Author Archives: TedG

They’re here

… seemingly frozen in time a group of aliens is standing by the shoreline of Watson Lake in Prescott and my little friend who is always looking out for me is at the feet of the most prominent of them. For those who enjoy looking for faces and shapes in rock formations, there are few places like this. If you would like to check it out, here is a link to the park and they do have kayaks and canoes available for rent: http://www.cityofprescott.net/services/parks/parks/index.php?id=24 Do yourself a favor and go enjoy the lake.

July is gone, August is here and in a little over four weeks labor Day and the end of summer is here … then my season is approaching, I love the fall as nature prepares for winter and the quiet times. Lifelines are cut off to the leaves of deciduous trees and green turns to yellows, reds and everything in between; the mountain sides explode in color and cool weather makes its way back across the plateau and pours down the canyons into the Verde Valley. First though, the balance of summer needs to play out and I happily do my part to insure that the investors in APS are well taken care of as One and I enjoy the coolness of refrigerated dry air.

Have a nice day and spend some time enjoying the beauty around you … and smile.

Cheers

Ted

 

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

Evolution

… the Cormorant leaps with both feet at the same time to propel itself along the water to gain speed and go airborne, just as the Kangaroo leaps with both feet at the same time to propel himself along the ground. All of my duck shots where I got them running on the surface to gain speed, show the ducks were laying them down one at a time and I guess I never bothered to check out Cormorants until I looked at the shots I took of them on Watson Lake last Friday … it was strange … they were using both feet at the same time to generate the awesome force they require to break free of the watery runway beneath them. The photo of the Cormorant shows him just about ready to put the feet back in the water and initiate another awesome push to accelerate to flying speed coupled with the forceful wing beats. Sometimes it took the fifty or more feet to achieve flight and you know there is a lot of energy expended in the process. Like ducks I try to only jump them once during an outing … they work hard for their food and no sense making them expend more energy than necessary.

The second shot is a scenic with a rock island in the foreground, the granite boulders on the higher shoreline and Granite Mountain in the background. I love that lake and there will be many trips back there. The Knot Yacht performed beautifully and I used both the electric and the Mercury outboard engines. This is definitely a whole new and exciting venture I am beginning. Being able to shoot the wildlife from water level adds a truly exciting new dimension to my shooting. :+) I was planning on mostly shooting Wildlife on this outing so left the MK IV with the 24/70 lens in the car and now wish I would have brought it as I had the 100/400 on the 1D X and you do not get much a field of view with that.

Had a beautiful flight yesterday morning and got some relatively close up shots of Robbers Roost rock out on the side of Casner Mountain. Looks like a neat place to get some great shots. I was going to fly again this morning, but it was raining; there is something special about waking up and listening to the rain come down and then rolling over and falling back asleep … sweet and I actually slept another hour.

So welcome to another week now underway … look for the beauty around you and share smiles with those you meet and greet … so easy to choose a good day. More airtime and now water time coming up …

Cheers

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

Hidden

… in plain view which pretty well tells the tale of Coal Mine Canyon … from the air the beauty is unparalleled and from the roads that go by it is barely noticeable. I like this portion of the canyon which is of the north portion of the canyon and the mesa in the upper right quadrant shows the formation of longitudinal sand dunes caused by the strong winds up there almost always blowing from the same direction. Spend some time viewing the features of the canyon and imagine yourself there listening to the sounds of the wind, alone in the vastness a portion of the earth that few people ever see … be amazed!

A really great day in the garage, rearranging and tossing and by mid-afternoon “Knot Yacht” was safely stowed in the garage along with my Zuma II motor scooter and the SUV. Still more to go through and toss, but a very good beginning. Down to Scottsdale in the morning to pick up a job and then back and perhaps a quiet evening. Friday is looking good for the inaugural “cruise” on Watson lake in the Prescott area. I bought the unlimited annual pass for the three main lakes in Prescott: Watson, Willow and Goldwater lakes, so likely I will be spending a lot of time there … still hard to believe, but Arizona has more boats per capita than any other state in the Union. Monday morning I hope to be sharing some nice photos from the lake.

