And a few weeks ago, on July 12, 2014, it was the eighth anniversary of my first post of putting words and pictures here.
Here’s the very first picture that I posted here, a detail of a monk’s office table in a Buddhist Temple in Tokyo. The visit was arranged by some very good friends of ours whose uncle was the head monk at the temple. Before taking over the temple from his father, he was a professional fashion photographer.
A great host that provided an opportunity filled with experiences that we still talk about.
Some of you have been reading these posts from the very beginning, others are newly arrived.
Thank you to all of you for the comments, the encouragement and the support.
As I alluded to in the last post about being somewhat near the Smoky Mountains, Goddess and I spent the better part of the last two weeks in the sweltering heat and humidity of Virginia and Washington, D.C.
It really isn’t the heat, it really is the humidity.
Which is a large part of why we live out on this side of the country.
It was a great visit, full of family and friends. Plus, Goddess had never been to D.C., so we did a bit of sightseeing too.
This is my favorite angle to view the Lincoln Memorial. Long-time readers might remember this night shot from January 2011, which was a similar view, but closer.
We’re back home now. It’s till hot, pushing close to 100°F (38°C), but at only 15% humidity, it’s quit bearable.
Even in these temperatures, we were able to get in quite a few rousing games of bike polo this evening.
Something I wouldn’t even dream of doing in the humidity out east.
Goddess, Skinny and I took a nice break today, exploring back and side roads in the national forest just outside of town. The weather cooperated nicely, being a relatively balmy 52ºF (+11ºC) and cloudy here in town, rapidly changing to 35ºF (+2ºC) and neurotic mix of rain, snow grains, snow, ice pellets and snow grains throughout the day as we climbed a few thousand feet and spent the day there.
It really couldn’t have been better, although some of the back roads really weren’t ready to be driven on. We’ll go back later in the year when it’s drier.
Moving from spot to spot, I always had an eye out for anything that caught my eye.
Goddess did not see it, but sure felt the seat belt doing its job as I tested the brakes, found a spot to turn around, zipped back down the road and turned around again, pulling up right in front of this recently felled tree.
“This looks fun!” I exclaimed. I think I heard a curse word, although in my mind it was agreement.
A nice light snow falling, a spongy mat of soaked pine needles and complete quiet.
Approaching the tree, I couldn’t help but think of pictures from the TV show “Game of Thrones“. We’ve never watched the show, but the way the branches splayed out from the felled trunk sure looked like the blades from that throne.
I did try to figure out why the tree was cut down. I’m not an arborist, so I couldn’t see any easily identifiable reason to cut it down. But I do know that the forest service here is very methodical about where and why they cut down trees, so there must have been a good reason.
And for my selfish reasons, I’m glad they did.
By my count, this tree lived about 160 years. That’s 16 decades of feast, drought, disease, and fire.
Getting through all of that is a good life by any measure.
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Just a few days left!
In case you missed it, I’m having a spring sale on my photos – 20% off of your pre-shipping costs. Just use code Spring14 at Bill Anders Photography. It’s that simple.
A couple of weeks ago, I was able to sit and just be, for just a short time, at a location that, 20 years ago, was my place to go and just be.
Luckily it’s a state park and it hadn’t changed much in those two decades.
It was great to have the quiet place all to myself. All to myself, at least in a human sense.
The thousands of waterfowl there were taking advantage of the relatively warm winter that kept the ponds almost ice-free. They made sure it was not quiet.
Those specks at the top of the frame are some of the birds. Full size, there are a lot of them in this image. Or, as Goddess and I would say, there are a lot of dinners in this image.
The ones in the air are circling, ready to set down on the pond and join the thousands that were already paddling around. You can see the scout dead-center, framed by the clouds, as it dropped down ahead of the flock to make sure everything was safe. But here they are safe. And we’re glad that they can have this sanctuary.
Here’s a full-sized crop from just right of top center: