Solar Power, Water, and the Promised Land



“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land;

it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” –


G.K. Chesterton


Zion Canyon National Park - bruce witzel photo


Currently,  Fran and I are travelling in the United States. There are so many natural wonders I could show from our discoveries…  here is a bit about Zion National Park in Utah.

When it was first named as a National Monument  it was originally  known as Mukuntuweap, Southern Paiute for  “land of the springs.” In this desert climate, the water that seeps from the canyon walls is said to not have seen sunlight for one to two thousand years.

The Hebrew meaning of Zion means the promised land  – a place of refuge, safety and peace.

I’ll begin by showing how the National Park Service has built a visitor center that uses NO fossil fuels for heating and cooling. They also created a shuttle system that keeps much of the car traffic out of the park and eliminates tons of CO2 emissions. Now, old and young people hike and walk in the park in a quiet and slow experience of nature. The National Park Service also do not sell bottled water, and encourage us all to refill and re-use our own containers.

So, here it is… solar power and water, in the promised land.


Section view of Visitors center ar Zion National Park - bruce witzel photo


Solar Cooling Towers, Zion Canyon National  Park, Utah Oct.7, 2016 - bruce witzel photo



Cooling Tower at Zion National Park Visitors Center Oct. 7, 2016 - bruce witzel photo



Solar heated and Cooled Visitor center, Zion Canyon National Park - bruce witzel photo


Degtail of Cooling Towers, Zion National Park, Utah Oct. 7, 2016 -bruce witzel photo


Pretty simple eh? It’s called evaporative cooling.


And taking the bus is easier than driving.


Shuttle service at Zion National Park - bruce witzel photo


Now, for the natural wonders…


Emerald pool at Zion National Park - bruce witzel photo




Emerald Water on the Virgin River, Zion National Park - bruce witzel photo



Native Flowers at Zion park (2) - bruce witzel photo



The hanging gardens…


Hanging Gardens at Zion National Park Utah - bruce witzel photo



Native Grass at Zion Canyon - bruce witzel photo



Emerald pond reflection at Zion national park - bruce witzel photo


One of the emerald pools is above.


Do you see the waterfall that seeps out of them in the rock face below?


Waterfall overhead at Emerald pool, Zion National Park - bruce witzel photo




Couple on pedestrian bridge, Zion National Park  Oct. 7,2016  - bruce witzel photo



Deer in Zion National Park - bruce witzel photo



Zion Canyon National Park (2)- bruce witzel photo


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust


Click here to read my wife Fran’s blog-post of the trip.


Cheers ~ Bruce



LIGHT NEVER LIES–2nd Book in the Crater Lake Series is Free for Four Days


My wife Francis has a free book promotion happening…




Take a look at what recent readers have to say about The Light Never Lies.


  • Every bit as good as Disappearing in Plain Sight – The Light Never Lies brought me right back into the fold of characters I have come to love! Just as much wit and insight as the first book with a bit more action & intrigue. Fabulous read, incredibly good writing.


  • I felt like all the characters in this series were family or good friends. I was “right at home” and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Highly recommended for all.


  • Love this book! I love this series! It is interwoven with real life drama. I’ve devoured the books! GOOD read Ms. Guenette!


  • The characters are so real and believable! Everyone should read the whole series!


captain-hardys-book- event- francis guenette photo




Book Description:


Light Never Lies - back cover synopsis - by Francis Guenette FINAL



Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon, the second book in the Crater Lake Series –

The Light Never Lies – will be FREE

from Sunday the 18th to Wednesday the 21st of September.


Book Cover Photo forThe Light Never lies - by Bruce Witzel



The Crater Lake Series:                                 hh logo final




         Book One                                                                                      Book Two 

DPS Softcover jpeg (2)front

                THE LIGHT NEVER LIES (cover) - novel by Francis Guenette                                              


Book Three

Chasing Down the Night (cover)  novel -by  Francis Guenette


~ Cheers ~



John Trudell speaks on Being Human




Northern Washington - bruce witzel photo


Everybody is indigenous to the planet. We’re indigenous to different land bases and to me, our DNA physically comes from those land bases.


