Last Breath of Summer from a Beach in Gulf Shores

Lighthouse Sunset Over the Gulf of Mexico
Lighthouse Silhouette as the Sun Sets Over the Gulf of Mexico

Busyness has many enemies, but to me, one of the greatest causalities of busyness is the loss of creativity. When life turns into a checklist of task items the thing that loses out, at least in my life, is always the creativity of reading, writing, photography, poetry, contemplation, prayer, games, music, and so on. Many of those can be viewed as spiritual disciplines, which means one could say that busyness can pull us away from those things in our life that are to be set aside for worship.

This past weekend I finally got a few days to go down to the beach and relax, only it wasn’t quite as relaxing as I had thought it might be. Sure it was time away from the routines of life, which was great, but I really think it takes more than a few days to untwist your mind from the speed of life we live today. That’s the part that never really happened… but that’s ok too, after all, how busy could it possibly be with the view from our balcony below. What we did get to do was visit with family we haven’t seen in a few years, I finally got to visit the aviation museum in Pensacola (that post is upcoming), and we enjoyed a few glorious sunsets on some empty white sand beaches.

I left Auburn hoping to get through two books while I was down at the beach, both of which I had made it about one chapter deep. I managed to make it to the last chapter of the first book, one called Lifted By Angels by Joel Miller, and one I hope to write a review about soon. This was a great book to read uninterrupted at the beach, a place where one’s thoughts can be lifted above the routine of daily needs. There were so many quotes that caught my attention in this anthology about our interactions with angels, especially when it comes to our interaction through a prayerful life, but this stood out when talking about asking for things in prayer…

Isaac the Syrian said that when we ask for earthly things, it’s like a subject standing before his king and imploring him for a measure of manure. The request insults both the king and the subject.

I think we often get so caught up in the earthly life of “things” and the tasks of the day, we forget our life is about preparing for eternity, not necessarily worrying about tomorrow. Below is sort of a timeline from sunup to moonup on our last day, in the last bit of summer warmth before the real fall arrives soon.

Balcony View of Gulf of Mexico
Balcony View of Gulf of Mexico
Sun Setting Over the Gulf of Mexico
Sun Setting Over the Gulf of Mexico
Sunset Through the Grass at Gulf Shores
Sunset Through the Grass at Gulf Shores
Moonrise Over the Beach
Moonrise Over the Beach

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

Sun Rise on St George Island, FL
Sun Rise over the Gulf of Mexico on St George Island, FL

It didn’t take me as long to come up with an image for “merge” this week as a part of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge (Merge), but it also looks like one of the more popular posts from the traffic as well. A sunrise might be a little more cliché than my previous posts, but we just got back from the beach, and this is what you shoot at the beach. I also have an extreme fondness for sunrises and sunsets. Twice a day we get such a unique view of God’s creation, and no two are ever the same. Last year I watched two sunrises and almost three sunsets in about a 24-36 hour period when I flew from Atlanta to Africa (which I actually don’t think I have posted yet).

I love the topic of photographically showing merge. There is no better way (to me) to photographically exhibit the topic of merge than a sunrise or sunset over the ocean, except perhaps a heavy fog. The night merging into the day. All the colors merging and blending all into one. Then the horizon disappearing or reappearing, marking a change in time from one day to the next. This shot was taken yesterday looking out over the Gulf of Mexico from St. George Island, FL just about 30-45 minutes after sunrise, just about the time all the color in the sky and water faded into dull blues. It was just as peaceful in person as it looks in the photo above.

I’m going to do another post later with just photos from St. George, so for now, here is my version of “merge” for this week. Be sure to check out some of the other entries below.

Other Related Posts:

  1. Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge « Ruth E Hendricks Photography
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge | Four Deer Oak
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge | Denise discovers…
  4. Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge… | Mirth and Motivation
  5. Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge « City Life Picture

God, Wind, Surfers, and Some Photography

DSC_5669-surf1

DSC_5407-surf2

DSC_5418-surf3

DSC_5459-surf4

DSC_5483-surf5

DSC_5532-surf6

There is nothing quite like the power of God as seen through an incoming storm on the ocean. This week we planned on spending a few days in-between our two fall semesters down at the gulf, and of course there was a strong remnant of a hurricane from the Pacific on its way over right to our little spot. The ocean is even limited in our mind by as far as we can see, and only from the tiny little spot on the sand we can stand.  But it changes every day.  I have been to the Pacific, Atlantic, and of course the Gulf and it never looks the same, the ocean, even from our small perspective.  The surfers were quite thrilled to see the 35-40mph winds down there today, and I took a few shots of the local surfers.

Photos From Gulf Shores State Park Beaches

Tent at Night in Gulf Shores

Birds on the Beach

Sand on the Beach

Shells on the Beach

Water and Shells

Shell on the Beach

I finally got around to editing some of the photos from our camping trip last weekend.  We stayed at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores Alabama, just down the road from where we use to live in Orange Beach at Bearpoint Marina.  This state park is one of the larger ones, but a little less on the “camping” side and a little more on the RV side of camp grounds.

We have visited this park several times before and it is a very well developed area just on the other side of the main road from the beach.  It does border the lake that is in the area and there is a golf course in the park as well, but if you are looking for a camping spot on the actual beach this is not it (nor were we expecting it to be).  It does have great access to the Gulf State Park beaches which are starting to get a little crowded at this point.  If you want an empty beach in the same area, same beautiful white sand, just take a short drive down to the National Seashore in Florida called the Gulf Islands National Seashore (though they don’t allow pets on the beach).

One thing about this area is the hurricane damage that is still present in the tree line.  Several years ago a hurricane topped all the tress around here so if you look at what is normally a pretty full pine tree forest type area, you see sort of a tree trunk grave yard. Pretty weird looking but some of the photos below are a few trees that made it among all the ones that were topped, and the smaller ones that have emerged.

We have been to all these beaches and most of the restaurants in the area so many times that we will probably make our way east next time toward Panama City where we haven’t spent so much time.  All in all it was wonderful and relaxing as always, and I did get to take a few photos while we were there.  You can see the complete slideshow of photos here on flickr.

On the Beach Again with the Whole Family :: Friday Feet

Scott, Deborah, and Ebby on the Beach

Scott, Deborah, and Ebby on the Beach

Scott, Deborah, and Ebby on the Beach

Scott, Deborah, and Ebby on the Beach

Last weekend Deb and I went back down to Gulf Shores for a quick camping trip.  Of course, being that we were camping we had no Internet access (at least non-cellular) which was weird, so I have some catching up to do on my blog.  I haven’t missed a Friday Feet post since I started it last year so this post-dated version was from last Friday.

Always an interesting weather time weather wise down here where thunderstorms usually start to roll in and winter still tries to hang on.  One day it is freezing and the next is it hot.  Thursday we arrived to a blustering tornatic frontal system and Friday it was sunny and hot.  It was still a great time to relax away from the computer and start thinking about Holy Week coming up.

I have several posts coming up on photos from that weekend, a few book reviews, and many more, stay tuned.  Have a great Holy Week this week.