Monthly Archives: September 2014

They’re here

Calendar 2015

I have a pretty good supply of the 2015 calendars in stock now and they are ready to ship. The price is the same as last year at $25.00 total including shipping if any and sales tax if any. Want them drop shipped as gifts, we can do that too. This year we are taking checks, PayPal and credit cards. The calendars are undergoing a name change from “Sedona Pathways” to “Pathways of One”; it was made know to me by our resident feline that she was in charge and would take over the cover position on all future printings, but she also informed me that I get the privilege of doing all the work. Profits from the venture will go to cover her food and lodging. So send me your order and we’ll get them shipped off within 24 hours provided I am in town … One has decreed that she cannot be bothered by the mundane, only the creative basking in glory that being a Cover Girl can bring. The contact sheet with the calendar images is attached and order information included on it.


I finished my part of the Power Point presentation for the Salon that Andrea and I are putting on at the Mary D. Fisher Theater this coming Saturday, October 4th at 1:30PM till 3PM. Andrea is dressing it up with Max Ehrmann quotes that I frequently use and the other things that make a presentation special. We are having a lot of fun with this project and future series may also be in the offing. She is such a pleasure to work with and her talents are vast and so appreciated!!!


Because of the number of images I have selected we will begin promptly at 1:30; I have 96 images selected and that is a little more than one per minute. We will work it out so that we have plenty of time for discussion as some images can be rolled through in sequence with others. There are a lot of my best aerial shots, flowers and more. Also attaching a link to the PDF of the flyer for the event. You can purchase your tickets online at:

And the Sedona Film Festival has released their coverage of the event at:

There is also a link to order tickets on this webpage.


Lots of work this weekend and since I love what I do it was a very fun weekend. An early morning flight in about six hours, meeting a friend late morning and early afternoon Andrea and I are going to test drive the presentation at the theater. Friends coming over late afternoon and gem cutting in the evening … probably some photos from the morning flight too … really hoping the color is spreading and the rains did not take the leaves off the trees … find out soon enough.


Have a joyful day … if you are reading this you are breathing and honestly how much better can things get? Share your joy and pass a smile on … make some’s day.






If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember.

You are braver than you believe,

Stronger than you seem, and

Smarter than you think.

But the important thing is, even if we’re apart … I’ll always be with you.



Fall colors


… are beginning to spread across Lockett Meadow in the caldera of the San Francisco Peaks and there is also good color on the north facing slopes. Kendrick also appears to have pretty good color although I did not fly over there this morning. After spending an hour or so shooting Sycamore Canyon and the wide fields of wildflowers on Casner Mountain and up on the plateau on the upper east side of Sycamore Canyon in the hoodoo areas I was intrigued with the cloud formations over the San Francisco Peaks … almost looked like a UFO parked over the peaks. We spent another hour or so flying around the peaks at different altitudes looking for the best shot angles and got some good stuff including flying on the south side at a little over 11,500’ just above cloud base and then descended in the gap between the peaks and Mt. Elden and swung around heading north on the east side looking up the caldera into Lockett Meadow.


The aspens are beginning to turn color and the clouds that appeared to bury the mountain in clouds was open and were tumbling over Agassi Peak and Humphreys Peak. Agassi is on the left and on the other side of it is Snow Bowl; Humphreys Peak can be seen just through the clouds on the right. I dropped down to 10,000’ to get the shot looking up the meadow and the clouds boiling over the west facing side of the peaks. We were about 2700’ below Humphreys Peak. I got 266 shots, mostly good as we circumnavigated the peaks. If the winds are down tomorrow I’ll probably fly up into the meadows and get some closer shots … be nice to have some clouds again, but formations like this are pretty rare. Lots of shots of the peaks completely enveloped, but few like this.


A very full day and a lot of time with friends and work on the presentation a week from Saturday … a good day for sure. Hope yours was equally blessed. Have a terrific day and smile a lot.






