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 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
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
There is beauty and there is life. We headed down to Watson Lake this afternoon, in and between, some fantastic monsoonal storms … after checking the weather radar apps we headed out on the lake, somewhat confident that we would be remaining between several large storms that were traversing the area.
What a difference … twenty four hours can make, I have been continually trying to not limp today as eight months of constant hip pain has conditioned me to do so, crutches dispensed with and a new sensation of not hurting as I walk … YES!!! I can handle that.
There is generally a meaning of finality with the term drawing a red line and with the USFS it is no exception. Instead of words they use aerial bombardment laying down redlines of fire retardant where they want to stop fire and not permit it to cross that line. I took this photo this morning and I was north of Hwy 69 looking to the SW, west of Mayer and the fire was the Goodwin Fire. You can see the redline laid down at the base and near the base of the mountains and some homes just on the non-fire side of the line that were saved from destruction by that red line of retardant … pretty cool stuff.
I flew this morning, but this time there was a lot of water vapor in the sky, some smoke and some ozone so that by the time I got to 12,000’ the landscape was getting hazed out. Spent some time cruising around Kendrick peak as they have lifted the TFR which had a floor of 12,000’.
I’m in the process of uploading some of my favorite composites to Getty iStock Photos and in the review process I came on this one which I did in May of 2013. 2013, was kind of a rough year; I lost my brother in January, early in May, Cork was put on Hospice Care and the day I took this shot we lost Q,, One’s predecessor and in November I lost Cork.
Beauty surrounds us and life abounds and continues without thought as most species go about the business of living and fulfilling their purpose. Thanks to Eric for the opportunity to shoot birds and critters in his backyard this morning. I love the beauty of Cardinals and generally find them a hyper species and hard to get good shots of, so was very pleased when this guy chose to spend a few minutes in the area. A nice day … busy and I may have actually accomplished something although what it is eludes me. For sure I enjoyed the day, seeing friends and talking with more on the phone; a couple of appointments in the afternoon and home to One and a quiet dinner which qualifies as reasonably healthy too; not something I always do. A friend sent me a definition of Taoism in response to my use of TaO on the cover of the calendar with the note that it describes the life One and I live: Taoism: “We are the breeze, No dam ever stops our flow, No net ever captures our essence, We always flow to the truth of our life. Live kindly and fully.” Thank you Mary, I like that. Another day is waiting to begin and be lived … first some sleep and then the usual shots of espresso and then life can resume. Have a beautiful day, smile and share your joy … someone’s life will be blessed by your presence in theirs … back Monday morning. Cheers Ted And in this journey over a thousand hills and valleys called life, he is wisest who is patient where the way is hard, has faith when he does not understand, and carries into the dark places the light of a cheerful heart. Max Ehrmann