Weathering…

the storm.DSC_8282-2A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.

John Muir

One of my favorite things about summer is the storms that roll through late in the day.

The sun slips towards the horizon amidst the backdrop of a fast flowing river and I think to myself…the calm before the storm.

The perfect time for long exposure tripod shots.

The heady scent of rain mixes with cloud to cloud lightning and the trees dance.

I shoot until the rain begins to soak through my clothes and only then do I seek shelter.

I dry off and think about the storms that the upcoming week will bring…

 

Earth Day…

an affirmation of beauty.DSC_4859-Edit-3When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.

John Muir

I celebrated the start of Earth Day by spending a good part of the night outside on a cot bundled up against the 34 degree temperature.

This year the celebration coincided with the Lyrid meteor showers and as an added bonus, the Northern Lights made an appearance.

The hooting from a Great Horned Owl resonated through the still night air.

Night time is time of rest and rejuvenation and for me nothing fills my soul more than connecting with the natural world around me. I didn’t take many photos last night because I wanted to just soak up the beauty of a clear night sky. We haven’t had many of those lately.

This past week was filled with so many exhilarating moments.

A lightning storm that sent hail cascading off of my metal roof in quantities that I have not seen before.

Another halo event, not as vividly colorful as some of the others I have had the good fortune to observe but this one brought me another rare arc from my bucket list; a Wegener arc, named for scientist Alfred Wegener who first discovered it.

Icing on top of the cake came in the form of confirmation and congratulations from renowned physicist Les Cowley of atoptics . Also visible, 22 degree halo, circumscribed arc, and parhelic circle all created by ice crystals in cirrus clouds.

I still recall a poster that I had when I was very young. It was a cloud chart.

Full circle.

Celebrate Earth Day and take a few minutes to soak in some of the beauty of your natural world.

 

Water…

every drop matters.

20160525-DSC_3855Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

John Muir

This time of year as we head into fire season I am grateful for every drop that falls. Memories from last year as smoke filled the air day after day from forest fires are still too fresh.

On this morning as I walked amongst the tall grasses in my pasture that sparkled from the night’s rainstorm I spotted this one drop.

Sheer beauty in its delicate heart shaped form and so transient in its nature. One breath of wind and it would be gone.

I have a friend who connects deeply to heart shapes that she finds in nature and it brought a smile to my face knowing how much she would love this one drop.

Click…its the little things that matter and yes, it’s (almost always) about the water.

Haleakala…

where the demigod Maui snared the sun and forced it to move more slowly across the sky.

sunrise on Haleakala
sunrise on Haleakala

The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.

John Muir

It seemed like the right thing to do, after all I have had a lot of practice lately at getting up after midnight and chasing the night sky so the alarm was set and at 2 AM we began our journey to the 10,023 foot summit of a volcano called Haleakala.

I would not have imagined packing my winter down, snowboard under layers and wool hat for a trip to Hawaii but I was really glad that I had! Bundled up and with a Pepsi and pretzels in hand to combat the nausea that I deal with on winding mountain roads, into the Jeep we piled.

The drive was as curvy and slow as reported so we were glad that we had gotten such an early start. Upon arrival we made our way up top and I found a good place to set up my tripod, thankfully weighted down by my gear bag as it was cold and breezy.

It was a full moon night but I was still pleased to be able to see the milky way with my naked eye and took some shots of it while we waited for the main event. I think that this was the first time ever for me photographing the night sky with a group of people and I do mean group! Those of us braving the weather outside had a chuckle at the expense of the ones who looked a little like caged animals staring out from the enclosed and far warmer viewing area; snapping pictures from behind the glass with their flashes on.

enclosed viewing area
enclosed viewing area

Being surrounded by some wonderful people from other parts of the world helped to pass the time as my fingers (gloved) froze and my kneecaps shook. Thank God for remotes so I didn’t have to touch my camera!

For me the best part of a sunrise is always the time before it comes up and the continuous line of vehicles driving up added some lovely trails to the night sky images. The main event was a moving experience as the sun rose over a bank of clouds and the audience could be heard to say a collective aaahhhhh. 

Haleakala sunrise
light trails from cars on Haleakala

Haleakala, house of the sun, I will remember you…