Monthly Archives: May 2014

A creature to emulate

Fine tuning

… thinking of heading up to the airport in the morning and get some air time; this Black Hawk has his primaries spread and is fine tuning his flight to get better lift and reduce drag resulting in a better climb rate. I can’t spread my primary feathers (last time I checked they were not on the Lambada), but I can crank and bank in a slight slip to increase my climb rate and also use about three degrees of flaps … so natural for this guy … oh well, at least I get to do it … even if a little less natural, although it feels natural to me.

 

Didn’t get a photo and email out last night as the ISO 100 group was over and after cleaning the place up I was too tired … and I had already started dismantling the computer set up in the office. Have the desk moved into the new office area and also the computer. Still have to hook up the scanner and printers, but that will happen over the next few days. After flying in the morning it is home, a change to painting clothes and start on the front of the house … hope to have the entire street side done by mid-week. Our friend Tim who built the house for us will be over here in two weeks to finish converting the old office to another guest bedroom/study. I like it for that because it has a great view and a door to the deck for morning coffee and such.

 

Not sure what has happened … I can’t get or keep caught up on my emails and am now more than eight hundred behind … I read them all and sorry I just can’t reply to all of them anymore. I do read them all and the personal ones I will reply to so don’t give up on me.

 

Enjoy the weekend, share your joy … what a fantastic planet we live on and so many truly wonderful people …

 

Back Monday morning … Smiles

 

Ted

 

 

 

Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am;

and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity overtake me,  and I come not within

sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life;

and for time’s olden memories that are good and sweet; and may

the evenings twilight find me gentle still.

 

Max Ehrmann

 

Aerial skills

Terrain Warning

… abound in the real world and it goes without saying that my favorites are those of raptors as they dive for the kill. I took this shot of an Osprey at the ponds a few years ago and he was about twenty feet off the water and diving straight down in excess of 80 mph; he got the fish too. I like this shot of the absolute focus and intensity he is displaying. A few seconds later he was back in the air, talons firmly sunk in his prey. Check those talons out … he had a wingspan of close to six feet.

 

Also including a Smilebox link that Don Kirchner put together for me after our flight on Saturday. Don runs the Return To Honor organization devoted to working with those in the penal system to help inmates rehabilitate themselves. The link is http://returntohonor.org . Always a good organization to support and after a period of quiet and little activity, Don is putting his full efforts behind it. Another friend, John Soderberg will be donating a large sculpture to a raffle which will be conducted this fall to help raise funds for Return To Honor. John’s website is: http://johnsoderberg.com/ and check his beautiful work out. His daughter Heather has done a sculpture I want … “Athena” … Heathers website is: http://heathersoderberg.com and his other daughter Misty is also an accomplished sculptor and her beautiful work can be found at: http://mistysoderberg.com – whoops, almost forgot, this is to promote RTH :+) I’ll be donating an original piece of jewelry to the raffle as well and contact Don if you can lend a hand as well. His email is: don@amatteroftime.org and finally our flight in mucho smoke last Saturday is at: http://tinyurl.com/flight-5-24 .

 

Today was a good one. I got an exhibit of my photographic art hung in the narthex at Church of the Red Rocks … so if it has been a while since you’ve gone to church, this is an opportunity to go to a neat church, participate and hear some beautiful music, a message eloquently delivered by George or Donna and see some beautiful photographs. Please be generous in your giving to the church, but hold back a little so you can purchase my photographs too … sorry George, that is the cost of a plug in my emails … darn here come those lightning bolts again :+)

 

Have a terrific day … smile and share your joy

 

Ted

 

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

 

Another day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

… another fire … on June 18th 2006 Corky and I went to church and afterwards were on our way to have brunch at Enchantment Resort celebrating her birthday. As we began the drive N on SR 179 from Church of the Red Rocks we saw smoke billowing up in the direction of Brins Mesa … the fire was approximately thirty minutes old. The next hour or so found me taking photographs and this is a shot I took from up on Airport Mesa at the Masonic Lodge and the cross which overlooks the town.

