within you and without you


“The desert is beautiful,” the little prince added. And that was true. I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs and gleams…. “What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well..

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)

And so we begin this Good Planets “water weekend” in the desert. This photo came in a tad late last time from Linda of rvvagabonds but she gets a late pass. She is always on the move and probably in search of a signal in the various corners of the continent; this is the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona.

Shara also sent an image from the desert, but now we begin the water theme: this narrow canyon of the Virgin River in Zion National Park. She adds that hiking up the canyon requires wading or swimming in very very cold water. Delicious.


almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a
dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in
it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest
reveries–stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will
infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region…
Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded forever

-Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Susannah, aka Wanderin’ Weeta, sent this picture of a slough, brown and
brackish, in the Turtle Valley, in the hills south of Chase-Kamloops,
BC. It is the lowliest watering hole submitted and yet I can’t help but
wonder about the vast wealth of life it sustains. Then,in joyous
juxtaposition, she sends this splash of natural color, a rainbow in a
fountain at Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, BC.



I loved this photo submitted by Mamacita Jane. She lives in limestone
country, I believe near those quarries where they filmed that great
Indy film “Breaking Away.” Here she shows us a beautiful limestone
bridge at a nearby golf course. The term ‘green’ is most fitting. I’ve decided, incidentally, that golf courses have some of the
best wildlife around, usually lurking near the 11th hole.


One of our favorite resident photographers, Roxanne, also submitted a photo with a stone bridge, a smaller overpass for the road side above. Everything is about the reflection in this one, called Still Waters. It also reminds me of taking the children down to the riverside to look for turtles and frogs.




Have you read any of the Tom Brown Tracker
Somewhere in NJ, sent a photo that puts me in mind of them. Although she lives near enough to the shore, she visited the New
Jersey Meadowlands for her Good Planets photo: “synonymous with bad odors, burning dumps,
factories and warehouses – but this park and all the other projects
underway in the area represent something of a treasure to be examined
and marveled at – and
appreciated! – by people like me who don’t expect
such things in a setting as unattractive as we’ve come to expect when
traveling by on the NJ Turnpike. Sadly, that urban vision is what many
people think of when they think of NJ.” She mentions in post script the notion that Jimmy Hoffa might be buried there, but with my roots in Detroit, I
know for a fact he was last served at the Machus Red Fox Restaurant. The
contrast in Laura’s image, with bird houses and power lines, is
hauntingly beautiful.

“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is
never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever
rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on
seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth

-John Muir, (1838-1914)

Our friend, Bonnie, took time from contemplating her new role in life to send along this lovely photograph. A poet at heart, she can’t help herself when it comes to alliteration and thus she titles it ONE MISTY, MOISTY MORNING IN THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS. It looks so good to me, I believe I’ll go in August.Bonnie_2

Phil of Perils of Caffeine, dropped by with this photo. It looks entirely different from Bonnie’s but my suspicion, after a first time trip to his place, is that they are watery places not that far divided. I tried to zoom in a bit and see if those were houseboats along the shore but that was like trying to find the Needle in the city stacks. Is that Seattle? I like the solo boat in that vast blue harbor. I also liked, at first reading, his blog, so I’ll be visiting there again. I think he sits next to Rich on planes. Wait! I’m right because he just sent some more stellar examples of the PNW. I’m choosing this one of a kelp bed in north Puget Sound because I’m particularly fond of kelp. ‘Tis the habitat of otters! Did you know that mother otters will tie up their babies in a piece of kelp to anchor them in place while they go diving for a meal? And what, pray tell, do you call a whole big bunch of otters? A RAFT. I once saw a raft of otters, all tummy up and holding hands as they snoozed…






Two of my good neighbors recently traveled in Italy, where waterways are a way of life. Kenju (Judy) sent these lovely city scenes, the latter from the Ponte Vecchio of the Arno River.Judy2 But where is that castle, Judy?Judy


The frog does not
Drink up
The pond in which
He lives. -Native American Proverb


There are little ponds and big ponds in the inland seas. When I was a child, the shores of Lake Michigan marked the edge of the world; we called it going to The Big Lake. Now, Bud lives near a Great Lake that is big enough to hold all of the other Great Lakes combined and when I come over the crest of the hill at Lost Loon Lodge, Lake Superior- vast and deep and cold- is there in the distance. Did you know that, at maximum depth, it is 406 meters or 1332 ft. deep? Think about it.

