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Surveying

February 14, 2016

A cat out surveying

Every now and then my coworkers and I would go out into the field to do surveying work. It was fun to work in teams and to learn something new. But mostly it was fun getting outdoors and seeing so much of the state. Winter was the prettiest in my opinion and I would make sure to appreciate it all as much as I could. So much of our lives are spent in only a few locations, and driving between them offers little view of the land in between. I gained a whole new appreciation for and perspective on the Earth.

And so I took pictures of things that I thought were beautiful, usually with my cell phone camera. The surveying equipment had a decently powerful scope on it and I could easily hold my phone up to the lens and take pictures through it.

Expectations

January 9, 2015

Greenland mountains

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to go on a trip to Europe . My sister was beginning a program through her university to study abroad and my wife and I decided it would be fun to fly over with her. The three of us flew into Zurich where we explored for a couple days. We then took a train over to Innsbruck, Austria and made sure my sister was all set up with her group. My wife and I left her there and spent the next week riding trains all around the Alps.

When our trip was over we returned to Zurich and sat down on a plane, preparing for the long flight back to America. We both did what we could to sleep the whole way but could not help waking up every now and then. When I did wake up I would look over and my sleeping wife then out the window down at the Earth. Beautiful sights indeed.

Halfway through the flight I looked out the window and expected to see the vast Atlantic Ocean. The ocean is beautiful from the air. Its deep blue stretching in every direction as far as the eye can see. I marveled at how lucky we were to be sitting with ease aboard a giant flying machine crossing the Atlantic with no effort or hardship.

Wisdom from the Dead Sea

June 26, 2014

dead_sea

Out in the vast Mediterranean Sea, water evaporates and rises up into the blue sky. These water vapors form clouds which travel east where they eventually fall as snow onto the 10,000 foot peaks of Mount Hermon. The snow melts and flows down the mountains to become a river, the Jordan River, which, in turn, flows farther into two other bodies of water. The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.

The first sea to be fed by the Jordan is the Sea of Galilee. It receives water from the North Jordan and then empties into the South Jordan as the river continues its journey. The Sea of Galilee is filled with abundant life. Its water is pure and filled with large schools of fish.

The second body of water along the Jordan is the Dead Sea. It also receives water from the Jordan but, unlike the Sea of Galilee, it does not give back. It has no outlet. The Dead Sea just takes. As a consequence, nothing can live in its toxic, bitter waters.

Two seas fed by the same river. One gives and lives. The other only takes and dies.

What is true for these ancient bodies of water is just as true in our lives. When we give to others, we are ourselves fresh and filled with abundant life. And when we take and give nothing back...

Lakes

May 14, 2014

obersee_berchtesgaden_1

Lakes can be quite beautiful. At the same time they can be some of the most mysterious places in the world. Lying still and calm, they have seen thousands of years of life pass by their shores. They provide a habitat for life of all kinds. And in this way they have a crucial part in the circle of life. They have seen countless creatures of all kinds be born, live their lives, and perish. The lakes have known many of these creatures intimately, as they have sustained their very life in one way or another. Not just by virtue of their material well being, but by providing a location to meet, and to play. All the while continuing to be what they have always been. A reservoir containing a multitude of untold virtues.

Stare into a lake and you will see yourself staring right back up at you. Reflect on yourself for just a brief moment, complements of a lake. The lake puts your reflection into motion as if to say, 'You have someone great you have yet to be.'

In need of hope for the future? Lakes have been here in the past, they are here now, and they will be right here in the future. Just being what they are. Not interfering with other lives except to provide for and enrich them. Truly one of the best examples in the world of something that gives and...

Watzmann

March 27, 2014

The Watzmann mountain has come to be known as the Symbol of Berchtesgaden. It is named after the legendary King Watzmann, a ruthless king who routinely tormented his subjects. He along with his wife and their seven children are said to have loved going on many a hunting expedition, hounds and horns blaring as they charged through the forests atop horses. The king would sick his hounds on farmers of the region for their lack of production. Legend has it that the king and his family were stoned to death by a group of angry farmers. So many stones were thrown that when all had settled two large peaks remained along with seven smaller ones. This is all that remains of the king and his terrible family.

Shadows

March 27, 2014

A lot of times shadows can be quite mysterious. They come in the shape if something familiar but in an entirely different form. And as in this picture, you can see that it is obviously a leaf casting this shadow. However, when I looked up into the trees I saw a multitude of leaves with no definitive idea as to which one was casting this shadow. At a time like this all one can do is smile at the beauty you have found and keep on walking.

The most interesting thing about an experience like this is you begin to notice something you have seen a million times. Looking around the forest I at once saw many shadows from the above leaves. It was even more beautiful than the singular shadow! What a revelation.

Sometimes the path in front of you is cast in a multitude of shadows. Again you may not even be sure what exactly is casting them. It looks ominous, unnerving. Bah! Its no big deal. You can just walk right down that path as if they weren't even there.

So remember, notice the shadows when they are beautiful. And just walk all over them like they weren't there when it looks like they are blocking your path.

Dirt Roads

March 27, 2014

Dirt roads are ideal for human life. Paved roads lead to no good. Everyone ultimately wants to end up at the end of a dirt road. People work their whole lives for this. Nobody really wants to live on a crowed, noisey paved street.