December 29, 2010

Following the Sunset Into The Colorado Mountains

The "story' of these pictures is at the end. Photo above, this is as far as I went today. Soon hubby and I will return to discover what is around the bend on the roadway between these rocks. I think you can click each photo for a close-up view.

I think this looks like a giant Indian Head Nickel.

Rocks constantly fall from this outcropping onto the roadway.
Do you see a face in the bottom rock?

This was way down below the roadway, but the camera doesn't show how far!

Stealth anyone?

This was so high, I had to sit on a rock and look up!

Funny how one thing can lead to another. While hubby was sleeping this afternoon, I set out to get some photos of the sun setting behind the great Colorado Mountains. But alas, the sun had already dipped behind the snow-covered peaks as I arrived at my usual spot for mountain pictures...So I continued driving down Highway 93 between Boulder and Golden, hoping I'd find a spot where I could see the high peaks.

I turned down Highway 170 that looked like it headed into the gorge and up the mountain. About three miles down that highway, it abruptly came to an end! At least the pavement did. Suddenly I was on a rough, pot-holed, dirt road with old houses on each side, older cars parked at various angels, and a few big dogs wandering into the roadway. As I was deciding which 'driveway' I trusted to turn around in, I saw an faded sign that read, "Eldorado Canyon State Park" with an arrow pointing ahead.

It was getting dark, and something said, "Turn around, Linda" but I couldn't resist taking a peek at the "Eldorado Canyon State Park" so I forged carefully ahead.

Yes, there was an entrance with a sign that indicated I should self-pay $8 to continue through the unmanned gate. Self-pay, my foot. I grabbed the two cameras from the seat beside me and prepared for some quick unusual shots before it was completely dark.

The road was so narrow that I began to fear it was a footpath and I would slide off and down the mountain into a mountain stream below. But I passed a small sign that indicated 15 MPH, so I hugged the left-hand side of the road and pushed on.

Every few feet I stopped and got out to take pictures. You will see what I mean when I say this was surely an "Evening Serendipity"! I didn't go all the way to the end, but hubby and I plan another trip soon 'to the end of the sunset'.

I took 72 gorgeous photographs of the majestic mountains that pushed up from the ocean floor so many years ago, but will post more later when I have time to get them Internet ready.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life,

December 28, 2010

More Photos of Eldorado Canyon State Park

In the first posting of this park (sent last night), I misnamed this state park as the Colorado Springs State Park for some tired reason. Sorry. Here are more photos of the Eldorado Canyon State Park as I was following the sunset on December 28, 2010.

For better quality and in case your computer or phone doesn't show the pictures, please click HERE to see my website. And, you can click on the photos there for awesome close-ups. Also, the information (and spelling sometimes) have been corrected there. lol

Enjoy! :))

Take Care on the Journey
Caves! We haven't seen many caves in our travels.
Guess who's going to picnic here someday? It was the only picnic table I saw.

Put on those hiking boots!

Wonder who lives in there?
That is a footpath in front of the cave. Gotta cross the creek to get there. Hey! I see a cat's face on the left-hand side of the cave. (Yeah, I know I posted two shots of the same picture. Did you catch the cat in the first one? You have to click twice for extra close-up to see the cat's face.)

Is this an outcropping of Noah's Ark?
There's an Eagle (I think) flying close to that tree
If it will let you click in close, the eagle is that spot at about the 8 o'clock position.
Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life,

December 22, 2010

Lunar Eclipse - Denver, Colorado - Part 3

Many have asked how I got these awesome lunar eclipse photos early morning December 21, 2010. Beyond my "lucky" mode, here are the stats from my camera.

BTW, the film photos came out as large blobs of white except for three that may have been fixable with Photoshop, but Walgreens thought the film was 'nothing' so they didn't save to disk as I asked them to. I'm still working on Walgreens. lol

So for you camera buffs (or professionals), here's what I used on a tripod:

When the moon was full, I had no trouble with point and shoot using my Nikon D80 but near the end, it wouldn't take the picture without 'flash' even on the tripod, so I added my big ole Nikon SB-26 flash WITHOUT the batteries (to 'fool" the hotshoe) and it clicked. I set the camera on the night mode picture setting and used a 80-70 mm 1:3.5-4.5G LENS.

I have some absolutely stunning printed photos that will go in our Christmas cards this year. If anyone else would like to have some, please email your request to Free, of course. Just ask.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life,

December 21, 2010

Save Link for More Eclipse Photos & Share

I'm so happy that the photos of the Lunar Eclipse came out as they did. I still have two rolls of film to get developed, and will post them later depending on what they show.

