Monthly Archives: February 2017

I suppose

… that if I was patient enough I could eventually get a shot like this, but I’m not … ask anyone who goes shooting with me, I am on the move. When hunting waterfowl and upland game I was on the go jumping them in fields, ponds and streams … I’m not a blind hunter. Anyhow I shot the Great Blue Heron at the ponds last week and I took the shot in Sycamore Canyon last month. Sycamore Creek runs below the picture and I’m standing somewhere in the parking area at the overlook and trail head. Kinda fun stuff. The nice thing about compositing is that you always get the shot you want :+)

I was searching for a Max quote and time got away from me as I searched for and spent time re-reading many of his poems. The quote I was looking for was in his book “Breaking Home Ties”, and thanks to my daughter I have a first edition of the book published in 1904 … if you would like a copy of it you can get it on Amazon at: and it is well worth the read.

The text I was looking for is the last paragraph of the book and I’ll close tonight with it


…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

Have a terrific day


It begins

… as promised this is a week of composites and some of them will not look like composites. Except for the fun and exotic images I do, there is a whole other world where imagination creates new worlds that do not yet exist and such is the case tonight. This is a pair of shots, one I took from my deck at home last week when the clouds were particularly beautiful and the other an aerial shot of Humphreys Peak a week or so ago. A peaceful shot of the mountain and stormy clouds ready to engulf it … found a few neat faces in the clouds too, one a little above the signature and copyright. Maybe we could re-imagine this as “through a mirror darkly”, borrowing from 1 Corinthians 13:12.

A quiet weekend and a lot of work on images including the restoration of a photo from the late 1970’s of a friend on his 39’ Pearson en-route to the Bahama’s. I couldn’t restore detail that was not there, but I did give it a new aspect ratio, added sea and sky and re-positioned the yacht so it had somewhere to go and it came out kinda nice … attaching it too, as I love the sea and it brings back a lot of memories of when Corky and I used to go over to Catalina on many weekends.

Love the sky too and feel more at home there … probably why at least for now I am keeping Mariah.

Have an absolutely beautiful Monday … may a smile come across your face as you awake and realize that another day is here for you to live … as you choose.



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


… the Argentine Giant Cactus produces one of my favorite blooms and reminds me of the Singularity in Greg Bear’s book Eon … it just goes on forever and as you gaze into the bloom you have to wonder, does it end? Or does it keep going?

I shot this five years ago in a neighbor’s yard with a Canon 5D MK II and a Canon 100mm macro lens. When I shoot flowers I take them as they are; I do not spritz them, shield them from wind or use any reflective device to improve lighting and I do not use flash or any other form of non-natural lighting. Also I handhold the camera for all of my shooting and although I own several fine tripods I almost never use them. I do crop the images and since I shoot everything in raw format I do process the image in  Photoshop so that I end up with what I saw; also in this image I added some post crop vignetting to keep your eye in the photo … make that a slight darkening of the corners and edges.

Really fun going through my floral collection. It looks like the last time I shot this bloom was in 2014, so this year I will go nuts and get maybe a hundred or so new photos of them. Somewhere I think I have a composite I did where Q (predecessor to One) was hiding way back inside the flower. Need to find that and also do a new one with One in there.

Was fun focusing on flowers this week and thinking of doing composites next week … they are the fun and creative art I enjoy … everything from Astro Squirrel to a new galaxy exploding out from the San Francisco peaks. I like the idea and next week will be strictly composites.

I found a neat series on Netflix titled “Tales by Light”, a series about photo shoots by some top photographers and a look at the thought process that goes into their shoots: on Netflix and: on National Geographic. Highly recommend it.

Another week coming to a close … it has been terrific and hope yours has been too … always choose for the day to be good and it will be.

Back Monday … smile and keep breathing



Love men and truth, and poverty most like will dine with you,

But peace will feed your soul.

Max Ehrmann


… the best of places and a very neat song by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros … if you have not listened to this group I would highly recommend it to you. Usually when I sit down to pick out a photo for the night I go to my Amazon music library, pick an album that fits my mood, crank the volume and start looking through whatever photo album hits me as a fun place to start. Since I last was in my flower folders I started there and headed straight for the Morning Glory collection and came on this photo I took during a light rain in September of 2013. I love Morning Glories as they always seem to have a source of luminescence within them … a small beam of sunlight was hitting this bloom from the back and it is easy to see how they got their name.

