Ted Grussing is a Photographer, Soaring Pilot, Attorney, Custom Jewelry Designer and Caregiver.
Had some fun when I flew last Thursday, there was a lot of smokey haze in the air from all the wood burning stoves and fireplaces in the valley so no long distance shots possible.
After covering another fifty or so feet from last night’s shot our friend the Great Blue Heron had arrived at his fishing ponds, he arched his back, swung his legs forward, increased the angle of attack of his wings (angle relative to plane of flight) and spread his wings wide which has the dual effect of braking his speed and stalling himself out of flight and his right foot has just come into contact with the floor of the pond.
Light … and shadows … the light was pretty harsh when I flew this afternoon so spent my time shooting the ground. I took this shot on the plateau a few miles from the edge of the rim. Kind of a fun shot and nice to be back in the air and a repeat tomorrow. Had to be home by three this afternoon so it was less than an hour in the air, but nice.
The sun was warm and otherwise gray rocks glowed a warm and rich color … the mountain cast its shadow as far as the eye could see and clouds that were not blocked by the mountain picked up rich colors as well … volcanic cones were in the shadow of the peaks as well.
Passing by on the way from what I call the lake area S and SE of Flagstaff to the Rogers Lake area yesterday I took a few shots out the side of Flagstaff and the San Francisco Peaks area, cruising just above the clouds at 10,500’ enjoying the view. Pulliam Field (Flagstaff Airport) is between the lower clouds and Flagstaff itself just about center and spreading in all directions
Arizona's largest natural lake… is Mormon Lake … it is an intermittent lake and when full has a surface area of about twelve square miles … overall average is about a square mile and average depth of ten feet.
I took this shot from a couple of miles S of the Verde River looking pretty much to the NNE. The Verde River is at the bottom of the image and the flow is from left to right, curving upwards a bit and Sycamore Creek joins the Verde River near the apex of the curve.
Three minutes after I started rolling on Rwy 21, I was airborne and looking at the beauty up on the plateau … I spent a few minutes getting shots such as this and then headed up to get closer shots … truth be told I like this one as much as any of the others I shot because I captured the beauty of Sedona as well as the peaks and the plateau.
This is a departure from the usual fare, but with pile burning season upon us and the noxious emissions released into the air at the worst possible time of year for the smoke to go anywhere I will be offering some views, studies, photographs and suggestions that have merit and could be implemented in the management of the forests. I have no degree or formal training in fire, but I know some of the brightest people who do and we talk and they share with me.
One of the things I enjoy most about flying is the solitude and quietude and the ever changing airscapes over planet earth …