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Ganesh Chaturti on the Shenandoah

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Sometime last summer (during the height of the pandemic), “the shrine” on my property was designed by Allen Kitselman and implemented by Claudio and his brother.  On 9/12 it was properly initiated with a Ganesh Chaturi ceremony led by Karthik.

Here’s how that went down.

First, Karthik shared the significance of Ganesh Chaturti, read some ancient text, and made an offering.

Ready for the ceremony

 

Karthik leads the reading

 

Incense

 

Ganesh at the shrine (and everywhere else in the universe too)

 

In the verdant woods of Virginia

 

A gift for the mantle

 

Then it was off to the river for part two of the ceremony, a small prayer with an earthen Ganesha moorti which Jackie immersed in the Shenandoah river in a traditional way (plus kayaks).

We kayaked several miles together.  Had lunch. Saw eagles. Reveled in nature.  There was a cheeto sighting.

When we were getting ready to depart, the truck failed to start.  But we persevered (with some help from Skaggs and a trusty hammer).

 

And then some fabulous food and conversation.

All in all, an excellent day.  The shrine is consecrated and new friendships blossom.

Bindi people

 

Today, the light

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Three views from the corner.

Trio one

 

Trio two

 

Trio three

The walk.

 

 

Mogli blends

 

Shenandoah

 

 

 

Light

 

 

 

Tree fire

What the Fuji

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Fujiyama from the shinkansen.

Arashiyama

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Autumn in Kyoto

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Return to Fushimi Inari (Kyoto)

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Four years is the blink of an eye for this Shinto Shrine in Kyoto since it has been here for over 1300 years. A previous visit was pre-Fall in 2015. This visit happened at the height of Fall in Japan.

Wentworth Falls Hike

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As it turns out, getting from Katoomba to Wentworth Falls in a taxi (all of 4 miles) costs more than a roundtrip train ride to Sydney. Brian and I had quite the adventure because when we arrived at the train station there were no luggage lockers. Ultimately a very nice hairdresser near the station said she would watch our bags while we did a quick morning hike.

So it was off on a 1 hour and 50 minute walk of around 3.5 miles with a 1000 foot elevation delta. Yes, we did some stairs, but not all of them this time. Once again, the weather was perfect.

We made the Sydney train with only 1 minute to wait before departure. Excellent “plan.”

Wentworth falls trail is cut directly into the cliff

 

 

Wentworth falls in the early morning

 

Upper pool

 

 

Four days on skis (Norway)

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Day one involved cross country skiing. This is not a thing we do well. We got better.

 

At least there were waffles and beer! Though I think that home brew knocked my internals out of whack.

Our skiing all happened somewhere around here

Day two was also cross country.

 

 

On the third day, we arose from the dead and did some downhill.

Then it was back on the grindstone for more cross country.

This guy had better skis than we did

Fin

Cheers!

After skiing, there is always bubbly!

Shenandoah Bluebells 2019

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The bluebells are peaking in mid-April this year (a bit early), so we are outta here, headed to Norway for more winter. Because we, um, actually we think we’re nuts.

Here are some pictures from the daily walk.

Willie likes Spring

Bluebells by the river (this is our home loop)

The dogs have lost the trail!

The greening of the Blue Ridge has begun

This field smells like honey

Pollen leg is a thing

Footbridge on Wheat Spring Branch

Really Big Trees Near Guernville (Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve)

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Whatever you do, make sure you visit the amphitheater (though this time of year it might have better been called the “amphibian-theater”). Also visit a winery and catch a buzz before you park the car.

The posse

Amy dwarfed by a giant redwood

The band at the crest

Crown

More crown

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