Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Photographing God through the camera of David LaBelle

I would like to share an article with you written by David LaBelle entitled "A Visual Love Letter".  His words echoed my own heart regarding the God we see in His boundless creativity that exists all around us.  I contacted Mr. LaBelle and it is with his permission, that I share his article with you.  Please read his column in its entirety for an insightful perspective in his words of photographing God....

       "For 50 years, I have dreamed about photographing God.  In the past, I even kidded that when I died, I wanted my family to place a Nikon F camera loaded with 100 ASA film in the casket with me.  I figure I won't need a fast film with a high ISO because there will be plenty of light, and I'd sure like to be the first to photograph heaven.

       Indirectly, from the first days I picked up a camera, I have tried to photograph God by photographing His creation - be it the natural wonders of the world or the wonders of human creations.  Just as we photograph stunning rock formations in Utah, Arizona, Colorado or South Dakota - whose majestic cliffs have been shaped by countless years of breathing winds - we photograph an invisible God by photographing the influence of His Spirit on His creation.  

       Each of us carries the genetics - the DNA of our father.  I realize I must walk softly and carefully with this subject, and do so with sensitivity, recognizing there are many who do not share my beliefs.  Please accept that this column is not meant to be a sermon, but a personal observation and ambition.

       I do not mind admitting that when I witness humbling acts of altruism and love, my throat tightens and my eyes fill.  In these quiet acts of compassion, I see my God every bit as much as when I behold a beautiful sunrise or sunset.  I have always been drawn to these genuine, not performed, moments.  In them I see the goodness of mankind and the loving influence of God.  In these mini stories, I feel the greatest joy and hope for humanity. 

       While some are drawn to photographing action sports, portraits or nature, I am drawn to quiet relationship scenes of love and compassion - things I often lack in my own life, but continually aspire to own.  My wife and I try to make pictures that reinforce the beauty and love of God on His creation, and try to avoid promoting the opposite.

       For me, life looks very different at 65 than it did at 25  I'm confident it is a natural thing as we age to grow more introspective and more deliberate with what time we have left.  In my youth, life was a smorgasbord and, like most, I wanted to sample everything.

       I have loved many types of photography - from sports to nature, breaking news, celebrities and even some fashion - but lately, more than ever, my heart seeks to capture and share positive pictures that reinforce love and goodness and encourage hope, while glorifying our Creator.  It isn't that I have not always tried to do this from the time I picked up a camera, but now with the acute recognition of the limited time I have left on this earth, there is an urgency not present 25 years ago.  I am forever reminded and keep this passage from Psalm 90 on the sleeve of my heart:  "Teach us to number our days, that we might apply our hearts to wisdom."

       I photograph God when I record the golden morning light raking across the red earth or prairie grass of Oklahoma, or when evening clouds turn from white to yellow to crimson.  I photograph God when I see birds drink the dew of the leaves or eat the crumbs left by man.  Mostly, I photograph God when I see His Spirit working in the lives of His children.  I don't always love as I should, but often what I see through my lens challenges me to love more purely.  I wish every photograph I make to be a visual love letter to my God." - David LaBelle

photo by David LaBelle
David LaBelle had a caption written under the above photo which states..."I watch for small, quiet moments that speak to the goodness of man and individual character rather than loud, decorated "religious" acts often performed to be seen.  This tender scene of a young man walking two elderly women to their cars from a restaurant is such a moment."

Thank you David LaBelle for allowing me to share your wonderful thoughts on "A Visual Love Letter".  You can learn more about this international photographer, teacher, author and lecturer at his website at http://www.greatpicturehunt.com/


Please join me in two weeks at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, September 25....
 

Monday, August 28, 2017

A WOW of an Eclipse!