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


the meaning of …

the meaning

… this image? I truly do not have a clue, so to each a new meaning or perhaps there is none. I took this photograph on a walk last night and the backlighting was beautiful so I took the shot and decided to do a composite taking full liberty to do whatever I felt like and regardless of even any remote connection to reality … it is totally adrift somewhere between here and there and the tree trunk on the right which is so badly eroded by radiation from the realms of space is being held up by my friend … or is it being pushed down to enter the vast reaches of outer space which is encroaching on the golf course. It was a relief to see that it was still here this morning and all the golfers acted like nothing was amiss. The universe is still out there and fortunately the scattering of light in our atmosphere blocks our view of it during the day, but it still lurks out there and at nightfall our shield is removed and once again we can witness all that is or was. Many of these stars no longer exist, but their light takes so long to travel through space that we will see them for thousands of years after they have burned out … there are humans like that too, whose presence among us will have an effect on us for thousands of years … you know who they are and there are ones we do not know, but who are here now and such will be their legacy too.


A lot accomplished today, some good photos … I think, some stones cut, and some repairs completed. A good day to be sure and I hope that yours was too … enjoy the moment and give thanks for all whom you know … and smile :+)






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




… I left home early this morning with the intent of flying and then making it to church after I landed and got the motorglider put away. My church in the sky was bountiful and beckoning with beautiful clouds everywhere and by the time I figured out I should be landing and driving to my land based church, another opportunity presented itself to continue the dance among the clouds flying through canyon after canyon … gentle banks this way and steep banks that way. Although there was no great lift, there was enough that my sink rate was less than 100’ per minute and the dance continued to music running through my mind with the glider converting the inner sounds to fluid motion high above earth. I’m still there :+)


I took this shot as I was between cloud layers on one of my many runs from on top to below the lower level of clouds. Cloud base on the first set was only about 8,000’ with tops around 9,500’; cloud base for the upper layer was about 12,000 and tops around 14,000’. It was beautiful and when I finally did land my earth based church had dispersed and the chapel in the sky beckoned me back … I stayed on the ground and headed over to New York Bagel, got my breakfast and with two lattes in hand (okay, one until I saw John was back … then two) and we spent an hour or so solving the problems of earth. John will soon be riding a bike to raise money for his favorite charity Rancho Feliz which he has been involved with since nearly the beginning … they do a lot of good and below max’s quote I am placing a paragraph that John wrote complete with links to the home site. Help sponsor John and make a pledge.


The rest of the weekend was terrific too and a lot of time spent with friends, a lot of opal cut … it was fun, what can I say.


Monday is well underway and it is shaping up to be a terrific week … still breathing and hoping for a continuation of same.


Cheers … smiles




…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


August 30

J.Soderberg/ I have posted before about Rancho Feliz Charitable Foundation– my brothers and sisters in service. And will do again, with an impassioned plea. Rancho was founded 30 years ago by two brothers, Gil Gillenwater and Troy. I got involved the next year when there were 12 biker couples. We started building orphanages, soup kitchens for kids, and help for burn victims and other needs. We built a 43 duplex housing development, designed by environmental architects at ASU, and have done famine relief for the Tarhumara Indians in Copper Canyon, Mexico when a terrible drought and famine were killing thousands. We got 20 tons of corn down to them, and blankets. They had an infant mortality rate of 43% by age one, so we built a maternity center. We built a state of the art day-care center next to our development so poor mothers can leave their children in safety when they go to work. We have built computer-literacy centers, and have done much for education with scholarships. One of our kids has been accepted by an Ivy League university. We have done much more to help on both sides of the border. I have been honored to be Santa Claus down there for 20 years, to kids who have nothing, and to elders at our rest home. (I would be Santa to the kids, then go into the elders home to give a hug and a present to each resident. I went into a private room of a 103 year old lady named Lupita. She had no legs due to diabetes. She looked up, saw me, and started screaming at me to get the hell out. Turned out she thought I was a priest, in my red costume, come to give last rites. She wasn’t ready to go.) Some years ago, Gil and Rancho Feliz were nominated and audited, and out of over 400 nominees were found to be the best volunteerism group in Arizona. Unlike big charities, almost everything we raise goes directly to the needy and to our programs. One year, working with Rotary Clubs and Church groups, we fed 50,000 people in one day. That was a hell of a day. The people stood in line in the rain and snow for two days to receive food. Last year, (photos below,) we fed 5,000 of the most destitute people enough food for one week. Many of them were children. I have had 85 year old grandmothers go down on their knees genuflecting, thanking God for a bag of food. We don’t just give charity—we try to break the poverty cycle through education and opportunity. Each person needs to turn in 100 plastic bags to receive their food, so the neighborhood gets cleaned up. This October, we will again feed 5,000 enough food for a week. Also, we will fund educational costs, and other programs. To accomplish this, a group of us will ride bicycles, (with no motors on the damned things,) uphill from the Mexican border to Bisbee, Arizona and then back to the border. Some will go much farther. We will invite people to donate, (tax-deductible,) to sponsor our ride. If you all out there in Facebook Land are moved to be part of this effort, please go to then click on “Bigger than Borders,” then click on my name to donate. I thank you for being part of this service. (5 photos)


