More photos…:)

It’s been a busy week, up here in the forest. Most days have been sunny, while I’m working, then raining by the time I’m done. The cover shot was from this morning, when I woke up – Moon setting over the Gore Range.

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That’s it for today. Enjoy the life you’re living.

More Thoughts and Shots…

Last night, I had what I like to call a Divine Appointment. That’s when a series of seemingly unrelated events line up to place you at a particular place and time. In this case, it was a local Mexican Restaurant at dinner time. The name of the place is Fiesta Jalisco, in Silverthorne, Colorado. FYI- I had Sopa de Albondigas and Coffee. It was good, although I like mine a little more picante

As I arrived, I met a young man who works there. Between customers, he would come chat with me. He said that he has written a book. It’s with an editor right now, but he expects it back soon, and hopes to get it published by the end of the year. The subject is Finding Reasons to Be Happy. Over the next little while, we talked about how hard it things can get. Life can be difficult, and sometimes it’s downright crushing.

So, why do I think of this as a Divine Appointment? The first thing is that I was actually looking for an Italian place. I’d checked online, but didnt find anything interesting. Driving around, I found a little pizza place, so thought I’d give it a try. When I arrived, it was closed. A little let down, I thought about trying one of the other places, but Fiesta Jalisco is right next door, and I love good Mex. So, I went inside.

The next indicator was my server, himself. He was the first person to greet me as I entered the place. He opened up in a way that many people do, because that’s how things work for me. We spoke Spanish, mostly, and mine was very good. This was another light on, because my Spanish has been suffering for a while.

Finally, I saw the way that his co-workers treated him. They made him the butt of jokes, and seemed to disregard him. For what reason, I dont know. Very soon, I understood that he needed some encouragement. He seemed so eager to have someone to share his story with.

As I prepared to leave, he came over to thank me. I took the moment to tell him “You are a visionary. You wrote a book. That’s probably more than any of these people have done. It doesnt matter if the book is good or bad, if people read it or not. What matters, is that you’ve done Something. Be proud of that.”

I say the same thing to you. Do Something. It doesnt matter what. It may not be a book. For you, it might be to teach someone how to fish, or to learn. Maybe you want to see Niagara Falls. The thing is, once you accomplish the first thing, others will follow. That’s how it works.

Now, before you get all excited and zoom off in some direction, let me say one more thing. Begin with Gratitude. Believe me, it makes a difference. Remind yourself of something to be grateful for in every day. This helps us realize that things are not as bad as we may think. If you are in a deep darkness, it will be difficult. I’ve been there. All I can say is, look for it. Then you can start to move toward your vision.

If you are in a dark place, and want to talk to someone who has been there, drop me a note at VagabondStew.db@gmail.com. I’m glad to share what I’ve learned, but I wont be a preacher.

Those are my thoughts, now, here are the shots. These were done last night, after my dinner.

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Thursday Morning Musings…and Photos

I know, I shared this image of the Stew Wagon yesterday, but it kind of captures how I’m feeling about things, right now. I’m out in the wilderness, with all my stuff, ready for another adventure.

So far, the day has been relaxed for me, here at the mill. There was a dusting of snow, as usual, when I woke up. We’ve received an inch or so more, as we approach nine o’clock. People coming in from lower elevations (read Denver) tell me that the highway is closed at Eisenhower Tunnel. That’s always fun for people driving up.

The Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels cut through the midst of the Rockies, right at the Continental Divide. If you watch closely driving through, you’ll see a marker that indicates exactly where that is. The tunnels were built to make east/west passage easier for motorists. Until their completion in the 1970s, travelers had to take Vail Pass, which is a longer, more complex (curvy), and slower route. At one point, over a thousand people were working on their construction. In all, it took eleven years to complete them both. The 1.7 mile trip will take you about two minutes. If you prefer the scenic route, you can still drive over Vail Pass. It’s a beautiful drive, and you wont be sorry.

Here are a few pics I did in a short snowfall, yesterday.

That’s it for me, today. Enjoy the life you’re living.

Unusual Photography!

These ladies were grazing on a hillside about half a mile away from where I was. The sky was overcast, preparing for the snow that would fall overnight. I’d been shooting along the Blue River, outside Silverthorne, Colorado. Glancing up, I saw these tiny, odd, kind of balloon looking things way up the side of another mountain. Bringing my camera up, I could see that they were the hind ends of these beautiful elk. Without a tripod, I scrambled to find ways to steady myself. I knelt on a boulder (pictured later), and leaned up against various trees, pushed my lens all the way out, and started clicking. Of the twenty or so shots that I took, only a few turned out at all well. To be honest, I’m surprised that I could reach out that far with that little SX40HS. I was also a little disappointed that the bull never showed up. That would have been nice.

This big ol’ toppled pine tree was the first thing that greeted me, as I clambered down the hill. They always fascinate me. I have seen some that continued to grow, sending new branches high into the air, like individual trees.

It must have been Bone Day, because I happened onto several skeletons. Most were small animals. Probably deer. One, though…I have no idea what it was. All I can say is, it was large. That’s a size 9 1/2 shoe.

Here are a few miscellaneous shots, from around the same area.

Finally, here’s a shot of the Stew Wagon through the trees, and a couple of views that are closer to where I sleep. You can see why I’m digging this assignment.

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Brief Update and Thoughts…

Had a little snow overnight, but nothing to talk about. The wind, though!, rocked the Stew Wagon like a train car, waking me several times through the night. By morning, it had calmed down, and we were left with lovely white trees. There is no small snow mover, so this is what happens, even for an inch or two.

This photo, and a few other recent ones, have been taken with my Droid Turbo 2. I’m learning to use it, and getting better, as mobile photography seems to be carving its way into the mainstream. To shoot, I use an app called Open Camera, and for editing, I use SnapSeed. Both are available in the Play Store.

As I’m shooting, I hear Joel Sartore’s voice telling me to look for, or wait for, The Shot. That’s the one with something extra. For example, this morning I could have simply shown you the snowy trees and mountain across the valley. With that big loader out there, though, it seemed like a much more interesting shot to include it.

As I’m out shooting the landscapes here, I often struggle with that. Henri Cartier-Bresson liked to find a scene, set up his camera, and wait for something to happen. I’m tempted to do that here. There are a couple of places where I see lots of animal tracks, so I know there’s traffic. The Big Unknown is timing. Is there a particular time of day when this traffic is happening? Probably. If I decide to try this tactic, I’ll just have to be patient.

Another hazard is the snow itself. Sometimes, on cant tell how deep it is. Of course, this isnt the Arctic, so I’m not going to fall down some bottomless crevasse. Still, stepping unawares into a six foot drop can be dangerous, too.

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Meanwhile, enjoy the life you’re living.