To Let Things Feel Normal

santa

“Everyone must resist the urge to let things feel normal, and stand up for individuals, minorities, organizations, and causes that will be under threat during the Trump Administration.’  “John Oliver

Oh the pressure is on:  to shop the holidays to financial ruin;  loudly gnash teeth over USA’s  recent joint political/ governing/ and citizen election debacle;  fret the unsettled global times, engage in a family holiday melodrama, or think too much about how Georgia is both powerful and thriving due to American preference for the lies and misinformation of fake news. And how about that Global Warming!

Excellent reasons and season to choose to continue the binge hiking during  this period before the Winter Solstice.   To spend some time to figure out how best to navigate safely,  with purpose, faith, peace, and good humor  in this world determined to go Tilt Ta Whorl .

Out the door and down the road to visit with an old friend, Hot Loop 94.

The Hot Loop can be a trickster. Important to keep track of  time when together, and keep a visual siting on a few formations and location in relation to them.  A compass essential.  The light leaves early from low between formations,  and cinder-cones. Late Fall through Spring is  the best time of the year to visit.  There are stretches of exposed basalt that heat up, and while it feels great on a winters day to walk your bare skin in the sun, it’s extremely hot in the summer months.  It’s quiet time with the Hot Loop. Saw only one lone cowboy all the day long. Surrounded  with cinder cones, red rock formations, deep washes, Jack’s Canyon, and the top ridge line of the Colorado Plateau above to Horse Mesa.  The narrow trail changes up from stretches of loose black basalt pebbles, thousands of small distractions,  aiming to send hikers sprawling if not mindful of every step. Then rusty red boot sucking  mud in deep forest shadows. An opportunity to hike with entire chapters of  Sedona’s 340 million years of geology.

The surrounding area tempts hikers to leave the trail.  Whether it is the colorful geology laid before the eyes, the sight of a high up there cavern, a first rate Sedona metaphysical vision, the sound of scrub jays,  cattle, or an angle for a photo providing a sweeping panorama for a perfect holiday greeting card….mindful to  remember it’s a clever seduction to stray from the trail being played upon hikers, the trail always the truest,  faithful companion.

 

This time of the year, Just before the Yule. Just before the light returns, and Santa Claus arrives…. is the perfect time to walk the earth, get clear on what and who is important and what my role is and will be going forward. My decades indicate that  both the perception, term, and the reality of this thing we call   ‘normal’ wears a thousand different disguises;  fluid, varied and changing.

May each and everyone enjoy safe, joyous, and peace-filled holidays. I’ll be visiting around with you to catch up over the holidays and return to posting with the New Year.  Peace and Blessings.

Today’s Music: Marvin Gaye : What’s Going On

Interesting Read:  Climate Change Tipping Points Are Not Just Symbolic featured in the Guardian .

Spot on Watch: The Lead: Jake Tapper

Local  AZ organizations doing good environmental work:

Keep Sedona Beautiful

Friends of the Verde River Greenway

Sedona Recycles

 

Stretching Cycles of Years

Aspens, Flagstaff Arizona
Photo: JoHanna Massey

There was a child
Went forth every day,
And the first object he look’d upon
That object he became,
And that object became part of him
For the day
Or a certain part
Of the day,
Or for many years Or
Stretching Cycles of years.
From: There Was A Child Went Forth. by Walt Whitman

Yesterday was just the best of days: Driving 89N up from the floor of Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona at about 4,500 feet, each climb in elevation  becoming more colorful with oak, sumac, poplar, apple, and cottonwood just to name a few of the trees and undergrowth showing their best colors. Up two thousand feet to the Oak Creek Vista, where tourists were busy buying jewelry, dream catchers, pottery, tomahawks, and newly minted arrowheads from the  Native American vendors. Onward to Flagstaff, the Pondersoa Pines  distressed as the management of the forest creates a day of controlled burns and wide cut backs of mature trees from along the roadway. Through the city we continue to 6, 910. feet in elevation, the air clearing to crispness as we head towards the Snowbowl (11,000 ft elevation) to visit with the Aspens, who were thrilled to see us, shaking about making music, brightly costumed in yellows, and just weeks away from those first days of snow.

I am best myself when I am among trees . Since childhood they have been vital for me, invigorating and sustaining, strengthening, and calming. There is a peace that comes from hanging around with trees.

The Aspens are known for their ability to regenerate growing shoots and suckers from the lateral roots. The trees are identical clones to the original, and ‘members’ of a particular clone can spread over a hundred acres,   Members of a specific clone are distinguished from different clones by a variety of traits such as leaf shape and size, bark character, branching habit, resistance to disease and air pollution, sex, time of flushing, and autumn leaf color. Sounds similar to how some neighborhoods, organizations, clans, nations, and families are organized.

There’s is both a slideshow of photos, and for those who desire a vicarious roll about in autumn leaves, I’ve raked a virtual carousel together of all the days photos for you to enjoy.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today’s Music Songs From The Wood- Jethro Tull

 

Today’s Breaking News

Oak Creek Vista Colorado Plateau Photo: 
JoHanna Massey

“You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal.-”
Like A Rolling Stone- Bob Dylan

Today’s Breaking News: 

Having voted early by mail I skipped both the latest ‘soft launch’ of  Trump TV and the third and last United States Presidential debates, both which aired in the same evening this week.

