The Cratered Lady. Photo ©Erika Burkhalter.

Poetry, Photography, Nature

A full moon poem

One night,
when the ink ran black
across the sky,
my soul slipped free
from all that I knew
as me.

Mortal words
echoed in my ears,
and shimmers of light,
tiny pin-pricks — portals
to another world —
burst free
and then died
in the ether.

An owl cried.


Our home for the week in Bend, Oregon. Photo ©Erika Burkhalter.

Travel, Photography, Life

My week in photos

I’ve always heard about people who run with no shoes, and I’ve certainly seen those folks on the hiking trails, but I never imagined that I would join their ranks. …


Hosmer Lake, Bend, Oregon. All photos ©Erika Burkhalter.

Photography, Travel, Poetry, Life

Birthday reflections while kayaking in Bend, Oregon

I’ve just returned from a venture to Bend, Oregon, where we celebrated my birthday. I find birthdays to be annual occasions to dive inside of myself and really evaluate what is working in my life and what is not, and also to dive outside of myself and into the totality…


Mount Bachelor, Tule Grasses and the Mirror of the Sky. Hosmer Lake, Oregon. Photo ©Erika Burkhalter.

Poetry, Photography, Nature

Kayaking on Hosmer Lake

We slipped in amongst the shadows, where the tule reeds bowed
their heads in silent prayer. The water laps with soft slaps
against the matted detritus of summer’s abundance,
now moldering at the shoreline.

My paddle slices the dark waters and rises again,
sprinkling diamonds into the murk. And then…


Rain over Honeysuckle. All Photos ©Erika Burkhalter.

Photography, Nature, Life

A week, or so, in photos

After a hot, dry summer, with the constant threat of wildfires looming over us, I cannot even begin to express how wondrous the arrival of fall is, with her foggy mornings and the hint of rainy days to come.

Mr. Emerson, along with all the rest of my rescue babies…


Poetry, Nature, Spirituality

Riding and diving the currents of transcendence

“The Seagull Roller Coaster.” Photo ©Erika Burkhalter.

The seagulls know when to jump in.

Four or five at a time, they dive
from the rocks
into the low-lying eddies sucking
at the edge of the vortex on the sea.

Screaming and gliding,
they rise through that warm breath of air
without beating a wing,
all the way to the…


Prickly pear just beginning to flower. Photo ©Erika Burkhalter.

Photography Tips, Travel, Nature

A late summer day and a 50 mm macro lens

On a recent hot, late-summer day in Southern California, I took a stroll through El Morro Canyon. A hilly, golden haven of dried grasses, the canyon drew me in because of the occasional cool breezes venting in and up from the nearby ocean.

I had just purchased the new Nikon…


A pin-tailed whydah, native to South Africa. All photos ©Erika Burkhalter.

Photography, Nature, Birds

Native to South Africa, the whydahs have arrived in Southern California

Like one of the ribbons set in motion by a rhythmic gymnast, a long swoop of feathers swooshed across the blue of a South African Sky.

“Pin-tailed whydah!” our South African naturalist guide exclaimed. “Breeding.”

Grabbing my camera, I managed to snap off a few shots, but the bird was…


“Could it be Elsa?” Photo ©Erika Burkhalter.

Poetry, Nature, Essay

Pandemic memories of quieter times

Do you remember the vacuous skies,
devoid of airplanes, but filled with birdsong?

And the monkeys jumping off of balconies
into hotel pools while penguins waddled
through the streets of Cape Town?

And the blue, oh that blue.

I’ve not seen quite that hue since I was a child
running through…


“The Flamenco Dancer Swirls at Center Stage.” Photo ©Erika Burkhalter.

Poetry, Writing, Essay

Reflections on eras

Like a peony opening to the sun,
unfurling its ruffled skirts,
allowing the warmth to touch its blood red petals,
the flamenco dancer swirls at center stage…

the focus of all the attention, yet oblivious, lost in the dance —

and, yet, wakened only by the dance.

As a soul…

Erika Burkhalter

Photographer, yogi, cat-mom, lover of travel and nature, spreading amazement for Mother Earth, one photo, poem or story at a time. (MA Yoga, MS Neuropsychology)

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