 

I like this shot as it shows massive destruction just beginning, a Hawk cruising across the sky in search of a meal with the smoke as a backdrop and the Christian Cross framing it all with a message of peace and constancy in a world which only knows change. Brins Mesa is now in the midst of recovery and from the air is green.

 

Another full day; appointments in Cottonwood, work on the house and time with friends. I’ve decided to convert my office back into a guest room and making plans to move my stuff into the lapidary and exercise room. It will be a fun project and planning on ripping the carpet out and putting in a solid wood floor; a return to days working with my hands.

 

Have a beautiful day, breathe deeply unless you are in our neighborhood and smile … a cough or two is okay, but keep smiling.

 

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

 

Enjoying life

Natasha 1

A few days ago on a night when I was particularly tired, I got this email together and sent it to my private list … The Chosen Few” who have inadvertently unsubscribed to the email I send out through my account at Constant Contacts. Someday I will study up on how to let people re subscribe and I can delete the list. Until then it serves two purposes: First, about twenty friends get the email again and two, it is a good composition tool before I upload to Constant Contact.

 

Today was a fabulous day … I did stuff … and I got the day off to a good start when a friend came by with pastries; I provided the espresso. Thence into town for the Memorial Day event … a visit with Anthony, Olivia, and his parents … some shopping and home. Worked on the stucco and just a little more patching before the final coat is applied in the front. More visits with friends and then I actually made dinner for a change … pork chop, asparagus and mashed potatoes :+) watching the new 24 and it was good. Tomorrow after a visit to Cottonwood it is time to begin putting a display up in the Church Narthex.

 

So anyhow, here is the one that almost went out … enjoy!

 

… a couple of weeks ago a friend of mine in Cape Town SA, let me know that a friend of his was going to be in Arizona  and put us in touch. The winds were way too high to fly, but we went to the airport  just in case the winds might let up (what is new?), but they didn’t. So one of the things Natasha takes back with her when she travels are photos of her doing handstands on objects, cliffs and any other high place that is available … so here is one of several from the Sedona area.

 

Natasha is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at South African National Bioinformatics Institute in Cape Town. Her current project involves the use of computational approaches to model the structural properties of the glycan shield that protects the surface of the HIV gp 120 protein. In short, computer modeling in research to find a vaccine for HIV. She and another friend were attending a seminar in Tucson consisting of the leading scientists and researchers of HIV in the world.  It was an incredibly fun day and wonderful to meet someone who contributes so much and finds such enjoyment in life.

 

Today was a fun day and much time spent with friends; work on the outside walls (correcting mistakes made the previous day) and then a terrific dinner from Wildflower Bakery … half a BLT … half a chocolate bar :+)

 

Early flights in the morning to photograph the fire. The TFR granting exclusive airspace to the ones fighting the fire only goes to 10,500’ so I’ll be mostly around 12,000’ and be well clear of the area. Hoping they start to get a handle on it soon.

 

Have a terrific day … do a handstand … or at least smile

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

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

 

Friday morning

Slide 3

 

… there was still a lot of smoke, but as I flew up the canyon it was looking lighter and the smoke plumes/level seemed to be well below 10,000’ msl; I was about 12,000’ msl and directly over West Fork and other areas of the canyon. After spending about 45 minutes overhead shooting the scene I headed down to Falcon Field in Mesa to complete the annual on the Lambada and expected to see substantial improvement when I flew back to Sedona. Instead I saw pyro cumulus clouds going to well over 15,000’ and raging fires along the front line of the fire and I could see trees exploding all over the place. If you would like to subscribe to updates to the fire go to: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAFSNIFC/subscriber/new?topic_id=USDAFSNIFC_51

 

This photo was taken Friday morning; Saturday morning you could not see any of these rocks, the airport or anything … the intense smoke layer went to 7,000’. It is supposed to be the same tomorrow. Breathing, which is my favorite exercise is no longer recommended in the Sedona area; likely the atmosphere on the Moon would be more hospitable to our life forms. My lungs are raw, my eyes watering , itchy and sore … the good news is that they are still functioning.

 

Looking forward to getting some photos of beautiful green leaves, backlit to show the fractal nature of the leaf coming out of or surrounded by charred logs or tree trunks … can you imagine how beautiful that will be? Renewal of life from the ashes.

