Roaming the Subalpine Zone of Mount Rainier

As you climb between 4,500 and 6,000 feet you’ll notice that the trees begin to thin into the famous meadows of Mt. Rainier.  This is the Subalpine Life Zone of Mount Rainier.  Some argue it is the most beautiful place in all of Washington.  And it isn’t just people that enjoy this area.

Black Tail Deer

Black Tailed Deer

Black Tailed Deer roam all around Mt. Rainier, but they love to graze in the sunbathed subalpine meadows.  These animals are a favorite game for hunters, but here in Mt. Rainier they enjoy protection from hunting.  They are not protected, however, from traffic.  These deer move about mostly during dawn and dusk, when the lack of light makes it somewhat difficult for drivers to see them.  Always be cautious and on the lookout for them when driving during these times.

These may be the most commonly seen large animals in the park.  If you’re quick with the camera you’ll find they pose nicely for your shots.  And thanks to William, my awesome Irish Wolfhound/Siberian Husky mix, I found out that the deer aren’t too spooked by dogs whining at them through car windows.  The deer and dog held each other’s gaze for quite some time.  I really wanted to let the animals interact, but letting my dog out would have been not only illegal, but dangerous for both animals.  At least they shared that moment through the window.

Elk

Elk

Elk can be found in the Subalpine Zone as well.  The moose is the only deer species larger than the elk, and occasionally a large Sambar deer will match an elk’s size.  Like the black tail deer, these big creatures roam about when the sun is close to the horizon.  So be careful when driving through the park at those times, the animal and your car will appreciate it!

The bugling of elks is a well known sound, and very easy to pick out.  The louder a male’s bugle, the more females he will attract.  Sometimes they use their large antlers and powerful front leg kicks to fight for mating rights.  Be careful if you are close to an elk, those antlers and kicks can do a man in.

Other animals can be found in the Subalpine Zone of Mount Rainier.  It’s a good place to get pictures of wildlife, especially during the spring when the meadows are ablaze with color.  God is amazing, and His creations are beautiful!

If you’re camping out in the Subalpine Zone of the mountain, remember that it’s pretty cold at night.  Make sure to pack warm clothes, good sleeping bags, and quality tents.  These and other resources can be found at www.whitakermountaineering.com.  Check out their sales, and remember that submitting a product review could win you $200!

Book of Names book review

A review of:

The Book of Names, by D. Barkley Briggs (NavPress, 2008 )

From the Legends of Karac Tor

The book started off slow.  Honestly I found it hard to keep reading.  But after a few chapters I found I was beginning to enjoy the story. 

I started to remember what it was like to be a boy in a rural Michigan town, intrigued by the mysteries of Native American culture.  We would get all excited when we found arrowheads in the fields.  But what these boys encounter is something that would have blown my mind as a kid.

The book makes a good transition as it gets further into the story.  I didn’t feel like any of the elements were forced upon me, they seemed to flow as they should have.  And as with any good book I read, I was inspired over and over again to imagine new things that I could write about.

The villains in the story were set up pretty good.  A few things that were said made me question who the real villains might be, keeping me on edge until the last.

The allies were well thought out as well.  Very believable.

Overall I really enjoyed the book.  I’m looking forward to reading the next novel in the Legends of Karac Tor series.

A couple of things did bother me though.  The first, which I will keep in this paragraph, may be a bit of a spoiler.  Go ahead and skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to read it.  The way that Briggs mixes Christianity with other religions in our reality really didn’t set well with me.  I understand that these other worlds are fantasy worlds.  But taking their mystical elements and combining them with the world we live in and yet trying to hold the Christian world view… there’s a line that’s crossed there.  It’s good to open people’s eyes to the realities of Christianity which we do not normally recognise.  It’s another thing to add actual magical elements to a truth that rejects those very things.  I’m hoping that Briggs has something planned out in future novels to rectify this problem.  Though he writes well, I will truly be surprised if he finds a good way to pull it off (I don’t think there is one).

The other thing that bothered me was the use of cussing at the end of the book.  The problem I listed in the last paragraph is one that Briggs may have an ace up his sleeve to rectify in another volume (though I doubt it’s a direction he’s even considering).  But this cussing thing, there is no ace for that.  One representing a Christian view has no excuse for using that language anywhere.  It’s something that Christ had to die to forgive.  The need to represent the world the way it is… that’s no valid excuse for sin (there is no valid excuse for sin).  The world has been far better portrayed by the Lord Himself in the Bible than by any other writer, and that without a single cuss.  We owe the Lord better than this relying on the world.

These two problems and the slow start aside, I found that I really enjoyed the book.  Don’t let the size of the paragraphs that I complained in deceive you.  I just don’t want to accidentally spoil the experience of the read.  The story was very enjoyable, well written, and seems to be very well thought out.  Briggs created a world with great depth, and I’m eager to see the rest of it.

I would caution against suggesting this book to non-Christians, unless non-Christians are informed of what the Bible says about these two problems.  For any Christians who struggle with mysticism, paganism, wicca or magic… I would advise against reading this book.  For those who look to justify foul language, this book (though only in one part near the very end) will place a stumbling block before their feet.  For any other familiar with the truth of the Lord, as long as they are conscious of and reject the offerings of these issues, I don’t think they’ll have a problem reading this book.  And if they are fantasy fans, I’m guessing they’ll really enjoy it!

Thank you Briggs for your creation.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of what you have to offer.

Featured book, The Book of Names http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/160006227X
D. Barkley Briggs’s Web site –
http://hiddenlands.net/index.php?Itemid=49&id=19&option=com_content&task=view
D. Barkley Briggs’s blog –
http://hiddenlands.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=23&Itemid=79

For more reviews of this book, check out the following blogs:
Sally Apokedak
Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Rachel Briard
Valerie Comer
Frank Creed
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Shane Deal
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Timothy Hicks
Joleen Howell
Jason Isbell
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Magma
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika
Eve Nielsen
Nissa
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Alice M. Roelke
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Phyllis Wheeler
Timothy Wise