On a recent road trip through southern Utah, I pulled into the Kolob Canyon section of Zion National Park to stretch my legs and get a bit of fresh air. This part of the park is conveniently located just off Interstate 15, and is a great preview of the remainder of this great place. The red rock formations are incredible and majestic. Every time I visit this spot the landscape tends to take on a different appearance, mostly due to the lighting and type of sky that serves as a backdrop. On this day the early morning mist still hung low, as the sun tried to pierce through the clouds. The high rocks seemed even more daunting that usual with this setting, and some Scriptural references to God as a High Tower immediately came to mind. I felt that the 2 Samuel passages were appropriate for the image.
At great length, King Solomon opined about the vanity of life and the pleasures of things which man has made. Some people might read the first couple chapters of Ecclesiastes and draw the conclusion that life is futile. But Solomon goes on to make the point that God gives life meaning and value. While the things we labor over are only temporary, the ways and actions of God will always stand because He is in control. The book of Ecclesiastes touches on many aspects of humanity that we are confronted with daily. Solomon’s writing style gets a lot of traction from skepticism and pessimism, making me wonder if he might have relied upon sarcasm in social intercourse. Nonetheless, if you’re feeling somewhat undervalued or maybe as worthless as the remains of this pier at Whittington Beach in Hawaii, I’d suggest taking a short trip through this book to get a no-nonsense life course correction.
Last weekend I was in northwest Washington-state and my visit coincided with the beginning of the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Over the past several years I have traveled on business to this part of the country, but wasn’t aware that the cut-flower and bulb business had such an economic impact in the Mt. Vernon-Burlington area. And evidently the flowers were not in bloom at the time of previous travels, or I think might have noticed them. My timing was fortuitous this year and I become one of the more than 200,000 people who flock to the locale each year to take in the sights.
The first field of blooms to draw my attention turned out not to be tulips, but daffodils! And I actually believe I saw more acres of daffodils than tulips during my time there, however I didn’t cover the country extensively. Even on a cloudy, dreary day, the brilliant yellow was impossible to miss.
The variety of colors at the tulip farm was pretty amazing, and each row of flowers was like a work of art. Mud and drizzling rain turned out to be a good thing, as many of the tourists stayed out of the fields and headed for their cars early, allowing for some relatively clean shots of the fields.
While the tulip business in Washington doesn’t compete with Holland in terms of acreage or economic impact, it remains a very impressive sight to experience. And the colors and beauty of the flowers serve as poignant reminders of He who made them!
From a warmer day in 2010, on the Wyoming side of Beartooth Pass, this Red-tailed Hawk maintains a heightened state of awareness.
Earlier this month my daughter and I took a short detour through Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve in south-central Idaho. This is the site of relatively recent volcanic activity, and the lava flow covers over 600 square miles. The features of this monument are both varied and unique, making it a very interesting place to explore. Below are a few scenes from our trip.
I made a short visit to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park this past week, catching the Bison actively grazing to regain body condition lost over a long, tough winter.
The evening sunlight nicely illuminated the view from the Scoria Point Overlook.
Among many other photographic subjects, I’ve been pursuing Stellar’s Jays for the past several years in an effort to capture a few nice images. We don’t have them near where I live, so I have sought them in my travels across the west. I find that they like to hang out in the shadows of trees, which makes photographing a dark bird kind of difficult. A couple weeks back, while at Bryce Canyon National Park, I finally had a good opportunity, and even though the bird was in the shade of a Bristlecone Pine, there was ample light to take home some good images.