The townhouse is a clutter with Halloween decorations, the neighborhood flush with political and property For Sale signs. Familial holiday plans are  made, and  people are misbehaving in Walmart. The color and mood of tourists and residents alike is pulsing purple, as Arizona goes  Red to Blue. and JoHannaMassey.com has just over 1000 followers.

Version 2

Talk about making Granny happy! Thank you so much. I enjoy creating this space. Even more, I love being able  to connect globally with so many interesting people and learn of their lives, interact, and watch their own websites grow and thrive.  It is pure magic. A gift I never considered even possible for most of my life as the technology did not exist.

Two new bookshelves, only a few more boxes until I am unpacked, five pots of privet to grow out to learn topiary, reading The Art of War- Sun Tzu- the Thomas Cleary  hard copy translation, A Reporter’s Life by Walter Cronkite.  Evenings with old Woody Allen movies, Hollywood Ending, and Broadway Danny Rose up next for shared  viewing pleasure. Giving

Bob Dylan another listen, and had quite forgotten just how much I enjoyed some of his music, or how globally relevant it feels today.

Sweet Terry and I have been binge hiking, the weather and availability of so many places to explore making it impossible to remain indoors. Photographing our hikes, being inspired and invigorated by entire days spent with nature. I am  excited to share in a separate photo essay  what was a colorful day out and about yesterday, up Oak Creek Canyon to the Snowbowl to photograph the fall foliage.  Been embracing every moment in a stretch of perfect days.

And again, thank you for your part in making JoHannaMassey.com such a  success. All my best to you. Be safe and have a peaceful week coming.

You can find the photo essay on our day out from Oak Creek Canyon to the Snowbowl here:  Stretching Cycles of Years

 

 

One-Liner Wednesday: When Hawks Bathe

Hawk Dust Bathing JoHannaMassey.com 2016

“Mid dust bath, the hawk paused and allowed ants to swarm over it’s feathers, releasing their anty toxic formic acid, I believe but can’t prove,  to drive parasites from the hawks plumage.” JoHanna Massey

In Response to: Linda Hill’s One Liner Wednesday.

Today’s Music: Daniel Barenboim: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E Flat Major Op.73

For Every Relative Fragment

"This Riparian Survey  has no listing  to be checked for Wapiti Bulls."   says Bill. Laughing we venture on. Harmonious work- mates and companions. 
Photo: JoHanna Massey

“There is not a fragment in all nature,
For every relative fragment of one thing
Is a full harmonious unit in itself.”
― John Muir, The Wilderness World of John Muir

In response to WordPress Photo Theme: Harmony

Today’s Music: Elk Song

So Late So Soon

DSCN0593 sunrise mogollon rim 2016
How did it get so late so soon?
Its night before its afternoon.
December is here before its June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?

Dr. Seuss

This gift of being able  to witness sunrises over the Mogollon Rim.and that same sun traveling the sky to set over the Mingus Mountains is a real indication to me the possibility of the Grand Finales this old part of my life  is offering full tilt boogie.

Sunrise Mogollon Rim Sedona Arizona Photo: JoHanna Massey

I have been restless with the waxing Snow/ Hunger Moon.  I take myself  outside when this edginess arrives. I no longer do risky climbs, or remote areas alone, but oh… I still love a good wander.  Outside in the sun, warmth, big sky,  red rock hiking with camera in hand.
 DSCN1800 hunger moon
Today’s post is in response to WordPress Photos Theme: Seasons
 Jen H. chose the theme for this weeks subject:
Seasons: Share an image evocative of the weather or represent the current “season of your life” in metaphor.

This is a smart and very popular weekly themed photo show up on WordPress. No pressure, no stress, just an inspiration for your creative photo leanings to be shared and admired by others who appreciate a good photo as much as you do, and a chance for you to see the surprise of how varied our perceptions of life is.

I’ve also placed this post in the Senior Forum at Haddons MusingsI enjoy a good visit over at Haddons Musings for the smart feminist essays, the positive and energetic style, and how connected Haddons Musings is with a community of interesting people. This is just an excellent and well done website to visit and be inspired by.

Todays Music: Chad & Jeremy – Everyone’s Gone To The Moon

Few People Know What Fish Think

Newport Aquarium Oregon 
Photo: JoHanna Massey

“The fish in the creek said nothing.
Fish never do.
Few people know what fish
Think about injustice,
Or anything else.”

― Ursula K. Le Guin, Catwings

One of many afternoons spent at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Sweet Terry and I  would immerse ourselves in the mysteries of the ocean. A world-class marine educational attraction nestled on beautiful Yaquina Bay in Newport, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is surrounded by forest and estuary where many of the species exhibited within the Aquarium flourish in their native habitat. I especially love the ‘shark tunnel’ I call it, where you can walk through a clear tunnel with exhibited sharks and fish swimming all around. There are both inside and outside exhibits. A must see are the otter and sea lion exhibits, the octopus, and the wonderful groupers. It’s a peaceful place, and the exhibits are well maintained, volunteers are about to answer questions, and the exhibits change frequently enough to merit returning time and time again.

Today’s Music: Ringo Starr and the Roundheads- Octopuses Garden