Thursday, August 31, 2006


My good luck Japanese frog, Kaeru.

I used to have a neighbor who liked to say, “There is no such thing as luck” While I don’t have any firm belief in the power of luck, I just hate the idea that there might be no such thing!!

Wishing you good luck!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I got to bed very late last night – actually very early this morning. So last night before I went to sleep, I gave myself permission to miss the sunrise this morning. That might give you a clue to just how addictive the power of watching and photographing the sunrise is in my life. In a very real sense, I draw my personal power from witnessing and photographing these kinds of natural events.

So, I slept in until 6:00 a.m.

I got up and fed the cats and started the coffee, feeling fine with my decision NOT to go up the hill to watch the sunrise. After all, it was already VERY light out, much lighter than I prefer because as I have said before, it is the hour before sunrise that fascinates me the most. I like the darkness long before the sky lightens up.

Then I glanced out the window and saw the pink streaks across the sky and I dropped what I was doing and threw on some clothes and managed to get a few photographs just before the clouds turned white as the sun rose.

Go Ahead – call me an addict!

* I am also a little bit of an addict of online dictionaries.

**but I am really READY to start my day!

Monday, August 28, 2006

everything I need to know

For anyone who has watched a sunrise from start to finish (and what exactly does that mean???), you know that it is a procession of color and lighting changes that stream across the sky, sometimes subtle, sometimes surging. You may be looking at one spot, only to turn and see a totally different show going on in another part of the sky. It all happens very quickly yet seems to go on forever. It never ceases to amaze me and make me feel as if I have had a profound experience.
After all of the sunrise drama, then my day begins.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

exploring the grounds

On Friday during lunch, I decided to walk around the federal facility* where I work and take photographs of the prairie dogs that live here. There are plans to open this facility to commercial development and so I figure the prairie dog days are numbered. I headed out and the first thing I noticed was that there were prairie dog holes everywhere. The second thing I noticed was that as soon as I got anywhere near, the pdogs dive into their holes, making photography a little more challenging than I had in mind for a quick lunch time endeavor. As I looked around thinking about what to do, I noticed one of the many abandoned building not far off across a field. Unlike the outside world, in here, abandoned buildings are not subject to vandalism. Here their only problem is neglect and the elements. I have a fascination for old buildings so my curiosity got the better of me and I quickly abandoned my prairie dog mission for the lure of the speculation and mystery of the hunt for old treasure.

The first thing I found was a very small building next to a series of foundations with all kinds of well heads sticking up out of the ground. This building looked to be in good shape and maybe only recently abandoned but it was the stack of blue and white coolers outside that made me wonder. I am sure they were all empty, right?
On my way to the next nearby building, I found a perfect skull sitting rather peacefully under an old, neglected crab apple tree. It looked like a fox or coyote skull, both animals common to this area.
This building had a few boarded up windows, and lots of missing paint. It was really a complex of three buildings. The small dock-like area was completely open to the elements with one door tilted at an angle and partially off of its hinges.

I walked around to the west side and there nestled next to the building was an old wooden park bench. Up until now, this adventure was all about bricks and broken windows and peeling paint. But the bench brought it all into perspective. I wondered about the lunch breaks and who had enjoyed the afternoon sun and view of Green Mountain sitting here on this bench.

* a 670 acre fenced area secured by armed guards. Many of the buildings date back to WWII when this facility was a giant ammunition factory.

Friday, August 25, 2006


My younger son has gone away to college and I miss him more than I thought I would. A couple of days ago, I found a music CD in the car that he put together. He wrote ‘Steve’s Cool Mix’ on the cover! It has a wide selection of songs on it including I Promise You I Will by Depeche Mode and Toto’s Africa and even Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatt. The CD player in the car rarely works but for some reason, that morning it worked. Listening to these songs has sent me into a nostalgia jag of several days duration, with no end in sight!

I spent last evening peeling, cutting and freezing two boxes of delicious Noland Orchards western slope peaches. I just kept playing this CD over and over. Our weather has been mixed with cool and clouds, just the right atmosphere for me to indulge my emotions!

A post at Neil Shakespeare's blog (welcome back, Neil!!!) made me think of an old photo. When my boys were little, my dad converted his old riding mower, the Snapper Comet 30 to a tractor of sorts. He retired to the mountains and used it to haul brush and rocks. He also found the time to give my sons rides in the cart. One of our memories of the past.

