Monthly Archives: June 2015

The chosen one

Runup

… the home of my birth is and will always be a special place, but Corky and I left that place a long time ago … Huntington Beach, California and now Sedona, Arizona … it was a quick trip back to Phoenix and we arrived about forty minutes ahead of schedule and once clear of the Phoenix area it was that beautiful drive up I-17 and the beauty of the American Southwest on display with the see forever horizons; monsoon storms building all around us and openness such as you seldom see in other parts of the country. A warm feeling to be returning to the chosen home … it is good.

Late afternoon it was in to town and pick up a few things and then up to the airport to check on Mariah; I was very tempted to take her up, but I kept getting severe weather alerts on my S5. I had my newest camera ready to go and had to take a few photos so I walked down to the end of the runway and took a shot looking to the NE from the end of the runway. This is the view I get every time I fly just before I turn to begin the takeoff roll on R21 … the runway goes from end to end on the mesa. Schnebly Hill road is visible going up below the rocks and also on the side of the plateau. To the left of the rock formation is Oak Creek and Munds Canyons.

The detail in the photographs taken with the 5D Sr are mindboggling … if you are familiar with the term “contact print” (direct print at film size) you can appreciate that this camera will produce a contact print of just under 20 x 30 inches. The photo attached is 1800 x 1200 pixels and it is a down sample from an image of 8688 x 5792 … I like it! can hardly to wait to go flying with it and begin reshooting many of my favorite aerial shots.

Time to wrap the day and it is good to be home … enjoy your day and share a smile or three

Cheers

Ted

Give me to glady go

My way and say

No word of mine own woe;

But let me smile each day

Max Ehrmann

Global warming

MRB

… very thankful that a mere 9,000 years ago the planet got serious about warming up and thawing some glaciers; the view in this photo is from the top of the bluffs overlooking the Minnesota River Valley, south and west of Minneapolis. Nine thousand and some odd years ago the glaciers that covered this entire area began to melt and the water runoff was enormous … there was so much water that the water from the melting of the ice formed a huge lake, Lake Agassiz and enormous river, the River Warren which drained the area flowing to the Gulf of Mexico and around 8700 BC it had melted enough that another huge outlet also drained all the way to the east coast emptying into the Atlantic Ocean; after about 500 years the ice advanced again and cut off the flow to the east coast. It is hard to imagine what living conditions must have been like for the few human beings who inhabited the area … eventually the glaciers retreated, the big melt slowed down and the waterways that remain are a slight ghost of what once was here. Latest prediction by the NYT in 2008 was that NYC would be under water by 2015 … as usual, still waiting … there was a time, not so long ago though that I think it really was under water and darn near everything else. Thank heavens for climate change, otherwise where would we be? It is helpful to look at time frames that actually mean something … thousands of years is pretty good. Can you even begin to imagine what this flow of water was like? And it is so close to now! 

I love this area and my Dad leased the hunting rights for about 1,000’ of shoreline near the top of this lake, and all the land and the lake above this main lake down in the bottoms including about a mile of a creek, two potholes, slough and great farming land with crops where we got pheasants; leases for hunting were not terribly expensive in those days and what a treat for us kids and our friends. Among the highlights of my high school years were the fall days when conditions were good and some friends and I would cut school and head down to the river bottoms for some serious duck hunting. Then there was Mr. Janes, the school disciplinarian, a reminder to conform to accepted and expected norms … I had problems with that. Glad he was there though and we could use more of that. 

I’ve really had a great time back here the last few days, visited friends and family I have not seen in a while, some Macalester classmates I have not met before, and about 25% of our graduating class from high school showed up for the reunion. Mostly I was surprised at how many of them I recognized and that anyone really remembered me as I was not exactly active in many of the school activities. I was still years away from taking anything school related seriously and was heavily engaged in other things that were of interest to me. I excelled in science, and think Shakespeare saw me floundering … did I really take a class in that? Not a clue, but if I did, it probably did not bode well for the report card … how could that compete with a good day in the bottoms or a day on the ski slopes or an evening with friends? 

