Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rain ...

"Rain, A Perspective" ... @2010 Copyrighted Photo:  All Rights Reserved.
(If you would like to use or purchase a copy of one of my photos please leave me a comment)

"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand: rejoice, for your soul is alive."  ~Eleonora Duse

I have alot on my plate and my mind these days. My thoughts and prayers are with those on the East coast of the U.S. currently being pounded by this monster of a hurricane, aptly named Irene. I have many photography and writer friends living on the East coast, so I was a bit relieved this (yesterday) morning when I saw that the storm had been downgraded to a category 1. I hope and pray it stays that way ...  that is that Irene stays a catergory 1 hurricane and does not travel back out to sea over warm waters to increase in intensity once again.  I also hope and pray that the damage sown by Irene is minimal and that there is no loss of life in this storm. God Bless ALL on the East coast!

Wouldn't it be nice if some of Irene's rain would make its way down to Texas where they are presently experiencing a record breaking, devastating drought? I am reminded once again, by this storm Irene and drought condition in the southwest, (as I stated in my poem just the other day) that:  "Nature heeds no fencing in."

In keeping with thoughts on rain ... I stumbled across this beautifully illustrated music video late this evening ... Well, guess it's early morning now. Anyhow, it's  a beautiful ballad about rain. I happen to love the rain; It washes away all the hurt, pain, dirt and grime. This song might just be the inspiration that I need to find my voice to sing again...I am amazed at the circular nature of life, truth and personal experiences .... that often what we seek lies at the end of a circular journey and only when we round the last of the journey do we begin to see that light and dark, supreme hope and utter despair, love and hate, ecstasy of joy and the abysmal depths of sadness often go hand in hand. We must first experience the darker one in order to be resurrected to savor the other.

Patty Griffin, "Rain":

P.S. I posted a comment to my blog on Thursday and my entire sidebar disappeared? Very strange, but then: these are strange days. I tried uploading my backup file, but it has somehow been corrupted? So, until I have the time, patience and frame of mind to browse through the 19 pages of code associated with this blog ... I will be sidebarless ... better than topless though, right? ; )

8_31_11 ... I finally found the time and patience to go through the code and found the problem. Thank you my fabulous bottle of 2002 Merlot ... Knew there was a reason that I had been saving you ... you brought my luck, perhaps?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

In This Economy ...

"In this economy, a picture is only worth 200 words"  ~James Wixon,
Master Photographer and Digital Artist

@Copyrighted Photo, 2011.  All Rights Reserved: Isabelle Black Smith.

"Crashing waves unfurl upon a black lava-layered shore", Queensbath, Kauai Hawaii

I love the motion in this shot.  I can still feel the cool ocean spray upon my face as I press the shutter button on the camera and the hand of my husband, around my waist, as he pulls me back to safety once again.

[Maybe, more of my recent trip photos to come shortly?????  I've hidden all of my photo ablums once posted here ... since Christmas 2010 ... but as of today I'm back on the map again.]

Maybe, In this economy:  "A single prayer is worth a worth a  thousand wishes." ~Me

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Traveling to Distant Lands ...

I was fortunate enough, even in these troubled economic times, to have taken a trip to the Hawaiian Islands recently  [Then again, I have been waiting 13 years to go ...]. After much debate, my significant other and I settled upon visiting just one of the many Hawaiian Islands.  We opted for visiting the Island of Kauai, also known as "The Garden Island."

Kauai is truly breathtaking!  It is truly a beautiful, enchanting and diverse paradise.  It amazed me to experience, firsthand, the diversity of vegetation and climate variations that are packed onto this one tiny little island in the Pacific.  In fact, Kauai just happens to be one of the wettest spots on the planet at its very center.  Yous see a tiny rain-forest resides at the top center of this island. This  rain-forest receives an estimated 500 inches of rainfall each year.  I happened to have the opportunity to take flight right over this rain forest in a helicopter.  From an aerial view, the landscape is a lush expanse of vivid green, littered with intermittent cascades of waterfalls.  Tiny raindrops bounced onto the chopper's windshield and flattened in a magical dance as we explored the cavernous walls of the weeping wall.  This wall shares a common boundary with the harsh expanse of the desert-like Waimea Canyon, lying just on the other side of the ridge-top.  The change in pressure, alone, lifted the chopper effortlessly upwards as we approached the top of the mountain ridge that would lead to the other side of the island, and into the Waimea Canyon area,  As we cleared the tallest peaks of the mountain top, the arid expanse of the dry western side of the island opened out before us.  The sight before me felt almost like an optical illusion --Kind of like a "twilight zone" moment-- as the unfolding landscape quickly made a total 180 deg. change, with the lush and green giving way to a distinct rocky red, with sparse vegetation dotting the now suddenly arid landscape. The chopper pilot got a kick out of everyone's initial reaction to the sudden change in landscape: "Are we still on the same island?" One passenger wondered aloud.

Once we were on the other side of the mountain, the Waimea Canyon began its expansive unfolding before us.  Now, I had already viewed the Canyon on foot, from several different vantage points, in the days just prior to my flight, but I have to honestly say that the view from the air gave this canyon a whole new life and wonder.  From the aerial perspective Waimea Canyon took on such an incredible  sense of grandeur.  That being said, both views --ground and aerial-- of the Waimea Canyon were simply stunning.  In my humble opinion this canyon is a must see if you happen to be visiting the Hawaiian Islands. Waimea Canyon is also supposedly known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific", as many who visit and behold nature's intricate carving of art upon the rich iron red and black lava-speckled land.  I actually heard mixed stories about whether or not this naming can be rightly attributed to Samuel Clemens.  Some stories say Clemens never actually made it onto the island of Kauai and hence never saw the canyon for himself.  Either way, the name "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" is a very fitting title for this magnificent island canyon.

I won't bore you with all the details and facts about this canyon in this entry save to say that the Waimea Canyon is considerably smaller than the Grand Canyon.  Marking a length of a mere 10 miles long and being just over a mile in width at its widest point, the canyon is only 3,600 ft. deep. But when you consider that this canyon resides on a tiny little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you had to admit the latter statistics are rather impressive.  For more detailed information on the Waimea Canyon check out the links at the end of this entry. 

As I said before, I was fortunate to have seen the Waimea Canyon both on foot, from several vantage points, as well as from the air via a helicopter tour of the island.  Both views, however, were most impressive such that I would be hard-pressed to recommend one view over the other.  All views made me feel my insignificant place in the grand scheme of time and life, ever unfolding, on our amazing, rapidly spinning Blue Planet.  I have been carrying around a small leather-bound pocket journal of late, in order to jot down thoughts and ideas as they happen to come and go in my mind --as a hopeful aid to my writing.  Here are some of the thoughts I happened to scribble down when I first beheld this amazing canyon, on the Island tiny little island of Kauai, with my own eyes.

Photo By Me, taken with a new travel sized point-and-shoot.  : )
@Copyright​ed Photo, 2011. All Rights Reserved.

"Waimea Canyon, Summer 2011"

Three rivers forge ...
Collapse into one.
Time worn,
Weaving tapestry
Of earthly deeds.
Nature heeds
No fencing in.

@Copyrighted Poem, 2011. All Rights Reserved: Isabelle Black Smith.

Interesting links on Waimea Canyon: