Monthly Archives: August 2016

Does it get better

RB fun

… than this? The runway was closed for a while this morning so I left and didn’t get back up to the airport until late afternoon and launched about 5:40PM … there was sun, but also as I was rolling on takeoff I started picking up a light rain on the canopy. Let’s see, rain + sun means that at the right angles I am going to have a rainbow. I climbed up to the SW away from the cloud that was shedding its water and towards the setting sun and after a few minutes cranked around to see if I was getting my rainbow yet … kind of a faint one, so I experimented with different altitudes and locations and finally got the right alignment for a very vivid and full rainbow … and here it is. There is a very faint second rainbow, but I was never able to get both of them vivid at the same time. Kinda cool huh? 

The view is from about 8,000’and over the lower loop area looking ENE. Cathedral Rock is lower left corner … above that and from the left to right you have Lees Mountain, Courthouse Rock, the top of Bell Rock, Castle Rock and House Mountain the flat green top. From about the lower right corner you will see SR 179 wending its way S, by Bell Rock, through the Village of Oak Creek and to the South another 7 miles before it hooks up with I-17. The developed area center bottom is Highland Estates and other developments and above that is The Village of Oak Creek where I live and to the left of the Village is Jacks Canyon and Pine Valley. I did get an alignment where the rainbow ended over my house, but the angles were such that it was a weak rainbow.

This is everything I love about the Southwest … it is open, it is vast, the views are forever views and most importantly, it is beautiful!

Flying again in the morning, ISO 100 group in the evening and methinks it shall be a very good day … that is the plan I am starting with and generally speaking I have found that my days turn out as I choose them to be … you probably find the same thing … like why let someone else screw up your day … Smile and keep breathing.

I like this quote from Milne … George used it in the memorial service for Corky and periodically I bring it back out … it feels good.




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

75 miles

75 to go

… to go before the Little Colorado River joins the Colorado River at the Confluence and it is at this juncture that going downstream you enter the Grand Canyon and going upstream you would be going up through Marble Canyon towards Lees Ferry and Lake Powell. Just behind me is Grand Falls which had no flow at the time and you can see pools of water in the river bed. The Little Colorado River provides drainage for the White Mountains and it flows northwest towards the Grand Canyon and here in this photo you are right in the heart of the Painted Desert, one of the prettiest places you can imagine. The LCR canyon here is only a couple of hundred feet deep and by the time it gets to the Confluence it is around 3200’ deep. About 10 or so miles before the LC river reaches the Colorado River Blue Springs pours on average 210 cubic feet per second of a mineral rich water into the LCR which is responsible for the beautiful blue colored water you have seen in my photographs of the Confluence.

On the left edge near the upper end is the base of Roden Crater the art project of James Turrell; while trying to find the distance from this point to the GC, I came across an old (1999) website that is one of the neatest I have come across because it outlines the first year of Roden Crater project as written and lived by Earl Cook and his wife Gail. They worked with Turrell on the project and it contains firsthand accounts of the early years of the project … totally fascinating!!! highly recommend taking the time to pour over this website, it is one of the first I have found that takes you right inside of this fascinating lifetime art project.

A terrific day just completed … no flying, but a lot of work on other projects … perhaps a flight or two, tomorrow.

Have a beautiful day … always your choice … choices have consequences so choose to smile today … and to keep breathing.




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



… that which gives us meaning to start each day and for us because of the nature of our species it is not the daily search for food, shelter and defense from predators … mostly. For the creatures we share the planet with, however, job one each day is to find enough food to sustain their lives and much of each day is devoted to that purpose. I flew again today (beautiful clouds to play with) and on the way home stopped in to see my friend Eric; Eric provides sustenance to more wildlife than any other person I know and sitting in the backyard visiting I see more wildlife and birds in an hour than I see in a week at my home. Blue is my favorite color and thus Blue Birds and Blue Jays are among my favorite birds. I took this shot of a Scrub jay heading off to eat the pine nuts from this cone he severed from a pine tree near us. Looks pretty good, if not to me, certainly to him.

The rest of the day was pretty quiet and spent working on the portfolio. Hard to keep the numbers down when on the average flight I am bringing home 30GB of images. It is necessary to be ruthless when going through the shoot … getting better at it though as for all of August I have only kept a little over 600 images out of several thousand images … more will hit the bit bucket! I’ve gone from 12 months behind to only four including this month.

