PFTA: Anomalous Clouds

Back in 2008, I went on a camping trip in the Joshua Tree forest in the Beaver Dam Wilderness Area, just east of Beaver Dam, Arizona.  It was a relaxing weekend and lots of exploring opportunities were enjoyed.  Just after setting up camp, I was taking photos (lots of them) of the Joshua Trees, the desert, cliffs, and of course, the sky.

This post is my entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge of camping.

When I first photographed the clouds, this first one looked kind of weird, almost like a hand had been pushed down on the sky and made the clouds.

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This second image is even stranger.  I was taking photos of the sunset and really didn’t notice the formation in the clouds until several years later while looking at this image on a large screen.  Needless to say, I was dumbfounded when I saw it.

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Crazy, huh?  Any ideas on what it could be, besides a random cloud?  Please let me know what you think.

Kelly

PFTA: Squirreled Away

Back in 2005 when i was working at the Grand Canyon South Rim,  I would walk to and from work when the weather was good.  Sometimes I would run into some wildlife.  While walking home one afternoon, I came across an Abert Squirrel.  They are distantly related to the famed Kaibab Squirrel on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  At one time they were the same species; however, being separated by the Grand Canyon for thousands of years, they have evolved into unique species.  This little guy was playful and didn’t mind posing for his cameo.

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Enjoy,

Kelly

PFTA: Grand Canyon Storm

This is an image from the Photo From The Archives series.  I took this in the early winter of 2004 when I was working at the Grand Canyon South Rim.  If memory serves, this was taken at Yaki Point during a snow storm that was slamming the North Rim.  IMG_0635.jpg

Enjoy,

Kelly

FOTD: A Step Back in Time

Now that everything is closing around us, and everyone is encouraged to stay indoors, I thought it would be a good idea to go through my archives and showcase images that I’ve never shown or haven’t shown in ages.

This is a wonderful image taken back in October 2007 of two old, dilapidated fishing cabins near the shore of Kolob Reservoir just outside of Zion National Park, Utah.  At one time I had edited this image to have a metallic embossed feel to it; however I still like the original image better.  This is also my submission to a photo challenge from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

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Enjoy,

Kelly

Shutdown Day One

Zion Lodge officially closed today until May 21 for COVID-19 concerns. The next eight weeks are going to prove interesting, not only here but pretty much everywhere.

For now, Zion remains open with many NPS services curtailed or closed; however, it’s advisable to practice social distancing and proper hygiene and self isolation for infection concerns. I see too many automobiles from out of state, such as Washington, and California, the two most common besides local plates, so it’s only a matter of time before the virus gets here. It would be nice if people would treat this crisis more seriously instead of going on extended spring break vacations.

That being said, I can understand people wanting to get into the Great Outdoors instead of being cooped up in their homes all day. If you’re going to do outdoor activities, please be responsible and do it in small groups under five and avoid crowded trails.

I may be stoking the desire to get to the national parks for awhile, but please do so if it’s in your own back yard if possible. There are many open spaces that can be enjoyed in quick trips instead of driving across states to visit us here. If your state or city advises you to stay home, please do so.

Enjoy and be safe, Kelly

Merry Christmas from Zion NP

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

I will do my best to post more frequently in the coming year. I have so many posts planned, but it seems that work and life get in the way too frequently.

Merry Christmas.

Enjoy, Kelly

Mont Saint Michel Revisited

I know it’s been several months since I’ve been to France, and a few weeks since I last posted.  First, my apologies.  I have so many posts that I have wanted publish, but I haven’t been able to sit down and write them.  Here is such a post.

IMG_2398I’ve done some research on Mont Saint Michel Abby, and it was first constructed in 800 AD by the Romans as a military outpost.  Later, it became a hallowed shrine by some monks from Ireland.  Within a few centuries, it was rebuilt as a Catholic Abby.

During the 100 Year War, it was fortified to withstand the sieges that happened here.  During this period the outer defenses were constructed around the village.  During high tide, it’s completely shut off from the mainland.

In the early 1700’s it fell in decline and was pretty much abandoned by the monks, so Napoleon took it over and converted it into a state prison facility for political dissidents.  By 1847, it was falling into neglect and disrepair, so Victor Hugo spearheadded a movement to save the Abby from desolation and destruction.  By 1900, it was again occupied by monks as a monestary.

I have been wondering why it wasn’t destroyed during World War II, and in my research, I found that it was occupied by the Nazis for almost the entire war.  There was a garrison in place to monitor radio communications, but that was pretty much it.  They revered this Abby so much that they were adamant that nothing happen to it.  It became a relaxation resort for German officers and their families during the war.  At the end of the war, an American journalist and another American soldier drove up to the gates of the Abby to visit it, and the German soldiers there immediately surrendured and the Abby was liberated.

I read somewhere that the treasures from this Abby were taken to Saint-Lo for safe keeping in the church there.  Sadly the city was devestated by the Americans to force the Germans out and all treasures were destroyed.  The treasures of Mont Saint Michel were ancient texts and writings.  However I haven’t been able to verify the accuracy of these events regarding the treasures of Mont Saint Michel.

During our visit, we were able to go into the village a bit, and wander about the outer wall.IMG_2537

The inner gate that looks like it could close off and defend the village and Abby at any time.  Inside, there is a weighted wall and portcullis that looks operational, along with a drawbridge.

Other views of the Abby from along the wall.

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Our visit the the Abby was at 10:00pm, just before sunset at 11:00pm.  Looks like we might not make it back to the mainland with the tide coming in…

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It was an enjoyable adventure, and if you ever get the chance to visit this amazing place, DO IT!!

 

Enjoy,

Kelly

A Special Treat

Yesterday we went to the Batterie Maise, which was a German artillery battery nest with several 550mm guns and several 400mm anti aircraft guns. I’ll do a post on this when I can develop my photos.

Late in the afternoon, we decided to take a side trip and go see Abbeye Mont-Saint-Michel.

When we got there, the tide was starting to come in, which was amazing to see. We were able to walk around inside the sea wall and on the ramparts, which was absolutely amazing.

When I get all my photos developed, I’ll do a full post just on this.

As we were leaving, the tide was really coming in, and it was pouring rain.

It was just before sunset (10:00pm) when we left, and just after sunset, the sky went deep orange and red, however all we could see at that point was trees, because we had already left and was back in the parking lot.

Enjoy!