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HIROSHIMA, JAPAN IMAGES: THE SIMPLEST THINGS IN LIFE

HIROSHIMA, JAPAN IMAGES: THE SIMPLEST THINGS IN LIFE.

I mention my favourite poets regularly i.e. Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry and want to mention my favourite prose writer Paulo Coehlo. This post begins with a quote from Manuscript Found in Accra asking we let the simplest things reveal there extraordinary nature. The photography underscores this point.

It is in the ordinary the extraordinary is revealed is one of my favourite quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh. When I am mindful, present, and attentive, I sense the extraordinary I rush past in my haste to get to the next moment.

Of High Solitude

When surrounded by the busyness of life, this poem is a call to other things where I find solitude. Wilfrid Wilson Gibson suggested the way the soul can find solitude in even the busiest of moments. I can look in and find those spaces even when they are not physically available. In those moments, I am present to those things and people who are most important in life. They are framed like a flower against the backdrop of majestic mountains.

Eagles and isles and uncompanioned peaks,

The self-reliant isolated things

Release my soul, embrangled in the stress

Of all days’ crass and cluttered business:

Release my soul in song, and give it wings;

And even when the traffic roars and rings,

With senses stunned and beaten deaf and blind,

My soul withdraws into itself, and seeks

The peaks and isles and eagles of the mind.

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Jasper Elk

I traveled the last couple of days and, as I went through Jasper National Park, I came across these two elk. They were just off the side of the highway and have a full rack of antlers.

This one was by himself eating.

Elk 5

This one was not as cooperative in showing his face.

Elk 7

The shy one decided the grass was greener over in the other one’s pasture and began to move over.

Elk 1

The interloper begins to push the original out of his pasture. You could hear the clash of the antlers and the intruder seemed able to push the first one back.

Elk 6

I was closer to an elk when we were in Yellowstone several years ago. There is a story to the picture I took as I climbed down the embankment into the ditch and a moment later one of the other tourists we were with tumbled down the embankment. I told her it was OK because I thought could run faster than her.

I was probably 50 or more feet away from the ones in Jasper. I was only about 15 feet from the one in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Elk

Logan’s Pass

Logan’s Pass includes the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. When I looked, the view was spectacular and breathtaking.  The park was named for the many glaciers that are part of the landscape and so visible through Logan’s Pass. The glaciers are slowly receding and some estimates suggest they may be gone by mid-Century.

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Looking straight across from the road, you can see the ice and snow almost at eye level and further out is Jackson Glacier. The road is dotted with short barriers and are not very wide.

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The Montana sky is a constant backdrop for the mountains, the ice and snow, and the green in the foreground.

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A person constantly feels like they are on the top of the world here. People refer to Glacier National Park as the Crown of the Continent and closeness to the tops of the mountains is a reason. Waterfalls are often in view.

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Here, there are no real barriers at the edge of the road.

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Kathy took this picture over her shoulder. It shows the switchbacks and curves in the road.

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I enjoy the contrast provided by the grey granite and the white snow and ice. There is stability and, at the same time, instability visible in nature. The granite looks like it forms a stairway to the top of the world.

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Glacier Park Mountains, Glaciers, and Logan’s Pass

Kathy took most of these pictures driving through Logan’s Pass. Glacier National Park is appropriately named. Most of the white spots in the pictures are glaciers or snow pack. There are about 37 glaciers left in the park and most of them are receding or shrinking in size.

We came through the park a later in the summer, but there we saw some of the wildflowers in bloom on the way up Looking Glass Hill overlooking Two Medicine Lake. The mountains and lake serve as a spectacular backdrop. We walked around the lake later.

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This is looking downstream from Running Eagle Falls or Trick Falls. The glacier on the mountain would likely be considered one of the 25 active glaciers in the park. An active glacier is one that is 25 acres or more. Over 90% of the park is wilderness.

