Monthly Archives: March 2016



… I decided to use some of my absolute favorite aerial shots for my presentation at our ISO group tonight and found it to be a tough task keeping the numbers down; this is one of my all-time favs which I shot very late afternoon in September 2012 while cruising along about midway up the side of the northwestern slopes of the San Francisco Peaks. It is one of those dreamy otherworldly images looking out across a portion of the Flagstaff Volcanic fields. To the left of center near the horizon is the south easterly end of the Kaibab Monocline one of the important features of the Colorado Plateau and above and beyond that the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. To the right of the monocline is the NW end of the Painted Desert … the Little Colorado River runs from right to left below the canyon walls and goes behind the monocline as it wends its way to the confluence with the Colorado River, the confluence marks the entrance to the Grand Canyon and the end of Marble Canyon.

The end of day feel in this mystical place imparts a sense of aloneness and entry into the vastness of space and forever that which lies beyond the slight envelope of air which clings to the planet and provides a place our lifeforms can live … our home.

Mariah is airworthy at last … life is good … enjoy the day and try to visualize where you live … on a little planet with an atmosphere we can live in that is only a few miles thick and there is no spare atmosphere to use in case we totally screw this one up … be careful what you put into the air because like fish in the ocean we “swim” in our own waste products.

With that cheerful thought, have a terrific day and smile for we have the gift of life … we are breathing.



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



… perhaps it will come true … tomorrow … maybe. Winds are supposed to be down and a test flight by noon or thereabouts is not out of the question. I have commitments at noon, midafternoon, late afternoon and the ISO group in the evening so I may be pushing it a bit. Whilst Rick has been working his magic on Mariah I have been helping him when he needs it and otherwise I’ve been putting a fabulous gloss finish on her … once again shots like this will be possible. I was about seven miles SW of the San Francisco Peaks on a fall day when I shot this. Snow on the ski runs at Snow Bowl, Painted Desert looking beautiful, background on the left and right of the peaks; would have been incredible to see it the way it was before the top 6,000’ of the mountain blew off in a massive eruption. The top peak in this cluster is currently 12,637’ MSL … imagine it as an 18,000’ peak.

Watched a documentary on Bubbles tonight and it was fascinating … Now time to call it a night. Hope your day is good too and smile.




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




… certain areas and certain visages attract our attention and we see portals to other worlds and other places where we feel a special energy, perhaps only known and felt by us, but it is a special sense that we feel and know it is real … and that is all that counts. This is a shot I took at Pigeon Point Lighthouse looking nearly straight down into large rollers striking the rocks below and creating an impossible storm of water and foam blasting fifty or more feet straight up into the air and while I know the dark spot near the bottom is a rock which propelled this mass of water skyward it also has the appearance of a passage way to another place … perhaps a place of quiet and peace. I love the water, the colors and the light and dark … transitory and forever, as are we.

Mariah is coming along and will be done tomorrow; much more work than anticipated, but she is coming together and will be in better shape than when Mike and Tim delivered her to me in August of 2007. More upgrades and an attention to detail that she has not seen in a long time. High winds again today, but by end of day she will return to her shade under her own power. Wednesday or Thursday morning it will be back to the sky where there are more portals … and rotors … kinda the atmospheric version of this photo … those who have flown them know them   :+)

Have a beautiful day … smile and help others have one too … life is so cool!!!



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

The common


Frequently we look at a common bird like the House Finch, an indestructible plant like the Dandelion and we pass them by looking instead for the raptors and find ourselves awed by the rare California Condor … we pride ourselves on the uniqueness of our own life form and the singular star that provides life to our planet … and we gaze out into the universe and find ourselves seemingly alone, but not really knowing, and we circle this small star which is one of billions of stars in a single galaxy such as this which is but one of billions of galaxies in a universe which is perhaps one of an infinite number of infinite universes … and then we say good morning to our friends and family, have coffee and go about our daily lives …

Welcome to a new week, a beautiful week and we are breathing and life is good. Share a smile and an act of kindness with others who also journey and share this little planet with us.

The work on Mariah continues and will wrap later today … 30 to 40+ knot winds predicted for the next couple of days so no flying before Wednesday or Thursday and special thanks to Jim for letting us use his hangar to do the work in … to Russ for coming over and pitching in and to Rick and Linda for spending Easter weekend working on Mariah.




At nightfall,

Though I know I shall sometime no more open my eyes to the night or the day.

I am one who looks at the stars when unchained from the workbench at nightfall.

They are a sign I am not ephemeral, nor you, nor you, whoever you are.

The dawn comes and the dark and the sign sparkling in the brooding night,

forever and forever.


Max Ehrmann

Turning the corner

Around the corner
… and here is one I’ll be coming around again soon; Mariah will be airworthy again by Saturday and I plan on coming around the corner of Agassiz Peak like this again. Cloud tops were about 10,500′ and I was at about 11,500′ and Agassiz Peak on my left is 12,360′. It was a beautiful day and only a couple of days from doing it again. Yay! Lots of very hi res photos to be taken.
A nice day today … outing with One, friends over to select wedding rings, out to lunch with another friend and once back home a nap seemed appropriate. Then a lot of photos cropped both for the City and for the website collections. Another outing with One, a dish of blueberries for dinner and more work on images. Couldn’t ask for a better day … really, all the ingredients of a good life and on top of that I am still breathing … love that part.
Up to the airport in the morning and whilst Rick works his magic on the Rotax engine I’ll be re-taping the wings and put a wax job on the plane. Saturday he will be finishing up and if conditions are good I see no reason for it to just be taxied direct back to the shade … need some new aerial shots to start next week off with.

Saturday night it is Anthony Mazzella in concert at the Hilton … Seal is still looking for some donations to help her little school in Massachusetts; check the video out at:

. you get a deduction and many kids get a rich education in nature. Seal is not affiliated with any large charities and everything goes to benefit the kids.

So, its Friday and we’re into the weekend already … enjoy your family and friends and do what you can for those you meet … a smile and friendly hello works wonders. Back Monday morning if all goes as planned … in the interim join me in emitting some CO2 into the air … keep breathing … it is food for plant life that utilizes it in the process of photosynthesis wherein oxygen is produced from water the plants use in the process … a true symbiotic relationship if ever there was one. What an incredible world we are part of.
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

When Q ruled



… there was fear throughout the land … would he show up at your door next? Peace and tranquility reigned in the neighborhood (still does, Q is Q). I did this composite about four years ago and it shows a slightly larger than life Q (he preceded One in our home) at the front door of our friends Neil & Mary. The front door is a glass door that Mary made and it is one of my all-time favorite stained glass doors. Q was obviously a wee bit hungry and he saw food and the door was all that stood between him and fresh food … we trembled! Q was named after the Star Trek character of the same name and had many of the same personality quirks as he.

You should check Mary’s website out at: , she does some of the most beautiful watercolors I have seen … love your work Mary!!!

Today was a day devoted to photos … and more photos. I’m finally getting all the images I plan to rotate through the websites in one place and making the crops so that they fit in the allocated space on the website without having to crunch, stretch or whatever to them. Went through 1,800+ images for that today; discarded more than 700 of them and have the rest sorted into categories and now need to do the crops. Also sorted through the finest of my aerial and ground shots of Northern Arizona to use as a slide show in the Sedona City Offices beginning the first week of April. Winnowed more than 1,000 images down to 600 +/- and will be using about 300 of them to begin with and have about a third of them cropped to the 16:9 ratio for the television set I’ll be using. Nice to be on track to meet delivery dates.

Anthony Mazzella will be in concert at the Hilton this Saturday night and he puts on a fabulous show.  7PM in the Hilton’s Canyon Ballroom. You can buy tickets online at or by phone 24/7 1-800-838-3006 and also visit Anthony’s website at . Tickets are $20, $25 depending on seating and children under 10 are $10. I think this will include a lot of Anthony’s original music too. See you there!

Another terrific day is underway, but first a brief interlude for a few hours’ sleep before the espresso again flows into my veins. Have a beautiful day, share a smile with all whom you meet today … makes everyone’s day a little brighter and it costs absolutely nothing.




At nightfall…though I know I shall sometime no more

Open my eyes to the light or day, I am one who looks at stars when

Unchained from the work-bench at Nightfall.

They are a sign that I am not ephemeral,

Not you, nor you, whoever you are.

The dawn comes and the dark and the sign sparkling in the brooding night,

Forever and forever.

Max Ehrmann

Oh well


… there are times when you have a brilliant idea so you set about implementing it … first iteration sucks so you try again … and again and then it is 2:45AM so you say, what the heck, I’ll send it out. In reality. Things like this could occur somewhere, for the same quantum particle can either be here or on the other side of the universe and it is not known where it is until it is observed. So why not be able to see Half Moon Bay whilst looking at One hunkered down in the grass waiting for something to appear that she can go for? Kinda lame, but definitely better than the first two I tried. Too late for another version so here it is.

We got Mariah moved into a friend’s hangar this afternoon and the work begins Thursday. Pushing a motorglider in winds gusting to mid 30kts can be entertaining and once we started down the taxiway between rows of hangars it intensified like in a narrow canyon and it nearly flipped over, but thanks to Rick and Jim we caught it and stopped it. Being out in the winds for a couple of hours like that can pretty well drain you so some quiet time before going out to dinner with a friend.

Quiet day working on websites today and for sure One and me will be out there as she patrols her otherworldly territory. Have a great day and smile; always a good idea and who knows, it may be contagious.




And in this journey over a thousand hills and valleys called life, he is wisest who

is patient where the way is hard, has faith when he does not understand, and carries

into the dark places the light of a cheerful heart.


