Monthly Archives: May 2017

Listening to forever

I’m in the process of uploading some of my favorite composites to Getty iStock Photos and in the review process I came on this one which I did in May of 2013. 2013, was kind of a rough year; I lost my brother in January, early in May, Cork was put on Hospice Care and the day I took this shot we lost Q, One’s predecessor and in November I lost Cork.

I took a late afternoon walk May 29th  of 2013, and whilst heading up Moons View, the sky was going a deep orange color and I looked up and this television satellite receiver was perched on the roof and I took a number of shots of it as it looked like a communication channel with forever; all that remained was to bring in the galactic and astro images so that we could gaze into forever. As we observe the universe we are seeing it as it was years to billions of years ago. If we were on a distant planet and observing earth we would be viewing the past  … if we were 50 some odd light years from earth we would be seeing the events of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s unfold and we would have no idea of what is occurring in our present, the now. Thousands of years from now, creatures on distant planets, given sufficient technology will see us as we are and what we are doing today.

I believe in forever and Corky and I told each other that we would love each other forever and forever after that, and so it is. So that is the story behind this composited creation and it is still one of my all-time favorites … regardless of your personal religious beliefs, we exist forever, somewhere, as the tale of our life spreads throughout the universe and in the multiverse theory, every possible iteration, of every life is played out in the infinite number of infinite universes.

Have a beautiful day, enjoy it, smile and share your joy with others … it will be a day that lasts forever … and forever after that … make it a good one!



The light of a Cheerful Heart 

I tell you that you and I and the commonest person are all journeying the same way,hemmed in by the same narrow path, leading to the eternal years.We pride ourselves over our particular superiority; but really there is little difference between us.

And in this journey over the 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


Turning final

… and with an entirely focused purpose this Great Blue Heron is cranking in a left turn, deploying his landing gear and giving it full flaps as he drops in for a landing on a spot about ten feet in front of and to the left of where he is … I know because I have those shots too.

A warm day, more smoke from managed and prescribed burns. The primary difference between the two is that the former start as wildfires and rather than letting them run the natural course, the USFS will do additional ignitions to keep the fire going and best of all ADEQ does not need to give its blessings. So we get to breathe this dreadfully polluted air, day after day, week after week … and among other things this will keep us from having to breathe smoke from a wildfire that may occur in the future. For sure I’m on AC now and the evaporative cooler which sucks in all that smoke is turned off. Cough … you can follow your favorite fire at:

Hope you had a beautiful Memorial Day today … we get to go on for another day and yet another, living in this great nation, while those we thank today, do not … knowing this to be a possibility they chose to serve and take the risk … we are the beneficiaries of that choice.

Smile, enjoy the day and share your joy with those you meet and greet …




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


… those who served and lost their lives so that we could have ours … as free people … it is human nature that we are predators and in most countries around the world, leaders get there through violence and retain that power through the threat of and periodic infliction of same on their people and or others. So, its Memorial Day … give thanks for the service of those who gave it all for us.

I took this shot a few weeks ago, near sunset and I was in Long Canyon, near the golf course and shooting towards the NE. I love this view because you can barely see any sign of civilization. On the far left is Wilson Mountain, the only true mountain in the area formed by a volcano. Below that is Brins Mesa and numerous rocks, formed by erosion, too numerous to name them all. I took the shot about half an hour before Sunset … hope you like it.

Spent much of the weekend working on images and uploading them to iStock Photos, by Getty Images. I hope to add five images a day for the indefinite future. Bunch of other stuff too including a beautiful nap yesterday. Today I visited with friends who flew in from Utah and was treated to some wonderful food dishes that Buna prepared … Dosa, a South Indian dish and with seasonings brought with them from India. A dessert which was excellent and I forgot the name of it.

Have a beautiful day today … smile and share your joy.




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

See you

… as the week is drawing to a close and the Memorial Weekend is approaching, this Coot is making tracks and departing the area as he too is heading into the weekend … he may not have known that, but I did, fits the narrative I have chosen for him :+)

A fun weekend is approaching and like you I have plans and am hoping to enjoy hotdogs and hamburgers and relish the company of friends … all this is made possible by more than a million of those who lost their lives in the service of our country. Bask in the sunshine and beautiful weather and remember the days when someone who may have been your father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, or child was cut down by a hail of bullets from a machine gun and bled out while storming the beaches in France … shot out of the sky or blown out of the water in the Pacific theater … shredded by a rocket attack in Korea, Viet Nam or by IED’s in Afghanistan, Iraq or any of the theaters of war throughout the world and over our history and continuing right into the present. There is nothing neat or nice about being killed in war, but without all those who have, do and will serve in the military and willing to give their lives in defense of country we would not be enjoying the freedoms we have in our beautiful country. Like it or not, war is part of human nature, and we will forever need those who are willing to sacrifice their lives for us.

