Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak
"Spacious Skies"

Friday, May 31, 2013

A Sea Bird's Paradise Cumberland Sound

At Cumberland Sound the beach was covered with seabirds and their nests.  The sky, ocean and beach was painted in watercolor shades of blue and beige.  The fishing pier was the longest pier I have ever walked.  A family of Dolphins were swimming close to the bridge diving in and out of the water.  This is a place I plan to return, time and time again.  It was breath taking seeing so much sea life in one place.
To A Sea Bird (Santa Cruz 1869)
Sauntering hither on listless wings,
Careless vagabond of the sea,
Little thou heedest the surf that sings,
The bar that thunders, the shale that rings,-
Give me to keep thy company.

Little thou hast, old friend, that 's new;
Storms and wrecks are old things to thee;
Sick am I of these changes, too;
Little to care for, little to rue,-
I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

All of thy wanderings, far and near,
Bring thee at last to shore and me;
All of my journeyings end them here:
This our tether must be our cheer,-
I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

Lazily rocking on ocean's breast,
Something in common, old friend, have we:
Thou on the shingle seek'st thy nest,
I to the waters look for rest,-
I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

Francis Bret Harte (August 25, 1837 - May 6, 1902) was an American author and poet, who worked in a number of different professional capacities including miner, teacher, messenger and journalist before turning to full time writing in 1871. 
A picture of the author Bret HarteBret Harte moved to California in 1853 and spent part of his life in a mining camp near Humboldt Bay (the current town of Arcata), a setting which provided material for some of his works. While The Luck of Roaring Camp (published in 1968) made Bret Harte famous nationwide and helped him to land a writing contract with a publisher in 1871, he faltered and was without a contract by 1872. In 1878 Bret Harte was appointed as United States Consul in Krefeld, Germany and then to Glasgow in 1880. He spent thirty years in Europe, moving to London in 1885. He died in England of throat cancer in 1902. Bret Harte's literary output improved while he was in Europe and helped to revive his popularity. The Outcasts of Poker Flat and Tennessee's Partner join The Luck of Roaring Camp on the list of his influential works.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fiery Sky over Matanzas River

Matanzas River after sunset glows like a smoky fiery sky.  Reminds me of the book "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" by Carson McCullers.  A hometown girl like me from Columbus, Georgia. Listed below are some quotes from the book.
“The Heart is a lonely hunter with only one desire! To find some lasting comfort in the arms of anothers fire...driven by a desperate hunger to the arms of a neon light, the heart is a lonely hunter when there's no sign of love in sight!”
“In his face there came to be a brooding peace that is seen most often in the faces of the very sorrowful or the very wise. But still he wandered through the streets of the town, always silent and alone.”  
“I´m a stranger in a strange land.”  
“the way i need you is a loneliness i cannot bear.” 
 Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Carsonmccullers.jpgCarson McCullers (February 19, 1917 – September 29, 1967) was an American writer of novels, short stories, plays, essays and poetry. Her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts of the U.S. South. Her other novels have similar themes and are all set in the South. She was born Lula Carson Smith in Columbus, Georgia, in 1917. Her mother was the granddaughter of a plantation owner and Confederate war hero. Her father, like Wilbur Kelly in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, was a watchmaker and jeweler of French Huguenot descent. From the age of ten, Lula took piano lessons. When she was fifteen, her father gave her a typewriter on which to compose stories.  Carson McCullers was one of the leading female writers of southern gothic fiction in the twentieth century. 
Her last published book, a collection of poems for children:  Sweet as a pickle and clean as a pig
Unfortunately, not many people will ever have a chance to read her poetry since the only copies are between $99 to $125 each.

Mala Compra Beachfront


On Memorial weekend, I hiked the Oceanfront Trail at Mala Compra Beachfront Park.  The first picture is of the Old Coast Guard Road.  It was hot and hiking a hot sandy road is not enjoyable.  The beach was covered in black rocks and made a nice image of the waves rolling over the rocks.  Surprisingly it was not that crowded for a holiday weekend but there were not many parking spaces at the park so it control the crowding of the beach.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Boneyard Beach's Silvered Skeletons

Boneyard Beach is a good name for the driftwood covered beach at Big Talbot Island.  Very usual  trees, shaped like skeletons with pale white limbs that are twisted by the ocean winds and waves at Nassau Sound.  The beach is unspoiled and no motor vehicles allowed and a beautiful place for hiking.

Song of the Sea
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Timeless sea breezes,
sea-wind of the night:
you come for no one;
if someone should wake,
he must be prepared
how to survive you.

Timeless sea breezes,
that for aeons have
blown ancient rocks,
you are purest space
coming from afar…

Oh, how a fruit-bearing
fig tree feels your coming
high up in the moonlight.

