The Last Super Moon of 2020

Last Thursday night was the last super moon of 2020. It seemed like a good idea at the time to go out and get photos of it. In retrospect, next time I will go to higher elevations for reasons you will soon discover. I asked Siri when the moon would rise that night, and it said 21:03 (or 9:03pm). I thought that would be fantastic, so I grabbed my equipment about 8:45pm to set up everything to capture the moon. It wasn’t too much longer before it got dark. I checked my astronomy app for the position of the moon, and sure enough, it was just coming up over the horizon. I knew I had time to kill, so I decided to take a couple of star shots before the moon came up. According to my app, the bright star in the center is Antares.


After about a half hour, I realized that I was going to be there a while, because I’m looking at a 2,000 foot cliff waiting for the moon to come up over the horizon and peer into this deep canyon. Finally, I was rewarded for my wait. Three hours later, the moon started its rise over the cliffs about 12:30am, way past my bed time, but the wait was absolutely worth it!

The moon was illuminating the trees on the top of the cliffs just before it came up.

Slowly, but surely, the moon made it from behind the cliff, and it was an amazing sight to behold. Check it out!

I went to bed not long after, basking in the pleasure of seeing the last super moon of 2020 rise over the cliffs of Zion National Park. I found out later that the super moon peaked at 6:30 that morning. It was tiring but fun. Enjoy!

PFTA: Zabriskie Point

In my former life as a tour guide, I took a small group to Yosemite and San Francisco.  After leaving Las Vegas, the first stop we made was at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park.  It’s a nice two minute walk from the road up a small hill that has this beautiful vista.  It was a beautiful spring morning and I was enjoying my first visit to Death Valley.  I saw this view, and I was in awe at the beauty of the desert. 

Enjoy

PFTA: Reflections

In the Fall of 2016, I went to Kolob Reservoir which is just outside of Zion National Park to look at the fall colors.  The lake is surrounded by Quaking Aspen and pine trees.  This was taken from the dam.

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It is my wish that everyone can take a few minutes or more every day during this time of stress and uncertainty, and reflect on the blessings, the positive things and have hope for a quick return of some normalcy in life.

If we really think about it, do we want more of the same rat race we had before the shutdown?  Or do we want to remember the things we’ve learned during this quarantine to become better people, better family and neighbors, and cherish that human contact we are all craving in this time of separation?

Enjoy

 

PFTA: Watcher in the Brush

On a beautiful fall day in 2014, it seemed like a good idea (at the time) to go into the mountains to chase elk.  It was a beautiful day, and the weather was perfect for such an activity.  Up on the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park, it was easy to go off into the wilderness to go look for elk.  Something to remember, this is the fall, and during the fall is rutting season for the elk.   Coming into a clearing with beautiful vistas of lower Zion and the plateaus in Arizona off in the distance, I decided to stand on this boulder to look over the scrub oak and photograph this view.

IMG_2076_1.jpgIf you look closer, there is a watcher in the brush.  He was looking at me very intently and I was starting to get a bit nervous, because he’s only about 30 feet away and the only thing between us is the brush.  I spoke to him and told him I was only taking his photograph, and he settled down.  I got a little higher up on the boulder and realized he had a lady friend there on the ground and I was interrupting him.  Oops…

PFTA: Not Social Distancing

Every once in a while I get a hankering to hike in the deserts of Southern Utah.  This image comes from one such adventure in 2014.  I was taking macro shots of this yellow desert flower when I had a couple of unexpected visitors.  I guess they didn’t mind each other’s company, and I enjoyed the moments of (not so) close interaction.  These two are not social distancing, but I’m glad I kept my distance.

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Enjoy

PFTA: Half Dome

Going through my archives tonight, I asked myself-where was I in late March, and early April a decade ago?  In doing so, it hit me like a ton of bricks that it has been 10 years since I was a tour guide for a company in Las Vegas, NV.  This trip to Yosemite National Park was actually my very first solo tour with this company (it will remain nameless), and my first time visiting Yosemite National Park.  It was a five day whirlwind tour of Grand Canyon South Rim, Monument Valley, Zion, Bryce, Death Valley, Yosemite and ending in San Francisco.    It was still early spring, so the only way into Yosemite was the north entrance.  It was a beautiful drive.  During this tour of Yosemite, I was able to do some photography and took this image of Half Dome.

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Enjoy

PFTA: Underground City?

This is an interesting photo.  I took it while traveling near Las Vegas, Nevada back in 2006.  I showed it to a friend, and she asked me where I found this underground city.  I was confused for a minute, and she repeated the question.  So I asked her to elaborate on where it could be, and she had no idea.

I’ll let you in on a little secret:  it’s not an underground city, but Hoover Dam at night.  This was before the new bridge was completed, they had just started working on it actually, so all traffic had to go across the dam.

I was traveling to the Grand Canyon after spending my days off in Las Vegas, it was late at night, and I saw the dam, and was blown away at how amazing it is at night.  It’s not often I’ve seen anyone photograph it at night, so I made several attempts before I came away with this gem.

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Enjoy,

Kelly

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: Grand Canyon Bird’s Eye View

Today’s Photo From The Archive comes from the Grand Canyon.  I took this in 2005.  You may be wondering how on Earth I took a photo of the Grand Canyon, looking straight down at the Colorado River with the South Rim Village off in the distance.  Well, I wasn’t on Earth when I took this photo.  I was sitting in the back seat of a helicopter on one of the arial tours of the Canyon.  For someone who has a hard time with heights, it was actually a pleasant journey, and something I’ll never forget.

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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