Happy 50th Birthday, Earth Day!

Two weeks ago Kristina and I went for a hike to celebrate Earth Day. Since we hadn’t had gone out on Easter Sunday the previous week – due to cold, stormy weather – we brought along our Easter baskets and boiled eggs and had a picnic.

We hiked to one of our favorite places. It’s nameless on the map, but we since we always seem to see coyote tracks there and once saw a coyote nearby we named it Coyote Canyon. We enjoy getting photos of coyotes and other animals with the trail camera that we have positioned there.

As we hiked I realized that while some things along the way were very familiar to me there were other things that I’d either forgotten about or never noticed before. I had thoughts like “I don’t remember noticing that little ledge before”. It’s fun to go back to the same area on a regular basis for the comfort of the familiar and the excitement of things that are new or hadn’t been noticed before.

Visiting natural areas and getting to know them can inspire us to want to protect them. And wanting to protect individual areas can help us to want to protect this great Earth that we live on.

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day here are fifty photos, with notes, from our hike (if you click on the first photo you can look at each of them one at a time as a slideshow and read the notes).

 

Yellow Flower Desert

It’s really amazing how spending some time outside can make you feel so good. Spending time outside in an amazing new location is even more invigorating, refreshing and revitalizing.

We decided to take a late afternoon hike the other day and couldn’t quite find the right place. One place we tried was surrounded by massive power lines, another place led straight to a cell phone tower, and yet another was polluted by the constant racket of an oil well. We kept looking.

We finally found a place that looked pretty decent and decided to give it a go. Chad let me lead the way, and I have to say, I did a good job. We had fun walking over badland-like hills, taking pictures of all the yellow flowers everywhere, and discovering all the vegetation that had come to life in the desert.

It was just that time of day where the lighting makes everything look magical: golden hour. And then we came to a stunning overlook that opened out onto wild open land. It was so exciting that I had to do a little dance. Having grown up in the thick temperate forests of the SE United States, I am still thrilled by the exoticness of the wide open desert. The expansiveness seems to lift your entire being up into the air, and make you feel that you can fly.

You can tell by the number of photos we took that we were enchanted. The extreme close-ups are mostly mine and the beautifully composed landscapes are mostly Chad – especially the clouds. Chad is a specialist in cloud portraiture!

Discovering this place was exhilarating too because it was just off the road, was an easy hike and was very rewarding for very little effort. What a sweet interlude from spring into summer.