Today's post reflects the experience of the eclipse that occurred in our area just one week ago today.    Preparation for the influx of visitors began months ago throughout our communities within the John Day valley.  Since we live in the proportional eclipse path in eastern Oregon, it was a thrill to be able to witness 100% totality just from our own backyards.  Motels were booked, camp-sites reserved,  grocery stores and restaurants stocked, eclipse glasses in supply, emergency personal prepared for the event.  New friends were made and pleasant exchanges occurred with those who came from near and far to be a part of this celestial happening.  

Since we are privileged to witness many glorious sunsets and sunrises, it is hard to chose a favorite.  However, it seemed significant to take this photo of the sun setting behind our hills the evening before the eclipse.  God, using His creative force in nature, was preparing.



With family, friends and visitors gathered to enjoy this much anticipated happening, we had a pre eclipse treat when our local resident flew over the valley in his ultralight plane.  It is always special to see our flag flying overhead, as Dave Traylor takes his aircraft and his patriotism to the sky for all to enjoy..


The process of the eclipse was approximately two hours from start to finish.  The eclipse in totality was around 2 minutes, 8 seconds during which time the countryside grew dark and a chill was in the air for the lack of momentary sunlight.  As this stage was occurring, you could hear boisterous cheers from the people gathered in town and in nearby camp areas.  An expressing word in amazement by all - WOW!  

I took a chance on a photo shot since the brilliance of the sun was hidden except for the halo effect behind the moon.  I was so pleased with the resulting photograph as my Nikon camera had no special filters and limited in zoom power.  It is the one and only camera shot taken and I share it with you, my readers....


The power of God can never be underestimated and this is just such an example.  Scientifically, it is explained as to the material conditions that cause an eclipse phenomenon.  But it is one such miracle of life in a cosmos that appears endless and one that our own earth is a part of.   We cannot forget to factor in the Alpha and Omega, the existence of the completed One who is all and in all - the I AM.


Please join me at The Turn-Up Patch for another post on Monday, September 4th...


Monday, August 14, 2017

Legend, Fact and Beauty of Multnomah Falls

Recently I had the pleasure to visit Multnomah Falls.  I have often seen it from a distance driving on I-84 heading east from Portland to Eastern Oregon.  So often we are in a hurry driving from one destination to another, time isn't taken to stop and enjoy beauties of nature.  On this occasion, time was taken to stop and enjoy this well known waterfall in Oregon and of course, for photographic opportunity.

A little background first....  The name Multnomah is a Native American word that has been eluded to mean "downriver".  History records that the Multnomah people are a segment of the Chinookan peoples who originally lived near the Columbia River.


It is a two-tiered waterfall that is 611 feet high and located on the Columbia River Gorge near the I-84 Freeway.  The upper fall plunges 542 feet and the lower fall is 69 feet which makes Multnomah Falls the highest waterfall in the state of Oregon and the second highest in the nation.There is a legend attached to Multnomah Falls.  Keep in mind that legend means a traditional story or tale that has no proven factual basis....
According to Wasco legend, the daughter of Chief Multnomah sacrificed herself to the Great Spirit from the top of Multnomah Falls.  Tribes along the Columbia River celebrated the marriage of the Chief's daughter to a neighboring tribe.  The happiness didn't last long, however, before the area experienced an illness that affected all of the tribes along the river.  The medicine man claimed the Great Spirit told him all of the tribe would die unless the Sprit received a sacrifice; the Chief's daughter's life.  The Chief wouldn't allow it, but when the daughter saw the sickness affect her loved ones, she willingly left in the middle of the night to go to the top of the cliff overlooking the Columbia River.  She threw herself off the cliff.  When the Chief found his daughter's body, he prayed to the Great Spirit for a sign that her spirit was well.  Water began pouring from the cliff and became known as Multnomah Falls.

An interesting legend but here is the simple fact about the falls...  The Multnomah Falls water is supplied by natural underground springs that originate on Larch Mountain, which is an extinct volcano where the falls are located.

Below are several closeup photos of this enchanting water, mesmerizing in its tumbling fall....


