You were bursting with anticipation. You dreamt about this day for most of your adult life. You put hours, if not days, into planning your once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. Or perhaps you were visiting a loved one, or a lover. You may have planned to get married. Perhaps you had a very important business trip lined up.
Then the impossible happened. Now we are frantically trying to find a way to defeat Covid-19 (also known as the novel coronavirus).
One of the more effective methods is vow to take that vacation or trip that you missed as soon as possible. Read the plans for the cancelled vacation and use them as a baseline for the new trip. According to ”a 2010 study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, just planning or anticipating your trip can make you happier than actually taking it.”
Heart of the Yukon (photo above)
This is one of several photos taken last year in the Yukon Territories in Canada. It was Autumn in the Yukon (the end of September/beginning of October). The soft, mossy ground and low-lying bushes were like a carpet ablaze with reds, oranges, yellows, and greens. It is impossible to appreciate without seeing it in person. And because it was so quiet without another soul around for what seemed like hundreds of miles, the eery silence had a mystical quality to it. Landscapes are king in the Yukon, although there is an abundance of wildlife, too. If you go, make sure it is the season for the Northern Lights.
Dead Sea Dying
In December 2017, Niki and I went to Israel to visit our family and some friends. During our stay, we joined a small group of photographers on a boat to a restricted area of the Dead Sea. Our guide is one of the few people permitted in this area. His mission is to document the shrinkage of the Sea. It had already evaporated a couple of inches from his last trip, taken only a few months ago. The stripes and patterns on the shore are actually salt and mineral deposits that have hardened and become smooth. The importance of this project is to try to prevent the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, from dying, which could cause an ecological disaster.
We spent about a week in Japan on our way to Mongolia in July 2017. Because of the intense heat in Tokyo, we decided to seek refuge in the inland mountains and lakes. This fog-enshrouded lake took my breath away. We travelled to this area hoping to find sun and views of reflections of Mt. Fuji. Instead, we were granted the opportunity to take photos of one of the most magnificent scenes we might ever encounter.
Sunstar & Sunflowers
Is there anyone who doesn’t like sunflowers? I doubt it. In the D.C. area we are lucky, as there are several sunflower fields to visit. And if you get too tired of being outdoors, you can head to the Mall and take in the wonders offered by the many Smithsonian museums, all of which are free of charge.
If you are an artist and favor landscapes, especially seascapes, then you are highly likely to be familiar with Motif #1, the most painted building in the world. Motif #1 is ensconced in Rockport, Massachusetts, on the rocky shores of Cape Ann, just north of Boston.
The building itself may not appear to some as worthy of all its attention, but circumstances resulted in its becoming the quintessential representation of a New England fishing village.
Yukon is large in mass, but houses very few inhabitants or visitors. One town has a sign bragging that its population was nine people. Public transportation is practically non-existent. Only a few trucks a week deliver most of what they need, either food or other supplies.
Gems of Diamond Beach
If you have never been to Iceland, go now, while you still can. Iceland has become incredibly popular. In fact, it is one of a handful of countries that feel they have become over-touristed and that the influx of outsiders threatens their economy and ecology. Iceland has a wide variety of geographic and topographic landscapes, ranging from rugged mountains and glaciers to volcanos, thermal fields and pools, waterfalls, and even tectonic plates protruding through the earth’s crust. As for wildlife, puffins are plentiful on the northeast coast, while elsewhere there are occasional whales, orcas, and seals. Regarding this photo, a gorgeous red cloud settled over the volcanic black sand beach. Chunks of ice that fell off the iceberg the night before washed into the nearby lagoon, then returned with the changing of the tide. Add a splash of yellow from the sun and you have a gorgeous souvenir of Iceland.
First “Green” Roof?
Of course, the title is a play on words.
The most important thing about this photo is not the roof. This is a scene from the Faroe Islands, located 90 minutes by air, between Iceland and Norway. The Faroe’s are becoming very popular. They, like, Iceland, are fairly easy to get to and are not exorbitantly priced—yet. Farm fishing and sheep are among its main industries. Their most notable attraction are its fjords. While hiking the hills to reach their summit, you get a feeling of accomplishment when you have tramped to what feels like the top of the world. Take a shower in a waterfall, drink a beverage of your choice, and plan your next trip.
Majestic Mt. Moran
No person is given more credit for his photography of the West than Ansel Adams, including his works of Grand Teton National Park. The largest mountain in the park at 12,600 feet is Mt. Moran, which reflects its majesty in the Snake River, winding its way through the Park. Thomas Moran was as equally devoted to the preservation of this area as Adams. Moran was a prolific painter, especially of the western parts of the U.S. His devotion to the area around Jackson, Wyoming, finally influenced Congress and the President to turn the area into a national park. To honor Moran for his role, the park’s largest mountain was named in his honor.
Once you have finished touring the rest of Grand Teton National Park, an easy southern drive of only 45 miles will bring you to Old Faithful and Yellowstone National Park.
It simply is not possible to predict when the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, will be visible. There are tools, however, that can help, but they aren’t usually effective until the same day they light the sky. Instinct is often the most accurate predictor. I had only seen the Aurora once, and I was incredibly grateful for that. But on a chilly night just outside Dawson City, the sky awoke at about midnight and danced for about four hours. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, so much so that I dropped my camera to witness this amazing phenomenon of nature with my naked eyes. For about 15 minutes I stared and cried. I was overwhelmed by what I was witnessing.
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All photos in this document were taken with #getOlympus cameras and lenses.