Monthly Archives: December 2015

Looking around


A fun day visiting with friends, outings with One, a couple hours sorting through opal I have not looked at in years, stops to mail packages, and visiting friends in West Sedona, down to the ponds, home and over to the Hilton for dinner. Worked on photos and spent quality time with Dexter as things are resolving in season 8; will finish the season tomorrow night … still not sure about going to the Hilton for New Years, but always love Anthony’s concerts and be fun to see how he does as a DJ.  

I got this shot of a Says Phoebe down at the ponds this afternoon. It was a fun shoot trying to get images of a little bird like this from about 60’. Think I took around 120 shots of him as he darted out from his perch and then returned. I used a nine-point focus grid to try and keep a focus on him. Not exactly a world class image, but it was among the best of the 10 I kept insofar as wing and body position … several more that were tack sharp but not as nice a pose. Oh well, they will all be hitting the bit bucket by tomorrow night and more time spent to try and get a few perfect photos.  

This will likely be the last of the photos for 2015 … thank you for spending time with me and all the many nice emails I have received in return … makes it all worthwhile. 2016 will be starting off with I’m not sure what yet, but looking forward to it. This completes fifteen years of doing this and I’m looking forward to more to come and hope you are too. 

Be careful if you go out tomorrow night and remember that it is amateur night on the roads. Smile, keep breathing and take pride in what you have accomplished this year. 



Though work bring naught of power nor wealth

Spare me from want of common needs, and give a share of manly health,

A few good friends of honest deeds;

And till death’s peaceful slumber nears, a life of undishonored years.


Max Ehrmann



A preacher too


Thank you to a good friend who reminded me that the photo in last night’s email could be a preacher … I did do some “preaching” at Messiah Lutheran Church in Minneapolis during my pre-seminary days and I had been accepted at Luther Seminary in St. Paul; for multiple reasons that did not happen and my life went other directions … so I could view that as me still standing in the pulpit … the parishioners have left and there is no longer a choir to preach to … will mankind ever listen to the message of love and forgiveness? Probably not and life will continue until it does not. Still, there is hope, for all people are inherently good and most people live good lives, it is just that there are some who do not know that yet and some who never will.

Most of the day on the book again and first photo’s placed … that is huge! Now to finish the rest of the placements and write the copy to accompany each photo.

One spent an hour outside this morning and loves her narrowly defined territory; she is sticking to our property only and has started climbing the Pinion pine tree in the back. I got tired of working around here so midafternoon I headed down to the ponds for a walk in the cool clean air and spend a little time with my favorite subjects. While these guys appear to be heading out, in truth they just found it more convenient to fly from one end of the pond to the other. You can see water still dripping from the webbed feet and droplets on their breasts and the guy in back is beginning his rotation extending and cupping his wings as he brakes and slows for a landing. Amazing how a walk down there can clear the mind of everything that is of no importance and focus you on the beauty of nature and things that really matter.

A couple more days and we have a wrap for the year. Anthony Mazzella will be playing in the ballroom at the Hilton on the 31st beginning around 7P and after the show will be DJ for the rest of the evening until whenever. Usually I don’t go out NYE, but this might be kind of fun and close to home.

Have a beautiful day today and always seek the beauty of all that is … and smile … and breathe.




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

The lawyer

the lawyer

I messed around with this photo adding various components and nothing seemed to work so here it is as shot … a lawyer still trying to present his case after centuries of being ignored and objected to. I think the jury probably gave up and the rest of the characters in the court were cut down and used to make homes or something really useful … close to NAU, so perhaps we have a professor who just can’t get his message across to the students; think we have all had a few like that … the ad specialty salesman who just won’t take no for an answer even after the customer appears to be gone … anyone else I can insult? Use your creative instincts … mine seem to have taken flight.

Very productive day and work on the book is going very well and hopefully the photo tonight is not a caricature of me proclaiming the book is still going well a few years from now … geez … I like it though and had intended to use it in a composite with the eagle nebula, but I just kept screwing it up. Gives you a pretty good idea of the neat wood that you can find up at Sunset Crater though.

As to the insulted ones: I am a lawyer, was an instructor of electronics and weapon physics in the USAF, teaching assistant in the Classical Languages Department at Macalester College (Greek Major), sold ad specialties while in the USAF and in college and am a published author in numerous journals and one book of my own … also a public speaker and a bunch of other things, but a few categories is enough to mess with in one email.

Have a terrific day, share your joy and your humor … smiles are moments when you know that the world is a good place to be.



PS maybe a photographer who just can’t get the subject to cooperate?


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

Peering into the past


… into the new year and beyond … with excitement and amazement!

