Photo Gallery of Inspiration: Look to Nature and Remember Your Dreams

Summer skies over Green Valley Lake, Ca.
Summer skies over Green Valley Lake, Ca. | Source
title: Hope for the Wounded..Big Bear, Ca.(fire zone)
title: Hope for the Wounded..Big Bear, Ca.(fire zone) | Source
sky blossoms..Crestline, ca. Waterman Canyon.
sky blossoms..Crestline, ca. Waterman Canyon. | Source
Rainbow Twilight...Running Springs, Ca.
Rainbow Twilight...Running Springs, Ca. | Source
The Moonspinners...a golden sunset near Crest Forest, Ca.
The Moonspinners...a golden sunset near Crest Forest, Ca. | Source
Scarlet passions...a sunset in Rim Forest, Ca.
Scarlet passions...a sunset in Rim Forest, Ca. | Source
Spring is coming! Taken in Crestline, off Highway 18, Ca.
Spring is coming! Taken in Crestline, off Highway 18, Ca. | Source
Splendor...Big Bear lake, Ca.
Splendor...Big Bear lake, Ca. | Source
Running Springs..an almost tropical sky..
Running Springs..an almost tropical sky.. | Source
Baldwin Lake..silver and gold..
Baldwin Lake..silver and gold.. | Source
On a Clear day, you can see (almost) forever..Rim Forest, Ca.
On a Clear day, you can see (almost) forever..Rim Forest, Ca. | Source
a gift of roses in the sky..Crestline, Ca.
a gift of roses in the sky..Crestline, Ca. | Source
a mixture of cool and warm tones make this sunset over Valley of Enchantment dramatic..
a mixture of cool and warm tones make this sunset over Valley of Enchantment dramatic.. | Source
peach sunset over Heap's Peak..
peach sunset over Heap's Peak.. | Source
I call this photo, Remember Your Dreams! Running Springs, Ca.
I call this photo, Remember Your Dreams! Running Springs, Ca. | Source
Turquoise twilight with a full moon...Crestline, Ca.
Turquoise twilight with a full moon...Crestline, Ca. | Source
Summer Clouds over Big Bear Lake..the start of a wonderful day..
Summer Clouds over Big Bear Lake..the start of a wonderful day.. | Source
"splendor..." on Highway 18, Crestline, Ca.
"splendor..." on Highway 18, Crestline, Ca. | Source
"Blue Corn Moon.."over Lake Gregory..
"Blue Corn Moon.."over Lake Gregory.. | Source
A  bright golden sunset luminates Boulder Bay, in Big Bear Lake...made all the more intense with Photo shop enhancements..
A bright golden sunset luminates Boulder Bay, in Big Bear Lake...made all the more intense with Photo shop enhancements.. | Source

Inspiration...where does it come from? And perhaps, more imporantly, how do we keep it? For me, the mountain skies of the San Bernardino National Forest have been a continual source of joy and encouragement. In all seasons and moods, it never fails to lift me up and point the way to a higher, better reality. Equipped with my trusty Nikon Coolpix and my Topaz Labs Photoshop, I can create virtual oil paintings without lifting a brush. The artist in me is always amazed at the rich resources of nature and photography. The photos you have viewed are a small percentage of my work, but some of my very favorite sunsets and twilight compositions. Each one is a precious memory of a hike or photo shoot outing.

The variety of the terrain makes it difficult to stay dull or aloof.  There are jagged, frightful peaks in the Pinnacles of Lake Arrowhead.  A few miles away, quiet Lake Gregory calls to the boater as well as the hiker. Up the highway you can encounter the highest altitude lake in California...Green Valley. Further on awaits the winding, challenging drive to Big Bear Lake.

The history of this area--The San Bernardino Mountains of California--is in itself somewhat inspirational. It was once peopled with the mighty Serrano Indian Nation, who used the mountains to escape the oppressive heat of the "flatlands" down below. The Serrano lived in grassy huts and ate a mush made of ground acorns, in villages of perhaps up to sixty people. In 1839 Juan Bandini, an explorer, followed the Indian Trails and founded a saw mill. More settlers came, including the Mormons. By 1929, Crest Forest had its first official Fire Department.

The Gold Rush struck Big Bear by way of a wounded Grizzly bear. A man named Will Holcomb followed a wounded Grizzly deep into the piney forests and came upon the precious metal floating in the creeks. In 1860 the word was out and many miners came to Big Bear, leaving behind abandoned mines and old graves that I personally have visited while hiking the area. The name for Big Bear was once Yuhaviat, meaning piney place--the old Serrano name that would be replaced with Big Bear lake and Big Bear City. Hollywood elite would find the area alluring, and many films would be shot here, including parts of Gone with the Wind, Dr. Dolittle, and Paint Your Wagon.

To those who enjoy educational stories, there is a wonderful book out called Ghost Town Schoolmarm by Tom Core. It is the touching and courageous true story of Anna Crain, who came to a tiny mining town called Doble (Big Bear) and taught the children of the pioneers there. Her memoirs are complete with amazing photos from the era, showing this admirable teacher rock-climbing with her small charges. Now, all that is left of those days is a poignant tiny graveyard in Doble with wooden crosses.

Today, tourists from all over the world find their way here. Many come for the ski resorts, many for the hiking trails and amazing vistas of beauty. What makes this area a continual joy for a photographer is its ability to pull one in, away from the drab and stressful, into a magical world of joy, and delight. For those of you, like myself, perhaps lack the training to create oil painting masterpieces, a good camera and a photoshop program may pave the way for adventures in discovery. At any rate...we all must remember and cling to our dreams..every sunset and twilight should encourage us to reach out for beauty and possess it.

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Comments 11 comments

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

Each one of your photographs is a gem, like an artist's painting. I love the way you've captured different moods with the changing colors and light. Very beautiful hub!


GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank you, Stephanie--I entered it in the Photo contest. wanted to enter two hubs but am not sure its within the rules..


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

As long as this is the first time the hub has been published, you can enter up to 5 hubs a day. (We can't go back and enter a photo gallery hub that we've published previous to the contest.) I'd love to see you publish another photo gallery hub - your photographs are wonderful! There's still time!


shami327 profile image

shami327 5 years ago from Dubai UAE

Beautiful photographs.... :)


hhunterr profile image

hhunterr 5 years ago from Highway 24

Thanx. This helped to recall my own. Moon a great way to end!


vasantha T k 5 years ago

vibrant colors great pictures voted up


Keith Matyi profile image

Keith Matyi 5 years ago from Denton, TX

Great photographs! Plus a well-written story. Keep up the good work!


GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank all of you--I need some encouragement as we're buried in a foggy, rainy cold weekend with no sign of sun.ha


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

Very impressive photographs of the San Bernardino Mountains. I have come to believe we have some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world, which you have captured very well here.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

These photographs are magnificent and stunning. Pure and rejuvenating energy for the soul of the viewer! Good luck in the contest.

Voted up across the board except for funny.


GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 5 years ago from Northern California Author

THANK YOU!!! you're all wonderful..

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