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Friday, March 30, 2012

Favorite Quotes

I spend a fair amount of time on the Internet, so I'm always seeing quotes that seem to 'speak' to me. Today, I'd like to share some of my favorites.
  • Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, just take another shot.

  • What would you do if you weren't afraid? -- from Who Moved My Cheese? 

  • Do more of what makes you happy. 
  • One woman's trash is now the world's treasure. -- Anonymous comment about Patrick, the pit bull starved to the point of death and thrown down a trash chute in a garbage bag.

  • How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. -- Winnie the Pooh

  • Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. -- Standing Bear

  • Do what you can with what you have, where you are. -- Theodore Roosevelt

  • The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  • Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.  -- Dalai Lama 

  • Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. -- William James 

  • Always desire to learn something useful. -- Sophocles 

  • Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can,To all the people you can, As long as ever you can. -- John Wesley  
  • If you can dream it, you can do it. -- Walt Disney
  • Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere. -- Erma Bombeck
It's interesting to note that many of these quotes are from everyday people, not just from authors, religious and political leaders. Wisdom is all around us, from fictitious bears to housewives.

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    A Winter Walk

    When I got up this morning, the wind was howling and I quickly determined that I would not be going outside at all. I told my dogs there would likely not be a walk for them today. But after I got back from some errands, the winds had died down a bit, so we went for our usual 1-mile walk.

    After lunch, I was faced with two choices for my exercise, neither particularly pleasant. I could brave the wind and exercise outside, or I could walk on my treadmill in the garage while staring at the inside of the garage door. After seeing some interesting cloud formations over the mountains, I grabbed my camera and headed out. I figured if it was too bad, I could come home after a mile and finish on the treadmill.

    The New Mexico skies didn't disappoint. I got to photograph fascinating cloud formations, fallen fences and a tumbleweed barreling down a bone-dry flood control channel. The winds, while strong, weren't too bad. I rather enjoyed my walk despite the less than ideal conditions.

    This was another of those days where I was glad I took the chance and ventured outside. I have noticed that as I get older I am becoming more cautious, so it was good to go outside my comfort zone. I don't want to become one of those old folks stuck in her ways and unwilling, or too afraid, to take a chance, even if it's only to brave the weather for a winter walk.

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Out and About

    I love hiking, outdoor photography and visiting new locations. There is nothing that invigorates me like a hike in a new and beautiful place, camera in hand.

    So why did I feel like I had been hit by a train or spent too many hours at a bar? (For the record, the strongest 'drink' I've had in months is a Coke Zero). I had a good night's sleep, but when I woke up, I was really dragging. Maybe I had too much fun.

    Pedernal and Abiquiu Lake
    I hadn't been hiking in several months due to the cold and windy weather. And I hadn't been on a photo trip for a while either. So I jumped at the chance to visit an area a couple of hours north of home, in the Abiquiu area made famous by renowned artist Georgia O'Keeffe. I first dropped by Ghost Ranch, and despite the freezing wind, walked around for an hour or so, admiring the blue sky and the red rocks.

    From there, I drove about 15 miles south, to Plaza Blanca (White Place) to meet up with a dozen or so photographers. This little-known, privately owned area is reached by leaving the highway and traveling a couple of miles down a dirt road and through a gate at the entrance to property owned by the Dar Al-Islam mosque. I had hoped to be able to photograph the outside of the mosque, but it was behind a locked gate (as it is closed every weekend). A short distance away is a small parking area overlooking fascinating white rock formations.

    The sky was just what I had hoped for -- a brilliant blue unlike anything I have seen  anywhere except New Mexico. The landscape varied considerably, from towering white hoodoos to areas covered with small rocks of various colors to mounds of what looked like gravel.

    In the distance we could see the snow- covered peaks of the Sangre de Christo mountains. We walked around for two hours, braving the wind and cold temperatures, looking for the perfect shot nobody else saw. This is definitely an area I want to revisit on a warmer day, although there is no way my photographs can capture the mystery and beauty of the area.

    So why was I so tired the day after such a great outing? Maybe it was the wind, or being on my feet for several hours, or walking on an uneven surface as I explored Plaza Blanca. Or maybe (I hate to admit this) it's because I'm no longer able to do the things I used to do with the same stamina and vigor I remember from my younger days.

    Whatever the reason, it won't stop me from doing the things I love. There are so many fascinating places to explore and photograph. New Mexico truly is the Land of Enchantment.