Monthly Archives: January 2014





… there is a moment when     you transition from being bound to the earth and the freedom of flight …     earthly rules and constraints no longer apply … the laws of the sky     takeover and you are free. I like those few seconds when you are between     being earthbound and transitioning … it is a tentative feeling and then     you are solidly moving into flight and the earth falls away as you climb     out and enter a new realm of beauty and freedom. Perhaps that is why I     spend so much time trying to get good sequences of waterfowl, raptors and     any other feathered friend taking off or landing (the mandatory part of     flight).


The “diving”     ducks typically run on the water flapping their wings to accelerate and     then rotate into flight. I recently took this sequence of a Ringneck duck     running on a pond and reaching a speed where he could rotate and enter     flight. There are actually more than fifteen images in this sequence but I     chose these two because he had taken his last power stroke with his feet in     the water and began a rapid climb out. Check the powerful wing beat he is     making in the second image. These two images are .083 seconds apart and     based on the distance traveled between the two shots he is moving at about     40 feet per second or close to 30 mph. Anyhow, it was a fun exercise and     hope you enjoy it as much as I did assembling it. Easy to line them up using     the splashes from his feet … 3 more splashes not shown.


The new computer posted on     the first try, Win Pro 8.1 installs on the first hard drive in the morning     and then it is time to connect the other six hard drives; one more solid     state and five hybrid drives for a total of just under 12TB … I like back     up and redundancy. Fun at the ISO 100 meeting tonight and saw some     beautiful shots. Tomorrow looks like a great day to stay inside and work on     the ‘puter and other projects … then it is into the weekend. May your day     be joyful and blessed … why not, it will be your choice … and don’t let     others affect your day … smile at the jerk that cuts you off instead of     flipping him off … sometimes flipping gives a little satisfaction, but a     smile and friendly wave works better and might even help the jerk.


Smile and share your joy     … back Monday morning.





To be somewhere alone with     you and watch the myriad stars,

Far golden worlds beyond     the noisy earth’s unkindly jars.

As quietly they sail     night’s sea, above the world and you and me.


Max Ehrmann


A shaft


… of light broke through the late afternoon clouds and illuminated these rocks and field of some wild grass or ground cover … and it was good and gave me a chance to get this image. The formations are near that portion of Sycamore Canyon that is just west of Black Mountain. I headed up to the airport mid-afternoon and took a tour of the Verde Valley out east of Camp Verde and then along Mingus and out to Perkinsville before turning back to see if the sun would peak through and give me some good late light on the rocks and it did. I continued up through Sycamore Canyon to try and get some better shots of the Hoodoo formations in the canyon beyond Casner Mountain and think I may have gotten a few special shots. They have a better appearance from an altitude even with or slightly below the rim so low level stable air like I had today enabled me to stay low … I was anyhow because the winds above 9,000′ were cooking.


All in all, a quiet but very productive day and hope yours was too. Time to put a wrap on this one, dream some good dreams and start the new day with espresso … and a smile … I mean, if you wake up, you are breathing and your body seems to be working it doesn’t get a lot better than that.


Cheers … smile





Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind … “Pooh”, he whispered

“Yes Piglet”?

“Nothing,” said Piglet taking Pooh’s paw, “I just wanted to be sure of you.”


A.A. Milne


Looking for


… clean Robins, Doves or ? It was a dove, and life continued for the Coopers Hawk and the natural laws were observed. Such is life in the real world … those who would survive look towards themselves to provide for their needs. I got lucky though as a friend stopped by with some extra soup … chicken tortilla soup … great dinner and thank you Leo. Another friend stopped over for a while to observe me putting the new computer together and that was good for a while, but then the conversation turned to photography and it was more interesting than putting a computer together and so the project was abandoned and we had a great time talking. Today seems like a good day to continue the assembly, but probably not complete it … fun to anticipate the performance as well as experience it … thoughts of flying will also likely interfere with the construction  and they will have to be put into reality… takeoff time?


