Have a heart ... and this view of Sunset Crater from the west looking east gives you the heart shape cone I was talking about a week or so ago when I sent out photos from the east looking west.
What the inside of Sunset Crater looks like? Wonder no longer, as this shot I took last September, gives you a clear view of the entire caldera of Sunset Crater … one of my favorite place to go; in the air for beautiful photos of the crater and surrounding volcanic fields and other volcanic cones and on the ground for the spectacular wood and a sense of being in an area less than ten minutes ago in geologic time, saw the earth’s crust ripped and rendered and molten lava exploding out of the earth.
Few things are able to evoke the peace and tranquility that being out on quiet water can do … the beauty of sky, shorelines and reflections in the water … and no one else around to break the spell. I took this shot last August and I’m anxious to get back out there and just drift and absorb the beauty.
Going through photos for the book today I came on a shot of the SF Peaks I took last year which is one of my all-time favorite shots of them.
I captured a series of shots of the Blue Heron that I sent out last night and this shot is the next in the series, taken approximately .14 seconds after the shot from last night … you can see where he has lifted off with the mighty force of the push from the legs and the forward and downward beat of the wings.
End of day on the Colorado Plateau on January 8th , 2017 … I took this shot on a very high wind day about 20 minutes before sunset and the conditions were phenomenal by anyone’s standards.
For a few moments last Friday afternoon, these two predators had their eyes locked on each other and then the larger of them turned his head and resumed his stroll across the grass towards the wild area of brush, trees and tangles.
When all else fails, do something different and this is the seventh photo I pulled up tonight.
I saw a bobcat whilst out with One this evening and it reminded me of a shot I took in 2015 of a young bobcat in someone’s yard high up on Merry Go Round Rock Road while heading into town.
Coal Mine Canyon is one of the beautiful canyons in northern Arizona and it much more vast when viewed from the air as opposed to from the ground. It
Sometimes a combination of music and beautiful scenery sweeps you into new dimensions and an inner glow brings a smile, eyes close and you are along for the ride … perhaps among the stars or as tonight along the beauty of Sycamore Canyon, the Colorado Plateau and the San Francisco Volcanic field
I took this shot of Humphreys Peak mid-February, late in the afternoon, the winds were down, so not much orographic lift and the engine was on
I took this shot last spring when I was driving north on I-17 heading home after a day of shooting the incredible flower fields on the west side of Lake Pleasant.
Out of a tight place and this pair of mallards is going vertical to get out of a small pocket in the granite rocks at Watson Lake … the greyish color reminded me of prison walls thus the title, “Jail Break.”
Waterfowl are reaching out and taking to flight, whether because they are startled or simply moving on to another body of water or a field and there is a beauty associated with those brief moments when they are transitioning from a state of rest to one of flight
Through life and forever occurs a single moment at a time and that is why I made my choice to remain exclusively with still/freeze frame photography so that we can ponder that fraction of a second and spend some time just enjoying that moment, irrespective of what has gone before and what will follow.
It was kind of a different day and rather relaxed … friend over for a short visit early afternoon, a trip to the outside world with One and then a little road trip, destination unknown … when I got there I was in the Sedona Community Cemetery and took a trip through looking for some friends sites.
The gap between Casner and Black Mountains is one of my favorite places and the view from about 5800’ looking into Sycamore Canyon through the gap is about as nice as it gets.
On the way home from Flagstaff this afternoon a number of thoughts were running through my mind … the shoot this morning with several friends at Dead Horse State Park, getting more photos of the beautiful Vermillion Fly Catcher, the flight down Copper Canyon, all the good things that people do for each other and the few who simply seem incapable of doing good.
Rules … not an uncommon thing and even down at Bubbling Ponds there are a few rules, but apparently they do not apply to all who visit the area.
I was going through all of the February photos making final deletions, adding keywords before committing to closure of the month and the filing of February 2018, when I came across a shoot I did while running the ridge from Humphreys Peak to Agassiz
Drenched … in color … and beauty as only an Iris can be.
View of Sedona from a pull off on Upper Red Rock Loop Road which gives one of the classic and beautiful overviews of the Sedona area. It is easy to access, just turn east onto Upper Red Rock Loop Road at the High School and about a third of the way down there are a number of pull outs where you can get beautiful shots of the area.
I have always loved the work of Ansel Adams … he took remarkable shots and then he converted them into his art through advanced techniques he employed in the dark room.