Together in the garden - bruce witsel photo


But we’ve got to know who we are – to know our identity – if we’re going to make it.


Keith @ Spruce Bay Old Growth Trail - bruce witzel photo (2)



A tiger know it’s a tiger and it does tiger things;

a wolf knows it’s a wolf and does wolf things.



Artist unknown - photo taken in Arizona


And we’re human beings but we’re not doing human being things.


Phoenix, Arizona - photo and effects by bruce witzel (2)


We may doing human things but we’re not doing human being things because the ‘being’ – that’s the balance.


Our niece at the lake - Bruce Witzel & Francis Guenette


And I think that’s the most crucial thing, to know who we are. If we know who we are and we seek to find that, then we will understand the gifts that we have and our abilities.


John Trudell                                          



Lake Manitou, Saskatchewan - photo and effects by Bruce Witzel (2)



~ Cheers and Peace ~




                john trudell_human_finelines-580 (2)



Maelstrom – 1st Time Free this Weekend

Here’s an opportunity for my wife Francis’ 4th novel, free until Monday – a Maelstrom of a read it tis. Quite different than Fran’s earlier and more humane Crater Lake Series, Maelstrom shows a much darker side of humanity epitomized by Sheriff Bert Calder of 1970’s small town America.

Having read the novel just before it was released in early 2016, and then reading the review of the novel in Fran’s blog post, a flash of insight came to me – Maelstrom is a powerful allegorical read for our times especially considering the dark undercurrent of the 2016 United States presidential campaign.

Ultimately it is warning of how our silence and complacency against terrible injustices can lead us to collective senselessness and individual inhumanity. I recommend Maelstrom as a goodread for our times – but brace yourself… all is not well in small town America.

Click over to Fran’s full post, for the full story – all for free until Monday evening. Cheers – Bruce


Maelstrom Full Cover JPEG

Here’s a chance to try my fourth novel free of chargeSmile

The ebook copy of Maelstrom is free on the from Saturday, August 13th to Monday, August 15th. Enjoy!

Genre: Action/adventure/thriller/romance

The road up to Casa Destion - chalk - Lorna FriesenDescription: A shot is fired into the still night air and a young woman dies on Suicide Ridge. A dangerous game has begun. Over the course of one blistering, hot week, winds of change sweep through an isolated valley in small town America.

Sheriff Bert Calder, with the help of Mayor Amos Thatcher, has held the town of Haddon under his thumb for twenty-five years. As things spin out of control, Calder works the angles, ensuring he can make the most of the upheaval that is to come.

Rafael Destino, facing his own mortality, races against time to gain control of the railroad – a lifeline essential to the town’s survival. His goal – to…

View original post 505 more words

Summer at the Cabin: Fun & Bears, Politics & Art Collage Therapy!


It’s bit of a slow easy summer at the cabin, with Billy-Bob the bear enjoying fresh un-cut grass in our garden, and especially the wild salal berries. This certainly puts a whole new dimension to gardening  doesn’t it? Alongside the precautionary principle!

To be clear, this is a wild bear and the naming (by Francis) merely gives comic relief. We live on a lake in the forest and it’s the bears home first, more than it’s ours. 


Billy-bob, the bear in our garden July 2016 - bruce witzel photo


It was collectively decided that our younger 4 year–old granddaughter couldn’t visit without her mother – she hasn’t mastered her listening skills yet. Our eldest 7 year old granddaughter Emma did visit for 2 weeks.


Emma helping with the gardening July 2016 - francis guenette photo[16]



Closeup of bear in garden, July 2016 - buce witzel photo


Emma has met a few bears in previous years and she knows the “bear rules”:


1) No walking or playing alone outside, especially during bear season.

2) Always call out to myself or Francis if she wants to come to the garden

3) Always look and listen for rustling in the bush, and make noise herself.

4)  Finally, if she does encounter a bear (especially with cubs), don’t panic but immediately back away from the bear and then head for the nearest door back to the cabin. Pronto!


