Portraits – People

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Little One at Liberty Park

Liberty Park is located in one of the downtown neighborhoods of Salt Lake City, Utah.  If you’ve been visiting this blog for any length of time, you will have seen various photos of geese and gulls and ducks and squirrels and huge Cottonwood trees and fallen leaves and…other sundry things.

The park was established in 1883 and is on an 80-acre plot of land that used to be owned by Brigham Young.  It has a lake with two islands, seasonal amusement rides, tennis and basketball courts, a greenhouse, horse-shoe pits, and various picnic/barbecue areas with nearby playground equipment for the little ones.  Liberty Park is also home to the historic Isaac Chase Mill, the Tracy Aviary, and the Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts.  If you’d like to read more about Liberty Park, please click on the highlighted name to follow a link to Wikipedia’s article.

My little one has wanted to ride the boats on Liberty Park’s pond for quite some time now.  He has visited the park multiple times over our nearly two years here in Salt Lake City, but those occasions were often on busy and crowded Saturday mornings or during seasons when the boats were not available.  I suppose I could say that my little one took to the canoe like ducks/geese take to water….  It was his first time in a canoe and he conducted himself like an old pro….

The Canada Geese (Canadian Geese?) are year-round visitors/residents of Liberty Park.  I have seen and heard them in every month of the year and have watched as their little ones follow them about the pond in Spring and early Summer.  I’ve never seen their nests out in the more public areas of the park, so I would guess that they are on this sunflower-adorned island.  The only way to reach this island is by boat, but I don’t think it’s an encouraged activity…and since people rent the boats for only 20 minutes per ride, I don’t know that too many of them would want to park the boats just to explore the little island.

The island looks like a perfect nesting ground for the geese and ducks, and maybe even the gulls that frequent the pond.

There was one canoe and three paddle-boats available…my little one went straight to the canoe.  After we grabbed a bite to eat at the concession stand, we went back out on a paddle-boat like the one in the below photo.  It might seem that there was a bit of traffic on the lake, but it wasn’t really too bad.  We had actually steered closer to the geese so I could attempt to get some close-up shots of them.

I’m not sure what type of bird/duck this one is…probably not an Egret…but it was the first time I have seen such a creature at the park.  After I got home and was processing the photographs, I couldn’t help but think that it looked like this guy was leading the other birds in song….  Ok…maybe not….

This is the bridge to the other island in Liberty Park’s pond.  The island has a large gazebo, planters/flower-beds, huge Cottonwood trees, and nice park benches.

When we had finished our paddle-boat ride (a bit after this last photo) and had walked less than 20 yards away from the dock, my little one asked when we would be able to come back and ride the boats again.  It was nice that he had such a good time.  The stuff of memories….


On the wall – prequel

The earlier two posts, On the wall, and On the wall, too, were taken 13 months after this picture.  This one is from July, 2011…after a winter/spring with record snowfall in our Wasatch Mountains…and the two earlier photographs were from August, 2012…after a winter/spring with much less snow.

Just for fun, I found this website that maintains snowfall records for Alta, Utah (at the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon, at 8,530 ft elevation)…which is just over the ridge and up the road a couple of miles from where this picture was taken at Lake Lillian, at approximately 8,900 feet elevation, in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  The snow season of November, 2010 to April, 2011 had 723.5 inches of the white stuff and the snow season of November, 2011 to April, 2012 had 390.5 inches.  I guess that explains why there was still so much snow on the mountains in July, 2011, as opposed to no snow at the same location this year.

The wall-walker in this photo is Son #2…it was Son #3 in the two earlier posts.


On the wall, too….


On the wall….


Did I love it…?

I went hiking today…it’s Sunday, and that’s typically what I do on Sundays….

And you might ask me…did I enjoy myself out there, did I have fun…did I like it…and maybe even, did I love it?  Well…I couldn’t have said it better myself….


“Smile for Papa….”

Shortly before taking this photograph…

…which I processed with Picassa…resulting in this beautiful portrait…

…which I shared in yesterday’s post “Innocence…?”

my daughter asked her little one to “Smile for Papa…,” and this is what she gave me…

…hence the question-mark in reference to her innocence….  She is precious, though.  🙂


Innocence…?


Little One at Silver Lake (Islets)

We had started our Saturday morning exploring downtown, looking at murals and talking about what they meant, my little one and I.  After getting a bite to eat, he asked if we could take a drive into the mountains…magical words to my mountain-yearning soul.  We drove to the end of Big Cottonwood Canyon and pulled over at Guardsman Pass…where the road turns to dirt for a mile or so and then leads to Park City.  We have been on the road before, but had never stopped there for longer than a few minutes…and I had never hiked the trails leading away from the pull-out, either.  My little one asked if we could go for a hike…and as we didn’t have a back-pack with snacks and water, I told him that we would just go for a little bit of a walk, but nothing too long.  We were on the trail for maybe ten minutes when we saw water sparkling ahead of us.  As I had never been there before, I didn’t know what lake or body of water it might be.  Earlier in the week, I had mentioned that we might go to Silver Lake, down in American Fork Canyon…and as coincidence would have it, the little lake we found also happened to be named Silver Lake…rather, it was one of three small lakes/ponds that are part of what is labeled as “Silver Islets” on our map of the three main canyons in our Wasatch Front.


to run….

