Saturday, September 27, 2014

Epic Journey to the Redwoods National Park



Fern Shadow at the Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



Raspberry leaf shadow near Humboldt Lagoons State Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



Linda Laitner on the trail of the Ancients @ Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



Fallen redwoods on the Trail of the ancients @ Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



Fallen and split on the Trail of the ancients @ Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



Fallen and split (other side) on the Trail of the ancients @ Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio


Indeed, it was an epic journey-traveling last week to the Eureka area to photograph the redwoods and all the beauty that belongs to the wilderness of Northern California. You see, 10 years ago, when I turned 50 years old, I decided to celebrate it by going somewhere on my own in lieu of a big party (or any sized party for that matter!). Instead, I did an art retreat at Hacienda Mosaico in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was a life-changing decision for me as I had never traveled alone like that-let alone to another country. I absolutely loved it-I was taken care of of instead of taking care of others. I got to do art 24/7. Albuquerque artist, Juliana Coles headed up this special retreat called, Visual Journaling.

I know the math is easy for you on this one-fast forward ten years and I am about to turn 60 later on in October (I figure if I keep saying that number, it won't be such a shock or big deal when it happens as 30 and 40 were). I started planning and thinking a year ago what it was that I wanted to do to mark this new decade for me and then I realized that I had never seen the redwoods or even came close to it. I asked my good friend and fellow intrepid photographer, Linda Laitner if she would be interested in joining me. She is a worldly traveler and oddly enough, had never seen the redwoods or been to that area of California. We've done many trips together, so there was no 'unknown' as to how we'd get along. For her, it was a no-brainer decision with a resounding 'yes'! My husband had seen the redwoods when he was younger and for him, traveling with me when I have a camera in hand is no fun for him.

These images are from our first day out when we did the trail of the ancients-hiking down into a valley where the tallest trees live. Mind you, even standing at the bottom of the tree and looking up, you cannot see the top of the
tree-in fact, all you can see is the bottom third of it.

When we finally made it to the bottom of the trail (a little over a mile but it took us forever since we both were enthralled with recording everything in front of us with our cameras). I had stopped to switch out lenses to a wide angle lens and Linda and I typically do not stay completely together, but somehow manage to do things on our own without getting too separated. After I changed out lenses and got some shots in, I continued forward to catch up to her, but then got interrupted by seeing a man and a woman packing up their climbing gear. They looked like they just got down from a tree, so I stopped to talk to them-you know, like-"did you get all the way to the top?" in which the young man answered, 'no' and explained that the line he left from last year got broken by a neighboring tree that fell and broke the line he left from last year and he did not bring a bow with him to shoot a new line up so that they could not continue the climb to the top. Come to find out, they are both tree botanists from nearby Humboldt University and that he had been climbing  this particular tree since 1995. And that tree had grown 8 feet since then-presently at 374 feet, it went from being the 4th tallest tree in the world to the 3rd tallest tree in the world. Of course, in the midst of this conversation, I had to ask if they had permission to climb (not knowing if I should be seeking out authorities-which were nowhere to be found anyway). This particular tree had a name-the National Geographic tree. Back in the '60's when National Geographic was out there to photograph the tall trees, they realized how special and unique these trees were and raised the level the public level of awareness to the point of the area becoming a National Park and protected from the encroaching and damaging logging practices.  I'm sure that had it not been for National Geographic, it would've been all lost to the logging industry. In fact, should you visit these redwoods, know that what exists today is only about 3% of what used to be. Kind of staggering.

Later on, I Googled tree botanists from Humboldt and found out that the people I were talking too were-um, maybe rock stars in the research of redwoods. And featured on National Geographic TV. In fact, this person only gets to climb this tree once a year and I had the privilege of stumbling into him and his wife on that very day. Wow. What are the odds? They were so polite to answer my questions-little did they know that I was practicing restraint like you wouldn't believe. I had a slew of 'nerdy' questions I wanted to ask them (including their names). But, I didn't.