I thought you might be interested in just a few facts and photos of Multnomah Falls.  It is just one of many sights of beauty in the diverse scenery from the west coast to the eastern region of Oregon.  There is a quote by Russian poet, writer and painter Mikhail Lermontov who compared waterfalls with human soul - "Many quiet rivers start from noisy waterfalls, but none of them jumps and does not foam up to the sea.  But it is often a sign of great peace of mind, and hidden forces..."

Join me at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, August 28th.  Until then, here is another thought to ponder on by Benjamin F Sullivan... "God is discovered entirely through creation - the brilliance of a sunset, the powerful roar of a waterfall, the symphony of sounds you hear in the heart of the forest, or the vastness of space and its countless stars.  God is the mastermind behind all matter - every earth shattering scientific discovery and mystery that is yet to be unraveled was dreamed and enacted by God."




Monday, July 31, 2017

Pathways

We have all heard reference to personal journeys of life that are made up of pathways in experience and choice.  It appears like a solitary walk since we are mostly aware of self in the drama of life.  And for those who believe in Divine Presence,  it becomes a faith walk and solitary is no more.  Awareness opens into a path that is not only human but graced with a power beyond oneself.  Psalm 16:11 says... "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand."  There is comfort knowing that you are not alone.

We cannot travel a personal journey without encountering others - fellow sojourners. I came across this saying by Thomas S. Monson that expresses this reality and is a good reminder of the love commandment...  Love God, Love your neighbor, Love yourself....



Come!  Journey to the The Turn-Up Patch for a visit on Monday, August 14.  See you then....


 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Daily Delights

The miracles of God in nature never cease to amaze me.  Daily, there is a fresh find to inspire and to delight.   As an example, this critter was discovered in a nearby field just waiting to have his picture taken.  Upon closer inspection, found out it was a marmot... a fancy name for a woodchuck also labeled as a land beaver.   Oh, what big teeth you have.....

 Or, how about this profile....

Or, better yet, how about full front with these great digging claws that make huge ground tunnels.... 


So that was my marmot adventure.  First time we've seen one on our property during the many years lived here.  He wasn't a bit afraid and made a type of chirping noise at us.  Our dog, being curious, tried to get a closer look but the marmot stood his or her ground and wasn't going to be run off by a giant four legged canine.

From critters to storms, I close this post today by a picture I took the other evening of storm clouds splashed with early sunset colors.  Another daily delight....  How great is our God!  Scripture in Revelation 22:13 says it best... "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."



You are invited to the next post at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, July 31....



 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Independence Day - Celebration in Freedom!

Independence Day - July 4th - Celebration in freedom!   Behind this National holiday in the United States are pivotal events that climaxed into the framework of the Declaration of Independence.  At that time, 13 colonies broke from English rule to become "a republic for which it stands", as reaffirmed in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Pivotal events occurred through bloodshed and personal sacrifice in order to secure the vision of freedom.  Four years ago I wrote a piece on the Identity of the American Flag and would like to share with you again the significance of this message...
 
Identity of the American Flag  (posted on July 1, 2013)

On July 4, 1776, two hundred thirty-seven years ago, the Declaration of Independence of the original thirteen colonies was signed. Independence was claimed from Britain and Democracy was born. Today's message honors Independence Day and the American flag, one of the most significant symbols of Independence.  

The flag of the United States is displayed in all possible ways on July 4th.  Here in the John Day Valley, we are treated to a skyward "fly-by flag" carried by an ultra-light plane over our area, which is always a thrill to view.  Of course, there are buildings, homes and streets in the local towns, which are generously decorated with the red, white and blue.  There are flag representations in parades, rodeos and community gatherings.  Friends and family alike take a day out in celebration and salutation of a defining moment which proclaimed the formation of the United States of America.  (Click on photos to enlarge)   


