A Philosophy of Radical Aliveness

A Philosophy of Radical Aliveness


"Yesterday is already a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision; but today well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope."

John Kerestes


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

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(If your interest is primarily biographical, and you want to see what my early adventures were, be sure to view the older posts. They go back seven decades to my childhood.)
Do not reproduce without my permission!

To see an archive of our personal artifacts,
as another way to peek into our history,
go to:  mholtby.blogspot.com

More of our travels go to:


Monday, June 13, 2022


Visiting Port Townsend for a getaway weekend. It is a very historic town with many buildings from the Victorian period when it was the main port in the Northwest. That changed when the railroad didn't come all the way there, and Seattle became the main shipping port. 

A paper mill saved the town, providing employment and it is still making corrugated cardboard.

It also still has a thriving boat building dry dock.

We stayed in the Starrett House (Air B&B) which was completed in 1898 by a boat builder. The home has been carefully restored and refurbished and was like stepping back a century.

Saturday, May 21, 2022


 A trip to attend the opening of Beatriz Bearden's paintings using my photographs of Buddhist monks.

Pamelagrace added musical entertainment, singing her classic jazz songs most of the evening.

Spent three days in the ancient town of Besalu.

Also did a day's tour of Girona.

And in Barcelona Toured Anton Gaudi's Granada Familia

Friday, May 20, 2022


 On safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

Had the opportunity to reunite with the Hadzabe Tribe I photographed in 2019

I was flattered and impressed the whole group walked 70 kilometers to come see me.

Also spent some time in two different Maasai villages.

Saturday, March 12, 2022


Just back from a visit to Washington D.C. to go to the Mall and visit the Smithsonian. We went to the African American History Museum, the American Indian Museum, the National History Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Art Gallery - FIVE museums!

This "Vietnam Veteran" turned out to be too young to be in the War in Vietnam, and actually had never been to the country. He was homeless and this was his hustle. It was creative but wouldn't be appreciated by vets who were in Nam. 

Our primary goal was to visit the new African American History Museum.  We had tickets to two days, but only went one. It was clearly the most popular museum we visited, but it was an intense experience and one day was enough. You might call it "critical race theory" that would make some people uncomfortable. Yet it is the reality of our heritage, and purposely made us emotional. We didn't even consider the Holocaust Museum.

I think my favorite was the National Portrait Gallery. Besides all the presidents there was a lot of diversity as well - sports figures, artists, activists. Probably my favorite portrait was of Russel Means.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021


This trip was postponed for a year due to the COVID pandemic. Even so, with the Delta variant, I was uneasy about the travel portion, as were some of my fellow travelers.

 It was a safari where we stayed in the luxury of the And Beyond Kitchwe Tembo Lodge in Maasai Mara National Park, and had a vehicle customized for photographers with a photo expert guide, Hendri Coetzer from CNP Safaris, South Africa. There was only one other guest, David Laronde, from Canada, who turned out to be a semi-pro photographer as experienced as myself.

We did twenty game drives, and I took 6,850 photos. That was in part because I was using my new Sony A1 mirrorless camera that shoots 30 frames a second. So catching a bird in flight might involve a burst rate that is blindingly fast.

We also had significant encounters with lions, leopards, hyenas, hippos, baboons, vultures, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, and wildebeest. 

On the last day I was able to visit a Maasai Village. They had been closed to outsiders due to the Pandemic, and they had no cases of COVID. However, at the end of my time there they opened up to tourists. On the day I visited I was the only tourist.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


I did a photoshoot at the Triple D Game Farm which provides photo opportunities with semi-wild animals for movies and still photographers. Here are the best shots of the week.

A horse roundup consisting of about fifty horses herded right at us. However, the impact is lost when all the horses were in the frame. Here the white stallion is leading the herd.

A mountain lion is charging through the water right at us  

but I was shooting with a long lens.


Thursday, April 8, 2021



In October, 2020 I moved to Whidbey Island, closer to my family. My two brothers are ten minutes away, and my oldest sister is about 15 minutes away. My daughter, son-in-law, grandson, younger sister, and lots of nieces and nephews are all here in the Northwest.

I have two acres with a pond, some great landscaping, and regular visits from black tailed deer. I also have two very busy bird feeds, and hummingbirds year around. 

Due to the pandemic all of my travel plans were cancelled for 2020, and into 2021. I have spent time keeping up my photo skills by focusing on my resident birds:

Thursday, August 13, 2020


A bright spot during the stay-at-home time mandated by the COVID pandemic.


Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Swainsons Hawk photographed in the morning on a walk with Drummer on Stapleton Greenway.

While on lock down due to the Pandemic I have gotten out by driving over to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and hanging out with the burrowing owls in the prairie dog town. The Arsenal underwent Superfund cleanup and is a wildlife refuge with white tailed deer, bison, raptors, etc. It is an eight mile drive. A nice break from the commute from my bedroom to the kitchen.


Thursday, February 27, 2020


I spent most of February in Myanmar with Jim Cline Photo Tours, and the Asia trip leader Karl Grobl. It is my fourth trip with Karl, and I know I'll have a good experience and come home with good photos on trips with Karl. Judy is working in San Diego, and did not go on this trip. However, both of us are going in July 2020 to Mongolia with Karl.

One of the highlights was a balloon ride over Bagan which has 3,400 pagodas and stupas. I had never done a balloon ride before, and I would consider it a lifetime high.

Another highlight, which was not a scheduled part of the tour, was an all day excursion to the Ta Lai Nal Elephant Camp. It apparently rescues elephants from the lumber industry (where they haul around 2 ton logs). It appeared to be a happy family of about a dozen elephants and 3 youngsters.

See my 3 minute video of the elephant encounter:

We visited a number of markets but the most unique was one was on active train tracks. When the train came through all the merchants moved their wares, and put them back after the train had passed. One of our group got a little too close to the passing train and was pulled out of the way by one of the local people. I too was a bit too close, and grabbed by the back of my shirt.

Here is a video that puts you right there:

We also visited a fishing village on the Ngapali Beach as they were bringing in the night's catch, hauling them on shore in 100+ pound buckets, sorting them and putting them out to dry.

And of course the Myanmar culture is steeped in Buddhism, so we saw lots of monks, nuns, novices and statues of Buddha. We were constantly removing our sandals to visit a pagoda.

For a slide show of my best photos from the trip go to:

Thursday, January 9, 2020


Every year in Denver we host the National Western Stock Show, and it starts with a parade through downtown headed by a herd of thirty longhorn cattle:

I am still trying to get the perfect shot - which I don't believe this is. I got there an hour early and there was already a crowd several people deep. The cowboys also surrounded the herd.

I liked this shot, however because of the "Urban Farmer" sign in the background.

This, however, is my favorite Denver parade, reflecting our Western history and lingering culture.