Emma on the cliff deck, July 2016 - fran guenette photo


Bruce and Emma in the garden, July 2016 - fran guenette photo        Emma on a stool shucking peas, July 2016 - francis guenette photo            












Emma & Bruce, morning reading - francis guenette photo


What sort of world are us as adults leaving for the children of today?


                                                                                         Bailey, Bruce & Emma, July 2016 - fran guenette photo          


This question came up for me when we had some fun with art collaging on a rainy day.


Bruc's collage - July 2016-2


American politics has been on my mind alot and the nomination for the “so-called” Republican Party had just occurred. You can see from my collage above, I was working out some significant fears.

The last item I pasted on was the yellow word “Business”, very crookedly. And of course there is the Alpha Male/Hitler Archetype to contend with. Hmmmm… enemies within.



Butterfly with Sweet William - bruce witzel photo


Let us never forget our unquenchable human urge towards love, change and transformation and commitment towards the common good.

As Pope Francis said in his recent encyclical entitled On Our Common Home. Praise Be!

“Love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care, is also civic and political, and it makes itself felt in every action that seeks to make a better world.”


Emma's collage July 2016


Emma’s collage



Emma doing a collage 2, July 2016 - francis guenette photo



We’re on a journey and like it or not, we journey together, interdependent with all.


Emma playing cards at the lake - Francis Guenette photo


Love trumps hate.


Emma's heading home - July 2016 - fran guenette photo



Smiles and good cheer from the lake – Bruce


A wave from Emma & Fran - July 10, 2016

“When you commune with nature, you commune with God” – Fr. Charles Brandt


~ the brandt series ~



charles's lawn -  charles brandt photo


“This is my lawn:  uncut, unwatered, unfertilized, just the variety of natural grasses spotted with Shasta Daisies, Yarrow, Hairy Cat’s Ear, Sword and Bracken Ferns, Snowberry, Salmonberry, Thimble Berry, Dandelion, surrounded by Hemlock and Big leaf Maples.

This is the natural world, the other than human world that we must learn to love, because it is a sacred world.  We only love something (someone) because it is sacred.  Only the sense of the sacred will save us.”


Charles Brandt

~  hermit priest of Vancouver Island ~


Fr. Charles Brandt at his hermitage - photo from Bishp Gary's blog (3)

                  Charles at Thomas Merton House: “The hermitage”                         (photo by Bishop Gary Gordon)

LOOK UP (an appeal)

Southern Utah - bruce witzel photo (2)


Aspire not to have more,

but to be more.


Oscar Romero


Downtown Tuscon Arizona (edited) - bruce witzle photo


I would like to appeal in a special way to the men of the army, and in particular to the troops of the National Guard, the police and the garrisons.

Chapultapec, Mexico City - 1991 - bruce witzel photo


Brothers, you belong to our own people. You kill your own brother peasants;


Heard Museum Art Mura (edited) 2, Phoenix Arizona -bruce witzel photo


And in the face of an order to kill that is given by a man, the law of God should prevail that says; Do not kill!

Mural at Heard Museum in Phoenix - bruce witzel photo (2)


No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God.

No one has to comply with an immoral law.

Downtown Los Angeles, 2012, looking up to Bank of America (3) - bruce witzel photo

It is time now that you recover your conscience and obey its dictates rather than the command of sin.

Living Memorial Sculpture Garden - created by Vietnam veteran and sculptural artist Denis Smith - photo by Bruce Witzel2b (2)


The Church, defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of the dignity of the human person, cannot remain silent before such an abomination…


Mural in downtown Los Angeles, Oscar Romero with the people and the Risen Lord - bruce witzel photo

Therefore, in the name of God and this longsuffering people, whose laments rise to heaven every day more tumultuous,

I beseech you, I beg you, I command you in the name of God:

stop the repression!


Saint Romero of the Americas, May 23 1980 

(one day before he was assassinated during prayers in an El Salvador church.)


Artwork 2 (edited)  from Tubac Arizona - artist unknown (2)




             Art from Tubac Arizona (edited) - painting entitled Grief Knows No Boundaries - artist unknown

























Young girl 1910, Northern Mexico - photo of a photo(edited) by C. Waite


A young girl in Mexico in 1910… average life expectancy (30 years)



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