Mercifully, my daughters and granddaughters found a reason to apply themselves to their studies at an early age … but I would never have traded those beautiful days, months and years pursuing nonacademic activities for an earlier pursuit of the intellectual. It simply was not me and my parents still loved me and there was time for study later :+) 

I hope the photo looks okay; didn’t really do much to it, but working on photos on a laptop is challenging to say the least; an older ThinkPad with an LCD screen that has huge variations depending on the viewing angle is even more so. I took the shot from the top of the bluffs whilst doing a two hour hike in the Richard Anderson Conservation area a few miles below Flying Cloud Airport. These are real forests! 

Plan to stay in touch with many of my classmates with whom I have reconnected both from Washburn and Macalester and a huge thank you to all of them that put in the work to make this event happen. It was fun. I have also re-fallen in love with the beautiful green forests, lakes and storms … although I would never move back here I can see spending more time in short term rentals here especially during my favorite time of year … fall! We’ll see, but what a fun few days this has been. 

Catch a plane back to Phoenix in the morning and the shuttle back to Sedona … looking forward to being home and also with One … just saw her walking by a camera a few minutes ago :+)

Enjoy your life … do it your way and share your joy and a few smiles with all whom you meet … you can help change the world that easily. 

Cheers

 

Ted 

Hold high your head and be an honest man.

May kindness guide your daily steps, and in each deed and thought

Let Christ’s sweet soul always reflect itself

And love your fellow men as I love you. 

Max Ehrmann

 

Home 2

Home 2

 

Ace Express picked me up a little before 6 this morning for the ride down to Phoenix Sky Harbor and the flight to Minneapolis, Minnesota. I grew up in a home on Portland Avenue, across from Diamond Lake, one of the few unimproved lakes in Minneapolis and it was fun … before our neighbor Arnie Bogen donated the land bordered by 56th and 57th Streets and Portland and Chicago Avenues to the city, it was an unimproved slough and we used to build forts down there and had fun like kids used to have … we created out own games and fun and learned to respect and be part of nature. After the land was donated to the city, they filled it in and created a beautiful park which is still there … the gift was for park purposes in perpetuity.

 

After landing it was down to luggage claims, Hertz to get my car, Caribou Coffee for a large sugar free vanilla latte and then it was out of the terminal area and as you clear the airport terminal to get on the streets you view the National Cemetery and the thousands upon thousands of white markers of those who have served our nation, many of whom died in combat to preserve the American dream and our way of life … freedom … to use it for the good or as we often see now for less than noble purposes … two of my uncles who served in WWII are buried there, Dick served in europe and was in many of the noted battles but he survived; Norm was shot down in the South Pacific and was only 22 when he died.

 

Decision time … head directly to the Residence Inn in Eden Prairie where I am staying or visit the old neighborhood.

Driving, I retraced my steps past “home” and Washburn High School and the other schools I attended and then I came back and parked on 57th just off Portland and spent an hour or so walking the neighborhood. It was a delightful day and as I walked by each house, memories of our then neighbors flooded back … one neighbor who loved his dandelions and used them for salad greens and wine making, a neighbor who didn’t like kids and we had to steer clear, except for the taunting we did … Doc Stelters house around the corner from us and memories of his in home office to treat neighbors … Doc Watsons home and met the new owners there, and up and down the streets I walked remembering everyone who lived in those homes. Earl and Joan  who lived directly behind us and she was like my Big Sis and I really liked her kid sis. There is an alley way system behind the homes which lends a feeling of living within the castle … so to speak.  And so it went for close to two hours. The neighborhood is really nice and the homes are beautiful and the trees are now huge and provide a  sense of comfort and shelter … a place to return to again and again. The Park Theater is still there on 48th and Chicago, the first home Corky and I rented in Minneapolis on 55th and Chicago is now a parking lot for the church. After the walking I drove back over to Kowalski’s and did a little shopping before heading to Eden Prairie and my temporary digs at the Residence Inn. When I was in my mid-teens I bagged groceries there, but then it was Osgood’s Super Value … I like this place better … much more upscale and I think they pay more than the$1.00 per hour I made.

