Friday, September 30, 2005
Spires in Montana
There's something about a spire that draws and holds my eye. Perhaps it's the symmetry and drama of the shape ending in a point against the sky, or perhaps I've just loved the form and texture of these pine and fir trees since my childhood. I think we'll do some spires, both natural and man-made, for the next few days.
These natural spires were taken in the Swan Valley looking across to the Mission Mountains Wilderness in western Montana.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Plaza Mayor, Madrid
To see how relaxed everyone is in the courtyard sunshine of Plaza Mayor, you would never know that this was one of the locations for the Spanish Inquisition, where "heretics" were tried and burned at the stake. The grand courtyard has also been used for bullfights, coronations, and various festivities.
Plaza Mayor was built in the early 17th century, but has been reconstructed several times since due to destruction by fire. On a recent Sunday afternoon, the courtyard was filled with Madrilenos, young travelers from everywhere, tapas bars, and music. Today it's a wonderful gathering place.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
In a night garden
An old-world twilight in Madrid
Monday, September 26, 2005
Midstream in the afternoon
A serene and peaceful afternoon in the lush Wisconsin countryside. This was taken last month from the middle of the trout stream that winds through our little place in Wisconsin. It's right across the valley from the friendly chap in the post just below. There's a "sitting rock" where I dabble my feet and listen to the crickets and the stream singing along (while slapping a few bugs! No idyll is totally idyllic...)
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Curious in Wisconsin
This photo is an example of why I'm so absorbed in photography. A shot like this captures a moment in time that would otherwise have vanished from memory. I just happened to be driving by this meadow, which is across the valley from our place in Wisconsin. I was moving at a good clip, as I had an appointment in Madison. But I saw this magnificent Percheron raise his head and trot forward in interest to check out the passing jeep. I stopped and took the shot.
There is so much about this picture that speaks of Wisconsin to me: the green and fertile woods and fields, the ever-changing texture of the hills, the willingness of the earth to produce an endless array of crops, grasses, wildflowers. It is a benign place, a land of milk and honey.
Photography allows me to reflect on these things, and to study structural details of flowers, architecture, rocks, water - elements that I didn't see the first time around. Our senses can't take in and record the fullness of what we see every day. For me, photography crystallizes forever those magical moments that might otherwise be swallowed up in the concerns of daily life. My own life is as fraught as anyone's, with work and health challenges abounding. It's all too easy to lose the meaning of the present moment. Photography makes me slow down and really try to SEE it.
Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddist monk, teaches that we must focus each day on something beautiful. Taking, selecting, and posting a photograph of a pristine place every day is one way to appreciate and preserve the beauty I might otherwise pass by in life's rush.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
This morning's sunrise
Skipping about wildly (that's what I love about blogging, the ability to be totally random,) we now take you to Glacler Park for this morning's sunrise. This is from a webcam trained on this glorious scene at Lake McDonald, 365 days a year.
Sky, mountains, water = light that changes with each passing minute. I want to reach out and capture it all, but other obligations beckon. Onward...
Friday, September 23, 2005
Street corner at sunset in Madrid
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Spain's post office (!)
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Matador suspended in time and space
The ancient pastime of bullfighting is alive and well in Spain. This sculpture of a matador passing the cape before the bull is outside the Madrid bullring. No, I didn't see a bullfight, nor would I, but I thought this chap had a great deal of elegance and flair. I can see the link between this and our brahma bull events at the rodeo in Montana, one difference being that our bulls live to charge again another day! Yes, I realize the Spanish bullfights are stylized and ritualistic and regarded as an art, unlike our cowboy scuffles in the dust, but it's really all about bravado of man over beast, no?!
Monday, September 19, 2005
Bright Sunday morning in Madrid
I have heard that the light in Spain has a translucent quality to it. It seemed to me that this was so. It's impossible to capture with camera; but here are some bright colors on a Sunday morning street.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
A fairy-tale place?