Nailing it !!!

landing sequence

… when landing it is a good idea to pick a spot you want to plant your wheels and I suspect the same concept holds true for all creatures that fly … and I think those other than humans nail that spot more successfully than most humans. I took this sequence of what I think is a Says Phoebe a few days ago and it kinda keeps the same theme of those which ply the airways and have in common the simple fact that take offs are optional and landings required. Take a look at how focused he is in the image on the left side of the image, eyes intent on the spot he has chosen to put down and then in the middle image where he is braking and has his feet out and intent gaze at the spot he is going to grab the branch land and then when he has his perch a slightly relaxed appearance and perhaps some satisfaction in nailing it.


The three shots were taken in a time frame of less than a quarter of a second. I used a Canon 1 DX with the 70-200 plus the Series III 2x extender to give me a 400mm capability. Canon is about to release a new camera the 7D MK II which looks like a very nice camera for use in wildlife and sports. It has capability of shooting 10 frames a second in raw format and the benefit of a C sensor which gives you a crop factor of 1.6 x; helps to haul the subject matter in. Everything looks good and I believe they addressed noise issues in high ISO settings too. Priced quite reasonably at USD 1799 retail for the body. If you would like some expert advice contact Eldar at or call them at 877. 374.6869. I have bought nearly everything from Eldar for the past ten years and only good things to say about my dealings with them.


Need to get some more air time soon too … it would be nice to be like the bird in the photo … but then I think how nice it is to have a nice home with a roof over my head … Basha’s and Safeway for food … a good doctor when sick … a refrigerator to keep my food and the list goes on … I guess I do not mind the inconvenience of driving to the airport after all.


We’re into the weekend … make your choices … focus on them and nail it!!! Life is good


Back Monday morning … share a smile or three with those you meet






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

Returning home

Where I was

… I was down to about 7500’ msl (mean sea level) when I took this photo, Sedona Airport (KSEZ) has an average elevation of 4828’ msl and the airport was below and a little west of my position when I took this shot. In calm air the glide ratio of the Lambada is 30/1 or 1’ down and 30’ forward which translates into roughly 6 miles per thousand feet or for me at this moment, roughly 17 miles before reaching airport level. For safety I usually compute 4 miles per thousand feet and if a lot of sink 3 miles per thousand feet. I can deploy spoilers on the upper wing to accelerate my descent rate and frequently use them in the pattern when landing. The pattern consists of a downwind leg flown parallel to the runway and in the opposite direction you intend to land; base leg is turning 90 degrees (left at Sedona) perpendicular to the runway and another 90 degrees turn into final which is the leg that takes you into a flight path lined up with the runway. Flying a glider I usually fly very tight patterns and my downwind is over the edge of airport mesa … with no engine on it is nice to be close so that you are assured of making the runway. I usually land long on R3 so that I can make the turn off to my shade/hangar at the north end of the field without doing an engine restart. Sometimes I make it and sometimes not. On this flight I almost made it … if they had 45 degree exits from the runway I could probably make it 90% of the time, but having 90 degree turn outs I have to slow so much that it is difficult to make it.


