There are two kinds of silence at play in my life:
Breathe deep and enjoy the incredible beauty of the world.
Situations that flabbergast me into silence because I can’t find words to express my feelings.
The first silence:
I arrived home from a few days in Paradise (at Mount Rainier). No cell coverage or WiFi just wild flowers and mountains, fresh air and sunshine, waterfalls…and, of course mosquitoes.
Mountain at dusk.
Edith Creek and Mount Rainier.
Magenta Indian Paintbrush.
Lewis Monkey Flower
Heather and the Mountain.
Magenta Indian Paintbrush and the Tatoosh Range.
Jeffrey’s Shooting Star.
Orange Indian Paintbrush.
Even though there were quite a few bugs at Paradise, getting home is overrated.
The second silence:
The first post I read when I got home was this one, about the situation of the children taken from their families at our border.
The ugliness and nastiness of children’s situation is an example of the…I don’t know the right word(s) for it…that so often silences me these days.
I am in the set of people who has no voice because my representatives do, in fact, represent my views. I can, and did, send some feedback about the children, but a freshman congress woman from a notoriously progressive district is not going to be listened to in the other Washington (D.C.).
What kind of crazy is this?
I feel like some kind of multiple personality disorder is being shoved down my throat. Am I a calm woman on a mountain being mindful of the scent of the flowers, the sound of water tumbling down, and the bright colorful charm of flowers and the majesty of the mountain? Or am I mindful of current events? Being ready to scream with frustration by having no say or way to make a difference and allowing my heart to be wrung by the thought of children taken from their families, the destruction of wildfires, earthquakes, etc.
I can’t be both at once, and yet that is the world I live in.
July was a relatively stress free month. Richard was retired by then and there were no health or administrative crises for grandma.
I spent some time experimenting with photography. In particular I was testing out settings for the eclipse. According to one source I found online you can practice your camera settings for an eclipse by using the full noon time sun for the partial phase using a filter and a full moon for totality. I have to say that those suggestions worked for my camera. You can see the eclipse pictures I took in my Twelve months of 2017-August post. I rather liked some of the pictures from my experimenting phase.
Mid-day sun through maple tree, using filter.
Mid-day sun through pine trees, with filter.
As always July seems to cry out for at least one picture from the beach:
We went to Mount Rainier for our annual trip in July since we had our Ecliptic Trip planned for August. As always it was beautiful and the earlier time meant that we got to see the avalanche and glacier lilies that are usually done blooming by August.
I have always like these flowers, and been frustrated by trying to capture them in photos. The combination of the small size and how they like to grow in very moist, often dark spots means that they often come out blurry. Especially since I really try to stay on the paved or rock lined paths. I was surprised to learn from Wikipedia that they are in the primrose family.
I’m not much of a collage person, so this week’s challenge was a challenge. After humming and hawing I decided to try something totally new to me> making a digital collage of photographs. Here is a collage I made using Gimp from 5 of the pictures I took at Mount Rainier last week. I obviously have a lot to learn, and need to practice a lot but it was fun to try something new.
We go to Mount Rainier to stay at Paradise almost every summer. It is a place that is both the same and different every year. Mostly one goes up from Paradise to the higher elevations with meadows of wildflowers and unimpeded views of The Mountain. Last year we took a loop hike from Paradise down to Reflection Lakes and Narada Falls.
The combination of woods and lakes and waterfalls with some mountain views has a charm of its own: a bit gentler and less stark than the mountain all on its own. The hike is also a bit less strenuous than the ones to the higher elevations (the down side is that it is downhill going out and uphill going back so the hard part is at the end of the day). The Road Taken