Monthly Archives: November 2014

Quietly …

Quietly

… I made my way back to Sedona after a beautiful flight with no purpose other than to escape the bounds of earth and ply the open pathways of the sky. After an hour or so I turned the engine off and enjoyed a nice sled ride the last twelve miles back to Sedona. The airport is on a mesa center left about 600 feet above the town and West Sedona and part of uptown are on the left, the chapel area just to the right of the airport and far right the Village of Oak Creek where I live. Jacks Canyon and Wood Canyon can be seen to the right (east) of the village. Cathedral Rock is just above my feathered and motionless propeller and further to the right castle Rock and above that Courthouse Rock. Schnebly Hill Road winds up from just above the north end of the airport through the valley between the rocks. Mormon Mountain is horizon left. Red Rock Crossing is just below and right of Cathedral Rock.

 

So it was a nice way to spend the afternoon; I had between 30 and 40kt winds at 10,000’ which slowed me down a bit going into it, but quick passage when I turned SE.

 

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope you find nothing but joy within yourself and family and friends … I’m on my way to San Francisco later this morning and my youngest daughter and her girls have flown into the bay area too and together with Ted’s family, Corky’s brother and his wife we’ll all be spending a nice holiday together. So this will be it for this week, but I’ll be back in your inbox Monday morning.

 

Cheers … smiles and share the joy you find within your being.

 

Ted

 

Sleep sweetly now that the gates of the crimson night are closed,

and leave tomorrow’s struggle for tomorrow;

The earth is peaceful, only the stars and still moon are abroad, and they wage no war.

 

Max Ehrmann

 

The scent

The scent

… of the flower remains on the hands of the person who gives the gift … an old Japanese proverb. The daughter of a friend is a commercial florist growing orchids and brings some to her dad periodically … I was lucky enough to be walking by and he stopped me to introduce us … she made a gift of several orchid plants and here is photo of a few blooms on one of them. I debated between using the branch or a shot of just a single bloom … the branch won.

 

I got quite a few questions tonight about the settings that I use on my flowers and to be honest I normally do not even think about it. Most of the time I use either Aperture preferred or Manual settings and make the adjustments as I view the subject matter through the lens; that way I can adjust the aperture and other settings while looking at the subject, composing the shot, and adjusting distance and angle et al so that I can see what I have got before I press the shutter release. I guess I have been doing it so long that I don’t think about it anymore. This was shot with a Canon 1D X, the 100mm macro lens. F22, 1/250th of a second and ISO 400 and of course it was hand held … so much easier to maneuver around the flower. It was shot in sun coming through the kitchen window and the flower pot was (and is) on the kitchen table.

 

Was truly a fun outing tonight and I got to see some other really great work. A need to put the day to rest … it was a fun day, and hope yours was too.

 

Cheers … and a few smiles too.

 

Ted

 

 

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;

to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

A delicacy

Delicacy

… considered a delicacy in many countries, our friend a blue heron at the ponds was gorging himself on the gourmet food … not cooked in butter with garlic and lemon, but he seems to be enjoying the meal nevertheless. One more gulp and they were down … and he continued the hunt.

 

It was a wonderful weekend and after church it was over to NYC bagel and a couple of sugar free vanilla lattes for John (not just any John) and me … good conversation and then down to the ponds for a walk and a shoot, home and just finished the PowerPoint presentation for the Sedona Camera Club tonight. Should be a fun event and if you are at all interested in photography the camera club is a good place to be. Meeting begins at 6P at the Methodist Church just off SR 179 in the Chapel area. I’m pretty sure they encourage visitors so come check it out.

 

A friend who I enjoy having discussions with thought I was over the top with my comparisons of tobacco smoke to wood smoke and we began digging into actual studies on the subject. He came up with the first one and the others I found (he has probably found these and more) … turns out that there are a lot of them, but unlike tobacco deaths directly and through second hand smoke there has not been a lot of reporting on wood smoke as a health hazard. The Berkley study has some findings that ER visits related to respiratory causes can jump as much as 91% from wood smoke and I think the lowest was around 40%. Probably be a good idea if we all knew what is being put into the air whether it be prescribed and managed burns, fireplaces, wood burning stoves et al. Just beginning to scratch the surface it sure looks like unpleasant stuff that gets put into the air we breathe. The links are: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/91br023.pdf , http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/healtheffects.html , https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/91br023.pdf , http://ehs.sph.berkeley.edu/krsmith/publications/2006%20pubs/JIT%20Woodsmoke2.pdf , http://prescribedburns.com/ , and sad to say that it looks like about 90% of all wildfires are caused by man and only about 10% from natural causes (lightning and lava flows) … this according to the National Park Service : http://www.nps.gov/fire/wildland-fire/learning-center/fire-in-depth/wildfire-causes.cfm the 90% would also include the prescribed burns as well as camp fires, cigarettes and arson.

