain of remembrance.

I was very methodical.  I searched locations, climates, recreation, proximity to my bucket list of national parks, housing markets, and state and federal tax implications.  Yes, believe it or not, if you move to a state other than the one paying your pension, you can be double taxed on your same income.

It was a lot to consider.

And I finally hit upon an area where I thought could pull all of those factors together.  So, I contacted various realtors, complied a list of properties on the market, jumped on a plane and spent a week touring homes and the surrounding area.

It was an area sort of familiar to me.  I had been there 40 years earlier when I was a young pup bumming around the country and living in my car and out in the wilderness.  Of course, the once sleepy little city had grown.  And I discovered I didn’t like the housing prospects.  It didn’t feel like home.

But while I was there, I would make a connection.  A beautiful soul that burned bright.  A golden flame.

A chance meeting in a chance location.  A moment in time, but at that moment it was time to fly that 1400 miles back home.

Conversations ensued, and she told me of an amazing world not that far from those first explorations.  I traveled again and found that magical oasis.  But I couldn’t stay.  At least not at this juncture in time.

This has been the beginning of a new chapter in life.  That meeting brought me out from behind the barriers I had surrounded myself with.  Broken down the walls of despair.  Set me on a new path.

A journey to recapture the heart and spirit of life.  Who knows where it may lead?

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Photo: I took this photo of these lonely railroad tracks out in a remote area in the Southwest.  I was playing with it in the photo editor and suddenly it came to life.  What made this image possible was dust.  There were high winds that day sweeping dust across the desert floor and scattering into the atmosphere.  That added a blur factor you can see at the base of the distant mountains.  It also added a medium to refract light adding varying hues to the sky and clouds.  A slight enhancement turned a drab photo into art.  A friend described it as looking like an Albert Bierstadt painting.

And that photo’s story parallels my journey.  A chance number of elements came together to produce a never-seen-before beauty.  And the image itself is one of travel across great distances.  Who knows where these tracks may lead?  Where that train might take us?

 

Frog Pond Magic

A while back, while hiking, I stumbled upon a small frog pond.  It was early afternoon and the angle of the sun, lighting, and nature itself came together in a very magical way.

There was an electric green moss growing in that crystal clear pond and the surface of the water reflected the surrounding trees.  The sky was a magnificent deep hue of blue.  As you can see, I captured several shots with my cell phone camera.

I visited this pond several times thereafter and the conditions for these images never repeated themselves.  Amazing, even the same places, events, and times can never be experienced twice the same 🙂

 

 

Frog Pond Magic 1

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A Little Magic

What happens when you mix the edge of a clear mountain stream with a bucket full of multicolored sedimentary stones, add a tablespoon of current reverberating off the bank, and then a dash of the afternoon sun’s refracting photons?  Well this . . .

River Rock

Photo:  Somewhere in Montana 🙂

Skyline

Nature is by far my most favorite place to be.  It is there I feel like I belong.  Like I am myself.

But there is beauty in everything if we choose to see it.  This photo is of the city-scape of San Diego from when I visited.  And it is mesmerizing in its own way.

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Reflections

I was having a lot of fun playing with the cameras at the zoo when I came upon a water feature with turtles and fish.  The plexiglass enclosure extended above the waterline providing multiple reflective surfaces.

And here’s the result.

The surface of the water is both transparent and reflective.  So you can see the turtles and the fish in the water, below the waterline.  But you can also see their mirror images above the waterline on the inside surface of the plexiglass.  It looks like they are swimming around me.

The palm leave floating half submerged also reflects off the inner wall of the plexiglass giving it the appearance of being both in and out of the water.

My reflection from the outer wall of the plexiglass bounces back to the camera so you can see me using my cell phone for the pic.  My digital camera hanging off my shoulder at my side.

While the woman walking towards me from the opposite direction reflects off the inner wall of the plexiglass, or possibly the surface of the water, or perhaps it is not a reflection at all, but the camera just captures her directly.  But it projects her to appear as though she is riding in my left shirt pocket.

What fun!

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Zoo - Reflections

 

 

Grand !

About a week ago I posted a piece in my photo journal titled “Soon.”  I spoke there about not revealing my locations and why I don’t usually do that, or I mess up the timing so no one really knows where I’m at any any precise moment in time.  In fact, I could have been sitting in front of the keyboard in my pajamas the past year writing stories of my experiences from ten years ago this whole time.

But I wasn’t – maybe 🙂

For those of you following my photo journal you may have guessed one of the places I visited in my latest travels was Yellowstone National Park because of the Grizzly.  And that Park, and the surrounding area are absolutely amazing for its diversity.  Valleys with rolling grasslands, deep canyons with waterfalls, massive lakes and rivers, and crazy geyser basins.

