The light of the Painted Hills

Friday late afternoon and early evening two weeks ago at the Painted Hills, near Mitchell OR in Wheeler County–the light changes softly but distinctly, subtle but intense, drawing me into an ever deepening mood of peace and relaxation, wonder and joy.

Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, Wheeler County OR
Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, Wheeler County OR
Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, Wheeler County OR
Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, Wheeler County OR
Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, Wheeler County OR
Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, Wheeler County OR
Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, Wheeler County OR
Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, Wheeler County OR

Silence

At the Painted Hills, early evening, absolute silence as the light began to glow. I made the time to simply sit, listen to the silence, and open my mind to nothing but God the Creator. Too often, I am busy composing the photo, working quickly as the light changes. I need to relax and let go of my external need to create, and simply let Christ create in me what He will.

Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, Psalm 62

The Painted Hills

Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, John Day county

The Painted Hills, located near Mitchell OR in the John Day country, represent over fifteen million years of geological history. The colored layers were created by a variety of plants that we covered from intermittent volcanic ash deposits. The wildflowers this year at the Painted Hills were the best ever–truly a super bloom!

Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, John Day country


Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, John Day country


Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, John Day country


Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, John Day country


Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, John Day country
Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, John Day country
Painted Hills, Mitchell OR, John Day country

Pray for our enemies

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.  If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. Matthew 5:43-47

This is not easy advice, but it show us what the Lord expects of our relationships with people who are not like us. Like the rain that falls on the just and the unjust, so rainbows appear to all of us.

Beloved

Beloved Is Where We Begin

If you would enter
into the wilderness,
do not begin
without a blessing.

Do not leave
without hearing
who you are:
Beloved,
named by the One
who has traveled this path
before you.

Do not go
without letting it echo
in your ears,
and if you find
it is hard
to let it into your heart,
do not despair.
That is what
this journey is for.

I cannot promise
this blessing will free you
from danger,
from fear,
from hunger
or thirst,
from the scorching
of sun
or the fall
of the night.

But I can tell you
that on this path
there will be help.

I can tell you
that on this way
there will be rest.

I can tell you
that you will know
the strange graces
that come to our aid
only on a road
such as this,
that fly to meet us
bearing comfort
and strength,
that come alongside us
for no other cause
than to lean themselves
toward our ear
and with their
curious insistence
whisper our name:

Beloved.
Beloved.
Beloved.

 —Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

BSA Troop 514 Klondike Derby, 2019

Once again, BSA Troop 514, La Grande, OR successfully prepared snow shelters and slept in them for the annual Klondike Derby at Mud Lake, opposite the Anthony Lakes ski area. Eleven hard working Scouts, in an excellent team effort, dug a forty foot by five foot trench down into six feet of snow.  From there, they dug three snow caves into the sides of the trench. This preparation happened on Saturday and Monday of Presidents’ weekend.  Last Friday night, February 22nd, they slept in the caves and then participated in the Saturday morning Klondike competition .

 

Troop 514 snow cave, Klondike Derby

Troop 514 snow cave, Klondike Derby

Troop 514 snow cave, Klondike Derby

Troop 514 snow cave, Klondike Derby

Troop 514 snow cave, Klondike Derby

Troop 514 snow cave, Klondike Derby

Troop 514 snow cave, Klondike Derby

Troop 514 snow cave, Klondike Derby

Troop 514 snow cave, Klondike Derby

Troop 514 snow cave, Klondike Derby

Getting ready to camp in a tree well

My little tent in the snowy woods

BSA Troop 514 winter camping

BSA Troop 514 flag ceremony

Eastern Oregon District Klondike Derby

Enjoying winter

After living without a dog for six years, Meg and I recognized it was time to invest love and time in a dog again.  So in late August, we bought a mini Aussie shepherd.  Leif is a delightful creature, full of love, energy, and intelligence.  Winter hiking and snowshoeing with him in the Mt Emily Recreation Area and the Meacham Divide have been filled with his joyful exuberance for snow travel! And many of these times Meg and I enjoyed the added pleasure of having son Michael and his dogs with us.

 

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Meg Michael, and our dogs

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

If the snow is the right temperature and consistency, Leif acquires snow balls on his fur.

 

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide–tracks of a snow hare

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA, Meacham Divide

Photos by Eric Valentine