Monthly Archives: April 2016

Choose me

Choose me

… that is what this male red wing blackbird seems to be saying as he competes with two other males also singing their hearts out this afternoon, joyfully informing the world (and the female red wing blackbirds in the area) that he is available and probably the best choice they can make. Their songs were beautiful and given the large flocks of red wing blackbirds you see in the fall, they are probably pretty successful … and they are very handsome creatures.

Finished a big project early afternoon and then headed down to Cottonwood to get some paint and saw a light dusting of snow on the upper reaches of Mingus Mountain … thinking that the San Francisco Peaks which are more than 4,000’ higher, probably picked up some pretty good accumulations of snow.  I’ll find out on the first good day (lower surface winds) that I can be in the air. The air temperature decreases at 2C per thousand feet, so if snow is accumulating on Mingus at 7800’ +/-, then the air temp at the peaks (12,637’) will be about 9C cooler than that … hoping for close ups of snow on the peaks and if I’m lucky there will be enough moisture in the air to give me clouds around 10,000’ so I can get more shots of snow capped peaks poking up through the clouds.

We’re into the weekend … keep breathing, keep smiling and give thanks for this incredible little planet we call home … enjoy life and those you share it with.

Back Monday morning … at least that is the plan.

Ted

 

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

Continuing with life

I2

… and here is the iris I mentioned last night … a little out of the natural context, but that works too. It opened today and is beautiful and like all iris’ will be an explosion of color and textural beauty for a few days and then fade, life purpose having been accomplished.

Busy one again today and putting the wraps on kind of a major project … sweet … now back to funner projects, like painting stucco around the deck … some opal/carved black jade projects …  sapphire inset in carved clear quartz and a bunch of stuff like that. Then there is the time in the air thing and the beauty of nature to capture and share. Breathing makes so many things possible so keep doing it and live while you have life and help make the lives of those you love better by your presence.

Wrap time … smile

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

Life begins

Life begins
… with an incredible bright flash at the very moment that the sperm enters an egg and a human life has begun. We frequently hear how those with near death or actual death experiences witness a bright white light into which they can journey, but obviously for us to know of that experience they have to return to their bodies and life, but now we know with certainty that there is a bright white flash that occurs the moment that human (and other) life begins. What an exciting discovery and there is a myriad of uses for this discovery that can be used in human care going forward. Kudos to Northwestern University in Chicago for the amazing discovery … it is a chemical reaction as you will read, but it is the life force beginning … a little big bang … http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2014/12/stunning-zinc-fireworks-when-egg-meets-sperm.html
“On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it’s quiet,” said Thomas V. O’Halloran, the other corresponding author. “Then there is another burst of zinc release. Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks. It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony. We knew zinc was released by the egg in huge amounts, but we had no idea how the egg did this.” From the article above.
I read the article before I took One out for her morning patrol of the territory and everywhere I looked there was evidence of new life growing … I took this photo of a stalk emerging from a Yucca bush, layer by layer the stalk will open protected by the very tough, sword shaped leaves that is characteristic of the Yucca shrub. Also got photos of our iris just beginning to unravel and open … butterflies flitting around and a day filled with new life and wonderment at all that is. Just take a look at the absolute perfection of design in this beautiful, living stalk.
A very busy day and more on the way tomorrow, glad it was blowing again today as that took care of any thoughts of playing hooky and going flying. A very good day to be sure. I’m breathing … how much better can it get?
Smile … share your joy and remember the bright white flash that your life started with … WOW!!! LIVE!!!
Ted
Somewhere a child is crying to me – somewhere in the future crying to me, calling me by name, by words of endearment.
I almost see its face, somewhat like my own long ago.
I almost hold it fast to me.
I, almost stretching my arms to take it out of the air, feel anew strange currents of life passing in and out of me.
Max Ehrmann

Summer dreaming

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

… sitting by a lake and taking in the quiet beauty of early evening and the still lake disturbed only by a fountain at the far side illuminated by the setting sun. I took this shot almost eight years ago and It still brings the same sense of calm and all is right with the world feeling as it did then. Nice to look at when the weather is blustery and cool.

Busy day and a couple more coming up; One was less than enthusiastic about her outing today with winds gusting over 40 mph. A comfortable perch looking out through the glass is better than experiencing the real deal. The critters that live out there don’t have the warm comfort or high class salmon meals that One enjoys and she has no problem with that … its okay to enjoy the comforts we have and fortunate that so many who preceded us strived for something better. When the felines decided to take over the human race, they knew what they were doing!

Time for a wrap and espresso awaits me in a few hours. Have a beautiful day and share your joy.

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

It was …

It was

… a sunny day along the Northern California coast in February and the wind was blowing and the surf was very high … it was a sunny day in Sedona today and the wind was blowing as this raven lifted off from the grass.  I viewed the scene through the viewfinder as I walked towards him … somehow recollections of past places seemed a more appealing setting for this beautiful creature than against some trees between our home and the tenth green. So two similar days in faraway places found themselves together tonight. Today the raven was rising quickly to alight in a maple tree … the more distant cypress tree seems a better choice. Anyhow, hope you enjoy it.

