Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Just One of God's Gifts

Nature is too beautiful to be an accident.

Click the picture but of course Monsieur and Mademoiselle...

Reminder - once at the APOD site, clicking the picture again will get you a large version. 

PS - I'd have to have to use that outhouse...


  1. I am reminded of a snowy manger scene.

    1. Not far from the mark Ed. Not at all.

    2. I can see that too, Ed, now that you've mentioned it.

  2. I wish that everyone could be familiar with Hans Christian Andersen's wonderful tale called The Snow Queen. In my view it is one of the greatest and most beautiful stories ever published.

    It begins with a little girl called Gerda, and a little boy called Kay who live in two neighboring garrett apartments presumably in one of the poorer sections of Copenhagen. The attachment between them is strong, but one day Kay gets a tiny splinter of glass in his eye, but it is no ordinary glass, it is piece of a mirror conjured up by demons to make everyone who gazes into it see nothing but ugliness, deception, ruin and decay.

    Kay soon becomes surly and hard-hearted, but Gerda still loves him. One day Kay is kidnapped by The Snow Queen –– a formidable figure to say the least. "She was very beautiful, but she was made entirely of ICE –– glittering, dazzling ICE" is the way Andersen describes her. She carries him through the sky in her sleigh all the way to her palace at the Center of the North Pole.

    Garda, who has never lost faith in her friend's essential goodness, sets out to rescue him. What she encounters along the way gives us a series of touchingly beautiful and fascinating vignettes about life in the world's Northernmost lands. The Northern Lights play a significant role in the drama, and the characters we meet are as unforgettable as they are varied and completely enchanting.

    The universal theme that Love can and will conquer all obstacles if one remains faithful and true is evoked with nearly unbearable poignancy in this most beautiful, I think, of all the tales Andersen ever published.

    I hope this doesn't seem unrelated, Kid, because your picture today brought that story back in a flash. The little "outhouse" could well have been the hut of the Lapp Woman who sheltered and aided Gerda in her quest to find her lost soulmate.

    I suspect L. Frank Baum must have been inspired by this story to write The Wizard of Oz, which explores an almost identical theme, but in a uniquely American way. I love both stories, but the Snow Queen, first read to me by my mother shortly after Christmas in 1946 has stayed with me all my life and remains the favorite of all I have read ever since.

    Again your picture captures the atmosphere in Andersen's tale so well, felt I just had t talk about The Snow Queen.

    1. Thanks FT, I didn't know about that one. :-)

  3. Whoa! I just hope the seat is styrofoam or you might be there a while :) It does appear the sentinel trees are trying desperately to turn away from the source of the frozen stench. I just wish I initially saw things as majestic and beautiful (like Ed and FT) rather than painful and stinky.

    1. It CAN be done, DB, but it takes lots of practice. I recommend cultivating a more cheerful optimistic view as much as possible, and working hard each day to find the BEAUTY in things and in other people. It IS there, but we have to train ourselves to look for it.

      It's a lot like trying to find the threads of GOLD buried inside mountains of rock and rubble.

      Personally, I think we send far too much time DENIGRATING everything we don't like. That feeds on itself, and can tae over our lives if we let it.

      Anyway, thank you for recognizing some good qualities in what Ed and I had posted.

      Read The Snow Queen. It's NOT just for kids, believe me.

      I believe we ARE what we THINK.

      So, how could it not be important to cultivate good kind, pleasant thoughts? ;-)


    2. DaBlade, I meant to write "I'd Hate to have to..."

  4. The whole scene looks other-wordly, the trees reminiscent of galactic gas cloud plumes. Re the outhouse, I think I'd wait for summer to use it.

    1. Hi, Cube,

      If you don't already know it, or haven't read it in many years, I urge you –– and anyone else who passes this way –– to read The Snow Queen. I think you would love it. You can read it right at your computer, if you use the following link.


      We usually think of Andersen's Fairy Tales as written for children, but as I've grown older –– and older –– I appreciate their beauty more and more, and realize their meaning much more than I did when I first heard them read to me at age five.

    2. Cube, Yes, like the Pillars of Creation. :-) My thought exactly too.

    3. Freethinke, as a lifelong voracious reader, I do remember reading the Hans Anderson version of "The Snow Queen" as a child, but your comment brought it home to me as something that would be worth my while to re-read. Thank you for that.

    4. Kid, yes, I was thinking of exactly the Pillars of Creation... that sounds so much better than galactic gas cloud plumes.

    5. Cube, and it's nice we got something of value for our NASA/Science related tax money in these images.

    6. Yes, way better than obama's idea of NASA being a moslem outreach... bleech.

    7. Good GOD yea, how disgusting was that.

  5. When we have our next big snowstorm, I'm going to use that photo as my Facebook banner.

    BTW, I often use APOS's photos as my banner.

    1. AOW, I have cycling APOD pictures as my wallpaper.

    2. Kid,
      I haven't gotten around to cycling the pictures, but I use one that I've saved as my wallpaper. Great stuff!

    3. AOW, SO much beauty out there. Which is why I love th3e big picture so much. Keeps me sane.

  6. It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,

    It fills with alabaster wool

    The wrinkles of the road.

    It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain ––
Unbroken forehead from the east

    Unto the east again.

    It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,

    Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil

    On stump and stack and stem ––
    The summer's empty room,

    Acres of seams where harvests were,

    Recordless, but for them.

    It ruffles wrists of posts,

    As ankles of a queen ––

    Then stills its artisans like ghosts,

    Denying they have been.

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)