Monthly Archives: July 2014

I forgot

I forgot

… it is late … not done packing … leaving for the airport in eight hours … where am I going … must be on the ticket … I forget … the sweet looking Ostrich in tonight’s photo has that problem a lot. She was blessed with a heart larger than a lions … she can run at more than fifty miles per hour for forty five minutes which is nearly twice the speed as the predators which go after her … she has a foot with nasty claw that can disembowel a lion with one kick … she only has the one main flaw … no short term memory. So as she is fleeing and out distancing the predator after her … she forgets why she is running and stops …not even those beautiful eye lashes can save her. Such is life? I forget :+)

 

Need to finish up the packing … last email for the week … have a fabulous day tomorrow and keep smiling

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

And lastly give sweet sleep

Closed sight, no fright

That fears will o’er me creep;

And now a last goodnight.

 

Max Erhmann

 

 

A serious dude-essWe spent around five hours at Out of Africa http://outofafricapark.com/ today enjoying monsoonal thunderstorms, the Tiger Splash, deluxe Serengeti tour and just walking among the various wildlife habitats. We fed the Giraffes by letting them pluck the cookies from our mouths ; kinda weird fun and photo of that to follow too. It was too late for any of the Zip line rides so we headed down the road to explore new areas and at Cordes Junction we decided to check out the Urban experiment that is Arcosanti. You can check out the project which has been in progress since 1970 at: http://arcosanti.org/ . We got there a little late to take one of the guided tours so we’ll have to return for a full tour … it is a fascinating place and living concept. A fun hunt for Chaparral followed and we struck the mother lode … great for a tea with many medicinal properties … not quite ready to give up my black ice tea for this though. A stop at Zaneys Frozen Yogurt, saw some friends and met some new friends … home and feet firmly placed on the edge of our Milky Way Galaxy with a cup of Chamomile tea closed out the day. What fun!

Seriously

We spent around five hours at Out of Africa http://outofafricapark.com/ today enjoying monsoonal thunderstorms, the Tiger Splash, deluxe Serengeti tour and just walking among the various wildlife habitats. We fed the Giraffes by letting them pluck the cookies from our mouths ; kinda weird fun and photo of that to follow too. It was too late for any of the Zip line rides so we headed down the road to explore new areas and at Cordes Junction we decided to check out the Urban experiment that is Arcosanti. You can check out the project which has been in progress since 1970 at: http://arcosanti.org/ . We got there a little late to take one of the guided tours so we’ll have to return for a full tour … it is a fascinating place and living concept. A fun hunt for Chaparral followed and we struck the mother lode … great for a tea with many medicinal properties … not quite ready to give up my black ice tea for this though. A stop at Zaneys Frozen Yogurt, saw some friends and met some new friends … home and feet firmly placed on the edge of our Milky Way Galaxy with a cup of Chamomile tea closed out the day.   What fun!

 

I like this photo of a lioness relaxing and enjoying the cool down after the rain soaked the area … she has that serious look that seems to say “…do you feel lucky? … Clint Eastwood never had a more serious look on his face … well do you? Out of Africa is a place where the animals live in tremendous habitat and are respected as the magnificent creatures that they are … a place to go time after time and always something new.

 

While working on the days photos I’ve been watching a taped concert by Of Monsters and Men at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQI0HVlrJhY … one of the many benefits of multiple monitors and fast internet speeds. Excellent performance and as always fun music … Iceland here I come :+)

 

Wednesday is well underway and time to put a wrap on Tuesday … life is such an incredible gift … made better by sharing your joy and nothing does it better than a smile … perhaps a series of them scattered throughout the day.

 

Smiles … Cheers

 

Ted

 

 

 

…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

 

Fascinating facts

ocws

… my friend Rich Oliver at Lowell Observatory sent me some of the most interesting comments relative to activities on and around the San Francisco Peaks that I am including them here. Also the photo tonight is a nice view of the Sedona area and up onto the plateau. This view encompasses most of the Oak Creek Watershed area. Off the end of the runway a few miles you can see where Oak Creek and Munds Canyon split with Oak Creek Canyon making a left turn behind Wilson Mountain and Munds Canyon veering a little to the right and heading a relatively short distance to Munds Park, Anyhow, it was a glorious day to be up there.

 

So here are Rich’s comments on the photo last night … I think you will find it as interesting as me.

