Red Mountain Is Calling And I Must Go

After this week’s wonderful online Kindred Spirits Book Club chat about Lassoing the Sun, a chat that included the author, Mark Woods, I was inspired to come up with  my own take on John Muir’s quote: Red Mountain is calling and I must go. And go I did, for a little hike on a beautiful Alabama  morning.

I headed towards the Smythe trail, labeled “difficult”, and  yes, I was breathing a bit heavy  on that portion of my hike. Then I hooked up to the north trail. I am a terrible map reader, so even with the map and signs, I ended up in a different spot, but mainly because a portion of the north trail was closed off. So, I only hiked 2.2 miles, but it always takes a while as I stop for photos along the way.

 

On my route I met with people running, biking, hiking, walking the dog, and segwaying.

 

 

Red Mountain has a lot of lovely pieces of the past, bits of buildings left from the mining days.

I also spotted a sort of cairn on a picnic table- I’m so proud I now know that word!

cairn

 

This is Muir’s full quote, which appears in an 1873 letter from Muir to his sister: “The mountains are calling & I must go & I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.”

I didn’t like what I read about Muir’s view of Indians, so I decided to do a little research on the man. Here are a few things I learned:

  • Muir founded the Sierra Club
  • He often expressed the idea that humans had no more intrinsic value than any creature of nature; this is known as a bio-centric view.
  • “All in all, there seems to be in Muir some grudging respect for Indians, but it is often masked behind the institutionalized racism that underlies his writing.” –
  • John Muir could not see the Indians for the trees. – Roy Cook
  • Although Muir claimed to oppose the oppression of Native Americans, he fully supported the extraction of Miwoks from Yosemite, referring to them as “dirty,” “deadly,” and “lazy.”
  • Muir was more concerned with human perfidy toward bears (“Poor fellows, they have been poisoned, trapped, and shot at until they have lost confidence in brother man”) than with how Native Americans had been killed and driven from their homes.
  • .. in his writings, Muir said the squirrels he killed on his ranch in Martinez, Calif., were disgusting pests out to ruin the orchards. But he described the squirrels living in his beloved High Sierra as hard-working creatures like those later popularized in the Disney classic “Snow White.”

 

So, after reading around the internet a bit, I have come to the conclusion that Muir, like the rest of us, is flawed. Yes, he did some great things and he had some noble goals. As for his view of Indians, it seemed to changed over time and not for the better. My takeaway is this: Be aware of others. Love and protect God’s creation, but not at the expensive of man, God’s highest earthly creature.

First Quarter Gone

A quarter of 2016 has already slipped by. The following is a recap of the last three months, just covering some of the highlights.

  1. I was the voice of @BeingBham on twitter for the last week of January
  2. Had the best pork chop ever at  Gianmarcos in Homewood
  3. Got my name on the sign at Demetri’s!
  4. I met Matt Redmond, author of God of the Mundane
  5. I flew to Tampa for Juliette’s 3rd birthday and Princess Party
  6. Heard  the Vulcan Eejits at the Hoover Library
  7. Spent quite a few days subbing at RMS and PHS
  8. Rediscovered some old photos
  9. Discovered Eudora Welty

 

Curls

Photo Challenge Week Four

 
This week’s challenge was a headshot. Knowing that many adults, like me, shy away from the camera, I decided to make kids my focus. So, I borrowed my pastor’s children to be my subjects. It was so hard to choose, since there are four children, but I picked one as my entry for this week because I loved the crooked smile and the sunlight in his curls.

ab44

 
His hair reminds me of the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that my dad would recite to me when I was little. Here is the beginning part that he recited:

 

There Was a Little Girl

There was a little girl,
And she had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

RED

Photography Challenge Week Three

This week’s challenge was red.

rberry

Red can vary in shade and sometimes the names for these reds have a certain connotation which may be different for different people. For example

Crimson – as in Crimson Tide in Alabama – – nuff said.

Auburn – another red that carries a lot of weight in this state

Fuchsia – as in bridesmaid dresses

Maroon – as in Adam Levine

Mahogany – as in grandma’s dining table

Oxblood – as in yech

Wine – that’s a Yes!

And what lovely names are reds: Ruby, Scarlet (GWTW), Rose, and Carmine

When I began looking around my house I realized I really have a lot of red around me. Wonder what that says about me? I do not claim it as my favorite color, but I like pops of it, though I can’t believe I just said POP – that overused word on HGTV.

Here is a peek at my pops of red – enjoy!

red1

red2

I also found a sweet RED poem

Dancer by Carl Sandburg

THE LADY in red, she in the chile con carne red,
Brilliant as the shine of a pepper crimson in the summer sun,
She behind a false-face, the much sought-after dancer, the most sought-after dancer of all in this masquerade,
The lady in red sox and red hat, ankles of willow, crimson arrow amidst the Spanish clashes of music,

I sit in a corner
watching her dance first with one man
and then another.

 

If you want to join in the photography challenge, check it out at http://dogwood.photography/52weekchallenge.html

Landscape or Suburbscape?

Photography Challenge Week Two

This week’s challenge was to capture a landscape. My plan was a walk at Red Mountain with Loretta. Since she gets so excited on walks, I find it’s usually best to use my cell phone instead of my Canon Rebel.

Even in bleak January there is always a view to be found outdoors. I wish I could capture the fresh air and the energy that even a short hike gives me. Just use your imagination while you view a few landscape shots.

20160114_124928

Red Mountain ~ January, 2016

 

rm landscape

 

When I got home I went out in my backyard with the Canon and took some suburbscapes as well. Here’s one-

suburbscape

 

I got an extra surprise shot as a plane came in for a landing at the nearby Bessemer Airport.

Bessemer Airport

 

If you missed week one, you can see it HERE. And if you’d like to read my take on  unexpected moments in photography and life, such as the plane flying by, you can read HERE.

Window or Mirror?

Photography Challenge – Week One

I thought about doing a daily photography challenge, but I knew I could not keep up with that. So, I found a list of 52 prompts for 2016 that I think I can handle. But, alas, the first prompt is self-portrait.

“I feel it’s healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. With a mirror, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you.”  Bill Withers, from Garden & Gun interview

My husband thinks it’s funny to tease me about taking selfies, but honestly I don’t do it very often. I joined a group in B’ham last summer and got some great tips from Jamie on self-portraits, but I can’t remember most of them. And, like I said, I don’t take many. I much prefer to be behind the camera. So, it’s with much trepidation that I present these pictures. All of these were taken with my cell phone, hence the collage isn’t the best quality, but I like the other one.

5 mes

8me

 

Railroad Park

tried

Railroad along park perimeter

Thursday night I met a group of people for an enjoyable evening in Railroad Park. This was my first time there and I was super impressed! I didn’t know what to expect from a park in the middle of downtown, so I was pleasantly surprised.

This 19 acre park along 1st street is right next to Regions Field, home of the Barons. It has numerous paths to walk, water features, two playgrounds, grassy areas for play  or picnicking and even a designated areas for skaters.

0604151844   0604151912a

Small group practice                                               Softball practice at the park

The landscaping is gorgeous and I was there during prime photo time, just before sunset. I joined a “Capture the ‘ham” small group hosted by Jamie Golden. You can see our pictures under #capturetheham on Instagram. We will be meeting five more Thursdays this summer at a different location each time. Jamie gave us some great photo tips as well as some inspirational thoughts on capturing moments, but not just with our cameras. I hope to capture some moments with my heart as well.

parting shot

Parting shot on my way home