The beginning of July certainly was a color spectacle. Wild flowers galore. Blue skies, emerald lakes, and lush greens were the backdrops for daisies, clover, paintbrush, and so many more flowers.

Then morning mist, rain, and storm clouds moved in, much to the delight of black and white lovers.

If summer had a slow-motion mode I would push that button now.

No such button, sigh.

Then I just wait for the repeat next year.

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On the Road

July 2016 – monochromatic

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Life

Quiet days…

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Taiya Inlet, 2016

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”

Norton Juster


This is an excerpt from Norton Juster’s most famous book: The Phantom Tollbooth. It is said that he started writing books out of boredom, while serving in the military. He is also noted for his pranks. He once started a society, whose primary goal was to reject any membership applications. Nevertheless, he must have found time to appreciate quiet moments.

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Life, One Man's Paradise

4 x 5

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“They laugh at me because I’m different;
I laugh at them because they’re all the same.”

Kurt Cobain


Like him or not, but Kurt has a point.

How often do we buy, wear, eat, and think the same things?

How often do we want to have, what others have?

How often do we believe, what others believe?

It’s so convenient.

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Life

The Brakeman

Long gone are the days, when the brakeman’s job was to slow down the train, riding all the way in the back of the train in a caboose, without heating, waiting for hand signals from the conductor. Sometimes it was an outright dangerous job. On steep descents the brakeman would walk on top of the moving train and apply the brakes to individual wagons. It was his job to look for signs of overheating bearings, watch for cargo shifting, and keep the riff raff off the train.

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The Brakeman, 2016

Then came modern technology. Now the engineer can control the brakes safely from the front. Cargo is loaded following strict guide lines and train jumping is guarded by the police. What is left for the brakeman? To put on his hat and a smile for the passengers, with a sliver of nostalgia reminiscing the “good” old days.

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Nature

The Unbearable Lightness

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If I hadn’t clipped the wing of one of the terns I could retire from photographing terns.

This aerial ballet is part of their courtship. It also  involves feeding a fish to the future mate. Terns apparently mate for life. The “high flight” and “fish feeding” flight is mostly seen in couples that nest for the first time.

Three weeks from now we might see young terns hatching, although the adults are nesting in an industrial fuel tank area…

Please read the previous post on the amazing annual migration of this gracious sea bird.

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One Man's Paradise

Close to the heart

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May Weather in the Boundaries Range, British Columbia


“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing.
I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche.
I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens,
and get as near the heart of the world as I can.”

John Muir


 

Those are the words of a great man.

Looking across the valleys and mountains of the Boundaries Range I imagine this is what John Muir had in mind, when he traveled to Alaska 130 years ago: Snow and ice covered landscapes. Even today, patches of that pristine wilderness still exist. Often times hiding in the clouds.

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Mixed bag

First ship

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“The traveler sees what he sees.
The tourist sees what he has come to see.”

G.K. Chesterton


The first cruise ship of the season has arrived in town. Spitting out 3000 passengers in search of memories and experiences.

For some travelers these memories consist of merchandise: T-shirts, hats, and diamonds…

Unfortunately the diamond hunters did return empty handed, as none of the 25 diamond stores in a town of 700 souls had opened their seasonal shops. The stores are closing in fall the day the last ship leaves and remain locked for the whole winter. The large window fronts collect dust, hiding the bare interior. In spring a row of nondescript, rusty containers roll into town. Overnight windows are cleaned, shop signs are polished, and display cases are overflowing with expensive jewelry, watches, and art work. Well, I assume the goods are expensive, since no prices are displayed.

This year the first ship beat the diamond stores to the punch. All we had to offer was a beautiful spring day. I wonder how many visitors appreciated the precious beauty of their surroundings and took home those memories free of charge.

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Spring time

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