God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Wallowing

We saw quite a few bison at the Theodore Roosevelt NP. Even when not seeing them, we encountered plenty of evidence of bison. Lots of dung. Many downed posts – the bison like to rub against them. And an occasional circular bare spot in the vegetation as seen in this photo. This is where the bison roll on the ground, or wallow. It’s hard to believe an animal rolling on the ground could make such a large divot, even a large animal. We saw a few days later that many bison will wallow in the exact same spot, one right after another. From my reading, it seems that it is not entirely clear why bison do this. For pigs, it is a way to combat the heat (since pigs do not sweat). For bison, it may just be a way to remove bugs. Do bison know why they do it? Are they just “following the herd?”

How often do I do what others are doing without asking “why?”

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Persistence

This was one of many different scenic views we had of the Little Missouri River in Theodore Roosevelet NP. The river (and its tributaries) are largely responsible for the formation of the Badlands in North Dakota, along with erosion from wind and rain.

It amazes me to see how great an impact a river can have on the landscape. Over thousands/millions of years, that is. Oh to develop a fraction of that persistence!

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Petrified

Our first hike at Theodore Roosevelt NP was the Pertified Forest Trail. Petrified wood is actually a fossil with minerals (especially silica) replacing the organic material. Most of the color in petrified wood comes from trace metals (iron, chromium). The process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried in water-saturated sediment or volcanic ash, reducing the availability of oxygen. Petrified wood is later exposed after erosion of surrounding sediment. The petrification process is very slow – petrified woods is typically millions of years old. (Source: Wikipedia)

While I don’t think of myself as pertified, it is easy to look back and see the long process of change that has occuried in my life. Change that is a result of the “environment” God has placed me in.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

First look

My wife and I traveled to North Dakota at the end of July for a trail race and some hiking at Theodroe Roosevelt National Park. We flew into Bismarck and drove to Medora, ND where we stayed for the week. Most of the drive was very flat/rolling plains. Just before we arrived at Medora, the land changed dramatically into the Badlands. The Badlands are mostly the result of erosion, so they are not visible from far away.

It is said “life comes at you fast.” Oftentimes, change is upon us before we even see it coming.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Boiling

This picture was taken 3 years ago at the Boiling River in Yellowstone NP. It is called that because the geothermal water emerges from the ground and drains into the Gardner River here. It’s not quite boiling but it is hot enough to burn. The recent storms and flooding have completely changed the site; the path to walk from the parking has been washed away and river has changed its course so that the geothermal water no longer joins where it did before.

It is stunning to see pictures of roads washed out and bridges vanished. Another reminder of forces that dwarf the power of human efforts.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery

Power

My wife and I were out hiking last month, a couple of days after a big storm. We came across this large tree which had been blown over. Somehow, as it fell over, it hit the smaller tree to the left and stripped the bark off. Must have been quite an impact.

It always seems startling to see big trees down after a storm. It is a testimony to the power of storms. Which does not even begin to reveal the true power that exists.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Change

We returned to Jamaica last week, the first time since 2019. Some things were the same, others very different. Sunrise the morning of this photo was really the only day we saw sunrise. Between cloudy days and the dust cloud from Africa, there wasn’t much to see most mornings. But this photo was certainly a familiar site.

The Ministry of Health has not given permission to have our usual clinics, but we were able to spend a couple of days doing children’s check ups. And another day getting the Wellness Center ready for clinics. ACE, the NGO we work with, has grown significantly and now owns a several hundred acre farm.

It is quite inspiring to see God’s hand at work.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Peace

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians‬ ‭4:6-8‬ ‭

(Photo: Lake Josephine, Glacier NP)

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