My granddaughter Caroline is in a work related contest at the music store she is working in … The store is promoting a local artist (New Canaan, CT) named, Whitney Woerz … nice songwriter/singer music, and Care has been assigned two songs to promote: “Ghost Story” and “6 Second Love”. I bought them and am enjoying the songs and if you would like to help out, head over to the iTunes store and buy them too, only a buck a song. You will be helping an aspiring musician, my granddaughter and expand your listening horizons.

A beautiful week coming up … much flying to do and a possible trip to Colorado to help ferry a motorglider to Arizona … that means flying the Rockies and getting awesome shots. I used to fly out of Peak Soaring near Penrose, Colorado (now gone) and fly up around Pikes Peak … incredible place to soar. We’ll see, fun if it works out and okay if it doesn’t.

Have an excellent day … your choice … always. Keep breathing and share a smile with someone today.




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


raw beauty

I forgot to plug a few things last night as well as welcome you to the weekend, so a special bonus missive and photo tonight, shamelessly promoting some great offers.

  1. Pilots! Cut the cost of your $100.00 hamburger! Fly into KSEZ and take advantage of a special on 100LL AvGas … only $3.96 per gallon through at least Labor Day weekend. So fly in and after fueling up (or while waiting for your turn to be fueled), head over to Mesa Grill and order your burger and beverage … absolutely fabulous food. Then after eating, stop back in at the terminal and enjoy a great cup of coffee and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies while enjoying a slideshow of my images on a 65” High Def television … all whilst sitting in comfortable new furniture.
  2. Non pilots! Be glad you are buying gas for $2.00 per gallon.
  3. Everyone, you can buy this photo (or any of my photos) in 16 x 24 for $79.00, 20 x 30 for $99.00 and 24 x 36 for $129.00, these on Kodak Pro Luster Paper and delivery to your home or business is included. Also available on metal or canvas, separate quote. Check more of my images out at:

I took this shot this morning on the way back from Grand Falls. I was hoping to get a good water/mud flow going over the falls, but there was nothing going over. Maybe next week. I was about 8000’ when I took the shot and that is about the same as the top of Sunset Crater which you can see above center line right of center in the photo. The San Francisco Peaks loom above and behind Sunset. On the left horizon is Mt. Elden, just to the right of Sunset Crater is O’Leary Peak. Above and behind O’Leary on the horizon is Kendrick Peak. The road that goes from lower right up to and beyond Sunset Crater, and following it downwards it will take you to Wupatki ruins which are awesome. The power transmission lines cutting from right to left across the image are bringing power from the Navajo Generating station near Page and Lake Powell … electric power may be clean and beautiful power, but to generate it can be something else … attaching a photo I shot a long time ago and it shows this power plant filling Marble Canyon and the Grand Canyon with pollution.



So we’re into the weekend! Yay! Have fun and enjoy today, potentially the best day of your life and for sure the only one you have now.



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

How to start a day

Morning delight

… 6 AM, wake up, discover you are breathing … open your eyes and look at the beauty around you … head to the kitchen and brew the first five shots of espresso … check email, does anyone like what you sent out a few hours ago? Yes!!! Smiles form, espresso begins to take effect, exercises, text Sus and Jogi that I am still breathing, brush and feed One, clean up and out the door for an early morning flight. Free Mariah from her shade, preflight the ship, grab the cameras from the car, in the cockpit, canopy closed, start the engine and down the taxiway to R21 … mag check, clear traffic and out onto the runway while slowly giving it full power … 400’down the runway I’m airborne, accelerate down the runway in ground effect, 90 kts indicated and initiate a 50 degree climbing bank at 1500 fpm or better … one minute into flight, crossing over the north end of the field at 6,000’+ and all smiles!

So that was how today began and tomorrow morning too. It’s raining now, but by 5AM it is supposed to be clearing. The rest of today went well too and much work on photos. This is a shot I took this morning when returning to the Sedona area from up north. The view is looking to the WSW from 10,500’ a few miles up on the plateau. The near canyon on the left is Jacks Canyon and following over to the right side of the image you have Oak Creek Canyon coming down. Wilson Mountain is on the far side of oak Creek Canyon. Just to the right of jacks Canyon are the Mittens, beyond them Ship Rock, Coffee Pot, Thunder Mountain and Long Canyon behind it. The airport is middle left and out beyond it is Black Mountain, Mingus on the left horizon and far right, Munds Canyon coming off Oak Creek Canyon. Uptown, West Sedona and the Chapel area are also in the image and Oak Creek is visible via the green ribbon that comes down from the canyon and flows on the east side of Airport Mesa.

