Olmsted Manor PA: Retreat Retreat Retreat!

Everyone should think about going to a retreat with access to multiple green spaces. I did just that at the Olmstead Manor Retreat. A few photos reflect the spaces I entered into:

The moments were spiritually refreshing.

Photos by Dianne Glave

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Wildflowers & Springtime at Sweetwater Creek

Now is the time to catch the wildflowers in places like Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs, Georgia. The flowers are delicate, ephemeral. Take a look at the flowers among other sights in the woods:

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Being out at the park refreshed me with the sounds of birds and water.

Photos by Dianne Glave

South Georgia: A Dashboard Picturelogue

I headed down to Tallahassee last weekend. To get back to Atlanta I drove through South Georgia. I think this was my first drive through the pine nurseries and stands, pecan groves, and cotton fields in the region. I snapped a few photos during a drive that took about five hours but turned into seven hours because I was fascinated by every little thing I saw on the road:

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I saw–smelled it too–prescribed or controlled burning of the pine on the road. The burn reduces the fuel to limit larger uncontrollable fires. The pine is fire resistant but can still burn. Yes, this stuff is delicate and is best left up to the professionals.

Later, I picked up a sack of pecans in the shell at Ellis Brothers. I shared some with co-workers and am still enjoying cracking a few open every day. There’s something powerful about eating food in the form closest  to the the earth, in this case from the branch to the limb to the tree to the trunk to the earth.

The trip is over but the pecans keep giving.

Photos by Dianne Glave

Lake Lanier in Georgia: Pine, Water, Shells, Worn Paths, and Butterflies

Have you ever jumped in the car with one destination in mind, ending up somewhere else or expanding the original trip? I headed out to the North Georgia Premium Outlet. I spent an hour and a half there: I generally know exactly what I want so no wandering about shopping.

Footstep by the shore.

On the drive back on Georgia 400 to Atlanta, I turned off at the first exit for Lake Lanier. I had no idea what side the lake was on but I was determined to find it. Turning left off the exit, I could only hope for the best. I turned again making a right down a narrow winding street, really it felt like a Nantucket lane on both sides with each house having a personality of its own. No subdivisions here. I looked over to my left and was sure I saw water but no public access.

So I turned back onto the main drag from the 400 turning right this time. I didn’t see any water but felt I was driving in the right direction. As I looked to the left, I saw a car pulling a boat. I was getting warm.

Suddenly a sign:  Tidwell Park. My internal compass, passed down genetically from my father, had served me well.

all of my photos tell the rest of the story.

Pine. Water. Shells. Worn paths. Butterflies.

Photos by Dianne Glave

What Has Jarid Manos Been Up To?

Jarid’s been promoting his book Ghetto Plainsman in the southwest and working with his non-profit Great Plains Restoration Council. Just recently, he did a book signing at The Grove, an outdoor mall in Los Angeles. There’s a farmer’s market near the mall so be sure to check it out when you are in Southern California.

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He’s also been enjoying the outdoors in between all his hard work. Read what he has to say about Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle:

Hiked 8 miles..and climbed bare handed up the cliff face to the canyon rim, where it was gale force winds trying to blow me off the top.

“The battle of Palo Duro Canyon was the major battle of the Red River War, which ended in the confinement of southern Plains Indians (Comanches, Kiowas, Kiowa Apaches, Cheyennes, and Arapahos) to the reservations in the Indian Territory. Palo Duro Canyon is significant because it represented the southern Plains Indians’ last effort at military resistance against the encroaching whites.” — Texas Handbook Online

For a place where such violence, sorrow and loss occurred for Indian people, setting the stage for over a century of confinement and disease, and that marked the beginning of the end (death) for the Southern Plains, on this Sunday it was peaceful and oddly serene. Could Palo Duro be trying to teach me about forgiveness — something I always struggle with?

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Jarid will be in Atlanta in the fall with Keeping It Wild. Stay tuned for more details.

Photos by Jarid Manos

Faith Temple COGIC in Memphis: Promoting Health

Bophelo means life in South Africa!

Faith Temple COGIC in Memphis, Tennessee promotes bophelo, holistic healing drawing on spirituality and healthcare. On Sunday, July 11, 2010, the church offered a health-screening to members and visitors.

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Anyone could get their blood sugar or blood pressure tested.

Photos by Dianne Glave

Memphis Graffiti: Outdoor Urban Art

While in East Memphis, a more affluent retail and commercial part of the city, I look up and saw graffiti on a wall. Poplar Avenue is the main drag with upper-middle class suburban housing off either side of Poplar. The graffiti was on a street just off Poplar on the wall of a car wash. It was clear that the owners of the establishment left the art alone rather than paint over it. The only changes were when other taggers layered their work on top of existing graffiti. 

Graffiti goes back to ancient times unearthed in archeological digs of ancient Egypt and Rome. Today, the lettering and markings are illegal in cities across the US. 

Dianne, Linden Blvd, St. Albans, NY

I grew up in Queens, New York where graffiti is more common than uncommon; as a result I was drawn in by my memories of my old home and the outdoor urban art before me in Memphis. Some consider it art; others do not including the police. Generally, graffiti is a social statement or a tag by a gang member marking territory. 

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My interpretation of the graffiti in East Memphis? Taking a leap, since I am not part of graffiti culture, it was probably youth who sprayed the wall. The artists could be white, black, latino, or Asian. It’s difficult to tell although graffiti is typically in poor urban neighborhoods and often by blacks and Latinos. The words counter what surrounds it: underground culture versus the established middle-class. So the existence of the graffiti in East Memphis is a counter-cultural statement, a rejectionof middle class norms and values.

Photos by Dianne Glave

Memphis by the Mississippi on a Hot Afternoon

After lunch at The Memphis Rumba Room, I braved the bright hot sunlight by the Mississippi River in Memphis. I got more than enough Vitamin D out there.

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Learn more about the Mississippi: University of Memphis Mississippi River Project and National Parks Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Dashboard Picturelogue: Alabama

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I noticed hawks circling and neatly planted pine nurseries along the way. The pine were in neat rows like corn in a field. I tell you, I think I also saw an armadillo. It had a rotund armored body and a long skinny tail. Was I mistaken?

Photos by Dianne Glave