Having watched Dexter until 3AM Sunday, first shots of espresso at 7:20 AM, back to sleep until 10AM and more espresso the day was finally planned on the second waking. One got her patrol of the territory in and chased Sebastian out of the yard (sorry Rosie) and felt she had done her work for the day so came in and celebrated with a Salmon Tuscany meal and took up her post on the kitchen table and viewed life going by as she flickered between sleep and consciousness. I didn’t feel much like hanging around the local area so I decided to head up to Sunset Crater and shoot trees and stuff. They have some of the most amazing tree trunks and branches up there and set in a volcanic area it has all the drama of life not far removed when you think in geologic terms. I got a couple hundred shots that I like and they will make for great stock to use in compositing. Expect more like this shot of a glimpse into the past … peering into the past, once vibrant with life and the imagery traveling for billions of years before arriving on our earths shores … the future being shaped by the now.

Another week underway and in just a few days a new year will commence … most consider the measurement to begin again, but I prefer to remain in the present and surf the continuum of life as long as I have it. A life lived to be sure, but here now and that is all that counts!

Cheers and share your joy and a smile or three.

A week of writing ahead … a story of “Love … Life … and Forever”



I saw or thought I saw the figure of a woman standing in the dim light …

“What are you writing?”

“A story of perfect love”, I answered

“Lay down your pen and live with me the story you are writing”, she said

“I am ready!” I cried, and arising, I started toward her; but there was nothing there.


Max Ehrmann

Merry Christmas from TaO

Christmas 2015

It’s Christmas … celebrate love and life

Blessings always



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

In a pear tree

Partridge in a Pear Tree

… our friend is looking for that elusive Partridge in a pear tree so that he can have his Christmas dinner … no Pear Trees around here that I know of, so a descent into one of our Wild Olive Trees will have to do. He didn’t find one on this pass, but I’m sure that eventually he scored his dinner and life continues.

Regardless of individual beliefs, Christmas is one of the neatest times of year as most people seem to get it for at least a few days   … smiles and love are in abundance and time is spent with family and friends and good food and sharing is everywhere … I love this time of year. No messing around with “Happy Holidays” because you are afraid that you might offend someone … It is Christmas and everyone can celebrate the concept of love that infuses and is the under pinning of this beautiful holiday. Commercialization of the holiday? So what! People are out buying things for others or making gifts which are treasured. What is wrong with that?

To further my enjoyment of the evening I’ve been listening to a couple albums by The Goo Goo Dolls, currently “Magnetic” … great music. Also using one of my gifts from me to me, a new keyboard and I love it. Corsair K70 RGB mechanical keyboard. A beautiful sound like the typewriters of old, very cool colors backlighting the keys and programmable keys which I will eventually learn how to do … and it is much more compact than my ergonomic Microsoft keyboard. Tighter grouping of keys so errors are numerous as I get used to the close grouping of keys.

I’ll be getting my Christmas greeting out before I head out for the evening tomorrow and currently not a clue what the composite image will be. Thanks to each and every one of you who choose to be on my list and for the kind comments you send me on a regular basis. It is kind of like Christmas every day for me. Thank you and God Bless you.

A complete poem, the last paragraph of which I frequently use … puts everything into perspective

Merry Christmas to you … next week greetings for the New Year





I tell you that you and I and the commonest person are all journeying the same way,

hemmed in by the same narrow path, leading to the eternal years.

We pride ourselves over our particular superiority; but really there is little difference

between us.

And in this journey over the 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

Summit conference



… this is the kind of summit conference you want world leaders to attend … something that is challenging to attend, no luxury private and government owned jets, no millions of dollars per day for lodging and people sucking up to them, no fancy meals or expensive lounges and drinks … just the pleasure of making the trek and enjoying the reward of gazing out over a beautiful world inhabited by other humans and creatures. The people attending this gathering at the summit of Humphreys Peak (12,633’) got the pleasure of viewing northern Arizona from the highest point in Arizona and the camaraderie of fellow attendees.

This view is from about 12,700’ and looking to the SE with a beautiful view of the inner basin. Lockett Meadow is not visible in this photo but is off image to the left. On the far peak over and to the right of the climbers you can see a road that was used in the early to mid-20th century, and over that peak and left of it you can see Mt. Eldon and beyond that and not visible the Flagstaff Mall.

Today was a weather day and pretty much a repeat of yesterday except neither One or I went out today. Dinner was quite good; a salad and homemade beef, vegetable and wild rice soup … enough for three more meals.

