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fullsizeoutput_2ca0A quick glance at my watch told me that I was early for my appointment. Now was a good time for a stretch along with a brief walk. So, I climbed out of my car and scanned the area for an interesting destination.

It must be normal to look up and away when exploring for a direction. Back forth my head bobbed, gathering my bearing to make a choice. Time to kill was the objective. Nothing earth-shattering here.

Maybe it was random. Possibly it is a habit that I do not usually notice. But, with no real direction and plenty of time to fill in my objective, I happened to look down. It was time for a pause in my searching.

There, in the grass, tiny flowers of different colors spread throughout a small meadow. It was attractive. When I drove up in the rental car I did not notice the display. Stepping out of the car and looking for a way to make my time brief spare time enjoyable this scene did not register.

fullsizeoutput_2d3cMaybe it was the wind. A small breeze sensed my random mood. It whispered that I should look down.

Rustling grass leaves were loud enough for lingering gaze. Maybe I have a soft spot in my soul for the overlooked, the small guy doing his best, or a collection of insignificant memories that are special for reminiscing.

See in the grass, there are hundreds of blooms. Each flower adds their splash of color in the Spring time outdoor extravaganza. Most who pass this way overlook the these little ones. I was almost one of them. Not this time.

Colors, textures, plentiful stages of display are all peeking out for my appreciative eyes to see. In this one spot my entire “spare time” was spent. The Master’s touch of this miniature floral presentation was solitarily mine for a marvelous few moments. It was nice, very nice.

photo by brucefong photography

Unknown-1Walking up on an unsuspecting magnificent beast in the woods is not new in my experience. This has happened for me in many places and many times. But, the moment is never ordinary.

The Texas morning sun welcomed me to a new day. I was up and washed up before the sunrise. This way I could be walking in the woods and feel the splendor of a new day awakening.

It wasn’t long before the vestiges of the human settlement disappeared behind me. A few more steps and the trees and brush swallowed me up. Now, I was alone in the woods.

Something was running through the grass. There was more than one. I stopped and smiled.

The sounds confirmed that the scurrying was a pair of squirrels. They were doing their Spring thing. Yes, Thumper had it right. These little energetic rodents were “twitterpated”. Up a tree they raced. Dodging limbs and knots they disappeared in a thick clump of leaves.

My walk continued. Maybe I was lulled into carelessness. Frankly, even if I were ready, the explosion of a herd of pigs makes most humans quick to jump.

A 90 pound sow raced out of a brush pile. She was slicing through the grass, mowing everything down in front of her. A passel of cute piglets squealed, snorted, and grunted trying to keep up with momma. It made me laugh on many levels.

As that brood of pork disappeared into the tall grass, I froze. Maybe it was experience, maybe providence, or maybe hope made me do it. But, movement to my right directed me peer through the wall of flora.

It wasn’t the wind moving branches. Instead, several brown mounds in the grass a mere 50 yards away came into focus. The movement that started this visual moment was a massive set of antlers on the King keeping a steady eye on his harem. That gigantic crown  swayed gently but powerfully in the shadows cast by the trees.

The wind was in my favor. Plenty of trees gave me good cover. I moved silently to cut our distance in half.

Our creator masterfully designed this great bull, powerful, massive, and courageous. He rolled his head enough to rest his right antler on his back. It gave him a steady rest for his head and powerful neck. He was resting. I had enjoyed him enough. It was my cue to disappear and leave this herd undisturbed.

photo by brucefong photography

 

An email notice flashed on my cell phone screen.  A few taps on the screen gave me a heads up that our dinner meeting would be at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.  Our rendezvous was scheduled for 630Pm and it would be at the Oak Restaurant on the main floor.

This was a first for me.  My guest and I arrived at the O’Farrell and Ellis parking garage.  It is a two block walk to the hotel. 

Revolving doors transported us into one of the plush destinations of our city.  Historical and elite art decked the walls.  Grand architecture surrounded us. 

Photographs of the rich and famous hung on the walls.  I only recognized a few of the faces.  Surely, I must travel in very different circles.

The carpet in this amazing facility is unique.  It is plush.  Colors on this exquisite flooring does what rarely occurs, I glance down, raise an eyebrow in admiration.

There in the corner of the lobby is the famous grandfather clock.  It stood strong and steady through the great earthquake at the turn of the century.  All of the great wars surged through the pages of history while it faithfully kept time.

Countless lives from every corner of the world have scheduled the meeting of clients, V.I.P’s and dates right at the foot of this clock.  Similar words over the generations have announced, “I’ll meet you at the clock.”  Some of those meetings were happy, some sad and some devastating, but this is where so many of them began.

A picture to my left caught my eye.  I had seen it on the internet.  It was a photo of the Bistro’s signature dish.  Featured on a plate was a delectable beef rib.

Garnish decorated the serving.  Lighting was perfect to make your mouth water.  There was not a pile of ribs, just one. 

However, the one was sufficient.  It looked more like a roast with a single bone sticking out from the side.  My attention had transformed into desire.  I wanted one!

The restaurant menu was to the side.  My eyes glanced down the offerings until I found a match.  If you thought that a high guess on the price was $35 or $50 you like me would have been way too low. 

What an amazing hotel.  It was charming to look.  But, I settled for a glass of water with a slice of lime.

photo credit: google image

A walk through the Redwood forest in March means a quiet stroll.  Moisture from loads of rain has drenched the forest floor.  Bark from the mighty redwood trees, moss and soft soil beneath the thick layer of decomposing leaves makes it feel like you’re walking on a mattress.

The morning sun is hidden even when the sky is clear.  Thick branches, layers of greenery and massive trunks form an impenetrable barrier.  But, a hole here or crack there let the sun blast through with bursts of light.

Beams from the sun would streak through the canopy of shade and like spotlights shine on the forest floor.  The Creator seemed to call attention to the often overlooked attractions nearer our feet than above our heads.  So, I looked. 

Fungus doesn’t usually make my list of beautiful things on the earth. But, color, life and contrast captured my attention.  There, all alone and drawing nourishment from the decay surrounding it, was a mushroom. 

Nature’s umbrella in the woods was cute.  The Disney creators captured these life forms as my cartoonish ancestors dancing in to the tunes of Mickey the Wizard of Fantasia.  It was easy to pause, kneel and snap a picture.

Just a few steps further down the trail I kept looking down.  There was no movement that caught my eye.  At least the movement wasn’t swift, massive or sudden. 

But, color, sheen and shape stood out.  Like the mushroom, this slug was unique.  I joked that it was the first sign of forest wildlife that I had seen on my morning stroll. 

Slowly and carefully this animal was on a journey for food.  It was seeking out its daily nourishment.  Like every day its only intent was to survive.

Then, it was time to see a splash of color.  I’m not up on my names for flora but I am very high on my appreciation of God’s creation of flowers that decorate the lush world where He graciously allows me to live.  A small purple flower accented the world of green and brown that surrounded it. 

The color of leaves is dominates the forest.  But, also the color of bark, chlorophyl-empty leaves that litter the ground as well as the dirt give the palate of this part of the world massive doses of brown.  But, this little solitary flower contributed a violet brush stroke that stood out from a distance as long as I took time to look down.

photo credit: brucefong photography

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