Monday, August 2, 2021

St George Temple & Lightning

 

               St George Temple during a Monsoon Lightning Storm

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Lake Powell Sunrise - 2021

 

I was up every morning at 5am hoping for a beautiful sunrise, which is usually the norm at Lake Powell. On this trip, however, it only happened one day. With everyone still asleep, It was peaceful and still, a brief moment in time before the excitement, activity and laughter of children would commence and last for the next 14 hours of the day. I was standing on the back deck of the houseboat, camera in hand, hopefully waiting for a photo worthy moment, when my son-in-law quietly paddled around the back of the houseboat in his kayak and headed easterly. A few seconds later he was just in the right spot when the magic happened.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Lake Powell Reunion - 2021

 

Our Lake Powell family reunion was awesome! The kids were in the water almost 12 hours every day and there were plenty of activities to keep them all busy.......water skiing, wake boarding, tubing, jet skiing, kayaking, standup paddle boarding, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, jumping off the top deck of the houseboat, or sliding down the water slide, building sand castles, having water gun fights or relaxing on a very large, floating 'lily pad' that held about 5 adults or multitudes of kids. Our last day ended with an epic water balloon fight (about 900 balloon bombs). To those activities we add night games, fabulous food, tons of junk food and cases of soda, (stuff their parents would never let them eat at home). Last thing we do every night is called 'My Day In Six Words'. Everyone writes their favorite memory of the day, but must only use one 6 word sentence. We read them out loud and love hearing the best part of everyone's day. Then family prayer, and after a few hours of sleep it's time to do it all over again. Jeff and I are exhausted when the week is over, but it is ABSOLUTELY worth every single minute! We feel so blessed that our children and grandchildren not only love each other but like each other and have great times together. After the fun ends, everyone sends me the photos they took. I add mine and I make a hard cover book of our vacation and give each family a copy as a Christmas present. The parents tell me their kids look at those books all through the year as they anticipate their next Lake Powell adventure. (The one thing that was not great this year was night photography. Most days and nights there was a thick, dull haze that must have been caused by wild fires nearby. It cleared one day only to be replaced by cloud cover. On the last day, I kept watching the sky, and finally there was a break in the clouds and I could see the stars and Milky Way for a brief time. This year we anchored the houseboat where I could not get a shot of the lake and the Milky Way. I was standing in front of the houseboat with the lake at my back to have this view. I took one shot to expose for the foreground and cliffs, and another shot tho expose for the sky, and combined them. Enlarge to see more detail.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Cedar Breaks - Spring 2021 - Favorite Photo

 

              I think this could be my favorite photo I've ever taken at Cedar Breaks, Utah


PHOTOGRAPHY PEP TALK:   

This is for landscape and nature photographers who USED to chase the light by hiking up mountains, enduring adverse conditions and traveling around the world, in order to find and capture that perfect photo.  But now those days are only memories, either because of physical limitations, advancing age, or other barriers limiting mobility and endurance.  But I say, DON'T GIVE UP WHAT YOU LOVE TO DO.  There are still beautiful photos to be taken in your current situation.  You just need to look harder and recognize what is in 'your own backyard' or at least nearby.  This photo and spectacular scene was taken at over 10,000 ft. elevation and I started at 2800 ft. to get there.  But I didn't have to hike, I drove in a nice air conditioned car, and this view is seen from a parking lot.  I walked about 8 steps from my car to find this composition and take my photo.  So dust off your camera and find a way to keep doing what you love!

Cedar Breaks Spring 2021 - 1




It was a beautiful afternoon and evening in Cedar Breaks, Utah.  After a week of temperatures well over 105 degrees in St. George, it was a very pleasant 73 degrees here.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Monument Valley

 

On the road to Monument Valley we watched this thunderhead develop and stopped along the road to take a quick photo before the rain started.  Inclement weather can turn an ordinary scene into something dramatic and interesting.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

 Datura Stramonium

A story and a word of caution for those of you new to the St. George, Utah area, (or are visiting). This plant is called Datura stramonium, (Jimson Weed). It is common, 'showy', invasive and pops up in many places this time of year. It has large white flowers that are attractive, have a pleasant fragrance, (so I'm told), and capture the attention of nature lovers, flower photographers....and small children. We had one pop up in our back yard and hadn't bothered to remove it. Last week some of our young grandchildren were visiting. My granddaughter began picking tiny yellow flowers from another bush to make a bouquet for her mother, without asking permission. I noticed her doing so but did not care as the bush was loaded with these unremarkable flowers. A while later she came and asked me if she could pick one of the big pretty white flowers in the back of the yard. This time I was thankful that she asked first. I recall knowing they were poisonous, (but didn't know how poisonous), so of course I told her "no". Depending on which source you read, these plants are extremely poisonous under certain conditions and when ingested, have been used as a hallucinogen and known to cause intense visions, delirium, hypothermia, tachycardia, bizarre behavior. The effects on both mind and body are subjectively perceived as highly unpleasant, causing a state of profound and long-lasting disorientation with a potentially fatal outcome. Yikes! We now have one less plant in our backyard!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Poppies in Alpine, Utah

 

                                                                           Missing Spring in northern Utah!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Kayenta Sunset

 

Kayenta, Utah Sunset      
                                   The actual sunset wasn't nearly as dramatic as the view in the opposite direction!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Long Beach California Temple

 

Long Beach, California Temple 

Still going through photos I took several years ago. This was taken on a beautiful, peaceful evening as we strolled through the gardens surrounding the Long Beach California Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Inside temples like this, members take time away from the cares of the world to enter peaceful and beautiful surroundings where they can meditate, worship and renew their commitments to be followers of Jesus Christ.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Cactus Bloom

 

Early Morning In My Desert Garden


Friday, May 14, 2021

The Importance of Bees

 

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man." This quote, or some variation of it, is attributed to Albert Einstein. True or not, it is interesting to think about.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Dwarf Bear Poppy

 

Dwarf Bear Poppy
                                                                                                                 Beautiful, Resilient, Adaptable, Survivor

 

Nature can teach us so much about life! On this day I learned that one can find beauty almost anywhere if one looks hard enough, long enough or close enough. I also learned that being tenacious in adapting to one's surroundings and circumstances is a key to survival and growth. This charming plant, the Dwarf Bear Poppy, is only found in the barren deserts of Washington County, Utah, and can't even be grown in labs or protected gardens. In contrast to this harsh environment where it lives and survives, the plant and blooms look fragile and delicate as their petals flutter gracefully in the breeze.  Can you spot a couple of these plants from the long distance view below?



                                                

Small, Colorful, and Interesting

Often, when I take time to observe and focus my attention on seemingly small and overlooked things, I find they are actually colorful, interesting and have purpose as they go about their day's activities. Kinda like people. This was taken at a small pond near home.

 

Monday, May 3, 2021