danicawaters.com

a personal collection of original music, photographs, observations and other random stuff that happens inside my head…

The Forest Floor

I was super-jazzed to capture these images last weekend. We were hiking a short but completely enchanting woodland trail; the entire path was covered in a carpet of emerald-green moss and strewn with a mosaic of fallen leaves. Some of the leaves boasted colors and textures that made them stand-alone works of art. I wish I could have recorded the sounds; a chorus of little frogs sang their wee hearts out the whole way, and at one point, we heard the repeated cries of an eagle on top of the chirps of other little birds loving life in their enchanted forest.

Having grown up on a steady diet of William Blake and Robert Louis Stevenson, I was just all excited when we spotted toadstools. Seriously. I was waiting for the elves to appear. Or not. One way or another, capturing three spiders in their webs on a single frond of dried milkweed was just as good. Enjoy!

The Forest Floor

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Skagit River, Northern Washington State, USA

Anishinaabekwe, the Daughter,  You are the keepers of the water.
I am Nibi…water…the sacred source,  The blood of Aki, Mother Earth,
The force filling dry seeds to great bursting.  I am the wombs cradle.
I purify.

Nibi, the life giver…  Forever the Circle’s charge
I have coursed through our Mother’s Veins.  Now hear my sorrow and my pain
In the river’s rush, the rain…

I am your grandchildren’s drink.
Listen, Daughters, always.
You are the keepers of the water.
Hear my cry,
For the springs flow darkly now  Through the heart of Aki
American Indian, Ojibwa, Minnesota

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Ebey’s Landing, Whidbey Island, Washington, USA

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. 

The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

~John Muir

The following images were taken last weekend at Ebey’s Landing on Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.   The preserve features hiking trails that make up a five-mile loop and boasts views of Mt. Baker, the Puget Sound, and the lush, fertile farmland that falls in-between.  The trail is moderately difficult and not for those who suffer from vertigo.  For me, it is like church.

Ebey's Landing, Whibey Island, Washington, USA

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Grandview Beach, Leucadia, CA, New Year’s Day 2010

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.
William Shakespeare

These images are the product of an intensely spiritual afternoon;  I refer to them when I need to remember the world is a magical, beautiful place…  which seems to be happening more and more frequently these days.  Taken around Grandview Beach, in Leucadia, CA on New Year’s Day 2010, I felt as though I was walking within a dreamscape and all the world had been rendered to watercolor; the walls between worlds seemed thinner and blurred somehow, the temperature never varied and was neither hot nor cold, and the light remained in a constant state of  in-between.

It is true that Nature can quiet even the most broken of hearts;  this gallery is dedicated to everyone whose heart is breaking from the horrific violence and senseless death in Norway, in India, and everywhere else; to everyone whose mind is reeling from the climate of overwhelming disrespect so perfectly showcased by our media and our political leaders, and to those who simply wish to live, separate and apart from the madness.

Grandview Beach, Leucadia CA New Year's Day 2010

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Moonlight Beach, Encinitas, CA November 2010

One of the most intensely spiritual places I’ve ever frequented  is Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, CA.  In the evenings, as the sun makes its majestic descent into the horizon, the locals gather on the shore.  Some practice tai chi, some practice yoga, others just walk for miles  along the edge of the water, immersed in the white- noise- crash of the waves.  This is a series of images I took there last November.

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Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles’ Union Station is the last of the “great stations” built in America; it opened its doors in 1939 and, within its highly celebrated first three days, accommodated over 1.5 million visitors.  Although it is considered small in size when compared to other “great stations”, it is an architectural gem.  For more images, please browse my Photo Gallery here.

Located next to historic Olvera Street (considered the birthplace of Los Angeles), the station and its grounds occupy the land that was formerly “Old Chinatown”.  Designed by the father and son team of John Parkinson and Donald B. Parkinson (who also designed the Los Angeles  City Hall and other landmarks), the exterior of the building combines “Dutch Colonial Revival Style architecture (the suggestion of the Dutch born Jan von der Linden), Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne style, with architectural details such as eight-pointed stars”. (www.wikipedia.com) Its interior is surprisingly dark and somber despite the large arched windows that line the expansive waiting room on both sides.    While one would expect a large amount of echo in such a cavernous space, the architects accounted for this by lining the upper walls with cork made from recycled corncobs.  Featuring impressive details such as Terra Cotta floors inlaid with Travertine marble and  a ceiling that reaches over 50 feet high, the cavernous space is remarkably quiet and feels more like a church than a busy transportation hub.

Los Angeles’ Union Station  served as home to the very last Harvey House Restaurant to be built as part of a railroad station.  Unfortunately, the restaurant was forced to close in 1967 due to its inability to turn a profit; with the increasing popularity of travel by air and automobile, the great railways experienced a sharp decline.  There are fabulous images of and a more detailed history about Union Station’s Harvey House here.

Happily, there is a resurgence in the popularity of not only railway travel, but in the utilization of public transportation in general.  Union Station thrives and bustles;  it’s not only a hub for long-distance services like Amtrak and MetroLink,  but also for local rail and bus transit as well.  Even more exciting is that Union Station is planned to be a major hub for the future California High-Speed Rail System.   When it’s finished, passengers will be able to get from Los Angeles’ Union Station to the planned Transbay Terminal in San Francisco in about 2-1/2 hours!!!  I can’t wait.

I love LA.

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Gallery: Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

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For my blog on this fantastic architectural gem, please click here.

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