There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

29 March 2015

The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Fund ( protect the Elephants)

You must watch....

I've always loved the mighty and graceful elephant, but this feeling was most certainly solidified when I first saw the African elephant in the wild of Kenya's Maasai Mara in 2009.

That was also when I first visited the Sheldrick Wildlife elephant orphanage in Nairobi.
Having returned to this orphanage a few times since then, I've seen it grow in tourist popularity. Some feel it to be an exploitative showing, but not I. The money and awareness raised but the dedicated volunteers FAR outweighs any other minor inconveniences.
I patiently waited to see the newest arrivals, those baby elephants that had their mother's slaughtered in the wild for their tusks, leaving the babies alone to die if it weren't for people such as the Sheldrick organization.
It is a special treat indeed, as the newest member of the family, Alamaya, comes right over to me. Her trunk playfully and inquisitively feels my body as I touch her skin.
David Sheldrick has passed away, but Kenya born Daphne Sheldrick continues her work today. Support the mighty and graceful elephant, won't you?

27 March 2015

The Painted Hills

It only took one picture for me to know I would be traveling to the Painted Hills of Oregon. What I didn't realize was the time it would take to get there from the city of Portland. After driving for four hours through the beauty of central Oregon though, a lone dirt road made it's way up to this jaw dropping viewpoint.
The colors of this artwork that has been 39 million years in the making was mine alone for most of my time here. You hike with the occasional crow, maybe a rabbit or two, as rain clouds race along the skyline. Being alone gives one the freedom to truly relax with nature.
The call of our Native American brothers is strong in this place. I hear them in the trees and wind, I bend a knee and listen for wisdom from the Great Spirit. A calm bathes my skin ever so lightly.
"Meditate my brother, let your worries go"

I find it easy to listen, to chill, decompress, by myself.  I find enlightenment with the small stacks of stones built by those that came before me.
Mmmmmm.....I add to the pile of stones, and return from whence I came.


25 March 2015

alone in The Swell

The long, dusty road finally ends as I pull into the valley known as The Swell. Silence is all I hear when the engine dies.
A murder of crows flutter about as I set up camp, re-hydrate, eat a morsel or two. The sun is quickly setting.

I find myself the only soul in this valley of desert sand and red rock.

I could disappear, murdered outright, and no one would be the wiser.
Instead of terror setting in, I find that thought freeing. I set my mind on the act of pure survival as the last log of the fire burns it's orange glow as the sun fades behind the mountain.

Stars come out to shine and dissipate worry. I reciprocate with my own beacon of light.

Perhaps in a far off universe, another soul sees my own beacon and finds comfort.
Coyotes howl and wake me in the middle of the night. The sage brush rustles from the nocturnal stirring of hidden creatures.

Let me survive to the break of a new dawn.
I wake to watch the rising of a new day. I feel like my ancestors of old, those that rose to each new day in awe, and lived as though it may be their last.

As we all should....bring on fresh blood.

22 March 2015

Thor's Well

The walk among the slippery rocks was a treacherous trail, yet one will risk life and limb to see the work of the mighty God Thor.
His mighty hammer crashed down upon these rocks in anger at the creatures that wouldn't obey his word, creating the deep and mighty Well. Those that doubted Thor's power are to be swept away into the deep abyss.
From the Vikings of old, to the modern day adventurer, we all bend a knee and respect the mighty power of Thor's Well.
*******


21 March 2015

Tweedy

She excitedly asks me if I've heard of the band "Wilco". When I tell her no, she demands I stop everything I'm doing and listen to the albums 3 A.M. and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

My sister and I always had a way of connecting with music. Eight years gone she now is, but through the music, she lives on.
My favorite performance of a night filled with highlights was a little number called "Nobody lives anymore".

Give it a listen.