Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘landscape photography

Never Imagined

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I never imagined that in my lifetime the United States would become a laughingstock of the world. It’s rather embarrassing to witness our once-powerful democracy devolve into such a mockery of itself. We are probably the last ones to finally see the hypocrisies being laid bare with the blatant disrespect for last November’s election. The rest of the world has seen through our holier-than-thou attitude for a long time.

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Try as I might to preserve the sanctity of my mental space, I failed miserably last night at preventing the invasion of the outrageous gobbledygook related to an hour-long phone call of bullying malfeasance that was recorded for all the world to hear. Sad. So sad.

I sure wish there were swift consequences for such blatant abuse of power.

Thank goodness I have Cyndie and our chickens to brighten things up for me. In a perfectly timed intervention that adjusted my attitude splendidly, Cyndie shared this tidbit:

She decided to offer our chickens the aging remains of an unfinished apple pie from Christmas. She set the foil pie pan in the coop on Sunday night when she closed the coop. Yesterday morning, when she opened things up for the day, Cyndie said there wasn’t a single trace of apple, crust, or the oatmeal crumble topping anywhere in sight. Just a perfectly clean pie pan.

I guess it’s safe to say our chickens like apple pie.

They do not automatically eat everything we set out for them. Some kitchen scraps get entirely ignored. We get a little extra entertainment value out of the times we appear to have offered something that catches their fancy.

That little story lightened my outlook nicely. Like a sunny winter day after an overnight fog.

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Winter Landscape

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It’s not as harsh as it sometimes looks. I don’t mean to be gatekeeping, but images of a winter landscape are viewed best with a reference of having walked in the pre-dawn quiet with the squeak of snow under boots being the only disruption of the brisk surroundings.

To know the difference between how below zero feels on the skin compared to a day when it gets above freezing.

To see the muted lighting first hand, in a way a camera will never equally convey.

To absorb the full expanse of the sky from one horizon to the next while feeling the icebox chill emanating from the snow cover below.

A winter landscape is so much more than a photograph is able to capture, but that never stops us from trying.

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Written by johnwhays

December 30, 2020 at 7:00 am

Painted Skies

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One of many fond memories I have of home during my adolescence is the variety of magazines that showed up in our mailbox. I’m guessing I have my father to thank for this. Weekly, I paged through Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated for exposure to the latest images and trends. I remember exploring Popular Mechanics, or was it Popular Science? Probably both. There was Reader’s Digest and a few along the lines of Good Housekeeping, likely for Mom’s benefit, to which I paid a little less attention.

For a spell, there was Arizona Highways with its glorious pictures of colorful western sunsets. I suppose that contributed to a perspective that Arizona was the place where that happened. Obviously, that perception has carried through to now because that magazine came to mind when Cyndie offered me photos she took of yesterday’s sunset and this morning’s sunrise.

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Beldenville, Wisconsin. Land of painted skies…

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Written by johnwhays

November 14, 2020 at 10:18 am

Beautiful Views

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Despite human industrial activity dumping carbon into the earth’s atmosphere for generations, grass and trees continue to jam carbon back into the soil. Imagine if we had enough forests and fields to reverse the changes our burning of fossil fuels has done to the atmosphere.

Thinking like that is more fun when gazing upon the beautiful views we enjoy than trying to wrap my head around the continuing damage that is being done every day, like driving my car for two hours a day during my 4-day workweek. Working from home on Fridays is a small token toward driving less.

We watched the NOVA episode, “Can We Cool the Planet?” on PBS last night. Seems reasonable to believe that we can cool the planet. The difficulty is whether or not humans will actually undertake the needed steps.

It certainly doesn’t hurt for individuals to strive to do their part, but the solution will require a collective global commitment. Based on the history of the human race, it is hard to picture how such a thing would even be possible.

Maybe an existential threat will be the difference that one day drives a coordinated response.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to plant trees and enjoy our lovely views.

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Two Angles

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Cyndie has become quite the photojournalist of late, supplying the majority of images I have been using in my posts. Here are two from differing angles capturing the early fall color we are enjoying this year.

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Taken over the last two days, you can see how just a little direct sun really amps up the boldness of color in the leaves.

I recently saw maps showing the percentage of peak color for Minnesota and western Wisconsin that indicated the county where we live was ahead of the surrounding area. We aligned more with the amount of color seen up north early on.

It’s a wonderful perk, except that it likely means we will lose leaves sooner and extend the monochromatic months of bare branches.

How’s that for two angles of looking at a situation?

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Written by johnwhays

September 29, 2020 at 6:00 am

Cloudless Sky

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Yesterday was one of the great ones when it comes to sunny summer days. The neighboring cattle are definitely being grass-fed and made for excellent subjects as I paused to capture some shots of that cloudless sky.

Apparently, some of the grass looked greener on the other side of that fence.

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Written by johnwhays

August 19, 2020 at 6:00 am

So Little

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There are days when I want nothing more than to be standing again in the high Himalayas gazing at surrounding peaks and the valleys between.

These days I find plenty of solace in the wide-open spaces of our rural paradise where the variety of skies provides endless fascination.

It serves to remind me that we are so little and the universe so vast.

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Written by johnwhays

July 2, 2020 at 6:00 am

Not Blue

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The sky looked completely different yesterday, after the outstanding blue we enjoyed Friday. In the classic weather paradox of the north, even though it was cloudier, the temperature was warmer than the day before. The brain-freeze didn’t happen on Delilah’s and my morning walk around the property yesterday.

The elements provided a complement to the grayness in the form of white-flocked tree branches. The water vapor in the warmer air was crystalizing on one side of all the trees creating a temporary delicacy of landscape scenery.

It’s beautiful days like this that make the beautiful blue-sky days that much more spectacular! I’m grateful that I get to enjoy them both.

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Written by johnwhays

March 1, 2020 at 10:23 am

Sun Rises

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Today marks the return of Standard Time for most people in the U.S. but the sun paid no attention. The earth and sun did nothing unusual to change our circadian rhythms today.

Cyndie captured this image a few minutes before the sun appeared. It didn’t matter to the universe what time our clocks were set to read.

We will reconcile the adjustment to an apparent hour-earlier darkness because we must. Society has yet to reconcile our differing opinions about changing clocks twice a year, but science appears to be leaning toward the conclusion that better health and well-being is possible by eliminating the bi-annual clock adjustment and maintaining Standard Time year-round.
 (Ref: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0748730419854197)

I have a good friend who never hesitates to remind me how much he likes that we adjust the clocks twice a year to alter the daylight for our routine activities. He is not alone, which explains why the repeated debates arise twice every year in the spring and fall yet nothing seems to come of it.

It’s not the kind of thing that we can each just choose for ourselves. It’s a lot like our national leadership. Independents don’t hold much sway in our two-party system and we can’t each choose to follow our own preferred President. We need to function in a system whether we agree with it or not.

The sun and the earth don’t care either way. For some reason, I find solace in that. Knowing the universe pays no heed to our trifling clock settings helps me cope with a system to which I disagree.

It hasn’t helped as well with tolerating national leadership that shows no interest in helping shift us away from abusing the planet to everyone’s detriment. I suspect the universe will have the last laugh in that contest.

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Written by johnwhays

November 3, 2019 at 11:05 am

Pink Clouds

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That’s it. That’s all I got. Cyndie sent me this photo she took of pink clouds two nights ago and I think it’s gorgeous. I’ve got nothing more to add.

Enjoy.

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Written by johnwhays

September 6, 2019 at 6:00 am