Thursday, May 27, 2010

Midnight in the Mountains

I took this picture just a few minutes ago from the back porch. The moon was shrouded in clouds. The aspens were looking particularly wispy...and after seven tries, I think I got one good picture. Taking shots at night is difficult, so I do not take too many (and therefore I don't have a lot of practice). Maybe this is something I need to work on.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A week ago

Before we landed in WY for the summer, we went to 3 national parks. I've posted pictures of two of them, but never got around to posting pictures from Capital Reef, which is in Torrey, UT. It's a beautiful place, filled with colors similar to those of Bryce and Zion, yet the formations are different and mesmerizing too. Here are a few of my favorites. Right now I wish I was there, as it's still snowing and cold in WY, but it was warm and sunny there. We'll get some sun here, someday, I hope!
The desert varnish leaves streaks and strips, sometimes they are straight like this, other times they are less regular. This was a stunning example of straight stripes. We called it "Tiger Rock."
This was taken from the ridge. If you look way down, you see an amazing canyon and the meandering river that cut it.
This is the Dome that gives the National Park it's name. It looks like the dome of a Capital.

Not a good place to get lost. Even the trees are lonely.

Yet, it's springtime, so a few flowers were blooming in the red, hot soil.
The end of the road. There are 3 dirt roads in the park, as well as one paved road. Naturally we ventured down all of them. The track indicates there is some traffic behind the gate, but we did not see any. One more piece of evidence that says CRNP has not been discovered.
I call this picture "The Scream" because it reminds me of Munch's painting of the same name. We drove to the end of a dirt track then went for a little walk. There, looking at me, was this face in the rocks. It's huge by the way...well over 8 feet tall. I can hear it scream...can you?

Capital Reef is a beautiful place to visit. The last time we were there was 35 years ago (and we're not even that old). The nice thing about National Parks is their lasting beauty. Once a place gets into the system, it gets saved from the forces of development and "modern living." It's a good thing for the soul to have these natural places.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Guess What?

We are at home in WY where it's supposed to be spring.'s not quite spring yet in the Rockies. To prove that, we woke up to snow this morning. For two native Californians who are not used to snow, this is exciting and interesting and fun. For folks who live here all the time, they are beginning to wonder if it is ever going to end.

Here's the view thru the front door.

Needless to say, we took a drive in the snow. It's not deep and I doubt it will last more than a few hours, so the driving is easy.

In town, we saw the "official" temperature...if the Bank is correct!

On a more interesting note, the aspens have just started to leaf out. The tiny leaves are a sweet light green. With a cover of snow them, they are a bit out of place. I wonder what too much snow on leafy trees does to the tree?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gone to the Birds

For some reason, I have been fascinated with birds on this trip. Here are few more pictures of the finches at Zion and the cheeky ravens at Bryce.

The finches were across from our RV site so I was trying to take pictures of them on the wing. I have a few successes. These birds are little athletes!

On the other hand, there is the Raven. Cheeky does not even begin to describe how brazen and brassy this bird is. He was not afraid of me, and I was within 5 inches of his beak! He looked me in the eye and dared me to get nearer. I took pictures of him for about 5 minutes before he became bored and soared away. It was a great 5 minutes.

...and here is his final gift to me!


Bryce National Park is a wonderland of hoodoos in a rainbow of colors. Here are some of the pictures I took today. BTW if you see white stuff on the ground, it is snow!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


In our campground there are a couple of folks who are feeding finches. These small yellow birds seem to love what is in the feeding sack. Take a look.

and every so often, you can catch a bird on the wing...


Meet Zip, a wonderful dog who loves her person Bill.

Into the Kolob

Zion National Park has  at least two faces: one is the usual Zion Canyon which we saw yesterday; the other is the Kolob, which is less frequented by visitors. Today we went to the Kolob where we experienced winter. Yesterday we had sunshine and warm weather, today we had rain on the valley floor and snow at the upper elevations. The icy decorations on the mountains was beautiful to behold.