Archive for the ‘photography’ Tag

Hallowed treasure

 

 

 

The captain shut off the engine and steered the boat in, closer to the caves deep under the volcanic mountains off Kauai’s Na Pali coast. The low tide sent rippling waves to the shoreline just feet from where the caves opened up. What could not be seen beyond the cavernous entrance could only be imagined as the site opened up to what looked like a mysterious, enchanted place to explore. The boat drifted, rocking gently on a calm sea. Sunrays burst through the opening enveloped by the bright light.

I stood near the bow of the boat snapping pictures, awed by the beauty of these volcanic mountains with their ridges and crevices revealing the effects of time and erosion from the lava flows after eruptions that now were full of vegetation and growth. Older generations of native Hawaiians believe these mountains to be hallowed, sacred places blessed by the gods of their ancestors. At one stop during our cruise our captain, himself a native Hawaiian blew loud notes from a conch shell pointed towards a small inhabited Hawaiian natives’ island where they alone occupy, and no visitors or tourists are ever allowed.

I let my mind and imagination wander as I watched and listened for any movement or sound expecting to see pirates bursting on the scene with drawn swords and guns. Native Hawaiians believed in the folklore and stories told by their ancestors with a deep reverent respect for their culture and historic accounts of the island’s beginnings and inhabitants believing them to be blessed by the gods. Was it just folklore or were there really ghosts that lurked and lived in the hallowed spaces deep in the volcanic mountains of Kauai? Even the fish seemed to scatter from the shallow water that was as blue as a sapphire and as clear as cut crystal. Did they fear a marauding band of pirates’ spears? What was it like here when the first island inhabitants came to shore with little else but the fish, wild boar, deer and goats to coexist with?

I tried to imagine a scene from Walt Disney’s, Pirates of the Caribbean when learning the movie was shot here at this site. I loved the movie. I remembered the adventure ride at Disneyland way back in the sixties when we lived in Los Angeles, and riding the boat through the water canal, never dreaming of its potential possibilities or future. Now, on this adventure to the site of the movie I thought, What incredible beauty! What a journey, cruising the waters, discovering this treasure on Jack Sparrow’s deep blue sea.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

Reflecting back

This photo was taken from the boat’s stern while on a sunset cruise off the coast of Kaua’i Island, Hawaii while on a recent trip.

The sun goes down on

Kauai’s deep turquoise sea;

a peach colored sky

     reflecting soft images

on the breaking water’s tide

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Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

Posted for The Daily Post https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/reflecting/

Kaua’i Island, Hawaii

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Where coconut palm branches sway

to a hula dance in the breeze

and boisterous exotic birds

with their chorus choir fly,

and seagulls swoop in

as the fowl stroll lazily by.

 

Where turquoise water rolls in

and flows rhythmically to shore,

and marine mammals lie

near incoming lapping tides.

And surfers catch the swells, riding waves to shore

and swimmers snorkeling, barely seen

in search of what lies beneath.

 

Across dense fields sugarcane plants grow wild

tall and green with thick leaves blowing in the wind

and the ground full with pineapple,

papaya, nuts, taro, and other fruit.

Acres and acres of coffee beans grown,

roasted and harvested in robust blends and ground.

 

We drive up roads and climb

through canyon valleys and see

such picturesque sublime beauty, it’s hard to imagine

how volcanic mountains and lava caves

are now covered in foliage so lush and green.

 

We look out on a never-ending sea

and all I want is to gaze at the sight,

not think what waits beyond this day,

put aside thoughts about the ‘latest news,’

what goes on in the rest of the world,

and dwell instead on what I came to see

across the Pacific on the island of Kauai.

_______________

 

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

Footnotes: This is the first of several pictures and posts of my recent trip to Kauai Island, Hawaii. The above picture I took of the upper east side when we pulled off the road and stopped to take pictures.

You won’t walk that road alone…

Photo taken inside the church of the Holy Seplechure, Jerusalem, Israel in May, 2001 while on my trip there to Israel.

Don’t be afraid, for the road you take you won’t take alone.

