Meet my dog Lola Barker. As you can tell by the photos Lola has a tough life, NOT! Today I was following her around the house trying to get some action shots. I quickly realized it was not going to happen. Apparently a full nights sleep and several naps weren’t enough to motivate any sort of fast movement. I tossed her toy hoping for a game of fetch. She gave me a look of disgust, yawned and went inside for another rest!
When I lived in Panama I knew about a rock wall that occasionally tourists would climb. I had driven past it and wondered what had caused the rocks to take on their interesting shape. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I went back for a visit and took some photos that I was motivated to do a google search and learn more about what caused the interesting rock formation.
I learned that this type of rock is called columnar basalts. They result when a lava flow cools quickly. The lava contracts vertically but cracks perpendicular to it’s directional flow with remarkable geometric regularity. In most cases forming a regular grid of remarkable hexagonal extrusions that appear to be made by man.
I think I will keep my feet planted on the ground to photograph things like this. Unfortunately with my lack of upper body strength I wouldn’t get 6 foot off the ground! I’ll leave that up to the experts or tourists who don’t know any better!
I found this wonderful story online at, http://www.beyondreligion.com, while googling the Nautilus Shell. I think it is so beautiful. It made my shell photo even more special to me and also fit my theme, “Outside The Box,” perfectly.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, a century and a half ago, saw the metaphorical significance of the chambered home of the Nautilus. These fascinating seashells are spiral in shape and consist of a series of ever-larger chambers in each of which the sea creature lives for a season until it outgrows that particular space. The Nautilus then enlarges its shell by the addition of a new chamber suitable for the next stage of its life.
Holmes wrote, in a poem entitled The Chambered Nautilus, “Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul….Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!”
What a perfect image for spiritual evolution! In order to begin a new stage in our growth, we have to think “outside the box.” Yet, every time we abandon an old worldview for a new and wider vision, we merely find ourselves in a larger box. And while each box serves its particular function for a time, we are always in danger of claiming that the chamber we currently occupy is the ultimate one.
The spiral shape of the Nautilus shell suggests that it can keep growing forever. There is no design for a “final” chamber. The creature must keep building new chambers as long as it lives. It cannot go back to the previous ones; they no longer fit. It cannot stay in its present space or it will die. It has no choice but to move on. And on.
Perhaps one day we might be able to create for ourselves a box so large that it would encompass all of God. But that space would then include everything, even those realities which we now purposely exclude by limiting the size of today’s chamber.
This morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to join some friends on a guided tour to Myakka State Park. I am in no way a morning person but I am glad I made the effort. Sometimes spending time in nature is good for the soul. I always find nature especially beautiful when I am framing it up through my lens finder.
I knew that one part of our hike would include an area called “Deep Hole.” I anticipated seeing a lot of alligators but was shocked to see roughly 75 alligators floating in such a small area. Our guide, Dick Pfaff, made sure that we approached the area in the safest way and that we kept a safe distance.
Once in awhile the quiet was interrupted by the splashing water and the sound of crunching when an alligator would push up out of the water with a large catfish in it’s mouth. A nice little reminder to keep your distance from the waters edge!
Last weekend I went to the Florida Winefest to watch the balloon glow. I was amazed at how up close and personal the photographers were allowed to get. It was a lot of fun and a great challenge to adjust my camera settings so quickly as the sun went down. I thought this photo would be a fun fit for my “Shadows” theme. I was able to place myself in the photo… right up the middle!