Tag Archives: Alaska

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #122: The Sun will come out Tomorrow

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #122, we are excited to have Ann as the guest host. Ann invited us to look at the theme, “The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow.”

I follow the theme to meditate on the sun will come out tomorrow. This thought also led me to contemplate the idea that on a cloudy day, the sun is shining bright in the sky even when we don’t see it.

“What I know for sure is that every sunrise is like a new page, a chance to right ourselves and receive each day in all its glory. Each day is a wonder.” – Opera Winfrey

When something went wrong, instead of spending too much time asking why it happened, I found myself asking, “What should we do next?” It’s valuable to assess what went wrong so we could avoid making the same mistake. Staying in the pity pit for too long and we could be drowned.

Sunrise at a beach

“Hope abides; therefore, I abide. Hope abides; therefore, I bide. Countless frustrations have not cowed me. I am still alive, vibrant with life. The black cloud will disappear, the morning sun will appear once again in all its supernal glory.” – Sri Chinmoy

On one Maui trip, we drove up to the Haleakalā or the East Maui Volcano. The tallest peak of Haleakalā (“house of the sun”), at 10,023 feet (3,055 m), is Puʻu ʻUlaʻula (Red Hill). Halfway up the mountain, the black clouds gathered, and it started to rain. We droved past the low clouds. I saw the bright sun in the clear sky. It was an experience I never forget. How often do I stay below to see the black cloud and forget the sun is still there even though I don’t see it at the moment? The similar experience applied to traveling on the plane. I could see the sun above the fluffy black clouds.

Haleakalā National Park
Key West sky

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some people say they don’t have any pleasant memories in their lives. I wonder if we could create a good memory today. When tomorrow come, we would have one day of good memory. It’s like making a deposit of one positive day at a time to the “Good Memory” bank.

Anchorage, Alaska

“Grace comes into the soul as the morning sun into the world: there is first a dawning, then a mean light, and at last the sun in his excellent brightness.” – Thomas Adams

My husband Lynton said to me, “I kiss you and tell you ‘I love you’ before we go to bed every night because I don’t know if we would die asleep. I hold you tight in the morning because I’m happy that we are alive to welcome a new day.”

Laguna Lake, California

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” – Helen Keller

There’s no doubt we have shadows in our life, the matter is our choice. We choose to face the sun and focus on the energy that carry us through the darkness.

A local park in Portland, Oregon

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #122: The Sun will come out Tomorrow

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #92: Going Back – the Second Time Around

This week John Steiner at Photo by Johnbo is the guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #92. He picked the theme: Going Back – the Second Time Around.

He said, “Considering the current world situation, I decided to focus my challenge to your sharing images from your previous travels rather than asking you to go out to photograph new examples to share.”

There were several countries where we went back to visit for the second or third or fourth time. In this post, I included Hawaii, China and Alaska.

 

Makena Beach is a tucked away small beach in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. It was on this beach my husband and I got married. We have been there four times. It was always enjoyable to go back to this beach every time we were there. Maui Makena Beach1a

On thing we did differently during the last trip was hiking in Haleakalā National Park to visit the seven Sacred Pools. We hiked up to Waimoku Falls which can mean water that cuts, severs, amputates, or breaks in two as a stream often does after heavy rains.

Maui 2a

 

I have been to China three times but didn’t do too much sightseeing until the third visit when seven members went on a family trip. Even though growing up in Hong Kong, I didn’t go to see the Great Wall until this trip. I’ve heard and read about the Terra Cotta Soldiers in Xi’an but never seen them in person until this trip.

China Xian

The spiky mountains along Li River in Guilin inspired many painters throughout the Chinese history. One scene of the mountains along the Li River is an image on one of the Chinese bills. We had one family member holding the money and had the photo taken when we passed by that famous spot (not included here). It was a treat to cruise on this river.

