Monthly Archives: March 2017


… within beautiful landscape and other images there is always the potential for pulling out some textures and background material … and sometimes it is just cool in its own right. Most of the shooting I did at Grand Falls was of the landscape genre with a 24-70mm lens, but I also brought a 400mm prime lens along just for the fun of it and I got a hundred or so shots with it shooting various portions of the falls, rocks and other features of the area. I took this shot of the water/mud in the middle falls and love the energy it imparts. Lots of opportunities to use it as a base image for compositing too … I can see One peering out through the gaps in the water as it tumbles down … maybe a galaxy too. And if you study the image you will find faces, animals and more.

I had the most impressive meal I have had in a long time today. Even with GPS I had a tough time finding it as the signage is terrible and it is not obvious where you are going in order to get there. I hope it stays that way too as seating is limited and even though we got there early it was filling up fast and all seats were taken by noon. The establishment is the Café Daily Fare, in Flagstaff, off of US 66 and up and behind Babbitt Ford. The owners have a first class catering business and opened the café for lunch only … closes at 4PM. The menu is varied and excellent; I had a Brazilian Sea Food Stew, and it exceeded all expectations … so good that I bought a second order of it as take out and it will be my dinner tomorrow night. The only negative is that I will be commuting to Flagstaff more frequently so I can eat there. Check their website out at:

This it for the week, have a great rest of the week and weekend. Smile, share your joy and keep breathing …




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

So, this is

… what I went down to the Lake Pleasant area to shoot yesterday … it is amazing and the mountains are literally covered with carpets of wildflowers … everywhere! Think I’ll head back down there on Thursday to shoot more areas and also get the lake in some of the shots. May or June will see me on the lakes getting wildlife and scenic shots from lake level and always looking for roadside opportunities too. There is so much beauty that surrounds us, no matter where you live, it is there and we are truly blessed to be here and live in these marvelous times. I love global warming … in Sedona, it will be 43F in about 2 hours and a mere 10 hours later the temperature will rise 27degrees to 70F … the sun is such an incredible source of energy and fortunately our earth keeps spinning as we orbit our star, else we would have a severely cooked side and a very cold side … and we have nothing to do with it except to enjoy the blessings of life … but all good things come to an end and in earths future the sun will have an ending that includes cremation of our planet … oh well … change is the norm.

Up to Flagstaff late morning for lunch with a friend, shoot some of the area, back to Sedona and help a friend with some software and Photoshop techniques then the ISO 100 group will be over in the evening and the fare will be some exceptional photography by some of the finest photographers in the area. A treat!

One had three outings today and fortunately did not score a kill … a nice walk with a friend around the ponds and a quiet evening working on images … rather the perfect day.

Have a beautiful day, smile and share your joy …



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


… I spent several hours in the Lake Pleasant area, shooting some of the most beautiful flowered mountains I have ever seen in Arizona and then over to Scottsdale to see some friends and conduct a little business. I thought about heading back to Lake Pleasant to get some more late afternoon/early evening shots, but the thought of two servings of veggies and one of General Chicken at Famous Wok was calling … delicious as always. Then it was the drive home and it was beautiful including some very heavy thunderstorms which slowed traffic. The  climb back up out of Black Canyon to Sunset Point. As I came out of the canyon on top the most amazing light spread out over huge fields of flowers to the east and the last light in the clouds during a thunderstorm was like nothing I have ever seen. I braked as quickly as I could and pulled off to the side somewhat before the rest area at Sunset Point and was able to get eight shots before the light went away and the landscape returned to a washed out, dull colored field devoid of any lighting to call attention to the beauty that resides there. I looked at the other shots I took today (287) and they do not come close to the drama in this photograph. Hope you like it … obviously, I do :+)

Kind of a lazy day coming up with work around here on organization projects, then a late afternoon shoot at the ponds.

Have a beautiful day … if you’re breathing, how could it possibly be otherwise? Smile and share your joy … look for the beauty around you and in those you meet and greet.

Life is good



…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

Grand Falls

… is an amazing place and it really needs to be visited on the ground to appreciate the full beauty it presents … I have flown low over the falls many times when there has been substantial water flows, but missed the full effect with the beautiful sounds of the waterfall (actually a mud falls) and the feel of the winds and mist on your face … plus the adventure of standing near unprotected cliffs. Too, the geology is amazing; Grand Falls was created when a lava flow from Miriam Crater about 8 miles to the SW flowed into the Little Colorado River channel and forced the river to re-route around the basaltic lava flow … it eroded the softer rock and created the falls. The vertical drop is 185 feet which is higher than Niagara Falls at 167 feet. The Little Colorado River drains the White Mountains and is one of few northerly flowing rivers and as it goes through the painted desert it picks up a lot of dirt and it looks like it. On the right hand portion of the photo you can see the basaltic lava flow and on the left the Kaibab Limestone formation. Thanks to a good friend who invited me to accompany him on the trip yesterday … we shot for a while before sunset, during and after sunset … beautiful skies and it was simply awesome! I even used a tripod and was able to figure out how to make it work :+)  On the far cliff on the left, there is a person looking down into the gorge and on the right a shelter and more people looking down into the gorge. Highly recommend a trip out there and you can learn more about it and how to get there at:

Had a beautiful early evening flight on Friday and again this evening, capturing late day light on the rocks .. cut some beautiful stones and hung out with One as she hunted. She likes to bring her live catches into the house and I couldn’t get a lizard away from her as she ducked under my bed … she finally emerged licking her chops and an inspection confirmed that the lizard emerged with her, but in her. Oh well!

