Happy…

heartaversary!

DSC_9250It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.

Edmund Hillary

Tomorrow marks two years and a day that we will celebrate. The details are private but the message is a common one.

Much is written on overcoming adversity and my views tend to line up with those who embrace a challenge rather than those who take it as an excuse to give up and throw in the towel.

It’s easy to get in our own way when life interjects those defining moments. Those things that you didn’t plan on, those challenges that you didn’t know were just around the corner.

Two years ago when life handed him a life or death challenge, he met it, one light pole at a time, and watching him age backwards from that day is a joy to see.

Happy heartaversary my sweet man, your strength continues to inspire me.

 

 

Resilience…

in the aftermath.

DSC_0011-2In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.

Aristotle

We were in Waterton National Park last fall and left the day before the park was closed due to a rapidly approaching forest fire that ultimately burned over 47,500 acres.

This summer upon my return I was pleased to see the resilience of nature. Bright bits of green and wildflowers brightened the scarred landscape and all around you could see signs of recovery.

Life is about challenge and waiting for a completely clear path is immobilizing. For every obstacle that is removed another will inevitably take its place.

For me this image is a visual reminder that not everything is permanent and that the quality we need to strive for is resilience.

Adaptation in the face of adversity.

 

 

 

I believe…

in magic.

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Believe you can and you’re halfway there.

Theodore Roosevelt

I believe that we never feel as old as we actually are and that it is never too late to start over again.

I believe that a soul mate exists and that they are someone who accepts every quirky thing that makes you who you are and loves you in spite of those things.

I believe that the sky is one big canvas that on some days remains blank, lacking in inspiration, and on other days blows your mind with beauty and creativity.

I believe that it’s the challenges that make us grow.

I believe in celebrating each day.

What do you believe in?

 

Two Staffords camping…

and instinctual warning.

 

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Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some people never get to see a bear in the wild. I consider myself very lucky to have seen nine on my camping trip so far. Granted a couple were a little too close for comfort but being with someone who has had a lot of experience around them has been invaluable. It may have even stopped me from being lunch for a Grizzly!

This black bear, number seven, was brought to our attention by my Staffordshire Bull Terriers as he ambled by our camp, hidden by thick growth, a mere 20 paces away.

Their behavior has changed since their first bear encounter and now with noses in the air and throaty growls we know that we are in the presence of a bear.

Game little dogs those staffys and as always, I am amazed by their instincts.

 

Like paint…

off the end of a brush.

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Energy and motion made visible-memories arrested in space.

Jackson Pollock

Sometimes it’s her office; other times her place of sanctuary. As we glided across the smooth surface it wasn’t the scenery enveloping this beautiful lake that caught my eye, it was the swirling of imagery through the water. There one moment and erased the next by a single sweep of the paddle.

Paint flowing off of the end of a brush onto a blue canvas.

I like to capture something different in a landscape. I look for those things that are fleeting and not repeatable, often imagining how many times a landscape has been photographed exactly the same way: same light, same settings, same perspective.

It’s almost always about the water…

A taste of…

 

the wild.

P BR BearI have drunken deep of joy, and I will taste no other wine tonight.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Bear in the Area was the sign that we saw posted everywhere upon our arrival at a primitive campground in Waterton National Park. You know you’re deep into bear country when there are steel food lockers at every camp site. I’ll admit it, not comfortable around bears, too unpredictable for me but the scenery was breath-taking so we pitched our camp for the night and listened to the stories swirl about bear sightings.

We’re early risers: traveling with dogs does tend to encourage that and the pups were eager to get going that morning.

Leashing them up we started out only to be brought up short by a large bear strolling along the river, pausing occasionally to take a look at us.

I quickly took some shots then was drawn to the behavior of one of my Staffords. He’s never been in the presence of bears before and watching him savor the taste of the wild was fascinating to me. Head thrown back, eyes squeezed shut, he drank it in, blowing out scent and carefully drawing it back in.

I got the shots of the bear but I’ll always treasure the ones that for me truly capture the experience.

The ones where my dog tasted true wild for the first time.

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BR Bear

Note: Thank you Rich and Brenda for the assistance and the chats, it was a pleasure meeting you both and Steve, thanks for all that you do so that we can continue to enjoy the wilderness experiences.

 

If you’re lucky enough…

to still have your Dad

Ddad

My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

Clarence Budington Kelland

I was thinking about fathers this morning and reflecting on what makes a man a “good father”.

There are the easy ones like my Dad where no matter what I did or said that I wanted to do, he was always incredibly supportive and never failed to make me feel that I would succeed. 

My father passed away far too soon and often seeing interactions between fathers and their children makes me feel envious and I think to myself I hope they know how lucky they are.

My father worked a lot when we were young but looking back on childhood memories, we always had the best family excursions. We didn’t do the Disney trips or Maui holidays, we camped, canoed, fished, and sailed. I’m sure that’s where my passion for photography began.

Looking at the men in my life who are fathers I see men who take time for their children and ones who make personal sacrifices for their children. I’m not sure that’s always recognized.

I hope that I let my father know often enough just how much he meant to me and I hope that if you’re among the lucky ones who still have a Dad, that you’ll take the time to let them know too.

Happy Father’s day!