When in the South Island of New Zealand, you just gotta do it! This is my version of #ThatWanakaTree.
When I went to the South Island, there weren't that many people in most of the spots we went to - except for this particular spot. I was surprised to see the number of camera-carrying folks present to capture what is arguably the most photographed tree in the southern hemisphere. I decided to return early the next day to take a shot.
The following day, I got up at 4:30am. Since our Jeep was set up as a tent that time, I decided to walk it (for 30 minutes) only to find a couple dozen other people with their tripods already set in place. I may not have gotten my "ideal" spot but there were a few things I learned about this little exercise that I'm hoping will stay in my head and in turn improve my craft: •If photographing in a popular urban setting, get up way earlier than I would in the wilderness. •Invest on a good filter. Up until today, I still don't know much about this powerful tool. •Always clean the lens! The biggest noob mistake I made was to not clean my lens after using it on a rainy setting the day before. A lot of spot removal was performed to 'clean' this shot. •Take every opportunity. I was already at the same spot the day before and I should've just made my first attempt at sunset.
P.S. I heard about the recent flood caused by nonstop rain in the Wanaka area. I hope it goes well again soon.
One of an amazing hike with magnificent views from the ground and up to the mountain at the Tonto National Monument.
These cheetahs are fed around 12:30pm daily at @kragga_kamma_game_park. It’s an incredible experience to be a part of. The ranger blows a whistle and they come running from wherever they are on the grounds and wait to grab their food. A well recommended thing to do in little PE! 🐆
Nuclear explosions in my mind.
Looking back on it, I’ve been having a rough time of it over the last few months. I have very little of consequence to complain about, though. I have my health, a roof, a job, food, clean water, my freedom, and a thousand little advantages in my life. By most measures, there are far more people suffering far more than I am over far more important things; and I’ve been struggling with the philosophical question of whether I’m allowed to feel bad given how fortunate I ultimately am. .
Am I selfish to be upset about my small problems when there are children in cages and people without water and marine life choking on plastic and hate in people’s hearts; and all the hard and terrible things that happen around the Earth every day? I honestly don’t know.
But I know that I’m trying to have the larger perspective; trying to emphasize the good and diminish the bad. It’s interesting how hard that can be sometimes when just watching the news shows me how things could be so very much worse. And so I keep trying.
A few of the closest people in my life are going through some really heavy things right now and my heart hurts for them. Addiction is such an awful disease; cunning, baffling, powerful. It takes and takes and usually leaves people utterly broken. We do things in active addiction that we would never even think of doing clean, we become people that we don’t want to be. I will always have compassion for the still suffering addict and I am always a phone call away for anyone that needs support. Break the cycle, choose recovery. Everyone deserves a life worth living, there is always hope.
CALIFORNIA RIDING & HIKING TRAIL :: DAY 4 OF 4 :: MILE 30 - MILE 37.5 :: [November 23-26, 2019] .
After a crazy, windy night, the morning was quite the calm morning to wake up to. One noticeably huge thing about starting this day’s trek was noticing how much lighter our backpacks were. It was the last stretch to finish the whole trek, and it was just wonderful to feel like we were carrying close to nothing. I was reminded about how sin really weighs us down. Imagine walking around life with the burden of sin always weighing you down.
Started the day near Mile 20, just a mile east from Ryan Campground. This day was by far the windiest and most challenging day. First, we reached Geology Tour only to find that our second batch of water that we cached also came up empty. Fortunately, with the good acts of fellow hikers, someone left a jug of “free” water for any random hikers who needed it. We took it. Haha. Again, thanks God for providing. We set up camp near Mile 29 only to be abruptly bombarded with heavy wind that we were forced to set down and hike further out to find a better area to camp. We lucked out with a boulder that would block a good 40% of the wind that we should have gotten. Still, that was a cold night.
Lesson of the day: We need Living water when our lives are dry and barren. And we need true refuge from the heavy winds in life.
. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
Psalms 46:1-3 NIV
At the end of September I tore 3 ligaments in my ankle playing soccer, and for the past two months my mountain time has been limited to small walks and places you can drive to. With this being the longest recovery time of any injury I’ve had (other than my concussion) I’m getting rather restless. Although I’ve been doing lots of fun things it feels like I’ve been sitting still for two months, and it’s starting to drive me crazy. So here’s a little mountain summer throwback, and me crossing my fingers that I can ski in a few weeks.