Friday, March 30, 2012

Flower and sky

The flower was supposed to be red - it still maybe but darned if it doesn't look like it will be purple instead! What a wonderful color, backed by our red wall.

The clouds this evening were full of dream-like whisps, going in different directions. Some of them remind me of a waterfall, with the moon as a key player (along with the plane as the supporting actor)! Just a bit of maneuvering in LR4 and the texture of the clouds comes out. Nature presents us with much beauty.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Home Again

Back home again and, as we thought, the plum tree is in full flower! Signs of spring are everywhere, including the garlic beginning to emerge! Diana and I sat on the deck, watched Murphy play, and then a sharp-shinned hawk sit in the Russian Olive waiting for something to eat. Some colorful flowers and the neighborhood kids are out in full play!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Other stuff

Yesterday was about more than stalking javelinas and hummingbirds.  Some other shots I like are below - more of what might be called "quiet environmental shots".

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hummingbird afternoon

Red Rock State Park just west of Sedona, has a patio area that holds several bird feeders - hummingbird and others.  Although early in the year, it had its share of hummers today as well as other birds including a rose-breasted grosbeak.
From what I can tell, these are Anna's Hummingbird - beautiful and ferocious. I spent time just hanging out about 8 feet from the feeder taking photos. Often when they came in to feed their color was dark, but when they saw me or another bird the colors came out vividly.  Changes to color were essentially instantaneous. It was truly a joy to be able to watch.

Javelina Morning!

We've been to this resort many times, and have seen the street name - Javelina Drive - but the fact that there were javelinas on the property never sunk into our consciousness.  Then yesterday evening, as we were leaving for dinner, a lady asked us if we had seen the javelinas.  She reported that a friend of hers had seen 'a group of 20+" yesterday morning. So of course, I am up and out with my camera this morning!

The report is accurate - there are javelinas here, as shown below. They were wary of me but not afraid, stopping to pull out a root to eat before moving on. They wander through the area at their own pace, most folks are not up yet. Another day of fun beginning in Sedona!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The best camera to have

Is the one you have with you!  Diana and I ate at a new place in Sedona, Ken's Creekside restaurant, and we were out on the patio during the sunset. I had thought of taking my Nikon in, but didn't, so all I had was the iPhone. And it did a great job.  Here's a couple of photos from it.
The first two I just brought into LR4 and tweaked a bit. The third I used a new app called Photoforge - $2.99 in the app store - and it is very powerful.
Anyway - it was wonderful to sit outside, watch the ducks fly by and the sun paint the skyline as it set.

Sedona Morning

Hanging out in Sedona, with high clouds and a light breeze to accompany us. Walked through the Wyndham property earlier, then shopped for groceries at a natural foods store.  Interesting change we noted - lots and lots of gluten free products and restaurant offerings!
In the square of the shopping center stands a statue of Merlin.  We've seen him before - the figure is captivating and strong. I love the detail in it as I read a lot about Merlin as a kid.  Whether the stylization is correct or not, it is beautiful.

New growth sparkles reddish-orange against the blue sky!

He's over 8 foot tall.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Vacation time

Diana and I are in Sedona for a few days, enjoying an escape from our normal world. We drove to Kanab yesterday and then on to Sedona today, stopping just outside Page to see Horshoe Bend and then in Flagstaff to eat at Diablo burgers, recommended by our godson.  The burgers were the best! Horshoe Bend is a 1000 foot drop - and I do not like heights, so I got the shots I got!!

Being in the desert always opens me to beauty in a way that I have trouble reaching when in my workday world. Here's a couple of shots from our travels that cover a wide range - touristy to just fun.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In the Presence of Magic

Sometimes you are lucky and are available when there is magic present - and you are (somewhat) aware of it!  Tonight was one of those nights. I picked up my 3 year old girlfriend Carmen from school and we played together for several hours.  During that time, I captured these photos and - in looking at them - realized that I had been in the presence of magic all the time I was with her. There really aren't words sufficient to express the emotions!  I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Beauty around us

Diana has a green thumb with orchids, and many other things. Here's one that just opened one of its buds and I was able to frame it against a dark background.  There are many beautiful things in our house that warrant taking pictures of.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lessons learned in unlikely places.

A friend of mine is an instructor at a local high school in a program that supports kids that are unlikely otherwise to continue in school. He is a fountain of patience and knowledge.
We've been photographing these classes over the last 6 months, and I went back in today since some new kids were in the classes. During the first class, one of the kids was acting up and loud and a bit disruptive.  Later, as I talked over the day with George, he told me - this kid has two parents that are drug users; he has been in every jr. high and sr. high school in the valley and his acting out is about "if I do this will you love me or kick me out - again!"
Hearing that changed my whole view of what had happened, and I can see that the patience of Job is needed to let these damaged kids know they are valued.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Herons and then a cat and mouse game!

Yesterday afternoon yielded fewer heron or other shots at the refuge, but still a couple of fun ones. The one yawning is the female who sat on the nest for hours until the male showed up.  She would get up and walk around and then sit back down.
Then Fuzzy - looking very relaxed as he watches the mouse that is hanging on for dear life under the table! Just after I took this shot, I walked inside, then went to look for the two players and they both had disappeared!

Very focussed cat!

As big as they are I have never heard them fly by, they are silent.

A big yawn! When do I get my fish???

This is part of the mating rites that I observed with the Canadian Geese - plus a lot of noise!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Farmington Bay Refuge Nature Center

I went out to Farmington Bay Wildlife Refuge this morning about 8:30am, and parked and walked about the Refuge Nature Center.  The heron rookery is here and lots of paths and great views.  I had rented a 200-400mm f/4 lens and intended to use it on my tripod; however, when I arrived at the parking lot, I did not have the adapter for my tripod - so handheld it was!  This is an incredible lens - as you will see from the photos below (I know - gear is good, but vision is better).
Mostly I focused on the herons, wanting to capture them in the morning light and record some of their comings and goings from the rookery.  Along the way, a harrier flew by and showed off; and a muskrat swam by. The geese in their hi-rise apartment remind me of the old song - "Row, Row, Row your boat!"

Here you go - Enjoy!

Gliding along behind a screen of rushes, the muskrat warily eyes the human pointing that thing at him.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Sometimes life gives you a treat and it is just there - like it or not!  Earlier this winter I was on my way to an interview downtown and saw this window as I stopped at a stoplight. Now, how often do you see a pink guitar!!!!??  And then a pile of PBR piled alongside it? and all of that sitting in a window?
Well, I did once!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Good thoughts!

Going back through the photos from the refuge last weekend - lots of good thoughts and memories.  I found a broken egg shell from a bird and carried it home to Diana.  Along the way, I thought to take some photos of it.  Plus the fences that just go into the water and stop - something romantic about them to me.