Monthly Archives: April 2015



… enough to last a day … a lifetime, but then I repeat myself … and hopefully a chance to do it all over again. I turned the engine off a few seconds after I took the shot I sent out last night and took a sled ride back to Sedona all the while treated to beauty like this. How good can it get?

The loaf shape feature on the horizon on the left side of the image is Mormon Mountain and just right of center there is a very wee white spot which is the Discovery Channel telescope … a few minutes after I took this a sun beam reached through the cloud and illuminated it and it looked like a small diamond on the horizon. Think I was down to about 9500’ when I took this shot … the airport is below center on the right side of the image and the rest are the red rocks of Sedona.

The day was devoted to work on the photo collection again and progress is being made. On a mission to get it done and done right. Dinner at the Hilton tonight with friends … especially beautiful the fair maiden Olivia who was accompanied by her parents and grandparents … dad did the music. What fun!

Another day of photos coming up and then the meeting of the ISO 100 group at 6P. Enjoy your day and keep breathing … definitely a day brightener




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



Highlights a

… every day has them and today was no exception … a great start with the morning caffeine, calisthenics weights, treadmill and more caffeine. Most of the day was spent going through the portfolio and deletions and cataloging. A short break in the day to visit Dennis at the Village Barber midafternoon and then after looking out his window at the clouds up on the plateau I knew I had to join them so it was home, put some food out for One and the birds and thence to the airport. It was fabulous and about 6PM saw me rolling down the runway for the trip North to the peaks and see if I could get some rays of last light on them.

There was pretty heavy cloud cover high which was keeping the peaks in shadow with cloud base around 13,500’. There were very few gaps in the clouds for the rays to come through, but I hung around up there for a while hoping that a hole would open up and spill some beautiful light on the peaks or at least one of the other volcanic cones up on the plateau. Never happened so I headed back towards Sedona and a few miles up on the plateau from the rim, some rays punched through the cloud cover and illuminated a lake bed that still has some water in it and what looks like a drainage ditch that has wishbone qualities. The shadows from the trees on the shore give it a nice feel … anyhow it was a fun flight and a welcome break from going through the collection. Nearly caught up on uploads sorting and deleting and next it is into the main collection. Down to 565GB and pretty sure I can get it down to at least 400GB.

Talked with John just before I got the Lambada out and he had just finished a great soaring flight in his motorglider … think I may get up there earlier tomorrow and go soaring too.

Hope your day was filled with joy and someone shared a smile with you …



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

At rest

at rest

Earlier this year I spent several late afternoons shooting the area north of Sedona; not sure what the names of the formations are, but from a certain altitude/angle/distance  you got the shadows of the rocks and contours to look like resting spirits … like what else could they possibly be in Sedona … not shadows … the ancients laid out after a long day bringing beauty to us. Anyhow it was a fun project. 

Long and busy day, but in a sense very relaxing with time after the airport board meeting to go gaze at the beautiful clouds in the sky whilst parked by my Lambada; it was inviting, but wanted to listen to Jim speak about Infrared photography.   

Of all the energy emitted by the sun (and other stars) we are able to see only a very narrow band of frequencies which comprise all the colors we see. The lower frequencies which are also the cooler temperature colors (in terms of Kelvin scale) are the reds and the higher frequency colors and temperatures are in the blues and the UV range and of course much on both sides of those. One of the most practical uses of IR photography is in the astro area which enables us to peer through the dust/gas clouds that we are traveling through at present … like if you take a photograph of a hand covered by a cloth you will see only the cloth, but if you photograph the infrared spectrum you can see the hand through the cloth because those frequencies pass through cloth … kind of neat!  Funny when you think that the reds are actually the lower temperature colors while the blues are the hotter colors. Must have something to do with the warmth of a wood fire which is used for heat in the winter. 

Busy day coming up and time to put a wrap on this one. Got some good news today and that is because of certain FAA regs re line of sight, the hangar which was going to displace me from my current space at the airport cannot be built so I will not have to relocate my shade structure … improvements I have delayed making will now go forward. My blood work confirmed what I already knew … I am still breathing and it is likely to continue for the foreseeable future; actually I will settle for today as that is where I currently reside. 

Have a beautiful day … share a smile with someone today … why stop with one? 



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





Sometimes it is just a waste of time to try and talk with someone … you can easily tell when this is the case … usually facial expressions tell it all and a perfect example of that is the photo tonight of a tiger who was just irritated and nothing you could say was going to change his mind or make him any happier, unless perhaps you were to go in there with the intention of talking with him and calming him down. I do believe that would in fact work … you go in with all good intentions … he eats you … with a full belly (of you) he is contented and lays down for a nice nap … you in turn have made him happy fulfilling your purpose in life … to make another happy. Sorry just couldn’t resist.