Here is Angie’s peaceful little pond. I’ve always marveled that koi can settle into an almost frozen state for those winter months and then, with Spring’s warm temperatures, they drift back to life.Mykoipond


Perhaps on that spring morning
when Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden, Walden Pond was already in
existence, and even then breaking up in a gentle spring rain
accompanied with mist and a southerly wind, and covered with myriads
of ducks and geese, which had not heard of the fall, when still such
pure lakes sufficed them. -Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


Marilyn submitted the photo of the this lake nearby their home in southern PA. It’s early morning, just at sunrise and they are drifting quietly, fishing for bass to admire and release. I found this image the most peaceful and calming.

Yankee T, who sent in that beautiful magnolia tree two weeks ago, offers this equally tranquil scene, with his two of his daughters kayaking on a reservoir in Massachusetts while on vacation.


I always enjoy the water birds down here in Florida. We live near Ft. DeSoto Park with miles and miles of fine white sand and glistening sea shore. I’m particularly fond of the cheerful little piping plovers who race up and down as the tide recedes, dabbling and dashing here and there. Both of Evan’s submissions for Good Planets feature similar shorebirds. The first is a killdeer taken at Huntley Meadows in Alexandria Virginia. The second was also seen at Huntley and, like Evan, I can’t clearly identify it.Evan_2


That Liza Lee of Egret’s Nest also gave us mystery shorebirds this time. Do you know what they are, besides on the move?
No matter. This lovely photo needs to be cut into a thousand pieces to become the sort of picture puzzle you do on summer vacation at a cottage by the shore- the kind everyone picks at over a period of days and the kind where everyone is certain there are two pieces missing.Liza_2

Anne Fitten, aka Edgy Mama, is always so full of life and sparkle (often bordering on sass). Why am I not surprised then that we get this oh-so-blue and sparkle-y glimpse -just the top- of Andrew’s Geyser in Old Fort, North Carolina. She writes, ” About 100 years ago, some dude named Andrew built the mechanism to force the water from a natural spring to shoot about 100 feet into the air. The geyser is out in the middle of nowhere, but there’s an in-use train track that runs in a U-shape around and above the geyser. Watching the train circle the top of the geyser must be cool. Unfortunately, I don’t have a shot of that.” Still, I think these brilliant waterworks stand fine alone.Fitten


Bev, at Burning Silo, has me scouting around for my fly tying kit I got at Cabela’s a couple of years ago. It is actually a small pocket version; I have a large and beautiful wooden antique box filled with ancient hand tied nymphs, hooks in small corks glued to the lid. I tied these little flies back when I was casting (and releasing) out at Wit’s End. These pictures from Bev are a couple of shots she took of Black Creek. “We were hiking in the area around the creek (near Perth, Ontario), doing some bioblitzing last weekend.” BTW, if you haven’t been following the BloggerBioBlitz crew around these past and coming days, you should be. These two photos of this dark and wide stream with rushing currents are screaming, “Find your waders!”Unknown1Unknown3


When they went ashore the animals that took up a land life carried with them a part of the sea in their bodies, a heritage which they passed on to their children and which even today links each land animal with its origin in the ancient sea.
Fish, amphibian, and reptile, warm-blooded bird and mammal – each of us carries in our veins a salty stream in which the elements sodium, potassium, and calcium are combined in almost the same proportions as in sea water. This is our inheritance from the day, untold millions of years ago, when a remote ancestor, having progressed from the one-celled stage, first developed a circulatory system in which the fluid was merely the water of the sea. In the same way, our lime-hardened skeletons are a heritage from the calcium-rich ocean of Cambrian time. Even the protoplasm that streams within each cell of our bodies has the chemical structure impressed upon all living matter when the first simple creatures were brought forth in the ancient sea. And as life itself began in the sea, so each of us begins his individual life in a miniature ocean within his mother’s womb, and in the stages of his embryonic development repeats the steps bywhich his race evolved, from gill-breathing inhabitants of a water world to creatures able to live on land.”
-Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us (1907-1964)

The last three photographs are the very definition of the term “The Blue Planet.”

From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his
shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink
beneath the surface and he is free.
-Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)

My own little mermaid, Abigail, took these photos while diving off the coast of Costa
Rica at Aquila de Osa. “School” means something entirely different to her than it does to most 21 year olds. In the second photo, she had found a friend. They spent the better part of an hour diving together and once, when Abby surfaced and returned about fifteen minutes later, well, he was still waiting for her.Fishschoolabby_2

The last photograph comes to us from one of the patron saints of Good Planets, Robin Andrea. Taken at Fort Townsend, this was shortly before sunset, “and the colors seem to meld into every shade of blue. That’s an eagle on the piling and Mt. Baker across the bay.”Robin_3


Robin tells me that the next Good Planets is being hosted by sbgypsy at The Gypsy’s Caravan (http://sbgypsy.blogspot.com/). Her email address is sbgypsy@hotmail.com. The weekend dates are May 12th and May 26th. Watch for it and be sure to share more of your photographs of our most beautiful Good Planet. Thanks to everyone who contributed this week. If I forgot you, drop me a note right away and if you have a blog link that didn’t show up along with your photos, please let me know so I can add it. Phew!

