Upside down?

I think I could have lived in this moment forever. A gorgeous spring day emerged after a sprinkling of snow—cloaking the browns and yellows of winter in a soft covering of white.

There was a stillness to the air, a rarity for this mountain town known for its wind.

Not a ripple marred the glass-like reflections.

Clouds dotted the sky’s canvas.

Here in this place of beauty, there were no flags flying upside down and the only sound for miles around was birds twittering.

There’s a disconnect in humanity today. Perhaps it’s brought about because so many of our interactions take place with layers between us. We interact with people on social media that may not even exist. People who, in reality, could be far removed from the personas they exude on screen.

Many of us have been working from home—sometimes never interacting in person with another human being for days.

Algorithms reinforce our ideas and interests, further separating us from people who may have opinions different from our own. We see more of what we’ve searched for instead of something new. In years past we might have sat around a campfire and engaged one another in debates about current affairs. Not now. Now, those discussions take place behind keyboards.

What a world we live in. The nautical side of me, and the ingrained respect for a country’s flag and how it’s flown, can’t even begin to fathom why people sitting in their homes, or driving their expensive vehicles, choose to fly their flag upside down, signaling distress. It’s an embarrassment when compared to countries like the Ukraine.

I think John Burroughs had it right. I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

Me? I’m going to spend as much time as I can in nature— its beauty is a balm for the soul.

Bear…

number 3.

blacj bear brown wildflowers trees

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.

Albert Einstein

On a recent trip to the mountains we had the great pleasure of seeing this guy munching away amongst the wildflowers that infused the meadow with color. The bear’s sense of smell is incredible so although I was a good distance away and using a long lens, he knew I was there.

I love that I have the opportunity to be in the presence of these large apex predators. When steps are taken such as proper food storage while camping in their backyard, everyone is safer, bear included.

For me it’s a thrill to have wildlife appear in a setting that is already filled with beauty. I’ve been at this very place throughout all of the seasons and I’ve never failed to be rapt in awe.

Nature…it’s a beautiful thing.