Posts Tagged ‘sunset’

Where’s the gold dome?

February 25, 2016
Blue Capitol

Blue Capitol

 

Things constantly change, even when they stay the same.

My original intent was to get a shot of our Capitol building under reconstruction, but I got distracted by the sky. Again.  Our state is going to spend $300 million fixing up this wonderful building, beginning now.  The whole place is surrounded by chain link fence, and scaffolding is gracing a large area of the walls.  It’s a much needed renovation, as the old building is tired and in need of modernization.

The downside to this project is that we live two blocks away, and our whole neighborhood will be consumed with construction for the next two years.  After it’s all done, however, it ought to make a nice neighborhood like ours even better.

Here’s what I find so interesting about this picture.  A few weeks ago, I took a shot of the Capitol on a cold, snowy morning. The dome shone like it was lit up, the gold glistening even in the gray morning light.  Tonight, at sunset, the same dome can hardly be differentiated from the sky.  And the sky is magnificent.

I continue to be amazed at what I am discovering on this 365 project / journey.  My eyes are different now than they were four months ago. If you’ve been reading along with this, you know that I have mentioned this fact a number of times, and it’s likely that I’ll mention it a number of times more in the future.

Something else I’m discovering is that I believe I have a book in me that needs to come out.  I have been rolling this around in my head for years, but I think I have finally determined the literary method of telling the story.  If I can get that off the ground, I’ll share it with you, dear reader, as I go along.

To the few of you who see this, thanks for reading.  I have to remind myself that I didn’t start this with the hope that I would get thousands of followers, but just so I could get some practice writing and shooting.  Nevertheless, I appreciate the fact that you have followed along this far.  May God bless you always!

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The Proper Order

January 28, 2016

 

Shadow ladders

Shadow ladders

I visited a friend in the hospital today.  It was a good visit, because she was there for some serious stuff.  She looked good, even though she had just undergone life-altering surgery that was anything but planned.  When I left her room, I made my way to the elevators and, while waiting, looked out the window to see this street stretch off into the horizon.   As the sun was setting, the cross streets created an open corridor for the last rays of the day’s light to illuminate their paths, while the homes and trees in the blocks in between filled the space with shadows.

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Abandoned and forgotten

 

I left the hospital and walked down the street I had just seen.  A block away from the hospital is a group of homes that no longer have occupants.  As is their wont, hospitals like to acquire property because they grow like nothing else. These homes were in the way, and the owners – a group of investors – wanted to knock them down and sell the land to the hospital.  The homes were considered by some to be historic, and therefore a hue and cry went up up prevent their destruction.  Now they sit empty, and the owners will give them away for the taking, and pay $10,000 towards the moving cost.  In the meantime, the environment is taking its toll. The once beautiful and distinct homes, filled with unique character, are going back to the land.  The paint peels, the wood rots, and soon enough they will be beyond repair and will come down on their own.

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Two dimensions

 

While the paint comes off the wood, the trees show their outlines against the chimney, perhaps in a scene from the future as the only thing left will be the shadows of what once was.  Even brick and mortar give themselves up to the wind, the rain and the cold.  It won’t be long before the shadows will migrate east as their screen disappears.

Light and water

Light and water

And then the snow, the cold, forbidding snow, loses its grip on the roofs and sidewalks as the sun warms it and turns it, drop by drop, into the water that will eventually end up in the Gulf of Mexico.  Today it came down like diamonds falling from the sky.  By Monday, the snow will be back and winter will slap us once again.

My trip to the hospital was quite an adventure.  My friend is resting, recuperating, and we pray for her.  The shadows will come and go again, and the homes will make their way to the land. This is life.  This is the proper order of things.

Just another sunset

January 14, 2016
Just another sunset

Just another sunset

I drove to Casper from Cheyenne yesterday for meetings that took place today.  It’s 18o miles, door to door, and it takes 2 hours and 15 minutes if I don’t stop.

In the 31 years we’ve lived in Cheyenne, I must have made this trip 1,000 times.  I know every inch of the road, where to go to the bathroom, where to get some coffee, where to get gas, where the wind is going to be the worst, and where the eagle perches next to the Platte River.

It’s the kind of drive that can get so mundane, so routine, that you can miss what’s around you.  Like sunsets.

I’m usually on a pretty tight schedule when I make this trip, so I don’t take a lot of time to really look around.  But last night and tonight, I had some leeway with the time of arrival, meaning I could get off the road and see things from a perspective that was not from inside a car going 80 miles an hour.

I was watching the clouds form around the edges of the mountains, knowing something special was taking place.  I was now officially on the lookout for a place to pull off the road and capture the sunset over the Laramie Range.

