Starting the Year in Nature…

This year I decided it was time to upgrade my camera. Found a great deal on a Canon Rebel, and am suffering no buyer’s remorse (ok, maybe a little). I’m actually pretty excited – not that my other camera was no good, but this one is much better.

I didn’t get the opportunity to celebrate the New Year like most of the world, since I had to speak in the morning. I totally missed the ball drop, Dick Clark and all the craziness that goes along with it. It’s ok, ever since I was little, I have preferred quiet solitary places. So, that’s just what I did after I spoke: went to a solitary place.

2011 was a year of finding “not-so-hidden” gems right here in my own backyard, the Bay Area of Cali. I’ve taken up hiking the hills, enjoying the nature, and letting the serenity of it all speak to me about me and the world around me. Something about the quiet… you would think it would be the perfect time to start “thinking”, but I find that it is more of a time to relax my mind. To stop the constant barrage of thoughts, ideas, worries and frustrations, and allow the quiet to rejuvenate me. There are times that I engage in self thought, but this day was not going to be one of them. I just wanted to walk, take in the sights, take some pictures, and breathe…So I finished up my conversations at church, changed into my comfy clothes, and headed up to another place I’ve never been before: Muir Woods.

The day actually couldn’t have been better. San Francisco was in the 60’s, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Even traffic was light, because the games were already underway or over, and people had gotten their fill the night before. The drive would have been kind of long for most people, but not for me. I took in the sights of the city, and just enjoyed the quiet calm of the day.

I stopped a couple of times to see where I could take pictures. I am still getting used to the camera, so I expected some of the shots to be throw away ones, but that didn’t really matter. In time, I will make my photography teacher proud, but for this trip, it was about solitude.

I was pretty amazed at the scenery. How the trees grew towards the light or toward each other. How every part of nature was connected. How in the midst of what seemed like no life, something beautiful would be displayed.

I loved the occasional flower in the midst of the total green, the creeping vines all the way up 20 and 30 foot trees, even the naturally felled trees that dotted the landscape. It was all fine, just the way it was.

I’m sure i’ll go back at some point to experience more of what this area has to offer. Maybe I’ll make my way to Stinson Beach, who knows. All in all, it was a good day.

Notable Notables: See the rest of the pictures here:

15 Replies to “Starting the Year in Nature…”

  1. I love Muir Woods. And I totally agree with you. Hiking quiets my mind in a way that nothing else does. It’s like kinetic meditation. Good for you, K.

  2. Great pictures, Ken.
    Nature has a way of “bringing me back”. It causes me to long for more of its beauty and simplicity for this life I/we live. Thanks for sharing. It’s good to hear how you take the time out to trek and explore. It’s good for the soul:o)

    1. Hi Peggy,
      Thanks, I’m glad you liked the pictures. These treks are definitely good for the soul. it is amazing how being in nature puts things in perspective, and causes us to realize that in many cases, less is truly more.

  3. I just noticed your blog pic of a boy in a wooden shackle at Frontier Village. Is that you?!!! Hilarious:o) I totally remember Frontier Village growing up!

  4. We made a similar investment in a camera last year — and I’ve had no regrets — it’s wonderful to take all the photos for my blog! And I’ve discovered it really helps me see things more when I take pics of them! Beautiful photos, and I LOVE Muir Woods — many many years since I’ve been there, though!

    1. That is so true. It’s interesting what you can see when you can “stop time” in pictures and get different perspectives through them. I’ve been here all my life, and this is the first time I’ve been to Muir… It won’t be my last though.

  5. What an amazing start to your year, LOVE this post! Such wonderful woods and views and I’d love to see it with my own eyes one day!
    Your new camera takes nice photos, and I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it. I’ve invested in a better camera last year (weird calling 2011 that), even though I didn’t exactly have a choice as mine broke back at the end of 2010, and it was one of my best choices, a good reason not to have any money after that πŸ˜‰

    Maybe, for extra motivation regarding using your new camera, you’d like to join my Seasonal Photo Challenge?
    I already posted the suggestions for January on the challenge page on my blog, and will be doing a blog post as well on Thursday this week.

    1. Estrella, I love your comments :-). I’m getting there with the camera, so it can only get better from here. I understand about not having any money after. I was thinking I was crazy for doing it, but knew I would feel worse if I did not.

      So, I read through your challenge, and I think it would be fun! I’ll have to be on a quest to find these things, or something similar to meet the challenge. My “type-A” is ready to step up, but I will let the rest of me take the pics πŸ™‚
      *hugs* πŸ™‚

      1. Yay! It’d be awesome for you to join in.
        The important thing is to get creative if you don’t have the things I listed available and around you.
        Like snow. You could however, draw sand angels πŸ˜‰

        Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  6. Love this Ken! I find that I my spirit expands when I am out in nature. I feel so full of life and it has such a profound effect on my entire mental, physical, emotional and spiritual bodies :^)

    We always start the new year with some sort of activity outdoors – this year it was a walk on the trails by our house although I prefer hiking but it did its job!

    Happy New Year my friend and here is to being virtual hiking buddies β™₯

    1. Hi Christie,

      that’s a great tradition. I’m sure the trails were great to walk along. I’m getting more into hiking these days. There is something wonderful about getting away from the city and just communining with nature.

      Virtual hiking buddies! I like that! πŸ™‚

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