I got this shot when Alice and I went to the San Diego Wildlife Park last month and what an incredible place that is. This guy just had this look of irritation on his face … beautiful creature though. He was tucked away in a very dark corner as in the light was really lousy, but it came out pretty good.

The photo workshops at the church went very well and as always it is fun to talk about photography and help others improve their skills.

Did a lot of work on the websites, made more so because of the length of time since I have done it. Pretty happy with the results and have now got two video pages on the personal website. Uploading to Vimeo and then embedding the code to the Vimeo location and you can watch on my website. Some new photos and a new look … check it out at: and I also gave a new look and a few other changes to the photography site at: … many more changes to come in the next few weeks. More work on photos and also the book both of which are progressing nicely. Down to 580GB of photo/images and finding the raw files for the images in the book.

My friend Jim Peterson is giving a presentation on infrared photography at the Sedona Camera Club Monday night at 6PM … place is the Methodist Church on SR 179 in the chapel area. Jim is doing some amazing work in infrared and it is worth the time to go listen to and see his presentation.

If by mistake you delete one of these missives and want to find it you can go to as Steve publishes them every day … great website to find out what is going on in Sedona too. Also you can find them on the Verde Independent website at: as they publish them every day too and lastly I archive them at:

Time to wrap it … have a beautiful day and thank you for your continuing support … it is nice to know that you are out there and enjoying my work. If you get Sojourns magazine check the cover out in the next issue … it is a collaborative creation that Carol and I came up with … can I share it Carol? It is very cool!

Share some smiles as we all need to put some out there and it is so nice when it they are returned.




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

Fun places


I flew this morning and it was just beautiful up there; quite a bit of dust and stuff in the air but the winds were pretty well blowing things out.

USFS is planning on resuming burns again as early as Sunday and hoping that it will vent … that means people downwind get the smoke impact and health issues but they probably do not know where it came from … or it will not vent and we get to breathe all that stuff again. Good for the medical business though.

One just opened a drawer in my gem cutting area and pulled an ivory patience ball out of the drawer and is now batting it all over the house throwing it and then chasing after it … oh well, have only had that one for about forty years. A nice toy for a cat albeit an expensive one … she believes she is worth it though and since she roams the house while I sleep, she can have and enjoy it. :+)

I took this shot on a clear day on the ramp in Page Arizona. The mountain behind me is Navajo Mountain and off to the left side of the image Lake Powell is shimmering in the brilliance of the Arizona sun. Think Bob flew up there with me that day and after we took off again we took a lot of shots of the Lake and surrounding area. Need to go back up there soon and spend a few days flying the lake and over to Monument Valley. Pretty cool transportation behind me too, but they fly high and fast and don’t get the views that we get.

Mary Helsaple is having her studio open to the public this weekend beginning Friday 100 Woodland Drive, Sedona, AZ in the Chapel Area and Saturday I give a workshop on photography … going to be a bit different than the one yesterday … Class room B, Church of the Red Rocks 10 AM.

It is into the weekend, have fun and enjoy those you love … and those you don’t … they matter to someone too.



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

Safe zone


… not only are we fortunate to live in the safe zone or sweet spot in our solar system, but our solar system is in the safe or sweet zone of our galaxy … our galaxy is about 100,000 light years in diameter and there is a sweet spot that is roughly 15,000 light years across between the outer edges of the galaxy and the inner part of the galaxy … a space of relative calm at least for the present where star systems like ours can form and not be stripped of planets or the star (our sun) be shredded by the massive stars further in. How long would it take to cross the Milky Way in a space ship going say 18,000 mph? about 4 billion years or about the time our little solar system has left … traveling by commercial jet at typical speeds about 120 billion years … give or take a few … and we know that the light from the outermost galaxies from us has been traveling for over ten billion years to get here. We sure will be able to save everything … huge smiles.

Today was earth day and the earth seems to be doing pretty good … an upbeat opinion article worth a read at: . It is a Fox News article so be prepared for something upbeat and not doom and gloom. Earth is doing its thing and we really do not matter all that much … interesting fact … if you took all 7 billion human beings on earth and stacked them like cord wood you would have a cube of about a kilometer … that’s it … all of us could be packed quietly in a small side canyon off the Grand Canyon. We have UN officials calling for de-population of the earth to save it … what a species we are. Every species with rare exception except for humans kill only for food and necessity … take a look around the world; humans are killing each other for what reasons?