 

A very good weekend underway … projects completed, time with friends and flying in soupy air.

 

Have a wonderful Memorial Day and remember and give thanks to all those who served in our armed forces and made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live with freedom in these wonderful United States of America … I’ll be remembering my uncle Norm, a Marine who was the rear gunner in (I believe) a Douglas SBD Dauntless lost in combat in the Pacific theater during WWII.

 

Share your joy, we are blessed by the sacrifice of those who have preceded us and those who serve and continue to make the sacrifice today.

 

Keep breathing … be careful how you do it in Sedona … smiles

 

Ted

 

I bring but this one common thought, my life has wrought;

That from the dregs of drear despair, still everywhere

There is a joy I yet may sip – Tis comradeship

With all mankind, the high and low

I know.

 

Max Ehrmann

 

A certain beauty

Climbing out 1

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust … just as we return the remains of those we love to the earth and they once again become part of all that is, so too we are seeing the remains of a beautiful forest being scattered across the landscape, flowing across the landscape and then returning to the earth from which it came. This is a shot which I took just a few seconds after takeoff this morning … probably not more than five or six hundred feet above the airport which is now behind me … perhaps 5400’ msl. By the time we reached the village where we live (3.8NM) we were over 8,000’ and a few minutes later we were through 10,000’ and turning back to the N.

 

In this photo Cathedral Rock is the near formation and working front to back, right to left there is Castle Rock, Bell Rock, Courthouse Rock and finally Lee Mountain. Above the mesas on the right you can see Camp Verde and the entire Verde Valley inundated in smoke. Oak Creek wends its way SE as it passes through the greenbelt area in the foreground. This was on the first flight with Jordon from the Red Rock News.

 

By the time Derek and I took off most of this had dispersed and the winds had begun to pick up. We landed with an 80 degree cross wind 11kts gusting to17 kts. We landed on a diagonal to centerline to remove some of the XW component, hit by two gusts which added a few feet up and then greased the landing. Always a fun thing to do. I like his writing style so we do collaborate well (have to have something for him to do – smiles) … and we have a healthy respect for each other’s skills with a camera. Also he has scoured every inch of the ground in the canyon pursuing his favorite area of photography and can relate to everything we see from above. His love is Landscape and mine Aerial, Wildlife and Macro.

 

I will be sending out emails over the weekend updating the visuals of the fire; introduce you to some of the great guys who are doing the aerial attack on the fire and some more.

 

Time to put a wrap on the day as I plan to be back up in the air by 6:30A, do some shooting and then down to Falcon Field to finish the annual on the Lambada and then back home.

 

Check some of Derek’s work out at: http://southwestperspectives.com/ he also does workshops and is highly regarded … also at: http://www.pbase.com/sedonamemories

 

I used a bad url for my blog post. It is: http://tedandcorky.com/wordpress1 also on http://sedona.biz and http://verdenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=109&SubSectionID=1562 . their current front page is: http://www.verdenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=60449 . The blog post Derek and I did is at: http://arizonahighways.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/contributors-ted-grussing-derek-von-briesen-get-aerial-view-of-slidefire/ has been getting pretty good play. And always visit my websites at: http://tedandcorky.com and http://tedgrussing.com Need to update them, but they are still averaging about 15,000 hits per month.

 

Be safe this Memorial Day Weekend … remember those who have served … those who are not coming back and gave their lives so that we could remain free and the greatest nation ever to grace this earth … we are all Americans and like my Dad I believe that everyone starts off as an inherently good person …

 

Share your joy … smile

 

Ted

 

 

Hold high your head and be an honest man.

May kindness guide your daily steps

And in each deed and thought let Christ’s sweet soul always reflect itself,

And love your fellow men as I love you.

May words unkind and false ne’er pass your lips,

Nor harsh and low ambitions drive you on.

 

Max Ehrmann

from Breaking Home Ties

 

The passing of a national treasure

Slide Fire AP 1

 

On Tuesday at about 4PM near Slide Rock Park in Oak Creek Canyon a fire was started by what is said to be a camp fire. Within minutes the fire had engulfed 20 acres; in a few hours it reached 400 plus acres and within a day consumed more than 4500 acres and it is still going. The fire has also spread into and appears to have destroyed the West Fork area of Oak Creek … this was one of the most beautiful trails in the entire Sedona area And from all reports and what I can see from the air, it does appear to be gone. Looking down from above it seemed like a chalk line scribed at a homicide outlining the body … here the forest being killed is spreading out in its final act and is beautiful in its own right … like all of us do some day, it has reached the end … for now … regeneration will occur and in another generation or two will once again attain a state of beauty. It will also be a wonder to go up there and see the beginnings as green begins to appear out of the ashes. And we are here … now … soon new life will appear.

 

Early this morning I took Jordon Reese the photographer for the Red Rock News up for an aerial shoot of the area; unlike helicopters which typically shoot from lower altitudes we climbed to about 12,000’ above the TFR area (Temporary Flight Restrictions) surrounding the fire which has a ceiling of 10,500’ so we could then fly close to the fire area. I like this shot a lot! :  This is a view looking to the NNE from a point about 4 miles SE of the Sedona Airport which is visible center right. The airport considered one of the most scenic in the USA sits on a mesa about 800 feet above the city of Sedona. To the right of the mesa and just below it you can see the famous Oak Creek (green snake line) which is obscured by the smoke above the bottom of the image. The creek wends its way upstream under the blanket of smoke filling Oak Creek Canyon to and beyond where the fires are burning miles above the base of the canyon. The mountain to the left of the airport is Thunder Mountain and is the mountain the Walt Disney used as a model for the Thunder Mountain in Disney’s theme park. Above and to the right of that is Wilson Mountain and the mountains partially obscured by the smoke plume are the San Francisco Peaks NNW of Flagstaff AZ – Snow Bowl a ski resort is on the mountain and Humphreys Peak is the highest point in Arizona at 12,633’ msl. Sedona Airport is 4830’ msl and the Colorado Plateau is about 7,000’ msl. Sedona is at the edge of the plateau where it breaks off.

 

Spent some time visiting with the flight crews of the Sky Crane helicopters, a breakfast at Mesa Grill and home.

 

I talked with Jordon a while ago and the front page of the Red Rock News will be covering the fire.

 

Derek just let me know that Arizona Highways just posted our collaborative blog which he just finished and the link to that is: http://arizonahighways.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/contributors-ted-grussing-derek-von-briesen-get-aerial-view-of-slidefire/

 

Waiting to hear back from AP

 

Have a wonderful rest of the day … look forward to what will evolve and come out of this otherwise sad event … life changes … life is good.

 

Smiles

 

Ted

 

 

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

Enjoying life

Natasha 1

… a couple of weeks ago a friend of mine in Cape Town SA, let me know that a friend of his was going to be in Arizona and put us in touch. The winds were way too high to fly, but we went to the airport just in case the winds might let up (what is new?), but they didn’t. So one of the things Natasha takes back with her when she travels are photos of her doing handstands on objects, cliffs and any other high place that is available … so here is one of several from the Sedona area.

 

Natasha is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at South African National Bioinformatics Institute in Cape Town. Her current project involves the use of computational approaches to model the structural properties of the glycan shield that protects the surface of the HIV gp 120 protein. In short, computer modeling in research to find a vaccine for HIV. She and another friend were attending a seminar in Tucson consisting of the leading scientists and researchers of HIV in the world. It was an incredibly fun day and wonderful to meet someone who contributes so much and finds such enjoyment in life.

 

Today was a fun day and much time spent with friends; work on the outside walls (correcting mistakes made the previous day) and then a terrific dinner from Wildflower Bakery … half a BLT … half a chocolate bar :+)

 

Early flights in the morning to photograph the fire. The TFR granting exclusive airspace to the ones fighting the fire only goes to 10,500’ so I’ll be mostly around 12,000’ and be well clear of the area. Hoping they start to get a handle on it soon.

