Here are some panoramas of Death Valley; be sure to click on them to enlarge to full-screen for the full effect. Each has been stitched together for several shots:
Spring seems to have sprung, so my thoughts have been turning toward desert wildflowers, which I understand are blooming in profusion in the lower parts of Death Valley right now—late February, 2016. Chances are that’s where we’ll be heading in a few weeks.
That got me thinking about my trip to Death Valley in April, 2010, and to Craters of the Moon for the bloom there two months later, in June, 2010. Both of those trips resulted in YouTube slide shows.
I’ve just revised “Craters of the Moon—Wildflowers & Lava Flows” by adding a jazz guitar soundtrack & a couple new slides: Craters of the Moon: Wildflowers & Lava Flows
The Death Valley slide-show: Death Valley Wildflowers, 2010
Rummaging through Gallic adventure memoiries, I recalled a slide show I pulled together a few years ago for friends headed to France. They are images from my most recent trip to France, 2004:
It takes a while to download, but I think it’s worth the wait. If you download and run the slides on Acrobat Reader, I think it’ll run like a slide show. I have not put a soundtrack to it—yet. Let me know what you think. Please report technical difficulties. I’m looking for ways to make this site more “media” friendly, suggestions invited.
Recently, a Buddhist brother posted this poem:
by Wendell Berry
At start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise;
have been inattentive to wonders;
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.
The poem brought to mind a contest I came across during a trip through the Midwest a few years back.
The Big Rock, Illinois, plowing match has been going on since the 1890s. The annual event invites an impressive collection of classic, working tractors and their owner-operators.
I love how scoring the plowing embodies principles of much broader application.