Tag Archives: colorado

Meandering :: CO

19 Jul
Meandering :: CO

Meandering :: CO

“A river cuts through rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” -James Watkins

I have a confession. I spent the last week watching telenovelas (soap operas).

Why, you ask? Because I was going to meet the grandfather (abuelo) of mi novio, and I haven’t practiced my Spanish in years. 😳

I learned a few things though. First, telenovelas are very dramatic. Second, his family got a kick out of that and recommended cartoons as well. Lol Third, his grandfather was happy that I tried.

We had a wonderful conversation about the importance of trying.  Grandpa was adamant that you needed to try new and difficult things in life. He reminded me that failing is part of the process but no progress would be made without putting yourself out there and putting in an effort, despite the challenges.

That’s some real life talk, right there. In photography, I always remind students that practice makes progress. More than that, though, it builds your confidence. By the end of last night, my brain was tired from the translations and concentrating (and from getting my a** whooped at dominoes 😑) but I was definitely feeling less anxious about the language barrier. I even made a few jokes in Spanish. *pats self on back*

So if you’re thinking you want to learn something new, I encourage you to do it. If you’re feeling discouraged, I hope you’ll keep working at it. Afterall, a baby step is still a step in the right direction. ❤️

 

Nerdy stuff: this is three blended exposures for focus stacking, used the big stop filter at time of capture. 😊

Advertisements

Migration :: CO

26 Jun
Migration :: CO

Migration :: CO

“It’s your pasture now, and it’s not so big–only three thousand miles from east to west, only two thousand miles from north to south–but all between, where ten thousand points of light prick out the cities, towns, and villages, there, seeker, you will find us burning in the night” -Thomas Wolfe

To me, this photo is one of journey and transition, like the snow melt’s path down the mountain. Similarly, like many Americans, I’ve been deeply troubled by the recent zero tolerance policy at the border that infringes on the human rights of children. Am I glad the practice of separating families has stopped for the moment? Yes. Am I concerned about the welfare of the 2000+ children in detention facilities since May? Yes. Am I worried the most recent executive order flies in the face of the court precedent preventing detention for longer than 20 days? Yes.

Do I have a solution? No.

I do know that thinking in absolutes is dangerous though. Very little in life is 100% black and white, and this idea that to be strong, we must give up compassion is immature. Compromise is a way forward. Understanding is a way forward. We are a nation of immigrants, many of whom were seeking asylum themselves. It’s foolhardy to label all asylum seekers as dangerous criminals and its unethical to treat people as animals or monsters. While I agree crossing borders illegally is, well, illegal…I also recognize we have a complex and confusing immigration system.

Do I want safeguards and background checks and asylum hearings in place? Yes. But I can I understand the urgency of some refugees situation that puts them in the difficult position of choosing to cross illegally? Also a yes.

I don’t know where the middle ground here is but my heart tells me without any doubts that our morals and ethical standards, and our compassion for people in need, should not be forsaken. I hope our Congress (contact your reps) can have some meaningful conversations in the coming days and get those children reunited with their families soon.

Best of 2017

27 Dec

 

This year, I chose my “best of” based on the memories I was lucky enough to have made.  It was a year of great trips (courtesy of some flight credits I had to use up before they expired) and I am beyond thankful I was able to see England, Northern Ireland and Ireland, Chincoteague ponies, Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, the many nights I spent under the stars with friends, the eclipse, the Adirondacks and Iceland (northern light, heeellllooo). I am grateful for these opportunities and for having good friends to make these memories with. ❤

2017 had its difficult parts, and I am definitely hoping 2018 shows improvement in some areas…but I am thankful.  Cheers to a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

Wanderlust :: CO

11 Jul
Wanderlust :: CO

Wanderlust :: CO

“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.” -Wallace Stegner

Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado is a spectacular place. ❤

Although the idea of our national parks is deeply rooted in American culture, there was a time when preserving wild spaces was just the merest wisp of an idea.  It was an idea, however, that resonated deeply with people like John Muir, whose prolific writings stressed that these natural spaces were necessary for the soul.  His advocacy later became the driving force behind the creation of several national parks.

