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Tag Archives: Yellowstone National Park

Thistle And Bee

via Thistle And Bee

Kenne is a wonderful photography and poet. In this post, he provides beautiful art along with a quote from Alan Watts.

Watts was an early interpreter of Eastern philosophies. In his book, The Wisdom of Insecurity, he distinguishes between faith and beliefs. To have faith, one accepts what comes. According to Watts, we reduce our anxiety. To believe, one fits the world to fit those beliefs.  In this case, we create doctrine and dogma, religious and otherwise, to suit what our beliefs are. We become anxious in our defense of our beliefs.

When we have faith, we accept what comes and we are part of the larger whole. When we have a belief system, we defend it and treat people and things as if they are resources and disposable. Nature is something exploitable and not something to enjoy and protect.

When I look at the picture Kenne shared, I am reminded how each person, being, and thing is somehow intertwined with everything else. The bee depends on the flower and we depend on each of them in particular ways. We treat the thistle as a weed, rather than as a source of food for the bee and the bee’s honey a source of food for us. Without either of them the universe is diminished. As Watts suggested, we have to see and listen with the eyes and ears of the universe to appreciate the universe’s magnifence.

Yellowstone Elk

I took this picture several years ago in Yellowstone National Park. I was about 20 feet away from this elk with my camera and a few trees between him and me. He knew I was there. A moment before he looked at me, seemed to sense I was not a threat and went back to eating. I did not move suddenly and kept my eye on him each moment I was down there.

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i thank You God for this most amazing

When I taught, I used e. e. cummings not just during poetry lessons, but to point out to students we did not always have to follow rules when writing. Following Cummings’ writing, I told students to get thoughts down on paper and we could edit later.

Cummings did not break rules of writing in his poetry. As we see in the first line of this poem, he capitalized two words.

I took the message as opening my eyes and ears to the world around me. As I walked this morning, I noticed birds chirping. One scrambled to hide under a truck parked along the street. In another place, there was a smell of something rotting, maybe someone fertilizing. The wind was chilly, but, when the sun emerged from hiding, i warmed me.

The sounds, sights, smells, touches of the world awaken my senses on those walks. They are like the flow of water I hear from a distance as I approach the river that tumbles over the edge. When I am mindful, I sense nature in a fuller way.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

We took this picture in Yellowstone.

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

Yellowstone 2005

We love to travel and these are from our trip to Yellowstone National Park in 2005.

I was able to get within 15-20 feet of this bull elk. There were several trees between him and I plus I believed I was faster than at least one other person down there with me.

This is Emerald Spring. The emerald colour is a product of the reflected blue colour from the pool and the yellow sulfur. Although it does not seem very deep, this spring is 27 feet deep.

This is Steamboat Geyser. When it erupts, it is capable of producing a column of 300-400 feet in height which is 2-3 times higher than that of Old Faithful. The difference and a reason Old Faithful is better known is it is predictable in its eruptions because Steamboat Geyser is not and its major eruptions occur four days to 50 years apart.

This is the Pearl Geyser area. I love mountains and it was that aspect of this picture which drew me. We lived in McBride, a small town in British Columbia, for two years and were surrounded by the mountains. We drive through McBride several times a year.

This is in the Cistern Spring area. Living algae and bacteria create the ‘living colours.’

Twig Geyser erupted for us.

This is a view across Yellowstone Lake to the mountains.

We do not get many swans in the Edmonton area. I enjoyed the single one on the river. There were other pictures, but this one had a stillness I found appealing.

Kathy took this picture. My morbid fear of heights forced me to hang out in the parking lot. She walked in to the overlook and this was the result.

Yes, I am pretty sure Kathy took this one, as well.

I started with the elk and will finish with a bison. He was seriously considering what I was doing. I took this one from about 10 feet away with the front of the van between him and me. He grunted at me a couple of times, but kept moving when I grunted back.

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