WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge- A Scale of Distances

I enjoy putting my own take on the photo theme & not taking the prompt in the immediate literal sense.  This photo is about scale but in the realm of comparisons of near and far.  As I walked the Camino de Santiago with a friend in 2013, we came upon these signs sometime after Pamplona.  We were most concerned with Santiago, 220 km away but still way closer than Jerusalem at 5000 km!

Camino signs
Scale

Seeking Solace in Nature

IMG_1585In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shootings last week (on top of everything else going on in this country) I needed a big hug from nature.

Off I went with 3 other women friends to walk in the Opal Creek Wilderness Area.  This place has been a refuge for me for years.  It is tucked up in the Cascade Mountains about 30 miles due east of Salem, Oregon.

This is one of the largest old growth forests left in the United States and the largest in the Western Cascade Mountains in a watershed virtually untouched by loggers saw.  As a result, stunning Opal Creek runs sparkling clear through its rocky course through this forest wonderland of giant Douglas fir, W. Hemlock, & W. Red Cedar.

IMG_1601The Shiny Rock Mining company operated in the midst of this forest in the 1930s from the “town” of Jawbone Flat. In its heyday, about 50 souls lived & worked there.  The relics of the town still remain.

By the 1980s, timber companies were eager to log the area.  Friends of Opal Creek, an activist organization dedicated to preserving the watershed to a wilderness area, was formed.  I joined up.  For the next few years, I made many 4-hour roundtrip drives to lead educational hikes to the public along with other docents in an effort to expose and educate the public about why we should preserve this gem of an area.

The strategy worked.  Eventually, with public pressure, Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon IMG_1608pushed legislation through Congress in 1996 before he retired forming the Opal Creek Wilderness Area.  The Shiny Rock Mining Company deeded over their holdings to the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center whose mission it is to educate children and others on the value of old growth forests.

Today it is a sanctuary for many including myself and a myriad of flora and fauna.  Walking through this forest cathedral, the four of us absorbed the healing power of nature and our souls were washed clean, at least for a while, from the cascades of Opal Creek.

It was good to know, there is still beauty in this world.

IMG_1615

There is Still beauty in this World

Seek it in the wild forests

IMG_1574Where the only news you will hear

Are the songs of birds

And the shatter of chipmunks

 

Let the music of cascading waters

Soothe your soul

As you tread  in a green world

Lined with lush moss, rocks, and ferns

A winding trail beneath your feet

 

IMG_1617 (1)When you look up through

The cathedral of conifer branches

And the stained glass window of the vine maples in their sunset hues

Know that nature will endure

Beyond the world of man

 

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge- The Windows of Paris

There are many more, but these are a few of my favorites.

Louvre
The Louvre entrance
Sainte-Chapelle4
Sainte-Chapelle
Sainte-Chapelle3
Sainte-Chapelle
Sainte-Chapelle
Sainte-Chapelle

 

musee-orsay
musee-orsay

 

Windows

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sustainability in layers- Earthships & Beyond

Eaerthship2
Earthship

If you drive west outside of Taos, New Mexico, you will pass by a development of “Earthships” or radically sustainable buildings made from layers of recycled materials.  they are also artistic wonders.  Also tucked in the New Mexico landscape, there are individual artists that share the same vision.

Earthship1

Outhouse bottles
Bottled -up outhouse outside
IMG_1810
Bottled -up outhouse inside

Layered

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Corner- The Intersection of Sun & Moon

I caught these images on concrete during the recent total eclipse in Oregon.  As the moon covered the sun, the image in the sky was projected on the ground in the shadows of leaves.  It was spellbinding.Eclipse Shadow1Eclipse Shadow2Eclipse Shadow3

Corner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge- Finding Satisfaction Turning Trash to Treasure

One of the most satisfying pastimes for me as an artist is combining cast off  items and putting them together into something beautiful…….

Shovel owl
Double shovel owl with fork feet
Bathroom Goddes
Goddess of scrap metal
Sandstone collage 1
Sandstone collage with barbed wire.
Welded pony
Pony jumping  over nail fence

Satisfaction