Mima Mounds Natural Area – Olympia, WA

Mima Mounds - May 2016

Sunset from the tree line at the Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve outside of Olympia, WA in the Pacific Northwest south of Seattle.

Acres and acres of mounds cover this vast prairie, all mounds surprisingly similar in shape and size.

  • What are they?
  • Why are they here?

No one really knows.

The theory’s on their origins range from prehistoric gophers, Native American burial sites, erosion, volcanic eruptions, glacial freeze and thaw cycles, even tsunamis and earthquakes. But, got now there is nothing even close to consensus on the origin of these mounds.

Although, not as majestic as Mt. Rainier, nor as intimidating as Mt. St. Helen’s or as breathtaking as the Olympic Mountains, there is an air of mystery. As you walk through the mounds, the soft breezes blowing the prairie grasses at your feet, there is a feeling of something larger at play here. It is spiritually awe-inspiring and foreboding at the same time.

Maybe sometimes, there are things that we are not supposed to know and the trick is to learn to live and be okay with the mystery. Once the mystery is solved the mystique is gone.

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Rushing Waters

(A short video of Snoqualimie Falls in Washington state, enjoy!)

The rushing waters
Never slowing
They cascade
Falling
Down

Bright
And new
Washed clean
Standing upright
In the waters rush

~Mark Schutter ©2015

Rodeo Fun!

Spent the day at the Roy Pioneer Rodeo in Roy, Washington with family.  Roy is a small town, very small, southeast of Seattle and Tacoma. I grew up going to rodeos in Idaho and Oregon and the small ones always seem to be the most fun.

These are some pictures taken with my smartphone throughout the event and edited using the app Snapseed. All photos are copyright of Mark Schutter ©2014. 

Enjoy the pics and what are you doing this Labor Day weekend?

The Fade Begins…

Mark Schutter ©2014

Mark Schutter ©2014 

Photograph taken with a Samsung Galaxy 4 smart phone at the Washington State Fairground while attending the 48th Annual Dual Spring Show, Daffodil Arabian Horse Association of Washington.  The day was an unusual mix of weather including sun, rain, hail, wind, clouds pretty much you name it we experienced it throughout the day!

 

 

Where It All Began!

A ‘Throwback Thursday‘ picture of where my love for horses all began!

Circa 1970?   Mark Schutter ©2014

Circa 1970?    ~Mark Schutter ©2014

I could not really say if this was the very first time I rode a horse by myself, but it definitely was part of what started my journey and love for horses.  I believe this was taken around 1970 when I was 5 or 6, on my uncle’s ranch in central Washington state. (Someone correct me if I am wrong! :))

During my lifetime there has only been one short period of time when my family actually owned horses and this was when I was in high school.  My love for this amazing animal has never wavered.  I have always looked for opportunities to ride and be around horses.  From hunting and pack trips into the wilderness, beach rides and even climbing over fences to ride horses in a nearby field.  Yes, my friends and I got caught and got into trouble! I even started studying veterinary science in college, before turning to pursue my other passion, art.

If you browse my artwork here on the blog in the tab Art Gallery or on my Fine Art America site you will see the image of the horse as a recurring theme.  The challenge of capturing the essence, power, beauty and poetry of this animal I love so much continues to drive me, today.

I guess you could also say it has come full circle as my daughter is now pursing her dreams of horses.  She is taking riding lessons in the Hunter English style from Josie Gillespie of Gillespie Performance Horses. We currently rent a horse for her to ride named Taj Rico, but we just call him Rico.  Rico is the only registered Spanish Arabian all white pinto, and just a beautiful horse.

charis and rico 2The above picture is from Grace Unveiled, my wife’s blog, and her post Arabian’sabout our daughter’s riding. You can also see more pictures under her recent Thankful Thursdaypost.

Now, tell me what is your passion?