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Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

This year, we did the Corona and Bowtie hike on Sunday morning.  The light was not spectacular for photography.   The path was icy/snowed only on the back side of the hill past the railroad crossing.  I practiced walking on the slickrock all the way to the moqui steps, and this year at Corona and Bowtie I crossed the steep slick between the steps and the pipe ladder.  Last year, the vertigo was too much and I had to stop after the moqui steps.

Corona Arch, Moab, Utah

Corona Arch, Moab, Utah

 

Corona is a very typical arch.  I mean, if you were to “draw an arch” from the Arches area, although there are arches of all sorts, this is the shape and type of arch you would draw.  For one thing, it sticks out nicely from the rock face and one can easily see daylight through it from almost all angles.  For scale, those dark bits under the arch are bushes that are taller than people.  There are people under the arch, but they are kinda tiny.

Bowtie Arch, Moab, Utah

Bowtie Arch, Moab, Utah

Bowtie is a pothole arch, where the cavern of the arch has been pierced by a pothole.  It is harder to photograph on an overcast day, and it is probably not a morning arch.  Noon might suit it better.

These arches are not within the Arches National Park (which I guess an Easterner like me is agast at).  Therefore, pets are allowed on the trails.  Many human parties (including ours) were accompanied by dogs.  (Yeah, cats have so much more sense.)  It was interesting to watch the dogs as well as the humans navigate the steep slip rock, the moqui steps, and the ladder.  Those who have been walking on this kind of ground since childhood and youth are easy to spot.  Our Max is new to the land and its hazards, so stepped on a patch of dried up cactus and had to have his paws cleaned up.  (He is OK. Of course we felt terrible.)

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In the afternoon the kids and dog left for Denver, and the 5 of us and Bill and Margaret went into the valley below the Island in the Sky onto Shaefer and Potash roads.  It is impossible to take bad photos in the canyon, unless the jeep bounces too hard when you are pushing the shutter.  We went to Thelma and Louise Point and then my sister and I jeeped on further while the others shimmied down into a wash for a hike toward some petrified wood.

Island in the Sky, from the canyon

Island in the Sky, from the canyon

Tomorrow I fly out from Denver to Maryland, just ahead of a much-longed-for snowstorm.  Monday was a shopping day, and the drive back on I-70, beating the traffic jams by perhaps and hour.  Today went to telecommuting and medical appointments for several family members, with me as the driver.  While waiting in a surgical center I rehearsed Gerry Muller’s Seven Last Words arrangements and started study files for some other Triduum liturgies.  I am going home with nearly 500 photos to edit, and a card of videos, too.

 

 

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Here is a Friends and Family preview of our trek today into Lavender Canyon.  These photos are pretty much unedited, for the sake of publication speed.  Today our group jeeped in to the trail head at Lavender Canyon.  Here is a picture of our group in the hotel lobby before we left Moab.  Kevin (its his 21st birthday), Yvonne, Dave (I rode with Dave), Scott, Courtney, Mike, Cindy, Tom, and Rodney.

 

We drove south from Moab and turned west on the Needles highway. Our first stop was at Newspaper Rock, full of ancient pictographs or signatures.  The entry to the Lavender Canyon jeep trail (this is not by any means a road) is about 15 miles west of Newspaper Rock, and is in fact the same turn-out as the Davis canyon trail.

 

Here we are at the end of the ‘public’ jeep trail.  Beyond this fence is national park land, for which you need a permit for entry with vehicles.  From here we walked, about 3.5 miles in.

 

Here is Yvonne on the walking trail/jeep trail, which is actually a stream bed.  Where it is dry, it is deep sand, and where it is wet it is mushy with flowing water.  Where it is frozen, which is was sometimes, it has a few inches of snow and ice.  Rough walking. 

 

These are pillars in upper Lavender Canyon. These formations are eroded Navajo Sandstone.

 

The early parts of the hike were through very dry grasses and small brush.  As the elevation increased there were juniper trees and cottonwoods.

 

Even further up the canyon we found aspen. The rock formations were stunning all the way.

 

We saw many arches that can’t be seen from the road.  They were difficult to pick out tonight, so here is another pillar photo.