Feel free to copy and paste or share any of these photos with my credit. (Linda Meikle photo)

My site meter indicates I had almost 300 hits last night and today. My usual is up to 10 on a good day.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life,

More Lunar Eclipse - Linda Meikle photos

It's not that far away...
Linda Meikle photo of the lunar eclipse from Denver, Colorado on
December 21, 2010 at 12:50 a.m.

Take Care on the Journey,


Lunar Eclipse - Linda Meikle Photo

Taken with my Nikon D80 at 12:50 a.m. 12-21-2010
(Linda Meikle photo)
Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life,

December 20, 2010

Lunar Eclipse in Denver 12-21-2010 - Part 1

(Linda Meikle photo)
Nikon D80 18-70 mm)

This photo taken at 6 p.m. (Mountain Time) in Denver before the unusual combination events of the Autumnal Equinox that occurs annually on December 21 and the solar eclipse that happens in a cycle of about every 19 years. Tonight, they are occurring at the same time. The last time this happened was in December of 1638, 372 years ago.

I hope the skies stay clear during the night as I take photos of the entire event(s). They say the moon should become very red about six hours from now. The color is expected to be more pronounced because of the recent volcanic activity on this earth.

I'll post additional photos during the event if the conditions stay favorable. I'll make each photo series separate, so those of you who get this by email will get all of them. Those who are on the blog, will have to scroll down.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life,

Lunar Eclipse by Linda Meikle

Linda Meikle photos
11:30 p.m.12-20-2010 through 1 a.m. 12-21-2010

Take Care on the Journey
Your friend in life,

December 14, 2010

A Candle In The Window

I'm posting a few personal fun photos before I write what's on my heart today.
Huh? Which faucets?
My $1 coupon shopping spree! All this cost less than $1.
(Saving with coupons doesn't always have to be "big".)
Sidewalk Santa - I think!
My "Santa" on a cold, windy, trip to the mountains!
(He enjoys collecting those rocks! :)
Little Boots in his favorite do-not-disturb place.
I thought having a bad day was running out of tape right in the middle of wrapping Christmas presents. Or, a sore throat so bad I can't eat anything hot, and I can't swallow without a gulp of pain. Or, the blinker light going out on the car. Or, the constant mooing of cows in the field next to our home. Or, a really, really, grumpy patient who orders me out of his room without regard for MY feelings.

However, in all fairness, these are minor deviations in time, and life will return to normal without much effort on my part.

I'm reminded that so many of my family and friends are going through some of the most painful, gut-wrenching, catastrophic, times at this very moment. And, there's not much I can do except offer a shoulder to cry on, arms to hug with, and a prayer for better days ahead. (And good advice on my blog. LOL)

In Florida, so many are cold from the unusual winter weather there. We were in Tampa and Orlando last week for a couple days, where they were experiencing everything from fruit failure to homeless people without shelter from the cold. We saw young couples, regular people, and frail old people on the street corners with signs and everything they owned in backpacks with them. Below freezing, no coats or warm shoes, and no place to go except to run from the police who try to stop the "panhandling".

Personally, my sister and her husband were without heat due to wiring not prepared for such temperatures (as many, many, Florida families discovered). While my sister is prepared better than most, they had to take action to protect the large fish tanks in their home from getting too cold, and they owned a coveted warming blanket for their bed.

But more than the sore throat or lights out, I know from the Christmas cards that have come in, phone calls, and emails from family and friends, that indicate job losses, poor health, cancer treatments, more job losses, heartbreak, unexpected death of spouse, car accidents, personal injury, infidelity, loss of home(s) due to foreclosure, financial devastation, family fights, and discouragement big time. (I'm not making this up!)

Not just one family, but as I sit here, I can recall at least 20 (twenty) of my family and friends suffering unimaginable fear and grief during this "holiday' season. These are the ones I know about! How many others reading this can be included? My heart goes out to each of you!

If I'm correct (and I usually am), I think the biggest fear is feeling alone in your worries and grief. During the darkest times, we isolate ourselves and feel that there's no one else going down that path.

During the darkest times of our life, we feel like we are on a narrow, rocky, footpath without lights or warmth, or someone to hold our hand!