Have a terrific time, get out on the water, down to the beach, up in the air … we are so very lucky … give thanks as you remember the price that was paid for us to enjoy it … more than a million servicemen throughout our history were killed in the service of our country and daily that number increases! 

With sincere thanks and gratitude



Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and stars;

you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


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

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


Excerpts from Desiderata


Max Ehrmann

Simply complex

… a single Crow, plying the unseen airways on a sunny Spring day with white puffy clouds forming the backdrop … it seems simple enough until you take a close look at the position of all the feathers, body positioning and the wings changing camber and the pin feathers of the wings making subtle changes to the airfoil for micro adjustments to the flight path. He is alive and living it as best he can … a single crow … with complexities that we cannot duplicate or imagine and he is in charge of providing all of his food, drink and healthcare … this single, solitary creature that most of us take for granted … in real life another of mysteries  of life.

Today was an interesting day, two trips to Cottonwood and one to Flagstaff and it was a beautiful day for driving. One, got her outing late afternoon and I got an excellent dinner afterwards … three hot dogs, chili beans and a salad, yum!

It’s Wednesday … half way through the week and then the memorial Day Weekend is upon us. If you are coming up to Sedona, I would suggest taking 260 to Cottonwood from I-17 as you will miss the heavy traffic that is dominating SR179. It is equally beautiful approaching Sedona coming up SR 89A from Cottonwood as it is on SR 179. Give it a try.

Have a beautiful day and share your joy with others. Life is good and so are most people.




Give me to gladly go

My way and say

No word of mine own woe;

But let me smile each day


Max Ehrmann


get a grip

> on life  the beauty that is everywhere and people who matter in your life. There are so many requests for our time, alerts going off in our pockets and texts pouring in … just for today let the day flow and listen to the beauty of silence and gaze upon forever … you will find yourself and you will like who you find … a human being living on planet earth, the best place to be in the entire solar system. At night you can gaze into space and see into the distant past, remnants of stars that exploded billions of years ago for now we are here and we are safe and with our short lifetimes we do not have to worry about the days to come when our star the sun envelopes the earth. We have today …

I took this shot early evening on Sunday of the Mitten formations north of town. In the lower left portion of the image you can see SR 89Amaking its way to the left and entering Oak Creek Canyon and just to the right of that Oak Creek in the green canyon making its way down through Sedona on its way to the Verde River, east of Cottonwood. The Mitten formations bathed in the rich colors of last light before being draped in the shadows of higher mountains to the west of them. On the lower right side of the image the dirt road that is Schnebly Hill Road and just above the left most formation the cut in the side of the plateau where it heads up into the Coconino Forest and joining I-17.  And on the side of the plateau to the left of that an apparent visage perhaps waving or warning us. On the horizon of the right side a prescribed burn is doing its part to obfuscate the beauty of the area and provide all manner of things for us to breathe, nothing too good there for humans.

A fun day and we got a flight in this morning and soaring conditions were good … projects around here and some computer work this evening. Tomorrow is here already and time for some rest; espresso in about five hours and another day begins.

Have a beautiful day and take the time necessary to enjoy it,  it is the only day you have and the only one you can do anything about.




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 modestyAnd 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


… I flew this morning and I flew again late this afternoon and in between the two flights I took One for a ride acclimating her for the long trip this fall and then an outing in the back of the house so that she could hone her predatory skills. Whilst out in back watching her hunt, a male House Finch settled on a yucca plant and just as I got the camera up and starting squeezing a shot he took to the air displaying his prowess in initiating flight. This was the only shot I got of him and even though I got some very beautiful shots of the red rocks in last light, nothing compares with the beauty of flight … he cranked and banked and I emulated it on my early evening flight a few hours later … think I’ll do it again on my flight a little later this morning too :+) talk about flaperons … wowzah!

Got some great video today too including the first landing which I greased … I did the second time too, but the GoPro ran out of battery at about 50′ off the runway. Charging it now and will capture it again in the morning. Hopefully I will get it edited sometime tomorrow and will put it up on the website. Also got some Chrysacolla cut today, nice gemmy translucent robin egg blue material.

Time to grab a few hours’ sleep before the cycle begins again; espresso, exercises and off to the airport. Have a beautiful day as we start the week and pay attention to all the wonderful critters we share the planet with … there are lessons to be learned … keep breathing and smiling too, we need more of that.




 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


… surrounds us and life abounds and continues without thought as most species go about the business of living and fulfilling their purpose. Thanks to Eric for the opportunity to shoot birds and critters in his backyard this morning. I love the beauty of Cardinals and generally find them a hyper species and hard to get good shots of, so was very pleased when this guy chose to spend a few minutes in the area.

A nice day … busy and I may have actually accomplished something although what it is eludes me. For sure I enjoyed the day, seeing friends and talking with more on the phone; a couple of appointments in the afternoon and home to One and a quiet dinner which qualifies as reasonably healthy too; not something I always do.

