Jul 152012

Is there something about aging that draws you closer to beautiful things like flowers?

30 years ago you would never hear me say “isn’t that flower beautiful!’  But now…..

We have (or I should say my wife) has planted tons of flowering plants, climbers, shrubs, pine, etc., etc.  My yard is beautiful.  So this afternoon I thought it was time to capture a few of them.  Of course I played with NIK filters and Photoframe.  Way to fun to just mess around on the computer today.






 Posted by at 7:02 PM
Jul 142012

My most difficult subject to find and capture in pixel form.

Thursday I received a call from a gentleman that introduced himself as an attorney.  Holy Crap!  Have you ever wondered why even with a clear conscience a call from an attorney inspires fear and self doubt.  Immediately he identified himself as an attorney for my employer.  And that he had a photographic question for me.  Ok.  I hope he has about an hour.  Get me talking about photography and there is no end to my enthusiasm.   In no time I met my match.  Though I had never met him before we were soul photography mates.  He loves wildlife photography.  Ok now we really clicked.  His question revolved around a purchase decision between two long lenses by Nikon.  Anybody that knows me knows that I have an opinion about everything.  Especially photography.  Quickly I poured out my photographic souls as to why one of the two lenses was the better choice.    Then we started to talk about photography in general.  And he mentioned he shoots Owls.  My bird nemesis.  Owls avoid me like the winning lottery.  With enthusiasm he mapped out several locations where I MAY find owls.  There was a slight caveat…. he had not been to the locations for a month or two.

Let’s see Thursday morning, Antelope island was one of the locations, it was going to be a very long day waiting to get out there and check out the sites.  Went out late and was skunked.  Went out very early Friday morning and was skunked again.  Went back Friday afternoon.  At the ranch on the island a volunteer worker said they had a barn owl in the Silo at the Ranch.  Christmas!  My heart was racing.  No owl at the silo.  Only an hour earlier a group was watching it.  My money says the spooked it out.  Oh well.  I’ll keep looking.

At the island there is an opportunity to always shoot buffalo. pronghorn, birds of all kinds and other critters.  In an hours time before I had to get home I found these friends and capture them so my time there wasn’t a waste…..





 Posted by at 8:42 PM
Jul 102012

I follow Moose Peterson’s Blog pretty religiously.  He is one of the few professionals that blogs multiple times a day.  And almost always he is helping the blog reader.   We have one thing in common.  We love to photograph clouds.  Though I don’t post many, my camera is aimed at clouds a lot.  Last week we flew in our jet to look at sites in a new area.  Late that day as we headed back home the cloud configurations were just spectacular.  Photographing through a window does not always provide the best results photographically.  I couldn’t pass on blogging these beauties!  Believe me I was glad my pilot averted the center of  these.  Better where we were looking back and getting some captures of this incredible site.

 Posted by at 6:18 PM
Jun 292012

I put up a bird’s nest last year hoping for a new family.  This year they are here.  Mom and Dad have been real busy feeding the mouth(s).  Until I put up the tripod and the 200-400 I didn’t know how many kids there are.  Every few minutes in rotation Mom and Dad are back feeding.  And the two mouths cried the whole time!




 Posted by at 8:38 PM
Jun 162012

I hope all you Fathers have a pleasing, gratifying and fulfilling fathers Day.  Especially those Fathers, Grandfathers, and Great Grand-Fathers that fought for my freedom.  There are so many cliches about gratitude for our servicemen and veterans.  Often I think about the sacrifices so many American men have made.  I do recognize the impact women have made also.  But this post is for Fathers day.  My Father served in the Navy.  I have never known the details of his service.  I do know this.  He is and will always be my hero.  For many more reasons than that he served overseas.   Thanks to all of you that have served or are serving our country.  Fathers if you will, of my freedom.

 Posted by at 9:13 PM
Jun 152012

In Bountiful they have an annual street party to benefit kids.  The following day they have a car show.  Tonight everyone had a chance to show off their cars.  I took thousands of photo’s.  It’s late and I have to get up early so here are three shots that I was excited to see in post and wow I loved them.  All three I ran through Color Efex Pro4 – Midnight and erased back the subject.

This first is a hood ornament on an old Cadillac.  Beautiful!!!!

My neighbor is a car buff.  This is his stylin’ car.

This car just blew me away when I saw it.  Had to get in the center of the road and down low for this shot.  Is this car sexy or what!!!!!!!!!!!