Expect some smoke on Wednesday as the USFS is doing a training prescribed burn of about three acres near Red Rock State Park. Approximately 100 people will be involved in the training … think it is grasslands so it shouldn’t be too bad. The good news is that important training will be taking place increasing the skill of those whom we rely on to keep us safe.

Down to shoot Lake Pleasant wildflowers in the morning, a trip over to Scottsdale to see a friend and dinner at Famous Wok in Anthem Outlets on the way home. Fun day and hope yours is too. Keep breathing, share some smiles with those you meet and greet and seek beauty … you always find what you are looking for … mostly :+)




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

In six months

… Spring and Summer will have come and gone … Fall will be here and likely we will have some wonderful color in the forests again before the snow flies and another cycle of life we call a year will be concluding. In reality of course there is no new year or season, but a continuation of life more or less following the same patterns. I took this shot of a side canyon off of Sycamore Canyon up near the top of the canyon and to the west of it. Some really neat canyons and wilderness areas up there and it looks pretty inaccessible too. This canyon is hundreds of feet deep … I got a lesson in depth perception last fall after I shot a canyon off of SR 89A from the air and then went back up there with a friend in his jeep and the color I shot couldn’t be seen because there were so many trees and the canyon was so deep … Anyhow, first we have Spring and Summer … Joy!

If you want to know how miserable you are because of allergies, you can subscribe to an email service at: . Yesterday it was 11.5 and today it was 11.1; this is on a scale that tops out at 12.

It’s raining … ditto for Thursday and that makes it a good day to stay in and work on gem cutting projects. Attaching a photo of a ruby and diamond pendant and earring set I made for my cousin a number of years ago. I took facet grade ruby rough and cabbed them instead of faceting them. 1+ carat rubies in the earrings and a 2+carat ruby in the pendant. I cut the frosted finish quartz fillers and in the right light they kind of suck the red up from the rubies. Set in white gold. A fun project and I very much like the finished pieces. I’ve been doing this for forty years now and never tire of it … only problem is that there are so many things I enjoy doing and can’t drop any of them … good problem to have though :+)

Last one of the week and if the plan works out and I keep breathing, I’ll be back Monday morning. Have a terrific rest of the week and the weekend … share a smile with those you meet and greet … share your joy … it is a wonderful little planet we live on.




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

beyond here

… it is always fun to get home from a shoot, whether in the air or on the ground somewhere, and see if you got what you hoped to get … in addition it is fun to see if there is more that you got that adds to the story and the beauty of the image. I took this shot last September on the 29th of Kendrick Peak in full color and it was also wreathed in clouds. Kendrick is to the WNW of the San Francisco Peaks and at the peak is 10,425’. I was close to the peak on the NE side shooting to the SW and got a nice sliver of “beyond here” over the top of the peak … that is Mingus Mountain in the background and the Prescott Valley lies beyond it. A beautiful day to be in the air and taking in the beauty of this little part of a very little planet … and beyond here there is so very much to explore and learn … someday …

A quiet day around here for One and me … lots of work on gem projects … a nice outing … talking with friends and an almost good meal.

Rich in the produce department at Basha’s, suggested to me some time ago that I store my lettuce in a glass container instead of plastic to get maximum life out of it. I finally bought a large glass container and am getting about double the storage life for lettuce that I was getting in plastic. No idea why, but it works … thanks Rich! So, my almost good meal? A wedge salad with chopped red pepper, tomato, chopped black olives and artichoke hearts … topped with blue cheese crumbles and blue cheese dressing, pretty good so far right? Then three angus hotdogs covered in ketchup on the side :+) really good tasting.

Time for a wrap to the day … have a beautiful day and share your joy … life is good as are most people.




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

Imagine yachts

… that used to grace this lake in the forties and fifties and all the lively fun of enjoying a day on the lake in spectacular country and perhaps dinner and a dance at a local club after a day on the water. I wish I could find the photos that Bob showed me of Rogers Lake back then as large yachts were to be found here, but not for years as most of the lake is dry or wetlands for the majority of the year … still it would be nice to be on the lake. I was about a thousand feet above the trees when I took this shot, and hoped to get the reflection of the peaks in the water; not to be as a pretty good wind spread waves across the lake. On the horizon from left you have Kendrick Peak, the San Francisco Peaks and Mt. Elden on the right.

