All posts by PraisePhoto

The heart of prayer

“The heart of prayer is to recognize the presence and action of God and to consent to it. We do not have to go anywhere; God is already with us….Faith tells us that we already have God.  The most intimate relationship with God is to be completely present to God in whatever we are doing.”  Fr. Thomas Keating.

Mt Joseph Wallowa Lake
Mt Joseph Wallowa Lake

 

 

 

Spring in the Mt Emily Recreation Area (MERA)

The Mt Emily Recreation Area is less than a fifteen minute drive from where we live.  When the Boise Cascade timber company decided to sell its land for home development on Mt Emily, a group of dedicated and far sighted people raised funds for Union County to  purchase this land.  The MERA provides trails for hiking, mountain biking, off road  motor cycles and 4 wheelers and horses. These multiple users cooperate to make maintenance and trail development happen.

 

Meg and I have enjoyed hiking, biking, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing here.  This spring has been particularly intense for us. We have hiked here several times a week, watching the first round of wild flowers appear, peak, and slowly fade until next year.  Our minds and memories have enjoyed wrapping around this nuanced and delicate beauty.

 

“If I could stop time and contemplate the true beauty of a given moment, my eyes would widen and my jaw would drop. (Wait, I can do that! That’s why I photograph!) ” Dewitt Jones

Glacier lilies Mt Emily Recreation Area
Glacier lilies Mt Emily Recreation Area, Union County OR
glacier lily MERA
glacier lily MERA
grass widow and buttercup
grass widow and buttercup
Grass widows MERA
Grass widows MERA
Spring Mt Emily Recreation Area
Spring Mt Emily Recreation Area
Meg hiking in the Mt Emily Recreation Area MERA
Meg hiking in the Mt Emily Recreation Area MERA, Union County OR
Meg photographing glacier lilies in the MERA
Meg photographing glacier lilies in the MERA, Union County OR

 

Glacier lilies
Glacier lilies
Spring beauty
Spring beauty
Yellow bell, MERA
Yellow bell, MERA
Yellow bell
Yellow bell

Still, for Good Friday

Still
For Good Friday

This day
let all stand still
in silence,
in sorrow.

Sun and moon
be still.

Earth
be still.

Still
the waters.

Still
the wind.

Let the ground
gape in stunned
lamentation.

Let it weep
as it receives
what it thinks
it will not
give up.

Let it groan
as it gathers
the One
who was thought
forever stilled.

Time
be still.

Watch
and wait.

Still.

—Jan Richardson

Ohope Beach, East Cape Bay of Plenty
Ohope Beach, East Cape Bay of Plenty

Love remains

During this Easter week, it is good to remember and reflect upon the incredible unfailing love God shows us despite the evil and chaos that never seems to end. Indeed, we have sound reason NOT to let our hearts be troubled!

“Hope and faith will both come to an end when we die. But love will remain. Love is eternal. Love comes from God and returns to God. When we die, we will lose everything that life gave us except love. The love with which we lived our lives is the life of God within us. It is the divine, indestructible core of our being. This love not only will remain but will also bear fruit from generation to generation.


“When we approach our deaths let us say to those we leave behind, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. The love of God that dwells in my heart will come to you and offer you consolation and comfort.”  Henri Nouwen

Isaiah 65, Ohope Beach
Isaiah 65, Ohope Beach

To live in the mercy of God

To live in the mercy of God.

To feel vibrate the enraptured
waterfall flinging itself
unabating down and down
to clenched fists of rock.
Swiftness of plunge,
hour after year after century,
O or Ah
uninterrupted, voice
many-stranded.
To breathe
spray. The smoke of it.
Arcs
of steelwhite foam, glissades
of fugitive jade barely perceptible. Such passion—
rage or joy?
Thus, not mild, not temperate,
God’s love for the world. Vast
flood of mercy
flung on resistance.

Horsetail Falls Columbia Gorge, Psalm 46
Horsetail Falls Columbia Gorge,  Psalm 46

Ohope Beach and the Bay of Plenty: sunrise and sunset

One of the great joys of visiting family in Ohope is watching the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, the ever changing morning and evening light.  Ohope Beach lies on the eastern end of the Bay of Plenty, an eighty mile curve of sea three hours southeast of Auckland.  Because of its north-south location, this ocean expanse, unlike the Oregon coast,  receives both sunrises and sunsets.  The light is unique.  Enjoy these pictures.