Max Ehrmann

Personal choices


… so what kind of photograph does the photographer choose for himself? I spent some time prepping this photo today and will get it over to a friend for printing later this week. The image will be 48” x 24” and will be going in the frame on my dining room wall which currently is hosting a photograph of Sunset Crater in the foreground and the San Francisco Peaks in the background. One of the things that has always bugged me about printing and hanging my work is framing individual photographs and once you have finished a piece it is kinda there forever.

I decided on a new approach a few months ago and that is to have a frame made for the wall I want the image on and make it a little bigger than needed, then blacken the inner edges and have a removable image that floats inside the frame. It takes about two minutes to swap out the images and gives me the versatility of being able to have multiple images which I can rotate on display.

I have taken thousands upon thousands of shots of Great Blue Herons, but have winnowed my collection down to about 300 images of them. This one is one of my absolute favorites of this majestic bird and fully displays the grace and ease of flight and his very large wingspan. The muted colors and setting lend a sense of peace and tranquility on what was a cloudy late afternoon day in January of 2015.  He was flying to his roosting place away from the ponds in the forested area SE of the ponds. Anyhow I hope you enjoy it too and if you would like a print, let me know.

I got some flying time tonight with a little quadcopter that a friend gave me a couple of months ago. Had some fun flying it around the house and very happy it is a relatively soft plastic and weighs not so much. This is important because of the multiple strikes to furniture and objects d’art. Not so sure it is a good morale booster for when I return to flying my own plane in a few days   :+) Final work on getting Mariah back in the air begins later this morning. Spent the afternoon updating screens on the EFIS which Matt at MGL Avionics kindly wrote for me.  Thank you Matt!

Have a beautiful day today … share a smile with those you meet and greet … we share this planet with so many nice people and an amazing number of other life forms such as this Great Blue Heron and like him, we shall be here until we are not, so make the most of this moment … and drink espresso/coffee from . Sorry, sometimes stuff like that just slips out   :+) Currently drinking a Brazilian Bobolink Coffee that has a slight chocolate overtone and it makes a great espresso or coffee.




With all its sham drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be careful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann



… the new week begins and a return to experiencing the natural world seems like a very good idea. One and I spent several hours exploring the wondrous wilds around our home and I got many fine shots of her in deep grass and weeds. The crows are going through their mating rituals and seem to be having a fine time as they fly around the neighborhood.

I got this shot Sunday morning whilst One was burrowing through deep grass near the arroyo … intelligent creatures and only one of many species that Seal’s kids have been experiencing in her preschool classes at Deer Paths in Wendell, Massachusetts. She is doing a fund raiser to get the money to purchase approximately 14 acres of property adjoining her own; she has had permission to use the property for her kids, but the property is now going to be sold if she cannot raise the money to buy it. The amount is not large, $15,000.00, but if you don’t have it, it is huge. Check her fundraising page out at: there is a great video there that shows the property and Seal and the kids on the property. Donations are tax deductible too … so check it out and give what you can. It makes more sense to have a direct impact than filtered through the bureaucracy of government or large charities and all of their overhead for high paid executives.

Saturday I attended a Salon sponsored by NAU Philosophy in the Public Interest. The Salons’ are put together by my friends Andrea Houchard, PhD and Matthew Goodwin PhD, both professors in the Philosophy Department at NAU. This Salon was on Islamophobia and the Presenter was Mohamed Mohamed, also a professor at NAU who did a wonderful job guiding the discussion. Questions and discussions … an excellent way to gain knowledge. If you have an interest in attending any of these Salons’, please send an email to Andrea at . They are held in private homes in the Sedona area and generally room for no more than 25. Ask Andrea to be added to the list to get information on future events.

Andrea and Matthew have also formed a new venture SPEX – Sedona Philosophy Experience; check the website out at: .

Soon there will be espresso … coffee … caffeine … and a large smile as I wake knowing that I am still breathing and soon to drop ten shots of espresso. I would start now, but probably a better idea to get a few hours’ sleep first. Smile and share your joy!


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


morning mist

… a friend sent me an email today which had as its purpose to outline the nature and extent of my criminal behavior (as a photographer). I confess and admit to all counts in the complaint which she sent me. The charges are as follows: Photographers are violent people, because they 1. Frame you, after which 2. They shoot you, and finally 3. They hang you on the wall … kinda corny, but I like it.

So after committing these crimes it is time to redeem myself and show a victimless act … took this shot last fall up at the lake in Wisconsin with the sun laying down a bright path through the morning mists to the boat I was renting. Looking forward to my return to the lake in September and getting the fall colors this time and more wildlife at lake level plus the walks in the woods with knees that function this year. Neat feeling every morning as they feel a wee bit better every day.

Another fun day with friends and a quiet evening. We’re into the weekend and hope that it will be a good one for each of us … be well, keep breathing and smiling.



For life holds cheers as well as tears,

Take this old toast from me:

This world a riddle hard you call …

A mess from which you fain would shrink?

Perhaps ‘tis wisdom, all in all.

To learn to laugh as well as think.


Max Ehrmann