If you fly drones, please adhere to the rules and common sense. During the recent Kendrick fire, the USFS was temporarily delayed in getting a fire fighting helicopter in there because some person was flying a drone in the vicinity. Drones can bring aircraft down … I was close to an air to air collision with a large drone a year ago when flying the pattern to land in Sedona and it is not a good feeling to see them up there with you. So please fly them responsibly … there are now 600,000+/- drones flying in the US. They are great and the photos you can get from them are remarkable … just stay within the flight envelope that has been established for them and never fly them around an emergency area or airport.

Good news for those who love great ice cream … Blue Bell is back in the freezers at Basha’s and I imagine other grocery stores as well. YES!!!

Starting tonight there are restrictions on travel on 89A N of the switchbacks … check it out as you may find it best to use an alternative route: .

Traffic is pretty awful here during spring break and you may find it advisable to come in via 260/89A through Cottonwood … 4 lane most of the way and no delays; SR179 is frequently a mess after 10A.

Have a beautiful day and enjoy family and friends … keep breathing too :+)




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


… about a year and a half ago, a gang of crows moved into the area and took it over … my favorite raptor predators were chased from the area and for the most part the raucous sounds of the crows dominates the scene. Lately I have seen some Sharp Shinned hawks moving back into the area, but it is not without a fight. Yesterday afternoon I got this shot of a Sharp Shinned hawk (Coopers?) perched in a branch on the tee box across the cart path from our backyard fending off attacks from some thugs from the gang of Crows. There were four Crows engaged in the attack and it went on for about five minutes and the hawk did not yield … finally the crows moved on and eventually the hawk spotted prey and went on his own attack … such is life … better predator than prey … better to have the means to resist aggression than not.

I got quite a few shots of this series of attacks that turned out nice. I was using a Canon 1DX with the new 100/400 lens and shooting 1/2000th of a second, ISO 400, f5.6 shooting 12 frames per second in raw format. The branch was about 40’ from me so my depth of field was only a foot and the crow was right on the fringe of the DOF. When shooting sequences like this I keep both eyes open; one keeping the hawk in focus through the viewfinder and the other keeping an eye on attacks being initiated. As soon as I pick up an incoming attack not yet in the viewfinder I begin rapid and continuous shooting. Based on the distance between crow positions in the sequences I calculated that the crows were traveling an average of sixty feet per second or 40+mph in the attacks. If you wait until the crow enters the field of view of the camera you will never get the shot. Anyhow, a tip you may find useful someday.

A nice weekend, flying, work on stones and some relaxing times. Into a new week and methinks it has all the ingredients to make it a good one … still breathing!

Cheers and have a beautiful day … share it.



The moon is passing in and out of the clouds,

making a shadow-checkered day of the night,

and breaking the sky with shafts of gold.

All silent, the universe is doing its work- beautiful

mysterious, religious!


Max Ehrmann

Stalling it on

… what a beautiful job this Great Blue Heron is doing stalling out just inches above the surface. The wings are providing full braking forces and with the airflow over the wings interrupted, the feathers are lifted up in the turbulence behind them … a couple of steps and he was at a standstill and began hunting in the pond behind him. Pure elegance and this beauty can be found almost anywhere in the world … there may be six or seven billion of us, but there are a whole lot more critters than humans and oft, much more agreeable life forms than we. The killing that they do is for food … survival.

A most agreeable day … espresso, followed by a trip to the airport and thence  into the sky … a lovely day to be in the air and at 11A the air was rocking on the plateau … sweet! Then a stop at the terminal for a cup of coffee and a cookie (they bake them throughout the day) and down to the ponds where I got this shot. Home and out with One and a quiet evening and homemade pizza for dinner. Catching up on emails and working on s few stones. A nice day.

This is it for the week, have a great rest of it and I’ll be back Monday morning. Live and keep your thoughts and mind in the present for that is the only place you are and can be … Cheers!




Hold high your head and be an honest man.

May kindness guide your daily steps, and in each deed and thought

Let Christ’s sweet soul always reflect itself

And love your fellow men as I love you.


Max Ehrmann

“Breaking Home Ties”


… we all need it … mercifully our species has advanced to the point where most of us obtain our food from stores after it has been gathered and processed by  others, but for most species they have to collect and process their own food daily. This drake Green Wing Teal was grubbing for food in the muddy waters of a drained pond and seemed to be doing pretty good; really makes you appreciate Basha’s or wherever you go to buy your food.

Had a nice flight again today, but not much in the way of photos as I have been flying quite high … and again in the morning. Think I may come down a ways and shoot Humphreys Peak … or not. Just nice to be up there./ The lift topped out at about 9500’ today, so back on with the engine and up some more. Just a day to mess around.

Have a beautiful day and share your joy




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