Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak
"Spacious Skies"

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Fairchild Oak

The Fairchild Oak is one of the largest Live Oak trees in the south. The tree has stood for centuries, over 400 years as a silent witness to the clearing of the wilderness for plantations, and, in 1836, the destruction of the settlements on Bulow Creek by raiding Seminole Indians.  The park contains
numerous plantation ruins, most hidden in the undergrowth of the forest.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

'Because I could not stop for Death' by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death

Because I could not stop for Death--
He kindly stopped for me--
The Carriage held but just Ourselves--
And Immortality.

We slowly drove--He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility--

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess--in the Ring--
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain--
We passed the Setting Sun--

Or rather--He passed us--
The Dews drew quivering and chill--
For only Gossamer, my Gown--
My Tippet--only Tulle--

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground--
The Roof was scarcely visible--
The Cornice--in the Ground--

Since then--'tis Centuries--and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity--

 The Red Buggy:
 The picture of the red buggy was taken outside of Wellsville, PA.  Wellsville has changed very little visually during the twentieth century; the borough's appearance has remained that of a nineteenth-century community, complete with brick sidewalks and Gothic Revival and Greek Revival houses. Because of its unusually high quality of preservation, nearly all of the community was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 as the "Wellsville Historic District". 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Green Land Feathers


White Trail has a lot of bridges to help hikers cross the salt marsh and swamp areas on the trail.  There is a lot of wet land at the preserve.  The woods at Durbin Creek was covered with ferns.  I thought of them as green land feathers.  They are so light and easily bend with the breeze. These are the same ferns growing at my house as well as my mother's.  Pine trees are lanky and tall and the thick undergrowth of the ferns adds a nice green hue of softness to the wet swamp areas and helps to cool the woods under the harsh hot climate. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

'Song for the Sea'


Song for the Sea
by J.R.R. Tolkien

To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying,
The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying.
West, west away, the round sun is falling.
Grey ship, grey ship, do you hear them calling?
The voices of my people gone before me?
I will leave, I will leave the woods that bore me;
For our days are ending and our years failing.
I will pass the wide waters lonely sailing.
Long are the waves on the Last Shore falling,
Sweet are the voices in the Lost Isle calling.
In Eressea, in Elvenhome, that no man can discover,
Where the leaves fall not: land of my people forever!

This song, sung in "The Field of Cormallen," most fully expresses Legolas' longing for the Sea and the journey to the Uttermost West. The "Last Shore" refers to the shore of Eldamar. The "Lost Isle" is Eressea, which was broken off from Middle-earth and moved to the Uttermost West as a transport for Elves by Ulmo and then left there as the eastern most island. "No man can discover [it]" because it was forbidden by the Valar.

'The Road Goes Ever On' - Fort Frederica

Fort Frederica National Monument, on St. Simons Island, Georgia represents the struggle between Great Britain and Spain for domination of the New World. Fort Frederica was the focus of defense for the fledgling English colony of Georgia. The remains of the fortified settlement, established in 1736 by the founder of Georgia, Gen. James Edward Oglethorpe, include ruins of the fort, barracks, walls, moat, and several houses. The fort was established at a time when Great Britain, France and Spain all claimed the area.
The Road Goes Ever On
by J R R Tolkien

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.
The original version of the song is recited by Bilbo in chapter 19 of The Hobbit, at the end of his journey back to the Shire.
Bilbo Baggins Tolkien illustration.jpg

J. R. R. Tolkien's illustration of Bilbo Baggins.

'Journey's End' at Providence Canyon


 Journey's End
by J. R. R. Tolkien 
In western lands beneath the Sun
The flowers may rise in Spring,
The trees may bud, the waters run,
The merry finches sing.
Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night,
And swaying branches bear
The Elven-stars as jewels white
Amid their branching hair.

Though here at journey's end I lie
In darkness buried deep,
Beyond all towers strong and high,
Beyond all mountains steep,
Above all shadows rides the Sun
And Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
Nor bid the Stars farewell.

Sam's Song:  “Believing that his journey had ended in vain and that Frodo was lost, Sam sang this song at the doorstep of the tower of Cirith Ungol.  At first he murmured “old childish tunes out of the Shire, and snatches of Mr. Bilbo’s rhymes.” Then “words of his own came unbidden to fit the simple tune,” indicating that that Sam is the author of the lyrics but not the music.  His singing annoyed an Orc, who thought it was Frodo singing, giving away where Frodo was being held prisoner, and leading Sam to his immediate rescue."

Beorn's Song Shadow Mountain


Sung by Beorn

The wind was on the withered heath,
but in the forest sirred no leaf:
there shadows lay by night and day,
and dark things crept beneath.

The wind came down from mountains cold,
and like a tide it roared and rolled;
the branches groaned, the forest moaned,
and leaves were laid upon the mould.

The wind went on from West to East;
all movement in the forest ceased,
but shrill and harsh across the marsh
its whistling voices were released.

The grass hissed, their tassels bent,
the reeds were rattling-on it went
o'er shaken pool under heavens cool
where racing clouds were torn and rent.

It passed the lonely Mountain bare
and swept above the dragon's lair:
there black and dark lay boulders stark
and flying smoke was in the air.

It left the world and took its flight
over the wide seas of the night.
the moon set sail upon the gale,
and stars were fanned to leaping light.

by J.R.R. Tolkien

Smoky "Misty" Mountains


Far Over the Misty Mountains
By J.R.R. Tolkien

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale
And men looked up with faces pale;
The dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Far over the misty mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away, ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!

Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold is a song sung by Thorin and company in Tolkien's novel The Hobbit. Often referred by fans as simply 'The Dwarf Song' features on page 14-15 of the Hobbit and is in the first chapter. In The Hobbit, the song helps to explain the back story of Thorin and his company, and plays a large role in the development of Bilbo from his 'Baggins' side to his 'Tookish' side, an evolution that takes most of the novel.

25 Dwarf Song 3

'All Woods Must Fail'


All Woods Must Fail
by J.R.R. Tolkien

O! Wanderers in the shadowed land
Despair not! For though dark they stand,
All woods there be must end at last,
And see the open sun go past:
The setting sun, the rising sun,
The day's end, or the day begun.
For east or west all woods must fail.

"Not all Those Who Wander are Lost" - The Riddle of Strider

The Riddle of Strider
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
 The poem is first given in the letter left for Frodo by Gandalf in Bree. In that letter, it appears as part of a postscript reminding Frodo to make sure that the "Strider" he meets is "the real Strider". The poem thus appears in that context as a means of identifying Aragorn. Aragorn indeed later quotes the first two lines, not knowing the poem is in the letter, and this does help to confirm his identity. Bilbo himself recites the poem at the Council of Elrond when Boromir expresses doubts about Aragorn's claim to be the Heir of Isildur.

Dowdell's Knob Overlook


The panoramic view is from  Dowdell's Knob on top of Pine Mountain.  These images were taken in March when the trees were just starting to show new growth.  Dowdell's Know was a favorite place for Franklin D. Roosevelt to have picnics and think about world events.

Robin Lake Beach and The Flying HIgh Circus

Early spring is not the season for tourist to be at Robin Lake so it was quiet and peaceful.  Robin Lake Beach is the world's largest man-made, white sand beach.  The beach stretches a mile around 65-acres.  The Florida State University Flying High Circus have taken up residence at the beach every summer since 1961. During the summer, the circus conducts a recreation program and performs seven shows weekly under the big top adjacent to the beach.   twenty five dedicated students from the Flying High Circus live and work at the gardens, working as performers and camp counselors. 

Page supergraphic
The FSU Flying High Circus

Monday, April 22, 2013

'Well Water' by Randall Jarrell


Well Water

  by Randall Jarrell 1969
What a girl called "the dailiness of life"
(Adding an errand to your errand.  Saying,
"Since you're up . . ." Making you a means to
A means to a means to) is well water
Pumped from an old well at the bottom of the world.
The pump you pump the water from is rusty
And hard to move and absurd, a squirrel-wheel
A sick squirrel turns slowly, through the sunny
Inexorable hours.  And yet sometimes
The wheel turns of its own weight, the rusty
Pump pumps over your sweating face the clear
Water, cold, so cold! you cup your hands
And gulp from them the dailiness of life.

From The Complete Poems by Randall Jarrel

Randall Jarrell
In 1914, Randall Jarrell was born in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Vanderbilt University. From 1937 to 1939 he taught at Kenyon College, where he met John Crowe Ransom and Robert Lowell, and then at the University of Texas.
His first book of poems, Blood for a Stranger, was published in 1942, the same year he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He soon left the Air Corps for the army and worked as a control tower operator, an experience which provided much material for his poetry.

Following the war, Jarrell accepted a teaching position at the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and remained there, except for occasional absences to teach elsewhere, until his death. Even more than for his poems, Jarrell is highly regarded as a peerless literary essayist, and was considered the most astute (and most feared) poetry critic of his generation.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Heavenly Bath in An Old Wash Bucket

As a child, I visited my grandparents in Sixes, Georgia outside of Canton for the entire summer.  There was no modern plumbing system only well water.  All the water used for cooking and bathing had to be drawn by buckets from the well.   I took my bath in a large tin bucket like the one in the picture hanging on the front porch.  In the evening, I bathed on the back porch and the water had to be heated in a kettle on a old wooden stove.  The tin bucket had many uses.  It was used to wash the freshly picked garden vegetables and it was used to wash my behind.

My grandmother made her own soap for washing clothes.  It was harsh and I never used it.  I always prefer catching rain water for my bath.  There was a delight in knowing I was being bathed from the waters that fell from the heavenly sky. Maybe there was star dust floating in the water or it might have been touched by the moon or kissed by an angel. In other words, it was a heavenly bath for a young child to enjoy.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Riverwalk Spirit of Trees

I like pictures with images from different angles and symmetries.  River Walk in Columbus, Georgia has many hardwood trees growing at the river base.  Some were planted but many are wild.  The trees add a spirit to the river that is inviting and alluring.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Florida's Middle-Earth and Giant Oaks

These views are from the picnic pavilion at Stokes Creek.  The trails lead into a dense forest of old oak trees.  I am standing in the middle of five oak trees whose roots have grown together to make a large oak floor between them. The roots were thick and even growing above ground.  The wind blowing around me sound like tree's whispering to each other.  Once again, New Zealand has nothing on Florida when it comes to giant oak trees. They felt like protectors of the forest.  I have my own middle earth in my backyard.


Stokes Creek Landing


The above is the observation tower at Stokes Creek.  The salt marsh runs for miles as far as the eye can see and in the distance is the Tolomato River.  The Interpretive Trail loops to the tower and intersects with the Marsh Point Trail.  Stokes Landing serves as an outdoor classroom for environmental education, it has been visited by area students and their teachers over the years. The observation platform for wildlife and marsh viewing was rebuilt by St. Johns County students. The students also developed the interpretive trail.

Marsh Point at Stokes Landing

One of the main reasons I love hiking is the beautiful and stunning landscapes along the trails.  Some of these pictures are as beautiful as oil or watercolor paintings.  The landscape is so vivid with a wide spectrum of colors that it affects all of your senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.  A camera can only capture a small portion of the magnificence.