This site is about photography and the inner thoughts of photographer Andrew Plath.

Archive for ‘August, 2012’

Spiritual Solitudes

If anyone would have guessed that a central theme to this blog might be in the spiritual solitudes, they would be right.

They surround us all.  Sometimes these places are there right in front of our eyes, and sometimes we have to seek them out.

One such place in my life has been Trinity Lutheran Church in Wausau, WI.   I have been a part of this congregation since I was baptized in January of 1958.   This sanctuary became a quiet place of retreat on September 11, 2001 when a group of sadly miss-lead men caused the death of 3,000 souls.   The congregation would not hold a service until later on that week, yet I came here that night for the peace that passes all understanding.

Even when the sanctuary is vacant, it is still a place to come and worship in peace the awesome God who created it all.  

Pastor Gary Schultz delivers a sermon from the pulpit at Trinity Lutheran on Stewart in Wausau, WI.

We all need the silence to appreciate God in our lives.   In that still small voice, he speaks to us through the turmoil of our lives.  In Jesus, he became the good shepherd who came to seek and to save that which was lost.

You are all welcome to check out my place of spiritual solitude.  Check it out at trinityonstewart.org/.  If you are in the Wausau area next week, please check out the schedule for Holy Week.   Come and see what He did for you!

The Quarry

It even looks good in black and white.

 

 Some of the great places that make for powerful landscape imagery are never really too far from where we live.  A few years back, with the help of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship fund, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was able to make another great addition to Rib Mountain State Park.  Years ago, 3M mined quartzite from Rib Mountain before developing a much larger quarry north of Wausau in the Town of Maine.

When the Wisconsin DNR purchased the old quarry on Rib Mountain, The Friends of Rib Mountain State Park immediately went to task to develop new hiking trails  to add to the existing 4 miles of trail already in the park.

In doing so, they also added history as one of the new trails passes through the site of the Knopf family homestead where Rib Mountain”s first settlers lived.  There is also the remains of an old dynamite shack where explosives for blasting out huge seams of quartzite were stored.

The trails have become immensely popular for park visitors.   The Turkey Vulture Trail provides an alternative access route for hikers to the park, and yes, if you look up, you will see these vultures circling near the southern rim of the quarry looking for carrion to provide them with food.  On one of my hikes, I had a turkey vulture pass over me by just ten feet.

With the influence of men like Ansel Adams or Galen Rowell in me, I could not resist dragging a camera to capture these views.  The quarry is man-made and small compared to Yosemite  or other far flung  places, but it is still much worth the hike.   The quarry takes on a different look with each passing season.   The rocks reflect different hues and the water levels in the basin change with each season.   3M’s mining trucks no longer rumble up and down the haul road which remains as part of the Turkey Vulture Trail.   The rocks now sit in silent witness to changing seasons.

http://wildlightphotography.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Wild-Light/G0000mpaI11NQ7gY/I0000TwSTCjVIerU

What Rain Will Do

A close up from my back yard.

A close up from my back yard.

This is the thing that happens when rain falls.  It doesn’t always go to the ground.   It lingers on leaves of trees and everything else.   In the sunlight, the droplets sparkle and glisten.

Look closely and you will see the droplets clinging to the needles of this balsam from my backyard.

I call the tree the Gardy tree as it is a living memorial to an aunt of mine who lived for nearly a century.   My Aunt Gardy knew that I lost one seedling to a rabbit.  This seedling was from one of the trees in her yard.  She told me if I could dig it out I could take it home and transplant it there.  That was nearly 25 years ago.  The tree has grown to nearly 20 feet or more providing shade for the yard and protection for birds and small animals during winter.

A River Runs Though It

From Lac View Dessert on the Wisconsin – Michigan border to its meeting with the mighty Mississippi at Prairie du Chen, the Wisconsin River is always flowing.   The Wisconsin is a living thing that man has merely harnessed but never contained.   As it flows through Rhinelander, Tomahawk, Merrill, Wausau, and Mosinee, it brings to each community a sense of character and purpose.

The river shapes the way people live in each community.   It makes Stevens Point special with its riverfront festivals.   It draws international class paddlers to canoe and kayak competitions in Wausau.   Loggers once used it to transport lumber to sawmills.   Today the waters of the river flow through countless turbines  to make the electricity that powers this man’s computer.

It is constantly flowing, constantly moving, like the stream of time since the dawn of creation.   It brings wildlife into the cities, and along with it, the thrill of the spring walleye run.   If you live along a river like the Wisconsin, it is a part of your life.

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