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California has It’s Faults~

Originally posted on :

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Lots of ‘em too! This is the seismically active Laguna Salada Fault that lies about 50 miles east of The Holler. The ridge line is the uplifted side of the fault with rocks pushed up helter-skelter in a major quake millions of years ago. You are looking through the ridge line of the fault in this photo, into the rift valley below that was also created by this massive quake.

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On the other side of the fault ridge line, the mostly empty Anza Borrego desert stretches for 100′s of miles into the horizon. These faults in Southern California are split offs from the huge San Andreas fault and create some amazingly beautiful geography. Just as with people, faults make things much more interesting……

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It is estimated that this fault is capable of producing quakes between 6.5- 7.5 magnitude. It is quieter than the mighty San Andreas which is more actively…

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Originally posted on leaf and twig:

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the flame
of red geranium
against the chimney wall

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One of the temple gates.

 

One must walk barefoot on the grounds of a Hindu Temple. At the Ramanathaswamy Temple, the approach to the temple begins several streets away, and all this ground is sacred and belongs to the temple; walking barefoot over the cobbled stones and occasional debris can be a bit of a challenge.

 

Inside the temple, it is cool and dark. Through large windows, one can see through to the outside, where the temple is surrounded by 22 theerthas. These are huge sacred tanks; pilgrims are blessed by immersion in the water. This is generally accomplished by people filing by as a priest pours an entire bucket of water over each of their heads.

 

Still dripping, the pilgrims then enter the main part of the temple. In the floor near the entranceway, are shallow channels which carry away the water.

 

One of India’s holiest sites, the island of Rameshwaram is where the ancient King Rama journeyed on his way to Lanka to rescue his kidnapped wife Sita. Rameshwaram lies off the coast of mainland India on the way to Sri Lanka.

 

Thousands of years ago, during the course of rescuing Sita, Rama killed her abductor, the demon-king Ravana. The problem that arose, however, was that Ravana, even though he was not a very nice fellow, was a Brahmin – and this meant that by killing him, Rama was guilty of the sin of Brahmahatya, or killing a Brahmin – a sin that had to be expiated.

 

Ravana, the ten-headed demon king of Lanka.

Ravana, the ten-headed demon king of Lanka.

 

So Rama, on his return from Lanka with the rescued Sita, stopped at the site where today the Rameshwaram temple stands, to worship Shiva and to be cleansed from his sin. The very ancient site was sacred to Shiva even then. Rama sent his trusted friend the monkey God Hanuman to go to Mount Kailash to bring back a shivalingam, a representation of Shiva, to install in the temple. Mount Kailash is in the Himalayas, thousands of miles north of Rameshwaram which is in the far south of India, so, even though Hanuman could fly, it took him a while. It took so long that in the meantime, Sita had built a small lingam out of mud and placed it in the temple.

 

When Hanuman returned with the large stone lingam he had brought from the far north, Rama decreed that both lingams would always remain in the temple, where they are today.

 

Like other ancient south Indian temples, the Ramanathaswamy Temple is surrounded by a high rectangular wall which runs 865 feet from east to west and 657 feet from north to south.

 

The temple is at least as old as the time of the Ramayana, which may be around 3,000 BCE. In the beginning, it was a simple shed in the charge of a hermit. The building of the temple in its current form was begun during the Pandyan Dynasty of south India.

 

Other kings added structures from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries, gradually expanding the temple to the huge complex it is today.

 

The temple contains the longest temple corridor to be found anywhere in the world; the outer wing of the third corridor goes 690 feet east and west, as well as 435 feet north and south. Standing at the corner where they meet in a right angle, one can look a very long way down one way and then down the other. On either side of the corridor, 1212 carved columns rise from five foot high platforms and stretch 27 feet up to the ceiling. There are also inner corridors.

 

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The longest temple corridor in the world.

 

On a visit to the temple in the early years of the twentieth century, the Hindu saint, Swami Vivekananda, gave an address, saying: “Let me tell you again that you must be pure and help anyone who comes to you as much as lies in your power. And this is good Karma. By the power of this, the heart becomes pure and then Shiva who is residing in everyone, will become manifest.”

 

Rameswaram is one of the four holiest places of pilgrimage in India; these lie in the four directions. They are Varanasi (Benares) in the north, Puri in the east in Odisha, Ramaneshwaram in the south, and Dwarka in the west. Rameswaram is sacred to both Vaishnavites and Shaivites, both those who worship Vishnu and those who worship Shiva.

 

 

© Sharon St Joan, 2014

 

Top photo: Vinayaraj / Wikimedia Commons / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. One of the gopurams or gates of the Temple.

 

Second photo: Painting by an unknown artist around 1920. /Wikimedia Commons. / This work is in the public domain in India because its term of copyright has expired. / Ravana.

 

Third photo: Purshi /  Wikimedia Commons / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. /  Te longest temple corridor in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally posted on Coalition for American Wildbirds:

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“The crow hunt would definitely hurt crow populations,” says Dr. Wayne Whaley, an ornithologist and Professor of Biology at Utah Valley University, in Orem, Utah.

