Frozen Friday

Woke up this morning to new snow at Zion. It’s been an absolutely gorgeous day. (I tried to post this yesterday, but the internet wasn’t cooperating.)

Enjoy!

Merry Christmas from Zion NP

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

I will do my best to post more frequently in the coming year. I have so many posts planned, but it seems that work and life get in the way too frequently.

Merry Christmas.

Enjoy, Kelly

Mont Saint Michel Revisited

I know it’s been several months since I’ve been to France, and a few weeks since I last posted.  First, my apologies.  I have so many posts that I have wanted publish, but I haven’t been able to sit down and write them.  Here is such a post.

IMG_2398I’ve done some research on Mont Saint Michel Abby, and it was first constructed in 800 AD by the Romans as a military outpost.  Later, it became a hallowed shrine by some monks from Ireland.  Within a few centuries, it was rebuilt as a Catholic Abby.

During the 100 Year War, it was fortified to withstand the sieges that happened here.  During this period the outer defenses were constructed around the village.  During high tide, it’s completely shut off from the mainland.

In the early 1700’s it fell in decline and was pretty much abandoned by the monks, so Napoleon took it over and converted it into a state prison facility for political dissidents.  By 1847, it was falling into neglect and disrepair, so Victor Hugo spearheadded a movement to save the Abby from desolation and destruction.  By 1900, it was again occupied by monks as a monestary.

I have been wondering why it wasn’t destroyed during World War II, and in my research, I found that it was occupied by the Nazis for almost the entire war.  There was a garrison in place to monitor radio communications, but that was pretty much it.  They revered this Abby so much that they were adamant that nothing happen to it.  It became a relaxation resort for German officers and their families during the war.  At the end of the war, an American journalist and another American soldier drove up to the gates of the Abby to visit it, and the German soldiers there immediately surrendured and the Abby was liberated.

I read somewhere that the treasures from this Abby were taken to Saint-Lo for safe keeping in the church there.  Sadly the city was devestated by the Americans to force the Germans out and all treasures were destroyed.  The treasures of Mont Saint Michel were ancient texts and writings.  However I haven’t been able to verify the accuracy of these events regarding the treasures of Mont Saint Michel.

During our visit, we were able to go into the village a bit, and wander about the outer wall.IMG_2537

The inner gate that looks like it could close off and defend the village and Abby at any time.  Inside, there is a weighted wall and portcullis that looks operational, along with a drawbridge.

Other views of the Abby from along the wall.

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Our visit the the Abby was at 10:00pm, just before sunset at 11:00pm.  Looks like we might not make it back to the mainland with the tide coming in…

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It was an enjoyable adventure, and if you ever get the chance to visit this amazing place, DO IT!!

 

Enjoy,

Kelly

A Special Treat

Yesterday we went to the Batterie Maise, which was a German artillery battery nest with several 550mm guns and several 400mm anti aircraft guns. I’ll do a post on this when I can develop my photos.

Late in the afternoon, we decided to take a side trip and go see Abbeye Mont-Saint-Michel.

When we got there, the tide was starting to come in, which was amazing to see. We were able to walk around inside the sea wall and on the ramparts, which was absolutely amazing.

When I get all my photos developed, I’ll do a full post just on this.

As we were leaving, the tide was really coming in, and it was pouring rain.

It was just before sunset (10:00pm) when we left, and just after sunset, the sky went deep orange and red, however all we could see at that point was trees, because we had already left and was back in the parking lot.

Enjoy!

Sunday Sunrise

Sunrise in Zion National Park this morning was absolutely gorgeous! It snowed overnight, and cleared out sometime early this morning.

Enjoy,

Kelly

Starry Night

First, I need to apologize for my lack of posting lately, it seems that life has been in the way of photographing anything recently.  I’ll try to get out photgraphing more often so I can post more often.

Anyway, recently I’ve been wanting to photograph the Milky Way, and the best time to do it is during or close to a New Moon.  The most recent one was this past Sunday, so Monday night I went up on a hill near Zion National Park to capture our Galaxy in all its glory.  I got up there before sunset to get everything ready for the night’s adventure.  While I was waiting for it to get dark, I decided to get some sunset photos of the surrounding peaks.

Here is the Watchman in all its splendor:IMG_0842.jpg

Also, here is the West Temple, with neighboring Mount Kinesava:IMG_0829.jpg

Not to be out done, but here are the Eagle’s Crags: IMG_0801.jpg

I also chanced upon some wild flowers that were still in bloom:   IMG_0851.jpg

When it came time to actually photograph the Milky Way, I spent the next couple of hours photographing away, enjoying the view of the night sky, and basking in the solitude of the mountain.  When I got home and processed the images, I realized that my camera was out of focus the entire time!  The thumbnails looked great, but at full size every image was fuzzy and out of focus except the sunset shots.

Life can be out of focus sometimes, even though we’re looking at it and everything seems to be in focus and on track, then we view the experiences from a distance or as a thumbnail it seems to be in focus, but when analyzed and viewed up close, its blurry and out of focus and needs to be fixed or done over.  The only real way to change that is to get out there and redo what should have been done the first time, having learned from that mistake and made everything in focus and better all around.

I did the only thing I could do, and that was to go back out and try again.  Even though the moon is waxing and staying up longer, it didn’t affect the images in any way.  In fact it helped.  I was having the same issue as before of having the camera out of focus, so I focused on the moon and got some great shots of the Waxing Crescent Moon.

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The bright star below the moon  on the horizon is actually Venus!  Anyway, I got settled in, and had a small red lantern on so I wouldn’t be stumbling all over the place in the dark.  Well, I later discovered there were some unexpected benefits from that light.  I was also able to fix the focus issue of the camera and got some beautiful shots of the night sky.

Here is the Milky Way in all its beauty and splendor!

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Enjoy!

Kelly