Photography

Why I Celebrate the Anniversary of a Bad Month

Remember Your Journey August means hummingbird migration. It also means it’s time to celebrate. Not the hummingbirds so much as what happened four years ago. In fact, on this fourth anniversary of our horrible, no good, very bad August, I reflect in wonder at the amazing grace of God. Four years ago, our youngest daughter, Sarah, texted us that she was having horrible thoughts. Thoughts about going for a walk on a lonely country road at night and stepping in…

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In What Way do You Let Freedom Grow in Your Life?

Since it’s July, I’m continuing the theme of freedom! Summer Freedom It seemed as if it took way too long for the final bell to ring in the start of summer. I joked around with my students and asked them about their summer plans. Many of them offered to go to Alaska with me, ‘just in case you need company.’ “There’s no way you’d enjoy hanging out with an old lady for hours on end in a small car,” I…

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The Best Vacation Destination for a Family Fourth of July

If You Happen to Vacation in Alaska If you happen to find yourself in Alaska on vacation on the Fourth of July, you’ll want to make sure and take a trip out to Seldovia. I should mention that taking a trip to Seldovia takes planning, since no roads lead to the town. You can travel by ferry, water taxi, or air taxi. My parents and I boarded the Discovery at 10:00 and took the scenic tour across Kachemak Bay. Victoria,…

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What to Expect if You Visit Denali National Park

A View of the Mountain is Never Assured If you visit Denali National Park, you probably won’t see the mountain—”the big pile of rocks that everyone comes to see.” In fact, two years ago, Pedro, Sarah, and I visited Denali and failed to see the mountain. I’ve tried since then, to see it from Talkeetna, but haze or clouds covered most of the mountain. I claimed that “I’d seen Denali,” but I had never seen the entire mountain. Other things…

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How to Turn a Burden into Blessing

A Turn in the Trail The trail twists and makes another turn, I lift my eyes, hoping to see the narrow, wooden building perched on the edge of a cliff. Three-mile Resthouse seems further away than the sign had promised when I left Indian Garden. I leaned on my hiking poles, hoping to ease the load on my legs by doing some of the work with my arms. When the building came into view, I heaved a sigh of relief…

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Photography, the Other Art

Not Everyone Can Draw Not every month has five Sundays, so I’ll take the opportunity to explore the other A in MAPS (you can find more about this series here). Last week, I shared how having a learning mindset helps us conquer things we thought we couldn’t do in our younger years. Today I’ll share some tips for upping your artistic quotient with photography. Next week, I’ll tell you about my latest physical challenge. Artistic expression baffles me at time.…

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3 Surprising Reasons Why Birding Can Help You

Birding and Alzheimer’s Prevention During my impressionable growing up years, my mom ran a respite care business in our home. The ladies she cared for introduced me to the problems with aging: forgetfulness, fading memories, and loss of dignity through dementia and Alzheimer’s. I didn’t know many kids my age who could identify ‘Alzheimer’s’ as a proper noun, and not a Southern rendition of ‘Old Timer’s.’ Ever since those days, I thought that memory loss and odd behaviors went hand-in-hand…

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Beauty Lurks in Unexpected Places

Beauty Lurks Beauty lurks in unexpected places hoarfrost springs from a shriveled red berry beneath a subzero sky Beauty hovers at wood’s edge speckled fawn twitching elegant ears, blinks slowly in dappled sunshine. Beauty hides behind dark clouds sunrise stretches fingers out across the water filled with snowy geese. Beauty peeks from angry eyes, of a girl too young to carry life’s burdens on slender shoulders, itching to escape Beauty manifests hope as a young man reaches out a hand…

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Have You Ever Regretted Taking a Trail?

Hitting the Wall at Eight Thousand Feet “I think I’m going to barf! I need to lay down.” “Seriously?” Sarah slowed to a stop and looked back at me. “Shouldn’t have eaten those cherry-flavored licorice vines,” I muttered as I dropped my camera pack to the ground. “My throat is killing me. I need water.” “I have about a teaspoon left,” Sarah said as she handed me her water bottle. “You can have it. I feel fine.” “Thanks.” I sank…

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Let Light Transform You From Bleh to Beautiful

I love hummingbirds—small, speedy, colorful and difficult-to-photograph birds that measure from 2.75 inches to 5.5 inches in length. These measuring-spoon sized avian acrobats act like California Condors when defending their territory from foreign invasion (i.e., other birds approaching ‘its’ feeder). I feel tired just watching a hummingbird. Their hearts can beat up to 1260 times per minutes (a cardiologist’s nightmare). They excel in foreign acquisitions (they build expandable nests out of insect and spider silk). A hummingbird can consume up…

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