When storm clouds come and darkness closes round,

and you fear that you might stumble, and cast your foot upon a stone,

and the burdens that you bear weigh you down and keep you bound,

and you ask, “What am I to do, does anyone really care?”

I want to tell you, I’ve walked this way before when I carried the sins of all.

With brokenness in spirit I struggled carrying my cross up the road.

And your sins? Forgotten, and no more, for I’ve born those too, you see.

You are free. I paid your price. You’re not alone if you’ll walk this road with me.

I came to save and redeem the lost if they believe.

It was all prearranged by my Father at Calvary.

__________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

Matthew 28:5 & 6 – But the angel said to the women, Do not be alarmed and frightened for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here; He is risen, as He said He would do. Come, see the place where He lay.

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He is risen indeed! 🙂 The story of Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection can be found in chapters twenty-sixth through twenty-eight of Matthew in the New Testament bible. I hope you have, and know the peace and joy that only Christ alone can bring, and I want to wish you all a happy, blessed Easter.


Towards the Light

Though I cannot turn away

with blind eye or deaf ears

from all that happens in this world,

all that brings heartache and tears

I look to you, Oh Lord and dwell

upon the cross and not the fears

on our redemptive soul set free,

why you came, and why you died

that we might live eternally

without those things that bring us strife.

I turn my face towards the light

towards the assurance of new life.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

Bare and beautiful

Clustered branches on trees still bare

of the season’s foliage stripped and spare

but for stick figures on a tangled mass of limbs

looking undressed where none can hide.

The morning light and heat from the sun

warms what was clothed under a wintry sky.

__________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

I took this shot early in the morning about a couple of weeks ago in my back yard when the sun was just coming up. Cropping and cutting out a part of the houses in the picture helped to give it more emphasis on only the trees and the sky. We now have new buds and small leaves forming on the same trees because of our much warmer weather.

Posted March 27, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry, Seasons, Spring

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Emerging spring

 

 

A new day’s dawn wakes from its sleep,

pink and orange hued clouds streak across the sky.

A burst of color that slowly wanes

emerges into the sun, now brighter and more blue.

Tiny buds and blooms, and grass that now turns green

shows the promise of new life

where frolicking squirrels, and little birds

all busy with work and play

rebuild their nest and tend their young.

A new season, fresh and fragrant spring

has arrived and pushed away the winter blues.

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

 

 

 

 

Posted March 21, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry, Seasons, Spring

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Bobcat’s story

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Nine years ago, there was this kitten

found under a rose-bush, hiding and afraid

hungry, abandoned, and all alone.

With imploring sad eyes hoping to find

a friend, family or home nearby

he wandered about, surviving the elements,

living on insects, whatever was found.

When no one came looking or put in a claim

for the lost kitten out wandering that day

my daughter and family took him in,

and lovingly provided him with a good home.

Was it just fate or maybe meant to be

that this kitten found love in the most unlikely way?

__________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

Posted for The Daily Post word prompt,  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/lovingly/

Posted February 6, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Poems, poetry

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Midwinter thaw

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It was a wonderful, warm day to get out and walk one of our trails again yesterday. The temperature hovered around 60 degrees most of the day. The thin layers of ice was finally dissipating and the water flowing unobstructed in our Big Thompson River. It was such a welcomed change from the below zero temperatures we’d had through weeks of bitter cold in January. In some places there was a hint of green color already showing on tree branches and grass in places. The melting snow left mushy puddles of standing water and mud on the already saturated ground. My thoughts conjured up visions of green leafy foliage and flowers growing all along our paths and walking trails we hope to see again in May. Yesterday it was full of bicyclists and people walking their dogs. Our dog, Maggie hates to be hurried as we try to keep at a brisk walking pace and slows down to sniff out every scent while on a good slow stroll, and wants to greet and meet everyone she sees. Like us, she is savoring the sun and warm temps.https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/scent/

Midwinter thaw

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Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

Posted January 31, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, Nature Walks, Photography

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January’s freeze

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My spruce tree shivers from a winter’s blast

heavy branches drooping under fallen snow.

The air so cold, seems still and quiet, a serene like setting on a frosty night.

I snuggle down under the comfort of quilts, and feel the warmth of restful sleep.

