September 26, 2011

It's Fall

A tree uses what comes its way to nurture itself. By sinking its roots deeply into the earth, by accepting the rain that flows towards it, by reaching out to the sun, the tree perfects its character and becomes great. ... Absorb, absorb, absorb. That is the secret of the tree.
-- Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao

September 18, 2011

I Miss Gardening

I miss gardening
the planning 
working the soil 
nursing, tending
anticipating the results
seasons close
and back to planning...
I've written of the awareness it brings here 

I love photography
the planning
working a location
nursing, tending
anticipating the results
and back to planning...

Ah, life is a garden
with endless options
of plots to tend.

It seems our task
is finding the plot that fits 
for the time and place.

The gift lies in the options
and a ready willingness
to dig anew. 

September 16, 2011


This image seems an accurate depiction of my week. 
Motion, reflection and a handful of ducks.
It's getting busy again...
I'll let the water speak for me.

September 10, 2011

Star Stuff

"And we who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos, we've begun, at last, to wonder about our origins. Star stuff, contemplating the stars organized collections of 10 billion-billion-billion atoms contemplating the evolution of matter tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet Earth and perhaps, throughout the cosmos." Carl Sagan

Jelly fish photo taken at the Monterey Aquarium in CA. My how I love that place. 

September 9, 2011

Ah the Lacecaps

Just a quick run through
Wright Park Conservatory
in Tacoma
for a bit of floral therapy.

Guaranteed to have something fun
with each visit
fully engaging 
the camera and my attention 
to slow the day  
for a handful of minutes.

Ah the Lacecaps,
Hydranges they are
favorites of mine
simply waiting there
for admirers.

Pampered contestants all.

much better suited 
to flowers 
than people.

How kind of the Conservatory
to arrange the pageant
just for us.
Have a great weekend!

September 6, 2011

The Sun Shines

As I hear of fall sightings in other US locales this week, 
it has me raising an eyebrow.
Locally the sun shines 
with hard shadow casting brightness. 
I know this isn't Kansas Toto,
because I'm going back to work tomorrow
in the Northwest!

Ah well,
much as I love fall,
keeping the bumblebees around 
and happy
is almost as good. 
After all,
what's cuter than a well striped
 Bumblebee behind?
Enjoy your days!

September 5, 2011

After that, the Rest is Easy

Most of my days are spent with folks of all ages and perspectives. It’s energizing. They help me keep one foot in the present and the other poised for the next challenge. However, I seem to have a third foot, firmly anchored in the past. Like a three legged table, there is usually balance. When the call of the past is strong, balance is harder to achieve. 

Today my table tilts. I hear hoof beats, voices, stories, songs. See sweat stained shirts and brows, saddle weary bodies. Feel in my gut the exhaustion and satisfaction of their hard work.

From a distance they were under-estimated, counted on, chastised and romanticized. Up close they were cowboys, ranchers, dirt farmers, ropers and rodeo champions. Before fencing and subdivisions, they annually drove herds to grass, across vast sections of the San Joaquin Valley in CA and up into the Sierras. Kept watch, protected. Defended when necessary.

Most, not all, lived full lives. Married, had children, grandchildren and greater. Passed on lessons of hard work, stepping-up, leadership and self-discipline. Each one was honorable, humble, serious, humorous and kind. Maybe that was luck, but I doubt it. They earned the respect of many without seeking it. Shared bonds of family, community, hardship and success. And, they all understood a good horse could save your life.

These men have been gone for a long while now. Those of us remaining that remember them, do so with respect and love. One of their nephews carries their stories on to others through Cowboy Poetry. They left many for re-telling. We each have some.

Who were these men? They were my uncles, family friends, first love and my father-in-law. Shortly before passing away in his twenties, while juggling college and cattle, that first love said to me, “Chris, I love this work. My favorite time each day is watching the sunrise from horse back. After that, the rest is easy.” Seems a good thing to remember on this Labor Day.

The nephew I mentioned earlier sent me a link to a video that I have been saving to accompany this post. (Thanks Dan) I've seen it so many times, it may be worn out: The Vaquero Song. The wonderful photography is done by David Stoecklein and perfect song by singer/songwriter, Dave Stamey. Thank you both for your generosity and the marriage of your work for this piece. The other photos were taken in Eastern, WA along the Palouse.

Okay, I think my table is back in balance now.

September 3, 2011

About Respect and Honesty

Sharing the images I chase down or create and the occasional stories that accompany them, has been my pleasure for almost three years now. My hope is that you come here and find something pleasing. However, what you will not find here are the images and/or work of others, without approval, if at all possible. (read passed away - with no lingering copyright attachments, ie, in the public domain) You will occasionally find quotes, links to other sites, youtube, ect, with the author / creator / artist credited. 

I believe in the laws protecting intellectual property rights and the reasoning behind them. The folks whose interests they protect are typically the least able to afford any other avenues of protection for their work. They are some of the hardest hit by digital age piracy and the economic decline. Right below human services. Along the way I have periodically had folks take my images without permission, and recently with more frequency. There are better paths.

So, to those who would follow that lower path, please reconsider. I ask that you ASK. It is about respect and honesty. Lack of it ultimately cancels out generosity. The email address, in the "copyright" panel to the right, has been provided for just that purpose. I think you will find my limitations of use are few and simple, if your request is reasonable. To the folks who have asked along the way I am honored and thank you. You set the bar.
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