Not magic: a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Not Magic.
underwater-lifeunderwater-life-2Underwater life is no magic. It is real in the tangible physical world. Where did such wonder come from? The same where every living and none living things (including planets and the origins of the materials and matters that form planets, stars, gases and forces) and creatures come from.

Bible verses:
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly over the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.
God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it.
And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth. (Genesis 1:20-22)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
Notes (excerpted from Wikipedia online)
The Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) is a non-profit public aquarium located in Monterey, California, United States. The aquarium was founded in 1984 and is located on the site of a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row. It has an annual attendance of around two million visitors. It holds thousands of plants and animals, representing more than 600 species on display. The aquarium benefits from a high circulation of fresh ocean water which is obtained through pipes which pump it in continuously from Monterey Bay. Sea life on exhibit includes stingrays, jellyfish, sea otters, sea horses, and numerous other native marine species, which can be viewed above and below the waterline. In January 1996, the aquarium opened the Outer Bay wing to provide exhibits covering the open-water ecology of Monterey’s Outer Bay. The MBA has more than 400 employees and over 1000 volunteers. Operating costs are largely covered by visitor admission, as well as by special events and membership dues. No government money is involved, with the exception of an occasional federal grant given to visiting scientists, for study.

my tiny fruitful acquaintances

Tiny
gospel-bearing-fruitThis picture of tiny berries was taken when I was looking for bright colors in Autumn. It grew by the roadside. The colors are rich and give a feeling of the richness of nature in this season when those who labor can expect a harvest. The birds and squirrels too have waited for this time as they need to prepare for the bareness of Winter. I cannot now remember whether it was the same day I met some squirrels who were busy working and hardly noticed my existence. When I saw them I became careful not to loiter near their workplace. We remained friendly and mutually respectful acquaintances from a distance.

Psalm 72:16 There shall be abundance of grain in the soil upon the top of the mountains [the least fruitful places in the land]; the fruit of it shall wave like [the forests of] Lebanon, and [the inhabitants of] the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. (AMPC)

a tiny goodbye with two poems

tiny-flowers
He said goodbye to this Tiny garden that morning as he did the usual round of walking solo before he left for another country.

Walking is a passion but it cannot be done with joy without the existence of the teeming lives on the way. This cluster of tiny flowers livens up his walk. They are like friends who are so used to each  other that they hardly need to talk. A gentle tilting of the head and a shadow of a smile at the tip of the lips, a slight lighting up of the eyes, and a mutual recognition in the heart…are all that requires. For good friends it is not hard to say goodbye. They update travel schedule by forwarding the airline email. Sometimes they text the other when they are onboard waiting for others to settle and the waitresses to walk pass and remind them to turn off the mobiles.

In the olden era in an eastern country the traveler is usually accompanied by the friend and they walk outside the city gate to where the meandering highway touches the foot of a mountain. They pause and toast each other a farewell drink and then part. The same for the waterway. They part at the quay and wait till the boat sails off with the traveler. Many beautiful farewell poems are written and I quote below two poems in the translated versions I found at random on the internet.

Wang Wei (701-761): Farewell (1- Here in the hills, I bade you farewell)

1 Here in the hills, I bade you farewell;
2 And by dusk I closed my twiggen door.
3 O grass will again be green next spring!
4 Might you, my lord, be back once more?

Farewell to a Friend
by Li Bai
Green mountains bar the northern sky;
White water girds the eastern town.
Here is the place to say goodbye,
You’ll drift out, lonely thistledown.
Like floating cloud you’ll float away;
With parting clay I’ll part from you.
We wave and you start on your way,
Your horse still neighs: “Adieu! adieu!”

Flowers are not in chaos

not-in-chaos
Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you. (1 Corinthians 14:26)

The flowers are Not in Chaos !

Thank God!

view from a train on three stations

Shine on Davis, Sacramento, Colfax
shine-davies-20160118shine-sacramentoshine-colfaxAs I look at these pictures I took last January from a train, I realize how attractive the color yellow is when the sun shines on it. The buildings with the yellow plastered on them are basked under the sunshine and become beautiful. They are of three distinctly different architecture. The third one is not the station itself. But I use this photo because of the art someone put on it to make it friendly despite its being a mere humble godown or something like that (my apology as I cannot figure out what it is looking at its back). Notwithstanding its lacking in impressive historically or culturally relevant architecture, I like the fact that when the sun shines on it the color stands out just as well as the others. In fact, all three buildings bring out the shine well in each own unique way.

Here are some facts about the three stations quoted from Wikipedia.
The original Sacramento station was the terminal of the Central Pacific Railroad. The present building, designed by the San Francisco architectural firm of Bliss and Faville for the Southern Pacific Railroad, was built in 1926 in the Renaissance Revival style. Decorative features include a red tile roof and terracotta trim, as well as large arches on the main facade. It was rebuilt in 2012. Architectural style: Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Other.

Davis, formerly known as Davisville, is a train station in Davis, California. It was built by the California Pacific Railroad between August 24 and November 15, 1868, In 1871 the Cal-P (as it later was called) was taken over by the Central Pacific Railroad; a fire later burned down the 19th century-style station. In 1914 the Central Pacific built a second depot, which was remodeled in 1986. The depot was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Architectural style: Mission/Spanish Revival.

Colfax station is an Amtrak train station in Colfax, California. It serves the California Zephyr line. It is unstaffed. The station was built in 1905 by Southern Pacific Railroad and was restored in the early 21st Century; in addition to a waiting room, the building also houses the Colfax Heritage Museum.

a merry heart’s journey edge

Edge
edge-of-mountain-river2is a comparative advantage. It is also the outside limit of an object, area, or surface; a place or part farthest away from the center of something. I took this photo on a train climbing a mountain. The river looks as if it is at the edge of the track. I probably slanted my mobile phone camera quite steeply or perhaps the climb was rather steep. We went up to 7000 ft and then descended to around 4000 ft to stay in a very scenic town and ski resort. When I first discovered that we were to climb 7000 ft in a train I was a bit concerned. I wondered how it would be like cutting through the mountain with a steep edge on the side of the track. As we settled ourselves in very comfortable coaches and started taking photos we hardly noticed the climb. It was very pleasant and the edge was not noticeable at that time.  Only when I now look at the photos and recall the scenes I marvel at how we can always look at the positive side of things and enjoy lives despite the environment. A merry heart does have its edge over  a miserable heart in challenging circumstances.

a beautiful wordless reflection of a long gone memory

Mirror a wordless reflection one morning in winter. Wordless beauty.
wordless-reflectionLooking at this today brings back long gone memory of a time when he first had a glimpse of her in the mirror. She was getting ready to go to work. He watched her at the door. He could only see her back. But then he saw her smiling in the mirrored reflection. She has her way of smiling which captures heart. Many years ago. Sparkling eyes smiling. He never forgets that smile. Wordless and yet beautiful. He cannot forget.