"The mountains are calling and I must go." John Muir

Studies show that a walk through a forest can boost immunity but it doesn’t take a scientific study to convince me of the restorative powers of communing with nature. I’ve never been as drawn to the beach as I am to the forest and mountains. However that early morning marine layer and heady scent of eucalyptus and pepper trees at my father’s home in California can take all my worries away. Does the feel of salty mist across your face at a rocky beach recharge your mind? Perhaps the quiet whoosh of fresh powder across your skies with the occasional squeak of your boots and intermittent hoop hollering of fellow skiers feeds your soul. Whatever the landscape, a meandering walk with fresh air can be just what the body and mind need.

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“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” Henry David Thoreau

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” Henry David Thoreau

Sometimes life throws us a curveball and it’s up to us to look for moments of grace. I am so grateful to live in a region with so much to offer in terms of a reboot. Some of these images were created steps from my back door, some were discovered down the road, some were found up the road and just barely into a trail, some I hunted for down valley on a farm and one was in Bryce Canyon.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” John Muir

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” John Muir

I truly believe that nature is a balm that soothes a lot of wounds. Art can also be quite healing, so combining the two must be double the pleasure, right?

“The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t pretend to be any stellar landscape photographer. I don’t own a wide angle lens beyond the 35mm and I don’t have the true dedication required by the genre that includes pre dawn wake ups. But I do get so much out of being outside and creating. This small collection of images made me feel good this year after the loss of my mother.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir

There is magic healing in the mountains.

Road Trip

We wanted to take advantage of a week off of school over Thanksgiving.  So we loaded up the car and drove to San Diego.  We took a slight detour on the way there to see the Grand Canyon and on the way back we checked out Vegas.  My daughter and I had seen the Canyon before but it was the first time for my husband and son.  They were impressed!  We rolled in just in time for sunset and left in the morning so it was short but sweet.  I loved the varied terrain surrounding the Canyon too.  Just steps away and the environment looks like it could be in an entirely different state.  I must admit that the edge of the Canyon makes me a bit queasy.  No mountain climbing for me!  Hiking yes, but if ropes are needed, I'm outta there!  We really need to make it back to the Canyon soon for some more quality time and day hikes.

 

Although I packed lots of photography equipment I was too busy spending quality time with the family to have many photos to show for it.  I couldn't resist a few though.  My parents live on a beautiful golf course just inland from Del Mar.  The smell of the Eucalyptus and Pepper trees in the early mornings makes me feel like I'm at a spa.  The week was full of lots of good food, plenty of sunshine and pool time. I hardly took my camera out in Vegas.  We had planned on taking in a show with the kids but they were pooped from the week spent with cousins.  After a satisfying bowl of Ramen at Momofuku's, and watching the lights and fountain show at the Bellagio, we fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow.  I'm going to make it a point to take advantage of that gorgeous light they have west of the Rockies and take more photos...next time!