Friday, May 31, 2013

End of the Road

Nice and sunny in the SL valley this morning, so MJ and I headed up to one of our most favorite spots in the Uintas. Wonderful day, wonderful time with my buddy - but spring has not yet come to the Uintas above 8500 ft! I was sure glad for the insulated jacket I brought to wear over my lightweight shirt!
No sighting of big 4-legged mammals - but we did see the goofy yellow-bellied marmots, mountain bluebirds and sandhill cranes. The best part was the silence that permeates your being as you stand listening to the water rushing down the hill.

The end of the Road - I did not feel like spending hours trying to push through the snow. We enjoyed the view and turned around.

Marmot in the branch top! Through the windshield.

Same Marmot as above but shot through an open window, cute isn't he/she?

Murphy loved the shallow streams - in and out as we walked through the willows.

Beaver pond just waiting for a moose family to jump in!

Sandhill cranes - they had two chicks and were very cautious.

Mountain bluebirds - male and female. 

Marmot being very observant and cautious.

8800 foot lake - several fishermen down by the dam, lots of snow in the woods.

This rock is striking - and you can see the aspen at the top with no leaves. 
Photo taken just above the lake and so much remains to grow to be spring!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dream time

A sunset over Bear Island Lake in Minnesota. iPhone photo.  Gotta grab Moments of Beauty when you can with what you have!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Moments of Beauty

Captured yesterday morning as the rising sun illuminated the flowers and grass.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Morning light

The sun rises quickly at the end of our street, flooding the street and yards with light. This is a time when there are some wonderful photos to be had - be quick, because the light changes so fast.
Here's a couple of a backlit flower on the berm between us and our neighbor. Love the fine hairs on the stems.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Music in the 'Hood!

Warmer weather brings music in the neighborhood - at 15th and 15th on the patio of Caputo's Deli! A great way to spend a Friday evening - eating at one of the restaurants there and listening to the music.
The attraction for us is that our godson, Zachary, plays in the band.  He's the guy with the standup bass.
Wonderful sounds and a warm evening, kids, and dogs and runners and whatever going by!!

Morning coffee

Sitting on the deck yesterday morning watching the sunrise and the birds play and drinking my coffee - had to get the camera to capture two of my favorites.
The poppy is a beautiful pain in the gardening butt! It has very deep roots and expands its territory overnight sometimes. But the colors and shapes are beautiful - just have to manage it.
The Meyer lemon tree is now beginning its spring re-creation.  Leaves and flowers and then the wonderful scent of the lemon tree (remember the old song - or are you too young?).
Enjoy - moments like these are what make getting up in the morning worth every pain!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

View from the Deck

Sean and Lisa had a friend replace their decrepit old deck with a big new one - and they invited us over for dinner last night. We got to sit out on the deck, take pictures of the sunset and drink champagne! Really cannot beat that!
Oh and two dogs kept us company on the deck!!

Here's the view from the deck, of the deck and a flower.  The tanks that you can see in the foreground in the first photo is Holly Oil, where Sean works.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Black-headed Grosbeak

I had bought some cheaper bird food at Costco one time, but nothing attracts birds to our back yard like "So Sweet a Song" feed that I get at our local Backyard Birds! Buntings, sparrows, finches, and now Black-Headed Grosbeaks along with Scrub Jays, starlings and others come by for this wonderful mixture! Evening Grosbeaks are yet to come but will be here.

Not too bad for a >100% crop and taken through the kitchen window handheld at 300mm.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Minnesota - last day

We had a very restful Saturday in the Northwoods. Visited a few familiar places, coffee at the Front Porch, afternoon nap, dinner at the Junction in Babbit. It turns out that Saturday was not a good day to leave from Duluth after all due to fog, so hopefully today will be better.
Sitting on the deck outside the lodge to use their wifi, finches, sparrows of all types, jays, and many others are singing their hearts out. Snowshoe rabbits with just a bit of white still on the bottoms of their feet are playing nearby. The wood smoke from their boiler fills the air with the sharp smell of burnt wood. A fisherman staying here told me that the grouse are drumming but haven't heard them yet.

Here's a few of the photos from yesterday from our travels and play.

Diana on the dock enjoying the quiet - framed by new buds on the maple branches.

Mom's final resting place between her husband and her parents.

A sweet young doe curious about humans.

Woody Woodpecker seeking food.

Afternoon reflections on a pond in the overcast weather.

Two examples of growths that are common on (usually) dead trees in this area.

Evening reflections framed by aspen.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Minnesota Day 2

Mom's funeral service went well, sun came out and embraced us after an iffy start to the day. We came back to the lodge after spending some time with the folks that came to the service - some great memories shared together.
After drinks on our patio with Sandy and Alison, we all had dinner at Ely Steakhouse - great waitress and good food. Then back to the lodge just in time to capture the sunset.
In the west we are used to wide open spaces, so I was glad to have the openness of the lake here to combine with the sunset. Lots of songbirds - here's a white-throated sparrow. Check out it's song if you get a chance - haunting and beautiful.

White-throated sparrow tousled by the wind.

Earlier we had two bald eagles sitting in those aspen.

The last sunset hurrah!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hanging around in Northern Minnesota

Diana and I are up in Ely, Minnesota, for Mom's funeral today. It was a good day, good service, great words said by all. So wonderful to see old friends and relatives and hear stories about folks no longer with us.
Couple of photos for you - we are staying out on Bear Island Lake about 10 miles out of Ely. It's quiet although not yet spring here - ice has just gone off the lake. Lots of different songbirds, plus bald eagles, merlins, and ducks. Loons are somewhere, not yet heard from. Spring peepers are out in force with a beautiful chorus to put us to sleep every night.
We're staying over until Sunday so tomorrow we plan on a very quiet day - probably do a canoe ride  on the lake later in the day dependent on weather.

Steps down from our place to the boat dock.

Folks create a sign if they want and post it!

Looking back up at the lodge from the boat docks.

Water graffiti - very nice.

Boat docks at 10pm - wonderful blueness up here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Beautiful morning prayer

Diana and Christina created a Quiet Day for some 15 people here at the house last Saturday. One of the items that I created for them is this prayer on this photo.
Sunrise as seen from the Black Sand Beach in Hawaii is the backdrop. John O'Donohue is the author and this is titled "Matins"

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hiking again!

Summer heat is here and Murphy and I are traveling up to 'Murphy's Place' up by Jeremy Ranch. Here he can run to his heart's content and then stand in the water to cool off and drink his fill. It is a wonderful place for both dog and boy!
Tri-colored blackbirds, Red-tailed Hawks, ground squirrels, bees, etc., all abound for the watchful eye to see. Here's a few of my favorites from Saturday.