California: Stunning Glass Church

Wayfarer's Chapel on Hill Overlooking Coast

Wayfarer’s Chapel on Hill Overlooking Coast

Garden at Front of Chapel

Garden at Front of Chapel

Round Window in Center of Chapel

Round Window in Center of Chapel

View Looking into Chapel

View Looking into Chapel

View Looking Up in Chapel

View Looking Up in Chapel

View Looking Out from Chapel

View Looking Out from Chapel

Chapel Wedding Picture in Visitor Center

Chapel Wedding Picture in Visitor Center

Chapel Bell Tower

Chapel Bell Tower

View Overlooking Foggy Pacific

View Overlooking Foggy Pacific

Black and White Image of Walkway Outside

Black and White Image of Walkway Outside

Beautiful Pink, White and Yellow Rose in Garden

Beautiful Pink, White and Yellow Rose in Garden

Colorful Bird-of-Paradise Flower in Garden

Colorful Bird-of-Paradise Flower in Garden

The Wayfarer’s Chapel is a beautiful church for people of all faiths in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.  A natural cathedral is formed by redwood trees arching over the chapel’s clear glass walls.  The chapel is a place of meditation with emphasis on the harmony of the natural world with the inner world of mind and spirit.  Only natural colors and materials were used in building the Chapel, such as sky blue on the bell tower, green on the floor, and local wood and stone.  The sanctuary and garden sit on a hill overlooking the foggy Pacific Ocean.  The overall effect is stunning!  This Swedenborgian church was designed by Lloyd Wright (son of Frank Lloyd Wright).  Wright believed in the principle of “organic architecture” – creating buildings in harmony with the environment, including repetition of patterns in nature such as those found seashells and trees.  The Chapel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a popular place for weddings.  One of the most famous Swedenborgians was Jonathan “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman, who distributed church literature while planting trees across the American Midwest.  Info about visiting the Chapel is at: http://www.wayfarerschapel.org/

New York: Inspiring Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Liberty Island

Liberty Island

Statue of Liberty on Pedestal Base

Statue of Liberty on Pedestal Base

Closeup of Crown

Closeup of Crown

Internal 22 Story Spiral Staircase to Crown (reserve crown tour months in advance)

Internal 22 Story Spiral Staircase to Crown (reserve crown tour months in advance)

Lifesize Replica of Face in Museum

Lifesize Replica of Face in Museum

Full Scale Replica of Foot

Full Scale Replica of Foot

Original Torch

Original Torch

Statue of Liberty Themed Clock

Statue of Liberty Themed Clock

Statue of Liberty Themed Menorah

Statue of Liberty Themed Menorah

Statue of Liberty Themed Plate

Statue of Liberty Themed Plate

Statue of Liberty Themed Glass Lampshade

Statue of Liberty Themed Glass Lampshade

Statue of Liberty Themed Coin

Statue of Liberty Themed Coin

Ornate Ellis Island

Ornate Ellis Island

Inside Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Inside Ellis Island Immigration Museum

The Statue of Liberty is magnificent close up!  It was a gift from the people of France in 1886.  Unless you visit, you may not realize that she has broken shackles of tyranny at her feet and she is stepping forward to freedom.  Miss Liberty has 7 points on her crown to signify each of the 7 continents.  She holds a torch to light the way, and her tablet is inscribed with the American Declaration of Independence (dated July 4, 1776).  Because of deterioration, the original torch was replaced in 1986 – just in time for the centennial celebration.  The new torch is covered with thin sheets of 24K gold leaf.  Live views from the Torch Cams are at:  http://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm. The original 1886 torch has been restored and now sits on display in the museum in the statue’s base pedestal.  The width of the copper exterior of Miss Liberty is less than 2 pennies thick.  The copper’s green patina results from weathering and acts as a protective coating.  Her official name is “Liberty Enlightening the World”.  She is iconic in America, and an inspiring monument to freedom and hope to people around the world! If you would like to visit, more info is at:  http://www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm.

Miss Liberty was the first thing over 12 million immigrants saw when they came to America and passed through Ellis Island between 1892-1954.   The main building has been restored beautifully (1984-1990) into the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.  If you would like to research your own family history by searching the free passenger archives at Ellis Island, go to:  http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/passenger

New York: One World See Forever Observatory

Reflective Glass Surface of Tower

Reflective Glass Surface of Tower

Looking Up at One World Trade Center

Looking Up at One World Trade Center

Glass Windows Looking Over Hudson River

Glass Windows Looking Over Hudson River

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in Distance

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in Distance

View North of Manhattan Skyscrapers

View North of Manhattan Skyscrapers

Sign Detailing Manhattan Landmarks

Sign Detailing Manhattan Landmarks

One World Trade Center in Skyline

One World Trade Center in Skyline

Memorial Pool and Waterfall within Footprint of Fallen North Tower of World Trade Center

Memorial Pool and Waterfall within Footprint of Fallen North Tower of World Trade Center

Remains of "The Sphere" which Stood at Original World Trade Center Site.  Endures as a Symbol of Hope.

Remains of “The Sphere” which Stood at Original World Trade Center Site. Endures as a Symbol of Hope.

