Monday, November 15, 2010

Museum & Trees

I'm excited to say that last week I was able to stand next to a grove of trees that were about 1000 years old. The Sequoia trees in Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Parks over 200 feet tall and standing next to the base of one makes you feel like you are a two year old. Thank goodness for preserving some wild areas for future generations. I admire Ken Burn's video productions on the National Parks and do believe they have been a great idea. The landscapes and the species diversity are incredible to witness - inspiring for our spirit. We also stopped in Death Valley where there weren't trees - well just some date palms near Furnace Creek. There the vegetation include some desert holly - just like our holiday holly only pale green/white. I'll admit I love to listen to water - whether it's rain or a stream. I also like to play around on the dulcimer and create the effect of waves of music and simply going up and down - partial scales - short notes, longer notes.
Being back in Duluth now we have white snow all around that came in a storm yesterday - thankfully not interfering with the flight. There is beauty in the small - see this website for photos by William Bentley of snowflakes - and in the grand.
While in Death Valley (we went in November when the temps are NOT in the crazy 100's) and happened up the 49-ers group having a convention. We stopped in one of their evening concerts under the stars. Stars, stars, stars. Most of us living in areas with a lot of lights at night and we can't see the stars. Out West the sky lights up with more and more stars. Adding the live music was a treat. We also were able to walk through the 49-ers art show and I picked up some cards with some creative works - one was of a bear painted with coffee. Try that at home.
Before I end I wanted to mention that we stopped at the new MIM - Music Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ. It has 1000s of instruments from around the world. Different countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, South America - all over. Many with animal parts - animal bladders, wooden parts and some with recycled items like tin cans or steel drums. Yes, there were several dulcimer-like instruments. Other zithers - fretted, plucked and struck. The museum visit included walking around with a special head set that let you hear some of the instruments and watch a video as you were near the different instruments. Visit the museum if you are in the area. Enjoy the day - whether you are in winter-mode or having flowering plants and mild outdoor weather year round. Write a song or tune - with or without lyrics - honoring some of the natural beauty in your neck of the woods. If you're ever in Northern Minnesota - Duluth sits right on Lake Superior - and want to take a look at the store let me know.

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