China Guilin

 

Our first trip to Alaska was the week after the summer tourist season. The train to Denali National Park was closed as the snow piles up in the winter. When planning for the second trip, I made sure we wouldn’t miss the visit.  Most of the tours to Denali National Park are five days or longer, but our stay was only six days. I found a two-day tour as an excursion of a cruise. We were also fortunate to be there on a sunny day. Alaska has more than 57 million acres of designated wilderness which accounts for about 30% of the nation’s wilderness. These wilderness areas support diverse wildlife populations and we were excited to see several creatures such as this baby moose.

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Alaska b

 

Thank you, John, for hosting the challenge this week.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #92: Going Back – the Second Time Around

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #90 – Distance

Tina looked at the “Social Distancing” and invited us to focus on DISTANCE this week as a challenge to serve as a reminder of its importance.

I grew up in a big city and now live in one. When we traveled, it amazed me to realize some people live in a great distance from each other. It made me think that these people do not have the convenience to access many things, things at our fingertips we take for granted. These people also don’t have the luxury or technology city people have. I asked myself why people choose to live in these locations and live in this lifestyle. “Are they happy?” Then the next question is, “What makes people happy?” I think people either have no choice or choose to be content wherever they are and however they live.

 

The first set of photos is the distance in the land.

“Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity.”Robert Morgan

c21 Longleat 3

Longleat in Somerset, UK, is an English Stately home. The house is set in 1,000 acres of parkland with 4,000 acres of let farmland and 4,000 acres of woodland.

 “Ocean separates lands, not souls.” – Munia Khan

Four Miles Beach Port Douglas, AU

Four Mile Beach is considered the premier beach of Port Douglas, Australia, beginning at the northern rocky headland and continuing for four more miles without any buildings or construction interrupting the pristine views.

 “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller

Denali National Park, AL

Denali in Alaska is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level. With a topographic prominence (measures the height of a mountain or hill’s summit relative to the lowest contour line) of 20,156 feet (6,144 m) and topographic isolation ( the minimum great-circle distance to a point of equal elevation) of 4,629 miles (7,450 km).

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The next set of photos is our family practice of social distancing.

Because of the Covid-19, I canceled my flight to be with my daughter, Mercy, for the birth of her second daughter. I planned to be there to watch Autumn while she was in the hospital. They live close to Washington sate which is on the top three states with most Coronavirus cases and death. I live in California which is one of the three states among the top three. It was for the safety that I canceled the flight. If it were not for a dangerous situation, they could have friends volunteer to watch Autumn. Under these circumstances, on Sunday, March 22, my son-in-law was able to take my daughter to the hospital but not staying with her during her labor. They did video chats during her labor. After baby Nora was born, their friends watched Autumn in the afternoon so Will went to the hospital and held Nora in his arms. They continued to do video chats in the next two days. The hospital discharged my daughter on Tuesday. Baby Nora had the first check-up appointment on Thursday.

Mercy and I did video chats and sent video messages to each other. She set up a Tinybeans.com account for her older daughter Autumn. She also posted many photos of the family and Nora on that account. That is the account I don’t miss checking every day. I can’t get enough to look at the photos and videos again and again.

“Distance means so little when someone means so much.” – Tom McNeal

1. Mercy & daughters 3

Happy mother and daughters. I think Autumn read to Nora!!

“I exist in two places, here and where you are.” – Margaret Atwood

2. Autumn practices

Autumn practiced care for the baby in the car seat.

“Love knows not distance; it hath no continent; its eyes are for the stars.” – Gilbert Parker

4. Autumn & Nora

Autumn had Nora on her laps. She was very gentle with Nora.

Let’s do our part and keep social distancing. Stay safe!

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #90 – Distance

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #85 – Treasure Hunt

This week Tina invited us on a Treasure Hunt! The challenge is to search for specific items – either from our archives or newly captured – from the list below.