 

“To add to that description, I believe the small cinder cone behind Agassiz in this shot is A-1 Mountain; home to the A-1 Ranch and namesake of A-1 Steak Sauce (invented by the cook there).  Sometime you might want to take a closer look at the summit of Schultz Peak.  That is the SE-most of the Peaks.  It appears to have a rounded top as seen from Flag, but like the others it is a ridge.  All current maps follow an error by USGS and label it “Doyle Peak”.  To confuse matters even more they label an unnamed elevation toward Elden as “Schultz”.  Anyway, Schultz Peak is east of Schultz Saddle, which did not get changed on the maps.  Schultz Saddle is where the Weatherford Road enters the caldera and it allowed Lowell astronomers to haul equipment to that point where it was only another 600 feet of additional elevation to the summit of Schultz.  They built a telescope shelter with a roll-off roof there and for several years it was the highest observing site on the planet at about 10,500 feet.  After that the Swiss took the title with a slightly higher site on the Jungfrau.  Lowell used the Schultz Peak site in cooperation with astronomers from Cornell to test the then-new vacuum aluminization method of coating mirrors, and later to make observations that revealed the height of meteors above Earth.  There are – I believe – four scientific papers that were based on work done at the Schultz Peak site.  I think that is sufficient reason to change the names (“Doyle” got switched, too) back to the way they were originally, but I cannot get anybody interested. Anyway, in 1937 maintenance of the road ceased.  Lowell removed the telescope and polar axis back to Mars Hill, where they now lie rusting, unrecognized, gathering dust and tripping the occasional hapless passer-by.  The structure fell into disrepair, but then in the 60’s and 70’s a fellow I know only as “Branch” repaired the structure enough to serve as a shelter for hikers.  It is still there immediately south of the summit and I can’t help wondering what it looks like from the air.  It should be recognizable by its corrugated metal roof.  The exact site was chosen by V.M. Slipher (then Director of Lowell Observatory) for the occurrence of a pair of Bristlecone Pines in a north-south orientation that allowed them to be cut and the stumps employed as piers for the Polar Axle.”

 

So how about it my friends at USGS & AZGS … let’s change the name back as Rich suggests … I’ll get the photos Rich suggests next week when I get back from California … finished application process for my Passport so good to go for Iceland. Fun day and time to put a wrap on it.

 

Share a smile or three

 

Ted

 

Thank you Rich!!!
 

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

Nor harsh and low ambitions drive you on.

 

Max Ehrmann

 

Getting high

backside

… I got an early start this morning and lifted off about 6:15A … very little beauty anywhere to be seen because the entire earth seems to be wrapped in a smoke haze from burns … so I just kept climbing and climbing as I headed NE. It was cooler and definitely nicer up there … not sure how high I climbed but well in excess of 15,000 feet. I spent some time over the San Francisco Peaks and took this shot from the backside just outside the caldera and shooting towards the SW. The near peak on the right side is Humphreys Peak, the highest peak in Arizona at 12,633’ msl and the furthest peak going left is Agassiz Peak the second highest peak in Arizona at 12, 360’ msl. On the backside of Agassiz you can see a road going up with switchbacks and I understand that it was used as a toll road a long time ago for those wishing to go up to the top. On the right side is Snow Bowl ski area. The little white speck near the top on the left of the photograph is the Naval Observatory and they do some neat stuff there; check out the website at: http://www.nofs.navy.mil/ .

 

After landing it was church, brunch at New York Bagel and sugar free vanilla lattes (where were you John? I had to drink two more lattes) a Wal-Mart run, back home, wash the van and the outside walls I am painting in the morning and more. We walked the front nine with a stop at the lake to visit with the ducks, thence home and we had a delightful dinner with greens, the two secret ingredients to make anything taste good (Olive oil and Sherpa Pink Himalayan salt from San Francisco Salt Company) and a BLT sandwich. Great day and great weekend and a great week coming up … Thursday I am flying up to the Bay area for a visit with Ted, Sus and Annika … side trips include the ferry from Pier 39 to Sausalito for lunch and a drive down to Carmel … what fun.

 

Enjoy life … it is yours now … your choice as to how you perceive it … share a smile with someone today

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

 

 

I’ll not bother to reform myself today.

Perhaps tomorrow — if it is raining,

and I must stay indoors, and meditate

on the shortcomings of life.

 

Max Ehrmann

 

Two 2 go

two 2 go

… there were quite a few Great Blue Herons down at the ponds day before yesterday and admittedly midafternoon is not the best time to be down there and have any expectations of finding much life on the move. For some reason the herons are very skittish this year and it is tough to get close … that coupled with only having a 70-200 lens on the camera made the prospects pretty bleak. That was the lens I chose for that body that day so no real excuses, but it sounds good … why blame yourself for what the consequences of your actions are … right? Anyhow, I got lucky and this pair let me get within about fifty feet and then flew … and I got this shot of two of them taking off and heading for somewhere I was not. They are a remarkable bird and I always enjoy seeing them.

