All posts by PraisePhoto

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

Mt Cook, the Hooker Valley Track

Meg and I have backpacked and day hiked extensively in the Northwest as well as New England, We have also done several of the Great Tracks of New Zealand.  I have hiked the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada mountains and many sections of the Pacific Crest Trail.  Without a doubt, hands down, the Hooker Valley Track is the best day hike we have ever done.
The mountain, valley, and river views are as spectacular as anything you will find, anywhere. I have never been on a trail that is so comfortable, well maintained, and yet so “up close and personal” to the mountain.
Mt Cook Hooker Valley Track
Mt Cook Hooker Valley Track
Hooker Valley Track hollyhocks
Hooker Valley Track hollyhocks
Hooker Valley Track suspension bridge crossing
Hooker Valley Track suspension bridge crossing
Hooker Valley Track, Hooker River
Hooker Valley Track, Hooker River
Hooker Valley Track
Hooker Valley Track
Meg Hooker Valley Track
Meg Hooker Valley Track
Hooker River
Hooker River
Mt Cook Hooker Valley Track
Mt Cook Hooker Valley Track

The Lord’s Prayer in the spirit of Celtic Spirituality

 

O God, you love us like a good parent, and are present in every aspect of our existence. May your nature become known and respected by all. May your joy, peace, wholeness and justice be the reality for everyone as we live by the Jesus Way. Give us all that we really need to live every day for you. And forgive us our failures as we forgive others for their failures. Keep us from doing those things which are not of you, and cause us always to be centered on your love. For you are the true reality in this our now, and in all our future. In the Jesus Way we pray. Amen. (David Sorril)

West End Ohope
West End Ohope

A thought and a prayer and a Psalm

Jesus “rebuked” the wind and sea by saying, “peace, be still.” Mark 4:35—41.  Christ Jesus, rebuke the storms in my life. Command my worries and anxieties to be still, and grant me your peace. Make be willing to be yoked with you and let you be the one to do the heavy lifting, the hard pulling as I give you my life freely and fully.

“The Presence of the Lord was at my side and I could live with trust, not fear, again.”  Psalm 118:6, from Ancient Songs Sung Anew
Sunrise, La Grande
Sunrise, La Grande

The allure of winter days

When the sun is shining and the air is still, nothing is more beautiful, inviting, and invigorating than a winter day in the outdoors!

Rock Creek road

Rock Creek road Union County

Rock Creek winter sky

Winter sky

winter fence line Union County

Eternity

winter selfie

winter selfie

 

Meecham Divide
Meecham Divide Union County
Embracing winter
Embracing winter
Cross country skiing Meecham Divide
Cross country skiing Meecham Divide
Meecham Divide cross country skiing
Meecham Divide cross country skiing

 

Healers in a harsh society

“We must become aware of the sacred in every single element of life. We must bring beauty to birth in a poor and plastic world. We must restore the human community.  We must grow in concert with the God who is within. We must be healers in a harsh society.

“We must begin to do life, to be with people, to accept circumstances, to bring good to evil in ways that speak of the presence of God in every moment.” Joan Chittister
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
    Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
    and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
    and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
    giving you water when you are dry
    and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like an ever-flowing spring.”  Isaiah 58: 9-11

Cross country skiing at the Meecham Divide, Blue Mts Oregon
Meacham Divide Blue Mountains Oregon

 

Winter in the Grande Ronde Valley

We have experienced a deep and long winter here in our Grande Ronde Valley–wind and snow have closed many roads, snow is piled deep, both from blowing and from drifting. However, when the wind stops and the sun comes out, there is nothing more beautiful than the snow covered fields, trees, and mountains. It is the epitome of beauty.

Grande Ronde Valley
Grande Ronde Valley
Winter barn Union County
Winter barn Union County
winter barn Mt Emily Oregon
winter barn Mt Emily Oregon
Mt Emily Union County
Mt Emily Union County
winter countryside Union County
winter countryside Union County
Winter barn Union County
Winter barn Union County
winter farming Union County
winter farming Union County
Grande Ronde Valley
Grande Ronde Valley
winter simplicity Grande Ronde Valley
winter simplicity Grande Ronde Valley