Parade Flag carried by horse & rider
Ultra-Light Plane flying American Flag























“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."    This declaration is powerful when one fully realizes the hallowed significance in its verbal portraiture.  The following 'History of the Flag' information was obtained at this link:  http://www.usacitylink.com/usa/history-of-the-flag/



- Colors of the Flag:  Red is for valor, zeal and fervency;  White is for hope, purity, cleanliness of life, rectitude of conduct;  Blue is for the color of heaven, for reverence to God, loyalty, sincerity, justice and truth.
-  The Star symbolized dominion and sovereignty, as well as lofty aspirations.  The constellation of the stars within the union, one star for each state, is emblematic of our Federal Constitution, which reserves to the States their individual sovereignty except to as rights delegated by them to the Federal Government.
-  The thirteen Stripes represent the original thirteen colonies.

The symbolism of the Flag was thus interpreted by George Washington:  "We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country separating it by the white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty."

The flag first rose over thirteen states along the Atlantic seaboard, with a population of some three million people. Today it flies over fifty states, extending across the continent, and over great islands of the two oceans; and two hundred and five million owe it allegiance. It has been brought to this proud position by love and sacrifice. Citizens have advanced it and heroes have died for it. It is the sign made visible of the strong spirit that has brought liberty and prosperity to the people of America. It is the flag of all us alike. Let us accord it honor and loyalty.  (Excerpt from History of the Flag)


Hall of Flags, Chicago O'Hare International Airport
The first time I had ever been to the Chicago O'Hare International Airport, this impressive Hall of Flags greeted me.  At the end of the hall, is a large display of the American flag.  I felt humbled when I first saw this huge flag as a welcoming greeter to all travelers, visiting from abroad and those returning home.  There was a sense of pride in viewing this flag as it impressed me of the nobility and heroism that lies behind it in the patriots of yesterday and today.  It is imprinted with the ultimate sacrifice by many; a message of hope for new beginnings; and a sentinel of freedom for its people. Throughout the years, there have been wrongs to right, including times of triumphs and tragedies, glory and shame, indicative of growing pains of a Republic with stars and stripes.

God is embedded in this flag.  He is the integral part of the surrounding whole, which is the definition of embed. The signers of the Declaration of Independence and the framers of the U.S. Constitution are referred to as founding fathers or forefathers. They recognized and acknowledged the Creator's Presence and paid Him homage as the Author of freedom.... "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."  Let us always remember to place our Creator where He rightfully belongs, the One from whom freedom flows.  If we begin to worship freedom in abandonment of its Author, the opposite effect of eventual decline is a consequence.



Their is a video presentation of God Bless America (sung by Celine Dione) is by Anthony Cortese.  He published this clip on July 4, 2012 and he wrote the below statement along with the video.  
You can  view at:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPWqY1nSkig   
I have included Anthony's tribute, since his words say it best.....


"I still believe in American Exceptionalism; that in all of history there has never been a country like the United States. I believe in our founding documents; that the United States Constitution is the single greatest document crafted from the minds of men for the promotion of individual liberty and freedom. Happy Fourth of July to all my friends and fellow countrymen. There is much for which we should celebrate and be grateful."  - Anthony Cortese


Let us reflect on the God-given freedoms that we enjoy in these United States of America.  Join me for my next post at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, July 17...

 





Monday, June 19, 2017

Sunset between the storms

Last week we had storms that brought in rain accompanied with thunder and lightning.  Great to have the rain but not so great for lightning.  It is a harsh reminder of the wildfires that were experienced in the John Day Valley in 2015.  Our beloved Canyon Mountain shows the effect of burned timber that scars the landscape.  Many homes were destroyed by fire forcing owners to either rebuild or relocate in the aftermath.  Lightning in its beauty and power can devastate by a random strike.  It still makes a community feel nervous as a reminder of what was and what can be if dry weather conditions exist in our forests and terrain towards fall.

