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Archive for the ‘Weekly Photo Challenge’ Category

Seen on a back road in Arkansas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Seen on a back road in Arkansas. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you’re riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality.. Wake Up and Live!” Bob Marley

Politics Spoken Here

I saw the above sign during a trip through Arkansas. It brought back to mind how me and my kids talked politics around the dinner table.

What is interesting today is that politically, I swear, my kids have all changed sides. Conservatives became liberals and liberals became conservatives.

They sort of did the same thing musically … rockers became cowboys and classicals became bluegrassers. Who would have known?

As for me and political discussions these days, I run from them. I get way too heated and began to have terrible hot flashes.

Bean’s Pat: http://tinyurl.com/lba96jk Flowers and butterflies. Wow!

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         ” May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” — Edward Abbey

The view through Mesa Arch shows off a rich, red-rock background. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The view through Mesa Arch shows off a rich, red-rock background. — Photo by Pat Bean

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

I always find Canyonlands National Park, located in Southern Utah where four other awesome national parks vie for attention, surprising. One visit it is the deep blue, cloud-dotted sky above a red-rock landscape that captures my awe. On another visit, it is the emerald green of the Colorado or Green rivers off in the distance as seen from a high viewpoint. The confluence of the two rivers takes place within the park.

A more distant view of the arch shows off the La Salle Mountains in the Background. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A more distant view of the arch shows off the La Salle Mountains in the Background. — Photo by Pat Bean

I’ve visited Canyonlands’ Island in the Sky section many times, as it is located on the shortest route from Utah to Texas, the one I took many times when I worked and lived in Utah and visited family members in Texas.

This week’s photo challenge gave me an opportunity to show off its Mesa Arch, perhaps one of the most photographed scenic sites in North America. Reached by an easy half-mile round-trip hike  just off the park’s main road, I never visited the park without walking out to see it.

And then there is always the emerald green of the river in the background as seen from one of the park's many viewpoints. -- Photo by Pat Bean

And then there is always the emerald green of the river in the background as seen from one of the park’s many viewpoints. — Photo by Pat Bean

The season, time of day and weather made each viewing a one-of-a-kind experience, not to mention the varying wildflowers and dry or wet potholes scattered along the hike that gave a different mood to the trail.

Bean’s Pat: The Road Ahead http://tinyurl.com/p6jzvvu This blog describes perfectly how I feel the first day of a road trip. I see more, write more in my journal and am awed more by the landscape than any other day on a trip. But of course that’s not to say I don’t also enjoy all my traveling days.

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            “Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write compose or pant can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic inherent in a human situation.” Graham Greene

Gypsy Lee in Capitol Reef Gorge in Utah. during an escape I took with my oldest son during Gypsy Lee's first year on the road. -- Photo by D,C, Bean

Gypsy Lee in Capitol Reef Gorge in Utah. during an escape I took with my oldest son during Gypsy Lee’s first year on the road. — Photo by D,C, Bean

Escape = Writing, Nature, Books and Gypsy Lee

  

Gypsy Lee by Lake Frank Jackson in Alabama at sunset. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Gypsy Lee by Lake Frank Jackson in Alabama at sunset. — Photo by Pat Bean

          Escape from anything the slightest bit heated, boring, uncomfortable, emotional or unpleasant has always been my first line of defense. It began as a child growing up in a turbulent family and never stopped.

I finally learned to face head-on things that simply had to be faced, but I still don’t like it.

These days, when my life is mostly quite mellow, Gypsy Lee is my No. 1 escape mechanism. I use her to escape from itchy feet that still want to go everywhere, see everything and do everything.

I do so love her.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Survivor Fan http://tinyurl.com/bhsdcmo This old broad is a big survivor fan, and this blog – how true, how true – had me rolling on the floor laughing. What a great way to start my morning.

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“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” — Edward de Bono

Weekly Photo Challenge: Patterns

The shadow in this pattern tells you what you're looking at. Want a hint? It's a bird. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The shadow in this pattern tells you what you’re looking at. Want a hint? It’s a bird.

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             I rate enthusiasm even above professional skills.” – Sir Edward Appleton

To enjoy the view from above, one first has to get to the top of Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

To enjoy the view from above, one first has to get to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

Weekly Photo Challenge: Above

My enthusiasm to get to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park every year on my birthday was motivated by my belief that if I could make it, I could handle anything the next year threw at me.

My immediate reward, however, was a view of the Virgin River and the winding canyon below, where birds flew below me and  people were dwarfed to bug size.

It was an exhilarating experience made even more awesome one year when a pair of peregrines flew below the edge of the ridge. For the first time I got to view the back of these falcons and not just their bellies as they flew.

I suspected the pair was nesting below in the rocks, an occurrence that closes down Angel’s Landing to rock climbers every year. I also suspected that the rock climbers had an even more exhilarating enthusiasm for the view from above after their strenuous efforts to get to the top.

It’s been a few years since I stood on top of Angel’s Landing.  Thankfully, since my children are grown and I’m now into the joys of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, life isn’t throwing me as many curves as it did in my earlier years.

So walking my canine companion, Pepper, up and down three flights of stairs for her four daily walks, has become my motivating challenge to keep me in shape to handle life’s more difficult moments.  But who knows. These efforts might get me into good enough shape that I might once again stand on the top of Angel’s Landing for yet one more view from above.