A friend sent me a definition of Taoism in response to my use of TaO on the cover of the calendar with the note that it describes the life One and I live: Taoism: We are the breeze, No dam ever stops our flow, No net ever captures our essence, We always flow to the truth of our life. Live kindly and fully. Thank you Mary, I like that.

Another day is waiting to begin and be lived … first some sleep and then the usual shots of espresso and then life can resume. Have a beautiful day, smile and share your joy … someone’s life will be blessed by your presence in theirs … back Monday morning.




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

As the sun sets

… the atmosphere is filtering out the higher temperature wavelengths (blue) of the sunlight and we are left with the cooler rays which happen to be the reds, and they bathe the red rocks with a more intense color and cast long shadows accentuating the rocks facing the sun.  I took this shot earlier this month and Cathedral Rock is in the foreground and I am WSW of the rocks at about 5,900′ and looking to the ENE. The rock formation upper right is Castle Rock and beyond it and to the right is the part of the Village of Oak Creek where we live, to the left of it is Courthouse Rock and more of the Village is beyond it, Bell Rock is hidden from view by Castle Rock and the shadows; in the canyon beyond the shadows from Cathedral Rock is Pine Valley  and it goes further to the left behind Lee Mountain which I rather rudely cut the top off of. You can also see parts of SR 179 wending through the forest connecting the Village with the Cathedral area and Sedona.

The moods of the rocks and area change throughout the day, but the quietude of early morning and early evening are the best … the evenings have less air traffic which is a good thing. It’s fun landing late too. I fly very tight landing patterns because I usually am coming in as a glider and the ability to turn and make the runway if you get heavy sink is a nice thing … so my downwind leg is usually over the overlook and edge of the mesa and my base is just beyond the end of the runway with perhaps a hundred yard final … nice to look down at the people in the overlook area and the quiet of an airport where no one is out or about. Usually I am landing on R3 so I get the beauty of the very last light on the rocks as I am coming in on final and that is special and when I open the canopy there is absolute silence … none of the city noises come up there.


Been listening to the Fifth Dimension tonight … “Up, Up and Away” … first listened to it in Minneapolis on a snowy day as we planned our move to California and sunny days and beaches ; actually listened to it a lot on a state of the art KLH turntable and stereo system … solid state … I have never been an aficionado of tubes … sorry, purists … digital has also left film in the distant past. I went digital in 1998. The contact print size of the original image of this shot is like having a film size of close to 15 x 22 inches and that permits very large prints to be made with little to no degradation of image quality.


Not much accomplished today in the way of work product … I looked at my gem projects … considered going through photo archives … thought of where I could go on a photo shoot … looked at some other projects I need to do and I managed to skillfully avoid doing anything … they’ll be there tomorrow and perhaps longer :+) My daughters had both told me to take a “Grussing Holiday” we used to take those when the girls were young  … they cut school, Corky and I closed the law office and we would be off to Santa Barbara, Tiburon, Lake Arrowhead, San Diego or wherever for a few days. We were all better for it too and the girls returned to school with notes from home excusing them, and a great adventure adding to their life experience. Thank you Sus and Jogi … tomorrow I’m back?


Have a beautiful day and if you feel like it, take a holiday, it’s fun. Keep breathing and make good use of that privilege … smile and make someone’s day.





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

2018 Preview

I have spent a lot of time over the past few days beginning to work on the 2018 Pathways of TAO (Ted And One) calendar and as always the choice for the cover has been a challenge. For 2017 One was nestled in the inner basin of the San Francisco Peaks, peering over the ridgeline between Humphreys and Agassiz Peaks. I decided to get in on the act this year so have chosen a shot taken by Eric when I flew over his house a couple of years ago for me. One is from a shot a few weeks ago out back and she was actually looking at some birds in a tree. The background I shot in January just after a storm and it was taken from near the north end of the runway looking ENE. Anyhow, I kinda like the image and would appreciate feedback from you as to whether or not you like it. Reality is only a problem if you let it be one.

The winds have been high and will be so again tomorrow, so no flying; we’re off to the Grand Canyon in the morning and I’m sure the winds are going to be pretty wild up there too … might get some great shots of the Ravens working ridge (orographic) lift and hoping that will be so. I always enjoy trips to the canyon and perhaps a few other stops too.

One went for another ride with me this afternoon and she is beginning to enjoy them; she even spent some time looking out the windows as we were traveling. I think she will be ready for the driving trip this September, a week in Minneapolis and a week at the lake in Wisconsin before heading home via whatever way seems good … just need to be back here before the aspen on the peaks start turning. There is nothing like getting the peaks and canyons in full color from the air.

Time for some rest before espresso and another beautiful day here on planet Earth … keep breathing and enjoy life.




I bring but this one common thought, my life has wrought;

That from the dregs of drear despair, still everywhere

There is a joy I yet may sip, Tis comradeship

With all mankind, the high and low

I know.


Max Ehrmann