FocusOur Last Days Together in Alaska

After our Denali adventure, we stayed at Red Eagle Lodge for a quiet weekend before bidding Sarah goodbye. I would see her one last time before driving home, but Pedro had to catch a plane in Anchorage.

For the third time during our trip, we stayed at a campground—this time near the airport. Pedro had a stand-by ticket for late at night, so we thought camping nearby would make things easier.

After sleeping in the next morning, we decided to see local free or inexpensive sights around Anchorage. As we drove out towards Beluga Point, we saw a sign for the zoo, and decided to visit.

The Alaska Zoo has reasonable entrance rates ($15 each) and seemed like a nice place to spend a gloomy July morning. We liked that the zoo provides a place for orphaned, injured, or captive-born animals.

We saw two Alaskan animals that we didn’t have time (or money) to look for on our own—musk oxen and polar bears. I also saw three bird species that I hadn’t seen before—the Northern Goshawk, Great Gray Owl, and a Snowy Owl.

Taking photos at the zoo always feels a little like cheating. On the other hand, I enjoy getting close-up shots of animals without worrying about my safety. The grizzly enclosure provided a viewing platform where one could easily snap photos without interference of a fence.


Fences and Focus

When we arrived at the wolf enclosure, I snapped several photos of the kingly canines. I lamented the fence in between my lens and the wolves. Unfortunately the wolf enclosure didn’t have the unobstructed visibility of the bear enclosure.

I took my only wild wolf photos in Yellowstone National Park, where I kept a healthy distance from a feeding pack. The zoo provided close-up shots, but with a barrier between. When I previewed the photos, I realized something I had forgotten.

A telephoto lens set at the right speed and aperture will focus beyond the fence. A faint blur where the chain link gets in the way mars the photo. If you have the camera in the right position when taking the photo, you scarcely notice it.

And that provides a life lesson worth remembering. When trials and obstructions loom on our horizon and threaten to fence us in, we shouldn’t despair. We simply need to check our settings and change our focus.

If I rely on my own eyes, my focus will fall short and things will look too big to handle. When I allow God to help me see beyond the obstacles, things look more manageable.

Learn to allow God to change your focus and you'll find obstacles will disappear. Click To Tweet

Beauty tip #29: When obstacles loom, check your settings and allow God to change your focus.

Q4U: What ‘settings’ do you need to adjust to allow God to change your focus?


  1. THIS: “If I rely on my own eyes, my focus will fall short and things will look too big to handle. When I allow God to help me see beyond the obstacles, things look more manageable.”

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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