I actually liked the first five shots in this series I shot of a Red Tail Hawk finishing his fresh, range fed, natural food field mouse better than this, but taking the sensitivities of some into account we’ll leave you with this one and a final view of our unwilling meal slipping down the throat of the hawk
A little bonus in case you are inclined to head to Snow Bowl this weekend
Ol' Blue Eyes … well they are more a turquoise color, but that wouldn’t fit the narrative, so here is a Cormorant I shot last summer on Watson Lake and one of my favorites.
In time … our brief sojourn on the planet … they may be short and they may be numbered, but while we are here, we have the choice as to how we live each day and that makes all the difference … a good day or a bad day … my choice and your choice.
A few weeks ago I was at a friend’s shooting birds in his back yard and some Bluebirds came in for water.
With everything set, our Greenhead friend is cruising down the pond waiting for his sink rate to bring him into contact with the watery runway beneath his webbed feet
. Wildlife is my favorite subject when I am on the ground, so here is a Scrub Jay I shot whilst at Eric’s home for a visit last week
A good place to reflect and gather your thoughts away from the cacophony of life.
I was sorely tempted to fly this afternoon when I went up to the airport, but the desire to not take a chance on screwing this thing up prevailed and instead, I removed the flight computer to send in to the factory for warranty work. This will ensure I do not fly for at least the next 10 days and by then I am quite sure I will be ready to go.
2017 is on the way out and 2018 is about to make its appearance and methinks it shall be a very good year
With harbors, and while no harbors are present in this aerial shot of the northern part of Lake Pleasant on a rather windy day, there are lee sides of islands and promontories to provide shelter. And it appears a very large and ancient creature is throwing a large object, or is a creature attacking him … lots of possibilities.
A good place to be whether it is refuge from a rough and stormy sea, a hangar when gale force winds are blowing and the sky is not a place to be, that quiet place inside when storm and turmoil fill your life … a place of refuge and healing … a place we can create for ourselves and be alone and ponder life.
Every time I see examples of our military in action, I give thanks and am grateful that at least some of our tax dollars are very well spent.
As promised, a shot from the outing at Watson Lake this afternoon.
Beginning December 1st the Ladders area along the Verde River will be closed for approximately seven months in order to protect the breeding grounds for the Bald Eagle
Sunday morning I flew down to Prescott to shoot the lakes from the sky … because the lakes are within Class D airspace for Prescott Love Field I chose to stay above the very busy airspace and shot mostly above 8,000’, with ground level being a little over 5,000’.
Two flights and two trips to Watson lake over the weekend … maybe another of each tomorrow.
There are all manner of life forms that make up our neighborhood and a multitude of them have wings … like all creatures, some of them just do not want to get along with each other, enter one of the neighborhood’s gang of crows who doesn’t want to share the trees or sky with this Coopers Hawk … the crow made numerous passes and on a couple of them there was physical contact; in the end the hawk remained to hunt for dinner and perhaps the crow received a sharp beak on one of the passes and broke it off.
It seems like every time I go to Watson Lake there are new species arriving with the fall migration and these Hooded Mergansers are among the new arrivals. Like Wood Ducks they nest in small cavities in trees and the newly hatched ducklings leave the nest within a day of being hatched … the first step is the biggest and it may be fifty feet or so; it is also the second smallest of the six species of Mergansers … you can read more about this beautiful creature at: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Merganser/lifehistory .
I started shooting waterfowl when I was twelve and my Dad gave me my first shotgun, a Harrington Richardson, single shot .410 that took 2.5 inch shells and it was a folding gun with a relatively short barrel. I shot my first pheasant, duck and upland game with that gun.
As the USFS continues its Prescribed Burns, I believe it is fair to question the sanity of their policies of using fire as a tool in managing the forests, or at the least the way they are executing these policies.
Unique ... … that is the term that the USFS is using to describe the prescribed burns that we are going to be choked out by this week … in fact it is already underway and they are going to be igniting them with full knowledge that the smoke will be coming down into the valleys and tens of thousands of human beings will be forced to breathe the horrible pollutants that they are putting into the air.
I was as undecided as I could be about what to send out tonight, so it was just open a folder, rapidly spin the wheel and click after it started cycling images in the folder and this is where I landed. It is a photo I took last December on a flight up to the peaks after a nice snowfall.
After the last trip out to Watson lake on Friday I found a number of shots of Cormorants I took where the shots gave the appearance of an eyeless bird … closer examination shows that his head is rotated ninety degrees to the right … one eye down and one up.
It has been a very good day beginning with an early AM flight up to Red Mountain to get some more shots of it … no matter how good you already have, the absolute perfection killer shot is just waiting to be taken so you go back and do it again.
Green ... the color of life and summer … coupled with the mystical beauty that is Watson Lake.