It seems we are obligated to deal with our grief and trials in solitude. We cry when we are alone. We hurl our anger at the walls. We scream when no one is there to hear us. We see no options for a way out! Yes, I hear all these things from those who suffer. It is a commonality that you do not know exists because you are alone at a time when you most need someone to hold you tight (and offer you a million dollars!)

The truth is, money (ALL of it) will not fix the problem. We can live anywhere, in any conditions and be happy if we learn to live with and love ourselves. This advice isn't much good if you don't believe me, but here it is, for what it's worth. And I believe it to be true because, as many of you know, I've been there and done that.

See my former home photo posted on the left hand side of this blog, as an example of fortitude. My sister and I learned to be happy there although we were often sick, sadly alone, grieved for our family and friends, very cold, quite hungry, and sometimes extremely afraid! We longed for someone to come and love us again!

As an adult, I've walked sleepless night along the St. Joseph River near Berrien Springs, Michigan, when I thought my heart was too broken to ever beat normally again! I thought there were no options because there was no money in my pocket, and no place to go. I lost my integrity, my power, my love, and my capacity to act. I thought my family & friends didn't understand my pain, so I didn't tell them all of it!

Please believe me when I tell you that it can and does change. But not until you can believe in yourself, love yourself, and make choices that will better yourself. All the friends in the world cannot give you this.

As I write, my hubby is still on unemployment (as are several of you who are reading this). I worry that if anything happens to my (somewhat fragile) health, we would quickly loose our 'candle in the window'. (Or at least be able to afford batteries to light them!)

I'm so thankful that we have each other and the strength we get from our relationship, the love and respect of my boys, my sister, our family, and so many friends.

So, I'm keeping all my friends and loved ones close to my heart today and always.

I offer hope as big as my heart, and love as everlasting as the universe.

Please (for me), put a candle in the window (lit or not), and let it be a small glimmer of hope for yourself. Life is what we make it - anytime, anywhere, after we have walked through the dark valley and have survived to find our true path again.

It will take time that you don't think you have; strength that you must borrow from others; and unlimited power always available from the universe.

Don't forget to click on the 'Vibrant Nation" link - for us older women.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life,

December 3, 2010

Linda's December Song

I enjoy sharing my poetry with my family and friends.
This one just bubbled up and out today. Enjoy.

Linda’s December Song

A call from a friend who is tired and spent
“I haven’t got a cent,” she sadly laments.
“Work and sleep, dishes piled deep, and clothes in a heap!
We’ve all got the flu and no medical breakthrough.
Feeling like a dork who’s in need of a cork!"

Another call from a friend whose voice is a cheer!
“How are you my friend?” A favorite dear!
Boys washing dishes, mom making a pie
The world is blight, but we will fight
For family and friends and that far distant light
Of rainbows and glow from everything white.
We won’t stay down. Let go of that frown!
Although it seems we just spent out last dime
On Christmas cranberries and seasoning thyme."

The difference between then and now. Time has changed us all somehow.
We email, or text or ding this and that. Post it, twitter or Internet Chat!
Our faces have morphed into a Facebook dwarf
It’s not a checkbook, hymnbook, or textbook new.
It’s a babbling brook, used as a fishhook to catch a few!

Remember when a blackberry was something to eat as a treat.
And, a bluebird was something that loved to tweet!
MySpace was where the astronauts worked and lived.
Google was something a turkey said - just before he lost his head.
“Networking” stood for a group of neurons back when I went to school
Now, job hunting just got better with this Internet pool.
A Bookmark pretty to find your place. Now it’s used as an Internet trace.

I remember when Amazon was a river deep. Known better now for its prices cheap.
A Vulture is more than a bird with an ugly face.
It’s someone circling for a parking space.
A Blog is where we love to blab. It used to mean a servant boy in a college lab.
A “favorite” used to be one of my kids. Today, it keeps a log of my Internet grids.
When Farmville was where the cows were milked:
Now our pigs share truffles to the hilt.

Today families must fight or flight. No longer need to hold each other tight.
The difference between God and church is now a bunch of mad research.
Unemployment lines are long and thin. No one knows when there’ll be jobs again.
Soldiers go off to war – and leave the same. No one knows who’s to blame.

It can look so very bad. One digs real deep to find some GLAD.
It’s starts with me, and next is YOU - to find the strength to turn off sad.
Turn on that smile and go the second mile! Help others as I’ve helped you.
Do something nice and help a few. Live and love as I love you.

By Linda J. Meikle

Take Care on the Journey,

Your friend in life,