I’ve been doing so many critters and aerial shots that I think I’ll do another flower tomorrow night … they like all life forms are incredibly complicated, beautiful and pure function. Also like other life forms there is a strong survival element to their existence. You hear about the wars and conflicts that our species engage in, but not so much about the silent wars that go on under the surface between competing root structures … wars for water and nutrients … survival and on top of the surface a competition for light … that is nature and a simple law that governs all life.

It was a fun day and the warmth has evidently caused some little critters to come out early, including a small Ladybug which found its way into my pitot tube before or on takeoff today … a pitot tube takes in the direct ram air as the plane is in motion and the air pressure is translated into airspeed displayed on the instrument panel … it is also used in conjunction with other intakes for additional functions, but this is kind of an important function. So our little Ladybug along with some moisture pretty well filled the tube coming forward and added to the pressure exerted on the instruments by being pushed forward by the incoming air behind her and further compressing the air in front of her … kind of like a piston … so where I should have been showing an airspeed of around 80 kts, I was indicating up to 158 kts. Vne or velocity to never exceed on Mariah is 108 kts so it was an interesting display to watch. I had a nice flight, ignored all instrument indications relating to speed. After landing I disconnected the instruments and blew the lines out (by mouth) on both ends. From the cockpit I blew some water out on the vertical fin and when I blew on the tubing from the fin I discovered our dear departed ladybug on the cockpit floor. Put everything back together and took off again and confirmed that this was the problem as everything is once again working nicely. Fortunately the plane does not care about the information systems and loves to fly and I don’t really need to have the information systems either …

Time to wrap the day and in not that many hours a new day will be started with espresso and cheddar cheese on sourdough toast. Have a beautiful day and take time to search for a little beauty and share the joy you find in life with someone else … a friendly smile works.




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

Letting go

… the civilized and urban life styles induce stress … gotta keep going … pop a few pills and dive back into the frenzy! Alternatively we can spend a little time each day checking out the wonders that nature offers us … the sun as it rises in the morning, a smile from a loved one, watching rain drops wend their way down a window pane … and the beauty of a flower unfolding in a display of beauty that we can dream on … dive into the depths of that micro world where all is good and life occurs at a natural pace. Impatient for the petals to unfold? Sorry, you just have to wait and when they do … you have this! Spend some time embraced by the beauty of this Iris … explore the caverns and ledges … the pollen stardust that is sprinkled on the delicate petals. Life is good and there is so much of it beyond that which we have created … explore wonders that abound in and around us.

Another nice day winding down … beautiful music … thousands of flower images and we’re here to enjoy it all. I took this shot five or six years ago with a Canon 5D MK II which was one of the first Canon cameras that I purchased. It took wonderful photos then and if I still had it, it would be taking great photos today … it does help to know how to use it, but then that is true of everything we in life. I truly enjoy the music of others and I have my favorites like Anthony Mazzella and others and am  so grateful that they excel in creating music which sweeps me through the universe and limitless beauty and colors of an Iris … it becomes a new reality. My own music is not so great and likely would propel others from the room :+)

Seek beauty and live in love.




I see there is a good deal of grandiloquence in my book – my friends and foes have told me.

I think it must be true, for there is a good deal of grandiloquence in me – and in nature also:

I saw a sunset last evening that was a gross imposition upon modesty;

And no artist would have had the hardihood to paint that western sea of flame as it was there

painted on the curtain of the coming night.


Max Ehrmann

The beauty of lethal form

… every once in a while you get a shot of a predator in action that shows the absolute beauty of pure functionality, and this shot of One as she is beginning to launch an attack is one of those. The skeletal form and musculature is clearly defined on this lethal nine pound predator …absolute and total focus … no sweetness … no mercy contemplated. Her prey eluded her this time, but such is the case for most predators. For One, there is a safety net of food in the pantry and a 24/7 grazing dish with dry food and water cups spread throughout the house. For those predators who live in the wild there cannot be too many misses lest they become weak and lose the ability and energy to make the kills necessary to sustain their health and life. Anyhow, I love the shot and hope that after spending a little time looking at the photo you see the same beauty of purpose and functionality as I do. I think we as humans are so far removed from the real world that we forget that we too are predators … I wonder how many of the current generations could make it on their own in the back country? Out there you are responsible for everything including your own defense and protection … no 911 calls out there … just you and life … some of which would love to have you for dinner … literally!