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Writer and poet, Rilke was considered one of the greatest lyric poets of modern Germany. He created the "object poem" as an attempt to describe with utmost clarity physical objects, the "silence of their concentrated reality." He became famous with such works as Duineser Elegien and Die Sonette an Orpheus . They both appeared in 1923. After these books, Rilke had published his major works, believing that he had done his best as a writer.

Nassau Sound - "Upon Westminster Bridge" by William Wordsworth

During the morning on Memorial Day, I went to the Bluff at Big Talbot Island. From the beach you can see the George Crady Bridge. The waters of Nassau Sound are crystal blue and sparkles from the sunlight. William Wordsworth poem "Upon Westminster Bridge" is very appropriate for the feel of the "beauty of the morning" and "all bright and glittering in the smokeless air..." I have attached an audio recording of the poem produced by poetictouch2012 on You Tube. 

 Upon Westminster Bridge

EARTH has not anything to show more fair:
   Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
   A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
   Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
   Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
   In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
   The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
   And all that mighty heart is lying still!
By William Wordsworth

("Upon Westminster Bridge" produced by poetictouch2012) 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Artisan Trail

The Artisan Trail at Princess Preserve starts along Pellicer Creek and winds through dense woods until you reach the springs.  There is a picnic table on the fishing pier and a kayak group from Marine land made the hike even more interesting watching inexperience people paddle their boats. If it were not so expensive, I would like to do the day long trip with Marine land tour because they get to see dolphins on their adventure.

Friday, May 24, 2013

"A Song to Myself: 35" by Walt Whitman

These pictures were taken at the Washington Oaks State Park and Beach.  It had been raining for 3 days and Matanzas River was high and winds were still strong. 

Song of Myself: 35
By Walt Whitman 1819–1892
Would you hear of an old-time sea-fight?
Would you learn who won by the light of the moon and stars?
List to the yarn, as my grandmother’s father the sailor told it to me.
Our foe was no skulk in his ship I tell you, (said he,)
His was the surly English pluck, and there is no tougher or truer, and never was, and never will be;
Along the lower’d eve he came horribly raking us.
We closed with him, the yards entangled, the cannon touch’d,
My captain lash’d fast with his own hands.
We had receiv’d some eighteen pound shots under the water,
On our lower-gun-deck two large pieces had burst at the first fire, killing all around and blowing up overhead.
Fighting at sun-down, fighting at dark,
Ten o’clock at night, the full moon well up, our leaks on the gain, and five feet of water reported,
The master-at-arms loosing the prisoners confined in the after-hold to give them a chance for themselves.
The transit to and from the magazine is now stopt by the sentinels,
They see so many strange faces they do not know whom to trust.
Our frigate takes fire,
The other asks if we demand quarter?
If our colors are struck and the fighting done?
Now I laugh content, for I hear the voice of my little captain,
We have not struck, he composedly cries, we have just begun our part of the fighting.
Only three guns are in use,
One is directed by the captain himself against the enemy’s mainmast,
Two well serv’d with grape and canister silence his musketry and clear his decks.
The tops alone second the fire of this little battery, especially the main-top,
They hold out bravely during the whole of the action.
Not a moment’s cease,
The leaks gain fast on the pumps, the fire eats toward the powder-magazine.
One of the pumps has been shot away, it is generally thought we are sinking.
Serene stands the little captain,
He is not hurried, his voice is neither high nor low,
His eyes give more light to us than our battle-lanterns.
Toward twelve there in the beams of the moon they surrender to us.

Fort Clinch - An Old Historic Military Post

The fort was named for General Duncan Lamont Clinch, a prominent figure in the Second Seminole War in Florida.  The construction of the fort started in 1867 and is built at the mouth of the St. Mary's River to protect the port of Fernandina.  The fort served as a military post during the Civil War, Spanish-American war and World War II.
Battle Hymn of the Republic
by Julia Ward Howe

Glory, Glory Hallelujah, Glory, Glory Hallelujah,
Glory, Glory Hallelujah, His truth is marching on.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where grapes of wrath are stored;
he hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword,
His truth is marching on. (Chorus)

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have built Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
His day is marching on. (Chorus)

He has founded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His Judgement Seat'
Oh! Be swift, my soul, to answer Him, be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on. (Chorus)

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on. (Chorus) 

The author of the magnificent "Battle-Hymn of the Republic" was born in New York in 1819, a daughter of the banker Samuel Ward. In 1843 she married Dr. S. G. Howe, best known as the head of Perkins Institute for the Blind. She assisted him in editing his anti-slavery journal, the Boston Commonwealth. In 1861, at the time of this picture, she made her first trip to Washington, where her husband became interested in the work of the Sanitary Commission. During the visit the party was invited to a military review in the Virginia camps. On the way back she and the others in the carriage sang "John Brown's Body" to the applause of the soldiers by the roadside. Her pastor, who was in the party, words for the tune. That night the inspiration came; she wrote the best known of her poems and one of the finest products of the whole Civil War period. Her later life was devoted largely to the cause of woman suffrage. She died at Newport, October 17, 1910.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Dalliance of the Eagles

The Road of the Eagles

This is the road that leads to several Eagle nests in Princess Preserve Park of Flagler County.  I saw several young eagles but I did not see any large birds.  I have visited the Eagle site several times and still have not been fortunate to see the larger adults.

