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Rare Air Episode 23 and November 2017 desktop calendar

Scroll way down for an original desktop calendar for November.

Wow. Two months ago, when I was preparing to post the next Rare Air episode, sharing more documentation from the beautiful day we spent on June 17, 2016, at Waterlemon Cay, I obviously had no idea that within a few days, Hurricane Irma would be reducing Saint John to a “wasteland.” That is the word used by The Washington Post’s Anthony Faiola in his Sept. 12 story describing the destruction of many popular island destinations we visited in 2016 – some of which we returned to this past July.

Unfortunately for us, when we circled back to the parking lot at the Annaberg Sugar Mill this year, it was raining cats and dogs. We sat in our Jeep and ate our lunch in the hopes of riding the storm out, but 40 minutes or so later, we gave up. Deciding to drive to the island’s West End in the hope of finding better weather – the plan paid off, and we were able to experience some unforgettable snorkeling at Hanson Bay. As a result, for the present, all I have to share from Waterlemon Cay comes from 2016. We still hope to return someday soon, but until then, I hope this will whet your appetite. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 22 and September 2017 desktop calendar

Scroll way down for an original desktop calendar for September.

One year and six “Rare Air” episodes ago, I posted an in-depth entry where I shared the full itinerary for our first-ever trip to Saint John. It has my hand-written notes compiled before our departure, and the places that made our short list for destinations as Beth read entries to me from island resident Pam Griffin’s book, “St. John Feet, Fins and Four Wheel Drive.” One of the most anticipated spots was Waterlemon Cay. Due to it having a short hike, it is one of the treks we made where the kids were allowed to stay behind at our villa. Pam’s description of the pristine setting and the “great snorkeling” were the main draws, and the intrigue of venturing out and around a small island or “cay” where we’d be able to rest on its sandy beach before swimming back drew us right in.

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You Are Momentous

Happiness is more within our reach than most people seem to realize. There are many time-honored ideas and practices we all can embrace to help us increase the joy of living. This project is dedicated to John Lerew, a friend who recently passed away too young, and it’s offered as a simplified formula for achieving happiness by being momentous.

Written, produced, directed, photographed and edited by Roger Darnell: All rights reserved.

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Rare Air Episode 17: Saint John – Underwater

Scroll way down for an original desktop calendar for November.

June 11 is the date we planned to arrive in Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands, before staying on for another nine nights. In the months leading up to that, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about those moments we’d be spending in paradise. My inner photobug also drove me to great lengths to gear up for the trip, as I got serious about capturing more captivating moments to feed into new Rare Air chapters. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 16: Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Scroll way down for an original desktop calendar for September.

Thank you for joining me here to ring in the autumn of 2016 and sample some of the experiences gathered earlier this year in Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands. I have referred to it as our vacation of vacations, giving you a sense of how much fun you’ll have when you go. The day I shot the footage appearing in Rare Air episode 16 is one I will never forget. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 5: Bradley Lake Trail

An original November 2014 desktop calendar appears below.

Thank you for following along here friends. I appreciate any interest in my projects, and this footage representing Grand Teton National Park’s Bradley Lake Trail is very special to me, even though it doesn’t represent my best work. This is one of the first times I set a camera down for a minute to take-in nature, where I had a vague idea of how I’d use the footage to help bring you along. The cameras I had available the day I recorded this (7 July 2012) were a Sony DSC-W290 compact and a Droid Razr. Below, I’m sharing more of my snaps from that spectacular day. The Rare Air footage was taken on our hike up the mountainside, not too far past the crossing of a welcome creek, where Riley and I had cooled off, and I had paused John Muir-style to admire the world’s upness. We achieved an especially lovely spot, and I parked myself with the Sony while Beth, Amelia and Riley took a rest.

Right then, it struck me that I had started something new… and that day, there were a couple more times when I repeated the one-minute documentary session. Unfortunately, at that time, I had not yet learned the very important lesson about disabling a camera’s auto-focus settings. So, even though I had started getting into the habit of methodically capturing good footage, much of what I shot that day and for months afterward isn’t really usable, because of camera auto-focusing. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 4: Fort Flagler State Beach


Time in nature = sacred saturation. Free September 2014 desktop calendar below.
“Rare Air” is my original series of short travelogues intended to immerse us all in nature, if only for a minute, and this episode is my fourth. I captured the footage on June 25, 2014, on the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington. Here’s a note from my journal that day.

The day was sunny and warm in monumental ways… so that the vacation seemed to have turned over a new leaf. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 3: Kalaloch Beach

Captured June 16, 2014.

Time in nature = sacred saturation. Free August 2014 desktop calendar below. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 2: Quinault Rain Forest

Captured June 15, 2014.

Time in nature = sacred saturation. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 1: Shoshone National Forest

When I was very young, I had a lot of fun playing – often with my brother or cousins – in a small, trickling creek that ran behind my grandparents’ home in rural Illinois. I have gotten sentimental about this particular spot in the past with my mom and my bro, and they both were quick to correct my reference by saying, “you’re talking about the ditch!

I prefer creek, thank you very much. There, we caught minnows and crawdads, and began and ended many adventures into the forest above their homestead. Many years later, I returned to Grandma’s one late night, and on a whim, I ventured out to the creek with a cassette recorder, to capture the sound of the water’s flow in that setting. I sat there and recorded for maybe a minute, and afterward, listening to those sounds while sitting in other places as my life moved on, I was really surprised at how I felt drawn into that special time and place, and how that added some interesting new facet to my life that day.

That’s the tale behind an idea I have come up with for a series of video shorts Read more

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