Bending, But Not Breaking!

A recent blast of really cold air, complete with a snow, brought home to me a great principle . . . learning to “Bend” and not “Break”!
As I was photographing some Short-eared Owls, some nearby grasses caught my eye. With the cold wind humming and snow beginning to cling, these grasses were bending, but not breaking, and I thought, what a great lesson for my life.

Circumstances are often not exactly what we’d prefer yet holding to your roots and giving some with the circumstances allows us to stand firm, even in that storm.

I was reminded of a young man named Daniel. His country was overrun by a savage enemy and he ended up being taken captive and hauled off to a very different set of circumstances. Yet, Daniel held to his roots, which for Daniel was his faith in the Great God of our Bible.

If you need a good read, check out “Daniel” in your Bible and pay particular attention to this young man who “bends, but doesn’t break”! He is one of my inspirations in the Word of God. I can guess he might become one of your inspirations too.

Back to this chase to photograph some Short-eared Owls, well, they too were bending with the storm but not breaking as they kept to their roots of hunting and then finding a buffer from this wintery blast.

Let me encourage you to be firm in those roots which will sustain you in the storms which come. It’s the truth of the God’s Word which grounds our lives. Here’s the place to start . . . John 3.16,

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Here’s some of God’s Truth to take hold of when the storms do blow . . . 1Cor 10.13,

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

2Cor 4.16-18,

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Just A Little Rest

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

The Hunt – Short-eared Owl

 

Photography For A Feeling

The Early Rays

There are probably as many reasons to take a photograph as there are photographers. Of the reasons, not the least of which is to capture a moment for memory. Sometimes when you want to do some rummaging in older photographs, whether someone else’s or yours, note that many of the great photographs are literally “snaps” in time!

Catching that “moment, or smile, or tilt of the head, or “look” says it all for the scene. This is especially true with photographs of people. All this to say, don’t ever pass capturing that special “snap” of life.

Yet, where I’ve come in photography is different than the “snap” or “record,” i.e., I was there and this is what I saw. While totally legit, photography for my pursuit has become, “I’m photographing for a feeling, not simply to record an event.”

If you’ve never tried this, give it a shot. Ask yourself, what grabs you as you look at a scene or an animal, or even a person? What stirs something inside?

This “stirring” may be why some of the most popular images are sunrises and sunsets! In one way, they’re so cliche! Yet, in another way, they capture our attention, our mood, and have lots of feeling.

While the temperatures are in the nosedive where I live, there’s some warmth when you’re watching the changing colors of an approaching sunrise. So, enjoy the “feeling” as you photograph and tell your story with the emotion that captured you!

Here are some Sandhill Cranes just getting in as the sun was fading away . . . but, what a “feeling”! Home at last!

Home At Last

 

The Missing Year!

Gate to a New Tomorrow

So what happened that a year has passed? One of the most glaring things in this “void” is a global pandemic that massively altered all our lives! To this we can all add “our stories” of life in the void. My family has confronted health issues, relocation issues, and some new directions for life issues. What a year!

Not only have photography trips fallen away, friends and family have been distanced, activities curtailed, and the list just goes on and on. There were weeks our church didn’t come together, something I’d have never expected, but . . .

This is not to say there have not been opportunities nor lessons in this “void.” The opportunity to enjoy some limited relationships with a few friends have been invaluable. Opportunities came to come alongside others who are struggling with jobs that seemingly disappeared. And many learned that you can see faces, keep up with loved ones, even do some teaching through online video.

Some lessons have certainly come from this time. One is to do a better job of staying in touch with people! Isolation is not a good direction! Along this line, I’ve begun a Monday morning ZOOM time with a couple of longtime friends where we catch up, encourage one another, and pray together for those things going on in our lives. In fact, this has been so positive I’ve added another Monday evening ZOOM time with another friend, again, premium for both of us.

Another opportunity of the “void” is to learn some new skills and do some more reading. Both of these have proved very helpful, not only for filling the void, but for preventing stagnation!