On June 5, 2014, the Utah Wildlife Board voted 3-2 to allow, for the first time ever, a crow hunt in Utah. The hunt is now scheduled to take place over four months — the whole of September and December of 2014, as well as all of January and February 2015.

A comment period is being held now, during the month of July, ending on July 31. To send in your comment, please see below, at the end.

A public hearing will be held on July 29 – see below for details.

The decision to hold the hunt can still be reversed, so public participation is as important as ever.

Dr. Whaley calls the hunt “unethical and unscientific” and says that the small population of…

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Moss Forest

Originally posted on leaf and twig:

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a tree
grows its own
tiny forest
of moss

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Givers of Life~

Originally posted on :

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Trees sustain us
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They take in poisonous carbon dioxide,
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and give out pure oxygen.
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These massive Canyon Oaks grow on western coastal mountain ridges.
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Rare giant canyon oaks like these can reach up to 90 feet in height.
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These giants are growing in Mt. Palomar State Park which lies about 35 miles east of The Holler as a crow flies at 5-6000 feet elevation.
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The acorns created by these Canyon Oaks provided critical sustenance to ancient peoples.
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The Luiseno people’s metates, or ancient acorn grinding holes, are unmarked, but visible throughout the park.
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Cheers to you from Mt. Palomar’s gentle, life-sustaining, giants~

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Boats seen from Pamban Bridge

Boats seen from Pamban Bridge

 

A narrow bridge, the Pamban bridge, which opened in 1914, goes from mainland India to Rameshwaram, the long narrow island, off the Indian coast, across from Sri Lanka. Standing at the bridge railing one can see the waters of the Bay of Bengal on either side, and watch the fishing boats.

 

One of the most sacred pilgrimage destinations in India, Rameshwaram is visited every day by thousands of pilgrims who come to retrace the footsteps of Rama, the ancient divine king, who came to Rameshwaram thousands of years ago, on his way to Lanka (Sri Lanka) to take back his wife Sita, who had been kidnapped by the demon-king, Ravana.

 

Rameshwaram is filled with sacred sites, where Rama passed by so long ago.

 

A walkway leads out into the sea, where pilgrims go to visit the site of the Nine Planets, or Navagraha.

 

The Nine Planets are a representation of the planets that is found in most Shaiva temples in south India. Inside temples, they are always set in three rows of three icons each, in precisely geometrical alignment – the visible celestial bodies; the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn, and also Rahu and Ketu, which are the lunar nodes, the two points where the path of the moon crosses the path of the sun.

 

Encircled by pillars and by a walkway that surrounds them, the Navagrahi consists of nine weathered stones standing in the water, in the same arrangement of three statues in three rows, as in the temples. From the encircling walkway, one can go down a few steps to touch the water to receive the blessing of the Nine Planets, or to wade into the water, as some people do.

 

It is said that the nine stone statutes are the petrified wood remains of nine trees that originally grew in that formation. Perhaps the sea rose over the centuries and partly covered them with water. How the trees grew in that formation or how long it took them to become petrified wood remain unanswered questions.

 

Rama visited this site, Devipattinam, after Devi, the Goddess, came to him in a dream and told him that he needed to pay homage to the nine planets to remove the affliction of adverse conditions of his horoscope.

 

So the site must be much older than the time of Rama, which may be around 3,000 BC, according to some sources.

 

It is said that circumambulating this Navagrahi will take away any adverse conditions in the stars of a pilgrim who visits them.

 

A tree at Rameshwaram.

A tree at Rameshwaram.

 

Also in the sea, at another location, is a well. About 25 feet deep, it is encircled in concrete. Peering down into the well, one can see water at the bottom, where seawater would normally be. However the water is not salt water, but fresh water.

 

The story goes that after Rama had rescued Sita, on their way back from Lanka, Sita became very thirsty. There was no water to drink, and they were surrounded by the sea. Rama shot an arrow into the sand, and at that point, a spring came up, bubbling fresh water, so that Sita could have a drink. As the sea level rose over time, a well was built around the spring to protect it. Now it is a concrete well, with fresh water in the bottom, in the middle of the sea.

 

© 2014, text and photos, Sharon St Joan

 

 

 

 

Originally posted on Rashid's Blog:

Agra
Agra ,the former capital of Hindustan, is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state ofUttar Pradesh, IndiaWith a population of 1,686,976 (2010 est.), it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most populous in India. Agra can also refer to the administrative district that has its headquarters in Agra city. It is a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra is included on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit, along with Delhi and Jaipur.

Ahmedabad

is the largest city and former capital of the western Indian state of Gujarat. It is the administrative headquarters of the Ahmedabad district and the seat of the Gujarat High Court. With a population of more than 5.8 million and…

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Originally posted on Palestine Rose:

painting-by-Palestinian-artist-Nabil-Anani

Hands, Hearts, Souls… in rainbow design,
…from the ashes, we will rebuild Palestine.
 

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Abode

Originally posted on leaf and twig:

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an open heart
the space to grow in

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