D A W N

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In less than ten minutes this weather beaten barn went from being in the shadows to being illuminated by the warm rays of the morning sun.

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And, ten minutes before this photo, the barn was in the dark. The lighting doesn’t change the condition of the structure, but it does help us to see it clearly.

That’s what Dawn does-it helps us to see life from a brighter perspective.

And what causes the light? The sun, of course…always on time, always illuminating and exposing what can’t be seen in the darkness.

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The sun creeps up on us like a car at dusk getting ready to top a hill. One can see a glow above the crest of the road, but it is not until the head lights come into view do we see what created that glow. It is at this moment we are illuminated.

In addition to illuminating and exposing, Dawn brightens and enlightens. Has it been awhile since you’ve witnessed a sunrise? If it has, may I suggest that you do so soon. And, if you have seen many Dawns, but don’t give them a second thought, perhaps pause for a moment and simply watch in awe how amazing this daily occurrence really is. Quite possibly you may become enlightened and illuminate someone else’s life. That’s well worth a few minutes of our time, and the benefits can’t be overstated.

Sheen

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If I were to ask what this image is you are viewing, some of you will get it right away and some will be left wondering (or at least guessing).

Spontaneous and opportunistic are how I would describe my style of photography and prose. In this case I used my cell phone camera because that is all I had available for the moment to snap this photograph.

This image is 100% natural, and laid next to me on the couch early this morning as the sun began to shine brilliantly through an east window in our living room. The sunlight which created a wonderful sheen in the center and faint shadows at the edges captured my attention. Of course, the waves are like a surfer’s paradise and can’t be overlooked.

I share this for the sheer pleasure of doing so. This image is of Carson’s side as the sun illuminated his silky fur. Not all Westie’s are silky, but he certainly is. Carson is a bit unusual in that he likes humans a lot, but doesn’t want to be caressed too much. He is his own dog, so-to-speak. So, when an opportunity comes along, like this morning’s, where he wanted to rest next to me, I looked upon him with admiration and affection.

What is it about our beloved pets that creates such a bond? Those who have and enjoy their pets know that answer… for it lies in the heart.

 

 

Shadows

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Shadows can be fun, mysterious, frightful, intentional, random, and even boring. Regardless of how they are viewed and make us feel, they can all be explained by a law of physics: light is interrupted by an opaque or semi-opaque object and darkness is created in the form of the object on the opposite side of the illuminated object.

The shape and degree of darkness are controlled by several factors: light intensity, angle of the light source illuminating the object, movement of the object or light source, opaqueness of the object being illuminated, location of the viewer with respect to the object, the terrain upon which the shadow falls, and the distance of the shadow.

In the case of this lengthy shadow, I was atop the lighthouse with a clear view of the shadow being cast. The sun was bright and at an angle as it was afternoon. The lighthouse was opaque, except for the glass windows which reveal the light fixture. Although the type of surface which accepted the shadow changes from land to water, both are relatively level and flat. Hence, the shadow is directly in-line with the lighthouse.

However, aside from a scientific explanation there is something else about shadows-perhaps something almost sinister. Our imaginations can run wild so-to-speak when we allow the shadow to come ‘alive’ in our minds. We ‘feel’ its presence which can send chills up our back and make us look over our shoulder repeatedly. Yet, logically, we know shadows are not alive, but they are attached to the object casting it via invisible cords. Those cords which lead us to the objects are what we really fear-the shadows only confirm their existence.

There are more to shadows than meets the eyes. It is what they reveal which makes them so special..so ethereal. Not only do they reveal a hint of the object casting the shadow, they often expose something deep inside of us which is only triggered by the faded image. When I gaze upon this scene I am reminded of warmth, relaxation and discovery-all very pleasant feelings. Fortunately, I viewed this shadow in bright circumstances and there was no negativity attached to it or the lighthouse. That is not always the case.

I recall a memory of shadows which affected me unexpectedly. Many years ago I hiked to the top of a 12,000 foot mountain in the Rockies of Colorado. The day was sunny and the weather pleasant. After a while I noticed dark, swiftly moving shadows rolling across the rocky terrain. Clouds, and then more clouds. Fast and then faster they came. With the sun blazing above them they cast menacing looking images onto the mountain top. I recall vividly how I suddenly felt so very small and insignificant in comparison to the grandeur of nature’s power. The majesty of the mountains coupled with a storm fast approaching made me very aware that had I stayed on top of that mountain when the full force of the storm passed over, I would not have returned from whence I started. I was amazed that all it took were shadows to evoke these thoughts and feelings.