 

The ISO 100 session was terrific and we had the opportunity to see and comment on a lot of great photos. Always a pleasure to see the work and visions of others. After the group left I went out on the deck and spent some time shooting the milky way … thanks to friends Eric and Jim who gave me some tips on how to get the best images … they came out great and look for them in upcoming composites.

 

I had concentration issues after 1AM this morning so bagged it and got some sleep; I’m making progress and starting to average around five plus hours per night. Wow! A fun day underway and it is into the weekend. Enjoy the day, breathing, and share a smile with someone today …and every day. Back Monday morning … ain’t life great? :+)

 

Cheers

Ted

 

 

Also the moon and I have this in common:

We are both wanderers across the night

 

Max Ehrmann

 

The reality is

TJ galaxies

… that we are a part of all that is and there is so much more than just this little planet we call earth and the very tiny part of this little planet which we occupy at any given time … so tonight my friend and I firmly planted our feet in the edge of a galaxy as we pondered the meaning of all that is … gazing at galaxies, the star birthing areas of a beautiful galaxy and billions of other galaxies out and beyond this one. Night is a time for dreaming, giving thanks for all the beauty experienced during the day and sometimes healing from other experiences and then there is the infinite expanses beyond our experience and the possibilities of other life out there … where … what … I loved Star Trek … what a grand passage that would be … so pull up a galaxy, rest your feet on the edge and enjoy life … consider that which we do not know and do not see and yet know of its existence.

 

A truly fun day and much accomplished … finished my paper work for my new passport as I am thinking seriously of flying to Iceland after I visit my daughter Joleen and her daughters in New Canaan, CT. My brother and his wife and brother in law and his wife have all been there and love it. Actually Ace and Judy are still there. Planning the trip for the latter part of September and of course it includes a day in Terra Haute, Indiana where I shall sit on the bench with the sculpture of Max Ehrmann … and have someone take a picture of me getting and email out from the bench. Thence to the east coast, visit friends and my daughter and family … and Iceland :+) In addition to a fun place to shoot I hope to get a life performance Of Monsters and Men a terrific Indie Folk group.

 

I appreciate all the emails and try to answer as many as I can … about fifty per day, but am the point where I just cannot answer them all anymore (about 200 per day). I do read every email coming in and enjoy them all … thank you, you have no idea how much I enjoy your emails and for your patience and understanding

 

My friend Terrie uses numerous images of mine and you can see the cover for one song … one album … on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/My-Father-Lords-Prayer-Batalla/dp/B009RXOJ9O . Great song and only a 99 cent download. Check her website out at: http://www.sedonasevenarcheslive.com/welcome-1.html A truly neat person!

 

So we’re well into Thursday, the ISO 100 group meets here tonight and once again I am heading for the galaxies as my friend Dick is getting his day going … Tore is well into his day in the upper reaches of Norway … what a fabulous life we all have …

 

Cheers and smiles … share your joy.

 

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

 

Choices

Rivers

There are pros and cons with respect to the use of prescribed burns and managing naturally caused fires as though they are a prescribed burn. The low intensity fires are reputed to mimic what occurred before man began meddling in things and are an effort to keep the forest in a healthier state. There are also questions as to the toxicity of low intensity versus high intensity burns. In short each camp has its proponents and its critics … each camp will drag out its experts and studies to support their viewpoint and you can end up in discussions where you try to impeach the credibility of each other’s experts … not very productive.

 

Proponents of prescribed burns frequently cite health of the forest … proponents of alternative methods of dealing with the issues frequently cite the health of people and that is kind of where I come in on the topic.  The burn camp states that the incidence of more devastating fires are less likely, the other that there are frequently alternatives to fire … fire is however a much cheaper way to deal with the issue … is it for those whose health is compromised?  

 

Interestingly the same agency that issues the permits to the USFS to engage in and continue burns is also the same agency that bans you from enjoying a cigarette (1.5 grams of tobacco) in a restaurant at the bottom of Airport Mesa currently buried in smoke; the reason is one of health as it has become accepted that smoke (ing) is bad for your health. More to follow on the topic, but we should each study the facts and determine what we prioritize … and do we really have it right this time? Dunno!

 

At any rate, this is what it looked like at a little after six this morning from 16,000’. I decided to go higher just because I could and because I like the perspective from that altitude … next flight we’ll push 17,999’ MSL and return for wonderful sugar free vanilla lattes At New York Deli … provided we can find it in all the smoke.