 

Have a terrific day … do a handstand … or at least smile

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

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

As long as we’re in the air

heartline

 

… with two photos so far this week … might as well keep it going. I took this shot of Cathedral Rock last week late afternoon and like the way it presents from this altitude and bank angle. The contoured and cracked rock formations leading up and to the right are actually heading SE towards the Village where we live. Kinda looks like an internal amphitheater spilling out of the rock formation …

 

Winds gusting over 40kts today makes it good to be on the ground and remember the beauty already experienced and anticipate that to come … in the today it was finishing the calking of the cracks in the stucco and apply the first coat of paint, visiting with friends, walks and just kind of kicking back a bit. Have my name on the list to get a ride in the Viper when they get the requisite fifty hours on the engine and airframe and with a climb rate of 12,000’ per minute it should be a blast. It burns a wee bit more fuel than the Lambada … about 165 gallons per hour compared to my 3 gallons … efficiency is not the purpose though … fun is :+)

 

Heard from my friend Mike Conway at AZGS and they posted the shot of Bell Rock from Monday on the AZGS Facebook page and got more than 2000 views, 91 likes 35 shares and this was a record for them. Way to go!

 

You can also catch the daily photos on my blog at http://tedandcorky.com/Wordpress1 , http://Sedona.biz and http://verdenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=109&SubSectionID=1562

 

A horrible fire started in Oak Creek Canyon around 4P and it was about 20 acres … now over 1,000 acres and 0% containment. Started in the Slide Rock area,

 

Have a terrific day … do something for someone today … smile

 

Cheers

Ted

 

“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet

“You don’t spell it … you feel it”. – Pooh

A.A. Milne

 

The view

from munds2a

… from Munds Park, looking SSW. The canyon in the foreground working its way from lower left to middle right is Munds Canyon and that is where it joins Oak Creek Canyon which is partially visible and it goes up the canyon to the right and wends its way down the canyon and to the east along the base of the Sedona Airport Mesa near the upper center of the image. On the right beyond Oak Creek Canyon is Wilson Mountain (volcanic origin) and beyond that you can see Thunder Mountain the Verde Valley and Cottonwood is at the base of Mingus Mountain which is the near range and just over that are the Bradshaw’s. Jerome is up the slope on Mingus … a fun place. The Village of Oak Creek which is where we live is behind Lees Mountain on the left above center. Black Mountain is a partial on the right upper side of the image and Sycamore Canyon is just the other side of it. Fun! The winds blew again today, so stayed on the ground.

 

Spent much of the day cutting cracks out of the stucco and filling them; will need at least one more pass at them to get it done, then comes the painting … it will take a while to finish, but I am enjoying it. More work on projects in the garage and my set of “tools” arrived today so that I could do the factory mandatory change to my air compressor. I’ve been collecting tools since the first year Corky and I were married … a set of Torx star end wrenches :+) Four batches of coffee beans roasted today; a nice batch of Medellin Supremo from Columbia. Thank you Jon, that was a good choice … want to roast your own too? Check out http://burmancoffee.com . New Aviators Oxygen bottle arrived today and my bottle from the Lambada went in for hydrostatic testing. The wind was blowing again and hoping for a reprieve by Wednesday so I can fly it down to Falcon Field to have the annual finished and some changes to the electrical system … check out their website at http://performanceoneaviation.com/ , the Viper Jet in the right hand upper corner of the home page is going to make its first flight on Thursday and would love to see it fly … even more to get a ride in it.

 

Friends over for visits today too and then a trip to Wildflower for a salad for dinner. Perhaps I’ll take up cooking again someday :+) I have determined that there will no more slow roasted barbeque beef in this house … two more packages to go … unless I throw them out … maybe feed them to the critters so I do not feel guilty about throwing them? Naw, don’t want to turn them off to eating too. The new premium seed I am getting from Jay’s Bird Barn http://jaysbirdbarn.com/ is attracting more medium size birds which will assure food for my favorite raptors. The Coopers Hawks are coming back to our area.

 

Time to put a wrap on the day … it was good … hope yours was too … smile … share your joy

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

And love in the still of the star-flecked night,

When earth was all strewn with gold,

Has lifted my heart like the chords of song

Oft sung in the worlds of old.

 

Max Ehrmann