 

Perhaps if there are specific studies designed to determine the total effect of the smoke from prescribed/managed burns there would be fewer and smarter ones than what we have seen this year in Sedona where five managed fires inundated Sedona and the Verde Valley for days and weeks on end. Not looking forward to the valley being inundated with smoke from wood burning stoves and fireplaces either … it may smell good, but check out what is going into your lungs. I am trying to stick primarily with studies and links from governmental agencies and top research facilities.

 

Cigarettes cause between 393,000 and 480,000 deaths per year and second hand smoke between 18,000 and 41,000 … both ranges depending on the government agency or lung organization you click on. I could find nothing, so far, on deaths attributable to wood smoke. This does not mean it does not occur, but there has been no interest in collecting data to provide meaningful statistics. One link I did find and which also has some additional links within it is: http://burningissues.org/health-effects.html I have not checked out the links or studies within it.

 

It is Thanksgiving week and we have a lot to be thankful for … we live in this great country and among the great people who like ourselves comprise the citizenry of this wonderful United States of America … a noble country and a noble people.

 

Have a wonderful day and the heron reminds me of time when I had frog legs in restaurants … that was a long time ago … but they were good … I think he smiled when he got it down :+)

 

Smile and share your joy

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

I ask no odds of any man, I am not one that follies sway.

I am the source of my rewards, I do my work each day.

 

Max Ehrmann

 

 

Smokey skies

Smokey Skies 2 Smokey Skies

Most of today I was working on an order for photographs, all aerial, all clear skies, all beautiful. Did not go outside until 3:30PM when I decided it would be a good afternoon to go get some air time and clean my head out, my friend Don joined me and about 4:30PM we started rolling down R21 … not for long and we were airborne in about 300’ and on our way. A swing over Pine Valley to waggle our wings and say hi to a friend then a more or less straight line to Mingus, climbing all the way. The sky was beautifully saturated with smoke from recent prescribed/slash pile burns which had spread over Northern Arizona as far as the eye could see … in any direction. Rather made the smoke filled bars of the past seem like health clubs … still there is a certain beauty to it and all the particulates and chemicals and gases that make it up create beautiful sunsets … an end of day … end of life thing … smiles.

 

We hit 12,500’ slightly before we got to Mingus Mountain, went engine off and started a serene sled ride back to Sedona. Turned the controls over to Don so I could concentrate on getting some shots to share tonight. The first photo was taken from roughly 12,000’ over Cottonwood. At the horizon you have approximately a 100 mile left to right view. On the horizon, Bill Williams Mountain is just out of the image on the left, then moving right you have Sitgreaves Mountain, Kendrick Peak, The San Francisco Peaks, Mt. Elden, and way on the right Mormon Mountain. Below The San Francisco Peaks you can see a white trail of smoke lying down on the ground and flowing into Flagstaff from I believe a slash pile still smoldering. Near the right side of the image you can see Sedona and the Sedona Airport and going left long canyon; Black Mountain, Casner and Sycamore Canyon are all in deep shadow. The image is very soft because of the smoke in the air and not very pronounced as I was shooting with the sun on my back so the scattering effect was mostly absent, just the white haze.

 

Talked with a Citation Pilot who was taking off from Sedona a few minutes after this image was taken and he was not so certain about the wisdom of flying with no engine … I explained that it is the way we were intended to fly … but on days like this I need the engine to get up there and there is nothing wrong with a nice 15 mile sled ride. I am hoping that eventually the airport will see the wisdom of 45 degree exits from the runway … it would make exiting for jets easier and for me it would mean I could roll off the runway without having to brake so much and lose a lot of momentum and I could make it back to my shade/hangar without having to restart the motor. Once in a while I make it, but more often like tonight I had to do an engine restart after I cleared the runway, but lacked momentum to roll the extra few hundred feet. Oh well, no complaints … life is very good … just a glider guider thing where you like to roll within a few feet of where you intend to tie it down for the night.