I'm just getting ready to leave Madrid. It's been an intense and rather wonderful week. The meeting (see previous post) went well; my hope is always that we will move the body of medical knowledge forward at these occasions so that patient care will improve. I believe we did so here; time will tell as we analyze and publish the consensus and then measure the impact.
Most of my time was spent in the meeting, but in stolen moments I tried to capture a few corners of Madrid. I am not a city girl at heart, but I like this old city very much.
My impression is of a place that is at once elegant and mellow, proud and humble. This photo highlights the elegance. This was taken in late afternoon at the Parque del Buon Retiro, a place where Spanish kings and nobles used to take their leisure.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
A brief transition...
Dear faithful blog readers,
I am posting this photo of Mont St. Michel in France as a signal for a brief transition. I'll be in Madrid, Spain for 10 days as part of my work as a medical educator. I'm in charge of an international consensus conference, so there won't be much time for the dear old camera! But I will try to do some posting from the trip either while I'm there or when I return after 10 days.
I am very fortunate that my work takes me to such interesting spots. My job took me to France in February; I still have yet to post those photos here. The 1,000-year-old abbey above is in Normandy (click on the pic to view a larger size and then click the All Sizes button in Flickr.) It's one of the most wondrous places I've ever seen. Here is a link to learn more about Mont St. Michel.
Pristine places abound in all parts of the world, and I hope to capture a very few of them in detail for this little blog. To my faithful readers, thank you so much for your interest in this blog. It is your regular visits that keep me posting and thinking about what might be an interesting next entry. I will begin again upon my return...
Friday, September 09, 2005
Gus the Galloping Goose.
OK, Friday cat blogging. I've fallen for it (and for Gus, my illustrious subject and our juvenile delinquecat!)
"The River of No Return"
This is the Salmon River, running here through Salmon, Idaho. The river looks peaceable enough here, but in the early days was called "The River of No Return" due to its dangerous rapids that would not allow any upriver navigation.
The town of Salmon is located in the Lemhi Valley, where Lewis and Clark met with the Shoshone Indians to negotiate for horses to cross the Bitterroot Mountains on their way to the Pacific Ocean. Here's a link to some Lemhi Valley history.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Prairie of the Knobs
The grass on the hills turns brown and sere in the heat of late summer. Angry gray clouds boil up with the promise of moisture, only to sail on by with nothing more than a few droplets.
Meriwether Lewis came through this country in the upper Blackfoot Valley near what is now Ovando. He named it quite aptly "The Prairie of the Knobs." This knobby topography was caused by glaciers pouring into the Blackfoot Valley and then dumping piles of silt and boulders as they receded.
Here's a nice link to the history of the area around Ovando.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Katrina relief information
Basking in the sun
The sharp roofline of this old fishing shack in Door County, Wisconsin is just the place for gulls to bask in the sunshine on a perfect blue and white day.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
And the river flows on
Monday, September 05, 2005
Dancing bits of sunlight
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Transition between lake and river
Here is the Clearwater River just below Salmon Lake in Montana. Not far from here, it will gather itself in a narrow channel and move quickly to its destination, emptying into the Blackfoot River.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Here is a link with a broad listing of ways to help.
This morning's sunrise at Lake McDonald
I caught a glimpse of this morning's sunrise at Lake McDonald in Glacier Park by checking out the webcam that is permanently trained on this scene. A muted, peaceful scene, with pink clouds reflected in still water. I think I can taste the tang of very early fall in the air.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Clematis in all its glory
I'm grateful to my camera for helping me see so much more closely the structure of things. Working with this photo, for instance, made me observe attentively the structure of the clematis flower in a way I never had done before. Nature has so many intricate, delicate, and miraculous forms, but rushing through our lives we don't always find ways to appreciate them.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Old barn against a blue sky
The old barn again...a variation on the view of that weathered wood against the blue sky and hill beyond. The hayloft where I played as a kid looks a mite rickety!