 

Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty
Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty
beachcomber Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty
beachcomber Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty

Ohope Beach setting moon

Full moon setting at sunrise, Ohope Beach

 

Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty
Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty
Ohiwa Harbor surise, Ohope Beach
Ohiwa Harbor, Ohope Beach, Ohiwa Harbour
Ohope Beach West End , West End Ohope rainbow
Ohope Beach West End , West End Ohope rainbow
Ohope Beach sunset, Bay of Plenty sunset
Ohope Beach sunset, Bay of Plenty

 

Ohope Beach West End sunset, Bay of Plenty
Ohope Beach West End sunset, Bay of Plenty
West End sunset Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty sunset,
West End sunset Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty sunset,
Whale Island Whakatane, Bay of Plenty sunset
Whale Island Whakatane, Bay of Plenty sunset

 

Akaroa

While we were planning this year’s trip to New Zealand’s South Island, Matt asked if we had ever visited Akaroa.  Based on his recommendation, an excellent one, we spent a couple of nights here. The town and harbor lie inside and ancient volcanic crater, one of several in the area. its rugged, twisting, rising and descending road challenges a driver. However, upon arriving at the town, one finds a tranquil, serene setting. However, it is less than a two hour drive from Christchurch, so the six hundred or so population is said to swell to twelve thousand on a busy summer weekend.

Fortunately, Meg and I enjoyed a quiet, unhurried time there. We swam with Hector’s dolphins, a rare species in New Zealand, but in substantial numbers around the harbor.  We enjoyed one of our finest meals at a French restaurant, Ma Maison, sitting outdoors in the cool evening as sunset approached. Akaroa is part of the Banks Peninsula, an excellent three day walking tour where one stays at bed and breakfasts along the way.

Akaroa Bay overview
Akaroa Bay overview
Akaroa lighthouse sunset
Akaroa lighthouse sunset
Akaroa Harbor
Akaroa Harbor
Akaroa Harbor
Akaroa Harbor
View from Mt Vernon where we stayed for two nights
View from Mt Vernon where we stayed for two nights
Cormorants at Akaroa Harbor
Cormorants at Akaroa Harbor
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Akaroa, Hectors dolphin
Akaroa, Hectors dolphin
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Black Cat Dolphin tours
Black Cat Dolphin tours
Black Cat Dolphin tours
Black Cat Dolphin tours
Akaroa, Hectors dolphin
Akaroa, Hectors dolphin
Akaroa, Hectors dolphins
Akaroa, Hectors dolphins
Dining at Ma Maison Akaroa
Dining at Ma Maison Akaroa
Dining at Ma Maison Akaroa
Dining at Ma Maison Akaroa

Heli hiking on the Tasman Glacier

If one is fortunate, a trip to a new — or an old place — allows one to find an individual whose unique skills light up a memory that draws one back many times to relive that experience. Ant (Anthony) Harris created that personality for Meg and me on this New Zealand trip.  Ant guides for Southern Alps Guiding. He conveys an authenticity and humility that is not dependent on external praise or recognition, but comes from a deep desire to perform to the highest standard of personal integrity and skill.