  • Challenge Items: Sunrise and/or sunset, Something cold and/or hot, a bird, a dog, a funny sign, a bicycle, a seascape and/or mountain landscape, a rainbow, a church, a musical instrument, a boat, a plane, a waterfall
  • Extra Credit Items: An expressive portrait of one or more people, a very unusual place, knitting or sewing, a fish, an animal you don’t normally see, a bucket, a hammer, a street performer, a double rainbow, multiple challenge items in a single image. Her opening image, for example, includes a sunrise, a seascape and birds in a single shot.

I found several treasures from my archives:

1.Sunset at cruise

The first day of our cruise to Enchilada, Mexico, the weather was right at sunset. I captured this photo with drifting clouds and a seagull flying by.

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We took this helicopter ride to the top of the mountain with Glacier landing at  Anchorage, Alaska. Lynton flies helicopter and had an enjoyable conversation with the pilot.

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A mother-in-law-to-be and a friends were overcome with joy at this bridal shower for the bride-to-be. A treasure moment shared among family and friends.

4.Koala bear in Australia

At Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane Australia, we observed the koalas and had photos taken by holding one such as this.

Koi fish at huntingyon labrary

Koi fish are plentiful in the pond of the Chinese Garden at The Huntington Library, Art  Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles.

6.IMG_6129 Canada Goose

The goslings tried to cuddle under this Canada Goose at the Rhododendron Garden in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #81: Find Something Red

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Patti invited us to a photo scavenger hunt to find things that are red.

This scavenger hunt was harder than I thought. I found out that most of my photos don’t have too many red things. I’m glad to find some to share with you.

In early 2019 we went to my nephew’s wedding in Hong Kong. This is my granddaughter at the wedding cake cutting area outside of the banquet room.

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I captured this photo with the Royal Guard standing at the Tower of London.

2.Roral Guard at Tower of London

Mozarts Geburtshaus was the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg, Austria. Mozart was born here on 27 January 1756. The Mozart family resided on the third floor from 1747 to 1773.

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This is the art exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, a science and technology museum in Portland, Oregon. The artist collected insects and small birds around the world and used them to create amazing art displays.

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This piece of artwork is by the same artist. Every tiny dot in this artwork is a real insect.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #81: Find Something Red

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #80 – Leading Lines

This week Tina introduced us the important rules in photography – the leading lines and illustrates with her fabulous photos and quotes.

Leading lines are my favorite compositions of photos. I included in this post some of my favorites as well as some quotes on leading lines.

 

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Elliot

1.Maui

Maui Bamboo forest, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

It was our fourth trip to Maui last year. We drove through the Road of Hana during the previous trips but not the last trip. I decided to go hiking and see the waterfalls. The Seven Sacred Pools is a beautiful series of pools at the base of waterfalls in the Oheo Gulch. This is on the ocean front part of Haleakala National Park on Maui, Hawaii.

There is a 2-mile trail (Pipiwai Trail) along the gulch that takes us past Makahiku Falls. Along the Pipiwai Trail is a majestic Maui bamboo forest. As far as our eyes can see, dense groupings of bamboo stalks are everywhere. The trail ends at the base of the 400-foot Waimoku Falls.

 

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

2.Maui

The road leading to Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

We took this road to the Seven Sacred Pool, the same road leads us to the Road to Hana, but we didn’t go through the Road to Hana on this trip.

 

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

3.Yellowstone

Uncle Tom’s Trail, Yellowstone

My family and I hiked down then up the Uncle Tom’s Trail in Yellowstone.

 

“Make sure you visualize what you really want, not what someone else wants for you.” — Jerry Gillies

4.Alaska

Alaska Railroad between Anchorage and Denali Park

Hubby and I took the train back to Anchorage from Denali Park. The train stopped here for the north bound train to switch crews.

 

“You have to see failure as the beginning or middle but never entertain it as the end.” – Jessica Herrin

5.Bergisel ski jump stadium, Olympic site, Innsbruck, Austria

Bergisel Ski Jump stadium, Innsbruck, Austria

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Bergisel Ski Jump stadium, Innsbruck, Austria

The Bergisel Ski Jump stadium has a capacity of 26,000. It is a ski jumping hill located in Bergisel in Innsbruck, Austria. It was the Olympics site in 1964 and 1976. I climbed the steps to the top of the ski jump.