Visited with some friends and family, a nice dinner at the Wildfire Restaurant in Eden Prairie and then back here. Tomorrow morning a visit with an old high school buddy who is in town from California, then over to my brothers and in the afternoon out to Lakewood for more visits with friends and ditto that in the evening. Hard to believe it is sixty years since I graduated from HS, and that will be celebrated with many of our classmates on Saturday night … and I am looking forward to seeing them. Sunday more visits with friends and family and back home Monday morning. A friend is looking after One for me, and I frequently check on her with the in home cameras. Maybe on upcoming trips I will take her with me … miss that little creature.

The house is a slightly bigger one than when we lived there … to the left of the kitchen window, there is a two story addition that has been added. The second story window on the right was my bedroom and I still have some of my early photographs I shot of the lake from that window. Dad and Mom bought the house in 1938 for about $4,000.00 and we moved in when I was about a year old. Life goes on and what a wonderful day it was. I could live here again, except for the fact that it is in Minnesota and Corky and I left it for the beach life in Southern California in 1967 … smiles!

Enjoy your days, and give thanks for life … keep breathing and keep smiling … and share your joy with those whom you meet today and each day you receive the gift of life.

Smiles

Ted

 

I thought that time went sweet and soft and slow,

And left no marks save those of gentleness

That bound you to my life with strong caress;

And you saw naught but all my soul’s deep truth,

No fading bloom, nor form the years bent low,

But ever still the beauty of my youth.

 

Max Ehrmann

 

 

 

One

One

… that regal ruler who rules over this home and has plans to expand her kingdom, and knows with certainty that she is destined to rule the world, struck a beautiful pose this morning while I was doing my early morning calisthenics this morning … she joins me in them and has developed a very unique manner of doing her own. I grabbed a camera off the nightstand and took a few photos of her … here is one of them and hope you enjoy it.

A busy and fun day today … same on tap for tomorrow.

Be well … keep breathing … share your joy

Ted

I thought that time went sweet and soft and slow,

And left no marks save those of gentleness

That bound you to my life with strong caress;

And you saw naught but all my soul’s deep truth,

No fading bloom, nor form the years bent low,

But ever still the beauty of my youth.

Max Ehrmann

Fine dining

King_gopher Snakes

So here is an incredibly filling meal … like nearly half the length of the King snake. The King Snake is a constrictor and you can clearly see how he has firmly clamped down on the Gopher snake and is engaged in some serious eating. It was pretty dark when Suzi stopped in to let me know what she had seen and it was out the door with the first camera I could get my hands on … the Canon 6D and the new 24/70 F2.8 lens on it. I took the first couple of shots at F2.8 and 3200 ISO but got nothing … so out came my Samsung Galaxy 5 out and load the flashlight app. So I am holding the flashlight cellphone in one hand and the 6D in the other hand and got several pretty good shots of the event. Not the first time I have seen snakes eating, but a first getting this shot. By now, the gopher snake is providing sustenance to the King Snake and life goes on … I wonder what happens when the get a snake longer than they

A good day getting projects around here finished and then a drive and some errands run … a good day :+)

A wrap … want to try and get an early flight in and then home to work on the book.

Have a wonderful day … smile, share your joy and try not to overeat. :+)

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

Rivers

LC@Holbrook

There is something special about rivers and the sculpting of the earth they do … this is an aerial of the Little Colorado River near Holbrook, Arizona that I shot last week. The chocolatey color is the river flow which contains a lot of mud and downstream fifty or so miles it goes over Grand Falls and rather than the straight water mists characteristic of waterfalls, you get dust clouds coming up … wet ones perhaps we could call it mud mist? Oh well …

Thanks to my friend Suzi who was walking her dogs this evening and came over to get me, I got a rare shot of two snakes dining; a Common King Snake dining on a Gopher Snake. I may send that out tomorrow night … we do publish photos of humans dining on food in fine restaurants so perhaps this too. Smiles

Engaged in binge watching of the Marvel series The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – really fun visual comic book stuff. Also finished going through the portfolio today. I started with 785GB, added about 125GB during the process and ended up with 344GB – plus I can now find photos in seconds. Going to continue deleting by reviewing individual categories as I upload new images into individual folders. The overall quality of the portfolio should increase and not grow much. Could this be organization? Hard to believe it could be me, huh Sus? Cork and I hired our daughter Sus to organize our law office files one time when she was between jobs and after two weeks she was finished and left a note on the file room door that “There is no such thing as a miscellaneous Client” Fun and no miscellaneous folders for the images … tempted though :+)

Into the new week and Monday is already ten percent over … time to wrap it and get a few hours of sleep. Busy day coming up and my backlog of projects dwindling. Enjoy the day and share your joy.

Smiles

Ted

Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am; and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope. And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life; and for time’s olden memories that are good and sweet; and may the evenings twilight find me gentle still. Max Ehrmann

Let your mind

Ancients

… wander and play with shapes, colors and patterns and then imagine yourself flying over one of the most incredible landscapes on the planet … look down and you will see this … a small portion of the Painted Desert within the boundaries of the Petrified Forest National Park located on either side of I-40 about twenty or so miles east of Holbrook, Arizona.

I am going to be doing a full aerial shoot of the park over the next several weeks. I headed over there this morning to get a feel for it; next the Park Superintendent will be flying with me and we will locate each major point of interest and then I figure out how to best get the shots with the early morning and late afternoon light and then shoot it. Trust me though, the park is beautiful any time of day. The photographic series will be for the use of the National Park Service and the National Parks Conservation Association and added to the work I have done for both in the past.

The National Parks Conservation Association has just set up a new website: www.friendsofpetrifiedforest.org for Friends of the Petrified Forest … check it out and make a difference. The NPCA is a great organization in its own right and check them out at: www.npca.org .

There is a movement afoot to obtain a more protected status (national monument) for the Sedona area which is being spearheaded by Keep Sedona Beautiful. Check the website out at: http://redrocknationalmonument.org . You will also find a lot of my photographs on the website as well as many of another photographer I am known to hang with … a lot of work is necessary to make this a reality so if you would like to help preserve this area for future generations, get involved … visit the website and sign the petition under the “supporters” tab.

I wasn’t able to get a lot of the photos I wanted this morning because of “managed fires” the USFS was conducting up on the plateau near Mormon Lake … smoke has to go somewhere and downwind (and into people’s lungs) is where it goes. The entire Petrified Forest National Park was covered in a light smoke haze from these fires. Amazing that in a culture where you are almost required to believe in manmade climate change, that putting billions of tons of smoke particulates and noxious and toxic gases annually into the atmosphere from prescribed and managed fires is tolerated.

Ironic that the forest I am shooting is impervious to such events … smiles

We’re into the weekend, have fun, smile a lot and give a hand to someone who needs it

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gone fishing

fishin

… there was considerably more action available to me down at the ponds in the water than around or above it. From a distance I did see a Bald Eagle take down something, but it was better to just enjoy the attack than try and capture it. All critters seemed to enjoy hunkering down in the shade or just drifting on the surface of the ponds. As I was coming up on one of the far ponds I saw fish jumping; probably there was a new hatch of some kind of insect … so … I just hung around and tried to get decent shots of the fish jumping. Kinda fun … kinda hot in 100+ degree heat … kinda neat too. Fifteen minutes of it was all I could take and the walk resumed.

More photos edited today, another run in to West Sedona to get a duplicate of the milk I bought yesterday but left in the car overnight, a few visits, phone calls and fed the birds.

