This cloud photo was taken while we were getting gas right before we got to Moab. I looked up- and wow!
I must admit I haven’t used my camera since I came back from my last trip to Alaska. I first had a major (for me) attack of allergies, which kept me down and out for a couple weeks- and then last week I had an unexpected oral surgery (an infection in an old root canal). I am really looking forward to getting out again with my camera soon-ish!
In the meantime, I have declared it Cloud Week on my blog! I had never traveled much in the Southwest until we moved here- so I am still constantly amazed by the dramatic cloudscapes. Today’s shot from Moab is fairly tame-but I love the simplicity and colors in this early morning sky.
My friend, Carol, is visiting! After an afternoon at Barnstar Brewery and a delicious barbecue dinner, we all sat outside talking, laughing, and watching birds until after dark. As we got up to go inside, we were surprised to look up and see clouds which had not been visible earlier. Carol and I got our cameras to photograph the moon peeking out through the cloud cover and were surprised to see the colors that appeared in our images. Smoke from the fire? I don’t know.
In this shot, you can see a star in the lower part of the photo.
I didn’t know the moon would be full last night, but when I sat down to wait for the rice to finish cooking for dinner, I could see the moon through the front window. I wish I had been there to see it pop up over the horizon, but I am delighted to have captured the moon at sunset.
Our son-in-law took us for a drive over to Eklutna Lake, which was not yet completely frozen. The icy shoreline proved irresistible to kids and dog who immediately were running and sliding and having a great time.
I realized I haven’t posted as many black and whites as usual- and I do love black and white. So I converted today’s image into a monochrome, although I think I like it better in color.
We are blessed with a view of beautiful Arizona sunrises, which I never get tired of photographing. Lonnie and I were both out there as the sky shifted from red and pink to orange and finally blue this morning.
In January, a sign went up in the empty lot across the street from us, indicating a new home was going to be built. Soon, dirt and rocks were dumped along the sidewalk, a sure indication that grading was going to be taking place on the property. Eight and a half months later, no more work has been done.
We may not have new neighbors, but new life is appearing in those piles of dirt, thanks to the monsoon rains. Wildflowers have sprouted, their cheerful heads reaching toward the sky- in contrast to the images of sunflower decay I’ve been posting!
Our boat trip along the Kenai fjords in Alaska was one of the most memorable travel experiences of my life. Despite the rain and fog and the constant rolling motion (4 foot swells in places, they said- is that unusual? I don’t know.) and sometimes rough waters, it was amazing! We spent most of our time on deck, except for when the rain became too much, and were constantly awestruck by the dramatic coastline and the opportunities to see whales, puffins, eagles, porpoises, seals, and sea lions. And oh yes- glaciers! My photos of the scenery include mostly gray shapes with water spots- not too many keepers, considering how many I shot.
Here is one of my better land/sea-scape shots- taken while the boat was in motion and there was little rain. I wish I could say exactly where on the map this was. The mountains seemed to rise right out of the sea- with snow and glaciers and clouds to round out the scene.
It is almost a tradition with us to go out driving into the forested side of town on a snowy day to see what we can see. Although we live in a relatively small town, there are definitely microclimates within the town. Our neighborhood is definitely a high desert climate, but a few miles away (and a few hundred feet higher), it is more of a mountain climate. They get more snow- and it is really pretty!
I took this through the front windshield as we drove toward the Thumb Butte, which was shrouded in fog that morning. We only have patches of snow left at our house- but I would imagine there is still a lot of snow left in this part of town.
Such a fun adventure we had yesterday in Sedona! We drove over in the middle of the afternoon and had a great time wandering around and checking out the galleries and shops at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at El Rincon, where, to the amusement of our waitress, I couldn’t resist photographing the reflection of the little white lights on the overhead umbrella on my spoon. Midway through dinner, the flamenco guitar music began!
During dinner, Lonnie was googling best places for sunset photography in Sedona, so we ended up on an overlook on Airport Road. The wind had kicked up, and it was threatening rain, making for dramatic clouds.
After we walked across the road and began setting up, I realized I didn’t have my cable release, so I walked back to the car and lugged my whole camera bag back across the road to where my tripod was set up. Lonnie and Carol were busy photographing the scene while I got set up again. What I didn’t realize was that they were photographing a tornado forming! I continued taking photos of the rocks, oblivious to what they were seeing. Fortunately, I have a few shots at the end of the event- although I didn’t know what I was shooting. It wasn’t until we got home and they started talking about the tornado, that I realized what I had missed! You can check out Carol’s magnificent twister photos at http://infocusdaily.com
Last night’s sky called me outside at sunset. Looking out the window, I saw everything bathed in a warm glow . There were pink and orange clouds, the moon was peeking through wispy clouds, and there was thunder and lightning in the distance. I had my Lensbaby with Edge 80 attached (a very zoomed in focal length for my crop sensor camera), but, knowing how quickly the light changes at this time of day, I didn’t dare stop to change lenses. I have no images that capture the panoramic view of these majestic clouds across the sky. I know, I know- I should have used my iPhone. . .
I still have photos I haven’t posted from Santa Fe! Here are two Lensbaby shots taken during the golden hour of this magnificent building by the square.
First I saw the God-beams. . .
After leaving the plains of Kansas, we drove to Colorado, spending the night at Limon. We decided to get up early-ish (early for us, late for landscape photographers) the next morning to drive to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs before heading to Santa Fe. We woke up to overcast skies and got to the park around 9:00 or 9:30. Garden of the Gods is a public park with paved walkways among gorgeous red rock formations. It was relatively uncrowded, probably because it appeared that it would rain at any moment. We were both eager to see the iconic view of Pike’s Peak through the red rocks, but of course, you couldn’t see the mountains because of the clouds. I love the combination of gray clouds and red rocks, but I was really hoping to see Pike’s Peak!
After walking through the park for awhile and monitoring the skies in case we had to make a dash to the car, we finally decided a drive around the park might give us a glimpse of the mountains. We drove around, but all we saw were clouds and red rocks- and more clouds. But as we got out of the car to look at the Balancing Rock, we noticed that the skies were beginning to clear a bit.
Persistence pays off!
We are home now, after a LOOOOONG drive through Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico and a day off to celebrate my birthday in Santa Fe. There are a lot of photos to go through- especially from Santa Fe, where I tried to take enough photos with my Lensbaby to satisfy the photo essay requirement for the last week of the class (even though I’m not a full participant and won’t be evaluated).
So today, I again celebrate the flat horizons and vast expanses of Kansas with these minimalist shots, both taken with the Edge 80 optic.