Friday, December 30, 2005


I spent the morning at the marsh with my camera.  I have missed my visits there, I always feel so at peace when I walk the paths that connect the many ponds and creeks.  Even the animals greet me with almost enthusiastic familiarity.  Perhaps its just wishful thinking on my part, but I always feel like I'm at home there among the cattails and cottonwoods.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


My lens finally died from injuries sustained by my unfortunate collision with the cactus patch this past summer.  My husband tried gallantly to revive it but the damage was too great.  To ease my grief, my husband bought me a new lens.  This one is a 55-200 mm zoom, kind of an in between lens, but very nice. These mule deer graciously posed as my first subjects.

What I like best about the new lens is that I made fewer lens changes to get the variety of shots that presented themselves to me.  Hopefully this will result in less stress and wear on my lenses and camera.  I have come to the conclusion that the best way to prevent wear on my camera because of the constant lens changing would be to buy a camera for each lens.  That way I'll never have to change the lens and risk getting the camera and lens dirty!  Sounds perfectly logical to me!

Saturday, December 17, 2005


My intentions this morning were to photograph the moon as it hung over Pikes Peak at daybreak.  Unfortunately my camera had been plugged into the computer all night and the battery was completely drained.  With my back-up battery MIA, I had to wait while my battery charged, and in that time snow clouds stole over the mountain and hid the moon from view.  I settled for an impromptu visit to Manitou Springs.

Manitou Springs is a quaint little tourist town that even the locals love to poke around in.  Many of the shops date back to the turn of the century.  With business seasonal and mostly dependant upon tourism, it takes a special kind of personality to make it in this town.

While all of the other trees shivered beneath bare branches, the hearty pinetrees seem to thrive in the cold and provide lush color in the otherwise barren landscape.  Alas, I too succumbed to the winter chill and had to call it a day after just a couple of hours.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005


When I left the house this afternoon it was 1° .   My husband had told me about a photo op he had passed on his way in to work and I had no trouble finding it.  Steam from some heating vents across the street blew over and against this fence, freezing it and everything in its path.  I was only there for maybe 30 minutes max and by the time I returned to the truck, my fingertips were so cold they felt as if they had each been hammered mercilessly one by one.  I definitely need to invest in some good cold-weather photographers gloves.

This is just one of the many trees that had become encrusted in ice from the steam.  At one point I slipped and fell against the tree.  The ice shattered and it sounded like glass falling.  I half expected the tree to break but it just shook off the splintered ice and bounced back to its original position.  I'm sure I provided the construction crew across the street with entertainment as I slipped and slid across the icy slope but I was bound and determined to get my shots.  I actually only fell once, despite all of the close calls.  Fortunately I was too numb from the cold to feel anything (except for my fingertips!)

After thawing off a little bit I went to the reservoir.  The water was completely iced over and covered with a blanket of snow except for where a pipe emptied runoff from the other reservoirs into it.  There the water still flowed and steamed.  The forecast predicts an overnight low of -11°.  Judging by the clouds surrounding the mountains in the distance it won't be long before the temperatures begin dropping.


I have visited the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii dozens of times, and each time I visited I was overwhelmed by the same intense emotions.  Each visit, whether it was the first or the 100th, transports the visitor to that tragic and fateful day.

In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, 2,388 lives were lost.  1,177 were crewmen of the USS Arizona.  Only 75 bodies were ever recovered.  The other 1,102 remain entombed on the wreckage.  If you stand on the Memorial and look down into the water you can see droplets of oil floating up to the surface like dark, iridescent tears from the battleship itself.

The attack on Pearl Harbor marked the change in not only our country but in the world.  Much good has eventually come from the lessons learned, but the toll on all countries involved was great and the lives lost are still honored and mourned.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005


A cold north wind blew winter in over the Rockies and I woke Saturday to find my part of the world covered in a soft blanket of white. By the end of the day there was 6 inches on the ground.

Believe it or not I was not the first person visiting the pond that morning, but the other visitors stayed on the main path.  I wanted to see what one of my favorite places looked like in its winter coat for although I have lived here for 11 years, this was my first visit to the pond after a snowfall.  I was not disappointed.

The whitetail herd that I had befriended over the summer greeted me like a Beverly Doolittle painting.  They are probably used to human presence by now, but I like to think that they recognized me from my many earlier visits.  The fawns have all lost their spots but are still curious.  I look forward to spending more time with them, but duty called and I had to return home to get ready for work.  There is snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow.  After taking care of a few errands I plan to spend the rest of my day off at the pond.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Textures of Tradition, Thanksgiving 2005

Sometimes, in light of all that is going on in our lives and in the world around us, it is easy to lose sight of things to be thankful for. Yet those are the very things that highlight the goodness in our lives.  I am so thankful for the love of my family, for the support of friends, and for the strength my faith allows me.  While I may regret the sadness that touches my life, it adds focus to the happiness I am granted.  I give thanks every day, but on today I also give thanks to the spirit of our forefathers (and mothers) who pathed our way and to the traditions that remind us of who we are and where we came from.  Happy Thanksgiving my dear friends and family.  Thank you for being a part of my life.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Yeah, this was me the other morning when I first saw those hideous banner ads on the tops of all of my journals.  And one week later I'm still not any happier.  I have decided not to move my journals to another blog-host for the fact that I have too much time and work invested in my AOL sites, and I will be walking away from a community that I have grown to love.  I will, however, continue to display my displeasure in AOL's actions regarding the addition of ads onto personal space by including a disclaimer in all of my journals titles until they either remove the ads or offer an acceptable compromise.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Just one of the many flowers left at the memorials on Veterans Day.