I like this shot looking back to the north where I had spent about two hours mostly above 15,000’ and had fun, which is why I do this. My nose cone is lined up on Mt. Wilson and above that are the San Francisco Peaks and 20 or so miles north of them S-P Crater which was in last night’s photo. Looks like some rain has already developed to the west of the peaks and the clouds continued to develop. Just to the right of Wilson is Oak Creek Canyon and Munds Canyon; West Sedona is on the left as well as Thunder Mountain, Brins Mesa and the north end of Long Canyon. So three shots in a row from the same flight … think I had fun? Smiling still.


A terrific day with a lot of opal cutting and then dinner with friends at the Hilton which is always fun … fourteen showed up tonight and if you are in the area we would enjoy having you stop in too. We can always add tables. Anthony was magical tonight.


So methinks I can likely score this a very good day … I’m still breathing and how much better can it get :+)


Have a terrific day and share your joy … start the day with a smile in a mirror … sometimes that first look generates a big smile all by itself … like c’mon, who will admit they are frightened taking that first look at themselves in the mirror ??? a smile at the humor of it all is better.






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


SP Crater


… an abbreviation for a name that Geologists have given a very interesting and nearly perfect volcanic cinder cone and the flow from it. S-P Crater is located about 25 to 30 miles North of Flagstaff and is a very black cinder cone and flow. The actual name that was given the crater would probably be censored from the maps and if not would probably have generated numerous complaints from the PC Police as offending someone or something. Not sure why that would be the case as I see people walking their dogs and picking up such things with plastic bags after the dog performs a very natural act of waste elimination (how is that for a euphemism?) Anyhow, it is a very neat crater as are all of them up there. The lava flow is only a hundred feet or so deep, but it spills beautifully across the high desert floor.


The erosion lines flowing out from the craters provide nice lines and give an artistic look to the surface. On the right just above center is a portion of the East Kaibab monocline which is one of the prominent features on the Colorado Plateau and above that on the horizon is the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the surface is about as green as it ever gets up there as the precipitation is always the heaviest on the up slopes before the Peaks. It was a beautiful morning to be in the sky … a beautiful day to be breathing and to share your joy with all who you meet … how cool is it that we breathe, we live and we can say nice things about others … and after accumulating money from our own work help others too.


It is Wednesday … the Hilton Shadow Rock grill at 6:30PM. Anthony will be there and hopefully we’ll get at least ten or so to come join us. A fun time!


Enjoy the day … share a smile … especially with those who prefer to use hand gestures as a way to communicate their feelings :+)






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

Up the interstate


… I spent a couple of hours up high around the San Francisco Peaks above Flagstaff this morning and saw haze domes form into beautiful cumulus clouds all around me like the one on the far right hand side of the image … ‘twas fun!


On the far left of the image is Oak Creek Canyon and to the right of the canyon is I-17 working its way from the south to Flagstaff … some nice meadows near the freeway on the right side and they look to have some pretty lush stands of yellow flowers in them. The San Francisco peaks are above where the road heads over to the right and to the left of that you have Kendrick Peak … obscured on the left are Sitgreaves Mountain and Bill Williams Mountain.


Mostly I had stayed high and was on my way down when I took this shot, probably close to 13,000”, engine off and about 16 miles from the airport. It was good and I got some nice shots coming back into red rock country too.


Hope you enjoy this photo, it just feels good to me and being up there is always like playing in the back yard.


Have a great day and enjoy the cooler mornings whilst sipping on a cup of coffee and relaxing on the deck … and get your coffee from the nice folks at . They are a small family owned business and have the finest coffee beans you will find anywhere and their prices are excellent. With only me drinking it I don’t go through the quantities I used to, but still enjoy my home roasted premium coffees. Thank you Gary and Jon for risking your money and futures to build this great business.