The National Geographic Tree © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio

Steve Sillet and his wife, Marie Antoine at the bottom of the National Geographic tree, Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio

Join us as a group of us (yes-there are many of us!) from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Let Go Of the Wanting

"When abstention from stealing is firmly established, precious jewels come." (Yoga Sutras)


"Hanging On!" © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



"All Tied Up" © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



"Nearly Intersected" © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio


"One of the 'limbs' of the Eight-Limb path of Yoga (Yogasutra) is the Yamas; the Five Moral Restraints. Asteya is one of these Five Moral Restraints. Although it is translated as non stealing, the literal translation of non stealing is not the entire concept. I think the best way to demonstrate the concept is to consider the quote and within that context realize that the surest path that takes you to what you want is to let go of is, wanting."  From "Meditations From the Mat".


These images of sea kelp are taken at Castle Point at Crescent City, CA. My dear friend, Linda and I have been spending the week in the Redwood country using the town of Eureka as our 'base camp'. What a glorious week of photography it has been!! Admittedly, we have done a wee bit of 'retail therapy' too. Just a wee bit...

This area of California-the very northern part is still a pretty untamed area-rugged and raw beauty. Not to mention that the redwoods are amazing and breathtaking. It is not an easy area to get to, but I will say that I am glad that we made the effort. We've put in some marathon days of driving to get here and driving to go see the different areas, but at the same time, it is exhilarating.

Join us as a group of us (yes-there are many of us!) from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Innocence


Polka Dot Shadows © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio




Polka Dot Shadows II  © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



BBQ Basket  © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio


The word “innocent” from its Latin root means “not wounded.” That’s how we all start life. We're all innocent. It doesn't have anything to do with moral right or wrong. It has to do with not being wounded yet. We start unwounded.  ~Richard Mohr

Wouldn't life be so much more different if we never lost our innocence? Different in the sense of better-how could it not be better? I can't help but wonder.

I think this is the first shadow shot that my husband pointed out before I noticed it in our patio. He said, "wow-that's a neat shadow!". I am so proud that he noticed it first! Shadows are not anything he pays attention to in day to day life. Which, for me, noticing them is all part of learning to live in the moment-and loving all the mundane aspects of each moment. Mundane is good, you know. I'd take that over drama any day!

While you're at it, come join us as a group of us (yes-there are many of us!) from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Never Forget

"In Remembrance" © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio




This Thursday will mark a 13 years since a plane struck and destroyed the twin towers in NYC and killed nearly 3,000 people. I'm sure all of the networks will be broadcasting many stories from that day.

Thirteen years ago. I know we all remember that day all too clearly. I know I do. I was still working at the University of New Mexico and also working on a 2nd bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. I was taking a small scale metals class (fancy word for making jewelry, really). I was at Johnson Gym on the treadmill, getting my morning 'walk' in and the TV screens kept showing this image in NYC of smoke coming out the one of the towers. I couldn't hear the sound on the TV, and started to wonder what this was all about since that is all they kept showing. I took my headphones off and heard events unfolding. I was in shock. I finished my work out and headed over to class-I think by that time I had watched enough to know that the outcome was going to be very grave. The rest of the students that showed up for class were also in shock. I think classes got cancelled. I think I went home early that day (did we get sent home from work? I don't remember that part, but we must have). And, I was riveted to the television for the rest of the day. I know I picked my son up from school. Shock. That's all I could feel. And then, watching the towers collapse. That just did not seem possible. And knowing that so many people just died right before my very eyes. A very hard thing to witness, let alone wrap your head around, so to speak.

I, like so many others, was in a daze for many days following that event.

I'd love to hear some of your stories and share your day from 10 years ago with the rest of us. I know you all will have fascinating stories to tell. Whether you live here in the United States, or somewhere else in the world. I know we were all affected by this catastrophic event. You can share your story with us by leaving a comment here.

And, come join us as a group of us from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I Can See Clearly Now













Remember that song by Johnny Nash? "I can see clearly now the rain is gone"?  It's one of those tunes that when you hear it, it runs through your head for a while. My apologies in advance if you know this song!

Long afternoon rays of the sun make for wonderful reading glasses distortions! Just like the bending fork from the other week that I posted.

Now I'll leave you with that song playing in your head!

Come join us every week, as a group of us from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!

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