Sunday, April 29, 2007

drenched in pink

(Common Chokecherry)

Wasn’t I just talking about snow? In contrast, we have reached 80º F both yesterday and today. Many of our fruit trees and native flowering shrubs are at their peak of display.

(three cormorants - underwater!!)

Yesterday, I returned to a city lake that I haven’t been to since a frozen morning this past winter. Sloan’s Lake is home to many cormorants. They are fun to watch and frustrating to try and photograph. As soon as you fix your camera on them, they dive completely under the water. Sloan’s Lake is a much bigger lake than most of the others that I photograph regularly. Soon it will be open for boating.

(city reflections)

This morning I returned to Addenbrook Park where the geese made a point to swim by and check me out. Both mornings were drenched in pink. It is a notable change from earlier in the year when these cloudless mornings tended to have rather pale colorless sunrise.

(Canada geese at Addenbrook Park)

I am getting close to leaving for my work detail in Albuquerque. I will relocate there for 10 weeks. My job will be on a crew conducting endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher surveys on the Rio Grande. We will walk the riparian area on both sides of the river where we will listen and look for these birds. I have never done one of these surveys before but I am very excited to have the experience. We will work the hours that the birds are active: from sunrise to about 11:00 a.m. Can you believe that? I will be on the Rio Grande for sunrise every weekday for 10 weeks. Since my background is in field biology, I know that this will be challenging (being out in the elements) and that I will see things that you just don’t get to see when you get out in nature for just a little bit of time.

I am going to live with my sister and she is letting me bring my cat, Wiskerz. My dad also lives in town, so I will have the opportunity to spend extra time with him. It will be hard to leave my home and my sons but I think that they are quite capable of being on their own AND taking care of home! It won't be hard to leave my office!! (did I say that??)

Just think of the opportunities for sunrise photography??

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Thursday, April 26, 2007


morning after the storm

petals litter the ground

The aftermath of a spring snowstorm - the panoramic snow-covered front range that runs north and south as far as the eye can see.

second morning after the storm - Front Range still covered with snow

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

winter is back - temporarily!

After an evening of ominous clouds loaded with tornado watches, I woke up this morning to heavy driving rain. We don’t get this kind of rain very often. My drenched morning photos (not to mention my drenched clothes) are testimony to the wimpy umbrella that I was trying to stay dry under.
It kept flipping inside out – outside in.
Holding it was a little like wrestling a tiger.
Try to imagine that I was taking photos with a Holga.

By this evening, the wind whipped rain has turned to snow. Imagine giant snowflakes swirling all around. I am hoping that it stays light and that my apple tree, now in bloom, is spared.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spring unfolds slowly

Saturday was a beautiful start to the weekend – a blue-gray-pink sunrise at Crown Hill Park. The water was glassy-smooth except for the waves created by the ducks. It is so smooth that it is almost hard to find a focus that doesn’t look out-of-focus.

I have been spending my spare time (on those rare occasions when I don’t have a camera in hand or am not managing files!!) getting my house in order. I will be heading out of town in a few short weeks for a work detail that lasts until the end of July. I will do a post soon on exactly what I will be up to – no one would guess!! I will have lots of opportunities to photograph new scenery so I am looking forward to it. But between now and then – YIKES! I will be leaving my home in the care of my 18-year-old son with some help from my 22-year-old son (when he is not in Japan or Hungary!). That isn’t as brave as it sounds – my 18 year old is a good kid who is not at all wild. I gave my children all the rope they needed to hang themselves while growing up so they learned to set their own boundaries. However, I am not expecting miracles in terms of yard care or house cleanliness!!

This morning at Addenbrook Park, there was a bank of clouds that hid any bright sunrise colors. It was still beautiful – the intense green grass and the wind-swept water. As I walked around the lake, a man with his dog stopped to tell me that he sees my photos on the Internet and thinks they are beautiful. That really made my day!! Afterwards, I realized I should have asked him where on the Internet he sees them!! I do have them all over the place. You just have to know where to look!!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

sometimes rain brings out the best

I am in the habit of taking my camera with me everywhere. Yesterday, suddenly I found myself in Boulder with about 50 minutes to spare while waiting to have lunch with my older son. So where did I go? It was cool, cloudy and damp. So I went to Columbia Cemetery, just a few blocks from where I was waiting. I was struck by how much lichen was growing on the bases of many of the headstones. When it is damp like this, the lichens plump up in a display of vibrant colors. It is a sharp contrast to the generally very muted colors that you see in a cemetery!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

embrace and celebrate

The snow never showed up. I am not unhappy about that. Last night we had RAIN - precious rain. We just don't get much rain here;
it is a special feast for the senses when we do.

Many of our trees here are being sensible and have not leafed out yet. So I am enjoying the last days of seeing their beautiful winter shapes. I always see winter trees as sending out their branches in infinite patterns of embracing the world around them,
not a bad way to go through life.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

winter may return with a vengeance

sunrise reflected on my car roof

As I write this, we are under a winter storm warning. All day there was talk of over a foot of snow overnight and into the morning. Airlines began canceling flights scheduled for tomorrow in anticipation of this heavy snowstorm. Now they are backtracking and the estimate is for 7 inches. Whatever we get – it will be more than I care to see! I did have the feeling this morning that I might not see these colors again for a couple days.

faded but not forgotten

I wonder what I will wake up to.....


Sunday, April 08, 2007

winter lingers

It has been a snowy weekend – until now. Sunday evening and now the sun is shining! I spent a good part of the day cooking a delicious, yet simple dinner. Both of my boys were home so we had a real “sit-down” dinner, a very rare occurrence here.

This morning when I headed out to the lake,
it was snowing very lightly. By the time I left the lake, after sunrise, it was snowing steadily. It was quite beautiful with the distant shore of the lake just a faint impression through the fog and snow. There was a coating of clear ice on most of the plants but with the dark overcast lighting, you had to be there to appreciate it. There were few people out but I did chat with one elderly man and his dog. He wanted to share just how beautiful it was with the fresh snow cover.

There are just a few remnants of snow and LOTS of green.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

finding time, making time or escaping time??

I haven't gotten out to any place really new this week, politics have diverted my attention and of course work demands my attention! From the perspective of the middle of the work week, the sunrise last Sunday seems more beautiful than ever. My hard drive is getting full so I must now take some time to check my backups and then retire more files - I hate doing that!
This image reminds me of the feeling I often get when I am out in the morning - time ceases to weigh on me. I can wander about and take lots of photos and then suddenly I "wake" up and decide it is time to return to my "other" life. Some mornings though, it is rush rush rush - have to get home, have to finish chores, have to get to work, etc. etc.
Tomorrow morning, I think I will try to slip back into that "timeless" world!
(I do have a pretty active imagination!)

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

surprisingly frosty morning

Even though the daytime temperatures are getting into the 60's and 70's, the mornings have been hovering around 30 degrees.