Fun and busy weekend now behind and many projects completed and time spent with friends. One project I did Saturday has been nagging me for years … we have an oak butcher block table in the kitchen that we bought about 30 years ago and over the years it has accumulated a number of stains and a lot of oil and wax. Saturday it was host to a power sander for about four hours which started working its way through all the oily mess and sand paper was changed every few minutes as the paper was clogged with oil and accumulated who knows what. Finally got through to pretty clean wood and took a little more off before putting a golden oak oil finish to it … and the chairs and a start on the cabinets. I like this kind of work as the results are obvious and rewarding. Sunday I did the power washing of the stucco on the patio walls, benches and patio deck. Also did the final update to the flight computer in Mariah plus some more projects. After espresso this morning it is back out to sand the benches and patch the stucco before sealing/painting.

Have a terrific week and enjoy each moment you find yourself breathing … that should put a smile on your face … still here … and so are a lot of other people and most of them wonderful people :+)

Ted

The green of all the fields is mine, the stars, the night, the wind at play,

A peaceful heart, while quietly

I go my way

 

Max Ehrmann

Dropping in

Stalling it

… for the last one of the week, for the one that did not go out Wednesday night … this Great Blue Heron is in full brake mode and stalling in, his body is arched, wings almost perpendicular to the line of flight and legs poised for the drop into the water next to the shore. While we spend the next couple of days relaxing, the heron like all creatures will be busy working to get their daily meals … some will live and some will not … such is the nature of life on this planet.

Have a beautiful weekend and share your joy … maybe looking into the sky at night you will see the wake of earth as we travel around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour, or check out the beauty of the creatures we share the planet with and listen to the music of the wind as it soughs through pine trees and the surf as it crashes on the beaches. Pretty cool place we live …

Smiles

Ted

 

I sat with the stars on the hill of life

And looked at the world below.

I ran with the winds where winds begin

And followed them where they blow

Max Ehrmann

The last 48 hours

Shadow lake

… have been an incredible amount of fun … 17 hours of driving, 9 hours of sleep, 16 hours with 6 stops and visits with friends and I have been home for the past 6 hours. One got a nice outing when I got home and then a little relaxation before jumping into the photo editing. Didn’t take a lot of photos (not that much time) but got some neat shots of the wake as Jonathan made a sweeping turn on Shadow lake in Indio … being incapable of leaving it alone I spent some time moving the experience into the cosmos and this is the result … it could be??? Anyhow, hope you enjoy it

Another fun day coming up tomorrow/today with lots of projects to work on, so catch up will be the order of the day.

Saturday another Philosophy in the Public Interest Seminar on tap. These are part of the NAU program of Philosophy in the Public Interest which was conceived by Andrea Houchard, PhD and if you would like to be added to the mailing list so you can attend and participate, contact Andrea at: Andrea.Houchard@nau.edu or Kris Harris the Program Coordinator at: kristen.harris@nau.edu The topic Saturday is on water. Andrea and Matt also have a private project going and check it out at: http://sedonaphilosophy.com .

Time to wrap the day and a little sleep before I start the espresso IV in the morning. Enjoy the day and nothing makes it better than helping someone else do the same … especially if they are grumps or some of the drivers I encountered on the trip. If you must express yourself with single digit gestures, do so with a smile … a big one!

Cheers,

Ted

 

Give me to gladly go

My way and say

No word of mine own woe;

But let me smile each day

 

Max Ehrmann

 

Sorry Aerie

Sans Aerie

… I know that Aerie is a very expensive and beautiful luxury residential development, but from the air it is butt ugly with its juxtaposition next to the incredible natural beauty of the Cockscomb rock formation. I took this shot late yesterday afternoon and I removed The Aerie less than an hour ago … it used to be around and spread out from the lake on the left of the Cockscomb formation … its gone, sorry about that … not.

A year or so ago I had a similar shot (without the playful removal of millions of dollars’ worth of homes and development) published in Arizona Highways and one of the things that always impresses me about this shot in late afternoon is how the eroded terrain lights up with the sun at a relatively low angle. I love it, so I gave it a wee bit of help in this image and boosted it a tad. Good, so far we removed an unsightly development and we kicked the otherworldliness of the arroyos up a few notches … ready for the ring of fire and volcanic flows, earthquakes and the natural change of planet earth. All of this is in the area; the San Francisco Volcanic Field has over 600 volcanos ranging in age from several million years ago to a mere 800 or so years. Oak Creek Canyon is an earthquake fault and its slippage sheared the volcanic cone of Wilson Mtn 2/3 – 1/3 with the 1/3 on the Oak Creek Canyon side having been moved about a quarter mile east and dropped it about 400 feet – some quake or series of quakes that was. Better to be here now whilst in the respite period before it breaks loose again. The Aerie will really be gone then … ditto my home … likely I will precede it by a great many years.