The weather is supposed to deteriorate the next several days with rain, snow and cold. I do have to go out for a few things tomorrow, I am out of that dietary wonder that is essential for human life … vitamin Ch otherwise known as CHOCOLATE!!! Have to make the run!

Have a beautiful day today and share your joy with those whom you meet and greet. Amazing the affect that a smile has on others.




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

Weird day

bridge forever

… it was, it really was … many things planned for today and I guess I got quite a bit done, but with no deadlines, no pressures to get anything done, I just kind of relaxed and every time I thought I should do something, I deliberately didn’t do it.  It felt good, it did. Think I took what we used to call Grussing Holidays; when the girls were young, once and a while we would just declare a Grussing Holiday. The girls skipped school and Corky and I cancelled appointments and closed the Law Office for a day or so and we had a terrific family day … at the beach, on the ocean, over to Catalina or Santa Barbara. We chucked responsibilities and had a fun day or so and the girls got their notes to get back in school and we had fun memories to look back on. And then we would do it again and we all benefited from it. 

So that is about what I did today … One, got a half hour outside and so did I. Today will be a responsible day whatever that is … it will be fun and filled with joy for sure. 

I put this image together tonight … the narrow path … bridge between worlds, whatever, I just like the feel of it. The pine tree is in a lava field near Sunset Crater; that is an area that inspires the mind to open up. 

Have a terrific day today … that time of year when eyes turn to the heavens and the wonder of forever takes center stage. We are blessed to be living on this wonderful little planet and to look to the heavens and wonder and to have family and friends to share our joy with … if only for a few days before reality sets back in. 

Cheers and Merry Christmas 


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



On the go


… only a few more days until Christmas … gifts and things to pick up, send out and relaxing can wait … and this Coot on the go that I shot down at the ponds today reminded me that I better get a hustle on too. Actually just a few gifts to wrap and mail out and looking forward to a very quiet Christmas at home with One. I have really fallen behind on answering emails too so perhaps I’ll get caught up on them too.

Did a lot this weekend including a Trader Joes run yesterday and just a lot of stuff around here. Christmas eLetter goes out Wednesday and need to get busy on that; thanks also to everyone who has sent me a real hard copy Christmas card as I really enjoy them even though I have not sent one out for years. Thank you, they are special!

Opened my nearly forgotten book this afternoon and am going to immerse myself in that project now … all my other projects are done or nearly so and I’m not taking on any other projects … time to focus on my stuff now. Special thanks to my brother Bruce who also finished a project for me … I have always been a still photographer, but Bruce went more for the videography and went through all his portfolios and culled out clips of our family and just sent them to me … fun to see movies of our family back in the 60’s through the 90’s. Thank you Bruce!

Have a terrific day today and wishing you a very Merry Christmas … next week we’ll deal with wishes for the new Year. Smile and share your joy … only good things can happen.



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.


  1. Milne


See ya

On the go
… about a tenth of a second on his way into flight this Canvas Back drake has his wings submerged and stroking down and back with enormous force and the displaced water from his feet and wings is beginning an enormous splash back, out and up as his body is accelerated forward and up and out of the water. And with the same enthusiasm I’m listening to Train performing “This’ll Be My Year” … love Amazon Prime and all the albums you can add to your library at no charge beyond the annual fee of about $100.00 plus videos and you name it.
A nice day today and re-finished the opal article and it is off for review. One got out for a while late afternoon, but not for long as it was cold. In the spirit of helping the environment (not) I made a large salad for dinner and a bowl of my homemade chicken, vegetable and wild rice soup. It was good! Not sure why I like “Dexter”, but it is addictive, perhaps because of a fascination with his addiction. Anyhow, into the second season and there are eight total seasons … it is well done.
Going to put a video together in the morning, head up to the airport to do some work on Mariah, visit some friends and home for the last ISO 100 club meeting of the year. I enjoy these meetings as I get to see some really great work from my friends. Also I will post the video on my websites and tomorrow. Think it will be a Christmas theme.
This year the website is having its best year ever for visitors. For the year I am through 200,000 hits and over 9,000 unique visitors. I get about fifty a day from the Czech Republic where my friend Jaroslav Potmesil has a link to my blog on the tedandcorky website, on his website. His company makes some of the finest high performance sailplanes in the world as well as models. Check them out at: I had the 304CZ 15m/17.43m ship. The Sundancer/Lambada is also manufactured in the Czech Republic by Distar.
Time to get the video started. Have a terrific day, stay warm and keep breathing, CO2 or not! And smile … life is good … enjoy each day you have and all whom you get to meet and greet.
Give me to gladly go
My way and say
No word of mine own woe;
But let me smile each day

Max Ehrmann