Monday, February 13, 2017

Visiting Earth and beyond - in Maui


 "We are all just visitors to Earth."  - this quote, words spoken by a park ranger at Haleakala National Park in response to our reply that my friends and I were visiting this lovely island from New Orleans, perfectly summed up my ethereal birthday jaunt around the island of Maui last month.


I got an idea of what I was in for when my first glimpse of the island was this incredible moonset over West Maui Mountain. 


 When I wasn't watching whales, 




or meandering around Mars (a.k.a. the summit of Haleakala),




or photographing the dawn of my 45th trip around the sun,





 I was contemplating humankind's place in this vast world. 



 It was easy to do in a world so large yet at the same time so small.
Tiny planes  were dwarfed by towering mountains, 



Tiny boats surrounded by Pacific waters, 

                                      tiny pedestrians sharing the road through the vast countryside,

and tiny cyclist navigating mountainous curves.



Reverence is ubiquitous here and it is understood that rather than a choice, its a way of life. 
It has to be, otherwise drivers are faced with two way traffic on one way roads  


                                                                            with...

(haha)

The land itself exudes that appreciation 





and it permeates throughout the culture.





Lucky for me that reverent vibe followed me home to New Orleans just in time to see our country go bonkers.  With all the divisiveness going on, it was refreshing to be in place that understands that regardless of who we are, where we live or what we believe,  at the end of the day we are all simply visitors to this earth.  And respect for ourselves, each other and our land is an essential part of living.





Nice way to spend a birthday.
~~~***~~Aloha~~***~~~



Shout out to Michael, Monica and Alex ... it was a birthday adventure to remember...Mahalo!

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez
www.nattie-concepts.com

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

From Antiquity to Tranquility.. The Louisiana World Tour

On the road to Sicily Island, LA


When I began what would be the Last Louisiana World Tour of 2016 back in September, the plan was simple. 
-->I was going to re-visit Sicily Island for some re-shoots, and then check out the Native American mounds that surround the area.  BUT…then my car broke down and plans changed.  (see last blog entry HERE..i know..just getting around to this one…don’t judge me, I’ve been busy…)

Suddenly car-less, I was determined to finish the re-shoots that I needed to get to complete the World Tour performance piece…so, with my handy Nissan Rental, I headed to Sicily Island, Copenhagen, Lisbon AND Athens…all in one day.  I got the shots I wanted and, in keeping with the theme of the World Tour,  then some.  


-->
First, I found my way to Sicily Island where I got to see even more of the town than last time.. I didn’t know that was possible. 

Sicily Island Town Hall

Gwen's Little Place

Sicily Island Library & Water Tower

Sicily Island, Louisiana

But most importantly, what I really wanted to capture was the Mediterranean charm of Sicily Island, Lake Louie.  (also referred to as Lovelace Lake)

Sicily Island

Sicily Island




--> Overlooking the lake was the vista of my original World Tour intent, Peck Mound. 

Peck Mound 650-860CE

Peck Mound was occupied from 650 to 860 by the Troyville & Coles Creek Culture. Of the five mounds in the complex, only one is no longer visible.  

I could have continued on as planned and explored the other mounds in the area, but I instead traveled onward to Copenhagen where I photographed familiar scenes, though this time around I did not get lost or maim a squirrel (click on the link to refresh your memory).  I did, however, find myself surrounded by Forests and my Horse Friends. 

Pine Forest, Copenhagen, Louisiana

Horse Friends



                                             I also was able to capture a sparkly sign pic.




  

                    I still wanted to explore the Ancient World, so I drove a little further and reached            another  mound site, Wade Landing, seemingly in the  middle of nowhere. 



The Road to Antiquity


Yet it is easily visible from the road…a little piece of antiquity with a giant mansion right next to it.  According to the marker it is about 1000 years old and the cemetery on top of the mound helps to preserve it.    

Wade Landing

Wade Landing, 1000 year old mound

       Finally, it was time to head up north where I once again drove through the metropolis of Lisbon,
                                         and picked a few new shots on my way to Athens


Lisbon, Louisiana

Lisbon, Louisiana

Tiny Houses in Lisbon, Louisiana
I always shoot a tree in Lisbon, Louisiana



As I arrived in Athens in Northwest Louisiana, it was as much as I left in 5 years ago. 
But I did discover another church.

Athens Town Hall

St. Rest, Athens, Louisiana
 
I really wanted a shot from a hill, as I read that Athens, Louisiana was named for Athens, Greece and the original town was built on top a hill. 

Ask and ye shall receive




At the end of the day, I found a hotel near Vienna and got to work looking up what ancient mounds could be around this area . Most of the mounds in Louisiana are in the east, situated along bayous and the river.  I wasn’t expecting to find any in North Central Louisiana, but lo and behold…..I found one!

The next morning I was off. I passed through Vienna long enough to capture this sign – Old Wire Road.  The sign, situated between two posts of blooming morning glories, says that it was the first road across North Louisiana and began as an Indian trail.  How apropos..

Old Wire Road, Vienna, Louisiana


Turns out the mounds I was heading for were only a short drive from Lisbon where i had been a day earlier.
View from the Road near Lisbon & Vienna
  
Hidden amongst the trees and fancy houses of  Union Parish and overlooking D’Arbonne Lake is Scott Place Mounds.

D'Arbonne Lake

The mounds from the late Coles/Creek early Plaquemine periods dates to about 1200.  This by far was my favorite mound to photograph. As I kept climbing up the hill I couldn’t place where the mounds would be.  Just around the corner though, there was the sign and the mound. 


Scott Place Mounds
800 year old Scott Place Mounds

On the way back home I got to take in some more Louisiana loveliness. I also got to experience some good ole southern hospitality.  As I stopped to take this photo, 

Louisiana Bayou
a truck immediately pulled up behind me, the driver jumped out thinking that I was having car trouble.  I thanked him and told him I wasn’t ..I was just driving like a maw maw in my my Nissan Rental observing the State of my World.  

This particular World Tour may not have gone as planned, instead it was so much better and left me in a state of true reverence.  It reaffirmed that the present coexists with the past and reminds us that nothing is more important than preserving  the State of Our World, both the inner and outer, for the future.

Flowers blooming in 2016 at 800 year old Scott Place Mounds


In that regard, this World Tour road trip, and all my World Tour road trips have been:


 It’s all in how you see it. 


Happy New Year!

 Coming in 2017:
A New Website
More blogs 
more World Tours

Thanks for reading, viewing and supporting the State of My World

~ Natasha

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez