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

Gallery Updates

On the advice from a fellow blogger, I organized my galleries to be subject specific.  There is a new gallery for Bryce Canyon National Park (I realize I need to post more photos of this beautiful place), Grand Canyon National Park, and of course, my beloved Zion National Park.  I also posted galleries for flowers and birds, with a gallery for Ancient Art, Arizona, and Other Animals in the works.

Enjoy the images! Remember, they are all available for purchase.  Contact me for details.

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Mysteries of Fire

Fire can be a strange substance. It’s cozy in a campsite while roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. It can be destructive in excess. If a forest it can be very strange, from a small ember to creating its own weather.

I’ve been through a couple of forest fires, the first one was a mess. The second one, well, my friend is still upset with me for trying to burn up her car. We were driving on a back road and it turned into a forest fire. I had her stop and ran out with my camera to a burning stump and got this shot. It’s a once in a lifetime shot.

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Photo of the Week: The Milky Way

On Sunday night, I went with some friends (you know who you are) to Smith Mesa to watch the sunset, the stars and to enjoy each other’s company.  It was so much fun!  While everyone was sitting and chatting around the fire, I snuck away to take some photos of the Milky Way.  I have photographed constellations before, but shooting the Milky Way was something new for me.  It took a while before I found the right settings, but I think it turned out really cool (especially for a first attempt)!  Let me know what you think.

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Enjoy!

 

Kelly

Wild Weekly’s Photo Contest: Green

I’m participating in the online adventure travel and photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: Green!

 

There is an old saying: Water is Life!  No where is that more applicable than in the desert.  A person can go without water only 72 hours, maybe less in the desert.  Especially when it’s hot and dry.  However, here in this canyon where I live, there is a Riparian Woodland Climate, there are also hanging gardens, swamps, and of course, desert.

Here in the desert, you will find Prickly Pear Cactus, which is a very hardy plant that you can eat and is very high in water.  In a survival situation, you can cut these up and use the center for a water source.

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Of course, if you want to get a good source of water, the best thing to do is find a spring like this one.

_RW_2723This is The Grotto in Zion National Park.  It’s also an excellent source for water.  You would still need a water purification system, because all water sources in North America are considered contaminated with bacteria and viruses.

Another great source for water is water falls, as seen here.

CRW_0031This is the world famous Menu Falls, in Zion National Park.  It’s called Menu Falls because it was featured on the menu at Zion Lodge during the 1950’s.  It’s also a great place for weddings (there is a wooden platform here so you can look at the waterfall).  A friend of mine was married here a few years ago (you know who you are!).

Moving into Pine Creek Canyon, there are wonderful spots to just simply relax, of course getting there you have to climb over boulders and walk in the water, which in some places are absolutely breathtaking and relaxing.

_RW_1452I could sit here for hours just listening to the water fall and watch the pollywogs in the water, (the little black dots on the right).

Along the way, you will find ferns and other water loving plants.  Water just seeps out of the sandstone and creates wonderful micro climates.

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Of course, it’s amazing where you can find ponds and streams, this pond is located at 11,000 feet at Cedar Breaks National Monument.

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Eventually, though, water does come from the sky in form of rain and snow.  Since the theme for this contest is Green, I’ll stick to rain.  This is from the West Rim Trail in Zion National Park looking south, one of my all time favorite hikes.  I was always told you don’t see Zion until you see it from the top.

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Of course, I do like to go camping in places other than Zion.  This is at Oak Grove Campground just above Silver Reef, Utah.

_RW_1579You can see the oak leaves on the left surrounded by Ponderosa Pine trees.  This was a wonderful sight to wake up to.

 

Of course water comes in all shapes and sizes and colors.  This was at a water sculpture in the Aria in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Without water, there can be no life, and therefore, no green at all.  Hope you enjoyed this post and even learned a little about the importance of water.

Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Weekly’s Photo Challenge – Peaceful

I’m participating in the online adventure travel magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: Peaceful!

There is nothing more peaceful than contemplating eternity.  It really makes us feel lowly and humble when looking at the Earth and what surrounds us, and what’s above us.orion

This is the Constellation Orion and Sirius, his faithful dog.

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Here is the North Star in Zion National Park.  This is one of my favorites.  It’s simply amazing that mariners have used this Star for millennia for navigation and modern outdoorsmen use it to orient themselves to keep from getting lost.

Also, here on Earth there are places that can take your breath away and contemplate your insignificance when you get troubled by the stress of life.  For example:

_RW_2332This is from Gooseberry Mesa looking west at Pine Valley Mountain, a distance of roughly 30 miles.   I can sit here for hours just contemplating life and getting away from it all.

Birds-Eye-ViewHere is another place you can think about how small we really are.  The world famous Grand Canyon.  This was taken from a helicopter flying over the Canyon.

Then who can forget the peacefulness of a hot air balloon in flight.

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These were taken at a balloon festival at Snowmass, Colorado.  Enjoy!

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I call this one “Reflections”.  One of my absolute favorites.

Last, but surely not least:

033_30aI would love to be up in this balloon.  It’s so quiet up there and talk about solitude and peaceful!

 

 

 

On the Move

I know, it’s been a while since I’ve last posted.  Of course it’s due to being really busy with work and life in the city.  Anyway, I’m in the process of leaving Las Vegas (yeaaaahhhhh!!)  and going home to Paradise!  Namely Zion National Park in Southern Utah.

I’m getting back to my element of nature and the wilderness to get some rejuvenation to the soul.  I’m looking forward to this move and excited about the prospects of what’s waiting for me.

I will also be updating more often of my adventures (and misadventures) now that I’ll be able to go hiking and camping again, since I haven’t done any hiking and camping after moving to the city. This excites me more than anything.  I’ll be able to get out and be photographing again which I’m really looking forward to.

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