As I finish this post, I think the clouds may be burning off but where will that lead (as I hit the replay button)?

every long lost dream lead me to where you are...

Monday, August 21, 2006

crescent moon & the morning star

wishing you a beautiful day!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

getting back

Like the photo of my younger son hurrying through the airport, my week has been a blur. Even though this is the second child to go to college, it seems like more work than ever. My stomach has been in knots over all of the details that needed to be taken care of. It will be such a relief when both boys are settled in school this fall and I can get back to my routine.

At least today, I got back to taking lots of photos and saw an incredible range of beauty. It was cool and rainy, our summer monsoon, for a good part of the day.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

off to college

he turned 18 on Tuesday, and Wednesday he left with
rolling carry-on, backpack AND pillow!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

blessings of the day

I have been photographing the sunrise several times a week to almost daily for about ten months now. I can tell it is going on a year because I can see the location of the sunrise starting to return to where it was in the sky when I first started.
There are so many things about sunrise that you notice if you greet it everyday.
While some people need more variety in their lives,
I find comfort and awe in the uniqueness that each new day offers.

Monday, August 14, 2006

What is it???

Monstera deliciosa

Monster Fruit


Saturday, August 12, 2006


This morning looked full of promise – several banks of textured clouds up off the horizon waiting to reflect sunrise colors. I got up to the field and sat on the hillside waiting for the right combination of light and color.

It was absolutely still and quiet.

Over the last weeks, I have noticed how the hot and dry summer have pressured my beautiful cottonwoods causing them to litter the grass below with a sparse blanket of leaves almost like the early beginnings of fall.

As I sat on that hill, I could hear the leaves break off of the branches and jostle other leaves as they fell to the ground. It was unlike the major rustling of leaves that you hear when fall is in full force, but the magical sound of one leaf at a time, over there and then over here and the gentle swish as it joined the other leaves on the ground.

Soon enough, the bustle of traffic gearing up for the weekend recreation ramped up and these gentle sounds were lost in the ripple of time.

Friday, August 11, 2006

waiting for pink

I slept in a little this morning. By the time I got up to the field, the first dark pink colors on the horizon were fading but the sky was full of clouds and I was optimistic and patient

When I was a little girl I remember having a favorite pink dress. But I had red hair and by some rigid logic of the 50’s, my mother told me that pink was not my color. Coming of age during the late 60’s and early 70’s, pink was imbued with a certain negative, less than strong, connotation.

But now that I have a deep understanding of who I am and acknowledge my own true feelings, I admit that I embrace and celebrate the color pink!

It is a good thing since I go in search of it on a daily basis!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

light & dark

The billowing gray clouds were just as magnificent as the bright pink sunrise colors.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


in the hour before moon set, 5:17 a.m.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Beautiful sky full of Clouds

A deep blue cloudless sky is a joy in itself
But give me a sky full of clouds any day!

The mist behind the trio of spruce draws my attention
As the sun breaks out into the morning sky.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

shades of gray

Except for the rich colors that streaked across the sky before the sunrise got swallowed up by the thick bank of clouds just above the horizon, this morning’s adventure was framed in shades of gray.

I made a quick trip up the hill to a vantage point followed by a quick trip down the hill to the lake.  There were two white pelicans on the water but a few minutes later, three more pelicans dropped in, swooping slowly overhead and gracefully landing in the water.   Unlike the smaller Canada geese, these big birds set down in a slow, quiet and graceful manner.  They circle first before landing as if carefully selecting their place in the lake.

White pelicans move through the water rather rapidly, constantly looking down for food.  I kept trying to get close to where they were, only to find myself on the opposite side of the lake most of the time.  Finally, I sat on a rock close to where they seemed to do a lot of fishing.  It was still too far away to get good photos but close enough to have a great view of them diving and eating.  After a couple of day’s closely observing waterfowl, I am definitely saving for a telephoto lens.

My photos all turned out looking almost as if I had used black and white film.  It was early and overcast and rather dark – but still a great start to the day.  We get more than enough sunny days here in Colorado.  I treasure the cloudy ones!

photo blogging!