Colorado's Memorial Park is located in Colorado Springs, next to the International Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial.  All branches of the Armed Forces are represented here in a memorial for Colorado's fallen sons and daughters during conflicts throughout the ages.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Its been about 2 weeks since I last visited Fountain Creek.  The banks that were lush and green not too long ago are now covered with a blanket of dry leaves.

The cattails have shed their dark velvet coats and reach out for the breeze to catch its fluff and carry it away to distant lands.

The milkweed grew weary of waiting on the monarchs to show and went to seed without them.  There was no sign at all that the butterflies had visited the patch this year, not even an old chrysalis. 


This was my first opportunity to capture a picture of a rainbow with my Nikon.  Standing on top of the mountain made it easy to see exactly where the rainbow touched down.  It was merely a matter of running to the other side of the ridge.

Unfortunately upon arrival I discovered that the elusive end of the rainbow had moved and the mythical pot of gold would remain beyond my grasp.

My camera has never been the same since my tumble on it late this summer.  Just the other day I discovered that my camera now had a very distinctive rattle to it.  My daughter Rocky had some news to share with me this morning:

'Hey mom, you know that shaking noise from your camera?  I have good news, it doesn't affect the pictures.  Its probably just something from your lense that broke bent when you fell and finally broke off!' 

Yeah, its just something that broke off of my lense, great news!  Thanks sweetie.  I feel better already!

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

MORE STUFF FROM MY OLD FILES (too tired to get new pictures)

I used to call these two trees 'The Twins'.  They grow in my neighbors yard behind my house.  Once upon a time the trees looked exactly alike.   Now they are like day and night.  And yet they still reach out to each other.

Scrubjays are a common sight in the woods here in Colorado.  I see them every time I go out to the mountains.  They are curious and always flitter over to see what I'm doing, but so far I've not been able to get them in close like the ones that reside at the Garden of the Gods, which are used to encountering humans on a daily basis.

I'm trying to get back into the swing of being a member of the work force again, and its harder than I thought it would be, even after just a 6 month break.  I haven't had time to get out with my camera in over a week.  Normally that would bother me, but quite honestly, I'm too tired to care right now. 

Congratulations to Nettie for winning the ViVi Award for the Best Use of Photography category with  JerseyGirl ~ Jersey Girl Journal ~ .  I have been a fan of her photography since I began journaling almost 2 years ago, and she was one of my inspirations to starting this photo journal (Sepintx was the other).  It was an honor to be nominated with her and the other nominees for this award.  Click here for a list of all of this year's ViVi Readers' Choice Award Recipients.

Friday, November 4, 2005


The first beer I ever had was a Budweiser.  Why?  Well, because of the Budweiser Clydesdales of course!  My taste in beer has changed over the years, but I still love the beautiful Clydesdales.  The team was at a Military Appreciation program on Fort Carson today.  By the time I got there it was already dark, but the horses patiently tolerated my flash.  As big as they are, I still wanted to throw my arms around their necks and give them a big hug.  I probably would have too, if I could reach that high!

Wednesday, November 2, 2005


I call the hilltop that I took these pictures from The Tree Cemetary.  Once upon a time it was a thick, lush green slope that was a favorite bedding spot for deer and elk.  I'm not sure if it was lightning or artillery fired during a military training exercise that set the hill on fire, but it burned to the ground and years later the charred and bleached skeletons still beckon eerily towards the sky.


One can't help but walk in silence through the pinons and junipers.  The only thing growing are weeds on the ground.  New trees and brush dare not cross the invisible line onto the scarred earth, stopping right on the edge to pay their silent homage.  Even the animals avoid this area.  I spent almost an hour there on the ridge and the only creatures that ventured near were crows.  I couldn't help but notice that other burned areas have long since regrown, but this particular hill remains a scorched ruin.  I could almost swear that I heard the soft, mournful sigh of a hundred trees as they reached for the wind that blew gently through their bare branches.

Edited 11/02/05: Sorry but all the typos were really bugging me.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Sunrise, sunset.  Its the same sun, and yet so dramatically different.  Even a storm looming over head couldn't distract from the beauty of the setting sun.

My hunting season ended unsuccessfully in terms of meat, but the experience I had wandering the mountain, being close to nature and close to my husband was very fruitful.  I am already looking forward to next year.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Sometimes no words are necessary.  This morning was one of those times.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

HUNTING, and online friendships.

