Nature and The Measure of Man

Sometimes, we need to get away and encounter nature in all her enormous power and majesty, to be reminded of how insignificant we are in the overall scheme of things as expressed in the following short poem by Denise Levertoy.


Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils of cloud.
Sometimes I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue
when I forgot
or refuse to go
down to the shore
or a few yards up the road
on a clear day,
to reaffirm
that witnessing presence.

~ Denise Levertoy (1923-1997)


Death Valley, California. The lone person in the picture is just the ‘prop’ needed to give a sense of the enormity of Death Valley’s sand dunes.
Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia. What looks like a scene from Antarctica is actually the world’s largest salt flat, located in southwest Bolivia at an altitude of 10,000 feet. The salt flats span an area of about 4,000 square miles.
Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia. A scene like this gives a surreal meaning to the phrase ‘walking on clouds’.
Monument Valley, Arizona-Utah border. With its sandstone buttes and panoramic vistas, Monument Valley is one of America’s most iconic landscapes.
Brooks Range, Alaska in summer. Named after the geologist Alfred H. Brooks, this northernmost extension of the Rockies in north Alaska entirely ranges within the Arctic Circle.
El Chaltén, Argentina. The trekking capital of Argentina, El Chaltén means “smoking mountain.” Located right near Argentina’s border with Chile in the heart of Los Glaciares National Park, the landscape around this town is rugged, dramatic, and impressive.
Cathedral Cliffs, Napali Coast, Hawaii. The Napali Coast is a sacred place defined by the extraordinary natural beauty of a rugged terrain marked by emerald-hued cliffs that tower above the Pacific Ocean, beautiful beaches and waterfalls that plummet to the lush valley floor.
Trolltunga, Norway. Situated at 1100 metres above sea level, and hovering some 700 metres above Lake Ringedalsvatnet, Trolltunga (the troll’s tongue) and the valley below were carved out by an icecap that covered most of Scandinavia during a series of ice ages.
Skogafoss, Iceland. Iceland’s most famous waterfall thunders down at a height of 60. Adding to its allure is its high volume of water, which frequently produce rainbow-yielding mist that are a photographer’s dream.
Quiraing, a monumental landslip on the northernmost summit of the Trotternish Peninsula, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Mount Kailash, Northern Himalayas, Tibet. The 6740m mountain is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists.
The incredible otherworldly beauty of Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands.
A steaming fumarolic ice tower above “Sauna Cave” at 3,550 meters on Mt. Erebus, a volcano in Antarctica. At this latitude and altitude, the ice never melts. The towers can grow over 15 meters high until they become unstable and collapse under their own weight or are blown over.
The Mingshasan sand dunes in Dunhuang, Gansu Province, China is more popularly known as the ‘singing’ sand dunes because of the sounds the wind makes when it passes over these great sand dunes.
Nature photographer George Steinmetz in flight over the ancient dry lake bed of Umm az-Zamul, the UAE’s portion of Rub al-Khal ( Empty Quarter), one of the world’s largest deserts.
A spectacular view of the Peruvian Andes at the blue hour, 5,000 meters.
Mount Illimani watches over the town of La Paz during the blue hour. At just over 21,000 feet (6,400 meters), it is the second highest peak in Bolivia and the 18th highest in South America. La Paz is a picturesque town of twisting terrace houses on the hillside of the Bolivian Altiplano
You don’t need to be on the highest mountains to feel humble in their presence. This photo is taken at the Albanian Alps, a mountain group which ranges from northern Albania to Kosovo, eastern Montenegro and southernmost Serbia. The highest peak in the range, Maja Jezercë, is a little under 9,000 feet.
It’s not even necessary to climb a mountain to get a sense of scale. Standing by a cliff overlooking the endless ocean does a solid job of showing the wave’s scale and strength.
Mount Bromo (2329m), East Java, Indonesia. It is good for a person to spend time alone, humbled by nature. It gives them an opportunity to discover who they are and why they are always alone.

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