Staunton River State Park / Hiking In Beautiful Weather

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People say that losing weight is no walk in the park. When I hear that I think, yeah, that’s the problem. ~Chris Adams


I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs


This past weekend some great weather actually arrived in Virginia. And we took advantage of it by leaving Richmond to walk in one of our fine state parks about two hours outside the city. This was not a difficult hike. We trekked about six or seven miles near a large lake and had a relaxed lunch at the half-way point where I spread out my tent footprint near the water, ate a couple of bananas, and pointed my camera overhead to capture some trees.

The sun, partially hidden by a tree, was warm and all seemed right with the world. Many of my hiking companions were perched on a long log, happily chatting with one another and enjoying our flight from the city.

This was not a location where great photo opportunities jumped out at you. Blossoms and buds have not quite got here and many of the trees are young. I did not see any waterfalls and there were areas where everything had been cut down. But if you pay attention nature will respond and there will be moments. Our sharp-eyed group leader, Kim, spotted a lizard sunning on a log and I was able to “shoot” him before he jumped and quickly scurried away.

Here are some photos.

Existence Is Joyful

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Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers – for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are. ~Osho

Cars Take Up Space / Urban Living

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The automobile has not merely taken over the street, it has dissolved the living tissue of the city. Its appetite for space is absolutely insatiable; moving and parked, it devours urban land, leaving the buildings as mere islands of habitable space in a sea of dangerous and ugly traffic. ~James Marston Fitch, New York Times, 1 May 1960




** You can’t really see it but I95 is all over the other side of this beautiful building.

Beyond The Church Structure / Martin Buber / Frederick The Great / Dalai Lama

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u of r chapel


God made so many different kinds of people. Why would he allow only one way to serve him? ~Martin Buber

All religions must be tolerated… for… every man must get to heaven his own way. ~Frederick the Great

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. ~Dalai Lama

Photos From Christmas 2012 / Thoughts About 2013

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Here are some photos I took over the Christmas holiday. Some of them were taken at home and others were taken at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden here in Richmond.


And here we are in January 2013! A cold, bleak month in many places. But I am more hopeful than in many years past because of the things I have been doing. Hopefully, this will result in some interesting content, photos and writing, in the coming months. It really does help to be optimistic.

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. ~Bill Vaughan

It would be tough living with a pessimistic state of mind much of the time. It could be downright depressing. I’m sure some bad things can happen this year to us but I won’t imagine what they might be. I look for the good things. Or wait, mostly patiently, for them to happen.

And they often do happen. Believing in the good often helps it to happen. We create our lives as we go along. So let us be patient. And let us focus on the good. We are all artists and our lives are works of art to share with the world. Or the next person we meet.

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist. ~Mark Twain

Good Thinking! / Photo Theme for Thursday

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I’ve gotten away from the photo memes lately so it’s time to do one or two. The theme is “Good (anything you think is good)” over at Photo Theme For Thursday. And when I think of Albert Einstein the phrase “good thinking!” comes to mind. Also, here are some quotes reportedly from the great man that may give us some insight into him and his brilliant mind.


If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. ~Albert Einstein

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. ~Albert Einstein

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. ~Albert Einstein


We Love The Wind / Dr. Seuss / Irish Blessing

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Imagination is the highest kite one can fly. ~Author Unknown


Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting. ~Dr. Seuss


May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.
~Irish Blessing


Purple And Pliny / WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge /

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The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is the color purple. The Color Purple, of course, is a book published in 1982 written by Alice Walker about a Black woman, Celie, who writes letters to God. Writing, or talking to God for that matter, on a regular basis is a wonderful exercise.

I believe some of the color in this photo is purple. There are other colors too. It wasn’t easy finding a photo in my collection with this color. There doesn’t seem to be much purple around here. It’s a shame it is associated with rage. “He turned purple with anger!”. It’s really a very nice, peaceful color. Purple flowers are very nice.

Purple is a combination of the primary colors, red and blue. Here are some examples. I think it is safe to say that purple is a dramatic color. Perhaps this is one reason why it served so well in the title of a fine, dramatic movie. It is also one of the colors present in the opal.
There is in them a softer fire than the ruby, there is the brilliant purple of the amethyst, and the sea green of the emerald – all shining together in incredible union. Some by their splendor rival the colors of the painters, others the flame of burning sulphur or of fire quickened by oil. ~Pliny, about the opal


I may have to spend more time thinking about colors today. It is a peaceful exercise as well.

The Countryside / Cyril Connolly / Sydney Smith / Leonardo da Vinci / John Adams

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It is only in the country that we can get to know a person or a book. ~Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave, 1945
I have no relish for the country; it is a kind of healthy grave. ~Sydney Smith

I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand. ~Leonardo da Vinci

As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children. ~John Adams

Scenic Sunday

Photo Theme For Thursday / Symmetry / Balanced, Harmonious Living

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You’re always in either first or fifth, but you know there’s a lot of great gears in between. ~Tony to Angela on Who’s The Boss

All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much. ~George Harrison

They are sick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing. ~William Shakespeare

World now has ‘more people dying from obesity than malnutrition’

Vacations / Erma Bombeck / Milton Berle

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A vacation is like love – anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia. ~Author Unknown


We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings. ~Erma Bombeck


Laughter is an instant vacation. ~Milton Berle

Dreaming / Chuang Tzu / WordPress Photo Challenge

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I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man. ~Chuang Tzu


Do dolphins dream? I believe they do just as we dream we fly through the air and swim in the sea. We are free to be so many different things in our minds and our imaginations. And soon(maybe tonight) we must go there again.