06 June 2016
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Nature has many guises: Butterflies winging, petals unfolding, seeds floating, birds migrating, sunsets dazzling, fog wandering, snakes sunning, ants scurrying, haze darting, peonies perfuming, frogs jumping, trees swaying… Discoveries are infinite.
And the place that represents a centerfold for my passion about Mother Nature’s abundance is Northern California. It was home before I knew it was home. Some places simply embrace one’s inner soul, punching and soothing with a spiritual cadence that is evergreen.
To be completely honest my first experience with a natural wonder that struck me with such intense spirituality was the Southwest; its brand of nature forcing me to my knees with tears that shed with a roar of awe. I will never ever forget my first visit to Southern Utah and eventually Zion National Park; they were the apex of that first encounter.
During that trip I was transported to Southern California, and years later lived there for a “mini-sabbatical.” Then we were catapulted back to the East Coast, which had always been the place designated home. But nowhere else had or has secured my heart as Northern California.
During my visit in April my heart was quickened by the small and larger wonders of this West Coast haven, where I feted the wonders of San Francisco and its environs. In the Lens section are two examples of how nature can be experienced there. The weather was pristine with gorgeous cloudscapes and many hues of blues across the skylines.
The first image shows the convergence of nature’s forces intersecting with human nature’s creative hand. The view at China Beach easily stills time. In front of me was the San Francisco Bay rolling with the sun’s approval. The Golden Gate Bridge was being spied upon by an orange seafaring vehicle (barge of sorts), and as it moved under the bridge it mimicked that famous orange that lights up the spectacularly famous Art Deco landmark. To the right is the Presidio, which is a park, former military base, and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. That trio was alarmingly captivating, a confluence of inspiration.
Behind me was the expanse of the Pacific Ocean that had just ushered into the bay that orange barge. The ocean being the guardian of San Francisco’s jewels, and the entire scene being gently stored for my retrieval.
On another occasion as I made my way to my family’s home from the BART station, the second image easily caught my attention. A multitude of pigeons were threading themselves in and out of the shadows of the late afternoon light, coercing me to imagine the scene in black and white.
During my visit Mother Nature provided a myriad of experiences for me to savor. Those memories sealed my passion for one of nature’s prized possessions–Northern California and its proximity to an array of national wonders as well as smaller everyday gems that stagger the senses and prod the mind’s best work.
Tip of the Week:
“Nature, Williams contends, isn’t exclusively hallowed ground, nor is it merely a backdrop to act in front of. Instead, nature is something to interact with. Nature is a battleground where we grapple bare-fisted with what exactly living on this planet means.” From “The Review of Terry Tempest Williams’ The Hour of Land,” by Gretchen Lida (23 May 2016)
Terry Tempest Williams is an activist and a nature writer. Her environmental classic Refuge and memoir When Women Were Birds, are highly praised. This year is the one hundredth anniversary of the national parks, and Tempest has written a stellar tribute to these natural treasures. In The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks (2016) she combines natural history, social criticism and memoir to show how the wild shores and sustains the spirit and soul. I hope that you get a chance to read this important book that gives a platform to the national parks, which is one of the keys to land preservation and open space for human and non-humans. To read Lida’s review, click here.
View other entries from this week’s challenge:
As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.
If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.