With a slight chuckle I think of the movies with sinister plots and shadows which scare those acting as well as those viewing.  Feelings of fearfulness and harm cause the heart to race-all because of shadows. Or, is it the shadows? Perhaps deeper reasons exist.

Dawn’s Light

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As the early morning light filtered through the leaves of our red maple tree and illuminated the wall, Carson was wakened from his slumber to greet the morning.

Now for a bit of breakfast followed by squirrel chasing, much sniffing around the trees, and a walk around the perimeter fence to look for intruders, it is time for another nap.

Wouldn’t it be fun to be Carson for a day!

Autumn’s First Sunrise

9-23-14 014As I left home this morning I rode into one of the most stunning sunrises I have ever witnessed. I couldn’t help myself so I stopped at a couple of locations as I headed east and took multiple photos. Each photo is untouched and the colors were as rich and vibrant then as now. 9-23-14 015I hesitate to share too many images, but am compelled to give you a half-dozen just so the intensity of this sunrise captures you as it did me.9-23-14 017Having a stationary object included in a sky photograph usually accents both the sky and the object, as did this utility pole. However, only one stayed still, and it sure wasn’t the clouds!9-23-14 022I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of the photographer. I like reflections from glass, water or from any reflective material.9-23-14 028Within minutes the shapes and colors of God’s palette changed. I never knew ambers so rich as these. And the shadows so vivid while the reflections were so brilliant. Ablaze was the eastern sky this morning. And just think, this is eastern Kansas and not some exotic locale. What a privilege to have witnessed this unfolding of morning on September 23rd, the Autumnal Equinox. Perhaps this Fall will be special. It certainly started out that way for me…and now for you!9-23-14 032

Chasing Shadows

386This past weekend we returned from a trip we made to Ft. Worth, Texas, where we visited relatives. There is a section of Interstate I-35 between Emporia and El Dorado, Kansas where the famed Flint Hills are intersected by the highway. The Flint Hills are a  geological feature with tall mounds covered with natural prairie grass and gullies cut into the rock. These hills stretch across the eastern portion of Kansas at a North to South direction for 200 miles and are approx.80 miles wide. The elevations vary, but average about 1,400 feet above sea level. They are similar to a mini-mountain range. Due to the flint (chert) near the surface of these hills, farming is not possible. However, the great stand of Blue Stem prairie grass is perfect for cattle grazing. Cattle dot the landscape like trees do mountains at the timber-line. When atop one of the many hills, the visibility is astoundingly far, as if one were looking across a great ocean of blowing grasses. To view photos and learn more, please check out the Flint Hills via your browser as there are multiple sites which display this region.

On our return trip, as we were well into the Flint Hills, there was broken cloud cover. These clouds were moving very quickly. As the shadows of these clouds blocked the sun momentarily, racing shadows swept across the ocean with great beauty. Only a video camera could really capture the essence of what I am trying to describe. A still photograph would give you a static version of a moving thing which would be of some benefit, but it could not convey the race that was taking place. Although we were traveling at the designated 75 miles per hour speed limit, these shadows swept over us like planes. I wanted to catch a shadow, but knew it would be a futile effort so I chased them instead. As the highway would wind and climb then drop and climb again, each group of shadows would laugh at us. They were free of the restrictions of earth and gravity and pavement.

So, I thought as I drove. I marveled at the sheer beauty of clouds and their offspring. I calculated their speed and distance. I was in awe of their ‘light as air’ design, and the ability of each cloud to obscure our view of the sun…even for only a few seconds. The shapes and heights and colors of clouds amaze me, especially at sunsets when white becomes gold or possibly red-orange. And the shadows. They are shift and elusive. They ply across the ground, covering everything in their path as they dart past our field of vision. Magnificent is the word for what I saw. I wish you could have witnessed it for the heavens put on quite a show Monday afternoon.

Have you ever chased a shadow? Caught one? Why not try? Free yourself from anything that holds you back and simply ‘go for it ‘. While you’re busy chasing shadows and staring at clouds, consider who made them and rejoice that we have been given yet another reminder that this world was created for a reason and not by accident. That reason just happens to be you…and me. By enjoying the simple, yet most profound things this world has to offer, you may discover a new dimension to living…peace.