 

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney

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Hiking trail leading to the Monkey Park, Kyoto, Japan

We visited Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan in January 2019. The Park is on top of this mountain. The hiking trail was quite steep to me and I had to slow down a few times to catch my breath while Hubby waited for me.

 

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Christopher Columbus

8.Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, California

Huntington Beach is 23 miles from our home. It is less than an hour drive with traffic to get there. It’s our frequent place for outing or just going for walks.

 

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe

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Kasuga-Taisha Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

While we were in Kyeto, Japan, after visiting the Nara Deer Park, we visited Kasuga-Taisha Shrine which is the most important Shinto shrine in Nara. More than just the shrine buildings, Kasuga-Taisha is a mysterious world of forest, pathways, lanterns and wandering deer.

 

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

 

10.tunnel to Eagle's Rock, Germany

Tunnel leading to Eagle’s Nest, Kehlsteinhaus, Germany

Bavarian Alps.Germany

Bavarian Alps, Germany

 

We visited the Eagle’s Nest at Kehlsteinhaus when we were in Germany. It is situated on a ridge atop the Kehlstein which is an 1,834 m (6,017 ft) sub-peak rising above the town of Berchtesgaden. The tour bus took us to a parking lot, we then walked through a 124 m (407 ft) tunnel leading to an ornate elevator that ascends 124 m (407 ft) to the building. We could see the spectacular view of Bavarian Alps, the most majestic mountain range with rivers and lakes at the foot of the enormous limestone.

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #80 – Leading Lines

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #64 – Countryside and/or Small Town

The theme from Amy for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #64 is: Countryside and/or Small Town.

 

I live in the big cities most of my life. The advantage of living in a city is the accessibility. But I realize that needs are relative. Lifestyle is a learned taste and habit. People can feel satisfied with a simple living. They may not know the existence of certain things and do not have a need for them; therefore, they may not miss them.

We bought a 10-acre land 35 years ago in Sequim, Washington Peninsula at the foot of the National Forest. It was an undeveloped parcel. The previous owner logged most of the big trees. They made a profit from the sales of logging. They poured gravels on the logging trail as a road to access the property. The purchase was to build a retirement home.

We rented a trailer to camp out there to do some inquiry. The minimum necessity to make the land livable was to have electricity hooked up, dig a well and connect the sewage pipe. The first thing we needed was water. Upon inquiry, we realized that drilling a well cost $5,500 per drilling for an average depth of 150 feet. If they detected no water, we needed to pay to drill another spot to find water.

I started to walk around the property and do some thinking. Even though the price of the land was reasonable, it required a lot of effort and resources to make it livable. One discouraging thing to me was that the closest neighbors were 10-acres away. It was hard for me as a city girl not to have neighbors close by. Eventually we sold the property.

When we travel, I appreciate going to see countryside that frees my mind and gives me a sense of tranquility such as Denali in Alaska, Bavaria in Germany, places we passed by in Amsterdam, Longleat and Stonehenge in England.

 

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Denali, Alaska

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Bavaria, Germany

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Amsterdam

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Longleat, England

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Stonehenge, England

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #64 – Countryside and/or Small Town

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #62: Silhouettes, the Sun and the Moon

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #62, Patti invites us to share the Silhouetted photos.

 

1.Alaska 2018

It was raining when we arrived Anchorage, Alaska, last year. We were apprehensive if there would be a sunny sky in Denali National Park. I was delighted the weather cleared up as the tour bus approached the Park. I took this photo of the clear sky with the bright sun behind the tree, giving me the image of a star on top of a Christmas tree.

 

2.Maui 2011

On this day in Maui, the clouds drifted on and off in front of the sun. I often come up with images of the shadowy clouds.

 

4.2017.07.07 full moon IMG_2285

I love to take photos of the full moon. On this night, I waited on the driveway of my house for the clouds to clear for the moon.  I like the turnout of the jagged and blurry image of the trees. Later that night, I took many photos of the clear full moon.