Before I start writing about my adventures there and elsewhere, I thought I’d add to the photo library.  The pictures today are from one of the most spectacular geographic features in the Park – the Grand Prismatic Spring.  The third largest hot spring in the world.  It is 370 feet in diameter, 160 feet deep, and it discharges an estimated 560 gallons of water per minute with a temperature varying between 160 and 190 degrees.  Yes, hot enough to fry you.

And there is a trail that will lead you to an aerial view of it so you can try to take it all in.

But it will still baffle your brain.

What gives the Spring its amazing colors, believe it or not, is bacteria.  A group of bacteria known as cyanobacteria, and several species in particular, including Synechococcus and Chloroflexi , love the heat.  And the photosynthetic pigment used by the bacteria to capture the sun’s light to make energy is familiar to all of us – chlorophyll, which generally emits the color spectrum wavelengths of what we call green.   What’s not so familiar is that chlorophyll has buddies called carotenoids that emit reds, oranges, and yellows.  So depending on the temperature band, the mix of bacteria, and the refraction angles, you get a whole rainbow of colors.

Gorgeous !!

So enjoy these shots of this amazing geothermic wonder while I figure out how to write up some of my latest experiences.  Why so much thought on that?  Well, these later adventures involved people.  Large groups of people.  And while people’s behaviors can be interesting, and odd, and sometimes quite obnoxious, I really don’t want to offend anyone or sound overly critical.  But I have to tell you, I generally enjoyed the wildlife more than the people 🙂

Feast yourself on these !

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Back Country

I’m really amazed when I travel that I see so many different biomes in a single state or area.  From corner to corner you can go from flat, wide-open spaces to sky-embracing mountains, deeply cut valleys, meandering river basins, high dessert plateaus – and all are beautiful.

This particular view was one I came upon while on horseback.  I’m a total amateur at riding a horse, but love how you can delve into the deep wilderness so quickly and effortlessly riding on the back of such a spirited animal.

Hat’s off to my wrangler, Tina, a free spirit roaming the country picking up work she loves where ever she finds it.

Horseback Ride 7

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Soon . . .

A few weeks back, I wrote a piece about having an encounter with a Bear.  As you can see from my feature pic, I have had another.  This time, I was able to get a nice photo of this magnificent spirit.

You may have noticed that while I’ve been making posts to my Photo Journal, I usually don’t reveal my exact location.  I do this for a number of reasons.  One is I often see people on social media giving the play-by-play of everything they are doing and everywhere they are.  They share their personal information as well.

And predictably, people doing this on Facebook have had their homes burglarized while telling everyone they’re soaking up the sun on the beach.  I’ve also learned that privacy protections on social media platforms basically suck.

But I am going to make a post soon where I do reveal some locations, after the fact, because I want to make some fun comparisons.

In the meant time, appreciate this magnificent  Grizzly 🙂

Grizzly - Day 2 - 1+C1

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Fishing

This is sort of an iconic image.  A sole person testing his skills fly fishing in a mountain stream.  I’ve never done fly fishing per se, at least not the way it is supposed to be done.  But I do love fishing because I find it to be meditative.

Repetitious motion.  Casting.  Reeling.  Casting.  Reeling.  Letting your thoughts drift.

Then there is the thrill of catching one, and in most cases for me, releasing it again.  Although there have been times when I’ve eaten a few.

Many moons ago, I was in a remote part of southern Utah living off the land, and was catching trout by hand.  Amazing.  And nourishing on different levels.

It is said that to dream of fishing is to really be dreaming about spiritual pursuits.  I like that image.  And just looking at this one, I find it to be meditative.  Relaxing.  Letting inner thoughts fade into quietness . . .

Fly Fishing

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Water is Life

I have to say that I haven’t always been that observant.  We pass through time and places and forget to pay attention to the little things.  Sometimes the very obvious things.  As I travel, I now see that many of the communities I drive through are river cities.  And it makes sense.

These towns and cities sprung up over a couple of centuries ago because there was a major source of water for drinking, agriculture, and for travel and shipping.  Some of the cities have grown beyond the ability to provide fresh water and water tables are dropping.

I’m currently in a “land of water.”  It surrounds me in all forms.  I see it rushing down mountainsides, feeding rivers that cut deep valleys, forming lakes that stretch out over the horizon.  Yet I’m reminded of the need to conserve and the residents here go to extraordinary efforts to collect and store water for the basics.

Water is life.  We emerged from the ocean as a process of evolution.  Our lungs and our kidneys maintain the salt water environment internally that our primordial species used to splash around in externally.  Without pure water we would all perish.  We can’t take it for granted.  We must be observant 🙂

Undine Falls Area

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