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Laurentian 2008 060Our flights were booked. We have done this a lot in our lives. The airport is a part of our lives.

This trip was routine.  The airline industry has it down to a science.  They herd us in an orderly fashion to our seats.

Federal regulations crowd into the public announcement system before we take off.  An army of mechanics have worked over the aircraft, specialized air traffic controllers monitor our safe fight path and engineers are always working on improvements for the next generation of aircraft design.  In the mean time a highly trained cockpit crew run the controls and we are soon airborne.

It is odd to think about the phenomenon of flying.  Some passengers are fussing about luggage space.  They grouse to the attendants about extra charges and the inconvenience of being separated from their possessions.  Amazing!

“Hey, knucklehead, we are flying at 30,000 feet.  You do not have a parachute.  Your derrière is in a comfortable chair.”

Of course a baby screams.  People physiologically react by wincing, donning noise canceling headsets or leaning as far away from the sound as they can.  The poor parents are embarrassed and struggling, yet they flying through rarefied air and bringing their infant on board without hesitation. Amazing!

There is no other means that I personally have that hurtled my body at 500 mph in complete comfort than in an airliner.  It is difficult to imagine racing at that kind of velocity without strain or pain.  Yet, we do it every time we step into an aircraft with those familiar words, “Welcome aboard.”  Amazing!

Occasionally, I get a glimpse out the window.  The clouds are below us!  We are actually living above the clouds and looking at mountain peaks that stop or frustrate ground transportation.  Amazing!

Thirty minutes to our destination the pilot announces that we are entering into our initial descent.  We 100 miles away yet we are beginning our final approach.  Everyone is instructed to put away their carry-on items, shut down electronics and fasten our seat belts in preparation for landing.

That is 100 miles away from completing our journey.  Some people never even travel that far from home let alone get ready to finish their trip in 100 miles.  The expanse of this mode of transportation is amazing!

Flying is a stunning accomplishment.  God set up the laws of physics.  Men were bright enough to match adventure with observation and make something amazing now a part of our casual living.  It is amazing!

photo credit: brucefong photography


Cannon Beach & Portland 2013 089Our hike up to Munson Falls, Oregon was refreshing.  Living trees lined our man-made path through the forest.  Small fish darted from rock to rock, seeking shelter from the passing giants called humans.

Beautiful flowers graced the trail.  They bloomed wherever the seeds fell.  Some in lofty grand perches.  Others between the steps that men carved in the trail so that hikers could have an easy journey to witness the waterfall.

The sun brightened up the sky.  Towering fir trees made shadows dance when the wind swayed these majestic sentries. Brush filled in the gaps, soaking in whatever sunshine the bountiful boughs of the tall trees would allow to leak through.

In between the leaves, logs and man-made structures, movement caught my eyes.  Whatever it was it was moving quickly. There were no straight lines but darting at one angle and then adjusting to another, then another.  Serpentine movements some might call them.

Then, it stopped.  It was a dragonfly.  Equipped with four wings that beat in harmony, it was resting.  It let me get very close. Cannon Beach & Portland 2013 060 Slowly I inched forward.  My camera lens was snapping away.

Its bulbous compound eyes seemed to have locked on to me.  Nevertheless, it was still.  Other hikers filed by and frightened the insect away.  It was a momentary pose.  While short, it was thoroughly enjoyable.

Then, while watching this flying insect disappear into the woods, a large shadow captured my attention.  It was clearly a large bird perched on a tree branch.  The size seemed enormous to me.

I stared.  It stared back.  I stood perfectly still.  It got nervous and fidgeted.

This massive bird was trying to position itself to do what birds to best, fly.  The take-off point was awkward.  Trying to push-off the limb was not working.  Its platform was moving each time it tried to push-off.

Cannon Beach & Portland 2013 062Great commotion erupted inside of the tree.  Another bird came crashing through the branches and knocking the other off balance.  Ungainly and chaotic, that second bird launched into flight, dodging trees and brush and finally climbed into the air.  It was time for this bird to join his friend.

Risking collision with the giant fir-tree, it seemed to fall of its perch, twist and powerfully depend on its powerful wings.  It swooped up, caught the air with room to stretch, and this mighty  turkey vulture was off to find new thermals to ride.  It was a show of the flying creatures made by the hand of the Creator.

photo credit: brucefong photography