Wings Out !

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This is a Turkey Vulture. He has his wings outstretched and back to the sun in an effort to warm his entire body. This is a common practice. I happened to see him as I began my early morning walk. I ran back to my car and grabbed my camera. His back was to me, but he didn’t seem to mind that I was walking closer to him.

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As I drew closer he turned his head one way and then the other to watch me. He didn’t seem too concerned. The wingspan is typically 6 feet tip-to-tip!

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As I stated, he didn’t seemed concerned about my presence and simply went back to exposing his back to the early morning sun. Perhaps he knew he was safe at 35 feet. I happened to meet a couple of gals taking an early morning walk as we looked upon this sight. They said matter-of-factly that this guy perches on their nearby decks daily. No, they don’t appreciate that and consider him ugly and intimidating. I suppose I would, too! However, from this vantage point, I thought him fascinating. Hope you discover something fascinating this week.

Reflections in Blue

5-26-15 024 Have you ever noticed how vividly light reflects off of tinted glass, and even clear-coat painted metallic surfaces? Like watching a movie, I gazed at the clouds which strolled by the side windows of my Jeep. They skirted by without even a whisper…only a moving reminder that they existed…for only a short while before fading out of sight. In between the clouds the sun shone in all her brilliance. It was she who illuminated the clouds in the first place. And, it was she who made the reflection possible. No light, no radiance, no reflection.

Remember the line in the fairy tale, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”. As I recall, the answer wasn’t too favorable for the wicked queen so she cast a spell on Snow White who was considered the fairest.

The queen had a problem which is common among many. She was so self-absorbed that she radiated her disdain for others (in this case Snow White). Her reflection revealed a narcissistic image and the mirror couldn’t lie. How often do we see this dynamic played out in our everyday world? People pretending to be one thing, but eventually they reveal through words and actions what’s really inside them. Rather than radiating light, darkness fills the void. In today’s world of ‘make believe’ where most anything printed or filmed can be (and usually is) manipulated to what the creator wants the subject to look like, we are presented a poor reflection of the truth. Sorry to be sardonic with my opinion, but this is what I often see. This is also a generalization of our culture and not a condemnation of any particular person, although I can think of a few who may fit this description.

This got me to thinking about radiance and reflections in general. More specifically, I looked in the mirror and asked myself what I radiate, if anything. Do I have a light within me which radiates outwardly or is there too much darkness that obscures the light? Can others see what I don’t? Or, is there anything to be seen? Is my self-image based on reality or wanna be? As with my vehicle’s color; since it is blue, it better reflect blue or something is wrong.

I realize I have flaws, more than I want others to know about. And, I can hide things as well as anyone, except from the One who knows me better than I know myself. With this admission I can also state that it is my supreme desire to radiate light and reflect that which I know to be true. As I stumble in my daily attempts to live out this goal, I need all of the grace I can acquire. So, before you throw a rock at me for this post, I adjure you to look in the mirror, too. If you don’t like what you see, you can throw the rock at the glass or put it down and be honest with yourself. Then, extend yourself some grace before asking for help to change. The clouds will eventually part and the light will shine once again. There are plenty of souls who have cracked mirrors, and continue to radiate beautiful light. I want to be one of them.

 

 

Sun, Sea & Serenity

Just returned from a brief vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For five days we experienced 84 degree (29 C) days with plenty of sunshine, gentle rolling waves, warm sandy beaches, and a peculiar sort of serenity amidst many vacationing souls.Cellphone Pics to 11-18-14 076This post really isn’t about all of the luxuries associated with taking such a vacation: great location, wonderful resort, delicious food, terrific pool and beach, awesome views, breath-taking sunsets, pleasant people, and even cleaning by others. What else can I say, except we were very blessed to have experienced all of this.Cellphone Pics to 11-18-14 018No, this is about something less tangible, but much more important.SL-1 153This post, and this trip, have to do with the benefits of simply changing scenery in order to relieve tension and regain a positive perspective. Two things immediately come to the surface: cost and time. In our case, the cost was relatively minor due to frugal planning, but one doesn’t have to go to exotic locales to gain a fresh view. Nor does one have to allot a lengthy period of time to gain that much-needed change in perspective…although we wouldn’t have minded staying longer. The most important factor in conjunction with the change of scenery came about due to a conscious choice to stop the stress by getting off the hamster wheel and simply just be. I have become increasingly more in-tune with the importance of simply being. Perhaps this comes with age, and perhaps with wisdom. Or, it may be borne from necessity, but whatever the reason, less doing and more being is going to become a part of our daily agenda. I will readily admit that sitting in a lounge chair on the beach, munching on fresh guacamole and chips, sipping a Corona and watching the waves wax and wane sure made ‘being’ a bit easier than if we were at home !SL-1 100Photos by Cheryl & Michael via Canon SL-1 and Samsung Galaxy 3.

Sun, Sentinels & Scenery

3-10-14 pm 006A few days ago the temperature warmed up significantly so I took a ride on my scooter and shot some scenery. These images are with the sun to my back as it is about a half hour from dropping below the horizon. The warm hues of a late afternoon glow turn the metallic structures into something almost real. The tall spires of this electric utility sub-station reminded me of sentinels overlooking the plain of tall grasses.3-10-14 pm 007This is that time of year when nature plays tricks on us. One day it is well below freezing and the next above sixty degrees. Most of the winter hibernators come out on these days and the human activity looks like squirrels descending from their nests and scurrying about for nuts! It is like neighborhoods come to life just as spring flowers sprout up from the crusty soil of colder days. Soon, the earth will shed her blanket of snow and frozen ground and usher in a spectacular array of life and beauty. We are still a month away from such eruptions of color, but the wildlife senses the coming change.3-10-14 pm 0283-10-14 pm 029I passed these beautiful creatures grazing and simply had to stop and shoot. The sun cast rays and shadows which made for an idyllic setting. Horses are so graceful.3-10-14 pm 021Even this goose got into the picture, literally! The geese that left our area are now beginning to return. Although they are a wonderful sight to watch in flight, they can certainly create problems as they have acclimated to people and vehicles. As a side note, I try to be cognizant of my surroundings because I am so often pleasantly astonished at what I encounter. When I am preoccupied or running too fast I can easily overlook the sublime which may not be readily recognizable. For me, this applies especially to nature, but extends to all facets of my life. People are not exceptions to this truth for they are the most complex of all creation. Well, the sun was ready to set for another evening so it was time to pack up the camera and head home which is just what I did. Shalom.3-10-14 pm 036