God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

At the Root

This is another photo taken during our hike on Root Glacier. I thought the name “Root” might be somehow related to the nearby copper mines. However, it was actually named for Elihu Root who was the Secretary of War at the time and later the Secretary of State. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for many achievements during his time in office.

I would guess that more people know of Root Glacier than about Elihu Root. It is said that we are remembered more for who we are than what we do.

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God in all things, Photography, Travel

Buildings

This is a view of Kennicott, which is an old copper mining town. The biggest building is the mill which is actually several connected buildings going up the side of the hill. The mill was built between 1909 and 1923. These buildings were constructed to take advantage of gravity in the milling process. As you can see, some of the buildings have been renovated and others are literally falling down.

Sometimes I wonder if that is how God sees us.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Hidden

Kenai Fjords NP

I didn’t notice the bird when I first looked at this photo. It sort of blends in. When we got closer to the glacier, the captain pointed out dozens of seals laying on the chunks of ice in the water. They were hidden in plain sight.

As I reflect on being hidden, Colossians 3:3 comes to mind: “your life is hidden with Christ in God.” What does this mean? For me, it is captured by our Parrish theme: “think like Jesus, talk like Jesus, act like Jesus.”

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Knowledge

This photo was taken on the Root Glacier in Wrangell-St Elias NP. The surface of a glacier was not at all like I expected. It is covered with these large “waves”. If you zoom on the center of the photo, you can also see a small stream and pool of water.

Why did I think I knew anything about glaciers? Sure, I had seen pictures of glaciers and even talked to people who had been on them. I knew a little about crevasses and that I wanted to avoid them. I had never heard of a moulin which is a giant hole in the glacier that carries water from the surface all the way to the underside of the glacier.

Whatever we know, it is even more important to recognize what we don’t know.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

First Time

There are a lot of glaciers in Alaska. It is estimated that there are about 100,000 glaciers in Alaska (616 officially named per the NPS website). This is Matanuska Glacier which we passed driving from Wrangell-St Elias NP to Anchorage. It boggles my mind that you can be driving down the highway and just look out and see a glacier. I wonder if it becomes “commonplace” for those who live here. Something taken for granted.

We are instructed to become like children. Part of that is to see things as if for the first time.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Change

This is a photo of Root Glacier joining with Kennicott Glacier (in Wrangell-St Elias National Park). This was the view from our flight from Chitina to McCarthy. Specifically, you see the terminal moraines of these glaciers. It may look like just dirt, but it is actually a mixture of dirt and ice many feet thick.

It boggles my mind to think how glaciers have formed the valleys at places like Yosemite and all over Alaska. Great change often happens at such a slow pace that we barely notice it.

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God in all things, Photography, Prayer, Scenery, Travel

Proper Perspective

Aialik Glacier

It was an odd experience approaching this glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. You could hear all of this ice banging off of the bottom of the ship. We were fairly far from the glacier, so these were relatively small pieces of ice. We could see large chunks of ice breaking off the glacier and were told that they were the size of a bus!

It was hard to keep a perspective on sizes and distances in Alaska. The same thing happens in our lives: things “close” to us seem much larger (more important). How to keep things in proper perspective? Reflection. Humility. Prayer.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Receiving a Photo

Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords NP

I read a reflection this week from the Center for Action and Contemplation. It was taken from “Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice” by Christine Valters Paintner. She talks about our use of the word “take” to describe photography. She proposes that what we are actually doing is receiving the gifts around us. We need to be open to receiving a photographic moment when it arrives.

“We can create conditions for a ‘good’ photo, but ultimately we must stand in a posture of receiving and see what actually shows up in the image.”

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