Tag Archives: Denali National Park

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.

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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

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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 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 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.

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

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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.

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

Lens-Artists Challenge #48 – WILD

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #44 – Harmony in Nature

This week, Tina has for us as the theme of Lens-Artists Challenge is: Harmony

I focused on nature in this post. Whenever I’m in nature, I have a sense of being part of it, being blended into it. I think that’s a sense of harmony with nature. When we travel, I feel at awe of what I see and wish the images stay with me forever, or I could stay with nature forever. That’s one of the reason I came home from a trip with thousands of photos. Every single one was precious except the ones I moved the camera and took  photos of my feet or something else instead of the scene.

I searched for some quotes and was happy to find the ones regarding different aspects of harmony in nature.

“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” – Aldo Leopold

My husband and I have been watching nature documentary every night before bedtime for more than two years. Conservation is a relatively new concept for only decades. We lost a big part of rain forest for new city development or agriculture.  Yet Rainforests are often called the lungs of the planet for their role in absorbing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and producing oxygen, upon which all animals depend for survival. Rainforests also stabilize climate, house incredible amounts of plants and wildlife, and produce nourishing rainfall all around the planet. When we traveled to Alaska, we heard so much about the climate change and global warming felt drastically in this region.

 

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Denali National Park, Alaska

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Denali National Park, Alaska

“He who is in harmony with nature hits the mark without effort and apprehends the truth without thinking.” – Confucius

This is such a great wisdom that when we are in harmony with nature, we just feel right and natural. When human being forces on nature to do what conceived as beneficial to us, we created discord against nature.

 

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Port Douglas, Australia

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Moulton Falls Regional Park, Washington

“The earth has music for those who listen.” – William Shakespeare

We can hear the wind, the running water of streams, the rain drops, the thunder, the sound of the ocean, the rustling of leaves, chirping of birds, howling of animals… to name just several. Together, they make great music.

 

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Moulton Falls Regional Park, Washington

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Rhododendron Garden, Oregon

“Art is a harmony parallel with nature.” – Paul Cezanne

Botanical gardens are just one form of art parallel with nature. I’m sure you can think of many art forms in perfect harmony with nature.

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The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Garden

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Rhododendron Garden, Oregon

Lens-Artists Challenge #44 – Harmony in Nature

 

 

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #15: Changing and/or Changeable

We took our second trip to Anchorage, Alaska in May 2018. Our first visit was several years ago one week after the summer season. We missed going to Denali by one week because the train was close. Every year the train stops going to Denali to let the snow pile up during winter. This time I did my booking to ensure a tour to Denali.

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On the day of the tour, we boarded the coach in the morning. The weather was not very promising. The tour guide said it couldn’t guarantee to have a clear sky to view Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain of the northernmost of the United States which is 20,320 feet. Read more

CWW Photo Challenge – Alaska Railroad

We took our vacation in Alaska from May 14 to 24, 2018. Our goal was to visit Denali National Park and Preserve to which we had missed from our previous trip. During my research, I found a tour that took us to Denali from Anchorage by Coach and returned by Alaska Railroad. It was a perfect arrangement for us. The train was more comfortable than the tour bus. Since it was the first week of the summer schedule, the train was not too busy during the first few stops. We only had one other couple in the same cart with us. Midway through the ride, the train stopped and waited for the northbound train. The crews from the two trains swapped, so the crew employees from northbound went to the southbound train, and vice versa. It was an interesting thing I’ve learned about changing shifts.

 

Alaska Railroad

Alaska Railroad 2

Alaska Railroad 3

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – Alaska Railroad

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Denali National Park, Alaska

We arrived Anchorage on May 18, 2018. The sunrise is 5:00 a.m. and sunset is 11:00 p.m. When we landed at 9:30 p.m. it was still bright but dreary because it had been raining. I was so worried about the tour to Denali. Denali is at 20,320 feet elevation, the tallest peak in North America. I was looking forward to having a glimpse of the snowy mountain range. The gloomy weather didn’t give me too much hope.

When I woke up on the day of the tour, second day of the trip, the rain stopped, and the sky was clear. By the time the tour coach picked up the passengers, I saw the blue sky. We had an enjoyable trip seeing the clear snowy mountains. As soon as we entered Denali National Park, the tour guide and driver could make frequent stops for us to take photos when we spotted wildlife. I took photos of Willow Ptarmigans, Snowshoe Hares, and the moose at different spots.

The snow was bright and shiny reflecting the bright sun. The tour guide indicated that Global warming is felt in Alaska to Arctic and Antarctica more so than other parts of the world. We witnessed the melting of the snow cutting through and changing the landscape. The global warming concern is real to me after this trip.

We returned to Anchorage on May 20 by the railroad train. It was cloudy again. The train passed by Hurricane Gorge. It was named as such because the wind could go 150 miles per hour. I included a photo of the Gorge.

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Frank’s Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Denali National Park, Alaska