More than five thousand pagans, druids and revelers gathered at
Britain’s ancient monument Stonehenge on Wednesday to celebrate the
The sun rose at the site of the famed standing
stones in the southwest English county of Wiltshire at 1:09 p.m. ET,
beginning the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
played musical instruments, while others sang and took photographs of
the rising sun which will provide just under eight hours of sunlight on
Wednesday, said English Heritage, which protects the historical site.
Thursday marks the start of longer days before the summer solstice in June.
am from South Africa, I came for the solstice, especially for the
solstice. I am a Pagan, a witch and this is about the best place to be,”
one woman said. (Reuters)
For $12/night I stayed at a comfortable spot (#43 I believe) in Juniper Campground as a part of the Bandelier National Monument. As the sun began to set over the hills and canyons, the scenery was just spectacular. I wandered through the area surrounding the campsite taking dozens of photos as the environment started to glow. The moon appeared in full force, and soon I was fast asleep in the quiet campgrounds after a long day of hiking.
An aerial view of a Greenpeace protest at the Place de L'Etoile during the COP21 World Climate Change Conference 2015, in Paris, France on December 11th 2015. Around 50 activists tried to draw a yellow sun around the Arc de Triomphe monument. The summit is entering its final stages in an effort to secure a global agreement that would offer a long-term strategy for dealing with climate change. Credit: EPA/GREENPEACE
A hidden gem in America’s Pacific Northwest is the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon. Called an amazing treasure, Cascade-Siskiyou covers more than 62,000 acres and is best known for the unique landscapes created by the convergence of species from the high deserts of the Northern Great Basin to the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Coast.
As BLM photographer Bob Wick said: “This area is a botanist’s dream where the Cascade, Great Basin and Coast Range-Klamath ecosystems come together. You can turn a corner and go from walking through a dense mossy red fir forest to sagebrush and mountain mahogany in a few feet.”
Pictured here are some of the stunning views from the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, including the sun, full moon, Mount Shasta and Pilot Rock, all captured May 3, 2015. Photos by Bob Wick, mypubliclands.
tickle against the metal grey obelisks, the sharply cut angles of the monuments
stark against blades of green grass. The sun looks on from behind, fiery arms
hugging the sky and streaking it otherworldly colours.
The Konoha Cemetery
is lonely today. An elderly woman lays a wreath of velvety roses on a large
gray cenotaph, bowing her head reverently; a small boy and his mother stand
quietly by a marble monument, hair blowing in the gentle zephyr.
breathes in, hands stuffed in pockets, head tilted upwards. In front of him is
a simple black gravestone, glinting in the golden evening light. A creamy
tangle of baby’s breath is scattered in front of it, the tiny petals waving in
the wind. Words are etched into the shiny granite, each letter sharp and precise.
Hokage’s Advisor and Chief Strategist.
breathes out, scratches the back of his neck.
he murmurs, crouching. “I don’t really know what’s going on anymore.”
The air feels hotter all of a sudden. Shikamaru tugs on his collar in an attempt to cool down.
“Everyone’s getting on with their lives,” he says quietly to the granite, brushing his fingers over the ebony coloured rock. “And doing huge, outlandish things. I just want to settle down, you know? Live quietly. Die quietly. Everyone expects so much from me.”
He stops, then, and gives a short, mirthless laugh.
“I know what you’re thinking,” he says snidely. “That I sound like a whiny child and that I should just-”
Shikamaru sighs; a heavy, breathy, gusty sigh.
“I sometime feel like I’m stuck in time, you know, just watching everything, drifting by, and, ha, I love that, but even while I’m drifting there are people who are looking up at me, yelling at me to do things, great things, when I don’t want to do anything,I just want to be average, I just want to live, and I’m so confused-”
His head is bowed now, forehead barely brushing against the gravestone, barely brushing his father’s name inscribed in it. His fists are clenched, and he’s breathing heavily, but he’s pulled himself together.
“You’re right,” Shikamaru breathes. “You’re right. I’m being an idiot. Ah. Emotions are troublesome.”
He stands up, pulling up a few blades of grass as he does. He scatters the thin green blades on the gravestone.
Shikamaru half turns, and sees the figure behind him, the figure who suggested he make one last visit to the cemetery in the first place, the figure who stood patiently while he got lost, and the figure who is still stands behind him right now.
She just stares back, her cool blue eyes somehow soothing and frightening and reprimanding and loving all at once, and he can read the question in them.
Are you okay?
He nods, and walks slowly over to her.
The setting sun makes her sandy blond hair appear a fiery red.
“I have a couple things I want to say to Asuma before I leave,” Shikamaru states.
She does not reply, just takes his hand. And they walk.
Every monster we have is a small one,
but they are all very good at manipulation.
It is like those photos
where someone seems to be crushing
a national monument or the sun between their fingers.
Even though we shine bright like the sun,
even though we stand tall like the monuments,
these monsters will come and take their tourist snapshots,
these grief vultures will swoop down and make it seem like they could crush you whole, between their fingers.
But the secret is that they could never touch you.
So when you get the albums from your demons vacation,
You are a castle,
and they do not have the power to rule here.
It had been an extremely hot day in Washington DC, so we postponed visiting the monuments until the evening, when the hot sun had passed and a light breeze struggled to make a difference. It turned out to be the right decision. The statues of great people like Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, took on their own particular and powerful sense in the glow of well placed lights. At the imposing Martin Luther King Jr monument I captured a woman, standing in awe of an idea.