Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Albion Basin Sunrise

Albion Basin, Utah Sunrise

Going through photos of the last few months and came across this one I passed over of wildflowers in Albion Basin. Thought it was worth sharing as a farewell to wild flower season in this beautiful place until next year!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona

Chiricahua National Monument

"As hard as I have tried to remember the exact moment when I fell in love with God, I cannot do it. My earliest memories are bathed in a kind of golden light that seemed to embrace me as surely as my mother's arms. The divine presence was strongest outdoors, and most palpable when I was alone."     ~Barbara Brown Taylor

Monday, August 27, 2018

Fall in August

What! Say it isn't's still August!!
(Taken 2 days ago on the Mt. Nebo Loop, Utah.)

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Payson Utah Temple at Sunrise

Payson Utah Temple

Yesterday I enjoyed the beginning of a beautiful late summer day watching the sun rise over the Payson Temple. The back of this temple is almost as beautiful as the front view.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Bedogol - Balinese gate guardian statues

Bedogol - Balinese Gate Guardian Statues

Bedogol - Balinese gate guardian statues. Two of a variety of different types of statues are selected to guard Balinese temples and homes. One is placed on the right side of the entrance way and one is placed on the left side. Both statues may look alike, but they are not identical. They complement each other and represent, for example, good vs. bad, positive vs. negative. The statue with the most power is placed on the right side. The purpose is the add balance by organizing possible unbalanced forces from the outside world, and to make the positive and negative elements neutral before entering the home. Temple and home entrance ways and front doors in Bali were ornate, colorful, detailed and beautiful. The statues varied greatly from beautiful and shapely Balinese women to ugly, terrifying, realllllly scary looking monsters or demons.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Singapore - Gardens By the Bay

Gardens By the Bay

So beautiful, even on a gloomy day!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Canang Sari

The rich cultural heritage of Balinesian Hindu worship can be traced back to the 5 century B.C. and continues today with around 84% of the population claiming to be Hindu.  The influence of this heritage is evident everywhere one travels in beautiful Bali in the form of ancient temples and ritualistic offerings.  It was a delight to see these small, sweet offerings, called 'canang sari', that are seen everywhere.


They adorn every small shrine, every large temple, businesses, homes, streets, car dashboards, and even perched on the handlebars of motor scooters. They may be pretty and interesting for tourists to see, but they hold deep meaning for Balanese who carefully and lovingly prepare multiples of them each day. 

The wife of an average family might prepare 15 canang sari each morning to be placed in and around the home and this daily task is as important as cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children.  This ritual is done carefully and lovingly as to demonstrate thankfulness and gratitude to the gods in heaven who are the creators of life, while at the same time appeasing and providing protection from the demons who live in the underworld.  The ultimate purpose is to maintain balance and peace on earth between gods, humans, and nature, amidst the opposing forces of good and evil, gods and demons, heaven and hell.


A small square (or round) tray or basket is made of fronds or palm leaves, and then colorful flowers and other specific items with special meanings are placed inside.   White flowers are placed pointing east as a symbol of Iswara, a primary Balinese god.  Red flowers are placed pointing south to represent Brahma, the Progenitor.  Yellow flowers are placed pointing west to symbolize Mahadeva the Great God.  Blue or green flowers are placed north and represent Vishnu, the Presever.  Often a few coins are placed on top to represent sacrifice and humility.  A ritual prayer is said which is meant to deliver the sari (essence) of the offering to heaven.  For this, a jepun flower is dipped in water taken from a holy spring and sprinkled on the canang sari as a symbolic fusion of earth, fire, wind and water.  Then a stick of incense is placed and lit so the smoke can carry the essence of the offering up to the gods.

The canang sari are made and offered every day except when there is a death in the family or village.  At the end of the day, they are all swept away and will be replaced the next morning.  It is disrespectful to step on or step over a canang sari, and one has to be careful, because many are placed on sidewalks, doorways and floors.  It is especially disrespectful to disturb the offering while the incense is burning and the smoke is carrying the essence up to heaven.

If you are looking for a rich, cultural experience on your travels, in addition to a beautiful, tropical paradise, you won't be disappointed in Bali!    

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Backylard Beauties

With a specialty lens (Lensbaby), and a little creativity, my common backyard flowers can look a bit magical.  Can you find the little photo bomber that flew into the frame at just the right time?

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Albion Basin, Utah

Albion Basin, Utah

I am always happiest when my day includes a beautiful blue sky and a few puffy clouds!! Another shot from Albion Basin, taken before intense smoke filled our skies from the multiple Utah and California wildfires.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Daily Commute in Bali

Did you have a bad commute this morning?? These were taken through the windshield of a car. Best decision we made in Bali was to hire a private driver each day. ($40 per day split between 2 couples.) We could never have navigated these streets where all traffic laws are mere suggestions, and cars, motorbikes, trucks and buses all travel within 6 inches of each other, even at 30+ mph on some of the less congested roads. It was a frightening experience with motorbikes weaving in and out and in front of us, missing the front bumper by just a few inches, and with everyone making quick taps on their horns, not in frustration or anger, but as communication saying "I'm right next to you" or "I'm cutting in front of you". No one is upset and this is normal driving. It seemed almost like a river of moving vehicles weaving in and out and around each other. While I was on the edge of my seat at all times, I noticed our expert driver, Komang, was very relaxed, but he was also very alert about what was happening within a few inches on all sides of the car. I was amazed we didn't see crashes everywhere. Komang said there are accidents, but not as many as you would think. He said when the locals see people with light colored skin driving motorbikes, (tourists), accidents are more likely to occur.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Bali

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Bali
(One of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bali)

“A simple act of kindness the size of a rice grain can weigh as heavy as a mountain.” 
~ Feroz Bham

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Mirror Lake, Utah

Mirror Lake, Utah

No mirror reflections on Mirror Lake when I was there a few days ago. It was too windy, but still a lovely place to spend the day, escape the summer heat, and maybe go for a canoe ride or catch a fish!