Archive for October, 2012

Seek Life

Found on the pedestrian bridge….

Some might say that we’ve been wrought with a fierce hand that’s guided by an unkind heart…or maybe one that doesn’t care, doesn’t know how to, just gives us a life, kicks us from the womb of our beginning, suckles us on a raw tit and then dumps us out the door as soon as our legs can hold us.  We can’t be blind, or we’ll die from sundry things, so we learn to look where things mightn’t be normally, we learn with knocks and scrapings how to get along, to grab what we can and hope it will be good enough for a while.  In time there’s a longing that holds us, that draws us toward things that others pass-by, that others see, per chance, and think nothing of…but it’s those things that give us a yearning for a kindly pursuit, a craving to know what might be…and so our life goes, driven by an unseen thing that could consume us if we’d let it, if we’d loose the things that bind it to within a natural limit of how it might be.  And sometimes there’s naught within us to hold it…and we go about with a frightening urgency, seeking some definition for our unfettered minds, seeking something to give them form, to harness our desires, to make them ride on a certain rail, to progress in a certain direction….and sometimes we don’t find it, don’t find that thing that renders our efforts meaningful…don’t find that thing that consumes us, that drives us into a future that is ours to make and hold…and we keep seeking.


Sister Lakes – Lake Florence

You might remember from my earlier post about Lake Blanche that there are three sister lakes situated in what has been referred to as the Hidden Valley…at the end of a drainage or tributary canyon, Mill B South, which extends off of Big Cottonwood Canyon, just south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

I think I’ve probably already provided as much of the interesting history of the area as I might, so the remainder of this post and the following one on Lake Lillian will be simply sharing the natural beauty of the area.  You might recognize Dromedary Peak in the photo above from another earlier post…as you can see here, it provides an appealing backdrop for Lake Florence…and Lake Lillian, as well.

The above photograph shows another side of Sundial Peak, which you might have seen in a couple of other posts, but probably most significantly in the Lake Blanche post referred to earlier.  The rocky and beautifully treed ridge above is what you would find between Lakes Blanche and Florence…and in the below photo (taken in July, 2011), you see the waterfall/drainage that leads from L. Blanche to L. Florence.  With the greatly diminished snowfall this past winter season, there was very little water flowing between the lakes this year.

The next three photos are very similar, but demonstrate slightly different perspectives of Lake Florence and the rocky backdrop of Dromedary Peak.  You might notice a couple of people toward the right side of the second photo below…I don’t know who those folks are, but they had camped at the location overnight and help to add a bit of dimension to the beautiful orange/red rocks that form a portion of the bowl for the lake.

As I mentioned in the Lake Blanche post, dams were built on each of the lakes to preserve a certain amount of water per year…water that was collected from the snow-melt that occurred each spring.  The dams were built over a period of several years, started in 1905…completed in 1934…and then breached in 1972 when they were deemed no longer necessary.

If you look closely, you can see a small portion of Lake Lillian…right behind the skinny finger of a dead tree immediately to the left of the dam…on the far left side of the above photo.

For those who are interested, the trail that leads to the Sister Lakes is approximately three miles/4.8 km in length and has an elevation gain of about 2,600 ft/792 meters, with Lake Blanche being at about 8,900 ft/2,713 m and Lake Florence, 200 yards/183 meters to the west at 120 feet/37 meters lower.  Sundial Peak is measured at 10,320 ft/3,146 m, Dromedary Peak is at 11,107 ft/3,385 m.  The entire Sister Lakes area falls within several thousands of acres that are designated as the Twin Peaks Wilderness Area, which is part of the Wasatch National Forest.

Aside from the beautiful reflection of the ridge in the above photo, you can also see where the waterfall is missing (mentioned in regard to photo #3) in the rocky cleft near the middle of the image.

Wildflowers on the little ridge behind the dam on the far west side of the lake…I checked six on-line resources and can’t identify them properly, but I’m guessing that they’re from somewhere in the Sunflower family….

Similar images, above and below, but from different perspectives….

I’ve included this last photo from July, 2011, so you can see Lake Florence with a bit more water in it…and with a nice snow-patched mountain back-drop…you can also see Lake Lillian in the background.

I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting Lake Florence in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.  The next post in the series will focus on Lake Lillian, the smallest of the Sister Lakes in the Hidden Valley area of Mill B South, in Big Cottonwood Canyon….


One moment….