 

The second image is of the sunset while I was putting Mariah (my motorglider) away … I love airports and at days end, the sunset, the runway and taxiway lights create a very special and silent place and thanks again to the smoke the sunset was beautiful. Stopped at Wildflower Bakery on the way home for a large sugar free vanilla latte, home, pork chop and salad and a quiet evening. I get my internet service back tomorrow afternoon and sure appreciate my neighbors allowing me to connect through their wireless network.

 

Into the weekend and hope you have an exceedingly joyful one. Share a smile or three … why stop there?

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

Sleep sweetly now that the gates of the crimson night are closed,

and leave tomorrow’s struggle for tomorrow;

The earth is peaceful, only the stars and still moon are abroad, and they wage no war.

 

Max Ehrmann

 

The source

Verde Source

… a good word for the beginning of a river … for an informant of information … one who provides guidance and life; but tonight it is the river, specifically the Verde River. Generally speaking Sullivan Lake which is an intermittent lake near Paulden is credited with being the source of the Verde River. On Monday when Roger and I flew in search of the source we did not let ourselves be bothered by convention and the lake being dry we followed the wash up into the Bradshaw’s where I previously heard the source actually was. About four years ago Corky and I made a similar flight and it was easy to follow because there was water all the way up. Monday, no such luck, Sullivan was dry as was the wash that feeds it.

 

In this photo we were at about ten thousand feet roughly 60 miles WSW of Sedona and looking generally back in that direction. The wash continues down from lower left to above center near the first range on the far side of the Chino Wash and turns right near the first range heading into Paulden and Lake Sullivan. We then followed it to the east, cutting back south into the near side of Mingus, above center right and then turning North into the Verde River. We also saw another branch with water in it that was flowing north towards and eventually into the Verde River. Since it is the water flowing down this wash which is the primary source of water for Sullivan I think it is more appropriate to call this the source. This location is the far NW section of the Bradshaw Mountains. On the left horizon going from left to right Kendrick Peak, closer to us, Bill Williams Mountain and to the right of them the San Francisco peaks and Mt. Elden. The little relatively flat top right of center is Mormon Mountain and then far right Mingus mountain. Below and to the right of Mingus is the Prescott Valley.

 

End of lesson … always fun to learn whatever :+)

 

A quietly insane day today working with tech support trying to get internet access; the modem from Suddenlink is fried (my words, not theirs) relative to the internet portion of the device and they will not be out here until Friday afternoon. Thanks to my neighbors who gave me access to their wi-fi network … smiles! Thanks also to a neighbor who gave me five orchid plants . They are beautiful and very likely an orchid will be shot tomorrow.

 

Have a most beautiful day … treasure those whom you know and those you have yet to meet … and smile

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

 

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

 

Max Ehrmann

 

 

The mystical …

Mimosa

the beauty which can be found anywhere you are … look up … look around … leave those  “dumb phones” alone and enjoy the true wonders that surround you.  On a walk through the neighborhood a few days ago I looked up and the sun was illuminating a branch on a Mimosa tree by the street; other trees provided a background of greens with room for a little blue sky to show through. The blooms on the branch ranged from the young and the new to those at the end of their life cycle, each providing a bit of beauty and a lesson to be understood and failing in that you can return to the smart phones which may provide the answers you seek … or not.

 

A truly full day today and closed out many projects that have been hanging around … gem cutting … photo orders, yes I do sell them :+) … photo shoots and a good dose of relaxation at the ponds while waiting for the sun to go low and get some shots of ducks in magical orange and blue water. Skipped my usual sugar free vanilla latte from Wildflower on the way home and poached a nice piece of salmon over salad for dinner. Adobe updated Photoshop tonight so the raw images from the 7D MKII are now appearing and workable. Just a nice day … nothing special … started the day breathing and it appears I will end it the same way and that is a good thing … and listening to the Goo Goo Dolls, fun music.

 

It is Wednesday, please join us at the Hilton tonight … 6PM, reservation in my name and Anthony will be playing and creating a beautiful atmosphere to enjoy your meal. You can catch him at Relics on Saturday night too … cover charge is $20.00 for show only, $15.00 if you eat dinner … I am resuming my new career as collector of the money … Anthony is wonderful when providing the music in the restaurants, but the full shows are remarkable and you should come and see him. That is Saturday November 22 at Relics Restaurant on SR 89A.

