Category: Nature

NatureTravel

Peru’s Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is an absolute masterpiece of architecture and a unique testimony to the Inca civilization.  UNESCO designation 1983

Machu Picchu’s stunning setting has contributed to making it South America’s most iconic and visited archaeological site. In this view, the pyramid-shaped Huayna Picchu (on the right) can be seen towering above the site.

As is often said about journeying to a new destination, getting there is half the fun. This is definitely the case when it comes to traveling to Peru’s UNESCO crown jewel of Machu Picchu (sometimes spelled Machupicchu).

The citadel sits high on an awe-inspiring mountain at 7,972 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level and is surrounded by cliffs on three sides that plunge thousands of feet down to the Urubamba River which twists and turns below. These natural barriers made the city easier to protect during the 100 years or so it was inhabited by the Inca and also helped spare it from destruction by the invading Spanish armies in the mid-1500s.

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Nature

Nature’s Embrace

Nature is never ending

The comfort I feel surrounding me

Being connected to the whole universe

Takes me away from worries in life.

Joy of heading into the mountains solo

Knowing I might never return

Immersion in the moment

Melts away the ravages of civilization.

It’s more than just

The air we breathe

Water that hydrates

Food that nourishes.

It’s the excesses

The vibrant colors

Delicacy of a flower petal

Dew catching the morning light

Trees reaching for the sky.

Insects, birds, animals

Wind, rain, warm sun

The sounds, the smells, the silence

It soothes my soul

Like nothing else can.

All photos by Henry Lewis and shot in the cloud forest on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo.

peace~henry

CultureNature

Cultural Views on Snakes

It’s late spring/early summer in the Northern Hemisphere which means snakes and other reptiles are once again active. This past week, I had multiple encounters with beautiful snakes in my sister’s yard here in North Carolina where I’m visiting. Of course, I do realize not everyone shares my love of nature, nor my fascination with snakes. Some of you are surely cringing right now at the mere thought of being greeted by a snake outside your door, especially a surprise visit because you had forgotten to be aware of them.

My sisters and I agree (as snake experts recommend) with letting the harmless snakes, such as the Black Racer, have free reign outside because they control rodent populations and actually keep poisonous snakes away from the house. I have some friends who say the only good snake is a dead snake. However, I think those feelings are a result of not fully understanding how snakes fit into the ecosystem.

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Nature

Nature’s Healing Power

Try as I might to limit my exposure to too much negativity, on most days I’m a dedicated news junkie. However, sometimes all the buzz and spin become so overwhelming that I have to unplug for a few days. Such was the situation this past week.

I’ve been visiting long-time friends in Seattle for the past two weeks and I managed to escape the city for some much needed serenity in the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors.

I had two experiences that I’m featuring here in video format. In the first, I was lectured by a Douglas Squirrel as he peered down at me from above. In the other, I was transported to a serene world where the only sound was rushing water tumbling over smooth rocks created millions of years ago.

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Nature

Spring’s Ode to Van Gogh

Experiencing spring in one of the world’s temperate zones for the first time in 14 years excites my senses in similar fashion to the way artist Vincent Van Gogh must have felt upon moving from Paris to the colorful countryside of Arles in southern France in 1888. Van Gogh had found Paris to be dull and gray just as Brussels had been, and he longed to be in a place that was warm and colorful.

Colour expresses something in itself. One can’t do without it; one must make use of it. What looks beautiful, really beautiful — is also right.

Vincent to his brother Theo, c. 28 October 1885

Field with Irises.sm

Field with Irises near Arles 1888. Courtesy Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

While I’ve had the good fortune to live in a variety of the world’s tropical regions that would have surely delighted Van Gogh’s senses, I’d forgotten how spectacularly beautiful temperate landscapes can be as they emerge from a long, cold winter’s sleep. The myriad shades of green and red budding deciduous trees, along with furiously blooming everything, make me feel like a child seeing the natural world for the first time.

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Nature

Trump vs Clouds

Ahhh, nature! It’s the elixir that’s required to soothe my tattered soul after dealing with the daily worries of this chaotic and distracting world we humans have created. And clouds; what about clouds?
I’ve always loved clouds. They’re one of the most transient visual features of our natural world, as they constantly change and re-form depending on the whims of the winds aloft. For me, clouds are a constant reminder of the impermanence of all things.
Being reminded of this fact somehow makes my problems seem totally insignificant in the bigger scheme of the universe. Personal ego is no match for the wonder and limitless perspective I have while gazing at the sky!

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EnvironmentNature

Nature’s Fury

Nature is what we all have in common~Wendell Berry
The summer of 2017 has been one for the record books as far as natural disasters are concerned. I spent two weeks visiting friends in Seattle and was greeted by smoke-filled air each day due to wildfires that were raging out of control in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.
Next, I returned to the Southeastern USA just in time to witness the arrival of multiple record-breaking hurricanes that had churned their way across the Atlantic.
And then over the past few days, I’ve been intently following the post-earthquake rescues in my adopted home of Mexico.

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