A terrific ISO 100 get together tonight along with great food, better company and amazing photography. Privilege to see so much fine work.

So it is time to wrap the day; thanks for being there and enjoying my work. Choose to have a beautiful day and to share your joy with others and you will experience the true joys of life. Back Monday morning.

Smiles,

Ted

 

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

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

Max Ehrmann

Other times

… going from the heat to storm induced cool weather got me searching through old areas of the portfolio looking for days that were cool and snowy and I found this shot from 2011 after a beautiful snow storm and thanks to the use of time warps, One, was able to travel back in time before she was born and make her appearance coming over House Mountain behind us to get a preview of where she would rule in just a couple of years. Anyhow, fun remembering  that it is not always hot in Sedona … 67F currently, going to 93F this afternoon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The garage is going to get its first major toss tomorrow as I make room for “Knot Yacht” as well as my land transportation vehicles … somethings are going to have to go, perhaps some old paint cans that have dried up paint in them? You get the idea. The garage holds a lifetime of tool acquisitions and stuff that I may need in the future … like an electric water pump I had planned on using in a fish pond in the yard, if memory serves me, I acquired that pump about 40 years ago, it works and I know I will need it someday … or my kids when they take over the house … can’t throw it so it will find another place to be stored until needed.

Been listening to one of my favorite groups tonight, Straight No Chaser, a men’s a cappella group that was formed in 1996 and has had major success; they will be performing at the Comerica Theater in Phoenix on August 11th if you want to spend a terrific evening with great music. Check their music out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYdZvQBl6sk&list=PLtwktBiWYi1JvQ99AbugkwcCUbyyLyRwJ

A great day is wrapping and in not that many hours a new one will begin … front loaded with espresso … lots of it.

Smiling,

Ted

 

And lastly give sweet sleep

Closed sight, no fright

That fears will o’er me creep;

And now a last goodnight.

The future

… is taking shape and a whole new dimension is being added to my shooting with the arrival of “Knot Yacht” this afternoon. I have been in love with the beauty of nature since I was a kid and of all the photography I have done, wildlife photography has always been my favorite subject matter. I love the aerial work, abstract, and to a certain extent landscape shooting, but my passion is wildlife … I get the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of the shooting … not only do I not have to clean and eat my “kill”, but we both get to walk away and live another day.

“The future” shot is one I took from a boat in Northern Wisconsin a couple of years ago; I got upwind of a flock of Canada Geese that were near the downwind shore, cut the engine and drifted into them. They had no choice but to fly past me and I got dozens of shots like this one. Can’t do it from the shore, have to be out there. The second shot is of Knot Yacht, just after we hooked it up to my SUV and we made the trip home. With the camo paint job I should be able to get pretty close to my prey either by drifting into them or using the silent electric motor and hunkering down in the boat. Next I’m going to make some gimbled camera mounts and install them on the “KY” … Going to be studying manuals for everything for a few days and launch it on Friday … Willow lake in Prescott a likely choice and then the fun begins.  Looked at some big bad boats today too and thinking there may be other changes coming later this year.

Have a beautiful day … it is your choice … always.

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 raged

… one of the most intense storms of the season rolled through early afternoon today and it was grand. The power was out for a while which meant that there was nothing else to do, but lie on the couch, snooze and enjoy the forces of nature … and I did. A beautiful river developed in the back yard and it carved a deep bed in the rock/gravel out there. It abated after a while and before dark One got her outing, but she does not enjoy getting her paws wet so that didn’t last very long.

