Of great appeal are Mt. Hermon’s lush grounds, around which I traipsed during the recent days I spent there for the annual Christian Writers’ Conference. The spring-blooming trees had burst forth in all their glory, and I thought of the incredible words in Genesis 2.
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
Chilly, finally, after the unusually warm weather we’ve been having. The earth was wet from rain in the night, temperature in the high 30s, so I had bundled up, and had pulled on gloves for the trek to the lake, even though it is hard to handle Winston and the camera while wearing gloves. Lake Gregory was spectacular, and as I often do, I thought I don’t come down here enough. Before the day was over, rain pelted our woods, and our yards, and soft, watery snow fell in its typical silent way.
How did God make all this? Did He sit down somewhere–a kind of creation studio–and consider the varieties of trees, flowers, leaf shapes, stone colors, animal faces, ocean volume, sand for the deserts, whiskers and noses . . .?
I saw that several large trees have been felled near the lodge. Why? Were they diseased, or just somehow in the way or . . .? I have friends who have recently danced about with death, some even at this moment are dodging and weaving, and I have a sense of its dreadfulness, and that the cutting down of life smacks of pain and decay, and we don’t like it.
“How many want to go to Heaven today?” Nathaniel’s little five-year-old voice boomed from the upstairs area as we sat around in the living room with guests. No one answered, so that little grandson of mine asked again, “How many want to go to Heaven today?” We adults–Christians, ministers–grinned, looked at each other, and decided none of us wanted to go today. Strange, huh? Or not?
Windows in the front of our house give us spectacular views of trees and houses which lie on the other side of Lake Gregory. I never tire of seeing these incredible mountain views, and have snapped scores of pictures. After a heavy snow, the vista is riveting.
Shots from another year here on my flickr account.
All day it has rained–gentle, but persistent. Lots of fog, but just before noon the fog lifted a bit and I said to Jerry, “Want to take a little ride in the rain?”
Kind soul that he is, although he is not nearly adventurous as I am, he said, “Sure.”
I drove a couple of minutes from our home, and where the pavement turned into dirt here, I parked the car. “Want to get out?”
“No, I’ll wait for you here.”
I tucked my camera inside my coat, taking it out only for a shot. Golden leaves lined the path I took.
Everything glistened, wet and drippy. The light was glorious–impressionist paintings.
When I saw this chain stretched across, I turned and went back to the car.
Peering over a cliff, I saw boulders and this tree of magnificent trunk. In my Mac, I processed the photograph to a monochrome image.
Evening has thrown its dark cape about our home now, and the fog is so thick I cannot see the neighbor’s house. Gentle rain still falls. Orange flames leap about in our fireplace.
Jerry and I live at 5000 feet high in the San Bernardino Mountains. It’s a different world from the valley floor where more than a million people live. Although the valley cities are actually only a half hour from our home, the disparity is sometimes shocking.
On Monday, we drove down for business and the fog hanging over the valley was magnificent. I was driving, so I pulled over to take a few shots.
On the first day of the year 2011, I resolved to take a picture every day; didn’t join a particular group, just within my mind made this decision. Not long into the project I was sorry I had done so, for I came to the conclusion that my photography wasn’t being improved by this challenge. Now for someone who is not motivated to take pictures, perhaps such a venture is a good idea; however, I do not fall into that class. Rather, throughout a year’s time, I easily take many thousands of pictures and rarely do two or three days pass without me producing many photographs. But there is the occasional day when I do not, so that during last year at the end of a few such days, I was dashing about the house–snapping anything. Once, in the late fall, I believe, I was in bed reading a magazine when I came across the words PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST. Photography? No! I hadn’t touched my great Nikon that day. Jumped from the bed, whirled about, found the camera, twisted my head this way and that, and settled on something that would produce a passable shot.
But I persevered, and on December 31, 2011, I was able to say I had taken a picture every day, while at the same time saying through clenched teeth, Never again.
Now a few weeks into 2012, once again I have resolved to discipline myself and have joined a couple of 52/2012 groups. Easy. It will not be hard to take one picture a week. One of the groups is centered in a Nikon Critique Group in which I am very active, and to which I have now submitted the required two photos. The other group sets a theme for each of the 52 weeks, and I also have submitted my two photos there.
NIKON CRITIQUE GROUP SUBMISSIONS
Week 1 GABRIELLE ANTOINETTE BEESO, my ninth great-grandchild.
Week 2 FOUR
This photograph has attracted a lot of attention on my Flickr site. As I post this, it has received over 300 hits and has been “Explored” there.
52/2012 THEME GROUP
Week 1 My Town
Week 2 Fashion
New post on my devotional blog here.