 Posted by at 10:11 PM
Jun 152012

Well I am in Las Vegas again.  103 degrees today.  And found another ……well…..you decide what this sidewalk performer is.

By the way.  He would not do his “thing” until I dropped cash in his tip bucket.  $1.00 and $5.00 wasn’t enough for the show.


Didn’t understand the relationship of Spiderman to what he was doing.

 Posted by at 12:25 AM
Jun 142012

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

 Posted by at 11:19 PM
Jun 132012

Every so often I run across the Long-Billed Curlew.  A unique bird..

The Long-billed Curlew is the largest nesting or regularly-occurring sandpiper in North America. It is 20–26 in long, 24–35 in across the wing and weighs 1.1–2.1 lb.  Its extremely long bill measures 4.4–8.6 in, and rivals the bill of the larger-bodied Far Eastern Curlew as the longest bill of any shorebird.   Adults have a very long bill curved downwards, a long neck and a small head. The neck and underparts are a light cinnamon, while the crown is streaked with brown.

And like most shore birds a blast to watch.

 Posted by at 7:49 PM
Jun 122012

Lately I have been reminiscing a lot about life in general.  And my life.

Whenever I do so my thoughts end up with the person I spent most of my early and mid-life with.  My Dad.  He taught me how to work.  He taught me to respect my elders.  And he taught me that debt was evil!  To avoid it at all costs.  As I have aged I realize the most important thing he taught me was personal status in the neighborhood/community and self respect where not connected.  Dad was wealthy.  I can say that now that he has been gone for over 10 years.  With never having any debt and working more than most men he had a good sum of cash.  He earned every penny through incredible physical and emotional stress.  A project at a time.    We put in the infrastructure for developments all over the county.  He was the best at his trade.  A very humble, modest and shy man.  His best traits.  Today as I usually do I drove home looking up our beautiful mountains.  As time as passed there has been a “king of the hill” contest on these mountains.  It has been a “who can build the biggest and be highest on the mountain” contest.  I don’t get it.  Really I don’t get it.  I drove up today and was reminded what these hilltop mansions look out to everyday.

They, in their multi-million dollar homes look out to the refineries, freeways, and us little people.  I say that with a little sarcasm.   At one event hosted by a wealthy (or very much in debt) family I overheard a person not of the area say while looking out the 2 story glass windows to the valley “look at all the little people”.  It made me chuckle.  I know a lot of people that live “up” on the hill.  There are a many good people there.  You would never catch my dad with that lifestyle.  In fact very late in life he bought his first new car.  Paid cash.  Then hid it in the garage.  He was to embarrassed to drive it.  He started driving it a little at night.  Mom took it out mostly.   The point is that dad could afford any house on the hill.  In fact when he was growing up and until his mid life he and his brothers owned most the land that now has huge mansions on it.  Used to be pasture.  Beautiful land.  Back then the rich lived near main street in classics like this one…

But you know what?  My Dad was the King of the Hill!  His life was spent saving, working like a madman, doing tons for all sorts of people.  Most of which any good deed he did anonymously.  He and I would go out often on Saturdays and do little side projects.  Mostly replacing old service laterals to homes that had failed.  He had created a way that we could take out the old galvanized pipe and replace it with copper without digging up the yard.  In most cases when we left you could barely tell we had been there.  He shared the proceeds with me from these odd jobs.  Extra spending money for car parts, etc.  After working all day he would approach the home owner for payment.   It was never a problem.  Unless it was a widow, a single mother or family in need.  As it turned out we would just leave and not ask for payment.  Man at times I wanted to kick my dad’s butt.  Let it be known that even at 73 in full Alzheimer’s he could still take me!   It was a bitter pill for me to swallow.  The money meant more to me than anything in the world.  And that was the problem and the lesson Dad taught me.  “if you do enough good things for other people, good things will happen to you”.  He said it often.  Only to me.

He built this home that I was raised by hand.  Dug the foundation out by hand.  Hand mixed all the concrete for the footings and foundation.  Took down a quonset hut piece by piece at Hill Air Force Base and hauled all the wood, windows and hardware from South Ogden to Bountiful.  Built the majority of the home out of the materials from the old building at Hill Air Force Base.  For many years he and Mom and my sister lived in the house with mostly unfinished stud walls.  A small home full of memories.  Hand built by the REAL King of the Hill.  MY DAD!!!!

 Posted by at 10:01 PM