She breathes quiet and deep and fierce…a harsh whisper of tones unheard but felt…present then gone and stirring and troubling always…not in concert even with herself…one moment….


Red Pine Stream

This is the drainage from the two/three lakes waaay up at the top of the trail…maybe not technically called “Red Pine Stream,” but that’s what it is, so….  I took this a couple of weeks ago when Fall was barely making its presence known in our Wasatch Mountains….


Forgotten….

Cricket song rises with the waning moon as tender leaves swirl in the slight current and eddies beneath the low-hanging trees…a snake slithers cross-wise over the river making tiny ripples that ride slowly away, lost in the reflection of that fading moon.

I suppose I didn’t know I even existed until the day his mom asked how he thought I felt laying out there in the rain.  I didn’t exist as something that could feel or be aware until that moment, so I didn’t and wasn’t, but that reference changed everything for me…and I still don’t know if that’s good or bad; is it a curse or a blessing to suddenly know that one exists or is, to have a sense of being, to know when one is being ignored or noticed, neglected or attended to…or forgotten?

I have fleeting thoughts and ideas enter and pass through my consciousness or awareness and I have started to feel things with my physical self, as well as my inner or cognitive self…if that’s possible for me to do.  I understand what it means to be alone, to feel something or someone draw near; I grasp the idea of “used to be” and “what if” and know there is significance in these pairings of words.  I used to belong to someone…what if he came back for me?  I used to matter, to be important, to be remembered…what if I never am again…what if this is to be the way things are for the rest of my “life…” until I fade away again into the nothingness that enveloped me when my awareness was naught.  Or…what if I am found again, wanted again; what if I am desired again, my presence cherished again, if I am cared for again…what if those things happen again?  I will continue to be aware, to belong, and to be a part of…to be.

Many days and longer ago…there were colored balloons and streamers and several, small cone hats, more for show than necessity, as the one being celebrated was not so little anymore and had no need for such things.  His mother and sister decorated the trees and bushes and fold-up tables to play with his gaining years and the ones left behind…they lovingly mocked his approaching young-manliness and a hoped-for sense of responsibility that just might blossom…any day now.  Friends gathered with family, laughing, playing, making a little feast of sausages and rolls with spicy mustard, hot potato salad, and chips, too…tradition brought the chocolate cake and hand-cranked, peach and strawberry ice-cream, buckets of it that had been kept cold in the shaded water running near-by….

The day progressed and shadows grew long with the moving sun…adult voices quieted in the hush of approaching evening as their little ones slowed in their running about…after they chased bits of wrapping paper that had rolled and fluttered across the sand, caught in the breeze…and balloons bobbed-about, still tied to their anchors…minus the one that was loosed from a little hand and went sailing away.  I heard goodbyes spoken in the falling dusk and car-doors closing, bright yellow and orange honking from horns that reached into the gray light and caused heads to turn…hands to raise in their waving…the glare of headlights pointing down the roadway…thank you again…see you soon…echoes fading.

The boy and his family all climbed into the pick-up truck, one by one…and drove away…with a shiny, new bicycle in the back…a gift from his Opa…

*****

Photograph used with permission by Gary D. Bolstad of Krikitarts.

Thank you again for the challenge, Gary…for the invitation to participate in the sharing of your beautiful photography.


Antelope Island in September, too….

I was surprised at how low The Great Salt Lake was during this visit…as it was significantly higher in February when when we made our first trip to the island.

Hmm…no, my son’s not dancing, there on the left…maybe celebrating because of a well-thrown skipping-stone….

Looks like a little island of reeds out there…and the water is a long way away….

One of the 500-600 American Bison, or Buffalo, that live on the island….

My little one brought his binoculars and a notepad and pen along for the trip…it was fun watching him take notes of his observations….

Small group of Pronghorn Antelope…the male has the larger horns and the black, cheek markings….

Whole bunch of Sunflowers….

Daughter carrying her pre-Christmas baby….

Hopefully we’ll have some wonderful snow this winter…and green, rolling hills out on the island in the spring….


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Boys on a Rock


Dromedary Peak


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Delicate Desert


Desert Wildflowers….

Revisiting the photos that I had taken for yesterday’s post…from along the road somewhere in north Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Thank you to James for suggesting a series on my desert wildflowers.  If you haven’t visited with James at his site, James Brandon O’Shea – Oregon Artist, you’re missing a treasure.  James’ art and poetry are often compelling beyond description and it’s easy to get lost in his archives.  I encourage you to stop-by….