Saturday, March 31, 2007

What Is It?

Answer tomorrow.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Vinegar and Oil

What is it? Vinegar and oil containers. Vinegar and oil never really mix. If you put vinegar and oil together in one container, some vigorous shaking will cause the oil to form very small droplets, resulting in a temporary "emulsion" of the two substances. If you whirl the two together in a blender, the oil forms VERY small droplets, and the emulsion lasts longer--but the vinegar and oil still eventually separate, with the lighter oil coming to the top.

The system pictured here celebrates the distinctiveness of vinegar and oil. Just shake a bit from both bottles on your salad, toss a bit, and your tongue enjoys the combination of tastes and textures.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What Is It? round 2

Same object as yesterday. Answer in a few days.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What Is It?

What is it? Answer in a few days.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's a Whisk!

Whisks are used to beat things to make them smooth; this works in food preparation, though not with people! Whisks have different loop styles for different functions.

An 18th century Shaker recipe says to “Cut a handful of peach twigs which are filled with sap at this season of the year. Clip the ends and bruise them and beat the cake batter with them. This will impart a delicate peach flavor to the cake.”

"Whisk" used as a verb means to move lightly, quickly, and rapidly--"He whisked the children away to a safe place" or "She whisked the crumbs off the table."

"Whisk" is also an example of onomatopoeia--words that sound like their meaning. When you're whisking some egg whites, it does indeed sound like "whisk, whisk, whisk . . ." Other examples of onomatopoeia are bang, beep, splash, and ping-pong.

There--that's more than you ever wanted to know about whisks. But wasn't it fun?

Monday, March 26, 2007

What is it?

Here's a little change of pace: Can you identify this object? Answer tomorrow.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Painted Desert 4

The Painted Desert's horizon provides the raw material for this cross, embellished by some close-up sagebrush and some far-away clouds.

Here ends my cross collection from our 2006 summer sabbatical. Actually, I still have many more from those wonderful three months, but I chose just the best ones and tried to avoid excessive redundancy.

Also, here ends one full year of CruxPhotos blogging. I don't know how long I will be able to make daily additions to this collection, but I'll take this journey as far as I can. Thanks to all who are helping me affirm that "There is no place where God is not."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Painted Desert 3

If you were a Navajo or a Hopi whose ancestors once roamed freely on these lands, how would you understand this promise from Jesus?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Painted Desert 2

Arizona's Painted Desert stretches from the Grand Canyon to the Petrified Forest. Evidence shows that dinosaurs walked here amidst an evergreen forest.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Painted Desert

At first glance, this cross looks like the petrified wood of the last 9 days. But the view is more expansive, even though the colors are similar and the location is right next door in northeast Arizona. Minerals give the Painted Desert its color, but erosion carves the shapes. I wish I could have been here at sunrise and sunset to catch some warmer light and dramatic shadows; great photos are almost never taken at midday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Petrified Wood 9

In spite of this prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray, too many Christians believe that (1) Christianity is only about getting people to heaven and (2) there's no hope of making the world a better place. "On earth" keeps our faith grounded in everyday reality. "On earth peace" sang the angels at Jesus' birth.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Petrified Wood 8

If this wood would (!) not have changed, it would have disappeared--a lesson for us as well.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Petrified Wood 7

John Muir, early preservationist and founder of the Sierra Club, said that the petrified forest of Arizona was "a kaleidoscope fashioned by God's hand." He and I see things alike!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Petrified Wood 6

Sometimes when we're really scared, we'll say, "I'm petrified." Fear has a way of immobilizing us, making us hard and unflexible, unable to respond. That's why God's angels so often say, "Fear not!" The Good News is that our petrification can be reversed.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Petrified Wood 5

Friday, March 16, 2007

Petrified Wood 4

Read an interesting narrative of petrified wood's life history here (California example).

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Petrified Wood 4

Impurities in the quartz-like rock provide the color in petrified wood. Reds, yellows and oranges come from iron oxides in the rock. Black comes from carbon or from manganese oxide.

Thankfully, scientific knowledge is not essential for appreciating beauty. But knowing some details about how and where and when and why does deepen our sense of wonder.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Petrified Wood 3

The world's largest petrified forests are found in Arizona, Canada (Alberta), India, the Czech Republic, Australia, Greece, and Argentina. Obviously, it's a world-wide phenomenon.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Petrified Wood 2

In petrified wood, all the organic material has been replaced by minerals. The original structure of the wood is often maintained, right down to the microscopic level. This process takes place underground in sediment, where mineral-rich water flows and where a lack of oxygen preserves the wood. It's a story of death, burial, darkness, transformation, and beauty.

"You will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up."

Psalm 71:20

Monday, March 12, 2007

Petrified Wood

We're moving from the broad vistas of the Grand Canyon to close-up details of wood turned to stone in the Petrified Forest in northeast Arizona. If you visit here, don't you DARE pick up any rocks--you'll get arrested.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Grand Canyon 19

This cross works best as a square--a bit of a Celtic flavor, perhaps.

Put this cross on a mug!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Grand Canyon 18

All crosses suggest suffering, this one particularly so. But behind and beyond the suffering is something more.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Watchtower, Hopi art

The Hopi room within the Grand Canyon Watchtower is covered with images that depict Hopi mythology and religious ceremonies. The Hopi religion is both rich and complicated, impossible for outsiders to fully understand. The Hopi population today is approximately 12,000.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Grand Canyon Indian Watchtower

Opened in 1933 at Desert View, this Mary Colter-designed watchtower provides a view of the canyon while blending in with its surroundings. Every stone was handpicked for size and appearance. Read more here.

Psalm 121 is the "watching" Psalm. It ends with:
"the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Grand Canyon 15

Live trees on the left, dead tree on the right--a reminder that death awaits us all.

It's easy to become absorbed in our death-denying culture, but as M. Scott Peck reminds us: "The path of health and healing is the opposite from that of the denial of death" (The Road Less Traveled and Beyond). Peck suggests that "fully mature religion . . . begins with an active struggle with the mystery of death and in a personal search for meaning in its face."

So perhaps I will dare to remember this image throughout the hours of this day. Will it make a difference in how I live those hours?

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