Thursday, April 23, 2015

More Desert Springtime

Desert Paintbrush or Indian Paintbrush

A Ladybug's World

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cactus Beauty

Cactus Beauty
This was taken about a mile or so away for our home.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Salt Lake Temple - Spring

Temple Square - Spring 2015 
(taken with a 15mm fisheye lens)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring 2015


Spring Has Come to Northern Utah!
 
Although snow still covers the mountain peaks, and the weather is often chilly, spring has definitely come to northern Utah.  Temple Square is a riot of spring color, and the tulip festival at Thanksgiving Point begins tomorrow.  
For a nature photographer, I don't think there is anything more glorious, peaceful, or uplifting, than to be outside after a long winter, with the sunshine warming my back, hearing the birds chirping in the trees, and getting up close and personal with the colors and fragrance of springtime blooms.  Feels like experiencing a piece of heaven here on earth!



Saturday, April 4, 2015

He Is Risen!

He is Risen!

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Mormons), Easter is a sacred day.  It is a day to renew our faith; it is a day to remember with deep gratitude and humility, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer;  and, it is a day to rejoice in our belief of a glorious resurrection where we will not only have the opportunity to live in the presence of Jesus Christ, but to be reunited with our loved ones who have passed on before us.  It is also a day to attend church, and then gather together with our families to eat, socialize, have fun and enjoy being together.  Yes, the Easter Bunny usually makes an appearance, but we try to put greater emphasis on the sacred events that are the reasons we celebrate Easter.
Isn't it wonderful that Easter comes in the spring.  I can't think of anything more symbolic of the death and resurrection of our Savior, than observing all the beauties of nature created by our Father in Heaven, and knowing that when the vibrant colors of spring, summer and fall slowly fade and life withers away as to appear dead, it is not really the end.  Sleep comes for awhile, but soon God's creations will burst forth again, fresh and beautiful with renewed life, in the spring. 
Likewise, so will we!  
I wish you peace, joy, and renewed faith and hope for the future on this Easter Sunday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Desert Gold

 Fields of Desert Poppies

Desert Marigold with Friend

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pretty in Pink










Desert blooms are every bit as spectacular as tropical blooms, (IMHO)!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Wild Rhubarb and Ladybug

Wild rhubarb in Snow Canyon, taken just before the sun set.

Ladybug balancing on edge of rhubarb leaf.  I learned that ladybugs love wild rhubarb.  They were congregating on this bush, but the darn things would not hold still for a portrait.  It took me about an hour to finally get a decent photo!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bees, Cactus & Gopher Plant

 I took these photos about two weeks ago in my southern Utah backyard.  This is a close up of what is commonly called a gopher plant.  (I was too lazy to see if it has a more 'official' name.)

 The gopher plants in my yard were in full bloom and the bees were going crazy!  Here, one cluster of blooms was nestled against a cactus, creating a very interesting backdrop.

The bees were so busy with their work that they hardly noticed me.  The lens of my camera was only an inch or so away from this guy.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Modena Revisited

After I posted my photos of the 'almost' ghost town of Modena, (see post here), I had enough photographers wanting me to organize a photo trip there that I did just that about a week ago.  We had a great time and some great pictures were taken.  Since I had been there only a week or so earlier, it was a challenge for me to find fresh compositions and interesting scenes that I hadn't photographed the first time.  I concentrated on interesting points of view, and details.  Here they are:













Saturday, March 14, 2015

Early Desert Spring

I usually think of the desert as a harsh, intense environment of extremes, especially in summer and winter.  In the daytime the temperature can be so hot as to be life threatening, and at night, freezing cold.  The landscape is defined by barren, rugged rock formations and mountains, intermixed with vast vistas dotted with unfriendly cacti and cacti like plants with sharp, prickly spines and needles.  And did I mention the rattlesnakes and scorpions?

This bloom is about 1/2 inch wide in real life.
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens)

But then comes spring.  When spring is in full force, in about a month or so, there will be an explosion of big, beautiful, show stopping blooms of almost every color, that for me, will justify the reason for the very existence of cacti!   

But I'm talking about now, very early spring, when the desert wakes up after winter and shows a delicate, even dainty, softer side, seemingly out of place in this usually harsh landscape. The blooms are often found on unremarkable, even boring plants other than cacti, and are very tiny, so most people just pass them by, unnoticed and unappreciated.

But like most all landscape and nature lovers, (and photographers), I notice and appreciate them and delight in preserving their fleeting beauty with my camera.  I took all of these photos yesterday, which by the way, was an absolutely perfect 73 degree day in the southern Utah desert.

         This is a flowering groundcover.  The blossom is about 1/8 inch wide.
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens)

 These blossoms are about 1/4 inch wide. 
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens) 

 The body of this itty bitty spider was about 1/4 inch long.
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens) 

 This bloom was about 1/2 inch wide.
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens)

  This is a cactus bud getting ready to pop open.  It was about an inch wide.
(Shot with a 100mm macro lens)

 (Shot with a 100mm macro lens)

We have busy lives, and important stuff to accomplish each day.  But it doesn't take much time to be aware of our surroundings, to notice the beauty around us, and gives thanks to a Father in Heaven who also loves nature, because He has created beauty not only in grand vistas, but also in the smallest of details.

 


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Modena, Utah

Modena, Utah
POPULATION:  16

For those of you who have followed my last few posts showing the paradise that is Moorea, (which is part of French Polynesia), this set of photos will be a stark contrast!!

About a week ago, I drug, (dragged?), Jeff on a day ride out in the southern Utah country near the Nevada border.  We happened on what we thought was a small western 'ghost' town, out in the middle of nowhere.   We soon discovered there were a few residents (16 we found out), still living there.

After we came home,  I looked up the history of Modena.  It was a railroad town and sprung up as a stopping point for the cowboys and miners in the late 1800s.  Below are a few of the buildings that have seen better days. 



 The above photos are of the largest building still standing.  The lettering is still visible and the proprietor of this general store and hotel is B. J. Lund.  I learned that he was the main founder of the town and had buildings and roads named after him.  This was interesting to me as my maiden name is Lund, and my father's family were among the early pioneers in Utah.  I am not aware of any relative named Brigham J. Lund, but who knows.

 I think we missed our 'last chance'!



Above are homes of a few former residents.

From a photographic point of view, I prefer to take photos of old west scenes in the winter with drab neutral colors which emphasize the look of abandonment and loneliness.   I was in luck and had a beautiful, puffy cloud day which was a great contrast to the neutral colors of the buildings and landscape.


Abandoned vehicles add texture and interest for photography, and are reminders that children went to school, and people lived and worked in this tiny barren and windswept prairie town. 



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Moorea - Photos 25 & 26

 Two of my favorite photos, both taken at sunset. 
This one is facing away from the sunset and looking at where we stayed.

This one is facing into the sunset and was taken from Tahiti, looking to Moorea in the background.  And with this I will say goodbye to my 'walk down memory lane'.  Moorea is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Moorea - Photos 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 &20

 Every sunset was magical and unique.

 After the sunset it was time to get reading for the evening dinner and show.

 Here we are with almost a front row seat.

 Of course there were the beautiful Tahitian dancers.

 Then the war dancers who came right up to our table.

 Next the guy who rips coconuts open with his teeth.

And finally the guy who breaths out fire like a dragon.
(And much more that I won't post here.)