Spent some time planning a shoot of the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert. Much more planning to do and likely looking at several days to get it right and likely some low level flying … we’ll see how it shakes out, but expecting it to be a blast. Hopefully I get the new 50MP Canon before I do the shoot and if not, what I have is certainly on the high end. My 1D-X bodies and 6D body have at high print resolution a native 12” x 18” +/- which is amazing, but the new Canon 5DSR has a native print size of 20” x 30” … talk about fun!

The evap cooler is doing a pretty good job … maintained a high temp in the house late afternoon of 82 max with an outdoor temp 100+. Cold leftover pizza and a lettuce salad for dinner … better than some other things I was thinking about :+)

Time to put a wrap on the day … enjoy the day coming up

Cheers

Ted

I thought that time went sweet and soft and slow,

And left no marks save those of gentleness

That bound you to my life with strong caress;

And you saw naught but all my soul’s deep truth,

No fading bloom, nor form the years bent low,

But ever still the beauty of my youth.

 

Max Ehrmann

Going with

Shadow Mtn

…the flow … and over tens of thousands of years, wind and water have worked there artistic magic on this once active volcano on the northern edge of the San Francisco Volcanic Field. The surface appears to have a somewhat fuzzy or velvety texture to it, but rather doubt if it would feel like that if you fell and skidded along the surface :+) 

Last night I incorrectly identified the mountain as Grey Mountain … I thought it was Shadow, but when I Googled Shadow Mountain it came up with the one in the Phoenix area, also tried  under northernmost volcano in the SF Field and came up blank … anyhow thanks for helping me get it right.  I will note that a current search of lists of volcanoes in Arizona does not come up with the name, nor does Wikipedia, nor does the USGS site … nor do any of them mention which volcano is the northernmost one and the maps online stop around S_P Crater … oh well, we now know it is there even if no one else does … and methinks it is doing very well on its own. 

Today was another one of those days when everything just seems good … warm feelings, knowledge that life is good and glad to be here to experience it. Nothing really notable occurred today … I did wash my new vehicle and finish establishing another network in the house … one wired and the other wireless … simple pleasures that simply leave you with a smile on your face and enjoying the pleasant contours of a mountain that receives no recognition … rather like most of us who simply go through life doing what we can for ourselves and others with no expectation of receiving recognition … still we are here and good things happen because of us. 

Have a great day today … look around, life is beautiful and share your joy … smile 

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

Got it done

 

Grey… indeed a rare day, I got everything done that I set out to do. A later start than planned, but I was airborne by 9AM and en route to the Tuba City area and get some of the fabulous textures of the rocks in the canyons in the area and then too there are always the fabulous airscapes such as this one. There is so much history on the surface of this area it blows the mind. I should have brought the 70/200 lens today, but made do with the 24/70 mounted on the 6D. I should have my 5DSR by the end of the month and am looking forward to more trips north.

Grey Mountain is in the foreground of this image and we are looking almost due south. Beyond Grey mountain you can see a cut running left to right and that would be the Little Colorado Canyon and river which is on its way to the Colorado River another 30 or so miles to the west. You cannot see it in this missive, but that is where the Grand Canyon begins and Marble Canyon ends. Just above the Little Colorado canyon on the top right is the SE end of the East Kaibab monocline; the Little Colorado River pretty much runs along the base of it all the way to the Colorado river. On the horizon the San Francisco Peaks and Kendrick Peak. Slightly below and to the right of the SF Peaks you can see a slight line of black and that is SP Crater.

The clouds at the peaks had pretty well over developed by the time I got back to them so there were a few showers to fly through and lots of good convection.

it was a fun flight … nice talk with a friend and then off to Phoenix and home around7:30 with a pizza in tow.

Long day and time to wrap it

Hope you have a wonderful day and blessings to you and yours … smile

Ted

I pondered many hours in idleness,

And ill content grew fast upon my thoughts;

For was this right that I should eat and live

By that another through his toil had earned?

But one good hope then fed my hungry soul:

That I should live by what my hands could do.

 

Max Ehrmann