 

5.2017 sunset in the neighbor

The heavy traffic contributes to the smog in downtown Los Angeles. The sunset could be an awing color show and the silhouette of the buildings makes a unique framing.

 

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This is one of my favorite sunset photos taken in Key West, Florida. I was running along the waterfront, trying to get a clear view. It turned out the silhouette of the people created a different dimension to the photo.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #62: Silhouettes, the Sun and the Moon

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #55 – Dreamy Dreams

The theme this week from Ann-Christine for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is: Dreamy. I will tweak a little bit here. The photos I chose present dreamy images, but the quotes I picked are about dreams.

 

1.Maui

Driving to the top of Haleakalā, the East Maui volcano (in Hawaii), the tallest peak is 10,023. feet.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

 

2.Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

3.Alaska1 2007

A helicopter riding with the glacier landing on Chugach Mountains in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean

 

4.Yellowstone hot spring

Mudpots in Yellowstone: Hot springs that are acidic enough to dissolve the surrounding rock. Typically, also lack water in their systems.

“I have had dreams, and I’ve had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.” – Jonas Salk

 

5.Alaska 2007

Driving along a river in Anchorage, Alaska

 “Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes

 

6.Yellowstone gey

Old Faithful, the most famous Geysers in Yellowstone, erupts every 90 minutes.

“Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.” – John Updike

 

7.view from the plane

Overlooking the mountain range on Pacific coast from the airplane.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale

 

8.Key West night

Fog came in after nightfall in Key West, Florida.

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” – T.E. Lawrence

 

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Sunset on the west coast on the way from California to Oregon

“20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #55 – Dreamy Dreams

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #48 – WILD

The challenge Tina gave us for Lens-Artists this week is: Wild

I love the quote Tina has for this post, “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey

When we went to Denali National Park, Alaska, we had a glimpse of the sheer beauty of wilderness.

There are two kinds of wilderness inside the National Park system. The original two million acres of Denali are designated wilderness. Designated wilderness has the highest level of protection offered by the Federal Government. Nearly all the other four million acres added by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) are eligible wilderness. According to National Park Service Wilderness Management Policies, eligible wilderness is managed as designated until it is either officially designated, or removed from consideration, both of which require an Act of Congress. Thus almost 6 million acres of Denali National Park and Preserve are protected as wilderness. Source

“The Denali Wilderness is a land of paradox. It is inviting and it is terrifying; accessible and remote. It is an essentially undeveloped wilderness with a road corridor through the middle that brings millions of people to its edge. It is untrammeled, yet managed. Some of the land within its boundaries is well known and studied, but much of it is full of mystery. It is a natural and intact ecosystem celebrated by scientists, writers, hunters, adventurers and artists alike.

As our world is beginning to experience dra­matic and widespread change, all wilderness is at a crossroads. Encroaching development and climate change threaten to dramatically alter these environments but also present a unique opportunity to preserve their excep­tional wilderness character and linkages to other conservation units in Alaska and Canada.” Source

Features of Denali Wilderness:

Natural – A variety of plants and animals thrive in their natural habitats.

Untrammeled – Denali strives to keep this wilderness free from intentional human intervention.

Undeveloped – Most of Denali’s wilderness lacks the imprint of man’s development.

Unconditioned Recreation – Visitors can experience the primitive recreation.

Source

 

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We were fortunate to spot several wild animals on the way to Denali from Anchorage. I took the photos through the window of the coach.

5.Alaska Reindeer1

Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) – is also known as the caribou in North America.

7.Alaska Willow Ptarmigan1

Willow Ptarmigan – its color will turn completely white in winter

8.Alaska Snowshoe Hare1

Snowshoe Hare is known for the large size of its hind feet to prevent it from sinking into the snow.

9.Alaska moose1

A young moose – Bull moose loses the antlers in the winter and grows back next spring.

Lens-Artists Challenge #48 – WILD

 

 

 

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