Sunday, April 30, 2017

Angels Pole To Pole

With this pole-to-pole shot of the Angels ballpark and with the Milwaukee shot I posted yesterday, Shot of the Day is now up to 15 pole-to-pole shots of the major league ballparks.  No other parks on the docket so far but you never know how the travel schedule will pan out. I think I might get to a Seattle game later this month when I happen to be there during a White Sox visit but I already have a pole-to-pole shot there. No problem getting another. Nice to be able to take an evening off and get in some R&R while traveling. It helps to keep the travel fresh as it can be tiring.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Miller Park Pole-to-Pole

Got a chance to add another park to my Pole-to-Pole series as I was able to visit Miller Park in Milwaukee last night. This was my second visit to the park and this time the roof was closed, even though it was a relatively nice evening outside. I definitely like the park better with an open roof, but it is a nice park in any case. I also got to see first baseman Eric Thames, of the Brewers, who is on a home run tear in the month of April. I got to see him hit is 9th and 10th homers of this early season. 

I even got to time the pitch with my cellphone camera and catch his 10th home run, which you can barely see in the white streak in the upper center of the shot below. I hope this guy is not found to be dirty as his story is very inspiring, having come from a couple of seasons playing in Korea. In any case, this ball was crushed.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Red in the Desert and Red at Home

Saw some beautiful red flowers in the desert. Red, or really any bright color, really stands out in the grey/brown desert landscape. The top shot is from Joshua Tree and the red Tulips were from this weekend in my backyard. Looks like our dog Eloise has kept the rabbits at bay, so we go some good bulbs this year. Love when I can find red in nature and the backyard.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Grand Canyon Road Trip

Some shots from the camper taken on the road trip to Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion. All thanks to Michael Jr's road trip planning.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A capture celebrating one of the most beautiful places on Earth

An appropriate post on Earth Day from one of the most amazing places on Earth.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A forest of Joshua Trees, Arms to the Sky

A forest of Joshua Trees is a pretty wide open place. Has to be as each tree desperately fights for its share of water. There is not a lot of shade found in this forest. The Joshua Tree got its name, or so the story goes, as it stands there with its "hands" raised to the sky.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

View from Ryan Mountain

A mile and a half hike up Ryan Mountain gets you this view from the top. A challenging hike straight up but worth it for the view.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Joshua Tree Colorado Desert

Joshua Tree National Park has two main weather ecosystems. The lower elevation eastern and southern portion, pictured here is part of the Colorado Desert and is very dry with no trees, except where you find the occasional desert spring. Makes for a beautiful, severe landscape. While there are plenty of other tourists around, it is easy to find yourself all alone in the desert. The higher northern/western part of the park has more water and the famous Joshua Trees. More tourists as well. So, Joshua Tree gives you two different weather system in one park. Most visitors stop at just the northern part of the park. I was fortunate to come into the park from Indian Wells in the south and come out the northern part, near the town of Joshua Tree. Great way to visit this park.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Lucky Capture

You see this rental RV everywhere on the roads from Cruise America. I caught this one with its painted back advertising sign almost matching the environment in Joshua Tree. Well, I thought it was funny.

The second shot got the camper a little closer to the top of the hill.

I though it would be interesting to match the back of the RV rocks to that seen in Joshua Tree. So, I changed the color of the rocks on the picture, just for fun.....

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ocotillo In Bloom

I was lucky to visit Joshua Tree after a wet period so the Ocotillo were still in bloom. Always shocking to see a blast of color in the muted desert landscape.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Cholla Cactus Garden

The Cholla Cactus Garden is a wonder and strange area inside Joshua Tree National Forest. The Cholla are very concentrated in this area. Love the backlighted look.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Joshua Tree Portrait

A second trip out west in the past two months got me a free day to visit Joshua Tree National Forest. A couple of days would have been better but getting to spend at least one day was amazing. U2 have to come here one day. Had to work in Indio and Indian Wells and Joshua Tree is right next store. With the camper still out in the west at my Aunt Sue's, I was able to take advantage of the off day today to visit the park.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Chain of Snow Caps

Approaching the foothills of the Rocky Mountain range, I caught this snowcapped view out the airplane window. I can report that no passengers were dragged off the plane to get this shot.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Laguna Beach Sunset, Laguna Beach Moonrise

What can I say? Got lucky as I found myself to be in the right place at the right time to catch a beautiful sunset and turn around and get a full moon rising on the way back to the car. This is easier done when it is a full moon as the moon rises just as the sun sets. Had dinner and looked at a map. Thought I would stop at a state park along the beach on the way to the hotel and got there in time for both shots. Taken this evening at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach, California. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Boys on a Hike

I thought I would post a bunch of pictures of Bill, Anthony and myself hitting the Watchtower Hike in beautiful Zion. Pretty easy hike which you can do in about 2 to 2-1/2 hours if you take your time. Lots of places to stop and catch your breath as you enjoy the scenery. It was too bad Michael Jr did not join us on this hike (he hit the much more difficult Angel's Landing), as we had a great time and an enjoyed an easy pace. 

Court of the Patriarchs

A quick couple of steps from one of the Zion park bus stops is the Court of the Patriarchs. The first westerners to visit this area were Mormons. They named these three peaks, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the canyon "Zion" meaning "city of God". The Indian name is described as Mukuntuweap, meaning "straight canyon". The Mormons' hoped all of these Old Testament names would keep non-believers away from the area. Didn't work as Zion is now one of the most visited national parks.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Beautiful Colors in Zion

So many colors in Zion your eye has trouble judging where to focus. When you are walking along a ledge, that is not too safe. But we picked a nice easy hike up to the Watchtower (the dominant feature at Zion), while Michael did his death defying hike up to Angel's Landing. I'm sure his views were as good as ours. Can't wait to get back some day.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Michael Jr in Zion

I love this shot of Michael, our tour guide, at the entrance to the Narrows, a hike he had scheduled for us down the Virgin River in Zion. This was from last month during the evening of the first day we arrived at the national park. We have people all around us taking selfies but the crowd cleared for a moment and I got this shot of Michael walking along the river. Had the flow of the river been weaker, he would have taken us down that river, which would have been an amazing hike, but we would have had to rent or purchase different hiking shoes as you must walk through the river to do that hike. Fortunately, or really unfortunately, the spring runoff was too strong and the river hike was closed as being too dangerous. It would have also been freezing cold but this is one of the premier hikes in Zion. Now, I want to go back and do it, along with Angel's Landing, another extremely challenging hike, especially if you don't like narrow ledges with thousands of foot drop offs on both sides of you. Michael was definitely pushing us out of our comfort zone (aka, the camper) to do all sorts of challenging hikes. He did Angel's Landing but he wisely chose to allow us to skip that one. However,  each hike that Michael pushed us to take, while we initially resisted, ended up being an amazing adventure. I think he has a career pushing reluctant 60 year olds to step out of their comfort zones. What an amazing trip.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

One Powerful Statue

While I was up and out early to shoot the cherry blossoms, I wandered into the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. monument and it is just overwhelming to see the size and power of the statue up close. Surrounded by Cherry Blossoms, the statue has a powerful hold on the viewer.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Cherry Blossom's In Fog

Although it might have been pea soup for driving, a foggy morning for photography makes for a nice composition. Anything in the background disappears and you get this otherworldly shot. Have to be up early to get the fog before the sun burns it off but this much fog took into late afternoon.