This Wonderful World

August 05, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Emerald and IceEmerald and IceGlacier Bay National Park, Alaska Written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, What a Wonderful World was recorded by the great Louis Armstrong and first released in 1967. While it charted in the United Kingdom, the record wasn't promoted in the U.S. so did not perform well. In spite of this, the song picked up traction over the years as it was used in a variety of television projects. Finally, after being featured in the 1988 film Good Morning, Vietnam it became quite popular and was re-released as a single.

It's never too late!

(Others have covered it, but I'm partial to Armstrong's performance.)

In 1990 I was back again in Hawaii, touring Kauai's spectacular Waimea Canyon and Napali coast by helicopter. Though I had my camera with me, this was a sightseeing excursion rather than a charter photo flight. The door remained on; I had to shoot through the window and the flight path was set rather than flexible. Still, I had two-way communication with the pilot. As we began the return to the airport, he said he was going to let the scenery do the rest of the talking while he played some music. What a Wonderful World was the first tune up. I'll never forget seeing those stunning aerial views of the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" while listening to Satchmo sing about how wonderful it all was. Indeed.

The incredible beauty in nature never ceases to amaze me. Not only is it lovely to look at, it's restorative. Balm for the soul, to borrow a phrase.

Particularly this year with all the seemingly endless craziness, I treasure every opportunity to get "out there" - wherever that might be. A national park or some other type of exotic location isn't a prerequisite (though I'm lucky to live near two parks and frequent one of them as often as possible). It can be as simple as sitting on my deck watching farmers harvest their crops in the distance as clouds drift by. No phone. No computer. No devices of any kind. Nobody admonishing me to "do this" or "do that" in the name of....something. Just nature.

Need a break from the insanity? Go outside. Nature doesn't have an agenda. Nature will help to ease your mind. 

"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads."
-Henry David Thoreau

If you're wondering about the images, the aerial shot was captured over Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park from a DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver (the quintessential Alaska bush plane). The photograph below was made in far northern McHenry County, Illinois.  

Amber Waves of GrainAmber Waves of GrainBeautiful mid-summer skies over a farm in far northern McHenry County, Illinois.



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