Cool Globes Exhibit at Battery Park

Cool Globes Exhibit at Battery Park

Details of Children's Globe

Details of Children’s Globe

I couldn’t visit New York City without seeing the new One World Trade Center, which opened in October 2014.   Including the spire, the building is the tallest in the Western hemisphere and the sixth tallest in the world at 1,776 feet (a reference to the year the United States signed the Declaration of Independence). The glassed-in One World Observatory on floors 100-102 offers magnificent views of Manhattan, including the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the distance. The See Forever Observatory opened on May 29, 2015, and the smooth elevator ride up takes only 60 seconds. Info on visiting is at: https://oneworldobservatory.com/

Florida: McKee Gardens During the Holidays

Florida Christmas Decorations at Historic Hall of Giants

Florida Christmas Decorations at Historic Hall of Giants

Natural Tree with Birdhouse Ornaments

Natural Tree with Birdhouse Ornaments

Presents with Natural Decorations (dried lotus pods and wasp nests)

Presents with Natural Decorations (dried lotus pods and wasp nests)

Snowman on Luminaria Pathway

Snowman on Luminaria Pathway

Fabric Pandas Playing in Bamboo Forest

Fabric Pandas Playing in Bamboo Forest

Fabric Panda Standing Beside Bamboo

Fabric Panda Standing Beside Bamboo

Entrance Pond with Floating Flowers, Goldfish, and Bullfrog

Entrance Pond with Floating Flowers, Goldfish, and Bullfrog

Orange Fabric Goldfish and Flowers

Orange Fabric Goldfish and Flowers

Fabric Goldfish and Inflatable Bullfrog on Pond

Fabric Goldfish and Inflatable Bullfrog on Pond

Giant Inflatable Bullfrog on Pond

Giant Inflatable Bullfrog on Pond

Orange Fabric Goldfish at Pond

Orange Fabric Goldfish at Pond

Glass Ball Sculpture and  Floating Orange Fabric Flowers

Glass Ball Sculpture and Floating Orange Fabric Flowers

Floating Pink Fabric Flowers and Grasses

Floating Pink Fabric Flowers and Grasses

Purple Orchid and Pink Ginger

Purple Orchid and Pink Ginger

Balloon Plant

Balloon Plant

Zebra Longwing Butterfly on Red Salvia

Zebra Longwing Butterfly on Red Salvia

We always enjoy visiting McKee Gardens in Vero Beach, Florida, over the Christmas holidays.   The decorations are beautiful in December, and the flowers are always blooming!

Florida: Spectacular Sunset!

Florida Sunset Pink Sky

Florida Sunset Pink Sky

Florida Sunset Orange Sky

Florida Sunset Orange Sky

Our sunset last night was spectacular! Here in Florida we get the best sunsets after stormy weather. Afterward the frogs were busy croaking all night.

Joshua Tree National Park – A Favorite!

Cholla Cactus Garden Sign

Cholla Cactus Garden Sign

Close-up of Teddy Bear Cholla

Close-up of Teddy Bear Cholla

Sun Ring over Cholla Cactus Garden

Sun Ring over Cholla Cactus Garden

Mojave Mound Cactus

Mojave Mound Cactus

Joshua Tree Nicknamed the Telephone Pole

Joshua Tree Nicknamed the Telephone Pole

Bent Over Joshua Tree

Bent Over Joshua Tree

Large Joshua Tree

Large Joshua Tree

Jumbo Rocks

Jumbo Rocks

Close-up of Rock Formation

Close-up of Rock Formation

Joshua Tree Landscape in Infrared

Joshua Tree Landscape in Infrared

We always enjoying visiting Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert of California – it is one of our favorites! 

The spiny Cholla Cactus Garden is a wonderful place to take a careful walk (no sandals or flip-flops allowed). We got extra lucky when we visited because a sun ring formed in the sky above us – amazing!  More info on how sun halos form is at: http://earthsky.org/space/what-makes-a-halo-around-the-moon  

Joshua trees are fun to see because they come in so many shapes and sizes as a result of the environment. They are a member of the lily family. The rocky landscape is quite scenic, and is criss-crossed by multiple earthquake faults.  The San Andreas Fault forms the southern boundary of the park. More info about these faults is at: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/learn/nature/faults.htm   More info about visiting Joshua Tree National Park is at: http://www.joshuatree.org/

 

Anza Borrego: Galleta Meadows Sky Art

Grasshopper and Scorpion Pair

Grasshopper and Scorpion Pair

Infrared Grasshopper

Infrared Grasshopper

Infrared Scorpion

Infrared Scorpion

Merriam's Tapir

Merriam’s Tapir

Infrared Desert Landscape

Infrared Desert Landscape

Giant Tortoise

Giant Tortoise

African Elephant

African Elephant

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Gold Miner and His Mule

Gold Miner and His Mule

Willys Jeep

Willys Jeep

Sand Verbena

Sand Verbena

Flowering Opuntia Cactus

Flowering Opuntia Cactus

Epic Desert Flower Bloom in Spring 1998

Epic Desert Flower Bloom in Spring 1998

Every time we visit Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California, we always make time to see more of Ricardo Breceda’s metalwork creations at Galleta Meadows.  He carefully considers the placement of each statue in the landscape for best effect.  New “Sky Art” is constantly being added to the desert plain. 

A driving tour map is at: http://www.galletameadows.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52&Itemid=69  and at http://www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html

All posts about the sculptures are at: https://naturetime.wordpress.com/?s=galleta

Desert wildflower blooms are usually best during an El nino year because rain comes to the desert.  The best desert wildflowers we’ve ever seen was the Palm Springs bloom of 1998.

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