I am going to be setting up a photo blog soon – just for photos. For now, I have started posting higher resolution images on my temporary photo blog if you care to look.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

changing perspectives

It was a strange start to my day. I got up and decided at the last minute to drive over to Belmar Park. The sky had some nice color but by the time I got there, the color had disappeared. I walked around the lake a little and noticed how weed-infested the grounds are � the result of shrinking budgets and the economy. It made me sad to think how little we value this sort of thing but I understand that park maintenance gets cut before other necessities.

By the time I got to one of the inlets into the lake, the sky had sprouted vibrant colors and incredible streaks and an amazing curly cue. I felt much better as I took some photos. As always, the vibrant colors last a few minutes and then they fade to white.

The morning people were starting to arrive, walkers, joggers and lots of dogs. I enjoy the morning people because they exude the same feelings that I feel: an awe of this time of day. The beauty, the quiet, the coolness, the dew, the procession of colors, the awakening of the birds from a few honks to an incredible ruckus of quacking and splashing. If you treat yourself to this daily spectacle, you may just find yourself renewed and refreshed and ready to face whatever comes your way.
After exchanging 'good morning's with a couple of people, my rather dour first impression was completely gone. These Belmar regulars had transferred their love of this special place to me. Now instead of seeing all weeds, I could see that the park was being managed to return the disturbed areas to native vegetation; it simply takes a long time. I talked to one elderly gentleman who was walking a very large, interesting puppy. I asked him what kind of dog it was and he told me it was an elderly Samoyed with a very short haircut! I could see the Samoyed but I swear this was a puppy! He told me to look for the black-crowned night herons over in the marsh.

I walked further to a part of the lake where the sun was already shining. I saw a little mist on the water and moved closer to get a photo. After one step, I could see an egret standing in the mist. I was able to snap one photo (with no time for set up � take what you get!) before the egret flew off in a loud complaining voice.

I had been waiting for the sun to reach the marsh, now it was and I headed over there. I was attracted to the brindle colors of the cattails and the numerous dead stumps sticking out of the duckweed-covered marsh. I followed the trail along the marsh for a few hundred yards and all of a sudden I noticed one of the black-crowned night herons sitting motionless and silent on a branch suspended over the water. I took some photos but the cattails were in the way and I really needed a telephoto lens to do the bird justice. But it was breathtaking to watch this bird for a few minutes. I walked further and was getting ready to take a photo of a mallard when I looked the other direction. Right next to me were two black-crowned night herons!

So I ended up doing what I often do when I go out to take photographs. I get lost in the moment and pretty much shut the rest of the world out. I guess maybe self-preservation kicks in at some point and the need to get to work inserts itself into my mind. I get to work late but I have already lived a lifetime by then.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Photo Friday - Private

the right touch

On the shore of Barker Reservoir, Nederland, Colorado
Summer, 2006

All Along the Watchtower

making sense of life

incredible morning
waking to the mid-50’s
(no, not talking about my age)
goosebumps on my skin
wet grass
dare I say?
hint of fall
in the air?

Did I vow something about hiking this morning?
Aaaah, another day sacrificed to the altar of photography*
Aaaah, another perfect start to the day!

*just following my heart!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dark Relief

I couldn’t wait to get out this evening and snap some new photos so that I could go beyond this morning’s really ugly photos.

The clouds were dark and moody with little pockets of pink. The fall high school athletes are back – with football practice, students running the track and the baseball field experiencing a major work over.

And there I was, dodging the sprinklers, looking to capture the mood.

Sun: Take a Vacation!

Every morning I try to get up at about 5:00 a.m. to check out what the sunrise will look like. If there are lots of interesting clouds and some dark orange-pink color, I consider getting up and going out to capture the sunrise. This morning I was tired and I could see that we had a solid cloud cover and nothing more than a lightening of the morning sky. I thought about re-setting my alarm and getting more sleep but then I realized:
the weather has changed
Just what I had asked for!!! It is cool and cloudy and there is a 40% chance of rain.
What is so noteworthy about a bad photo? When it expresses the out-of-sorts feeling that has pervaded my mood since the string of upper 90º days inflicted itself upon us.
But now I am rejuvenated and my body and psyche have a chance to recover from near pwp*

I celebrate and embrace the cool colorless sunrise this morning.
I hope the sun doesn’t bother to poke its head through the clouds
* permanent wilting percentage
**as I post this, the sun is starting to burn through the clouds...but a much cooler day is in store with an even cooler day forecast for tomorrow.....I think I feel a sore throat coming on....?