Tag Archives: MERA

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

Snowy woods snowshoe

A short ten minute drive from home takes one to the Mt Emily Recreation Area (MERA).  Mt Emily creates an iconic profile as it rises above La Grande.  The MERA offers excellent recreation opportunities year around.  In fact, if you go to the previous post, you will see Meg on a billboard in which she is hiking in spring in this Mt Emily Recreation Area.

Mt Emily Recreation Area
Mt Emily Recreation Area
MERA
MERA
Mt Emily Union County
Mt Emily Union County
snow shapes
snow shapes

pileated woodpecker work

snowy light, MERA
snowy light, MERA
Mt Emily Recreation Area, snowy light
Mt Emily Recreation Area, snowy light

“Let us seek to do your will”

“Lord, just as you led the Israelites out of Egypt, lead us as we seek to do your will, to ‘love you more dearly and follow you more nearly’ all the days of our life.”

Mt Emily Recreation Area, La Grande OR

Glacier Lake, OR, Eagle Cap Wilderness


Western larch and the Mt Emily Recreation Area

As the fall colors fade in La Grande, as leaves fill yards and streets, the western larch (tamarack) are just beginning to radiate color. These trees are deciduous conifers that shed their needles after a late fall golden display.  In the springtime, the fresh needles are a bright pale green, offering a totally different sheen.  The grow straight and tall, like candles, up to a height of one hundred and eighty feet. I love to wander in and around them in the Mt Emily Recreation Area, as the bright sunlight bounces off their needles.

western larch, tamarack

Grande Ronde Valley

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA

MERA, Mt Emily Recreation Area

western larch

Are we supposed to be “happy” all the time?

Were we really created to be “happy” all the time?  I find I often blind myself to God’s reality if I get down or depressed when I feel “my” needs are not being met.

“There is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck.  I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice.  But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created.”  Parker Palmer

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA

Strawberry Lake

Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa Mts

Psalm 25: His unfailing love–yesterday, today, and tomorrow

As I read Psalm 25, I am taken by its timelessness.  The ancient psalm writer certainly could not have imagined the world, the readers, of the 21st century.  Yet here we are, once again reminded that God is timeless and eternal, breathing deeply the meaning of this Psalm in our everyday lives.

                              Lord, I give my life to you.
                                                                                                 I trust in you, my God!
                 

Grande Ronde Valley

                                Show me the right path, O Lord;
                                                                                          point out the road for me to follow.
                                            Lead me by your truth and teach me,
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                

                                                  you are the God who saves me.
                                               All day long I put my hope in you.

Mt Emily Recreation Area

                             Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
                                                                             which you have shown from long ages past.


MERA, La Grande

Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.


The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.


Mt Emily Recreation Area




Wrap around sunset: a Fourth of July preview

Sunday evening, Meg and I were blessed to be in a location where we could observe the best sunset we have seen, outside of the Bay of Plenty, North Island, N  (how is that for name dropping 🙂 The sky surrounding the Grande Ronde Valley was a wrap around of developing color in full 360 degree grandeur.  Frankly, it surpassed anything we can expect on the Fourth of July.

Mt Emily Recreation Area

Mt Harris, Grande Ronde Valley

Compassion

As he so often does, Henri Nouwen provides a challenging, practical way to live.

“Compassion, to be with others when and where they suffer and to willingly enter into a fellowship of the weak, is God’s way to justice and peace among people.  Is this possible? Yes, it is, but only when we dare to live with the radical faith that we don’t have to compete for love, but that love is freely given to us by the One who calls us to compassion.”
As I endure this political season with so much clanging noise/anger, so much talk and so little substance, I realize how easy it is to be distracted from Christ’s reminder that “what you to do to the least of mine, you do it to me.” Our response to His unqualified love must be to use our own hands and time serving others, not letting someone else do it for us.
Mt Emily Recreation Area, OR

Norse Creek Wilderness, WA

Nosu classroom, China

Mt Emily Recreation Area winter






Through the dedicated efforts of a group of Union County citizens, the Mt Emily Recreation Area was purchased from timber/property company Boise. Whereas most folks use it in the spring, summer, winter months, the area offers excellent winter recreation. Meg and I have enjoyed snow shoeing here. Recently, several days of snow were followed by very cold weather and blue skies. The snow hung heavily on the pine and fir branches, creating a proverbial winter wonderland.