I wake to the sun, warm and bright that pushes through my window with light.

The morning wears on and temperatures begin a slow climb from the subzero degrees,

and the arctic blast of air dissipates and leaves.

I shed a layer of fleece and insulated outer wear,

sweats and heavy jackets, and opt for short-sleeved tees.

Where else but here are there such shifting weather scenes,

where temperatures fall to record lows, and snow is measured in the feet

then hours or days after we slosh through winter’s thaw,

and it feels almost balmy, like a warm spring day.

We wish away the season, and hope it’s really gone,

but know it’s wishful thinking for it soon returns like dawn.

It seems a predictable pattern, so we never put away

snow shovel, gear or blower

stored beside the garden rake.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

Footnote: Our temperature in Loveland, Colorado, Friday, (1-6-2017) registered at -17 below 0 degrees at 8:00 a.m. Today, it registered a high of 50 degrees above 0 at 2:00 p.m..  That is typical for our area here in Colorado. 🙂


Posted January 8, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry

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The Birth of a King

The Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001

The Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001, Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

 

Nothing but chaos, crowds and noise

greeted the young couple, desperate to find

a quiet place, warm and dry

for the birth of their child, the newborn king.

Foretold and promised generations ago,

news of his birth was heard throughout the lands,

and the star in the east that lit up the sky

guided men of wisdom across desert sands.

Shepherds fled their flocks

frightened by angels that came nigh

announcing the news of Jesus’s birth.

To the king they hurried, and in haste found

the tiny babe chosen to rule and reign

lying in a feeding trough upon a cold bare ground.

Hope and redemption was born that night

where cattle grazed, and sheep and goats brayed.

No throne or palace was awarded this king,

yet people came from all around

seeking the savior born that day.

Now in a world where chaos, crowds and noise

  leaves hearts searching and seeking one to follow,

  where joy, comfort and peace

is eternal, lasting and hallow,

there waits the savior born that day

to reign in hearts that just believe.

_______________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:10-14 NIV, New Testament Bible.

I would like to take this time to thank all of my blogger friends, followers and visitors who have visited my blog site through 2016, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year of peace and joy in 2017. The amazing friends and opportunities I have, and the positive comments received are what makes blogging fun, rewarding, and an inspiration to my writing. Blessings to all.  JEJ

The ‘spirit of Christmas’ in historic downtown, Loveland

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I took this shot from across the street of our downtown historic Rialto Theatre. The wind was blowing hard, but the temperature was only about 30+ degrees. Still, we knew the big freeze and frigid arctic blast was on its way into town. Thursday evening was the only good night before the snowstorm hit to walk around downtown, browse through shops and antique stores, then go to dinner at an old-fashioned diner where their specialty is their famous burgers, fries and shakes. Dinner was delicious as we sat by the window looking out onto the street at the traffic pass by under brightly colored Christmas lights. It brought back memories of years gone when we sipped shakes at the corner drug stores and drive-ins.

Although our town is well over 100,000 in population right now, it was only about 28,000 when we moved up here twenty-three years ago. But, the town has tried to maintain a small town atmosphere in the historic district just two miles from home. There is a nostalgic feeling to the old district, and the  ‘spirit of Christmas’ past, present and future in a Charles Dickens like setting. The foothills to the west of town and the towering Rocky Mountains thirty-five miles further west give Loveland the feel and look of an old-fashioned Christmas post card people used to send to family and friends that today can only be found in antique stores.  One of our favorite things to do is browse and shop for nostalgic things, toys and collectibles that I could imagine wrapped up under someone’s tree. Like family traditions kept and adopted down through the years, or things contemporary, old or new every town and place celebrates Christmas in their own way. Merry Christmas to you and yours from Loveland, Co.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

 

Hurry! Shoot me, quick!

Winter is coming.

He looked my way, his mouth full.

“Wait please! One moment.”

“Let me get my camera.”

A quick shot. Then time to flee.

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

This is my post for today’s one word prompt for The Daily Post word prompt.

Like the deer

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. Psalm 42:1

Like the deer in search for water

I seek and long after thee,

to drink from the stream of life where flows

the living water that washes through me,

and my parched soul be quenched by your spirit

to thirst no more, but refreshed and free.

