Mt. Edith Covell

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On our last day in Jasper National Park we debated about whether to go to Mt. Robson (a very beautiful mountain peak that we had visited before), the Columbia Ice Fields (would drive by there on following day), or Mt. Edith Covel. We chose the later because it was the closest but still a long enough drive to make it a full days trip.

As in many cases, the drive to the mountain doesn’t take you to the mountain, but to an adjacent mountain with a good view. We had read the park literature from our previous trip to the area that said that travel trailers weren’t allowed on the road and trucks over 21 ft. long couldn’t navigate the switch-backs. Our truck was too long – but when we picked up newer literature we found out that they had done some repaving and trucks up to 25 feet are now allowed.

We pulled off onto the road leading up to the look-out. The road was narrow and the curves sharp – 15 km/hr translates to a crawl in miles/hour.

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The road was carved out of the mountain side so there were no shoulders to pull off for photos – all had to be taken out the window of a moving vehicle. And the mountains came down to the road and overlapped so it didn’t seem like there was a way through.

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The driver doesn’t look around on this road – in fact I frequently felt like Jim wouldn’t be able to make it if I, the passenger, took my eyes off the road.

The road wove its way higher and higher

We saw raging rivers and strange rock formations that I longed to explore with my camera but there was no stopping on our way up.

Down became deeper and deeper.

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And around the next curve was the parking lot. More to come – stay tuned.

Sunday Calm: A Place to Rest

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What a beautiful tree! This was taken as I was leaving the boardwalk at the CREW Bird Rookery Swamp Trails that is northeast of Naples in southwest Florida.

May you find peace, calm, and rest on this Sunday.

Listening to the Music of Life

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The wildflowers seem unusually abundant this year so I’ve been focusing on them. They are singing my name, and on this excursion down dirt roads they were beckoning me in unison, like a well rehearsed choir.

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There were some soloists but even they appeared more elegant within their milieu. When I was seven, swaying the swing under the giant oak, I imagined myself teaching the different vegetables in the garden to sing in harmony. On this day, in my seventieth decade, I just listened.

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On this day I drifted between hearing the whole as it worked together and then focusing on the beauty of the individual.

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I listened to the symphony of an inland lake on a summer’s morning, telling its secrets of times untold.

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I listened to the secrets of being free to bloom and age as nature intended, without pretense.

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And I listened to the cords of caution, knowing they need to be respected.

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May we all hear this music and allow its message to grow within our spirits.

“…Of inspiration on the humblest lay.”

“Most Sweet It Is”

by William Wordsworth

Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes
To pace the ground, if path be there or none,

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While a fair region round the traveler lies
Which he forbears again to look upon;

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Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,
The work of Fancy, or some happy tone

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Of meditation, slipping in between
The beauty coming and the beauty gone,

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If Thought and Love desert us, from that day
Let us break off all commerce with the Muse;

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With Thought and Love companions of our way,
Whate’er the senses take or may refuse,

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The Mind’s internal heaven shall shed her dews
Of inspiration on the humblest lay.

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Photographs were taken on one of the walks within simple places that Julie & I try to do weekly, in search of beauty, inspiration, tranquility and wonder (and photographs worth keeping). It was a beautiful, dewy, cool summer morning at The Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary, maintained by the Audubon Society, in the Waterloo Recreational Area in southern Michigan, USA.