I bring the Lambada down for the refinishing Monday so need to pile more hours on before then; twenty two hours so far this month so well on pace to exceed my goal for the year at 150+ hours.  I wonder how many hours a year the raptors get? Likely well over a thousand, just speculation and how cool would that be!


So time to put a wrap on the day and hope that you had as good a one as me and it is better today






But from the brooding beauty of the night, and daily dancing shafts of golden sun …

The mystery and wonder of the world … that play the soundless music of the soul

And fill the heart with memory’s olden dreams … From these will come at last your faith in God.


Max Ehrmann








There is


… nothing like a shower in the morning to get a day off to a good start and this Robin is no exception. I spent a very interesting morning with Eric at a cattle pond last week and it was fascinating to watch the different species as they came in and got their morning drink and a few like this Robin got into some major cleanup efforts with water flying everywhere. Civilized? Do not think so … try a shower like this at home and see how long you last :+) Looks like fun though.


Another good day, some flying this afternoon, a good teeth cleaning at the good Dr. Bill’s (Sedona Dental Arts) and home to One. My version of homemade spaghetti (really it is good) and watched the Girl Who Played With Fire which is the second in the trilogy written by Stieg Larsson; watched The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (first) last night and tomorrow finish with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I like the English dubbed versions and stream them from Amazon Prime. Second time for watching the series … love it! Almost a month without television cable/satellite or broadcast and loving that too. No more obnoxious commercials, noise, dumb programs, or talking heads … movies as desired and otherwise wonderful streamed music and even better … silence … quiet … the prefect environment for thought. Just a few more things to clean up before I start writing again and when grounded while the Lambada is being refinished seems like a good time to start.


Everything seems to be working well with the new delivery system. Please note that if you are changing your email address you can do that from the footers at the bottom of the email and if you wish to unsubscribe you can do it there also without involving me … and you can forward to friends too. Trying a slightly smaller image tonight as the photo of One required scrolling to get it all viewed … she would prefer a 9000 x 6000 pixel ( 20 in x 30 in print) instead of the 900 x 600 pixel image I am doing tonight.


It is Tuesday, and I will predict that it will be a very good day … that is the goal and we are the only ones who ever keep it from happening … expectations and perceptions.


So smile and share your joy





For life holds cheers as well as tears,

Take this old toast from me:

This world a riddle hard you call …

A mess from which you fain would shrink?

Perhaps ‘tis wisdom, all in all.

To learn to laugh as well as think.


Max Ehrmann

Here’s hoping


… that all will go well with this first upload and transmittal of photo and email. I have not yet set up a mass light box page on the website for all the full size images from these emails; Muse is balking at doing several hundred photos upload at a time … and I have been so busy today going through photo albums, letters et al today I have not given it enough time. Maybe tomorrow …


It was a terrific weekend; yesterday I flew Steve on a flight so he could get the video footage of Oak Creek from top to bottom and then retrace the steps back up … this is for a project he has going and which will release in April I think. It was fun. Then another flight with a visitor/friend from South Carolina, home and relax and then out to  dinner with a another friend. Worked late on the photo albums last night, got to church in time to leave my offering before George closed out the service. Had I bothered to read a bulletin I would have known that the service started early … down to the ponds and home to spend the rest of the day sorting stuff out. Now packaged, about 40 pounds of photos and documents will be on the way to the girls later this morning. A few more weeks on this project as I narrow down the list of photos and negatives I want to have professionally scanned. Also fun reading the trip diaries that Corky wrote when we traveled as well as letters and such. We did have a heck of a lot of fun!


Flying again later this morning and then home and more sorting. The motorglider goes in for a new finish next week … it is a big deal and will be gone for about a month. It has to be sanded down to glass to get rid of the gel coat. Machine and 220 grit to start and hand sanding to finish and maintain the wing profile. Thinking all white again, but with metallic white and blue for trim.


One lounges in the sun whilst I do my morning calisthenics and this morning I grabbed a camera and got some nice shots of her from floor level. We’re doing well and strangely she prefers my morning Greek yogurt to the evening steak. Life is good, we are blessed … share your joy and share a smile or three with someone today.