A terrific weekend spent with friends, trips to the ponds, movies and relaxation. Been getting caught up with emails, listening to lectures and simply enjoying life … we’re into the new week and new adventures await us as we travel into the new day. Methinks it shall be good as the adventure called life continues … a day will come for each of us when it does not, but until then there is no reason not to enjoy each breath.

Cheers and share a smile or three



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

Coming around again

… a fabulous song I am listening too and a photo I took just before I cranked and banked heading back into the mountain to run just above the ridgeline from Agassiz Peak on the far right to and past Humphreys Peak the left snow peak; the winds at the peak were in the neighborhood of 20kts and pretty much perpendicular to the peaks so there was good ridge lift as I ran the ridgeline. Snow Bowl Ski Area is just in front of the wings … so a minute or so after I took this shot I was running the ridge … funner things do not exist! Love the reflections of the peaks on the wing. I ran the ridge three times and then headed home as I wanted to get Mariah put away before dark.

This is kind of a neat photo in that you get to see some peaks you likely will not see from the ground. From right to left you have Agassiz Peak – 12,356’, Humphreys Peak – 12,633’, Aubineau Peak – 11,838’, and Rees Peak – 11,474’. Above the ridge on the right side of the image and some miles to the ENE of the SF Peaks is O’Leary Peak at 8,919’. You can also see the NW portion of the Painted Desert above the peaks and additional numbered, but unnamed volcanic cones  to the left of the peaks looking towards the Grand Canyon.

Now we’re into the weekend … have a great one and back Monday.

Smile … life is terrific and while you have it, live it and share your joy with others.



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

from the past

… a photo of a rose that I shot in 2014 … seems I have been sending out mostly critters and aerials and have ignored other life forms like flowers which I truly love so here is one that I shot at Tivoli Gardens in the Bay Area. Looking forward to Spring and shooting a lot of flowers this year.

Kind of a nice quiet day today with a lot of work around here. One enjoyed over an hour out exploring the yard and environs. There are so many smells and things to check out. A trip into Wildflower Bakery to get out of the house and get a large latte and of course a sample of their terrific bread slathered with butter. Yum! My cooking tonight did not impress me; tomorrow I intend to protest the chef and eat out … like why not :+) Been enjoying the music of Jason Mraz tonight … his Yes album. For some great music head up to Sound Bites Friday night and listen to Anthony Mazzella play.

This is it for the week, back Monday morning. Have a terrific rest of the week and weekend and look for the beauty around you … we find what we seek … always … so make it good!




…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


… and that is what today was, starting with an espresso with an old friend at The Village Grind early this morning, then to the ponds in Page Springs for a shoot, then to the airport and a beautiful flight followed by some shopping at Basha’s, another large espresso, a return shoot at the ponds and finally home to One and a nice outing with her. Maybe a repeat tomorrow? Anyhow, it was fun and a homemade pizza while watching The Trial on Amazon Prime capped the evening.

This is a shot I took while returning to Sedona this afternoon … probably 7500’ or so and descending to 6000’ on the other side of the runway and a hard crank and bank to enter a left downwind for landing on runway 3 … you can see the number 3  on the runway on the very lower left side of the photo. On the left of the runway is West Sedona and to the right side of the nose and the propeller blade is the Chapel area and uptown. Straight off the nose is Wilson Mountain and above that the San Francisco Peaks. Far left horizon is Sitgreaves Mountain and to the right of it is Kendrick Peak also with snow on it. Mt Elden is just right of the SF Peaks. Just above the propeller tip is the upper reaches of Munds Canyon and the two little lighter green spots is where Munds Park is. Oak Creek Canyon runs on the other side of Wilson Mountain.

Got some neat shots at the ponds too … was going to composite a couple of them in tonight, but decided to leave it a straight photo. Maybe tomorrow?

Have a beautiful day … live it and share a smile with someone … everyone.




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 first step

… is a good one … I took this shot a few days ago when One and I were out on the deck and she was standing on the back of the bench … when I looked at it tonight I could picture being on a very tall mountain overlooking Sedona, so here she is in our new location … I wish!

A good day and did an oil change on Mariah this afternoon; had planned on flying afterwards, but there was a lot of rain moving our way and cloud base was pretty low too. Good choice as within half an hour after finishing up the rain came down … so maybe tomorrow or Wednesday … we’ll see, and no shortage of projects around here to do.

Short missive tonight, have a beautiful day and share a smile with someone … you’ll probably get one in return and that is nice … the beauty of life is meant to be shared.




Love men and truth, and poverty most like will dine with you,

But peace will feed your soul.


Max Ehrmann