For the time being, we are enjoying the advent of summer and all the pleasures that it brings after the winter freeze and commencement of spring.  People are busy with gardens, summer projects and vacations, enjoying the sun and outdoor activities.  Once in awhile, we are privileged to experience a delight in nature,  if we take time out from our busyness to stop and become aware of what is before us.  I don't know how anyone could have missed this piece of art from the hand of God...



A beautiful sunset graced our skies between the storms of the early evening hour.  I grabbed my camera to capture such a stunning view as it quickly changed color and cloud formation.  The golden hues changed to orange and pink as the sun dipped behind the hills.  In the third photo, if you look close enough, you can see the sun's fractured rays breaking through the clouds in resemblance of golden geese.



The thought came to me that as we experience personal storms in life, God gives us breakthroughs in His sunset colors of hope, encouragement, strength and perseverance to experience calm in the midst of storms.  Psalm 4:8 says, "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety".  


I hope you will join me at The Turn-Up Patch for another visit on Monday, July 3 ....  I leave you with a beautiful quote that is so true... "PEACE is seeing a sunset, and knowing who to thank."


Monday, June 5, 2017

Hummingbirds & Humboldt

We began our journey from the high desert country of eastern Oregon into the redwoods of northern California.  As usual, this particular drive inspires renewed appreciation for the diverse country that exists in each place.   From sagebrush, pine and juniper trees in the Blue Mountain Range of eastern Oregon to the majestic redwoods and countryside scenes of fern, wild poppies and rugged hills that hug the coastline of the Pacific.

Steamboat Rock
We traveled through Crescent City, the Redwood Highway and into Eureka in Humboldt County.  From there, we made our way to the town of Ferndale and into the hamlet of Petrolia, a short 30 miles away.  However this 30 miles takes an hour to drive because of a windy road with many twists and turns, often one lane to maneuver. This is a familiar drive for my husband, who was raised in this country and ranched in his later years.  It is a photographer's dream if you can find room enough to pull over to take a picture or two.  If that is not possible, I take a camera shot from a moving truck window hoping that my hand is steady enough not to cause a blurred picture.  Sometimes there is success...


At the home of our Petrolia friends, word must be out among the hummingbirds to enjoy a good nectar meal provided by several feeders set out on their porch.  Before I noticed the birds, I heard their sound - much like buzzing bees.  I was startled to see so many of these tiny birds darting from one feeder to the next creating this humming noise with their wings.  I read that they flap their wings about 80 times per second.  This is how and why they were named, the hummingbird...


 Other facts about the hummingbird are:  
                 - they can fly right, left, up, down, backwards and upside down
                 - hover - it looks like the bird is stationary but their little wings are moving so fast, you
                   cannot see them
                 - their bill is long and tapered to obtain nectar from the center of a long, tubular flower
                 - their feet used for perching only 
                 - symbolic of love and joy 


I  mentioned just a few facts about the hummingbird.  I hope you will watch this video that actually shows a hummingbird in slow motion in flight and gives you more information about this fascinating bird.  It makes a person realize how amazing this little creature of God is.  Click on this link at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPRswRWZ23Q


My next post will be in two weeks on Monday, June 19th.  Come!  Visit me at The Turn-Up Patch.... 




Monday, May 22, 2017

Spring's new foal

Since my last post, we have a new addition to the family.  A husky filly with long legs and an attitude was born several weeks ago.  It took a little while to begin the bonding process as this mare was particularly protective and wanted no one near her baby.  As the photos show below, in time and with patience, the mare reverts back to trust and allows a friendly hand to pet her and maybe, just maybe, her colt.

Interactions occur every day in our lives - whether it is on a human level or with animals.  But there is another interaction that is around us as a constant 24 hour, seven day a week experience.... and it is with God.  There are some who are aware of His Presence and others who have not yet awakened to His reality, but the interactions are there nonetheless.  His diversity in creation is all around us in the world we live in and into the universe itself.  He is beyond the human explanation of "God" and words seem to get lost in trying to describe His power and glory that is so evident in surroundings of nature that speak loudly of His existence.  Many scripture verses reference this fact throughout the Psalms and in various chapters of the Bible.  Job 12:7-10 says "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?  In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."