I got an early morning flight in and was back on the ground by 7AM; the air was clean and visibility the best it has been in a couple of months … we flew through a few showers in Long Canyon and enjoyed a beautiful and uncrowded sky. Tomorrow morning it is down to Glendale to pick up the “Knot Yacht” and if we have much more rain I may need it to get home. I had planned to stop at Lake Pleasant, but Davis at Cabela’s told me that the two main harbors had been taken out in a storm a couple of weeks ago … winds gusting to 80+ kts and 7 to 9 foot rollers tore Lake Pleasant Marina apart and sunk some large houseboats. Initial launch will have to wait till later in the week and perhaps on Willow or Watson Lake in Prescott. Should be fun.

 

I took this shot in Half Moon Bay when visiting Ted and Sus last year and the surf was running around twenty feet. I love shooting the surf, the ocean and anything and everything associated with it. On my to do list as I look forward to the fall and into the winter storm season.

A wrap for the day … a good one and hope yours was too … a new day to live coming up and methinks it will be a very good day, at least that is the plan.

Smiles

Ted

 

The growing grain and the placid sky have a kind of voice; and though you are

alone, the boundlessness of the universe is with you.

 

Max Ehrmann

Meandering

… with no clear vision of where I am going tonight … I do try to be accurate in what I write and thanks to everyone who receives these missives, when I stray I can count on receiving illuminating instruction and am grateful for that. This morning I heard from my friend Rich who spent his entire working career at Lowell Observatory and was a key player in many exciting projects up there. Rich is also a person who ferrets out the history of an area and is a student/teacher of history. Following is what he wrote me about the photo from last night:

“Ted,

Close, but no cigar.  That is the Waterline Road.  What I know of it comes from Henry Giclas, a local kid who managed to put in a distinguished, 75 year career at Lowell Observatory.  Henry’s father had worked on construction of the dome for the big, 40 inch reflecting telescope in 1909 – 10.  His other job back then was overseeing Flagstaff’s water supply.  They drilled several shallow wells in the Inner Basin of the SF Peaks to tap the Spring snow-melt.  The road in the picture is the Waterline Road alongside the pipeline bringing that water to Flag.  There are two tunnels along the route and your shot shows both.  We all love that fresh, clear city water we get in the spring, but about a decade or so back the city decided to bottle it and sell it instead.  The local uproar stopped the project.  More recently the Schultz Fire (aftermath is very visible in your shot) damaged that pipeline and it needed considerable repair.  I think it is back in service now.

A particular sore point for me is that the maps label that long ridge in the left foreground “Schultz Peak,” and the one above it in the horseshoe of peaks as “Doyle Peak.”  This is a map error courtesy of USGS.  Doyle is traditionally the west end of the ridge that extends between Fremont and Agassiz, and Schultz is the one the map calls “Doyle.”  The ridge in the foreground has no traditional name.  This sort of thing happens more often than you might suppose and usually it doesn’t matter much, but here it does.  In the late 1920’s Lowell built an observatory enclosure on top of Schultz Peak to investigate the advantages of observing from high altitude.  It was the highest observatory in the world until the Swiss built one atop the Jungfrau.  There is a body of research based on observations from Schultz Peak, and in fact the structure is still there.  One unique feature of the site is that the polar axle of the telescope was supported by a pair of Bristlecone Pines that were cut at the proper angle to align the axle with the Pole.  Just try that today!

Lowell is still a player in to the world’s highest non-space observatory.  It is SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy), a 2.5 meter telescope peering through a hole in the side of a Boeing 747.”

Thank you Rich! I learn a lot from you. In reply to my request to use his insight, he replied “I re-read it and my nose didn’t seem to grow so sure – use it”

My brother in law, Ace Hagebak, aka Beaumont R. Hagebak, PhD has begun writing a near daily blog of a paragraph or two detailing his life as a retired Professor, College Dean, Public Servant and more living alone in a log cabin in the woods of Northern Georgia. Here is a sample of his writing, it is at once homey and easy with a warmth that puts you at ease :

SMALL TOWNS

You know the old joke: “That town was so small that they put the city limits signs on the same pole”.  Waleska, Georgia,  is just a bit larger than that.  It’s the town closest to my log cabin in the woods.  I choose to live in or near small towns.  Something about the rural lifestyle appeals to me.  Maybe it’s the friendliness, the willingness to share, the unlocked doors, the quiet evenings, the wildlife to be seen and enjoyed.