__________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Posted December 5, 2016 by Joyce in Faith, My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry

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Winter comes to the high country

I watch clouds turn dark and ominous

as the season changes in the high country here.

Our camp fire crackles in the crisp autumn air,

and a whistling sound like a distant water’s flow

builds with intensity across mountain slopes.

Trees shed their coverings as gusty winds blow

leaving dry beds of pinecones and needles on the ground.

The front moves in and wildlife hunker down.

Dusk falls, temperatures drop, ice crystals form.

A dusting of snow glistens on the peaks.

We wait the coming storm.

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Posted November 28, 2016 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry, Seasons

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The road I travel…

Trail Ridge road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, (12,000 ft. + elevation)  photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

 

The road I travel; it is not my own,

for the road I travel I don’t travel alone.

There is one who walks with me

wherever it leads, whatever befalls.

My path though not straight and winding it be

around the corners in life He leads.

Though storms may come, and

the challenges great; He walks beside me,

and I shan’t turn back, for oft will I feel

arms lifting me up in tender embrace,

and I’ll not worry what hampers my way.

The pebbles; they scatter,

and the winds grow still.

For with Him I’ll not wonder

who leads, but follow.

_________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Footnotes: I took the above photo of my husband and dog walking along the road on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, above Estes Park, Colorado. At the time I took this photo this section of road was closed for the Winter season. We parked at a pull out and walked around the closed gate and up the road some before the expected snow storm forecast for the following day. The photo was my inspiration for this poem. I am so thankful and grateful that whatever happens in my life God is always with me in every situation in life, whatever I do and wherever I go I am covered under His grace. I wish everyone out there a very Happy Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Honoring our U. S. Veterans on Veteran’s Day

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The helmet, gun and boots of a fallen soldier from the U.S/ Vietnam War, 1955-1975. Behind is the traveling Vietnam war memorial wall with the names of 56,000 + fallen U.S. soldiers who fought and died in this war. The original larger wall is located in Washington D.C. The traveling wall here is smaller and shown around the U.S. on Veterans day and Memorial day holidays. We have seen both the original wall in Washington D.C., and traveling wall seen here in northern Colorado. Photo credit: Joyce Johnson.

I see news clips and stories

of protests and crowds

marching in streets, their hearts

full of hatred, anger and strife.

And I think, What kind of country

have we become, that they cannot be thankful

for having such freedom and having such a life?  

Are we not a great country who fought to secure

our rights and our freedoms

so they could endure?

What we all hold dear and strive to protect

so they could burn or trample on our flags?

Our symbol of strength, what men fought for, and died.

God, help this nation to honor and reflect

what is good, and what is right,

to put aside their differences

and rise above hate

that can only destroy, not ever unite.

___________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

To all those veterans out there, today, I want to say

thank you so much for your service, what you gave up to serve,

so we can enjoy our freedoms and rights.

God, bless our America and our veterans, today.

Happy Veterans Day!

Whomever wins

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I took this photo of the U.S. capitol building while on a trip to Washington, D.C. many years ago., photo credit; Joyce E. Johnson

 

Whomever wins, whoever leads

however they reign from helm or tower

I won’t question, I won’t complain,

because I know there is One who

rules from a higher place of power,

and all, in His hands.

He will reign forever, supreme above all;

creator, master of the universe,

my father, God.

It is in Him I place my trust.

_____________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

October days

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There are nature trails

where leaves and trees turn a bright

gold, yellow, orange,

and farms and fields grow tall corn

and pumpkin vines on the ground

~~~

where kids run and play

in a corn maze and hay found,

on days, warm and dry.

It is what makes October

a special fun time.

__________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Footnotes: The top picture is one taken of a walking trail in our town, Loveland, Co. The other pictures  are ones taken recently of my husband and grandchildren at a pumpkin farm in Wyoming while visiting our daughter and family.

Embracing autumn

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Dry leaves blow, like crisp

bits of fine paper, scattered

in all directions.

The sun fades slowly into

dusk and cool, dark autumn nights.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

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