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This is Jackson Glacier. Although it does not look very high, it is deceptive. The roads climb well up into the pass and travelers end up closer to the mountain tops.

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This is the tourist stop in Logan’s Pass with the mountains in the background. Parking is at a premium here so we did not get to stop.

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Most of the pictures we took going through the pass were from the car without stopping. Again, the peaks are not much above the road level.

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Waterfalls ribbon the mountainsides as they are constantly fed by the glaciers.

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If you look closely at the picture below, you can see about 3/4 of the way up the road on the left side. It is a slight darkening. The middle of the picture, below the background peak, is basically where the road reaches the summit of Logan’s Pass .

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Glacier Waterfalls

I am fascinated by waterfalls. It could be they offer paradox in their fury and the stillness found in their sources or in the pools that lay at the base of the falls. Glacier National Park offered opportunities to see waterfalls up close and from a distance

We saw this one from the car as we drove through Logan’s Pass. We saw several waterfalls that fell either right on the highway or right beside it. Literally, we shot pictures from the car as we drove. Parking is at a premium throughout the pass.

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I want to give perspective on driving through the pass. This is common with even more pronounced switchbacks in places. I can look out of the car window when there is vegetation along the side of the road, but my fear of heights is paralyzing. I don’t drive these roads. Kathy was a mountain goat in an earlier life and is far more comfortable with this driving.

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We walked in to Running Eagle Falls or Trick Falls. Earlier in the summer and spring, there are two waterfalls caused by spring run off from the snow melt. I copied a picture, which shows the second waterfall above the one in our picture. The link I used rated these falls among the top in the Pacific Northwest.
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We hiked into Avalanche Lake. We took pictures from both ends of the lake. The first picture shows a series of waterfalls coming down from the mountain side. The snow on the mountains is actually in the form of glaciers.

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We hiked around the lake and were able to take a few more pictures. Another hiker told us he tried to get closer, but once he was a few feet into the trees he said it was impassable. You can see in this picture that it does not look far but the underbrush is heavy. The link to Avalanche Lake has some pictures taken by someone who was able to get closer to the base of at least one of the waterfalls. As we got closer, the waterfalls look quite different with more ribbons appearing.

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We were furthest from this waterfall, but the ribbons were clearer as we got closer.

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I took two pictures in Logan’s Pass. This was one. Once we got to the top of the pass, it was less open and I was able to manage a camera shot. It was right beside the highway. I rolled the window down, as there was no parking and took this picture.

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Glacier Wildlife

Kathy and I went through Glacier National Park in Montana on our way home. Kathy traveled the route on her way to Spokane. Americans seem to build mountain national parks around the geography which means we saw little wildlife, but we did see some we don’t in Canadian mountain parks. This was clear on the Going to the Sun Road where we saw mountain goats. When we travel through Canadian mountain parks, we see mountain sheep which come down into the valleys during the summer. Goats stay high up where it is cooler. Unless a person hikes the back country, Waterton Lakes National Park, which borders on Glacier, does not have the goats for people to see easily.

This one was on the patch of glacier on the side of the road where it was able to stay cool.

Goat 1

This one posed. You can see they are somewhat comfortable with humans being around, but I still think of them as wildlife. It almost looked a statue.

Goat 3

As we hiked, I came around a corner and this spring’s fawn was separated from its mother and twin. I don’t know who was more surprised: him/her or me. Initially, we were 4 or 5 feet apart. Kathy had her camera and got great pictures. The background is part of an amphitheater and the deer were grazing around it.

Deer 1

The doe and another fawn were across the amphitheater, but I had inadvertently blocked the path for the first fawn to rejoin them. They made a kind of whistling sound to each other and the doe never appeared overly concerned. She actually grazed on the trees and waited patiently.

Deer 2

The separated fawn took off along a path that was across the clearing.

Deer 3

The fawn re-appeared across the amphitheater and they went off. It seemed like it was all in day’s work for them.

Deer 5

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