Photo by my son, NDB…following his little one….  Used with permission.


Little One


Who else is there…

…when we look at ourselves?  This curious moment of novelty and playful egocentrism in taking a self-portrait happened to also capture images of my daughter and her two children…resulting in a rendering of three generations of our family, something that I didn’t notice until viewing the photo while processing it for this post, some several weeks later.  The content of the photograph prompted me think about who is really there when we look at ourselves…who else are we seeing…who had an influence in forming us into the people we have become…and who have we likewise influenced in forming them into the people that they have become…?


The boys

Hmm…this might be one of my first “serious” attempts at photography…from twenty-some years ago.  The boys and I went for a short walk out into the forest that was near our house and tried to get some decent pictures to frame for the approaching Mother’s Day celebration.  We got some nice individual shots of each of the boys and then this group photo.  I have caught more than a little bit of harrassment over the years for the serious looks…Mom said they should have been smiling.  I wanted something more natural…serious even.  I suppose it would have been more “natural” to have them playing and smiling and knocking each other off the rock….  Anyway, I was pleased with the result…thought it was actually a bit of an accomplishment to get the boys, from three to six years of age, to sit still long enough to capture them in a less animated moment.


Giggles


Reflection

I suppose the word has a couple of meanings….

My Little One….


Floating

Back in a pool again for the first time in over a year, my little one ran and jumped and splashed and swam on top of the water and under the water and ran and jumped again and again and splashed his sister and sped away…and found time in the waning day to be still again…to be still again and enveloped in the quiet that informs our physical existence….


Crossing….


To Climb a Hill


Together again….

Time finds us in different places and for various periods and then it brings us together again, sometimes, and the meeting is more than could be asked for; it fulfills the soul and rocks the body and leaves us exhausted and sated and wanting only to relish in the love and company of that other one, the one from whom we were separated for a time…and long to be with again and again.

May our separations be few and our love enduring….


Wonder….

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child.  There are seven million.”  ~Walt Streightiff


Boy…

In a chair….

Watching….

Thinking….


Old Dog

She stood forlorn in the dewless grass while an almost warm wind or breeze blew through the early-morning yard.  The porch light was on and things were clear, but she looked about as if she were lost.  The other dogs were in the house already and I suspected that she was trying to see something moving about so she might know that she wasn’t alone.  I opened the door and called to her, but my voice didn’t register; I whistled and she remained there, looking around, wondering.  Her younger playmate ran down the stairs and out into the yard and seemingly on purpose, bumped the side of his body into hers, startling her, but letting her know that she wasn’t alone, telling her that she could come in now.  And so she sleeps…in her winter years….


Sometimes, alone is ok….

Yes, sometimes alone is good, for it can be and often is, when we are in that state of separation from others, that we have the liberty of thought and volition to see ourselves through our own eyes…and maybe find ourselves again.  While input and feedback are good, as those others’ eyes can see things that we do not or cannot see in ourselves, self-reflection can be as healthy…and necessary.

In this alone-time, we can also find confidence to persevere in whatever circumstances, or to re-orient ourselves toward earlier and possibly more important goals, redirect ourselves, reprioritize…or even resign, let go after the stress of life and reflection, because we know or understand that further effort would be a waste or a surrendering, or even a sacrificing of ourselves for something or someone who is no longer worth the emotion and energy to do more, or to futilely attempt to do more.  The quiet helps us regroup when a room is too loud, when our life is too loud, or even when it’s just too loud in our heads…our minds.

Sometimes alone is good, in that it allows us to empty our minds of the pressures or concerns that are so draining; we can remove those issues and simply be in a state of openness of mind that has nothing in it, maybe nothing other than an awareness of ourselves, or an awareness of nature and its awesome enormity that allows or urges us to see that our own concerns are nothing, or very minimal, in the grand scale of life and time that exists outside of ourselves, and out in the ever that is.

Solitude can also help us remember the precious or special things that exist in the people who people our lives; it helps us remember the things that drew us to them in the beginning and have sustained our desires to be with them since; it can give us a glimpse of absence and what comes after….  Sometimes, alone is good.


Contemplation

We stand and marvel sometimes at the spectacles we find when visiting nature, when sojourning through a land that is ours to frequent and adore and love, but never really become a part of or control…such force and power…an amazing wonder, truly…and the feelings such a sight can evoke…of humility, awe, joy, and even peace, strangely, as we are nearly overcome with the loud and noise of rushing and pounding water on water and rock and earth…and the very core of our souls….