This time has also provided a stimulus to give some serious consideration to what’s really, meaning “really,” important in life. This has taken me to spend some great time reading and thinking about God’s Word. Recently I’ve been reading and rereading Psalm 121.1-2. (This post and following ones from Ps 121 can be found @ https://www.facebook.com/Research-Center-377234732358058Research Center — Help That’s More Than A Hand — Our Helper is the LORD-Maker — Ps 121.1-2)

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

What a great encouragement looking at the “mountains” ahead! I’d encourage you to spend some time growing in your relationship with the Lord. And, if you’ve not begun this spiritual journey, John 3.16 gives us the doorway to begin in the love of God and a new life . . .

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

And, this time has not prevented photography although where you go has probably been changed. Local photography has far more to offer than most have imagined. This attention to local opportunities for capturing images has become my new focus and will be the direction ahead, and hopefully, slipping in a few outings along the way.

So, with all this said, Lord willing, fresh images and insights will again be flowing on the Dasya’s Photography website . . .

The Flight Has Begun – New Things Ahead!

King of the Hill

Bighorn sheep are some amazing creatures! They navigate the edges of the hills like few other animals, especially animals of their size. These hillside ledges, which would leave us trembling, are places of safety and security.

Some recent time spent with the sheep refreshed my respect of their command of the cliffs and how they use them for a refuge. This time also brought some reflection about where we turn for a place of safety and security.

Psalm 46.1-3 lays out for us that safe and secure place that even the sheep have never experienced.

When life begins crumbling and trouble comes we too seek a strong mountain! Psalm 46.1-3 points us to faith in our God.

Psalm 46.1-3,

1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

Two wonderful figures of speech point us to our strong place. “Refuge” is where we find protection when trouble comes. “Strength” is God’s enablement, which we have by faith in him, when things are crumbling!

In those times of trouble we all face, “help” is God providing for us his security, his peace, his faithfulness! What a blessing!

The Psalm, “therefore,” continues that even though it seems the whole world is crashing down “we will not fear”!

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Whatever is rising up against us is met with divine protection and divine provision! It’s our portion for, by faith, we are cared for by the eternal “King of the Hill”!

What a wonderful truth that God protects those whose faith rests in him! If you’re not sure you have a relationship with this eternal God, you can do so by placing your faith in his great provision for us, the Lord Jesus. John 3.16 makes this so clear . . .

John 3.16,

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

When our faith is in Jesus, we know that there is safety and security for our lives, regardless of our world’s turmoil.

The King of the Hill

The Hunter

Watching these “hunters” is a lesson for your patience! There’s typically lots of time “looking” for these beautiful birds and a few moments of madness trying to get some images as they sweep past.

On this particular day it was freezing rain so the wait seemed even longer, which is in itself another lesson. You need to be equipped.

Seems much of life is very similar, i.e., lots of steadfastness needed amidst a few moments of madness. And, you need some good equipment for the things you’re doing.

Having just celebrated 55 years of marriage, I can affirm both that steadfastness and being equipped are keys to life. For “steadfastness” and being “equipped” I commend what Scripture says both in 1Cor 15:58,

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

and in 2Thess 3:5,

May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

Both of these truths of the Lord will bring you to where you want to be in life, as well as supply all you need in those few moments of madness!

Prints available at www.dasyas.com

Birds, Burgers, and Bosque del Apache

Maybe I should have put “burgers” first! No, it’s birds, sandhill cranes in particular, which draw me again and again to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.

Each year large numbers of cranes migrate through this flyway and you can always find interesting opportunities for photography or just enjoying the birds.

Now, about the “burgers,” there’s a café in San Antonio NM called the Buckhorn which is famous for their “Green Chili Cheeseburger”! It’s worth a stop!

There’s more to Bosque than just cranes. You’ll find opportunity to watch or photograph Roadrunners, Gabel’s Quail, Snow Geese, Bald Eagles, various Hawks, songbirds, deer, and more.

Also, each of these images are available for purchase on the website, check them out!

P.S. – Sorry I’ve been slow on updating things as our move coupled with some pressing health needs of a friend have taken extra effort and time.