My next post will be on Monday, June 5.  See you then at The Turn-Up Patch....






Monday, May 8, 2017

What does it matter?

What if we could live our days abiding in the principle of "what does it matter?"  For those of us who have experienced the death of a loved one, it is part of the dynamic to not only let them go but that it is alright for them to let go of living.  In other words, permission is given to die.  I have been at the bedside of my mother, my aunt and my mother-in-law as they were laboring in this last part of their journey moving from this world into the next.  It is a time where we meet self and we meet God. 

There may be regrets, grudges, guilt of something done or not done, unforgiveness, unresolved issues, past emotional wounds -  these are just a few of the negatives that can arise to one's consciousness in the review of life lived and now in the throws of letting go.  Just as the birth process brings forth life from within the womb for physical existence, so does the death process release the spirit into the divine spark of eternal existence.


I tend to think that as a person is in the closure of his or her life, there is a question and an answer that comes simultaneously... "what does it matter?"  What does it matter to hold on to a regret in re-living mistakes made.  What does it matter to nurture a grudge until it balloons and metastasizes the offense.  What does it matter to agonize in guilt for something done or not done, becoming a victim of condemning self-worth.  What does it matter to hold on to unforgiveness that creates a toxin of blame and distortion.  What does it matter to worry over unresolved issues that bury perspective.  What does it matter to keep emotional wounds open and raw and cripples the soul.  Isn't it better to let go rather then to store and accumulate burdens in life because in the end - what does it really matter??

Wouldn't it be great to practice the power of "what does it matter" on a daily basis.  Letting go and letting God puts a smile in our day and gives freedom to soar.  


Join me for another visit at The Turn-Up Patch in two weeks on Monday, May 22...
  

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rainbow Chaser

We certainly have had April showers this month, although it could be described as downpours driven by high winds rather than a simple shower.  The weather, however, created some beautiful rainbows and this work of God's art never ceases to amaze me.  Several days ago after a heavy rain, the sun broke out through the clouds to prism a beautiful rainbow arc stretching over highway 26.  I was thankful to have my camera with me when the rainbow appeared.  I drove my car to the side of the road to capture this scene of rainbow colors falling upon the hills.  It was exciting to me to be able to take this photo in a setting with Canyon Mountain and grazing cattle, creating this scene of country peace. These pictures give you an idea of the scenic beauty we have, particularly in the spring when the fields and hills are so green.  A rainbow only compliments the rural setting.


The photo below shows the other side of the rainbow, which splashed it's color on open fields on the opposite side of the highway.  The rainbow was too close for me to take a photo of it's perfect arc over the countryside.  Again, I managed to find a turnout where I could park my car and take photos of this sight that can all too quickly disappear due to atmosphere changes and cloud movements. 


Continuing on to my friend's house, I was happy to see the still visible rainbow extending to the area where she lives, dropping its color on nearby ground.  Instead of a storm chaser, I felt like a rainbow chaser as it remained until I reached my destination only to fade from view.


It is interesting to note that the arc or curve of a rainbow is actually a full circle - only the horizon cuts it off.  I was able to find the below photo on the internet to use as an illustration of what a full circle rainbow looks like...


In astronomy, the earth, moon and planets are all in sphere or circle shape in our ever increasing knowledge of the universe.  Whenever I see a circle, I think of the Almighty God who states that He is the "I AM" - the Beginning and the End; the Alpha and Omega; the First and the Last; Everlasting to Everlasting.  He is COMPLETE.  An interesting definition of complete is UNBROKEN.  Here are a few other meanings of complete... entire, absolute - whole or perfect - without defect or blemish - faultless, unimpaired; lacking nothing. 

Pretty Amazing!  He loves us, faulty in our humanity, with a faultless love in His Divinity.



