Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moments of Incredible Natural Beauty!

I got back into photography for one particular reason - to capture the moments of beauty that so many of us just pass by in our day to day lives. I want to remind myself and you to pay attention - even if for a moment!
From our backyard to Logan, here's some shots that to me are moments of beauty!

Day lilies are blooming and what wonder they provide.

Soft and delicate.

Primal Scream - named that for a good reason!

Red and green - wow!

Busy little guy took a moment to pose.

Mallord swimming by Murphy and I as we lazed in a park in Logan today.

White-faced Ibis feeding. Goofy and fun birds.

A 1-second exposure of a small waterfall and stream in a Logan park. Fascinating textures and light.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

What day is it?

I'm having a hard time remembering what day it is already! Earlier this morning I knew but now time seems to be floating together.
I visited the Farmington Bay Refuge early this morning to see what was there to be seen.  Even at 6am there was a lot of activity. Muskrats eating, Great Blue Herons feeding their young, white pelicans performing their synchronized swimming/fishing activities and a variety of birds serenading the world.

Here's a few of the morning captures to share:

Flocks of white-faced ibis were everywhere - they love the refuge lands at this time of year.

Heron rookery highlighted against early morning sun on Antelope Island,

Early morning sunrise on Antelope Island.

Can't you just imagine riding on the back of this prehistoric being?

Magical light and clouds.

These guys are a riot to watch - squawking, jumping on each other, and all sorts of antics.

Flowers hide between the rushes.

The goofball herons outlined against the FAA dome.

A classic "Welcome Home, Sweetie".

Every group of Canadian geese has one who does the guarding - and she looks mean!

White pelicans highlighted as they play.

Foxtails in the morning sun.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Retirement thoughts

Today is officially my first day of retirement - had my party and exit interview yesterday and turned in all my stuff. My team took very good care of me and I feel well acknowledged by all. Kind of amazing to think back to the beginning - young chemical engineer making $900/month but king of the world!
A great trip so far, with lots left.

As my mind opens to opportunities, many ideas of projects flow in - making a list and evaluating what to do next. The first thing is to get out fishing, standing in the water in the wilds will clear my mind and soul. Then.... who knows?

The picture for this entry was thoughtfully considered - the one I chose represents to me the next life as envisioned by Murphy!

Let's Go, DAD!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bird beauty

I took a short walk at the Farmington Bay Wildlife refuge visitor center yesterday around lunch. BTW, don't worry about not shooting photos in mid-day light; if you want to just find the right subjects!
The egret and the female yellow-headed blackbird allowed me to visit and capture their moment of beauty.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Watching where you walk

Sometimes the neatest photos are at foot level, often not noticed. While wandering in the refuge last week I trekked down a dry streambed and then noticed these incredible shapes. While laying down to get the photos, I felt like I was in another world, another planet.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mix and Match

Yesterday a quick trip to the Uintas followed by sunset on the deck and the moonrise resulted in a couple of fun photos. Especially seeing the mom and her baby fawn! Like any kid it was endlessly on the go and always jumping around!
The almost full moon hung in the sky while the two 'eyebrow' clouds moved into position for me to capture.

Going to be very dry in the Uintas

Mom and baby

Sometimes patience is a virtue - waited for the clouds to move

Monkey flowers - hummers love them.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Refuge visit

I took a couple of hours today and visited the Farmington Bay Wildlife Refuge.  I hadn't been up there since March so was curious about how it was faring.
It is much drier than in past years; I was able to walk out an OHV path to a stream where in the past it would have been much too wet. However, still lots of shorebirds - Avocets, Black-necked Stilts and the ubiquitous White-face Ibis everywhere. A Forster's tern or two took turns hunting over a small pond - these birds are infinitely graceful like ballerinas! I surprised - and was surprised by a Black-crowned Night Heron who flew in a circle to check me out and then off and away.
Lots of activity for only a couple of hours. Going back for a day when it is earlier and longer!
Here's some shots for you:

Yellow-headed blackbird watching me closely.

Black-crowned night heron flew in a circle and checked me out.

Flower and the bee.

Mother Coot.

Baby coot - he's even uglier than his parents!!!

A classic view of the small islands in the pond with white pelicans and cormorants, with Canadian geese on the far shore.

The Great Blue Heron rookery is pretty well settled this year.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Back Home in the garden

We came home to an overflowing garden, grasses that had grown several inches, roses in bloom everywhere, all sorts of color in the backyard. A treat to sit on the deck and absorb the beauty around us.
Here's a few of the wonders that captured me!

Our favorite rose.

Honeysuckle fragrance fills the air.

Followed this guy all over the yard!

Soft and mysterious with a touch of purple in it.

Love the backlighting.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A beautiful closure

Christopher Jon Keller's funeral was this morning with close to 150 people in attendance. It was a beautiful closure ceremony with a reception afterwards.
Chris was 41. I remember being 41 - full of energy, life was full of possibility, lots of friends to do things with and places to go. Chris has two boys and he coached them in sports. So much to come...

At the calling event Friday afternoon, over 400 people showed to pay their respects to the family. Chris was one of the 'good guys' and the volume of people reflected his impact in the community in his short number of years.

As the funeral ended, there was not a dry eye in the house. While it is a closure, now the real work begins for Chris' family. They do not have a normal life to go back to like the rest of us.