Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Boston National Historic Park: The Freedom Trail

Above: Late winter leaves shroud tombs
at Boston's Old Granary Burying Ground
Below: A winged skull and hourglass adorn the tomb
of K.C. Payne, 1701, King's Chapel churchyard

Above: The State Capitol building
rises above Boston Common
Below: "Old Ironsides" out for her Independence Day sail

Winter Spectacles: Arches National Park, Utah

Above: Double Arch in December
Below: Turret Arch from northwest angle

Above: Spectacles at Sunrise

These photos of Arches National Park
were an unexpected Christmas gift.
I was traveling south through Utah on my way
to visit family for the holiday,
and as I drove through Moab I saw snow on the ground.
I was not as far along as I wanted to be,
but I stopped for the night.
Snow in Moab is unusual,
and I knew it was the Perfect Opportunity for a photo,
and I knew just where I wanted to be, come sunrise:
out waiting for the sun to hit the Spectacles Arches at Arches NP.
So I got up early, gratefully ate a hot breakfast at the hotel,
and then drove to the trailhead,
and trudged out, all bundled up to avoid the freezing winds.
It was a cold wait,
but oh, how worth it, when the sun rose.
The dusting of snow just adds to the beauty
of the sun-limned red rock.

Death Valley Winter Morning

Above: December sunrise in Death Valley, clouds moving over the valley floor
Below: first light moving over the hills at Zabriskie Point, toward the Sierra Mts

Full- on sunlight on these dunes is dazzling.
Death Valley is barren, desolate, and wholly beautiful.

Remote Corners of Texas: Alibates Flint Quarry

The flint quarry at Alibates is very old,
and was mined for high quality trading flint for hundreds of years.
You can see it only on a tour with a National Park employee
(the tours are free).
It's remote,
but a journey in spring means blooming yuccas
across the craggy landscape.

20th Century Dreams: Martin Luther King Jr. Site, Georgia

In downtown Atlanta, Georgia, is the visitor center for Martin Luther King, Jr. (above)
The site houses his tomb,
situated in a quiet, peaceful pool (below):

Ruined Grandeur: Salinas Pueblo, New Mexico

Top photo: Quarai unit of Salinas Pueblo
(ruined mission church of the 18th century)
Bottom photo: Gran Quivira unit of Salinas Pueblo

Top photo: church and kiva at Abo site (Salinas Pueblo)
(the inclusion of a kiva in the convento site by the church is unusual)
Bottom: ruined transepts of the Abo church

Fort Clatsop (Lewis and Clark NHP), Oregon

Above: recreated cabin interior from Fort Clatsop
(winter quarters for the Lewis & Clark expedition, 1805-1806).
Below: inside the reconstructed Fort:

It is so green and lush here.
The wilderness dominates, despite the hewn logs,
and the human presence seems as tenuous as the smoke rising out of the chimneys.