Have a beautiful day … I’m going to catch this storm to go to sleep with … love it!

Smile … make someone’s day



Learn the music of a summer night by the restless wave of the sea, or surrender to the sunlight of an open country where the illimitable sky at last meets to kiss the sweet, green earth, and stay till the crimson shafts burn the western world.

And something will rise in you that is not connected with the tiring routine of your trade – something strange and calm.

Max Ehrmann

Summer days


… the easy ones and listening to Sinatra … what was to be a busy day turned into a relaxing one and not much got done. My feathered friends did the flying and One and I enjoyed the rain. Maybe later today things will be rolling again, but then again maybe not … and I will enjoy the day regardless. Switched to Jim Brickman now. Easier music.

One and I headed out late afternoon and whilst she enjoyed a hunt I kept my lens on trained on the top of one of our pinon pines as the birds were all preparing for the nightly rest and beginning to roost. There was a lot of quiet talk among them, rather like we do when saying goodnight to friends and family.

Time to head there myself … have a beautiful day and share a smile with someone today.



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

What a day

Long Canyon

… starting with an early morning flight with Al Comello who got hundreds of shots of the airport from many angles and altitudes as well as some video … look for them to start appearing on the airport website soon. It was overcast so few shadows and even lighting which made for some great shots, towards the end we had some sun on the field and that looked great too. Then we headed out towards Perkinsville to the SW of Sedona and got a few neat shots of very low clouds and heavy rain. Back to Sedona and off to deliver a 30GB video to the City which will be used to showcase the photography of myself and six other photographers. Then it was home and a bunch of stuff around here … the rain stopped around 4PM and holes in the cloud with the sun streaming through opened up, so it was back out to the airport to get a shoot with the late afternoon light on the rocks.

This shot was taken near the NE end of Long Canyon looking towards the NE … the sun is moving S so the late afternoon light on the rocks is going to be getting better almost daily. The mountain on the left horizon is Wilson Mountain and you can see the lava level near the top at the left edge of the photo, moving right you have the Mittens up canyon and then I don’t know, but jacks Canyon is right behind it. The inhabited area is Uptown Sedona and far right Lee’s Mountain and Courthouse Butte … Jacks Canyon and Pine Valley are behind them and the Village is beyond and to the right off image. Not a clue what the name of the rock formation filling the fore and mid ground is, but from this angle it is pretty cool. Need to check it out … not every neat rock has a name (thankfully).

When I took off this afternoon a major photo shoot was underway at the N end of the runway involving a King Air and bunch of photographers and models; the shoot was for Purely Sedona, a new company selling Sedona spring water … beautiful packaging and when I get a second bottle I’ll drink the first one they gave me. Anyhow, after I took off, I got a request to do some low high speed passes coming in and down R21 … like I can say no to something like that? I think I set up for and did four or five low approaches and high speed runs down R21 while they shot it with the models in the video and stills. They showed them to me after I landed and we all got some shots of each other. The shots and video with me coming across the threshold of R21 at something under 30’and 105kts with Marta waving and me at about shoulder level behind her, came out terrific and when I get them I’ll post a few of them. Anyhow it was a blast and thanks to Jim and the crew for giving me a call (radio on 123.00) and the camera crew who recorded it. Some days are just a wee bit funner than others and this was among the funnest!

A bowl of soup at Mesa Grill for dinner and then home. Today will be something of a repeat with flights in the morning and afternoon. Trying some new angles and views.

As always any photo I send out is available for purchase in almost any size or format. This shot will be extremely sharp in sizes up to and beyond 4’ x 6’.

Time to do a wrap … almost time to get up and start pouring espresso and heading to the airport.

Have fun and enjoy life … easier and more fun than being a grump … smile, you are here!




And lastly give sweet sleep

Closed sight, no fright

That fears will o’er me creep;

And now a last goodnight.


