Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Call of the trees

Saturday, February 28th, 2009
Call of the trees

After three days, the Nordic Ski championships are over.  The day started two hours earlier than previous days, so it allowed me the opportunity to explore an aspen and birch grove that had grabbed my attention the previous two days.  It was cloudy and snowing again, which, for photographing an aspen grove, can have its advantages.  I parked on a side rode and slowly post-holed my way into the woods.  The practical aspects of my trip, flying rather than driving, compelled me to travel lightly and leave my snowshoes behind.  They would have come in handy on this particular venture, but I was not planning on going very far, anyway.  I was probably working my way onto private property and did not relish the thought of some cranky Fairbanks resident confronting me with a shotgun.  I worked the woods for about a half hour, trying to capture the repeating patterns of the trees while recognizing some of the diversity as well, including the occasional spruce here and there in the shots.  There is a reason that aspen and birch groves are often photo subjects for nature photographers.  They are compelling in the way they constantly repeat patterns and provide great textures and, in the days of autumn, a wonderfully rich source of color.

Upcoming Hawai’i presentation

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
Upcoming Hawai'i presentation

Eighteen years ago, I visited Hawai’i for the first time. I am not counting the two trans-Pacific flights I did through Hawai’i as a kid when we lived on Guam. No, this was a bona fide stop for four days with my ship, the U.S.S. David R. Ray, as she deployed from Long Beach Naval Station to the Persian Gulf, for what would turn out to be anything but a routine deployment.

Then, last December, Michelle and I spent about ten days on the Big Island, where I asked her to marry me. We trekked all over Hawai’i, spending time on the Kona Coast, going through the island on the saddle road and up to Mauna Kea, and down to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (where I learned I have been mispronouncing “Kilauea” all my life – the stress is supposed to be on the second syllable, not the third). For those of you who visited my old web site, before I had this blog, I posted the narrative of our daily treks on a travelogue on my site. Then, just a few months later, I traveled with the crew of the U.S.S. Peleliu from San Diego to Pearl Harbor to take crew portraits for their cruisebook covering their deployment to the Persian Gulf.

This coming Tuesday, December 16, I will be giving a presentation at the weekly meeting of the Alaskan Prospector’s Society at 7:30 at the First United Methodist Church on the Delaney Park Strip in Anchorage. I will talk about my experiences in Hawai’i, including some humorous notes on local culture, and present a slide show. The slide show will cover photos from both Hawai’i trips, in a piece called, “Hawai’i: By Land and By Sea.” While I know many marine officers were concerned about possible action in Iran, I am pleased to say that the ship and the 15th Expeditionary Marine Unit returned home to San Diego last month.

Driveway decor

Saturday, November 1st, 2008
Driveway decor

A couple of weeks ago, we had a good dose of heavy winds and rain that knocked all of the leaves on our trees down to the ground. I enjoyed the arrangements I saw on the ground, but simply did not have any time to photograph them until the weekend. On the Sunday I had planned to spend some time with them, I awoke to find heavy, falling snow accumulating on the ground. A warming trend took most of that snow away, giving way to the sunny, clear skies we have had as of late. This morning and early afternoon brought a fog to our neighborhood, so when I returned from photographing the Region IV gymnastics tournament, I saw frost crystals all over the leaves in the driveway. I spent a while capturing various compositions of leaves and frost, but I would say that this was my favorite.