…I yield myself to the thousand enchantments of sky and field and wood,

and play again like a child on the soft green of the earth.

And as the God of the universe has made thee to bloom in tenderness,

so also may my heart be made to bloom again.


Max Ehrmann


The last


… group email I will be sending from my computer … beginning Monday I will complete the transition to Constant Contact who will be doing the sending work for me as well as other items in the process. There are some very good things coming in the transition and features added to the emails such as you having the ability to change your own email address in the data base … the not so good is that the maximum size of the photo will be 600 x 400 or slightly smaller. So the fix I am applying to this issue is the establishment of a separate webpage on which will have the larger images stored on it. I think they will be available to download. As always they are for your personal enjoyment only, no commercial use without prior authorization. I am uploading all of 2013 and 2014 ePhoto images and learning the tricks quickly … I think.


Steve and I decided to postpone the video shoot of Oak Creek from the air this morning. Winds were NE and steady 10+ and gusts hit close to 20 Kts. It would have been a flight I would have enjoyed, but it is likely they would have had to hand out air sick bags to those who viewed it in a theater… so back on Saturday when winds are predicted to be calm.


Lots accomplished today and more stuff in the works. Plans for the future (hopefully one day it will be the present … with me still here) are being formulated. For the first time in more than twenty years I am able to plan something just for me and it is strange to be doing that. I’m going to be doing a lot more writing and focus on my photography more; an outside chance I could even be somewhat organized … couldn’t handle full organization. Flying with friends, cutting gems and back to my own yard work. Not much travel as we did a lot of that; just the idea of waking up with the ability to enjoy a cup of espresso and nothing that has to be done is a new and wonderful experience. It is all about choices; good ones today make for a good tomorrow when it becomes the present. I like the now … that is where I am … and it is good.


The photo tonight is another look at Horseshoe Lake that I shot the day before the one yesterday. Only a small portion of the lake in this one because I had a 400mm lenses on the camera and even from a mile and a half above it, it brings you right into the scene. The lake was being whipped by wind gusts and the resulting squall lines made for beautiful reflections and patterns. These trees in the water are in the north end of the lake. The brilliant reflections while blowing the highlights also made for interesting shapes; a young girl, a bears head and ? Image reduced in size but not cropped. Also just removed a white pencil line that One drew across the image :+)


Have a wonderful weekend and be joyful … what a ride we are getting.


Cheers … smiles





Whatever else you do or forbear;

Impose upon yourself the task of happiness;

And now and then abandon yourself

To the joy of laughter.


Max Ehrmann



… the sky meets the earth … it is nice up there and on the way down to Falcon this morning I looked down and saw the sky reflected in Horseshoe Lake and it was nice … and here it is. Rather an other-worldly view as the Verde River wends its way down to join the Salt River below Roosevelt Lake (which is below Horseshoe). A very long day and another one starting already. Have to be in the air around nine to do a video project and then a few days on the ground getting caught up with other things. Hoping to get the email out tomorrow night through the new service, but am stymied as of now. Soon!!!


Have a terrific day … smile a lot





The green of all the fields is mine, the stars, the night, the wind at play,

A peaceful heart, while quietly

I go my way


Max Ehrmann


Into flight


… after I arrived at Performance One Aviation at Falcon Field this morning, my friend picked me up and it was off to the Gilbert Riparian water park for some fun shooting. It was mid-day before we got there and most all critters were resting or quietly feeding in the stillness of the warm day. It was good to be out there walking this beautiful park. I shot a couple of Ospreys that were flying overhead, but even with 400mm they were a bit on the wee side and are now residing in the bit bucket .. the images that is. A few good shots of the American Avocet which David said he had not seen there previously. Then there was a Snowy Egret that perched in a tree about fifteen feet above ground and even with another photographer walking right under him, he stayed in the tree … until he didn’t. There were too many branches to get a decent shot, but it was fun trying.