Lots of photos and gems to go through tomorrow/today :+) This is a wrap






PS the photo was named for what I know someone will say when viewing it … smiling always :+)


…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


Into the light

the white light 1

… and on my walk before church this morning I was looking for some backlit leaves to expand my portfolio of such things … I saw a promising leaf on a tree and was able to position myself so that I had the sun directly behind the leaf. The leaf is preparing to shut down, turn color ( I hope) and fall to earth to recycle the nutrients it possesses and complete another life cycle. The leaf showed signs of a full and tough life with holes and gaps appearing in it and a major starburst of sunlight coming through a little larger hole than most. It is amazing to view the intricate detail of the distribution system in a life where water and nutrients flow through to maintain the health and life of the individual leaf … hundreds and hundreds of leafs on the tree and all share the same complexity.


Following the walk it was off to church, my usual visit at our niche contemplating the beauty of life and the completed journey here … wonderment at the gift given to us … brunch at NY Bagel and Deli and shared a couple of sugar free vanilla lattes with my friend John and a discussion followed by a photo shoot with he and his creation, the sculpture of Merlin in the Whole Foods center … Merlin will soon assume the identity of One and John will be showing off the new patina … scheduled date for the public unveiling will be April 1, 2015, but you will get a much earlier look at it.


I also talked with my brother Bruce this morning and was absolutely enthralled by his attempt to feed tweety birds in his back yard. He started with a normal bird feeder, but deer, squirrels, crows and ravens have also showed a strong interest in partaking from the buffet that he puts out. Gradually it has become a Fortress Feeder … Bruce did not go for my suggestion for a machine gun on it and terms it a passive aggressive bird feeder … photo to follow a little later this week. It is absolutely awesome and could pass for a maximum security prison … but the tweety birds can still get in and hopefully not impale themselves on the way out. It rocks Bruce!!!


Yesterday I joined the nice folks from the Oak Creek Watershed Council at a retreat/potluck at Eliphante in Cornville. What an awesome place and what great people. I got an invite as they are using one of my photos for the cover of their new book and I’ll provide ordering information as soon as it is available. The website is: ; check it out and please make some donations to them as they are doing a great job in protecting this beautiful watershed. Eliphante is a most unusual and incredible natural art project that has been ongoing for over thirty years and I had no idea it was here. Check out their website at: . Thanks to Marie with the council and to Ryan of Eliphante … it was a treat!


Nearly done with the selection process of photographs for the next salon at the Mary D. Fisher Theater on October 4th , 1:30PM. Hard to pare it down as aerial photography is one of my most prolific bodies of work … make that about 10,000 images. Oh well, the best of the best will appear on the big screen and we will have a discussion about them … what, where, why, meaning and relevance. Hope you will attend this one if you are in town.


Awesome weekend and hope yours was too … and we’re into yet another Monday and another great week. Keep breathing … keep smiling … two of my favorite things :+)






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


On the way


… not that long before Fall is here and winter not far behind that … thinking snow and cool temperatures around here today … can’t wait!!!


Every once in a while I get to see some nice snow on the ground here and then I am off with my camera capturing snow on tree limbs and branches, backlit scenes and more. Usually I can be found “out there” for hours after I wake up to the fairy tale that is Sedona after a snow storm … and every once in a while I’ll take a photo of our home from across the eighth fairway near the green and the arroyo … such is the photo tonight and a light snow was still falling when I took it. A lot of my wildlife photos are taken within a few hundred feet of our home. Golf courses are great places for wildlife photos as you have water, cover and a good food supply both for predators and their prey. The trees on the left side of the photo are frequented by Coopers Hawks as well as the usual tweety birds that are their prey and bobcats and other creatures wend their way up the arroyo. I am beginning to spend more time out on the deck now which is in the area between the two primary trees on the left side of the image … and wait and look for critters.


It was another busy one with numerous gems cut, images deleted and a stop at the airport to do a little work on the Lambada. Lunch with friends and this evening selling tickets for Anthony’s concert at Relics … that is a fun thing! Time to put a wrap on the day and week … thanks for joining in on the journey … and enjoy your weekend and friends.


Be well … smile and tell someone that you love them … back on Monday






So each one to his wish, and as for me,

I sit tonight and wait

To find the answers to my soul in me,

And in the beauty of the sky and sea.


Max Ehrmann