On a very upbeat note we are also a noble species and most of us are truly good people … My dad believed that all humans are born good and I believe and live with that premise for starting each and every day. Love is the thread that weaves the fabric of life and that is a life worth living. Most people live their lives like that. The arts are expressions of life and uplift us and nature herself is there for us every day to take in and be transformed by the beauty presented daily.

Whilst going through photos tonight I came upon this one and it is offered to you to see the beauty of creation … a gull landing in water and the reflections of masts artistically warped by the harbor waters.

Take in the beauty, savor it and know that life is good and what a privilege to experience it each and every day we open our eyes and find that we are still alive.

Cheers … smile and share your joy


…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

12 hours

I matter

… of pure fun … most of the day beginning at about 5AM has been spent immersed in photo selection and putting together the Power Point presentation for the workshop at 10AM this morning and again Saturday morning at 10AM in Classroom B, Church of the Red Rocks. Topic is wildlife photography and the ins and outs of it; along with an ample number of my shots we’ll talk about techniques and see if we can bring your work up a notch or so. As with all types of shooting in photography, composition is of the utmost importance and we’ll discuss some ways that you can improve that while shooting … the subject is really important, like why else would you be shooting it … but you have to look at all of the stuff in the image and judge how it will affect the entire image. The discussion begins in nine hours.

My friend Mary Helsaple is part of the art in the home studio tour this weekend beginning on Friday. Mary and Neil live in the Chapel area and her contact information is: 100 Woodland Drive, Sedona, Arizona 86336, 928-282-4620 studio/ office, 719 440-0008 cell Neil recently built an all new website for Mary and it is Mary does some very incredible art and it is worth your time to check it out!

I took this shot of a Great Blue Heron about three years ago and it is kind of a neat portrait of this handsome creature. It looks like he may have a small fish or frog on the way down … once they start swallowing something they are committed … I have seen them take more than twenty minutes just to get a large fish lined up to get it to slide down head first and then another twenty or so minutes to actually get it down … precarious moments of vulnerability for these magnificent creatures. They’re roosting in trees near the ponds and elsewhere now, waiting for the sun to rise and then another day of finding food to sustain life, avoiding predators who would dine on them and if all goes well tomorrow night they will again roost in the trees … talk about a work ethic, but then as with nearly all species on the planet it is what they know … survival. Lessons to be learned from our fellow creatures on this planet.

Enjoy the day … share a smile with someone … anyone … great feeling all around.



PS – flying took a back seat to finishing the presentation … soon

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


the plan

Holding off

… same as I had last night … get to bed early and be in the air shortly after sunrise. Didn’t quite work out last night as I didn’t find the bed until 2:30AM and sunrise is before 6AM … had to do a fasting blood panel anyhow so will use that as my excuse. Tonight I will wrap the day by 11PM and know I will wake without an alarm by 4:30 … and I can drop ten shots of espresso through the kindly sweet taste of a vanilla latte … two of them actually, five shots each. Then it is off to the canyon, the confluence and perhaps Page and Lake Powell.

Julie Floyd is performing at Reds from 6:00 to 8:00 tomorrow night and Anthony Mazzella is playing at the Hilton on Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30. Work session with me on wildlife photography 10AM Classroom B at Church of the Red Rocks on Wednesday and also on Saturday same time and place. Have more than a hundred wildlife shots we will use for discussion and which demonstrate various situations and shooting conditions.

I like this shot of a greenhead coming in for a landing on calm glassy water … the surface is still undisturbed but in about a second it was ripped open and water was flying everywhere as his extended webbed feet act like shoe skis’ and the friction slows the duck below flying speed and he becomes an amphibian craft. The lighting conditions were pretty awful but I still ended up with a neat shot. Know that look he has on his face … the landing is set up and you just have to hold it off.

I’ve been enjoying the Universe series on Netflix and one of the segments tonight was on the sun … that’s the star that provides life as we know it. Turns out we do not have quite so many years around here as I previously thought. As the core of the sun burns its hydrogen fuel (fusion creating helium) things happen which cause the luminance of the sun to increase continuously (we get hotter). In about a billion years the average surface temperature of the earth will be about 100 degrees higher than it is now and this will happen by itself because those are the rules by which the sun operates. The stats are impressive … 99.8% of all matter in our solar system is contained in the sun … it took about 700 million years for the solar system to form into what we recognize today. About 30,000,000 degrees F at the core of the sun … and because of our current location in the sweet spot so to speak, we have liquid water for our duck to land on and for us to drink and use. They didn’t say where we would be in a few thousand years, but it will be warmer and the physics of the sun will make it so. Late in the program they discussed how we might consider moving our orbit out further as things warm up. Mercifully I have no plans to be here … wonder how those people experimenting with living forever will take it :+) for everything there is a time …

Pushing eleven so this is a wrap … have a terrific day and share your joy.