Walt Whitman had never seen the bald eagle's courtship ritual called cartwheeling.  He wrote "The Dalliance of the Eagles" based on the description a friend had given him of this extraordinary display. In the poem "The Dalliance of the Eagles" he had a deeper meaning then the courtship of eagles.  It symbolizes that as humans, we are courting with death for the thrill of being and the joy of living. Most of us want something that safe living does not provide. We all want to cartwheel through life uncertain if this will be our very last moment. It gives us living in this moment. It does not mean we should go out and live dangerously, but look deeper to find that which is our deepest longing. Then chase it passionately.

by Walt Whitman 1880

Skirting the river road, (my forenoon walk, my rest,)
Skyward in the air a sudden muffled sound, the dalliance of the eagles,
The rushing amorous contact high in space together,
The clinching interlocking claws, a living, fierce, gyrating wheel,
Four beating wings, two beaks, a swirling mass tight grappling,
In tumbling turning clustering loops, straight downward falling,
Till o'er the river pois'd, the twain yet one, a moment's lull,
A motionless still balance in the air, then parting, talons loosing,
Upward again on slow-firm pinions slanting, their separate diverse flight,
She hers, he his, pursuing.

Walt Whitman

Whitman is regarded as one of America’s most significant nineteenth century poets. Born on Long Island, Whitman grew up in Brooklyn and received limited formal education. His occupations during his lifetime included printer, schoolteacher, reporter, and editor.  Whitman’s self-published Leaves of Grass was inspired in part by his travels through the American frontier. As the first writer of truly American poetry, Whitman’s legacy endures and he has influenced many poets of the twentieth century.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Daisy by Francis Thompson

Featuring Poet Francis Thompson (1859-1907) 

Francis Thompson at 19.jpg

Francis Thompson was educated at Owen's College, Manchester. Later he tried all manner of strange ways of earning a living. He was, at various times, assistant in a boot-shop, medical student, collector for a book seller and homeless vagabond; there was a period in his life when he sold matches on the streets of London. He was discovered in terrible poverty (having given up everything except poetry and opium) by the editor of a magazine to which he had sent some verses the year before. Almost immediately thereafter he became famous. His exalted mysticism is seen at its purest in "A Fallen Yew" and "The Hound of Heaven." Coventry Patmore, the distinguished poet of an earlier period, says of the latter poem, which is unfortunately too long to quote, "It is one of the very few great odes of which our language can boast."   Thompson died, after a fragile and spasmodic life, in St. John's Wood in November, 1907. Among Thompson's devotees was the young J.R.R. Tolkien, who purchased a volume of Thompson's works in 1913-1914, and later said that it was an important influence on his own writing.
 WHERE the thistle lifts a purple crown   
    Six foot out of the turf,             
And the harebell shakes on the windy hill—        
    O breath of the distant surf!—              
The hills look over on the South,                      
    And southward dreams the sea;           
And with the sea-breeze hand in hand 
    Came innocence and she.        
Where 'mid the gorse the raspberry      
    Red for the gatherer springs;   
Two children did we stray and talk          
    Wise, idle, childish things.        
She listened with big-lipped surprise,    
    Breast-deep 'mid flower and spine:     
Her skin was like a grape whose veins     
    Run snow instead of wine.      
She knew not those sweet words she spake,     
    Nor knew her own sweet way;              
But there's never a bird, so sweet a song              
    Thronged in whose throat all day.         
Oh, there were flowers in Storrington   
    On the turf and on the spray; 
But the sweetest flower on Sussex hills
    Was the Daisy-flower that day!             
Her beauty smoothed earth's furrowed face.      
    She gave me tokens three:— 
A look, a word of her winsome mouth, 
    And a wild raspberry. 
A berry red, a guileless look,      
    A still word,—strings of sand!  
And yet they made my wild, wild heart 
    Fly down to her little hand.      
For standing artless as the air,   
    And candid as the skies,            
She took the berries with her hand,         
    And the love with her sweet eyes.      
The fairest things have fleetest end,      
    Their scent survives their close:             
But the rose's scent is bitterness             
    To him that loved the rose.     
She looked a little wistfully,        
    Then went her sunshine way—             
The sea's eye had a mist on it,   
    And the leaves fell from the day.          
She went her unremembering way,       
    She went and left in me            
The pang of all he partings gone,             
    And partings yet to be.              
She left me marvelling why my soul       
    Was sad that she was glad;       
At all the sadness in the sweet, 
    The sweetness in the sad.       
Still, still I seemed to see her, still            
    Look up with soft replies,         
And take the berries with her hand,         
    And the love with her lovely eyes.       