Max Ehrmann

Soft light … beautiful music

HMB harbor

… near sunset and walking your dog along the harbor shore as the marine layer begins to come in … and listening to Birdy as you work on the image; can’t think of a better way to finish a day out or begin a new one … so here it is and memories from Half Moon Bay return and even more with hundreds of evenings at the beach with Corky and the girls … a special sense of serenity and calm.

A good day with little accomplished … a piece of avionic electronics turned into a frog whilst programming it, and it resists all efforts to make it function … back to the manufacturer later today with high hopes that the next one will function as advertised. Still it is enjoyable working on the plane and back out there in about 6 hours so should probably do a wrap for the night.

Have a beautiful day today and look for a little spot of beauty around you today, perhaps a little flower, the smile on a child’s face or one on your own as you look in a mirror. Love yourself so that you can love others … and live today … it is the only day you have.




Your first duty is to live in the world, for to this you are born.

Max Ehrmann

Short final

… there was no flying from the 9th until Friday the 19th due to the resurfacing of the runway at Sedona. All beautiful and black with freshly painted markings … cool!Short final

The published altitude of the runway is 4827’, but with the 2% slope and the runway being 5100’ long, at the S end (R3) it is about 4775’ and at the N end about 4880’. I took this shot this morning as I was just finishing the turn from base to a very short final for R3. I’m at an altitude of about 5100’ or roughly 300’ above the runway and in this photo about 600’ from the end of the runway. Speed about 60kts, sink rate about 500’ per minute and I came across the threshold about 150’ above it, setting me up to touch down past mid-field so that I had a good probability of rolling off the runway near my tie down at the N end (missed by about 100’)

You can see my propeller is stopped and unfeathered which helps increase the sink rate (drag) and the magnetos are on so I can do a restart of the engine in case I need it. For sure you do not want to land short up here … or long. My first 1700 +/- hours are all glider and I was flying pure glider up here beginning in 1997. The last 1000 hours since August 2007, have mostly been in Mariah and I still prefer flying her as a glider, except when doing photo shoots … the engine really comes in handy because I can fly places where there is not much lift and get back home. There was zero lift this morning, but I did do a sled ride from about 10,000’ and 12 miles east back home … mostly a sink rate of about 230’ per minute and I arrived back with a lot of extra altitude which I burned off taking photos of the area before landing.

Anyhow, this gives you a pretty good look at the airport when coming in for a landing … hope you enjoy it.

A very fun weekend, with flights both days and going again in the morning and probably the afternoon too. The sun is sliding back south which for me, at least, gives better afternoon lighting and shadows on the rocks. Not long before the fall is here and lots of color to shoot … I hope.

A new day just started, what a great way to start the week … we made it and we’re here! Yay! Keep breathing.



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





… this drake Canvasback has just taken off, nosed over and is accelerating before rotating and climbing sharply about twenty feet down line to clear a steep embankment and rocket skyward … he was on a mission … and I was there to capture the action. I took this shot last December and am looking forward to the arrival of fall, both for the return of my favorite creatures and the cool weather that precipitates their migration south.

I was talking with a friend in Arkansas yesterday and he has been in aircraft sales for about 20 years now and we got talking about seaplanes … if there is one plane I would love to have it would be a seaplane and I think I would spend a lot of time just taking off and landing … that would just be way cool … but I’m not sure we have any lakes in Arizona you can use … oh well another lifetime … or not. Check his website out at: and ask for John Thomas if you see something you like.

A nice day and finally finished going through my shoots from 2015 and starting to do the final sort and deletions of the first seven months of 2016. About another 3,000 images to go through. More lessons in Premier Pro and over the weekend I’ll be trying to put a coherent video together … if there is success I will post it Sunday to the video tab of so check it out. Also going to do some new photos and rearranging tabs – combine mine and Cork’s pages and provide some links to favorite websites which I have not done for some time. Still getting pretty neat results considering how little I have promoted my website … averaging 700 hits per day and over a thousand unique visitors each month.

When I was a kid I think I kinda drove my parents nuts because if I saw a shirt or pair of pants I liked, I would buy several of the same one and likely there were those who thought I only had one set of clothing to wear … so said my mom … probably others too. That characteristic seems to have carried over in other areas; I love tacos and have now made them four nights in a row … think it will be a burger at Sound Bites tomorrow night though and Anthony will be performing there, so if you want some good food and good music c’mon over and join in.

Have a beautiful day … smile and share your joy … back Monday morning.


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