God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Top of the World

This photo was taken from Buck Hill in Theodore Roosevelt NP. It was a fairly short climb, and we decided to eat lunch overlooking this view. Even though we really weren’t at high, it was definitely an “on top of the world” experience. For some perspective, there is a bison laying down just to the left of the center of the photo.

This was an experience that made me ponder the goodness of God.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Seeing

This is a photo from the Coal Vein Trail in Theodore Roosevelt NP. In this area there was a 12-foot-thick coal vein deep underground. In 1951 it caught fire and burned for 26 years. As it burned away, the rocks above were left unsupported and the surface collapsed, forming a depression. When the underground coal fire was burning, this area looked more like a wasteland than a grassland. After the fire burned out, prairie plants reclaimed the land slowly over time.

What does it mean to see as God see? Looking at a burned out field and seeing verdant green.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Choices

As we were finishing a short hike at Theodore Roosevelt NP, a couple standing at the parking area asked us if we realized we were being followed by a bison. We turned around and saw this guy not far behind us. We climbed a small hill and watched him walk by.

There continues to be stories in the news of people who think it’s OK to walk up to these animals and wind up being injured by them. And I do admit that they seem very mild manner when you see them walking by like this. However, I’m never tempted to get close to one. So what leads to the tragic error in judgment for those who wind up in the news?

I’m currently reading a book, The Whole Language by Gregory Boyle (Homeboy Industries). In it, he talks about the sad choices former gang members had made. Often his message is don’t judge but rather try to understand why choices are made. I often say “there but for the Grace of God go I”. I realize I have made plenty of bad choices without ever finding myself in a hopeless situation. If we are to learn to love others as God does, we need to stop seeing others as different than ourselves.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

A Prophet Among Us?

This is a photo of a prairie dog town in Theodore Roosevelt NP. Prairie dogs are very social animals; they live in large colonies or towns that can span hundreds of acres. They can detect predators from a great distance and alerts other prairie dogs with a special, high-pitched call.

I could see myself as a prairie dog. People are also social animals that generally live in large towns. I just need to work on my call for warning others.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Power

We encountered these wild (feral) horses shortly after entering the Theodore Roosevelt NP, driving on the South Unit Scenic Loop Road. These horses, also known as mustangs, convey an image of power. Hence the use of the term horsepower for engines and Mustang for a type of car and plane.

The Bible is filled with references to God’s power. It is more than an image.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Layers

This is the Painted Canyon area in Theodore Roosevelt NP. There is a very nice visitor center there which is just off the highway. The colors are not easy to appreciate in this photo, taken early in the morning. Aside from the vegetation (green), the color is largely a result of different minerals in the rock layers.

Life is not one continuous event; it occurs in “layers.” At the time, these periods may be challenging because change is difficult. But there is also joy to be found (with God as your light).

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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

Looking

Despite making many trips to Kiawah Island through the years, I don’t have many sunset photos. That is probably related to two factors: there aren’t as many clear views of the West as there are of the East and sunset is fairly late in the summer when we have always been there. So I was more than happy to stop and get out of the car to take this photo last month.

God is always there. We are not always looking.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Coincidence?

‭I saw this bird at almost exactly the same spot that I saw two eagles along the beach at Kiawah last year. Coincidence? Probably not.

I’m guessing this is a heron (I don’t pretend to be very knowledgeable about birds). Not really sure what herons and eagles have in common, other than being birds that you can find on the Atlantic Coast.

Our minds seems to work like that, always looking for an association. And it’s natural to assume cause and effect when we do observe an association. Scriptures are full of references to a beautiful and complex world pointing to a Creator. The ultimate cause.

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God in all things, Photography, Prayer, Scenery

Presence

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart; in the presence of the angels to you I sing. I bow low toward your holy temple; I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness. For you have exalted over all your name and your promise. The Lord is on high, but cares for the lowly and knows the proud from afar. The Lord is with me to the end. Lord, your mercy endures forever. Never forsake the work of your hands! Psalm‬ ‭138:1-2, 6, 8‬

Photo: Germantown MetroPark

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