We met Ant at the Old Mountaineer Restaurant next to the visitor center at Mt Cook National Park.  He guided us the first day on the Tasman Lake iceberg kayak trip. As one of the leading mountaineers in the Mt Cook ranges, he also leads heli  tours on the Tasman Glacier. I knew after Meg and my interaction with Ant on this kayaking venture that I wanted additional time with him on the glacier.  Meg was not really committed to the trip, so I went alone with an additional party of three participants. Ant carefully prepared us for the helicopter exit and entry before we drove to the small airport.
Ten minutes later, we landed on a flat place amidst deeply fissured and fractured ice. I saw no way that we would be able to navigate a course down and across this maze of mini ice slot canyons.  However, Ant strapped on our crampons and skillfully picked out a path over and around, up and down the glacier.  It was a fascinating venture to discover that indeed we could find a way out, so to speak.
After a while, he located a suitable crevasse to let us into an icy cavern.  Chopping steps into it with his ice ax, and then belaying us down, we dipped and stooped our way through to an exit point where Ant belayed us up.  It was a fascinating and invigorating experience.  Once again the helicopter landed on a small flat, we took off our crampons, and followed the helicopter entry lesson Ant had taught us earlier.
After returning to the restaurant, we invited Ant to lunch, and enjoyed his stories of putting up rock climbing routes in the late seventies and early eighties in Australia, when climbing flourished there much as it did in Yosemite in the late sixties and seventies.  You can read more about these climbs at his blog  antsclimbingspace.blogspot
Helicopter over Tasman Lake, heading toward the Tasman glacier
Helicopter over Tasman Lake, heading toward the Tasman glacier
Tasman glacier
Tasman glacier
Tasman glacier crevasses
Tasman glacier crevasses.  We landed on a postage sized space.
Tasman glacier crevasse
Tasman glacier crevasse
Tasman Glacier and surrounding mountains
Tasman Glacier and surrounding mountains
On the glacier
On the glacier
Tasman Glacier and surrounding mountains
Ant preparing us to descend into ice cave on the Tasman Glacier
Ant preparing descent into ice cave
Ant preparing descent into ice cave
Ant assisting client descent into ice cave
Ant assisting client descent into ice cave
Ant above ice cave
Ant above ice cave
Coming out of the ice cave
Coming out of the ice cave
Ant picture taking
Ant picture taking
Old Mountaineer restaurant. Meg and Ant
Old Mountaineer restaurant. Meg and Ant

Kayaking amidst the icebergs

At nearly fourteen and half miles in length, the Tasman glacier is the longest in New Zealand.  Over the past four decades, the lake below it has grown from a large pond to a very large Tasman Lake.  The lake undercuts the glacier and speeds up the iceberg calving process. The day after Meg and I walked the Hooker Valley Track, we took a guided kayak trip on the lake.  Our guide, Anthony (“Ant”) Harris, did an excellent job leading us within appropriate distance of the various sized glaciers. The size and shapes of the icebergs are constantly changing, and they can suddenly roll, sending out major waves.

One fun part of the trip was picking “mini icebergs” out of the water.  We set them on our spray skirts, and then sucked on ice water that, according to Ant, was two thousand years old!  We also paddled across the lake, got out on the shore, and enjoyed seeing reflections of the Mt Cook range, as well as hardy lichens and moss.
For those who are interested, here is some more information about the glacier:
The glacier remained at a constant 28 km (17 mi) in length for all of its recorded history in the 20thcentury before starting its current period of rapid melting in the 1990s. Between 2000 and 2008 alone, the glacier terminus receded 3.7 km. Since the 1990s the terminus has retreated about 180 metres (590 ft) a year on average. The glacier is now in a period of faster retreat where the rate of retreat is calculated to be between 477 to 822 metres (1,565 to 2,697 ft) each year. It is estimated that the Tasman Glacier will eventually disappear and the terminal Tasman Lake will reach a maximum size in 10 to 19 years time. In 1973 Tasman Glacier had no terminal lake and by 2008 Tasman Lake was 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide, and 245 metres (804 ft) deep.
A large calving event was possibly triggered, or at least contributed to, by the 2011 Canterbury earthquake on 22 February 2011. On this day 30,000,000 metric tons (33,000,000 short tons) to 40,000,000 metric tons (44,000,000 short tons) of ice dropped from the terminal face of the Tasman Glacier and fell into the Tasman Lake. Boats were hit with tsunami waves of up to 3.5 metres (11 ft) as the ice fell into the Tasman Lake under the glacier. Similar events in the past have been attributed to buoyancy effects, a result of high basal water pressures and increased lake level following heavy rainfall events.
Exploring the shore of Tasman Lake
Exploring the shore of Tasman Lake
Below a "dead" glacier on Tasman Lake
Below a “dead” glacier on Tasman Lake
Ant on Tasman Lake
Ant on Tasman Lake
an iceberg on Tasman Lake
an iceberg on Tasman Lake
near an iceberg on Tasman Lake
near an iceberg on Tasman Lake
Meg paddling by mini iceberg
Meg paddling by mini iceberg.  This is one that we took out of the water and sucked on.
Meg paddling toward iceberg
Meg paddling toward iceberg
Meg paddling into the sky on Tasman Lake
Meg paddling into the sky on Tasman Lake
Tasman Lake reflections
Tasman Lake reflections