An early night tonight; leaving for LA in six hours and need some sleep. Hope your day was as good as mine and that tomorrow we shall all have a bit of a grin on our faces … like why not? Lunch at Lakeside Restaurant in Encino, dinner at Fiddlers Bistro in LA and then the drive home with a brief stop for a little sleep at my buddy Gary’s home in Banning. I love doing this kind of thing.

No email tomorrow night (still driving), but back Thursday afternoon and thanks to Jim for taking care of One for me. Subscribe to Arizona Highways … one of my most beautiful shots of Sycamore Canyon in a monsoon storm will be in the June issue; aerial shot and I like it so well that I have a 30 x 50 of it hanging in my home.

Cheers … breathe … live … show your love of life by helping others have a good day too … I’m a James kind of guy.

Ted

While yet we talk and linger late at parting,

And this say o’er each day as my last words,

Success will come by love and trust and work.

Max Ehrmann

Betwixt and

BetweenBandC

… between Black and Casner Mountains looking to the ENE from over Sycamore Canyon … that is the photo tonight and I shot it from about 7,000’ this afternoon around 6PM. Casner Mtn is on the left and Black on the right. In the narrow canyon at the bottom of the image is Sycamore Creek. It is about 14NM from this location to the Sedona airport which is off the screen right; actually you can just make out the end of the runway on the right edge just below the rocks. Mormon Mountain is the loaf shape mountain near center on the horizon … the clouds were perfection and there was a lot of convection … so there was some great soaring too.

Lunch with friends at Red Chopsticks in the Village; doubly great eating with friends and seeing Simon, Janet and Stadler again … One had an extended outing this morning … thanks to Don for the great job removing the rock façade from the patio wall … going back to stucco and paint.

Just a great day to be alive and hoping to get up in the air again later this morning so will close and get some rest before the sun rises and the espresso flows.

Cheers and share your joy

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

Two views

Contrast 1 Contrast 2

Closed last week out with a visit from a longtime friend from California. Friday it was cool, windy and beautiful as Pam and I first hiked the lava trails at Sunset Crater (got some great alien trees in a snow storm – yes, heavy snow fall), then on to Wupatki visiting what was once a major population center a thousand years ago and now visited by those of us who wonder what life was like then and finally we wrapped the day at Snow Bowl, hiking up the Humphreys Peak trail a bit so as to get some good vantage points to take shots. It was 33F, wind blowing at about 30+ knots and generally invigorating or freezing depending on your point of view. Temperature at the top was probably not much more than 20F. Got some neat shots so that made it worth it.

The first shot is from about 9300” on the lower part of the Humphreys Peak Trail, looking up at the peaks. Agassiz Peak is on the right side of the image and is about 3,000’ above where I took the shot. To the left is the ridgeline connecting to Humphreys Peak off image to the left. Moisture in the air became water vapor (clouds) as it went up and over the upper reaches of the mountain and I spent time day dreaming of the view from Mariah as I ran that ridge … which brings us to the second image showing the view from about 200’ out from the mountain as I was running it towards Agassiz from Humphreys at about the 11,500’ level; about 2,200’ above the place where I took the first photo from the ground. As I passed the ridgeline in the foreground I entered the areas which begins on the ridge about 20% from the left side of the first image and you can see Agassiz Peak on the far right side of the image. Anyhow, I thought you might enjoy seeing the two contrasting views of the same subject matter … personally I prefer the view from on top.

Got the wiring issues with Mariah resolved today and hope to fly in the morning. Sat in it, made airplane noises and that wasn’t enough so fired the engine up to check the iEFIS out. Looking very good. Visited with some friends at the airport before coming home. Geoff was working on his plane in the hangar and we visited for a while and I learned more about his neat new business … designing and manufacturing watches. Geoff wanted to take the time to design and manufacture his own line of watches so after selling his gallery in Tlaquepaque he opened this new venture. Check out his website and look at the beautiful watches he is creating. Prices run from about $6,000 to whatever you want to pay. One thing that I think is terrific about his watches is that they are all mechanical, not electric. Very cool and very much requiring an artist to come up with it. Check it out at: http://www.geoffreyrothwatchengineering.com/  very nice Geoff!

A very busy week is underway, and I suspect it will be fun. Wednesday morning at 4AM I’ll be leaving to have lunch with friends in Encino, California and then in the evening dinner with some longtime lawyer friends in Los Angeles and after that I’ll start the drive home. My buddy Gary said I could crash for a few hours at his home in Banning and then Thursday morning complete the drive back to Sedona … fun doing stuff like this.

Have a fabulous day … smile … get a little inner glow going and look for the beauty that surrounds each of us.

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