“All true living is face to face” – Albert Schweitzer

11 November, 2018            “All true living is face to face.” – Albert Schweitzer

My brother Kevin and my brother Shane’s wife Kristin both finished the Anthem Richmond Marathon half marathon yesterday. Over seven thousand people were in the race. And Kristin and Kevin finished twenty-four seconds apart!! That is astounding – I’m sure they never saw each other the whole race. If you’d like to know which one was twenty-four seconds ahead, you’ll have to step up and do some true living and ask them face to face! Or you can be a computer nerd like me and google it.

Shane and Kristin and Wesson and Teagan and Tara stayed at Kevin and Jenny’s house in Doswell, but they came to town and had pizza with Evelyn and me and Mackey and Turner and our friend Ariel and her dog Yuki. Who you  may recognize as the handsome white German Shepherd who goes to Pony Pasture with us on Sunday mornings. It was hard to wrangle those seven people and four dogs to get a picture, but here’s one attempt:

Yuki on the left, then Shane, Kristin with Teagan on her lap, Ariel with wings spread, Evie, Wesson, me, Turner, Mackey – but no Tara! oops! Later. 


That picture is of most of the humans and dogs that were here yesterday evening. Shane set the camera up with the timer to get all of us at once. Wesson (on my lap) pressed the timer button and sprinted back just before shutter clicked. He’s the quickest and the most nimble and he threaded his way through the dog and furniture maze in the nick of time. Just like his mom Kristin and his uncle Kevin, that guy is fast

I recently finished a book called The Library Book by Susan Orlean. At one point she’s speaking with a librarian and he says  “Well, my hero is Albert Schweitzer. He said, ‘All true living takes place face to face.’” That line really jumped out at me. Even more when Shane and Kristin and their family and our friend Ariel and all those dogs were here yesterday – face to face! 

A friend just posted a perceptive (IMO) observation on her instagram page. It had a pretty picture with it, but not as pretty as this one. I’m going to post the picture (taken at 11:00 this morning at Pony Pasture) and use her quote for the caption: 

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” – Van Gogh


 We hiked nearly four miles this morning. It was so beautiful and cool and fresh, none of us wanted to stop. We crossed Charlie’s Bridge at one point; I asked the dogs to stop for a minute so I could take this picture: 

Mackey, Turner and Yuki on Charlie’s Bridge


Mackey knew Charlie but I don’t think the other two ever met him. Charlie was a serious dog guy and that scene would have made him real, real happy. Fortunately I’m also a serious dog guy and that scene makes me real, real happy!

The place my love of nature most often helps me find beauty is hawk hunting on my travels around the Richmond area. A Red-shouldered hawk nests near the place I work in Glen Allen every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. I don’t get this bird (or its mate) every week, but it’s generally a reliable bird. I apologize that this picture has a little smudge in it. I got a crisper picture of this same bird (or its mate) Monday morning but it’s sitting on a building and not a branch. I shoot tons of raptor pictures on man-made structures, but give me a perch in a tree any day:

Wednesday morning Red-shouldered hawk in Glen Allen

  That (Wednesday) was a three-hawk day. I took the preceding picture at 9:00 AM. I left Glen Allen a few minutes later and was driving east on Patterson Avenue near St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church at 10627 Patterson. There is also a moderately reliable Red-tail that perches above the swamp across the street. I pull into St. Bart’s parking lot, walk to the edge of Patterson Avenue and photograph the bird perched on a snag just over the guardrail: 

Red-tailed hawk beside Patterson Avenue (same morning)


Wednesday was a good day for hawks. I went home after photographing this Red-tail and did a bunch of work at home. Later in the day – still Wednesday – I looked across the street at the powerline near Freeman High School and saw this male Red-tail keeping his eye on the area: 

Male Red-tail on the power line tower at Freeman High School


I took a “pano” at the river this morning. I haven’t had a ton of success getting these to work in the blog, but let me give it another whirl here: 

Pony Pasture Panorama – this morning around 11:00:


I voted Tuesday; I hope you also made it to the polls. 

Before I forget – one more picture from yesterday’s small collection. Tara was hidden in the last picture; Shane’s holding her here: 

Tara got left out of the first picture – here she is! In Shane’s lap! 


Evelyn still has our plants flowering – in November! I took this picture on Election Day. It’s a Pineapple Sage: 

Pineapple sage blooming in our yard on Election Day, 2018:


I hear a lot – a whole lot – about how spectacular the leaves are in Shenandoah and on Skyline Drive. It’s all true – I’ve seen them every year since I was around thirteen. But remember my friend’s quote from Van Gogh that I used with the river picture up there? I’m going to use it twice this post – it’s the caption for this picture too. I took it at 6:45 Wednesday morning on my way to work: 

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” – Van Gogh


Speaking of truly loving nature. I ran into a post on a sled dog facebook page this week. I understood the sentiment well: 


That is a good, good, good idea to remember. For snow, but for a lot of other things you might choose to not find joy in. 

I hope you find joy in pictures of my cat Dash, or at least can tolerate them. It’s hard not to take pictures of him sometimes. Here he was Thursday evening. When he’s not eating he wants either the fire or somebody’s lap. There were no laps available at this time: 

When there are no laps immediately available:


I haven’t mentioned flying and my passport this week but I got three new stamps, bringing my total to ten. Only 56 left! That is a lot of stamps. One of the airports we flew to this week was KGVE in Gordonsville. This is a classic old country airport: 

Hangar at KGVE, Gordonsville Municipal Airport 


Every airport has a “Welcome to Virginia” sign:

“Welcome to Virginia” – it greets you wherever you land


I’m getting carried away! Let me close it up. On the Virginia Aviation Ambassadors program web site, there’s a list of places you can find stamps if the airport is unattended. A lot of these small airport don’t have full-time staff, so the stamp is in a mailbox. Here’s the stamp inside at KLKU Louisa County airport: 

Stamp inside at Louisa (KLKU):


Self serve stamp in mailbox plus two spare pencils and a spider egg case

Come back next week! Enjoy yourself! All best,


About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, cats, Cessna 172, Dogs, Flowers, Fun, James River, People, Pony Pasture, raptors, red-shouldered hawks, Red-tailed hawks, richmond marathon, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “All true living is face to face” – Albert Schweitzer

  1. Gilpin Brown says:

    Wonderful quotes this week, Jay. Thanks for the consistency with which you post. I enjoy them all!

    • Great to hear from you Gilpin – thank you for your kind words! I enjoyed both quotes this week a great deal. As soon as I read the words “All true living is face to face” it felt right. And as outdoor photographers, I know we both find beauty everywhere as a result of our love of nature. I also liked the one about snow! Thank you again for your kind words and have a great day,


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