Showing posts from October, 2014

Rocky Mountain High

I took a quick weekend trip home to Steamboat, CO for the funeral of my Granny. She lived to be 94 and had a rich life, so her passing was marked with celebration as well as mourning. I had one day to take a few photos, and got in a few shots from the flights there and back as well.
There were few leaves left in the area, but I managed to catch a few spots.

Fetcher's Pond

I always forget how colorful fall in the West is.

Kansas from the plane.

The Yampa River

Northwest Colorado from the morning flight to Steamboat.

Wild Weekend at the Monastery

Stain glass shadows on meditation chairs and pillows
This post is repeated on my other blog Photos below article.
A couple weekends ago I was invited by a friend to spend four days at Magnolia Grove Monastery, a Buddhist meditation center under the auspices of the famous Vietnamese Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. My friend comes to the center regularly, and had been wanting to share one of her favorite places with me for a while.
Tucked away in the woods and fields of Mississippi, it was a bit like going to another country. The community of monks and nuns (with shaved heads and long brown robes) speak Vietnamese with some broken English. They are gentle and friendly, and make visitors feel peaceful just to look at them. 
There is a large, beautiful Meditation Hall and statues of Buddha around the grounds. The rest of the buildings, for eating and sleeping, are fairly Spartan. We slept dormitory style in a small house. Meals consisted of simple vegan fare, and Pho, a Vie…

My Friend in Space

Steve Swanson on his return from a six month stay at ISS
For the past six months I have had a friend in space. Steve Swanson, the astronaut, is a former classmate of mine from Steamboat Springs, and he just returned from a half year mission manning the International Space Station with a handful of other cosmonauts. I have followed his Facebook posts daily, and reveled in photos of auroras and sunsets over Earth, guessing games of islands and cities, and stories of his daily routine. Eating chocolate, going to the bathroom, and growing vegetables are all different in space, I've learned. How fun it is to learn it from someone I know! I, along with other classmates from Steamboat and friends of Steve got to ask personal questions and enjoy his self-depreciating, warm, and non-prissy sense of humor. I sure enjoyed referring to "my friend in space" for a while, but I'm happy he's safe back home again.
Here is an article from the Steamboat Pilot from after Steve'…

Asheville Trip, Blue Ridge Parkway

Scott and I just returned from a long weekend in Asheville, North Carolina, where we hung out with my sister, Dana She was there attending a workshop. I did my usual hiking, while Scott fished in the area. The shot above was from the Blue Ridge Parkway which runs through Asheville. This was taken in the morning before a hike in Craggy Gardens.
A view from the Parkway while driving.

From a hike to the top of Mt. Pisgah.

Lots of lichen and fungus everywhere.

Why they call it Craggy Gardens.

Scott's tiny moose friend who rode with us.

View from the top of Mt. Pisgah, a steep, rocky hike with a great reward at the end.

Blotchy leaf patterns on Mt. Pisgah hike.