Join me at The Turn-Up Patch where we'll meet again on Monday, May 8...  I leave you with a rainbow quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which simply says:  "God's illumined promise".

 



Monday, April 10, 2017

Kuaui Albatross - Part 3

This will be the last post on Kuaui, often referred to as "The Garden Island".  Today we visit the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge located on the north shore of Kuaui.  Here in Eastern Oregon, we think of wildlife as deer, elk and predators such as the coyotes and cougars.  The protected wildlife at Kilauea are varieties of  Hawaiian seabirds, the monk seal, green sea turtle and humpback whale.  The refuge was established in 1985 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and is marked by a large lighthouse.....


Among the Hawaiian seabirds, is the Laysan Albatross.  I was fortunate enough to experience a fly-by from one of these large birds and managed to get an overhead shot as the albatross circled by the lighthouse.  One notable fact about the albatross are their extreme long wings that enable them to soar or glide in flight.    They can travel hundreds of miles per day with barely a wing-beat.




There is a figurative meaning to albatross, which is something that hinders or handicaps and defined as guilt or a burden.  The origin using this bird as such a symbol comes from 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Coleridge written in 1798.  It represents a burden or source of distress that impairs effective action, thus the saying... an albatross around one's neck.  This beautiful seabird doesn't deserve such a reputation of  negativity due to a poem and superstition.

There is a proven course of action based on the Word of God in Matthew 11:30... "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light".  The yoke of Christ placed around your neck lifts and frees burdens and guilt, giving rest to the weary, resulting in freedom and peace.  Quite a contrast to the symbolic albatross that is a yoke of heaviness and bondage, resulting in fear and captivity.

And now it is time to say 'A hui hou - goodbye until we meet againin yet another place of God's scenic beauty in Kuaui....


Meet me again at the Turn-Up Patch on Monday, April 24th.  Until then, 'Ke Akua pu a hui hou - God bless you and see you later'.



Monday, March 27, 2017

Kauai Adventure - Part 2

In this post, we visit the west side of Kauai where visitors can view the Waimea Canyon, often referred to as 'The Grand Canyon of the Pacific".  After traveling on a narrow, windy road, we stopped at a viewpoint and gazed out on this spectacular piece of scenery.  It is considered a geological wonder in Hawaii, being 14 miles wide and more than 3600 feet deep.  Waimea is Hawaiian for reddish water because of the canyon's red volcanic soil.  I took many photos of this  colorful and awesome canyon but could only choose a few to show you, again due to limited space. I was impressed at the diversity of the island from beaches and palm trees to craggy mountain terrain.



Continuing north beyond Waimea Canyon, is another sight beautiful to behold.  From the Kalalua Lookout, you are treated to a vision of sea, sky, clouds and cliffs.  It appeared as if the clouds were dancing on the ocean waters, since the deep blue that you see in the photo is not the sky but the actual sea.  The horizontal line distinguished between the clouds is the separation between water and sky.



It was breath-taking to say the least.  I can only lift my eyes beyond the horizon and appreciate the God who is All and in all in His beauty of color, form and living nature.  Romans 1:20 says it quite well...."For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so they are without excuse."


Come!  I invite you to visit me again at The Turn-Up Patch in another two weeks, on Monday, April 10th....



Monday, March 13, 2017

Kauai Adventure - Part 1

We recently had the opportunity to visit Hawaii, and was introduced to the island of Kauai.  Thanks to the internet and google, you can find out much about Kauai but I will give you just a few of the many interesting facts about this beautiful island: 
                         - It is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, some 6,000,000 years old
                         - It is of volcanic origin
                         - Nicknamed the "Garden Isle"
                         - It is the 4th largest island in the Hawaiian Archipelago being 562.3 square miles
Since this was my first visit; to see it is to believe it!  All those interesting facts come alive and I was amazed at the tropical scenery and mesmerized by the surrounding ocean waters.  Being a "landlubber", which means having no experience with the sea, the ocean can be intimidating.  Personally, I prefer to have my feet planted solidly on the ground, so you won't find me in the water or on a boat.  But you can find me with my camera happily taking photographs trying to capture the wild motion of waves crashing upon the seashore.  A still photograph can highlight the beauty of water turbulence but it takes a video or an on-sight experience to capture the moving sight and sound in revelation of the full force of nature in ocean waters.
 