Ahh! I made it! -- Photo by Pat Bean

Ahh! I made it! — Photo by Pat Bean

            Bean’s Pat:  Wild Junket: http://tinyurl.com/buy5x2e Take an armchair exploration of St. Vincent

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  “If we are to achieve a richer culture rich in contrasting value we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.” – Margaret Mead

Clearly these figures located at the Chinatown Center in Austin, Texas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Clearly these figures located at the Chinatown Center in Austin, Texas. — Photo by Pat Bean

What Culture? Who’s Culture?

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            I found this week’s topic confusing. Culture has many meanings, and some of those I think depend on personal interpretations.

A doctor might think of cultivating a bacteria, while a farmer thinks of cultivated land. Are we talking about culture as being educated, or as how it relates to an ethnic group. Or simply an  everyday existence shared by people who live close together and share the same values?

The culture of  people who live by the sea and make their living fishing would be quite different from a group of apartment dwellers who take the train into work every morning.

Since I couldn’t decide what would best exemplify culture, I just picked a couple of photos to share that I liked and that I think represent two diverse cultures.

Bean’s Pat: A Record-Breaking Birding Day  http://tinyurl.com/bv7s7sv 294 Texas species in 24 hours. This one is for the birders among my readers. It’s from the Cornell University Ornithological blog. Anybody here ever seen or read “A Big Year?  Great book, good movie!.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

 

Looking up at a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Looking up at a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

“It is easier to go down a hill than up it, but the view is much better at the top.” Henry Ward Beecher

Hot air balloons up above the Serengeti Desert. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Hot air balloons up above the Serengeti Desert. — Photo by Pat Bean

“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s the way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope … and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” Dr. Seuss.

Looking up at a bit of nonsense in Custer, South Dakota. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Looking up at a bit of nonsense in Custer, South Dakota. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Never, never, never give up..” Winston Churchill.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Five things to do today http://tinyurl.com/c5njbav I’m all for anything that gets today’s kids out from in front of a TV or endless computer games. How about you?

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Zion National Park 

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” – Harold Wilson

When I took my canine traveling companion on her morning walk at Zion National Park, the view across from my RV glowed. -- Photo by Pat Bean

When I took my canine traveling companion on her morning walk at Zion National Park, the view across from my RV glowed. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” – Mary Englebreit

An hour later, when I was getting ready to leave the park, the view's intensity had changed significantly. I'm glad I' an early riser. -- Photo by Pat Bean

An hour later, when I was getting ready to leave the park, the view’s intensity had changed significantly. I’m glad I’ an early riser. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” W. Edwards Deming

 

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: http://tinyurl.com/chabzlm The first thing each morning… I make coffee, walk Pepper, and plan my day while I drink my coffee. What about you?

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A field of pansies. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A field of pansies. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

 

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” — Alice Walker

Pleasing colors -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pleasing colors — Photo by Pat Bean

Our flag is red, white and blue, but our nation is a rainbow.  – red, yellow, brown, black and white.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Sometimes We Fly http://tinyurl.com/bts2nus This applies to humans as well. I loved the spirit behind this post.

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             “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” Ernest Hemingway.

The Blanco River, Colorado. Notice how the details of light against shadow, hard rocks against flowing water are what make this an appealing picture. -- Photo bu Pat Bean

The Blanco River, Colorado. Notice how the details of light against shadow, hard rocks against flowing water are what make this an appealing picture. — Photo bu Pat Bean

   

Some Details I Love, Some I Flunk

My RV was parked by the Blanco River pictured above at one of my favorite RV parks. I loved the river but I also loved the little details around the park, like this charming owl painted on a rock that gave the campground character. Photo by Pat Bean

My RV was parked by the Blanco River pictured above at one of my favorite RV parks. I loved the river but I also loved the little details around the park, like this charming owl painted on a rock that gave the campground character. Photo by Pat Bean

            “The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” – William Morris

            I struggled this past three days trying to finish up a magazine writing assignment that required me to stick a lot of facts into only 750 words. In one way it was writer’s block, which thankfully I seldom suffer, but in another way it wasn’t.

turtle

This turtle was yet another detail that made the park stand out from the ordinary. — Photo by Pat Bean

            While I had a multitude of facts, I knew that it was the little details – the funny, the weird, the human touch – that were missing from my story. Without those, my article was cold, boring and flat. I knew I had to dig some of these out and somehow make them fit into few words.

            Finding out the details of a thing, in the same way that Ann Zwinger did in one of my favorite travel books, “Downcanyon,” in which she brought the Grand Canyon down to bug and flower size, is part of why I love being a writer.

            I think it’s also why I love birdwatching so much. It’s the little details of eye rings, feet color, head shape, tail length, etc., that allow one to identify a bird. It’s sort of like finding the solution to a mystery book, which is why I enjoy reading mysteries.  

            On the other hand, the details of daily life, like balancing a checkbook,  remembering birthdays, putting everything back in its proper place, proper punctuation, or coordinating errands are details I sometimes flunk.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: A Song for Today http://tinyurl.com/c88458q I started my day with this blog and Fleetwood Mac song. “Go My Own Way.” What I liked best about it was how much fun the band members were having performing it.

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