Flintlock by BlueDragonfyr; Powderhorn by Cayote44

Its big game season in Colorado, and although I am a nature watcher, I am also a hunter.  My favorite method of hunting is with my .54 flintlock blackpowder muzzleloader.  I have dropped two elk with it so far.  Tomorrow I hope to make it three.

The rifle was custom made and presented to me along with other hunting items by some very special and wonderful people I had met online at a blackpowder message board.  The powderhorn was also made for me as part of a barter by another member from the board.

While it is true that one must be cautious when meeting people online, I have been very fortunate then and now to have encountered some exceptional people whom I feel honored to share this piece of cyber space with.  People I am honored to call friends.  To all of my new friends here, thank you for allowing me to be part of your world as I share mine with you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

TRICK OR TREAT, Round Robin Photo Challenge


My oldest daughter Becca is facinated with macabre movies and decided after watching The Grudge that she wanted to be a make-up artist when she grew up.  She also decided that she wanted to be a zombie for Halloween.  We actually took these pictures in April of this year when she was practicing her craft.

Round Robin Challenge: Halloween Happenings!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


If I Were Judith... this would be a real painting.

I have always admired paintings like Judithheartsong's but my expertise is limited to fingerpaints so when I discovered the many different tools available in my Paintshop Pro I went crazy and turned just about every picture into a water color.  Of course if I were an artist I'd probably be striving to get my paintings to look like a photograph.  Theres just no pleasing me.

The Accidental Portrait

I gave up on this picture as soon as I took it several weeks ago.  It wasn't until this morning when I opened it up and cropped the center to enlarge it that I discovered the bee who had been buzzing around while I had been taking pictures.  Of course, if I had a camera like Sepintx's you'd be able to see up the bee's nose! Maybe if I'm good for the rest of the year Santa might bring me a macro lens.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Late October in the Mountains.

Last Flight

Winter is almost upon us and this weathered monarch searches wearily for any remaining nectar before embarking on its last flight.

Doe Eyes

Female mule deer are protected from hunters in this area so they show little fear of humans.  These little ladies gazed back at me with curious and trusting eyes. Sometimes I have a hard time resisting the urge to reach out and pet them.

Fog Bank Rolling In

As a picture of a mountain this would surely be considered to be mediocre.  But this is not a picture of a mountain.  It is a picture of bone chilling cold.  I sat there in the early morning light watching the fog pushing back the sun.  Not only could you feel the cold setting in, you could actually see it.  Within moments the fog completely encircled the ridge I was sitting on. The temperature plunged drastically and then, just as swiftly and silently as it rolled in, the fog moved on.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for nominating me for the 2005 ViVi Awards.  Photography has long been a passion of mine, one of the few things I take seriously, and you all have been so supportive and encouraging.  I have been fortunate to encounter so many people who see the world and all of its wonders through the same vision as I.

I am also honored to share the ballot with 7 very gifted photographers, many whom I hold in high regard and have learned so much from over the past months.  Just being placed in the same category as them has been a reward in itself.  I encourage you all to visit their photo journals if you are not already familiar with them.  I'm sure you will be delighted by what you see there.

Ellipsis...- ondinemonet
F-Stop - botdotdotdot
From Every Angle - mskatdabrat
Picture of the Day - deveil
The Road Less Taken - djzgirl71
(sometimes) photoblog - sepintx
WonderGirl - cneinhorn

Again, thank you all for this honor.


Single Pinon Rose

What I love most about photographing nature is that you never have to pose or set it up.  The beauty is always right there in front of you, all you have to do is look.

Season's End for the Oak  

This little oak sapling valiantly clings to the green of summer.  It has survived the season, but foraging animals in the chill of winter continue to threaten its future.

Summer Moss

The moisture this past year has been plentiful and moss thrives on trees which succumbed to the past drought that left the mountains so dry and brittle not so long ago.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Little by little, inch by inch, autumn is making its way up the mountain, but at the top its already winter!

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Fall Foliage 2005

Thursday, October 13, 2005



I never paid much attention to butterflies until I got my camera.  Oh, I enjoyed them when they fluttered by, but I never really tried to identify them, to track their lifestyle.  I took them for granted (gasp!).  Now I worry because the cold weather is setting in.  Some of my brilliantly colored friends now dip and flit on tattered wings.  They take longer breaks on the pebbled ground.  Other insects swoop down on them and chase them off the few remaining blossoms.  In a short time the butterflies, like the flowers, will be gone.  For that reason alone I regret the winter.


The lush green grasses of the cattails have dried and snap in the breeze.  Birds pick at the velvet heads of the cattails.  Soon they too will bow to the approaching season.  I am sad to see them go, but with their departure comes the arrival of winter.  I eagerly await winter.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Each year a little pixie named Midas flits through the mountains and turns all of the aspen trees into gold.  Soon the leaves will fall to the ground and I will kick through them and laugh as they crunch beneath my feet.   I still vividly remember running through freshly raked piles as a child.  My father would always pretend to be angry but I think secretly he was jealous.