2021—Happy Birthday Maggie!

Maggie is one year old today! I have watched Moose and Sharon’s Beagle, Maggie, grow up from afar in photographs but yesterday, I arrived in Montana to visit and finally met Miss Maggie in person. She is absolutely adorable, rambunctious, and oh, so smart. Happy Birthday, Maggie!

2021—Spectacular Skies

A couple of years ago I visited the Great Basin area in Nevada to photograph Bighorn Sheep. I was expecting to see Bighorn Sheep. I wasn’t expecting to see spectacular skies like the Sierra Wave we saw one evening when we visited Walker Lake. The Sierra Wave occurs when westerly winds flow over the Sierra Nevada Range in California and winds had picked up that evening. We were on the lee side of the mountains and the Sierra Wave is known as a lee wave and is considered one of the most spectacular of this phenomenon. We watched for a couple of hours as the cloud formations filled the skies and constantly changed at the whim of the winds. When I took the photograph I published two years ago (click on link above) the sun was setting and the clouds were a deep rose color. When I took this photograph, at least an hour before that shot, the sun had not set and the clouds were mostly white so I took this shot as a black and white image. What was so incredible is that an hour before this, there were no clouds in the sky.

2021—Sun Rays and God Beams

The stark and beautiful landscape that I enjoyed every morning from my room at The View Hotel in Monument Valley, AZ continues to captivate me weeks after returning home. Each morning we had different cloud formations or sometimes cloudless skies. That didn’t matter. The view remained stunning and gorgeous. On this morning, as the sun passed behind East Mitten Butte, its rays spilled across the clouds and the front of the butte. And, it cast off god beams behind the clouds. What a glorious sight to to wake up to each morning.

2021—Red Waco

The WAAAM Fly-in weekend before last in Hood River, OR gave me an opportunity to try some aviation photography. It’s a skill I definitely need to practice. It was exciting to be right next to some of these beautiful antique airplanes. Almost 300 airplane flew in for the event Friday evening and Saturday morning. On Sunday about midday, they began to leave and that’s when I had my first real opportunity to photograph them in flight. One of the airplanes I kept admiring was parked next to our home base on the edge of the grass. I never saw its pilot or anyone associated with the airplane while we were nearby. Then, as we watched the planes take off, suddenly the bright red 1933 Waco I’d been admiring taxied away and flew right over our heads.

2021—Reminiscing About Kaua’i

The other evening, I had dinner with friends who are planning a visit to Kaua’i and I began to reminisce about my trip there in 2018. For me the highlight of the trip was our visit to the Kawai’ele Waterbird Sanctuary. One evening there, as the sun was beginning to set, a flock of about six Nēnē, the Hawaiian Goose, an endangered bird as well as Hawaii’s State bird, flew in and landed a few yards away from us to feed on the sticky flatsedge and the white-flowered salt heliotrope. The light was perfect, the setting was perfect, the background was perfect. The photographs I took that evening with my Nikkor 600mm f/4 lens are among my all time favorite bird photographs. I think about that experience and I am reminded how lucky I have been in the past few years to indulge in my passion for photography, travel the world, and learn from such an incredible photographer, my friend Moose Peterson. And the best part? He gets me to the right place, at the right time, for fabulous photographic opportunities.

2021—The Tallest Head Light

The Yaquina Head Light is the tallest of the eleven lighthouse on the Oregon Coast at a soaring 93 feet tall, more than 30 feet taller than the next tallest, the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse that stands 62 feet tall. Completed in 1873, the Yaquina Head Light is also the oldest functioning lighthouse with its light now converted to a fully automated Fresnel lens that operates its unique light signal pattern (2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on, 14 seconds off) 24 hours a day.

2021—Sunrise at Yei Bi Chei

The Yei Bi Chei rocky spires in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park are eroded buttes named for Navajo gods so the godbeams emanating from the morning sunrise help to emphasize the location. We got to this magical place early before others had left footprints in the sand.

2021—Monsoon Skies

The clouds and godbeams late one afternoon in Monument Valley along what is frequently called the Forrest Gump Highway were a spectacular introduction to the wonders of that incredible place. The monsoons bring the clouds. The sun peeking through the clouds creates the godbeams. These angry Monsoon skies punctuate the landscape. The godbeams were most visible over a rolling hillside, not over the mittens, spires, and buttes which are just out of view to the left.

2021—Branchling

Baby birds are always adorable but this branchling Northern Pygmy Owl is just too cute. We spent several hours one afternoon this past July watching and photographing this little one and its sibling in a wooded area just up the road from Santa Rita Lodge near the Madera Canyon Picnic Area in Arizona. We observed them for several hours. What an experience to witness these small owls take their first uncertain steps onto the branches and to finally fledge and fly. The first flight attempts for each of the tiny owls ended in their dangling upside down from twigs or wire fences but they managed to free themselves and find the security of a branch to sit on. Finally, the parent Northern Pygmy Owls arrived to check on their offspring and to feed them a large lizard the father brought.