Colorado Pines

colorado lake and pines in Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado Pines

About this time last summer, I made my very first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado.  It will, most certainly, not be my last.  At every turn, there is a scene like the one in this image.  The deep colors of the water below, offset by the bright whites in the clouds above and the never ending shades of green in between are calming not only to my eye, but also to my soul.  I have always found the Rocky Mountains to be majestic, and this trip certainly reinforced my love for all things Rocky.

Morning Fog

early morning fog on pond

Morning Fog

I am not known to be an early morning person!  Several weeks ago though, I had to be up early to get my daughter to an out of town event.  Luckily, I took my camera with me.  Once I was on my way back home, and good and awake, I began to appreciate the early morning light as the sun came up, and decided to make a stop by a local park.  I had been to this park many times before, but I found it especially serene and peaceful in the solitude of early morning.  The light coming off the pond was warm and wonderful, and provided a great and worshipful way to start my day.

Maui Sunset

sunset in maui with couple sillouette

Maui Sunset

If you haven’t made the time to get yourself to Hawaii, you really should!  Time spent there is restful for the soul and renewing to the spirit.  Hawaii operates at a completely different pace and attitude than the rest of the country.  This shot was made on a December evening following a tough day of whale watching, snorkeling with turtles, beach lounging, volcano exploring, and mahi mahi eating while listening to island music.  I know every state boasts of its uniqueness, but Hawaii really is an exceptional place.

West Texas Sunset

west texas tree in sunset sky

West Texas Sunset

The sunsets in the big, open skies of west Texas are often spectacular.  On this December evening, the silhouette of this stately tree was so beautiful set against the colors of the sky just after the sun had set.  One of my favorite lines in Fannie Flagg’s book, Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, is this:

“You know, Dena, there’s a secret to watching a sunset, most people think that once the sun goes down, that’s the end of it.  They stop watching too soon, because the really pretty part is just beginning.”

Easter

pine tree in the snow with the sun behind

Easter

Hallelujah!  He is risen!

“And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring” 

– Song lyrics from Nicole Nordeman’s song, Every Season

Pretty in Pink

Spring pink trees in bloom

Pretty in Pink

I am so enjoying the beauty of all of the colors this Spring.  These bright pink blossoms were especially eye catching set against the stark coldness of the tree branch.  I find it just a comforting and amazing reminder that every year, following the quiet dormancy of winter, and with the coming of Spring, all things are made new… and beautifully so.

Sunlit Storm

Sunlit Storm

As if on cue, on the first day of Spring, we had our big Spring storm… complete with dark skies, thunder and lightening, wind, intermittent downpours, and even a rainbow.  The duel between the sun and the clouds made for some beautiful scenery, and I managed to capture this beautiful flowering tree in full bloom against the threatening sky and a very carefully placed rainbow.

Jack O’Lantern Mushrooms

Jack O’Lantern Mushrooms

Hiking has got to be one of my favorite activities.  I love the physical exertion, the quiet, the connection with nature, the accomplishment, and the encounters along the way.  These Jack O’Lantern mushrooms were a colorful surprise along the trail of a wonderful little hike here in Virginia. These are even said to glow in the dark!  As Spring continues to tease us today, I look forward to spending more and more time outside appreciating my surroundings.