 Monday night I am doing a presentation at the Sedona Camera Club’s monthly meeting at the Methodist Church … starts around 5:30P and if you have an interest in photography this is a terrific group to be affiliated with. Very neat people and a lot of talent. Check them out at: http://www.sedonacameraclub.com/  and come over and meet these very talented photographers.

Time to wrap the day and looking forward to my first latte in about four hours … maybe five. Share your joy, smile at those you meet and what the heck, have a nice day … like you would choose not to? Your choice always!

Cheers

Ted

O Passer-by, O passer-by!

Have you good words of me

Upon your lips as I draw nigh

To you each day?

If so, I ask

That you’d them say,

For soon I’m gone and cannot hear,

So speak the kindly word

I beg, and smile while I’m yet near …

 

Max Ehrmann

 

 

the art of reflections

Reflections

Late in the afternoon, long after the sun has left the ponds in deep shadow, the golden hills and blue of the sky reflect in the water and create a work of art that needs only a winged artist to put the finishing touches to the watery canvas … and so it was that a Widgeon landed and created the proper splash to capture the blue of the sky in the wild water flying outward from the rude intrusion on the surface painted by the hills. It’s that time of year again and if you want to try getting images like this give it a go.

 

Roger and I had a terrific flight this morning and after a quick look at West Fork we headed WSW as we traced what we thought was the river bed of the Verde River; this is something Cork and I did about four years ago and it is pretty challenging to get it back to the source. The source is up a long and relatively wide canyon on the NW end of the Bradshaw mountains and there are some beautiful ranches up there and the narrow washes for the upper part of the Verde River cut through their land. Photos will follow for this flight too … soon I think unless my next shot is better … I always think it will be.

 

More burns underway and the air quality deteriorated throughout the day. Slash piles are the target this week … if ever there is material that could be disposed of without fire you would think that these would be prime candidates. One location, concentrated and chippers would work … let someone else come in and do it … Burning is cheaper on the USFS budget to be sure, but what is the cost in the present and in the future of the damage to lungs of children? Of young people? Of adults? Of Seniors? My friend Ron has indicated that he will be providing me with information on how much and what pollutants are put into the air from the various types of burns and I think that is a good thing. Look at the information that manufacturers of cigarettes and food companies have to put on the packing of their products because of the harm or potential harm they cause … seems fair that the USFS also provides us with specific information about what and how much they are putting into the air that we breathe … then we can choose to breathe it or not :+)

 

Have a beautiful day today … work on photos and a few projects for friends to be finished today … smile and share your joy.

 

Cheers

Ted

 

A bird flies through the sky, and I fly with it. I am each pearl of moisture sparkling in the sun.

I lie lazy on the clouds. And I acknowledge my kinship with each winged thing.

 

I see all as one, and nothing repels me, as this new day climbs noiselessly out of the valley of the night.

 

Peace lies over the world and over the world of my soul.

 

Max Ehrmann

 

Sliding in

parallel runways

I got this shot of a drake and hen Widgeon down at the ponds this afternoon; they’re still pretty skittish, but coming in to land relatively close … shooting with the a 400mm on the 7D which has a C sensor which gives you a 1.6 crop factor and it gives me the equivalent of a 640mm lens. Much I like about the new 7D MKII, but a few issues that need addressing. Not sure if it is the camera or me, but we’ll see. The sensor is much better than the 7D and it looks like noise issues from the original 7D have been taken care of. I enjoy the drake in this shot as his feet are giving him passage over the water whilst his tail feathers are being driven down into the water to provide braking and then the feet are retracted and a flop over onto the breast to slow down fast; that is the transition the hen is making.

 

Corky passed last year on November 8th and It was a year ago today that we had the memorial service for her; hard to believe that it has been that long in some respects and it hardly seems any time in others. Anyhow, I did a little work on our personal website today and will be changing out many of the photos over the next week or so. Also gave it a new look and hope you like it.

 

I added a web page “Memories” to the website and embedded the code for the video on Vimeo that Skip and Cami put together from the service and collection of photos. One of the highlights was when Olivia, Anthony’s daughter headed up to join him whilst he was playing “Keep Holding On” and he plays it once every time he performs on Wednesday nights and I am in the audience; it was one of Corky’s favorites. A good friend, thanks Anthony.