“And the time will come when you see we’re all water,
life flows on within you and without you.”
-The Beatles

22 responses to “within you and without you

  1. Oh what a beautiful, wet, and watery planet we live on. A dazzling array of photos. That turtle is gorgeous.

    Thank you so much for putting this stunning edition of Good Planets together, vicki.

  2. Pretty, poetic pictures.
    Quesited quotations, Quickhatch.

  3. The photos are stunning, as usual. I’m fond of that last photo as Port Townsend changed my life 11 years ago this month! 😀

  4. Beautiful job. What a lot of work this must have been.

  5. WOW! Water water everywhere. Interesting that now that spring is finally here (I think) there are no photos of other forms of water–snow, ice. Maybe we have had enough for a bit.
    Thanks for all the work you did and all who shared their lovely photos.

  6. Beautiful photos and an inspired setting! Thank you!

    About my first photo, you wrote, “It is the lowliest watering hole submitted and yet I can’t help but wonder about the vast wealth of life it sustains.”

    You saw in it exactly what I see! So much so, that I had to go back and check my e-mail to you, to see if I had used that last clause. (I hadn’t.)

  7. I just borrowed that beautiful water and rainbow for my desktop. If I’m not supposed to do that, let me know and I’ll zap it immediately.

    And I’m linking to this right now.


  8. I am in awe of the beauty that you have assembled in this one entry. What an extraordinary piece of work!

    BTW, I followed your link home from Roxanne’s (SRP/Melange) site, and I look forward to reading more. I hope you’ll pop by my site and say hi as well.

    All the best,


  9. All birds that cannot be identified are known as “flittin’ birds.” Nice job of hosting, Ms. O’Keeffe.

  10. Fabulous, gorgeous, awe-inspiring and just plain beautiful – yes, I mean you, Vicki – AND all these great photos, too! The lake with the castle in the background was taken in Central Park, New York City (believe it or not).

  11. Great photos, Vickie and a wonderful job of tying them all together. I’m just sorry I missed the water pictures deadline–a bum knee kept me preoccupied this week and I didn’t stop by in time to see the theme and the deadline.

    I love your garden/yard and still remember the scent of the air in Hawaii 15 years after our cruise around the islands. Thanks for the reminder.

  12. Damn, I’m lazy. I have some lovely photos I wanted to send. But I enjoyed everyone else’s submissions. What a good planet we live on.

  13. As much as I love water, I didn’t have anything worthy for this. These are incredible photos, and Vicki, you are a incredibly good hostess!!!!

  14. All these places are gorgeous. I love water; it is very calming. I have always wanted to live on the water. Port Townsend is gorgeous indeed, as Wende says. You should come up and visit. (hint, hint)

  15. Very nice! I love your daughter’s *school* – what an incredible photo!

    Didn’t they dig up the end zone at Giant’s Stadium looking for Hoffa?


  16. Wow, wow, wow! Utterly fantastic pictures. Amazing quotes. Superior commentary. I’m so impressed!

  17. I get tied up in the angst of a child turning 21, a brother visiting and leaving and with me to search for a house for all of us… but for him to buy, after talking him out of one he thought was 80% perfect, but really wasn’t because the lot was too small with no room for pool or more importantly a garden for pumpkins, parents with colonoscopies and knee replacement planning and medications to refill and a 50th wedding anniversary trip to plan, cats to be medicated and retrained to eat when fed instead of nibble all day and a dog with an eye to wash and de-gunk and I only forgot to check your site for no more than 24 hours and here you have gone all prolific all over the place.

    This post was lovely and that misty picture on the marshes of NJ just took my breath away… either that or I am in the middle of a coronary event.

    I am going to bed. I will return and read the other posts tomorrow. I did see the seal and as seals always make me smile… I am content.

    Now where is that aspirin.

  18. Egret’s Nest beat me to the punch: Wow, wow, wow! They are all gorgeous. I especially enjoy the photos that were taken in the Pacific Northwest (seeing as how that’s where I’m from originally).

  19. The April archives of Good Planets photos are posted on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/goodplanets/. Thanks for your hard work and wonderful comments. And thanks to all the photographers for submitting their glorious images.

  20. Nice work photographers.
    Excellent work madam organizer/quote finder!

  21. Thanks, Vicki! Yes, that’s downtown Seattle, viewed from Gasworks Park on Lake Union. I have a little slideshow of houseboats, photographed from my kayak, here:


  22. Ann Adams:

    Since the rainbow was my contribution, I can say that I am more than happy that you are using it as background!


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