Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Water, Trees and Sand

Traveling south from Seattle past Oregon, along the coast highway brings you to the giant Redwood trees and the wild beaches along the coast of California. This experience for me, demonstrates how Nature provides a sense of scale about what I should be valuing in my life. Standing next to a three thousand year old tree larger then my car is wide made me think of how small I really am. I am reminded of how short life is and how I in my short time on earth can effect the world around me. This old forest has lived 350 lifetimes and it's journey in all that time has only added in a positive way to the evolution of life on earth. The things we humans do has impact, we can make a difference.

 Heavy rainfall and the ever present salt air of the nearby Pacific ocean filters into the trees creating a very moist environment breading moss gardens. These are the rain forests fills with ferns and small animal life thriving amidst the giants. Smaller trees become covered with soft golden moss, beckoning  the eye and appear jewel like glow. A close look reveals an inner world of small habitat.

All to soon I am leaving the Redwood giants for the salt air of the beaches, just my luck to run into a rainstorm instead of sunshine. Even in the rain the shore is wild and beautiful. Shades of blue and gray color the land sea and clouds to the horizon. Sitting here in the car the rain beating on the windshield plays a rhythm so steady it feels like it will last all day...  I take a short nap.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Water, Weather, Wind and Rocks - Part 1 South

In my travels to the National Parks I am noticing the elements that shape our world, the similarities and differences in these magical places. In the southern canyon regions the dryer deserts are filled with monuments, towers and spires of mostly red rock conjuring up in my imagination the symbols and spirits that create feelings of sacred spaces. They scale the sky as the guardians in a seemingly eternal interplay of elements.

 It is easy to see how ancient tribes would see the great spirits living amidst the rocks. The chasms that result form the elemental dance of wet and dry and hot and cold, traverse everything from small slot canyons to the great grand canyons.

Slot canyons have fabulous curvilinear shapes of texture and color that were formed by flash floods from heavy rains. Grand canyons are the result of great upheaval in the land long ago when the earths plates moved breaking the crust and refolding the earth's crust, pushing up mountains and creating deep valleys.
Sharp lava cliffs etched by long gone rivers leave rugged trenches of rocks and sand. In the large expanse of dessert space, sand is pushed around and piled into large dunes, ever moving magically from place to place at the whim of the winds.

So much grandeur is constantly overlooked as life keeps us from the "Nature" that is at the heart of our existence. To reconnect to this wondrous world for healing and grounding is something I am grateful for. My experience feels timeless and mind expanding as I walk and witness these untouched places of colors, shapes, textures and life forms from plants to animals that are so deeply rooted within my genetic make-up. I can see the garden again.

I have a feeling of returning to the source to the wellspring of life to the cradle of existence that is the earth we are supposed to know and love. 

It is my hope that this blog will help all who see it to find themselves visiting the National Parks near them soon.  It's so easy and you get great bang for your buck.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What did you do today?

I must admit that my day today was a bit out of the ordinary.  This morning started with the sighting of a Grizzly bear digging in the frozen ground and with one swipe of it's large claws unearth a meal from a rodents den. I was amazed to see him feasting without a care to my presence and many others, I must admit that his power was awesome and I felt a kind of primal fear deep inside. I should say that I  thought I was at a safe distance of about 60 yards but in thinking about it now I know I was close enough so that if he wanted to catch me he would have.  It is strange how we are drawn to get close to the things that can hurt us most.

Shortly after the experience with the bear, we sighted a large wolf feeding on a carcass, not really sure what it was nor was I interested in getting close enough to find out. He was large from a distance I could see that he was at least 3 feet at the shoulder if not more. The day went on with more wonderful sightings of Bison and elk as well as a second Grizzly that this time came much closer then the first. A large male chasing a bison came bounding across the plain on a diagonal towards my car. I drove off ahead of him trying to predict where he would cross the road. I was off by only 30 feet or so. With my heart racing I shot several images of him as he came over the hill and crossed the road. I shot from my car with the window down not daring to open the door. Soon he was gone into the sage brush on the other side of the road. Ah this is how it feels to be alive and in the moment, what a rush.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hot Pools of Water

Unlike the other national parks I have visited Yellowstone is not totally about landscape. In the last two weeks I have seen Bison, Pronghorn, Black Tail Deer, Bald Eagles, Elk, Black Bear and Grizzly Bear. I have come close to these animals, in some cases so close that I may have endangered my life, I'm not sure, but here I am, so I guess I wasn't too close after all. I will talk more about the animals in another post.

Today I want speak about the geothermal beauty that makes Yellowstone so special. I could not help but be impressed by the steaming pools of colorful minerals that populate the hillsides and valleys of this uniquely different National Park. The smell of sulfide is not enough to deter the eyes from the spectacle of water and gas as it erupts from someplace deep in the imagination of the mind. One wonders what lies beneath and will the sleeping dragon of fire continue to sleep? Will it one day awake and crack the sky of this beautiful land? When will that day be?  What will it leave behind. These thoughts and many others I ponder as I stare into the blue depths of the bubbling pools. Others fountains flow down hillsides coloring the landscape with reds and oranges. White coulombs of minerals shape the pools steps of cascading terraces... the wonder of it all.

It is said that you should not go to Yellowstone when you are young but wait until you are older so you will not have experienced the most beautiful place on earth before you have lived a full life. In this way you will save the best for last.