Hawk on the Walk – Bog in the Fog – Snail on the Trail


Hawk on a Walk.

I was thinking on my walk this morning what it means that the National Parks are now shut down. The news reports the shutdown is costing a lot of money, increasing at a rate of 12.5 million for every hour the shutdown continues.  It seems unfathomable. Ten days in and floating measures to end the government shutdown as of this afternoon, time will tell if it continues.


What is the cost of the Parks being closed?

When reading of the shutdown, one thing really struck a nerve. The government deems the National Parks “unessential”.

I think it is a spiritual cost. No matter what religion one practices or even if one believes in a higher being, the spiritual sense one has in these places is uplifting and one of breathtaking awe.


There is no denying the peace of mind, the reverence of nature, the wonderment of something greater.  The beauty overwhelms and fills the soul. We all breathe the same air on this planet and that is humbling. How often do we take these places for granted? Places that shaped ideas about the necessity of wild spaces.


Both things big and small charm the senses, some only for a second or two, worth capturing and keeping. Things pointless to many, but then again not to all. Other things are well-known, magnificent and monumental, literally.


Niagara Falls State Park

Snail on the Trail.


We are lucky here to be surrounded by State Parks which remain open, but I think in a way wildlife is happy to be without humans for once in their homes. Now all we can do is drive to the entrance and look in.

Bog in the fog.


I am sure to the animals, the shutdown will not last long enough.

“All 401 national parks all across the country will be closed affecting as many as 715,000 national park visitors each day the government remains shutdown.” (source)


Almost all the National Parks websites are currently shut down, but one that was still accessible, says,

“There are 84 million acres of iconic, treasured and sacred places protected in America’s over 400 national parks – and it all belongs to you. ” (source)

A little ironic being “nonessential”, no?


At the beginning of the post I asked what the shutdown is costing the Parks:

“An October shutdown is costing the National Park Service an estimated $450,000 per day in lost revenue from fees collected at entry stations and fees paid for in-park activities such as cave tours, boat rides and camping.” (source) and “$76 million per day in communities near national parks.”


But it is so much more, don’t you think? Up next…Water in the Way… another project. About seeds.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
This entry was posted in garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Hawk on the Walk – Bog in the Fog – Snail on the Trail

  1. I started typing: “I think the most aggravating this about this mess is,” but I couldn’t finish the sentence. There is so much about this that is infuriating.

    It’s a total waste of money– my hard-earned money! People have been furloughed, but they will get paid eventually. So it’s like a vacation because they get paid for not working. Except that they can’t plan any fun activities because they don’t know how long this mess will last and, depending on their cash flow, they might not have enough money to pay the mortgage or buy groceries much less go on an outing. So they’re not happy to be furloughed, and as a taxpayer, I’m not happy that they’re furloughed.

    As of this morning, some lawmakers were saying that defaulting wouldn’t be a problem! Economists are saying that it could severely damage the already fragile US economy and even damage the global economy. But some lawmakers don’t like that scenario so they just say, with no facts to base it on, that that scenario won’t happen. I’m flabbergasted.

    Can you imagine how much good you could accomplish with $12.5 million? An HOUR?

    Such a waste.

    • I agree Connie, too much is wrong with the whole idea of the shutdown. I focused on the Parks, but although they are “nonessential” to lawmakers, they are not to us the taxpaying public. I understand there are bigger issues like the debt to deal with, but politics will keep ‘getting in the way’ like it always does.

  2. Nick Hunter says:

    The middle bog-in-the-fog photos are special and the complimentary curves and contrasting colors of snail and leaf are impressive too. Nice post.

  3. Great post and photos as always! You are so right when you say: “I think it is a spiritual cost. No matter what religion one practices or even if one believes in a higher being, the spiritual sense one has in these places is uplifting and one of breathtaking awe.” It is a spiritual loss in many ways. I pray it be over soon. Blessings, Natalie

    • I too hope there is resolution soon. I have been reading stories of people getting turned away from monuments and parks that are sad. People that saved to travel to them and some that may never get a chance again due to waning health.

  4. Victor Ho says:

    Politics aside (I side with the folks who think the whole situation is insane), your shots are really great today. The snail! Wow!
    It would seem that the price the Republicans seek is to repeal the results of the winner of the last presidential election and to get a do over on laws already passed. The there’s not too much hope for the Republican party as in once upon a time there was the ‘moral majority.’ Time will tell…

    • I was surprised to know there was another shutdown 17 years ago. I wonder if the parks were closed then? It just seems like closing the parks is ill conceived because I cannot imagine they cost that much to maintain when they get fees to visit them. Here in NY, if I did not have an Empire Pass which grants free parking and entry, It would cost $10 -$15 to visit each State Park every time. I walk to most (free if walking in), but not all. They will still be paying workers for not doing their work while furloughed, so it makes little sense. It seems like a political power-play move to me. I don’t follow politics, so really I am not one to comment on them. I can’t even tell you which side closed the parks either.

  5. I was going to do a post about the spiritual aspects of nature, but the words just wouldn’t come. And you’ve done such a wonderful job with it, Donna. It is very sad that the national parks are closed. Interestingly, here in Wisconsin–where the father of the national parks grew up–we only have a few national parks. Most of ours are state and county parks, and in my opinion they are every bit as splendid as the national parks. But, I digress. The national parks are a treasure, and it is truly sad what is happening with our government. Too much to say to fit it in a comment. Your photos are wonderful, as always!

