Friday, May 23, 2008
On our second trip to photograph wildflowers in the San Rafael Desert this year, we were on the lookout for the salmon colored Globemallow plants that bloom in wet years. We were excited as we found several of them along the highway, so things were looking promising for us in the desert. Once we got there, we were surprised to find these desert daisies. I don't know what they are really called, but they were found in huge clusters in pretty improbable places. I didn't see anything special about this location that would permit such a large group of flowers to grow there. You can see from the background, that this is a bleak and foreboding place, but then right in the middle of it God chose to plant this beautiful cluster of light. I wonder sometimes if that isn't a lot like our lives. We think we have been put in the middle of a dreary desert trudging along and wearied by all of our cares. But if we look for the bright spots (like we had to hunt for these daisies) God has a pleasant surprise in store for us.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
While attending a conference earlier this year, we got a chance to rent a car and head out through the Everglades and then south through the Keys (and there are a lot of them) all the way to Key West - the southernmost point of the United States. I can now say that I have been to both ends of the continental United States having already travelled to Point Barrow, Alaska years ago for work. A beach sunset on the east coast? I think this is probably the only place you could catch this kind of scene in the east. The snorkeling was fun too!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
It's hard for me to believe that this is not part of a National Park or Monument. The view from the Wedge overlook looks down into the canyon of the San Rafael River. The river runs year round in this desert setting, although at times the water is not very deep. We have hiked through some of this canyon - sometimes in the river, and sometimes along the banks. Our most adventurous hike was about a nine mile stretch through a narrow slot called the Upper Black Box. It really does feel like you are in "black box" once you are in the narrowest part of the canyon. It's a pretty dangerous hike with lots of places where you have to swim, waterfalls, and no way out once you are in the "box". The water can be extremely cold and there are few places to get out of the water to get warm. Another memorable experience in Utah.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Imagine being able to climb the ladder into an Anasazi Kiva. We decided to hike in to this ruin somewhat on the spur of the moment. We grabbed the camera, some water and a snack and headed into the canyon, not really knowing where we were going. The canyon was filled with ruins, granaries and pictographs. We arrived here just as sun was beginning to set and were headed back out of the canyon in the dark on a moonless night. As we neared the canyon exit, our way was directed by the gleam of starlight shining on an ancient stone tower on the canyon rim. What an adventure!
Saturday, May 3, 2008
When I was young, I remember that during the day, work was to be done, according to my Grandfather Morton. But as sundown approached and the light could be seen filtering through the aspen leaves at the lot west of Midway, it was time to gather up all the camera gear and head out to catch the sunset. I got to tag along a few times carrying the tripod as Grandpa would wait for just the right moment. My mom could probably tell some great stories of spectacular sunset chases. Janene and I caught this one after driving as fast as we dared to the cliff edge, running out to the point, and scurrying around trying to set up the camera. As the sunset progressed from a few pinks and yellows to the blazing colors we finally captured, the light got too low for our camera and we sat on the point until the stars came out. The memory of that evening lingers whenever I see the sky start to turn a little pink in the west.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Our family was able to visit the Sacred Grove in New York on a cross-country trip in a rented motorhome. We all had an enjoyable day here, but I think our oldest and youngest daughters enjoyed catching frogs in the stream most of all. I was able to capture this precious moment in our family by a stroke of luck. It pays to keep your camera with you at all times.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Hansel Valley is located just north of the Great Salt Lake. At one time this was a very productive area and is now dry farmed by people who no longer live here. The old homestead has been abondoned for years now, with the old equipment left for old codgers like me to enjoy. I love the solitude the desert provides. It's good to get out once in awhile alone to think and enjoy the scenery. I have come to appreciate the hard work others went through to support a family in a place like this.
This isn't a sight you see everyday. While we were in Turkey on Thanksgiving weekend, we visited an old Roman cistern in the heart of Istanbul. This used to store water for the city in case of long sieges when the city was attacked. It is underground and all of the columns hold up the roof (which is slightly below street level). I don't know the particulars since I don't speak Turkish, but an artist had hung all of these balls from the roof with fishing line and then illuminated the interior of the cistern. It is kind of hard to tell where the water line is with the reflections, but the sight took your breath away.