In response to growing pressure, Yosemite was placed under the protection of the state of California by Abraham Lincoln.  In 1872, Ulysses S. Grant made Yellowstone the world’s first national park.  In 1916, the National Park Service was created to oversee the growing network of national parks, refuges, forests, etc with a mandate to protect the parks “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations,” and to promote their use by all people.

So where does that leave us now?

Just like anything else, not everyone agrees with the idea of protecting and preserving the land and animals that live within the land set aside by the government.  In particular, designated National Monuments – which come into being through the executive branch, under the Antiquities Act, for the purpose of preserving sites on federal lands with significant natural, cultural, or scientific features – have come under fire recently.  The Antiquities Act, however, was specifically created to protect these spaces from OURSELVES.  At the time, precious native american historic sites were defiled and artifacts were being stolen from the lands by treasure hunters to be placed into the hands of private collectors.

The arguments against many of the designated monument lands generally boil down to resources and money.  It costs money to maintain the lands.  The local towns are more and more overwhelmed and their resources are stretched thin to accommodate visitors.  There are natural resources within those lands that someone wants to consume more of – lumber, grazing lands, fossil fuels, etc.  Most recently, the American people have been “loving places to death” and there isn’t enough man-power to stop them….  The list goes on.

But in the end, there is only one argument needed to convince me that these lands need protection though…. Humans.

Now, let me clarify by saying that not all humans are short-sighted or greedy.  And often times environmental damage is done because of limited choices, lack of options, the need to survive.

That being said, it can’t be denied that we only have one planet, and we haven’t always been good stewards.  There are billions of pounds of garbage in the worlds oceans.  We poison and acidify our drinking and recreational waters.  We pollute our air, and then cry foul when our populations develop higher incidences of cancer, asthma and copd. We create environmental dead zones, with our waste killing off millions of birds and animals.  We deforest huge swaths of land without re-planting trees, who are major players in the “you need oxygen to breathe” game.  Most importantly, and humans ignore the fact that we live in a web, where every single thing on this planet is connected to the others.  Food chains are delicate and small changes to environmental conditions can have far-reaching consequences which will likely affect your children.

So while I personally believe there is almost always room for compromise, I also strongly believe that our nationally designated spaces serve an important, long-term, survival-as-a-species function.  They are pockets of hope for future generations.  I hope with my whole heart that we continue to appreciate our wild spaces, and they function they serve not only as a safe haven for our weary souls, but as a space where the other important strands in the web of life can thrive.  I hope we continue to think about the big picture, which is keeping this planet hospitable to our species for as long as possible.

Or at least until we figure out terra-forming and light speed.  We comin’ atcha, Earth 2!

 

Sands of Time :: CO

27 Jun
Sands of Time :: CO

Sands of Time :: CO

“What makes a desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I decided to go a bit dramatic on this one, because I’ve always loved the red filter-Ansel Adams look and it just felt right here. ❤️

This is from the Great Sand Dunes in CO, and spoiler alert…they really were great! 😊

Motivational Poster

20 Jun

I don’t know about you, but some days (read that as “most days”) I feel like I have a mountain of work to get through, but never enough free time to work on it.  I’m currently working on three “big things” (because business success is planning ahead!), editing photos from an event, planning another trip, planning my next two articles (for you, my friends!) and oh yeah…the rest of life.

In 2009, I swear I took the perfect motivational photo.  It’s of a rock climber in Colorado…on a very large rock….very high up in the air…without ropes. (EEEEEKKKK!!)

It’s silly, but without having ever met this guy, he schooled me. haha  I always say to myself, “If that guy can do it…”  So I buckle down, work harder, and keep pushing onward up my own, more symbolic mountain.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

You ken doooo it!