 

This shot was taken from 16,000’ looking north and working from top left we have Sitgreaves Mtn. on extreme left and it is ablaze and smoking (sounds enjoyable), just above it and moving to the right is the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, pulling back in  a little is Kendrick peak, the San Francisco Peaks, Mt Elden, Sunset Crater and on and on.  Moving right going back up from the middle of the image you can see the airport and just below and to the right of that Cathedral Rocks. Above and left of the airport is Thunder Mountain and above that and to the right is Wilson Mountain and Oak Creek Canyon goes up from there up and into the Colorado Plateau. Smoke? Everywhere!

 

Have a beautiful day today … when outside breathe … ditto inside. Share a smile with someone you meet today and take care

 

Cheers

 

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

 

Deadly beauty

Really

There is an all-out assault going on with managed fires of natural origin and prescribed fires being set by the USFS … perhaps there is a benefit to the forest that could not be achieved through the use of alternative means such as mechanical thinning, but look at all the human beings who are being forced to breathe this toxic soup. From the ground you never get an opportunity to see the extent of the problem and the reports issued by the USFS do not sound all that bad when issued on a fire by fire basis, but from 12,000’ msl you get a pretty good overview. The air quality behind me was actually worse and enveloped all of Camp Verde and extended fifty or more miles east from there. On a conservative basis more than 5000 square miles looked like this. The length of the horizon in this shot is probably close to 70 miles and from where I am to the San Francisco Peaks is about 40 miles … easy to do the math. Hard to see where any oxygen breathing creature is receiving a benefit.

 

Where are you looking? I’m positioned (temporarily) at 12,000’ msl about over SR179 maybe four miles south of the Village of Oak Creek … that is where we live. Only the Village appears to have relatively clean air. On the left horizon you have Sitgreaves Mountain which is also ablaze; Kendrick Peak is almost totally obscured by smoke and the San Francisco Peaks and Mt. Elden are also partially obscured; further right Mormon Mountain is surrounded by smoke and another river of smoke originates on the right edge of the photograph and dumps into I think Dry Beaver Creek Canyon. The smoke on the left is flowing down Oak Creek Canyon and doing a very good job of making a mess of Sedona and everything up on the Plateau is just plain awful …you’re looking at about 3000 square miles and lots of people live there … many of them have compromised respiratory systems … it was like this Saturday too … flying early in the morning and bet it is the same or worse. Going to try and be in the air before actual sunrise so that I can get shots of the sun coming up through this junky air … should be beautiful … air pollution creates the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets so if it works out I shall be thanking all concerned.

 

A wonderful weekend and lots of time with friends … life is good

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

 

 

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

Merlin revisited

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A number of years ago I did a fun composite utilizing the sculpture of Merlin done by John Soderberg and which is on display in the New Frontiers shopping center in West Sedona … whilst having a latte with him this morning we talked about that image and I decoded to revisit the image except using One instead of Q … didn’t go quite as planned so here is the original one featuring Q. John’s gallery is in the same center right across from Szechwan Restaurant and if you agree with me that this is the preferable patina for the Merlin sculpture please stop by his gallery and tell him to get busy and change the sculpture out to reflect this image.

 

All in all it has been a very good day and a very good week … a few blips, mostly small and a not so gentle blip, but that is life … it goes on and we are blessed. We’re into the weekend and we wish you joy and happiness and continued good luck with the breathing thing … if anything can perk your day up, breathing and a smile would be my choice … and share a smile with someone … hugs work too.

 

Back on Monday … cheers

 

Ted

 

And lastly give sweet sleep

Closed sight, no fright

That fears will o’er me creep;

And now a last goodnight.

 

Max Erhmann

 

 

Talons ready

talons ready

… all species are equipped with natural abilities and gear so as to be able to provide for themselves; with my winged predator friends the hardware is pretty obvious … nice sharp talons to sink into its prey and a very sharp beak to render it into smaller pieces. This guy was taking it pretty easy with one of his talons tucked up under his feathers … cool.

 

Not so obvious is the incredible air to air capabilities of this Coopers Hawk … they take their prey in flight and it can look like the most fierce aerial combat imaginable. So far I have not been able to successfully get a shot of it … many try’s though. We have five of them cruising the neighborhood now and soon they will be leaving as they have pretty well decimated the songbird population … no food no reason to stay.

 

An article on the Slide Fire worth reading and watching the embedded video is at: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/07/box_and_burn_the_future_of_u_s_wildfire_policy.html enjoy it and thank you Josh.

 

A long day so need to put a wrap on it … flew early morning, the Anderson family serviced the 95 van whilst I had a latte with John … home … friends over for a nice afternoon visit and then out to the Hilton for dinner and enjoy the music of Anthony Mazzella. A very good day.

 

Have a joyful day … be glad the Coopers Hawk is not huge … do not go to sleep and dream of very huge well equipped hawks :+) … if you do, remember we are all part of the food chain and it is natural :+)

 

Cheers … 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