    • I look at the spiritual side of nature where it transcends the religious aspect of it. Something greater than us all. Since I was small, I always had this belief the Earth was Eden. After all, all the good that is portrayed in The Garden of Eden can be found on Earth. Man has just messed it up like he did in the story too. We have assumed the dominion role (is that part of religion?), and I doubt that was ever to be the fate the Earth as designed, unless the Earth’s eventual destruction was preordained. Who knows… certainly not religious leaders or politicians.

  6. Hey, I totally agree with your comments on the government shutdown! Hurrah! Calling the parks “not essential” reveals a terrible blindness, but then I think the whole episode is fundamentally irrational. And by the way, did you know that Congressmen continue to collect their paychecks and they are even keeping open the deluxe gym for members of Congress?

    • I think the irrational aspect is always built into politics. Politicians figure if we are confused on the issues, punished from some political direction or kept in line as loyal taxpayers, we are too simpleminded to follow their political agenda. I purposely don’t follow politics because I don’t trust either side to do right by the people.

  7. awesome pictures !!!!

  8. dianaed2013 says:

    I didn’t realize the implications of the shut down – perhaps this needs a public drive. In England we already have many grants to fund art cut severely and small galleries closed. It seems to me that everything which promotes human well being is being sidelined. How sad this is.

    • I am not sure a public drive helps in this country. The politicians really don’t listen to what the public wants or they would not have closed the parks. The parks are for the PEOPLE to enjoy, places for kids to learn, and respect nature. I had to laugh them closing off the monuments. REALLY?????

  9. dianaed2013 says:

    A great article to raise an awareness and outstanding images as well

  10. I like your point that the wildlife is probably happy with the shut down. For a short time they will be undisturbed and things will be quiet in their lives. I hope they enjoy it! I don’t usually talk politics because I don’t affiliate myself with any political party but I do support smart, responsible, common sense government and I haven’t seen that in a very, very long time!

    • I try not to show my hand in a political issue because I do not support either side most often. Too many extraneous things surround each ‘good bill or law”. Rarely will something pass that does not carry political baggage. I know as an American I should be more involved with my government in voting (I do vote) and supporting a political side, but I find I never fully agree. Even if I agree with the main point, all the ‘extras’ that come along are things I would not support. Too much lobbying, too many agendas.

      I know wildlife is happy park goers are absent. How about the national zoo? Panda Cam is down. Did they really have to shut off the Panda Cam?

      • I hear you…I think it is important to vote also so our voices can be heard but often it is on deaf ears. Too much of the government shutdown is so petty and just trying to make a political point. It is really shameful and I don’t see how it benefits the American people at all!

  11. Denise says:

    Beautiful photographs, strange situation. We hear about it on the news but it is hard to believe or understand for someone outside the USA. I hope for you that things will go back to normal soon.

    • Here in the US we don’t understand it either. The politics are not often to benefit people, they are to benefit a party. I believe in democracy, it just needs an overhaul of the political players to those that don’t play along partisan lines. I believe in one side more than the other, but can’t say I have ever voted straight for only one party. We need our politicians to champion the views and needs of the people they represent, not just try to advance a political career. I would bet that happens around the world too.

  12. !! Love your titles!!! …and your photos, my dear Donna. You always manage to amaze me! 🙂

  13. Pat says:

    Lovely photos.

  14. alesiablogs says:

    Best Post on the reality of Government F&%$ing with our lives. Thanks for always showing wonderful photos but better yet opening the eyes of the blind on the effects of arrogant, ignorant, and downright nasty politics.

  15. Phil Lanoue says:

    Love the fog scenes!
    A couple days ago we must have had 400 birds show up at one of our local state parks. I was talking to a ranger who said they had all got kicked out of the national park and had to come here.

  16. I am worried as I am one who is living on SS so your pretty photos were even nicer 🙂

    • I have read they will not shutdown all the services. I would bet all of them are safe. Did you mean the photos are nice because you will not get to the National Parks? The photos today all came from State Parks in our area. I took the fog and hawk photos when I was shooting for the next post actually, so they were not for that post. They made more sense in this post.

      • I loved the beautiful pictures after 10 days of worry nice to see your beautiful area yesterday I took Mom from Lowell area and headed west toward NY and turned around in Greenfield not enough magnificent color to keep going 🙂

        • Thanks for clarifying. I was not sure what you meant. We have no color here yet. I walked to the end of my street to look at the trees along the Niagara River Gorge, and they are all green yet. Some are brown from lack of rain without turning a color first. I was told the Adirondacks have color, but I did not take that drive.

  17. janechese says:

    Good point about the spiritual – hope there is a solution soon.

  18. bittster says:

    Maybe there will be some good that comes of this (if you really stretch for it)…. Maybe people will realize just how important the national park system is and perhaps restore some of the budget that continues to be whittled away at each year. I’m always surprised by the number of oversea visitors who journey to see our treasures while the Americans an hour away never make the time.

  19. Just heard that the State of Utah is forking out the money to reopen all five of their national parks for 10 days because the economic damage to their state is so devastating if they remain closed. Of course Utah’s senator is at the heart of the problem. This whole mess is so overwhelmingly disheartening that it makes me want to move to another country. Maine’s most respected Senator Olympia Snow decided to retire this year because she felt she couldn’t make a difference any more given the partisan politics especially as practiced by her own party.

  20. A.M.B. says:

    Beautiful pictures! Yes, we need our national parks. We need the other aspects of our federal government, too. Most of the people I know aren’t really feeling the effects of this shutdown–yet–but its toll won’t spare them for long. We can’t go on like this, and it’s shameful that so many members of our Congress would sink to this level. I hope their constituents remember it when the next election rolls around.

  21. Sad to think nature is nonessential..I guess that statement explains a lot and why we cannot pass laws to clean up our country’s air, water and land…it just isn’t essential enough to matter.

Comments are closed.