I was once told by a college student from New York City that I was not doing right by my three sons because the town we lived in was small.  Exposure to what he called “the real world” was the only way to raise children.  Somehow, we all did just fine.  Rich, full lives, filled with friends of every description.  Life has not always been easy for each of us, but life is never always easy for anyone, whether it’s lived in a small town or a huge city.

Cities have their charms, sure.  Activities of all kinds attract us, unbelievable options are available day and night, services of all kinds are right nearby when we need or want them.  There’s the freedom that anonymity can bring.  But for some of us, rural communities offer so much more.  Big lifetime words, like peace and contentment.  Nature’s doorstep is our doorstep, too.  And  there are always people who won’t look the other way when a neighbor needs help.  You’re known.

Today our work often defines our locations and our life styles.  Young people, in particular, leave their rural homes for employment in large cities.  Small towns suffer as farms grow larger and farm people who once patronized local shops are forced to move away.  But the special joys of small town living don’t disappear.  And our small towns wait for those who love them to return.

If you would like to be added to his list, please send him an email at: hagebak@gmail.com

Finally the photo tonight is taken from my “Observation Deck” and a quiet view of Uptown, part of west Sedona and the Colorado Plateau. With the top portion in the clouds, the SF Peaks are on right horizon just above and to the right of Wilson Mountain in Sedona; going left you can see Sitgreaves and Bill Williams Mountain. It was a beautiful fall day and a treat to be in the air. My last Bon Iver album just finished, so I’ll wrap it too.

I had an interesting meeting with my doc in Flagstaff yesterday and doing a four week holding pattern before doing any treatments for my hip (body parts do have issues when you damage them and/or extend beyond reasonable warranty periods) and I got to thinking; if I do have the hip replaced, and I am able to secure the discarded body part, I could have it cremated and scatter my own ashes :+) About now, I can see Corky rolling her eyes and in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, exclaim “I don’t know why anyone likes you Ted!” Oh well, I am who I am and I like me … and I miss her ever present humor and delight in our life together.

Have a beautiful day, smile and share your joy … as has been the case since humans first inhabited this planet, we need all the joy we can get. Back on Monday … I really do like that idea though :+)

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

Memories

… I found this image of the SF Peaks which I took last November as I was going through the portfolio tonight looking for an image that fit my mood. Had lunch with a friend at the Lumberyard in Flagstaff today and quite a few trains came rolling through and it brought back memories of the times when we were kids and my Dad would take one of us along with him on his travels giving speeches around the country … Dad was a train guy and it was a terrific way to travel … later when traveling from my basic training at Parks AFB in Pleasanton, CA to my tech school at Lowry AFB in Aurora, CO, I traveled by train and the Sierra and Rockies had a dusting of snow on them that looked very much like this. On my cross country trip in January 2006 I traveled by train from Penn Station in NYC to NoCal on the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago and thence on the California Zephyr, a train I had been on a number of times previously and again the snow through the Sierra as well as a major winter storm that hit while we traversing the Sierra. Think it is about time to jump on a train for a few days … the train is the destination and sights like this are part of the experience. The Southwest Chief goes through Flagstaff … maybe just get on and ride it to Chicago and then grab the next train back :+)

This is a shot of the SF Peaks taken from the SE looking towards the NW. I think that the road that runs along the lower reaches of the slope is Schultz Pass road, not sure … Rich?

Down to Phoenix and Fountain Hills tomorrow and hoping for some more rain storms on the way down and back, I love this weather.

I hope your day is filled with challenges and that you are up to them … a beautiful thing to live and accomplish something that brings a smile at days end.

Cheers

Ted

 

For was this right that I should eat and live by that another through his toil had earned?