The “perfect” spot was the exit to Glendo, which I took with vigor as it crept upon me before I was really ready.  I had to be heavy on the brakes, or else I would have missed the road and ended up who-knows-where.  At the bottom of a ramp is a stop sign, and a left turn takes you to to Howards gas station, the usual stop, while a right puts you on a dirt road towards the (very, very) small town of Esterbrook. That’s where I went.

I was in search of the perfect sunset.  It always seems like I’m in search of the perfect sunset, which, by definition means I haven’t found it.  If it was perfect, I could stop looking because it would never be better.  The problem is that I haven’t defined perfect, which makes the search for it tough.

Perfect is so subjective.  The skies in Wyoming are phenomenal, and if there is ever to be a perfect sunset, it will be here.

The more I think about it, every sunset is perfect. It’s the perfect sunset for that moment, and it is just the way it is supposed to be.  I can revel in the glory of this small piece of creation, and that glory is only added to by the trip it takes to get there.  It’s the difference between going from one place to another, and seeing what’s on the way.

So here’s the perfect sunset.  If I get a chance tomorrow, I’ll take another shot of a perfect sunset.

My trip home tonight, aided by my search for the perfect sunset, took over 3 hours.  I believe I will start accounting for a longer drive to Casper.

January 13, 2016
Cosmic accident?

Cosmic accident?

I was in the middle of a discussion last night with some of the most literate, well-educated men I have ever met.  We were discussing a book titled The Privileged Planet, a fascinating tale of how an incredible number of things had to come together to provide for all the things required to support carbon based life, aka human beings.

The point of the book, and the man leading this discussion, was that this didn’t all just happen by accident.  Our world, our universe, isn’t simply a random happening. Rather, beginning with the Big Bang and carrying on for the next 13 billion years, the universe continues to expand, and the improbable story of human existence came into being and flourished.

For some reason that I cannot figure out, brilliant men are unable to even acknowledge the possibility that God could have a hand in this, much less that he exists at all.  One of the group called it a “myth,” and then proceeded to tell us that there was just no way that with all that space out there, there simply must be other planets that support carbon life forms similar to humans.

Yet there is no evidence for it.  None.  We can say we just haven’t found it yet, which would be accurate, but it’s also accurate that there is not even a hint at it.  So these bright guys are willing to place their faith in something that has no evidence at all, based upon their conclusion that, due to the sheer size of the universe, there simply must be other planets with life as we know it.

Think about this for a few minutes – there is lot’s of evidence of the existence of God, and there a billions of people who believe in His existence.  There is no evidence whatsoever of life forms on other planets, even after many years and billions of dollars spent looking for it. Given an opportunity to believe in an evidence-based God and no-evidence of extra terrestrial life, they choose the aliens.

Every time I look in the sky and see the wonder and the beauty of creation, I am dumbfounded how others can look at the same sky and fail to see the hand of God in it.  I understand that orange clouds at sunset are functions of light shining through prisms and reflecting off water vapor in clouds, but when we look at them and see beauty, the fact that we see beauty is, in my mind, greater evidence of the existence of God than the orange clouds themselves.

I’m grateful to God for all that he gives me, which is everything I have.  This sunset, between Douglas and Casper, Wyoming, was an awesome gift.

This world an its inhabitants are no accident.

What do you see?

January 4, 2016
In the mirror

In the mirror

I wanted a dramatic sunset,  but instead got a lazy man’s landscape.

I went back to work today for the first time in over two weeks. Even when a person loves his job, like I do, it’s still a shock to the system.  Lots of stuff going on that needed attending, and suddenly I am running out of daylight for the day’s photo.  I thought I could make something out of this – taken while I was parked – with the unique perspective of my side view mirror, but it just didn’t work right.  Maybe you can help me out here – what does this say to you?  Willing to entertain all manner of responses, from poetic to puns.  Keep it clean, but let me know what you see.

Goodnight

December 3, 2015
Goodnight

Goodnight

Sunsets around here are pretty special.  Every night offers up something different, and it changes radically from place to place.

This lonely looking place is about three blocks from our office.  Even though it looks like a side road in a small town, if I turned around I would be able to see the Capitol, the library, and a host of office buildings in the heart of the largest city in the state.

That’s how it is here, however.  We’re not hicks, but big-city life is not an attraction.  There’s a spirit of independence which is foisted upon us by the reality that if we don’t take care of ourselves,  no one will.  Wyoming tends to be a forgotten state, the flyover of flyovers.  When I am at a conference out of town and people find out that I’m from Wyoming, I generally hear either “Oh, I’ve been to Jackson Hole” or “I drove through Wyoming once on my way to Chicago.”  My response is that Jackson Hole isn’t really Wyoming (sorry friends in Jackson) and that lots of people drive through Wyoming, but only a few of us are tough enough to stick it out.

I’ll take it, though.  I love Wyoming, and I love living in Cheyenne.  Family, friends and jobs are here, and have been for more than 30 years.

And sunsets.


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