Nothing begins, and nothing ends,         
    That is not paid with moan,     
For we are born in other's pain, 
    And perish in our own.             

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Driftwood Feelin'


The observation deck at Bulow Creek Trail had driftwood standing in the marsh in close proximity. I was more interested in the driftwood then anything else I saw at the marsh.  There were not very many birds in the marsh or other wildlife. Driftwood feelin' is a poem by native American Henry Real Bird.  A Creek Indian who is  a cowboy poet who can "twist language like a river."  I have a link to his poem for further reading.

Driftwood Feelin'
by Henry Real Bird
(Poem Excerpts)

"How much longer
Do you want
To be in the wind
Elk River's edge
There I am standin'
Lookin' for a feelin'
In the roar of the water
Come down river lookin' around
Feelin' gotta roam.

Driftwood feelin'
Floatin' down love river
Hearts way can't do
I'm catchin' a ride
Driftwood feelin'
Floatin’ down love river
Hearts way can't do
I'm catchin' a ride
Floatin' down love river."



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Floating Down Stream The Lady of Shalott


I named the leaf "Lady of Shalott" as it drifted down stream to a tropical Camelot of palm trees, flowering shrubs, ancient oaks and hammocks. The water glisten with sunlight and the bright green leaf is framed by darker leaves at the bottom of the water. The creek reflects all its surroundings like a magic mirror. The green leaf is beautifully framed by the sunrays penetrating the water.  "The leaves upon her falling light..." on The Lady of Shalott as...She floated down to Camelot."

Painting by John William Waterhouse's The Lady of Shalott, 1888

The Lady of Shalott is a magical being who lives alone on an island upstream from King Arthur's Camelot. Her business is to look at the world outside her castle window in a mirror, and to weave what she sees into a tapestry. She is forbidden by the magic to look at the outside world directly.  One day, she sees the reflection of Sir Lancelot riding alone. Although she knows that it is forbidden, she looks out the window at him. The mirror shatters, the tapestry flies off on the wind, and the Lady feels the power of her curse. An autumn storm suddenly arises. The lady leaves her castle, finds a boat, writes her name on it, gets into the boat, sets it adrift, and sings her death song as she drifts down the river to Camelot. The locals find the boat and the body, realize who she is, and are saddened. Lancelot prays that God will have mercy on her soul.

The Lady of Shalott

Extract from the poem:
In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.

Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower'd Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance --
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.

And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right --
The leaves upon her falling light --
Thro' the noises of the night,
She floated down to Camelot
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.

For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Marshview Lane


 Marshview Lane Trail is my favorite hiking trail at Guana River.  It crosses a freshwater marsh and has a large variety of grasses, wildflowers, trees, and reptiles.  A long deck was part of the trail to help cross the marsh.

The Violet Sky of Tolomato River


Colorado is not the only place where there are "Purple Skies of Majesty."  These pictures where taken at the South Point Loop Trail of the Guana/Tolomato/Matanzas National Reserve. Everyone thinks the sky is blue but the sky is really violet! It is actually violet but the sky appears blue due to the limitations of our eyes.  Our sensitivity to light decreases as we reach the shortest wavelengths of the visible spectrum.  The violet is there, but our eyes detect it only weakly.  What we see is blue--present in large quantities and easily detected by our eyes.  We really do have purple skies of majesty in Florida!  I would love to get a picture of the moon under a dark violet sky.
One of my favorite groups is Blackmores Night.  They have a song I really enjoy "Under a Violet Moon" that has a medieval theme of knights, enchanted woods, Tudor Rose and stealing a kiss under a violet moon.

Under a Violet Moon
Dancing to the feel of the drum
Leave this world behind
We'll have a drink and toast to ourselves
Under a Violet Moon
Tudor Rose with her hair in curls
Will make you turn and stare
Try to steal a kiss at the bridge
Under a Violet Moon
Raise your hats and your glasses too
We will dance the whole night through
We're going back to a time we knew
Under a Violet Moon
Cheers to the Knights and days of old
the beggars and the thieves
living in an enchanted wood
Under a Violet Moon
Fortuneteller what do you see
Future in a card
Share your secrets, tell them to me
Under a Violet Moon
Close your eyes and lose yourself
In a medieval mood
Taste the treasures and sing the tunes
Under a Violet Moon
Tis my delight on a shiny night
The season of the year
To keep the lanterns burning bright
Under a Violet Moon