Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Cleft in the Rock

We returned from a wonderful vacation feeling thankful for the experience.  We’ve been finding various cabins that we could stay at over the last couple of years now.  My time in tents is really over.  They had another violent bear encounter near Cook City:  I know these things are very rare but I remain sold on being safer rather than sorry and facing the elements in a cabin and to comfort are two other benefits. 

One of the things I also enjoy from our cabin get aways has always been the sense of stress bleeding away every day until I feel much more in tune with God.  We didn’t go that far away this time.  Only about ninety miles out of town in Stillwater county near Meyer’s Creek is where we found ourselves this time.  I was somewhat worried about the weather since it’s been very volatile yet again as you can seeIt’s been pretty for us with quite a bit of rain but nothing dangerous in our city but other places have had tornados.  One reached F3 strength and lasted over thirty minutes.  This is rare under any circumstances but here it’s unbelievable.  Two people died…mostly because it was in a tiny town that’s sparcely populated.  There have been down bursts as well that leveled trees and did horrific damage.  Ever since our Father’s Day tornado I don’t look at the sky the same waybecause I recognize these storms can really reach out and touch you but at the same time there’s no beauty like they can provide at times and when that beauty comes along I try to be there with my camera

The view from the cabin took my breath away and it’s more than just the view it’s having the time to just sit there and feel the presence of God in His creation I can feel my dear grandpa on my mom’s side smiling somewhere in heaven.  You see he was a great lover of the outdoors and photography and he loved wild flowers great and small so each shot makes me feel near him and my grandma who passed away years ago now.  I have seen these flowers before but again in the quite of this time they seemed to almost speak to us.  The Blue Bells are having a bang up year…I love them so much Even the ragged flowers had a personality that I relate to.  They have faced the elements yet haven’t surrendered their voiceless praise to God I find them courageous somehow.  Sometimes it’s not just the flower but the backdrop that makes a difference.  Together they make a beautiful symphony that only the quieted heart can hear I love these things great and small.  Sometimes walking just to see what might be over the next hill or in the next little valley is all I need to walk miles It went from sunny to cloudy in an instant and this provided some tricky light but as I looked at the darker shots I like the almost sepia effect Yes, most states have farms but this is Montana, this is my home, this is personal to me These sun dappled hills are home to so many blessed memories growing up but also it’s the meeting of old and new wonderful experiences with my family now Here I envy no one and the nagging voices of the future trouble me not at all There is healing of the hurt, easing of the burdens and that which I seek above all:  the stability of faith and peace in God.  I am able to share it with those I love most The fields show a work completed and somehow I feel completed too Each peak has a silent majesty just waiting to be witnessed Truly this is a natural witness to the greatness of God. 

The white tail deer were plentiful yet difficult subjects of photography.  I did what I could but this was the best I got the whole trip The road we often walked never got old…there was something new to see each time There were many red tail hawks and red headed woodpeckers to see and hear.  They often frequented this forested area They also often visited this marvelous pine tree right near the house

Did you know a pop can makes a wonderful vase if you didn’t let me just say that it’s true.  There’s more than one way to “do the Dew”!  Sometimes a fence post provided the best table for said vase

Ever had hotdogs on a pine cone campfire?  How about Smores on the same fire later on I’m telling you kings don’t eat any better!

Each side of the house had a unique view that delighted the eye and each hour of the day made it change quite a bit.  Morning provided a heavy fog rolling over the mountains and hills that was so wonderful.  It was like the mountains were taking off a heavy quilt after a good night’s rest Things have been hot for you?  Well that ain’t so everywhere in fact these peaks not only had some snow on them when we got there but received some new snow unless my eyes deceived me

Political correctness hadn’t arrived when this sign was put in I’d say and there were signs of man’s presence.  I didn’t find these things annoying and thought I’d find some ways to take that in and photograph it too I almost expected this Brown Eyed Susan to wink at me Sometimes a single column of lavender stood out in a sea of green grass…I just had to capture it

I think I’d like to see this place in the fall Sometimes nature has an amazing symmetry.  The trees weren’t always like one another and I loved that contrast too though I do love pine.  These stood along a path right on the banks of Meyer’s Creek.  Now a last look at the mountains before signing off for this week I have many more pictures to share and will do that as we move along here.  The next series will be along the Sioux Charlie trail…truly one of the most beautiful trails I’ve visited and we had a bear encouter…that’s a teaser for later…ya’ll come back now ya hear?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Beautiful Rainbow

A Corvette and a Rainbow or Two

I’ve been kind of in a haze lately.  Not really thinking too much about our approaching trip to Africa if I could help it.  It’s like waking up from a dream to realize that it’s only a few months away now.  I’ve been occupying my thoughts with beautiful skies and dad’s Corvette.  This week is pretty full.  I have to finish buying supplies for our five day trip to a mountain cabin, attend a wedding and teach on Sunday before leaving on our trip this Monday.  I figure I’ll be ready for it once all that gets done! 
The other day I noticed this huge cloud plum rising above the rest and I thought to myself that the rest of the evening might be interesting.  The weather has been all over the board lately so you are never sure what each day will hold.  This cloud looked like a beckoning hand or ears on an immense rabbit…you be the judge .  The truth is there wasn’t much that could pull me away from the clouds until dad pulled up in this !  I didn’t even know he was thinking about such a thing!  I still can’t get used to this sitting on our driveway though mostly it’s covered in the garage now…dad rearranged and we’ve got four cars comfortably in our three car garage now.  I’m not sure but I think I’d be dangerous if I were driving this thing It has a 12 disk changer and a Bose sound system and though the top is hard it comes off so you can ride it without…ah yeah!  You should hear the sound when dad starts it up!  That alone is music to my ears There’s a difference between the kind of car I’m used to and this sweet little machine.  Everything about it speaks quality.  Dad is like a kid in a candy store because back in the day he had a ‘67 Stingray and always wished he had another Corvette…I guess his dream came rollin’ back through and I’m thrilled for him.  I’ve heard of duel exhaust but this has two duel pipes

After all the excitement I got back to the beauty of nature …don’t worry this won’t be a let down!  I began to notice an effect with the clouds having a hole in them…I call it the eye of God effect…it looked like God had a blue eye on this evening We’ve had some brief but furious little storms pass by.  They have heavy rainfall and some gusty winds.  Best of all they came with some of the best rainbows I have ever seen I’ve seen rainbows before but these were particularly spectacular We sat there just glorifying God for how wonderful it was and it just got better and better These bows were not only glorious but extremely long lasting!  Honestly I don’t think I’ve seen a more beautiful thing ever!  Just when we thought that was done the next day brought another rainbow that was as spectacular with even better skies Notice the heavy sheets of rain and the golden light The light grew more and more amazing as the clouds grew extremely lumpy Have you ever felt like you look at the skies and see the very gates of heaven It was like we were seeing something that couldn’t possibly be of this earth and I know that I know there is a God who’s maker of it all.  Even as the bow was fading I was in awe but drawn to look behind me only to see another spectacular painting that God so artistically was working on Times like these show how surely nature is one of the best evangelists ever How could one not see this glory and say how great is God This is indeed God’s country through it all I was humbled at the glory of God and I thought of the great things He’d done just the day before.  I couldn’t help but think:  “You’re just showing off now.”…somewhere I felt God smiling at that.