On the return leg of a road trip to Montana—we stopped at Craters of the Moon National Monument in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. To see it, you’d think you’d just stepped off a spaceship onto another planet. Here’s a photo of the terrain:
According to the brochures we received at the visitor’s center:
“Craters of the Moon is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush—a volcanic wonderland that is fun to explore. In 1969 NASA astronauts Alan Shepherd, Edgar Mitchell, Eugene Cernan, and Joe Engle explore the monument while training to visit the moon.”
It made me think about life on other planets; lifeforms we refer to as “Martians” or “Aliens.” If they visited us, they’d probably feel extremely out of place. On the flip side of that coin, we’d probably feel extremely out of place on their planets too.
Typically the term, full of hot air is used in a derogatory fashion. For example, “Don’t pay attention to her, she’s full of hot air.” Not so at the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic that takes place annually on Labor Day weekend. In fact, it’s a requirement!
The sound of hundreds of dragons breathing fills the air as spectators get an up close and personal look during inflation and liftoff. And while these ginormous bags of hot air look a bit unwieldy on the ground, they exude delicate dignity as they float gracefully against the backlit morning sky.
No strings attached, the pilot and passengers aren’t tied down to anything; they’re quite literally untethered.
I love the gift Len gave me to celebrate authorhood:
I’ve been thinking about getting him personalized aviation license plates that feature a small airplane and say “Fly Idaho” as opposed to “Famous Potatoes.” However, rather than 7 characters, they’re limited to 5.
An extremely thoughtful pilot, Len always hands out a “personal access bag” to each passenger prior to flight in the event of air sickness. With that in mind, I think BRFBG would be hysterical!
If you have personalized license plates, what do they say? If you don’t, but had hypothetical ones, what would they say?
Typically when the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is used it’s because someone’s perspective doesn’t quite line up with someone else’s. For instance, one person might say, “Look at my new haircut, don’t you love it?” While the other person is thinking, “Oh my goodness, have you looked in a mirror?”
Then there are times when our perspective matches up beautifully with another person’s. Last week we enjoyed a visit from out-of-state friends. It was their first time in Boise so we gave them a tour—areal and ground level— to show them first-hand what we’ve been bragging about.
We enjoyed every one of their ooh’s and aah’s as they snapped photo after photo and drank in the luscious Boise-area landscape.
What’s your most recent “eye of the beholder” experience?
By the way, if you haven’t dropped by my Instagram page, please take a moment to check it out. I think it’s pretty cool. Once you visit, if your “eye of the beholder” experience aligns with mine, I hope you’ll click the “like” button.
Recently we enjoyed an overnight trip to Twin Falls, Idaho,home to three waterfalls:
Shoshone Falls — known as “Niagara Falls of the West”
Pillar Falls — 1.5 miles upstream from Perrine Bridge pictured below
Twin Falls — the city’s namesake
Twin Falls became the center of national attention in September 1974 when daredevil Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in a specially modified rocket cycle—a perfect segue for “water under the bridge;” an idiom cliche used to refer to something that’s over, done, and not given much thought.
A similar phrase “much water has passed under the bridge since…” works equally well. Forty-two years have passed since Evel’s failed attempt, and trillions of gallons of water have flowed under the Perrine Bridge.
Living close to the Greenbelt along the Boise river we have tremendous opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife. When we relocated to Idaho, one of the first tips we received was, “Look up!” Why? In Idaho, a large concentrations of bald eagles are found along Lake Coeur d’Alene, Lake Pend Oreille, and sections of the Snake, Salmon, and Boise Rivers.
We were thrilled to see not one, but twobald eagles on a recent jaunt along the Boise river. We heard them before we saw them. One—already majestically perched on a branch in the treetop—was calling to the other circling high overhead. Like greased lightning, he made a downward beeline, flaring his six-foot wingspan just before landing in the same tree as his mate.
I recently learned that in their first four years of life bald eagles are often mistaken for golden eagles because they sport mostly dark brown plumage with only small amounts of white. Not until their fourth or fifth year does the bald eagle’s head and tail turn all white, indicating that it’s reached maturity.
When you “look up” in your neck of the woods, what are you likely to see?
Boise, Idaho—there’s no doubt we live in one of the most beautiful locations in North America. The photo below is just one of the lovely scenes we pass on our daily walks. And though the water’s been turned off for the winter and the wheel isn’t currently going ‘round, it’s still captivating.
In my most recent article for Sibyl magazine I wrote:
Communication—not love—is what makes the world go round. One of the strongest human longings is to be heard and acknowledged. This need is deeply anchored to our connection with others.
I went on to say:
Excellent communicators make eye contact with the other person and take in what they’re saying. They give visual clues and utilize encouraging expressions of agreement—nodding their head, smiling, softly saying uh-huh—to let the other person know that they’re actively listening.
Who was the last person you gifted with your undivided attention?
Last week as I was heading out our driveway I enjoyed watching a deer across the street. Not in the least bit afraid of foot or vehicle traffic, it continued meandering on its merry way.
During our son’s recent visit, he had the opportunity for an even closer encounter with wildlife:
Bogus Basin is a mountainous area near Boise, Idaho particularly enjoyed for its recreational snow offerings, so in June it’s almost deserted. The heat that week — even at 5,000 feet — was triple-digit intense. During our hike we found a small bird exhausted from trying to flap its way out of a skylight in a shuttle stop. He didn’t realize it was plexiglass, and was too disoriented to simply come down out of the rafters and fly away. That’s when our son got involved…
Climbing up inside the shuttle stop, he gently got the bird in his hand and climbed back down. Staying in the shade, our son used Willa’s water bowl to bathe the little fellow with cool water and give him a drink.
We didn’t think it was ever going to leave him. Once it started singing — and we knew he was going to be okay — our son placed the little fellow on a low-hanging branch and from there we watched him take off. A very cool experience for all of us.
What was your last up-close-and-personal experience with nature?