But one good hope then fed my hungry soul:

That I should live by what my hands could do.

 

Max Ehrmann

have to confess

… it was almost 4AM when I found my way to the bedroom and I slept in until almost 8A and it has been kind of a funky day today … cutting stones, carving wax and designing some multi-purpose pieces. Work on a bunch of photos and whilst going through uploads and deleting the stuff that needs to be gone ( a photographers prescribed burn) I came on a series of shots I took of part of the Crow Mafia in our neighborhood spending time in my favorite tree. The shots are really nothing that could be evolved into a normal wildlife photograph, but if you look at them from the artists perspective there were some wonderful possibilities … like this one and I like the curly branches too. Fun to mess around like this. There is a slight color cast in the image as I didn’t like it when I converted it to B&W, so reverted it and saved this.

Busy day underway so will cut this short so I can grab a few more hours of sleep … then there is the prospect of at least six shots of espresso as soon as I roll out. For espresso I am currently using a premium Kona coffee bean from Greenwell Farms. Consistently this is one of the best premium coffees you will ever experience. Want terrific coffee every day? Roast your own and the place to contact and buy your beans and supplies is Jon Burman at: http://burmancoffee.com Once you start, you will never go back to store bought stuff. You will also save money as the premium Columbian beans are less than $7.00 per pound … and they are fresh!!! I do not drink coffee that has been roasted more than a few weeks before I grind it and drink it.

Have a beautiful day … what a treat to wake in the morning knowing you are still here … share a smile with those you meet and greet … they have made it too :+)

Cheers

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

Drawing red lines

There is generally a meaning of finality with the term drawing a red line and with the USFS it is no exception. Instead of words they use aerial bombardment laying down redlines of fire retardant where they want to stop fire and not permit it to cross that line. I took this photo this morning and I was north of Hwy 69 looking to the SW, west of Mayer and the fire was the Goodwin Fire. You can see the redline laid down at the base and near the base of the mountains and some homes  just on the non-fire side of the line that were saved from destruction by that red line of retardant … pretty cool stuff.

Most of the planes that they use for the aerial bombardment carry 5,000 gallons or less; there are three DC-10’s that carry around 10,000 gallons and I got to see one in action a few weeks ago when it was dropping  on a fire near Bumblebee … so cool watching a large jet like that doing low level drops. There is also a 747 that has been customized for dropping retardant and it can carry almost 20,000 gallons and do either one long drop or eight separate drops. I would love to see that one in action too and it should cut the cost substantially since you can do so much more on one flight. Unfortunately it does not seem to be recognized by the USFS as they are in the process of reducing the amount of retardant to a max of 5,000 gallons … like ??? (more polite than the three letters I was thinking of). Here is a link where the issue is discussed: https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/debate-over-jumbo-bomber-wildfires-rage-west-154635190.html      Wonder if it is lobbying by the manufacturer of smaller aircraft, because it sure doesn’t seem to make sense. Kinda like that EPA study showing that the use of sheets of plastic over piles they plan to burn effectively reduces the smoke to almost nil, but it seems that for whatever reason the FS won’t be doing that anytime soon. Anyhow check it out and let’s hope that we soon see 747’s at low level doing drops. So these are red lines that are drawn and which have consequences … positive ones.

Just walked in the door from the Goo Goo Dolls concert at the Comerica in Phoenix … fun time and excellent show. Interesting story, when I bought the tickets on line, both rows 13 and 14 in Section 4 (center) had seats 1 & 2 available. Because of superstitions associated with the number 13, I chose seats 1 & 2 in row 14. Well, a guy who had to be 7’ tall sat in row 13, seat 1 … yeah, and the guy didn’t sit down once during the concert. I considered doing surgery by cutting his legs off, but opted instead to stand the entire concert too, and stand partially out in the aisle so I could see … it turned out 13 was bad luck, but for a reason I could not have guessed.

Beautiful new week underway, smile and share your joy!

Ted

 

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