Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Colors of Summer

A large purple Morning Glory turns its face to the sum

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Consider this little hummingbird. It is hatched from an egg no larger than a small pea. Each wing is aproximately 3/4” long, yet the feathers are constructed just like a larger birds. Its feet are about 1/8” wide, yet they have very sharp and well defined claws. Its wings flap 80 times per second in normal flight and up to 200 times per second in a power dive. It can fly 30 miles per hour. It must consume five times its weight in nectar and insects (which it catches inflight) each day. And, yes, its beak opens and, no, it doesn't suck up the nectar through its beak like a straw...it has a long and tiny tongue that laps up the liquid. Many of our plants are pollinated by this little workhorse, and in spite of its diminutive size it lives about five years. It is a living, breathing marvel of miniturization.

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 70-300 VR. Shutter priority at 1/1500, ISO 800, full sun manual white balance.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Little Bit of Everything

A common Corn Flower is quite lovely against a wetland background. I used to view these as just weeds when I was young because they grew wild everywhere.

These plants, "Arrowheads", grow in the late summer in the pools of water found in the Farmington Bay wetlands. 

Mourning doves are edible, and used to be considered game birds (and still are in a few States), but they are so approachable and incautious that  it would seem cruel to kill one. They are a protected specie now in many, if not most, States, and besides, who doesn't find their call such a mournful sound. You've  just got to feel sorry for them!
I took a trip to Grand Junction, Colorado to attend the High School graduation of my grand daughter, Abby Marchant. Her parents, David and Denise Marchant, my daughter Sheryl Cisney, and my son Tony all live there, along with several of my other grand children. Sheryl and my wife and I took a drive up to the Colorado National Monument.  This picture was taken there.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Exceptionally Spectacular Sunset

The Day's Last Rays
The many fires around the State of Utah are causing a lot of smoke in the air. The air quality is horrid, but the smoke makes for beautiful sunsets.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The brightest moon of the year 2010. Known as a "Wolf Moon" because native Americans claimed that the wolfs would always howl when the moon came up, it is so bright because it is a full moon during the the time when the moon is closest to the earth in its orbit. (Taken with a Canon 40D, Canon 100-400mm @ 900mm equivelant.)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Arches National Park

This iconic view of Delicate Arch in Arches National Park is seen on many Utah license plates. It is located at the end of a one and one-half mile trail that includes soft, fine sand and sandstone "slick rocks" which are as large as a football field. It rises 500 feet along the way and takes about 45 minutes to complete. The hike is quite demanding, especially in hot weather (which is most of the time!). However, there were a substantial number of groups going up which included small children as young as four or five years old. I even saw one guy carrying an infant in a back-pack, and one couple who each had a toddler on their back.

Immediately behind the arch is a several hundred foot drop, but none the less, people scrambled all over around the base of the arch.
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How Little We Humans Are

After posting the photo of Delicate Arch earlier, I realized that it was impossible to judge the size of the formation as it was shown. If you have never seen it you could have imagined that it was, for example, six feet tall. Here is shown how massive the formation is by the inclusion of some "tourists". (Isn't it always those other people who are tourists?)

The Trail to Delicate Arch

This is part of the trail to Delicate Arch and depicts some of the huge sandstone "slickrock" that you cross along the way.

If you enlarge the image by clicking on it you may be able to see the parking lot and trail head in the background. The hike was strenuous, and I would think twice before doing it again, but I might if it were earlier in the morning when it was very cool.
This photo shows one of the nicer and easier portions of the trail to Delicate Arch. It is only gently inclined and is a smooth, hard surface. The red color of the sandstone is natural and and has not been emphasized.
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Another, less famous, arch located near to it's more spectacular sibling, Delicate Arch.
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There are so many photogenic scenes in Arches NP that you can't begin to see or capture them all. Suffice it to say that there has been a lot of film burned up over the years trying to do just that. This location has been used to film so many western films that it would be hard to name them all, and photos from here have graced the covers of a lot of photo magazines and calendars. I look forward to returning again soon.
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Utah Color Country

My wife and I went to Moab, Utah, over Labor Day weekend with my step daughter and her husband and kids. I have wanted to see Arches National Park for a long time, and I did and it was stunning, but this photo was taken from Dead Horse Point located within a State Park of the same name (No kidding!). This scene is part of the Colorado River Basin located just 30 miles outside Moab, Utah.
I look like I'm ten feet tall here, but it's just because I'm standing by a bunch of little people (including my wife) These are my step daughter Jaime's children (left to right) Nick, Brooklynne and Brigham.

This viewpoint is accessible only via a rustic trail composed of fine sand, sandstone rocks and brush. We biked in, which was quite challenging, and is a story in itself!

The background looks like it's fake, but I guarantee you that it isn't. The drop-off into the canyon, located just eight or so feet in back of us, will literally take your breath away if you get too close to the edge. Brookie, as she is affectionately called, is one of those kids who knows no fear. In fact, you might say she is wreckless! She scared us so many times by trying to get closer to the edge of the canyon that we ended up making her hold onto one of our hands until we left.
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The Tourists

This picture (expertly photographed by yours truly!) shows our group that went to Moab. From left to right, Nick, my wife Paulette, Brooklynne, Ben Griffiths (with Brigham on his shoulder) and my step daughter Jaime. It seems awkward for me to call her my step daughter because she was only eight years old when her mother and I were married. Ben is a dentist and his practice is in Mapleton, Utah.

Little Brigham is a joy for me. He calls me "Gumpah" and next to his mom and dad, I am number one! He picks up the phone at home, hands it to his mother and says, "Gumpah", then breaks out laughing when I begin to talk to him!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

White daisy with critter

A quick shot of a beautiful white daisy. When I downloaded it to my computer I could see that it was playing host to a tiny critter.

The Little Critter

Many times I am startled to find tiny insects present in my photos that I had not seen with my naked eye. Considering that the entire daisy in this photo is about the size of a silver dollar it is amazing to me that something this small is a living creature.