Beach at Poipu, located in the south end of Kauai
It is awesome to stand on the shore and watch the power and expansiveness of the sea.  I am reminded of Psalm 93 which speaks of the majesty of the Lord.  Verse 4 states ... "More than the sounds of many waters, Than the mighty breakers of the sea.  The LORD on high is mighty"....


One of the phenomenons on the island is known as Spouting Horn Beach located near Poipu.  This particular stretch of beach has a lava shelf with existing blowholes.  The ocean rushes under the shelf and up through the hole with a force sending water shooting into the air.  The following photos illustrates this effect.  If you look closely in the second photo, you will see part of a rainbow that sometimes appears when the sunlight is shining through the water in just the right refractory way.  You can also watch a video clip that does justice to Spouting Horn along with the sound of a second hole that only emits wind and creates a type of moaning sound..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKn9TEigfcY 
 

Two weeks from now on Monday, March 27, we will explore the west side of the island and visit Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.  Kauai - a small island that is a wonder in diverse scenery and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit and share my discoveries with you.  Blog space permits me to share just a few photos of the many that I took but sometimes it takes just a few to tell a story.

Until then,  here is a beautiful quote to think on by Mother Teresa... "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."


Monday, February 27, 2017

A horse, of course!

Happy end of February!  For the time being, the fields are nearly clear of the abundant snowfall that both human and animal had to plow through during these past winter months.  This time of year, weather can be fickle as it tricks you into thinking that early spring has arrived.  And then you get a blast of winter air as a reminder that the season has not yet relinquished its grip.   The horses enjoy days when temperatures become slightly warmer, as we all doThey run at a steady gallop in freedom of movement instead of being constrained by winter snow and crusty ice upon their hooves.   I was able to get a few shots of their approach behind the hay truck, their stomachs eager for a meal of delicious dry grass and alfalfa.


Horses tell us when it is time to quit feeding them.  It occurs when you see them in open fields, grazing on green grass erupting with the advent of spring. They suddenly lose taste for dry hay, preferring the fresh taste of new pasture growth.  Since it is still too early for this to happen, the horses remain eager to follow the hay truck for their daily meal.  It is a delight to watch the horse exhibiting energy, grace and power through beauty of motion.


If a horse could only talk!  Actually, they do in a language that only horse whisperers understand.  I refer you to a post that I wrote some years ago, if you'd care to check it out at http://turn-uppatch.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-magic-of-horse-camera-ray-hunt.html

For today's post, I'll keep it simple and fun, referring you to Mr. Ed.  Taking a trip down memory laneMr. Ed was a popular television show in the 1960's.  Why?... it was about a talking horse, of course!  Check out this You Tube video with the nostalgic theme-song of Mr. Ed with lyrics following....  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_PZPpWTRTU

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And no one can talk to a horse of course
That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.
Go right to the source and ask the horse
He'll give you the answer that you'll endorse.
He's always on a steady course.
Talk to Mr. Ed.
People yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day
But Mister Ed will never speak unless he has something to say. 
A horse is a horse, of course, of course
And this one'll talk 'til his voice is hoarse.
You never heard of a talking horse?
Well listen to this.
I am Mister Ed.
Lyrics by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston


I hope you will take time out and visit me again at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, March 13.... until then, here is a great quote by Buck Brannaman that is worth pondering on, "The cool thing about horses, they don't have prejudice.  They don't care if you are tall or thin, dark or light, or if you are rich or poor.  They don't care about that.  They care about how you make them feel."