 

Tomorrow we will do another hike in the morning and then a jeep ride in the afternoon.

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HillStead House in the Winter

 

Today we went to the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT.   This is the retirement home of Alfred and Ada Pope and their daughter Theodate and her husband John Riddle.  The money for this mansion was from Alfred Pope who was a wealthy iron manufacturer from Cleveland.   Mr. Pope used his wealth as a collector, and collected paintings by Monet,  Manet,  Mary Cassatt, James McNeil Whistler, and Edgar Degas;  Chinese porcelains; Italian majolica; and  many, many prints including a collection of Japanese prints.

The Hill-Stead House was designed and built by the Pope’s daughter, Theodate, who was one of the first American women to become an architect.  It was Theodate who decided to make the house into a museum and funded the trust to take care of the house.

Here is some catching up:

The Zombie amaryllis came from Gurney’s.   The bulbs were roughly 2 inches in diameter, and I planted them in early December.  The first bloom opened on December 19th, during our Big Snow Storm.  My other amaryllis bulbs have single white blooms with pink veining.  The Zombie is a balance of peach-pink and white, and the bloom is doubled.  The stems are approximately 18 inches.

These kitties are Toby and Dustin, whose Person is my neice, Becky.  For New Year’s week, Toby and Dustin have been in kitty care with their GrandPersons, Gary and Cindy and Molly (their Auntie).  Dustin is larger and more calm. He enjoys putting his toys in his drinking water and potters about in the bowl and in the shower.  He really likes to have his belly rubbed.  Toby has a spot on his nose, which is how I tell them apart.  Toby is a little more active and a little more likely to be into some kind of trouble.  They are about 8 months old.  When Auntie Molly is around, they sleep on her bed, but on New Year’s Eve Night, she was on a sleep over and the slept with me.   They are a very pretty shade of smokey grey with white markings.  Gary and Cindy and Molly enjoy them a lot.

Dustin and Toby

On 12-31-09, it snowed in the morning.  While Cindy ran errands, Gary and went to Stony Creek, a small village near the Thimble Islands.  In the summer, the dock area is full of watercraft, but it is nearly abandoned in the winter.  The snow was picking up in intensity as was walked about, but it was very quiet, with just the sounds of the water sloshing.  I made a short movie of the ice chunks floating about in the water, with the sloshing sounds of the water.   I don’t have the skill to add it to the blog.  Oh well.  But here are some pictures of the bay and some working boats.

Stony Creek Working Boats

 

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This afternoon we went for drive, and stopped at the monastery of the Dominican Nuns of North Guilford.  The church at the monastery is called Our Lady of Grace.

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The church was dark and peaceful.  The late afternoon sun shone through the stained glass windows.  The windows depict decades of the rosary.  These photographs are of details.

 

 

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The rosette…

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The pineapple…

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Leaves and a golden globe…

Today I finished one Men’s Maine Morning Mitt, and started another.  The pattern is based on the original Maine Morning Mitts pattern from Interweave’s Knitting Daily.  My modifications are:

  • used knitting worsted,
  • used size 5 DPNs,
  • cast on 39 stitches instead of 33,
  • knit 5 inches before starting the thumb gusset,
  • picked up 6 stitches instead of 4 for the top of the thumb
  • and knit the length to 9 inches instead of 8.

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Here is the first mitt, partly done, looking out the train window.

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Tomorrow is graduation day for ESL at the Shrine of St Jude.  We will have exams, certificates of completion, and treats.  I’m bringing cookies from the freezer left over from the reception after John’s memorial Mass — and some doughnuts, probably.  I used a template from MSWord on line and they’re quite nice looking.

After classes, I will head home and gather my suitcase and rolling back pack and hit the road.  Well, first hit the Metro and then hit the air — flying to another graduation, this one a high school graduation, another niece, in Colorado.  I will be staying with Mom and Dad:

At the house they bought last year:

I was last in Colorado with John in November.  This was our “Christmas letter” picture, taken at my sister’s lovely house:

I’ll be away 11 days.  My friend Robin will feed Mr Odin.  I will knit, read, write, work (a little) for Westat, and a few other things.  And take pictures.  Colorado is a wicked-pretty place.

 

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