Mixed bag

Into the White

We have been watching winter movies playing in remote places lately. Yesterday it was “Into the White”, a Norwegian movie by director Petter Næss.

A group of British and German soldiers find themselves stranded in a remote shelter in the midst of winter during WW II after crashing their planes in the Norwegian wilderness. Not a war movie, but a great portrait of humanity based on true events.


Some critics said the movie has soul, I concur.
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On the Road

White Sands

“Solitude is fine

but you need someone

to tell that solitude is fine.”

Honoré de Balzac


After spending a few days in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico I needed to share this picture with you. What a fine place to experience solitude…

Or detonate the first atomic bomb, or drop training missiles…

The approaching storm certainly looked threatening, however no significant precipitation resulted from this warm front. It’s a desert in the end. 10 inches of rain may fall in a year. The mountains in the distance even receive a couple inches of snow.

The dunes of White Sands are mostly composed of gypsum, a white hydrous mineral, very different from other sand dunes of the West. The dunes are white as snow, and have a strange wet feel to it. The sand is deposited by wind from a nearby Lake Lucero.

The Park Service allows camping and hiking in this amazing playground.

Where did you find solitude?

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Life

Shine Your Light…

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Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

“Shine your light
and make a positive impact on the world;
there is nothing so honorable as
helping improve the lives of others.”

Roy T. Bennett


I wish at the end of my days somebody tells me, I had a positive impact on the world. There are many ways to help out others in need. What will you do to make the world a better place?

Black Friday 2018, not a dime spent…

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One Man's Paradise

Thanksgiving

“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful.

It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”

David Steindl-Rast


I am grateful for a handful of friends that reach out to me and stay in touch, including readers of this blog, who give me a sense of belonging and purpose. I am grateful to have spent time in beautiful places and the ability to share moments of solitude, serenity, and happiness.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Note to self

Miracles

“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein


Today, more Noble Prize winners have been announced. Reminded me of Einstein, who was not only good for scientific theories that changed “our” views on matter and time. He also led a wild private life and is a great source for inspirational quotes.

I liken to think of life as a miracle. Sometimes there are rocks in the way. It takes effort to turn those rocks into insignificant pebbles.

I am reentering society, sort of, after being on the road for more than 4 months and living north of the arctic circle, where every day is a miracle. The solitude and remoteness, the weather, the landscape, and the small number of individuals that I encountered in that environment left me no choice, but marvel in the quality of every day. I could stayed up there and maybe I will return some day.

 

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Conservation

Wilderness № 2

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Brooks Range, Alaska

This is what Ansel Adams had to say in a Playboy interview (1983) to the question “What is the most critical fight now (regarding conservation and the environment)?”

To save the entire environment: wilderness protection, proper use of parks, breakdown of Federal operation of the parks in favor of private interests, acquiring new park and wilderness land, unrestrained oil drilling and mining on land and offshore, etc. First on the list now is that all the wilderness areas must be protected…

Only two and a half percent of the land in this country is protected. Not only are we being fought in trying to extend that two and a half percent to include other important or fragile areas but we are having to fight to protect that small two and a half percent.


Here is where we stand 25 years later.

The U.S. has 2.3 billion acres of land. 110 million acres have wilderness status, which is the highest form of protection. That’s 4.8 % of the total land mass.

Let’s put that into perspective. Just over 6 % of the total land mass are occupied by humans, meaning urban and rural developments. About 350 million acres are planted for crop, of which only 3 million acres are used to produce all the vegetables in the States.  Of those 350 million acres, 80 million acres are used for feeder corn and another 75 million acres of soybeans (95 percent of which are consumed by livestock). These two crops affect more of the land area of the U.S. than all the urbanization, rural residential, highways, railroads, commercial centers, malls, industrial parks and golf courses combined.

Add 788 million acres of pastures and 140 million acres are forested lands that are used for livestock grazing and you can see quickly where our priorities stand.

 

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