 

Also thanks again to Russ Hustead who did the low pass in his motorglider and then cranked over in a steep bank and climbed out … awesome footage from the Go Pro he installed in it … and he still talks to me after I told him to crank it over further as he was getting beat up from all the free floating rotors in the area from high winds over the red rocks … that can be downright nasty :+) Skip waited until January to interview me for the video and finished it sometime in the Spring. Only a five minute video and if you would like to view it, the link is: http://tedandcorky.com/memories.html brings back a lot of memories and for those who only knew Corky as she viewed life from waist level a chance to get to know her as she was before. ENJOY !!!

 

A new week, and starting it off with a flight in the morning with a friend from the Grand Canyon Trust; few people know the area better than Roger and I learn a lot from him every time we fly.

 

Have a terrific day today … the only day you can be sure that you have, so live it fully and smile … we’re still breathing …

 

Cheers

 

Ted

 

I go out into the night and stretch forth my arms, as

if to embrace one I love

…the solace of the stars is sweet, and the stillness has a voice I understand

 

Max Ehrmann

Splash

Splash

… I got this Greenhead a few days ago and it doesn’t look like he remembered to lower his landing gear (webbed feet to ski on and decelerate before going down into the water. Love those sheets of water coming up though and the rooster tail coming up behind him. Seems to have a look of self-satisfaction too … wouldn’t it be cool to come in like that? I think most of us have done a pool emptying entry at one time or another … but this is elegant.

 

Got the new Canon 7D MK II late afternoon and finally got out around 4:30 for a walk with it. I think I got some pretty good shots but cannot find out if I did because Adobe has not updated the Camera Raw interface to process raw images from the 7D MK II yet. Switched to shoot both raw and jpegs now so will at least have something to look at while I wait for Adobe to do their thing and update the program. The DP review on the camera body is quite good and if interested you can read it at: http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canon-eos-7d-mark-ii On the forums there is the usual like it dislike it comments which I do my best to ignore. Beyond a certain level of hardware quality it is the person using the camera that really matters.

 

Had pretty much a hermit type day and really enjoyed it. Put the finish polish on about forty opals and they look great; then weighing and measuring and putting them in papers and tomorrow they get shipped. Packed one of the 1D X bodies and the 6D body to go back for cleaning and calibration and will have them back by mid-week next week. Also a bunch of other projects got attention today and a couple of walks for good measure. Oinked out on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy tonight , a mere seven hours of viewing pleasure accompanied by a pizza and diet Pepsi … Ghirardelli milk chocolate for dessert and more diet Pepsi … and a wee bit more chocolate :+)

 

We’re into the weekend and hope that you have a terrific one … more hermit time for me as I get long postponed projects completed … hopefully a little time with friends too. Share your joy … start a string of smiles … be the first one to put one on another’s face today and each day … and make a big splash!

 

Back on Monday … Cheers

 

Ted

I go out into the night and stretch forth my arms, as

if to embrace one I love

…the solace of the stars is sweet, and the stillness has a voice I understand

 

Max Ehrmann

 

Felicity

felicity

… few things are as fun as flying … except perhaps flying above the clouds while retaining good views of a beautiful landscape … so that was the primary delight of the morning. This evening a delightful dinner with friends at the Hilton whilst listening to the extraordinarily talented Anthony Mazzella. What fun!

 

I was roughly over the area just east of uptown when I took this shot. Oak Creek is visible lower right … Oak Creek Canyon branches up to the left and Munds Canyon to the right and the mountain to the left is Wilson Mountain, one of the few formations that is of volcanic origin in town. You can follow Oak Creek Canyon up to the left almost to the West Fork area. The San Francisco Peaks are visible above the clouds near the center and Kendrick Peak to the left of them. Clean air is what made it all possible and clouds with tops about 9500’ made for fun flying a couple of thousand feet above them.

 

A word to those who thought I must be shooting to the NW a few photos ago when I said I was SW of the airport and shooting to the SW … a reminder that a line going from NE to SW can extend for thousands of miles and I was on that line shooting the same direction.

 

A relaxing day coming up today … some sleep … a few lattes … and an afternoon shoot at the ponds with my new camera body.

 

Have a terrific day … smile and share your joy.

 

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