The commercial strip v. the National Monuments – a request for stay of execution

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
On the executioner’s block: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

 

It is already true that one can be dropped on any commercial strip in the USA and have no idea where they are. Each is so much the same, so not unique, that Chattanooga and Bakersfield look much the same. We have eradicated the prairies, slaughtered the forests, and filled the wetlands, must we also quash the individuality of the national monuments and make them conform to the ideals of capitalism, consumerism, and corporate expansion? What of calm, contentment, and courage to step outside of the box, to appreciate the subtle realm of time, space, and light that is not under our control? Where will we go for peace when we have used up all that is wild?

You have seen my photos over the last year. Many of those photos were taken in national monuments (including the two on this page). If you enjoyed my meager attempts at conveying the intensity of these landscapes, you will enjoy this (free ebook) photographic journey through the national monuments by exquisite landscape photographers

http://landalmostlost.com/

And, I hope you will send comments in support of retaining the national monuments.

 https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

Stay the executions.

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

 

Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice!

All the best and brightest for 2017!

beartown-trees
Spring trees after morning rain. Beartown State Forest, Massachusetts
yampa
Yampa River valley, cottonwoods, snow, and afternoon light. Colorado
mt-baker-3
Fern aliens. How can so many shades of green live in one place? Mount Baker, Washington
Sea alien – A.K.A. anemone. Deception Pass State Park, Washington
paintbrush
Paintbrush in lichen-laden sagebrush. Steens Mountain, Oregon
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
The road through Candy Land
capitol-reef-3409
Fall color against red rock. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
needles-8817
Super moon set. Canyonlands National Park, Utah
grand-canyon-7832
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
africa-4433
Kalahari Milky Way. Botswana
africa-5407
Zebra-belly nap face. Moremi National Park, Botswana
Moremi National Park, Botswana
Personal grooming is important in maintaining superiority.
Elephant knees and toenails and a little one tucked under the trunk. Chobe, Botswana
Lilac-breasted roller. Moremi National Park, Botswana
Paradise Found, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Coleman Glacier, Mt. Baker

Coleman Glacier on Mt. Baker. Tiny people in lower left corner for scale.
Mt. Baker slope with glacier edges.
Trees against ice.
Raven on ice.
Ice and dirt and the vivid blue below.
Ice and dirt and the vivid blue below – take 2.
Mt. Baker above Coleman Glacier from Heliotrope Ridge.

2015 in the rearview

Each year about this time I send a review of the year in photos I’ve taken along the way to people I know and love. It’s my annual Solstice letter without all the words, short and sweet. Below is this year’s installment. I offer this with gratitude for the people I do not yet know and love but who find the energy to spend time with me here. I hope it takes you on roads you have not taken enough this year.

Winter self-portrait

Walla Walla impossible green

b DSC_0006 2

Mount Hood through the oaks of Washington

c DSC_0014

Blue and yellow make green

d DSC_0040 3

Desert virga, California

e DSC_0074 2

Dragonfly, North Dakota

f DSC_0025-Ed

Full circle, North Dakota

Travelers: Monarch butterfly, tamarisk, and the Cimarron River, Oklahoma

Evening glow, California

Grizzly River bowl, California

j DSC_0208

Crater Lake morning, Oregon

 

Fire sunset, Steens Mountain, Oregon

m DSC_0343

Mars-wanna-be, the Sun, during fire season on planet Earth

l DSC_0027

Indian Beach, Oregon

Saddle Mountain, Oregon

n IMG_1292 ed

 

Societal Insanity v. A Safer World

In 1997 I moved from western Massachusetts to Maine. Several people asked me, “Are you going to get a gun?” I laughed. I thought this was an odd question.

When I left Maine to work in Alaska, many people told me, “You better get a gun.” I guess Alaska is a scary place relative to Maine.

After that summer in Alaska, I spent the winter in Utah. I went back to Alaska the next summer and then worked in Wyoming the following winter. I moved to Montana. Each step along the way, people said the same thing, “ You better start packin’.”

I left Montana and moved to eastern Washington State. My boyfriend at the time gave me his shotgun. It remained in the back corner of a closet until we broke up and he asked me to return it.

Now, I am leaving Washington. I have bought a camper for the bed of my pick-up and plan to spend a few months, maybe years, cruising around to the many places I haven’t had time to visit during other busy travels. And, once again, people have begun asking me if I have a gun or if I am going to get one.

I have never owned a gun. I have used them for clay pigeon shooting on occasion, I have carried one as a mandatory safety precaution in polar bear country, I shot at woodchucks when I was a teenager.

How many school shootings, mass shootings, random shootings have there been this year? How many people have been killed in the U.S. this year by a gun, self-inflicted, accidental, or intended?

I’m not anti-gun. I don’t think gun control will resolve all of the insanity of our society.

I may lead a charmed life.

I choose to step into the world unarmed. I believe that adding a gun to my travel gear will not make me safer.

Rather, I believe that choosing not to carry a gun will make the world safer.