Majestic Places & Spaces!
I was 13, maybe 14 years old; a lanky, scrawny teenager who was transitioning through what had seemed like, so many stages all at once. There was puberty, breaking-of-the-voice, friendships with boys, and of course a redefining of the distance from girls! As it turned out, I wasn't really drawn to the sorts of things my male friends seemed to be spending most of their time on - I was more interested in getting high with hiking and discussions about the meaning of life than with courting the opposite sex. And so began a period of sometimes unnerving solitude, when I spent a lot of my time in pursuit of things/ideas that interested 'me' - and not just ones that were deemed 'cool' by my peers. No siree - I wasn't about to be 'herded' anywhere :) About that time I discovered a place in the high mountains where after a strenuous hike, I could sit in a field of 'geodes', hammer them open, and find amazing crystals of quartz and amethyst -- I'd pack my saddle bags full with these rocks, and walk my heavily-laden bicycle back, 10 miles to home. Then came college and my first geology class. I remember thinking how odd it seemed that one could carve a career out of walking in beautiful places and studying rivers, glaciers, mountains! I was hooked ... 20 years later, as I look back on these photographs ... they each bespeak of all the reasons I chose to pursue geology, and now wouldn't have it any other way! These are some 'Majestic Places & Spaces' I have been blessed to have been in. I use these images (along with stories accompanying them!) in my Introductory Geology classes at the university where I teach. I am blatant, almost ruthless :) in 'leaving no stone unturned' in communicating my enthusiasm about the Earth and its richness and beauty as seen in these pics. I simply set the 'stage' so to speak and let the images do the talking -- it never fails to instill a sense of wonderment and a certain 'wanderlust' in the minds of my students - most of whom have not yet traveled beyond Virginia. I hear the 'doors of their minds' creaking open, the winds of change wafting in - softly yet surely, and I tell myself -- it's happening! And so, each semester I feel like I have 'spawned' a 125 students who are now keen observers of our precious planet. Yes - I stand guilty of 'infecting' my students' minds with wild and incredible vistas ... just so the Earth shall have a chance, and so that ... our children may too!Read More