Then there were a few Kestrel Falcons looking for their meals and after much patience and enumerable bad shots I finally got some clear shots of one launching from a nearby treetop. He was into his second wing beat when I took this shot and you can see the effort exerted as he reaches for another powerful beat to propel him further into flight. I love raptors and this was a real treat; rather appropriate to get a shot of a falcon and then head back to Falcon Field to fly home.


They were not able to finish the work on the Lambada so it is another flight down there tomorrow morning to get it finished. I saw a Lancair Evolution that the gentleman who will be painting mine did and it is flat out gorgeous! Leaning towards a metallic white for the new finish on the Lambada and looking forward to getting it done. My ship like many gliders is finished with a gelcoat which is applied in the mold when they make the part and after a number of years it will craze and that is what has happened to our ship. Not structural, just cosmetic, but to be able to paint it (good idea factory) all gelcoat has to be sanded off and bare resin impregnated carbon fiber showing. That takes a while :+)


So the next two days will find me where I like to be; above earth. It is a good place to be … quiet and forever …  


Have a wonderful day and share your joy


Cheers … smiles





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



… down, airbrakes deployed and gear on the way down … touch down in about two seconds … it was good and a beautiful spray of water went out as his feet touched the water and began braking. The intensity of his focus can be seen as he picks his landing spot and nails the landing. After return shipping the Bose speakers I bought on eBay and a high end sound card which Anthony said I do not need, ordering studio monitors which he said I would like (he uses them) it was down to the ponds for my afternoon walk. The ducks were all enjoying the beautiful weather and were moving around quite a bit, a couple of eagles were over flying the area, but no shots of them. After walking the ponds I got a portable chair out of the van and waited for the eagles to come in and perch, but it was not to be … very relaxing half hour though.


Home to One and a slow cooked roast which I shredded; four meals out of it … one tonight and three in the freezer. One has taken to enjoying chicken and beef from my plate in the evening and Greek yogurt in the morning. She is sweet and I have new photos of her I need to get out. So it was a day spent working, with friends and life is good. Tomorrow I take the Lambada down to Falcon Field (Performance One Aviation ) … to get the electrical system reworked and the engine serviced. A friend is taking me out on a bird shoot while Heath and company take care of the plane and then fly home. Need to start getting the new computer together; it will be more than twice as fast as the one I am using … the one I am using never slows or bogs down so it is good to know that the new one will be so fast that I do not have to think about it ever slowing down … come to think of it, I don’t now :+)


Have a terrific day today … share a smile or three or more … do a favor for someone too.






P.S.  Heath, I like the shot of you on the phone on the web site slide show … was it me?  :+)



To be somewhere alone with you and watch the myriad stars,

Far golden worlds beyond the noisy earth’s unkindly jars.

As quietly they sail night’s sea, above the world and you and me.


Max Ehrmann






A few


… more nights with emailing from the 24 lists … have been flying too much too get the online list cleaned up and that is okay. An incredibly fun weekend and time with friends and air time trump list cleanup and most everything else.  On my Friday morning shoot with Eric at cattle ponds to get the morning influx of different species coming in for their morning drink of water I managed to take over 700 photos. Now have it down to just over 400 images and more winnowing to try and get it down to about 200. There were blue birds, starlings, robins, sparrows, ravens and more … cattle too. I like this shot of some Starlings apparently letting the incoming starling that she was persona non grata … or perhaps just teaching her manners.

She did land and she did join the residents in obtaining nutrition and water so they are likely welcomed.


This will be a short one … need some sleep before I tank up with espresso … only then can I declare that it will be a good day. It will be of course, and hopefully we can all look back at today and appreciate how much it helped us in the new day now underway. Friends over in the afternoon and then back to the sky for a little alone time and being amazed by the beauty below … and above.


Share a few smiles today … enjoy the beauty … enjoy the company of your fellow humans.






…I yield myself to the thousand enchantments of sky and field and wood,

and play again like a child on the soft green of the earth.

And as the God of the universe has made thee to bloom in tenderness,

so also may my heart be made to bloom again.


Max Ehrmann