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

A little help

Heading for shelter

… a friend has just started a Kickstarter campaign to finance a project  he has embarked on … to wit a trip to Ecuador and produce a documentary of a people and a rain forest all of which are endangered. He has already paid for the trip and is seeking to upgrade his camera and lens before leaving on the trip. In the hands of a professional the quality of the equipment does make a difference … photo journalists and photographers in general are not what you would call a highly compensated group of people and they work hard for what they get.  We all get to enjoy their work whether it is in a magazine, online or like a lot of Jordan’s work in the newspaper. So go to his Kickstarter page at:  , read about the project and please help support the project he is starting … we’ll all benefit and keep benefiting. 

It was a weekend of deletions and more deletions … seriously into it and will complete the project in the next few months. Down to 611 GB of images from nearly 800 GB and will continue until I am under 400 GB. Sending a lot of great images into the ether, but have kept better ones than the random bits of energy now roaming the universe. 

Also got the photo selections for the five main categories of the book completed this evening. Really tough to limit it to 20 images per category, but did it. Total of 100 images for the book plus the personal interest photos that will be going into it. Liking the format and the next step is to collect all the original raw files and reprocess the images and crop to fit the book. Probably a month to finish that and then it is just putting it all together as I have finished most of the writing. 

Just as this Great Blue Heron is heading into the trees to take a roost for the night, Monday is well underway and time for me to head for a bed and get my rest before starting the day in about 4.5 hours. Maybe some flying today so I can get some photos that will make the cut :+) 

Have a terrific day … smile 


And lastly give sweet sleep

Closed sight, no fright

That fears will o’er me creep;

And now a last goodnight. 

Max Ehrmann




Messing with

mushrooms and grass

… mushrooms and grass … One is experimenting with alternative life styles and she is accustomed to nothing but the finest grass that money can buy … the green kind … and hiding out under the mushrooms enjoying life. This image is about as close to the outer world as she gets though, but she can dream too and perhaps she puts herself here. She has two containers or more of fine wheat grass going at given time and truly enjoys the green delights. And my mind is feeling a little mushy after spending most of the day going through photos sorting, filing and deleting.

Another several hundred photos have returned to the ether and my need for storage is shrinking, but desire for more increasing. I just finished sending a friend a list of components to buy for a new computer I will be making for her and she will have some awesome parts left over from her existing computer if anyone is interested. Also starting to plan my next computer which will likely begin to take shape around the end of the year. Going for at least a six core i-7 processor and possibly eight or dual six core. This is going to be increasingly important as I get into more video from the GoPro cameras. Anyhow looking forward to the new build.

A couple of hours drafting documents with a friend again today and thoroughly enjoying it. Also a couple of hours on photos for the books today too … a little work on opals and a lot of espresso ingested.

I received many responses from friends who want to participate in my new program for studying the impending collision of galaxies … it appears we will have to increase our grant requests to at least a billion a year now to cover all the overhead. On the plus side, it is a real emergency and even though there is so much open space in galaxies that there will likely be few actual collisions of stars and or planets the gravitational effects will likely be enormous … if a very large star came roaring by it could rip earth out of its orbit around our star and drag us to who knows where … and it could fry the surface of our planet. Thank heavens (there we go with astronomical terms again … or is it religious?) we have plenty of time to study the possibilities so that we might be able to save ourselves and perhaps the planet. On top of that we will be building a huge enterprise to suck up grant money and who can possibly deny that this event will happen? We shall buy private jets to fly around and meet with our scientists and put on impressive presentations and employ Hollywood’s finest FX people to produce visual productions of what will happen. This does have possibilities :+) Need some good names and acronyms … have considered Astrophysical Special Studies :+)

We’re into the weekend. Stop in at the Outlets in the Village this weekend as my friends Guy and Tammy have a double tent setup selling his fine art photographs. Guy is one of the most talented landscape photographers in the state and you will find his work to be amazing and very reasonably priced. He is on the north end of the outlets, so when you turn off SR 179 into the outlets, turn left after you enter the outlets and he is up near the end. His website is:

Have fun this weekend and keep a sense of humor going … and smile … our time here is short and we need to keep a sense of joy and share it with others. Besides waking in the morning to the incredible knowledge that we are still here and breathing if we can somehow make another’s day a little better we will have given purpose to our lives and a reason to smile a little more and likely that that person will share the joy then too. How good is that!!!

Cheers … back Monday morning … more likely than not


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