I don't know who started the Skywatch Friday meme, but I would like to offer them my profound thanks. Not only has it given me the opportunity to practice and improve (hopefully) my limited photographic ability, but it has required that I look up and see what God has done. Every time I gaze into the heavens, I am reminded just how small I really am and how big God really is.
The inspirational song this week comes from another of my favorite gospel groups, Selah. We often believe that we can get through the day on our own. We don't need any help. It is only during those times of extreme stress, difficult circumstances, or tragedy that we believe we need intervention from a higher power. The truth is Lord, "I Need Thee Every Hour." Enjoy.
This rather unassuming fallen tree is at the edge of a ravine in our back yard. I recently joined a local photo club in order to learn more about a hobby that I have always loved but never devoted the time to learn it well. Our last assignment was to photograph "texture". You have been the guinea pigs the past few weeks, as I have posted some of my "Textures". Back to the fallen tree. From a distance there doesn't seem to be much worth photographing, but, upon closer inspection, one can find numerous opportunities to capture a pleasing image. All of the images below were taken around the stump of this tree. Once again, I have learned to look past the obvious and search out the details. Happy (not so) Wordless Wednesday all.
These first two captures are the same bird, just a frame apart in the camera. I was shooting a Nikon D7000 with a Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 lens at about 1/320 sec. Just another morning at the bird feeder.
A few minutes later I was able to capture this landing. At one time, there were eight male Cardinals within 30 feet of this feeder. Several were in the trees beyond. There were several females as well, since they tend to feed in pairs.
Northwest Arkansas is now the home of a world-class museum. That's right, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
is a world-class facility, designed by a world renowned architect and
housing a collection of world-class art. Click on the link to learn
more. Friday my wife and I paid our first visit to the facility and I
must say, I was very impressed. As an architect, there is a tendency to
sometimes dismiss the work of the "Starchitects" as impractical and
unrealistic. This tendency has merit in some cases, but not here. Moshe
Safdie has done a brilliant job in designing this facility as a place
to display American art. I am sure that some aspects of the design
don't work as well as one would like, but overall, the design is well a
crafted blend of concrete, wood, glass, and copper. If you are within
driving distance of Bentonville, Arkansas, you need to visit this unique
merger of art and architecture.
There is something about the design that reminds me of the work of Bruce Goff or the last period of Frank Lloyd Wright's designs. The building is constructed around a couple of creek-fed ponds.
The blend of concrete, wood, copper, glass, and landscape is very well executed. Couple that with a beautiful site and the results are worth the visit.
Inside, the galleries continue the theme of wood, glass, and concrete. The copper is left to the exterior application. There are paintings and sculptures. That is an Alexander Calder sculpture in the middle of the photo. It's hard the decerne because it is very light, airy and almost a mobile.
There are sculptures of all shapes, sizes and periods of American art. You can spend an entire day in this place. We only spent about two and a half hours, none of which was spent in the outdoor sculpture gardens.
There are paintings that will take your breath away. I find this one simply fascinating. It is called "Lantern Bearers" and was done in the early 20th Century.
There are paintings of historical significance. There are two paintings of Washington that were done in the late 1700's. They are each about 6'x9'. It is hard to believe these works have survived so long.
This is a drawing of Geronimo, done in the very early 1900's. It is almost photographic in quality. Look at the character in that face! There were a number of drawings, sketches and photos of Indians that just may have been my favorite part of the museum. We will definitely be making a return trip. In fact, I believe that I will be purchasing a membership.
The morning drive to work is often an opportunity to capture a nice image. It can also be an indicator of things to come. Pay special attention to the morning sky. If there are clouds, there is a good possibility they will be around throughout the day and present an opportunity for a great sunset capture. Clouds almost always make a more interesting capture.
Life is a similar. As much as we would all like to live a life with no problems, like a clear day, that just isn't reality. We are going to have cloudy days, We are going to endure some of the storms of life. It is these times that truly make life interesting and give us the opportunity to grow. Just like I always try to have a camera close at hand to capture the storm clouds coming, I try to always take my Savior with me to face the storms of life. When I leave my camera at home, I am unprepared to capture those interesting moments. When I fail to take Jesus with me, I am unprepared to face the challenges that life can bring my way. Life is just better when I rely on my Lord to guide my decisions. There is great value in asking yourself, "What Would Jesus Do?" The correct answer is always in your best interest.
The inspirational song for today comes from the latest Gaither Homecoming Video, Tent Revival. When I look at my life and the many times that I have disappointed my Creator and Savior, I often wonder how could He possibly love me, after what I have done and continue to do. I Stand Amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazerene, and wonder how He could love a sinner like me. He loves us, in spite of ourselves. Enjoy and have a blessed week-end.
Recently you have seen several Ruby Tuesday posts here featuring birds at the feeder on our back deck. Occasionally a special moment happens. In the woods behind our house a pair of hawks took up residence a couple of years ago. This is the first time I have been able to capture an image of one. I am not sure if they are Red Tail or Red Shouldered hawks, but they are beautiful creatures and I could watch them for hours. Trust me there was some nervous feeding going on around the feeder while this fellow was perched in a tree about thirty yards away. Happy Ruby Tuesday all and have a blessed week.
Many of my recent Skywatch captures have been taken at sunrise or sunset. The other day I was leaving the office early to run an errand and when I looked up, I saw this unexpected sight. There were plenty of clouds in the sky, but these crossing "con-trails" really caught my eye. I grabbed my camera and captured a couple of images before resuming my normal routine.
The inspirational song this week is in honor of a friend who has been diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. The prognosis is good, but this is going to be a long fight. There will be pain, there will be suffering, there will be fear, there will be tears, but there will ultimately be victory. For the Christian there will always be victory. Either the disease will be conquered and life will resume or there will be victory over the angel of death and an eternity spent in the presence of the Savior. We are praying for both. The inspirational song comes from Martina McBride. It was written by Becky (Isaacs) Bowman, for her mom. If you want to see the original arrangement then go to YouTube and enter "Gonna Love You Through It, The Isaacs." It is worth it. The song is the story of the Isaacs mother, Lily, and her battle with cancer. To our friend...please know that we are praying for you daily and know that your friends, family, and church are Gonna Love You Through It!
It seems like I have captured a lot of sunrises and sunsets lately. There are probably two reasons for that. First, they are my favorite times of the day to capture images for Skywatch and second, I haven't been paying that close of attention to the sky during the middle of the day. Actually, I've been awfully busy during the middle of the day and just haven't had time to notice the world outside. I need to change that. Winter usually brings a little more stable weather, which means there are fewer opportunities to capture storm clouds that are constant visitors during the spring and early summer.
The inspirational song this week comes from a relatively new Christian artist, Kari Jobe. Often times we may ask ourselves, "Who am I?, or Why am I here?" These are valid questions. For the answer our God has told told us who we are to be. The question becomes are we going to be what our Creator intended. "We Are...the light of the world." Enjoy and have a blessed week-end.