This is a view overlooking Horseshoe Lake in Denali National Park. The lake sits on the East side of the park, near the Nenana River. There were beavers at work in the lake; we saw a couple of them swimming through the water with small tree branches. Not sure we would have even noticed if there had not been signs pointing out the beaver dam.
How often do we miss noticing the “little joys” in our lives?
This photo was taken at the end of our first (full) day in Alaska. We were driving from Seward back to Girdwood. I remember looking across the road and seeing this lake (Tern Lake) and noticing the beauty. We stopped and took a few pictures and got back in the car to finish the drive to where we were staying.
It was only much later, when studying this photo to write this reflection, did I realize that the tops of this mountains are brown because they are above the tree line. Turns out the tree line is about 1500 feet in the area.
So often, what seems obvious in hindsight was not-so-obvious at the time.
This photo is one of my favorites from Kiawah Island (and I’ve taken a lot of photos there). I think what I really like is that it suggests a story to be told. A story about someone riding to the end of the world.
On the Camino de Santiago, that place is Finisterre (from the Latin, meaning “end of the world”). There is tradition for pilgrims on the Camino to burn an article of clothing if they hike to Finisterre (about 90 km further after reaching Santiago). This symbolizes the transformation that occur along The Way. Pilgrimage is about seeking transformation by encountering God (burning clothes not required).
This photo was taken on Kiawah Island; this is where there used to be the Inn and small market. Now it looks looks somewhat desolate. What you see now is deceiving – there is no evidence of its past history. You also can not see that this part of the island is otherwise completely developed.
How much more complex the lives of those we encounter day to day.
This photo was taken on Kiawah Island, near the northern end of the beach. I was surprised to see eagles because I couldn’t remember ever seeing them at Kiawah in the past. Plus, I was out biking and just happened to look over to the dune and see them standing there not too far away.
As I read about the distribution of bald eagles in the US, I was surprised to find out that they are year round residents of the Atlantic Coast. We recently returned from Alaska, another place the bald eagle resides year round. So I shouldn’t have been surprised (but I was) when I saw two on the beach near downtown Anchorage.
What makes for a surprise? The unexpected, of course but what separates the expected from the unexpected? We are surrounded by God’s gifts, how many do we take “for granted” and how many do we truly delight in?
This is a photo of Devils Tower in Wyoming. As I’ve noted before, I was first aware of the formation through the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). If you are not familiar with the movie, aliens were using it as a hidden base.
Thankfully, we don’t need to look for a “hidden base” to have a close encounter with God.
This photo was taken near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The clouds were astounding throughout the day. So many different patterns; I looked across here and saw waves crashing on the beach.
God has given us a wonderful and powerful gift of imagination. One way to use this gift is imaginative prayer, where you picture yourself in a scene from the Bible. This Lent would be an excellent time to practice this form of prayer
On the hike to Delicate Arch, there is a small opening in rock right before you round the corner and have a full view of the Arch. This is the view through the opening, known as Frame Arch because of the striking view. It is a short scramble up several feet from the main trail, but well worth the effort.
Sometimes we need to extend ourselves a little beyond our “comfort zone” to experience some of God’s richest blessings.
I took this photo a couple of weeks ago when we were hiking at the Narrows Park. I remember the afternoon vividly. The air was crisp but not too cold. It was a sunny day and nearly no wind as you can tell from the calm water. I remember looking over and seeing the pile of rocks and thinking that it would make for a good picture. I took pictures from a couple of spots but liked this one the best.
One thing about taking pictures is it makes you pay more attention to details. Another way to think about it is that it forces you to be present in the moment. Being present is certainly an important part of seeing God in all things.