Lens-Artists Challenge #150 – LET’S GET WILD
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”John Muir
This week our guest host Dianne has asked us to share some examples of the wild places we’ve seen, “Mother Nature untouched and untrammelled”. I’ve opened above and below with some majestic mountain views of Patagonia. There, some of the most beautiful, rugged mountains in the world can be see in both Chile and Argentina. My header this week is also from that trip, a vista of the Andes that illustrates the immensity of the mountain peaks when compared with the structures below.
“The breathtaking view at the mountaintop is compensation for all of the breath lost whilst sweating towards it.”Matshona Dhliwayo
While in Patagonia a good friend and I hiked to the famous Laguna de los Tres, seen above. The hike is steep and difficult, made more so by a sudden, frightening storm as we reached the lake. Protected from a fierce wind by a huge boulder, we jumped up, took a quick photograph or two (one of which is seen above) and hurried to descend before being caught by the storm. It one of my favorite memories of any of our amazing journeys.
“Sometimes you just have to find the majesty in yourself and other things to truly appreciate life.”Imania Margria
Another treasured memory is pictured above. During one of our African safaris, we came upon this gorgeous cheetah at sunset, posing perfectly as we headed back to our lodgings. I cannot think of a better “wild” example than the incredible untouched beauty of Africa and the glorious creatures who roam freely there.
“The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.”Ralph W. Sockman
A bit closer to home, the image above captures Spirit Island, a tiny piece of land on Lake Maligne, nestled in the middle of the beautiful Canadian Rockies. The lake is typically a bright azure blue, but on this day the clouds surrounded us, offering a more ominous perspective. Although I have several images of the scene at its azure-best, it’s the moody image that captured my imagination.
“Listen to the trees as they sway in the wind. Their bark sings songs of olden days as it grows around the trunks. And their roots give names to all things.”Vera Nazarian
I’ve included the image of my 6’2″ / 2 meter husband standing among the roots of a fallen giant Redwood tree in California’s Jedediah Smith State Park. Although it may be considered less “wild” than some of my other images this week, it is a reminder of a place where the most incredibly majestic giants grow and thrive. Many are over 1,000 years old and grow as tall as 360 feet / 110 meters and as wide as 15 feet / 4.5 meters at their base. There is an air of absolute magic when walking among them, and the profound quiet brings with it an amazing sense of peace.
“Where the glacier meets the sky, the land ceases to be earthly, and the earth becomes one with the heavens; no sorrows live there anymore, and therefore joy is not necessary; beauty alone reigns there, beyond all demands.”Halldór Laxness
We’ve been fortunate to see several glaciers in our travels, including Argentina’s Perito Merino, the Athabasca Glacier in the Canadian Rockies, some of the 20+ remaining glaciers in Montana’s Glacier National Park, and several glaciers while on a small-boat cruise along Alaska’s Inside Passage which included Glacier Bay National Park. Searching the web identifies countless articles related to climate change’s effect on receding glaciers and melting sea ice resulting in today’s rising seas. It seems we are finally beginning to understand the issue although it remains to be seen how much will be done to address the problems we ourselves have created.
“…you never truly win a conservation battle – you just win the right to fight another day. Like an alcoholic, the environment is never saved. It always needs saving.”Joshua Horwitz
During our Alaska visit we enjoyed the mountain vistas of Denali in the National Park, were enchanted by the antics of the salmon-fishing grizzly bears of Brooks Falls, and saw countless numbers of whales, especially on Glacier Bay. Adventuring out on a rubber raft late one evening, a whale breached so close to us we were truly frightened by the rocking of the boat and the sudden appearance of such a behemoth! Once we got over the shock we were thrilled to have been so close to such a magnificent creature. Sunsets on the bay are quite late and more beautiful than any I’ve seen before or since. They frequently included whale tails and flippers such as the one above .
“Every time I see something about the Wild West, I’m reminded that our version of history may not be what really happened.”James McBride
I’ll close with a less dramatic scene from a road trip to visit the glorious national parks of the U.S. West. It was somewhere in Utah, between Bryce and Zion, that we came upon this scene. It reminded me of countless TV movies I’d seen growing up that featured cowboys and cattle and dry, dusty gulches filled with tumbleweed and the occasional set of cattle horns. 😊 There are vast areas which look exactly as pictured in those movies, and I couldn’t resist a stop now and then to capture some of them. They may not be quite as “wild” as glaciers or a herd of elephants crossing the savannah, but they too remain among the places still available to those of us seeking nature unaffected by the intervention of mankind.
Sincere thanks to Dianne for hosting this week’s challenge. Be sure to visit her post here, where she shares some incredible examples of nature’s best work. Also, thanks to those who responded to last week’s Blue and Green challenge – as always, your creative and interesting posts were terrific, covered a wide breadth of subjects, and were very much enjoyed by all of us. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Patti brings us “From Large to Small”. She’ll ask us to choose a color and share images of items from large to small that feature it. Sounds like fun! Until then, as always please stay safe and enjoy the week ahead. For those who recognize it, please take a moment to remember the real meaning behind Memorial Day.