Thursday, November 8, 2007


I was able to talk my husband into letting me borrow the camera for the day so I went to Memorial Park.  I went in hopes of getting a few shots of the Military memorials but was distracted by a large hawk who landed in a near by tree to pluck a pigeon.  Once he got used to my presence and the persistent clicking of the camera, the hawk continued his meal.  While he showed agitation at the approach of other visitors, he seemed to have accepted me and allowed me to get right up under him.  In this picture he watches as I pulled a branch out of the way for a better shot. In fact he seemed so comfortable in my presence that I almost expected him to share his meal by tossing me a pidgeon wing.


For those of you who were wondering, I composed my video slide show using the Windows Photo Story 3 which came preloaded on my computer.  The program allows you to control the motion and transition of individual pictures as well as adding music.  Once I got the slide show finished I uploaded it to my Youtube account.  When I made my entry I clicked the little movie camera icon in the [Add Entry] toolbar, cut and pasted the embed link from my video's Youtube entry, saved my post and presto-whamo!  A video slide show on my journal.

There are many other programs that are compatible with AOL journals.  Different programs offer different features so you may want to check out a few to see if they offer what you need.  I like the simplicity of Photo Story 3, and I already have a Youtube account so I just stick with them, but some of the other programs can compose your entire slide show right online... pretty cool! 

To find a list of supported web sites, click here: Blogs Whitelist - AOL People Connection, or click on the [allowed list of selected Web sites] link in the [Add Entry] page.

I'm already looking forward to seeing a bunch of slide shows in your journals now.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
We could float among the stars together, you and I
For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon

Colorado Springs plays host to the Balloon Classic each Labor Day Weekend.  We have always made a point of watching the balloons as they float over head but this year we got up extra early and took a trip to Memorial Park where the balloons participate in a mass ascent.  Upon arriving at the park I was immediately thrown into sensory over load.  There were dozens and dozens of brightly colored balloons of every shape and size.  To our delight, each hot air balloon skimmed over Prospect Lake and lightly skimmed the surface before taking off into the air in what is known as a 'Splash 'N Dash'. 

Never been to a hot air balloon ascent?  Make a point of going to one.  It is definitely worth the trip, and you may find that you will rekindle your relationship with the child in you.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Sadly, no, the D80 is not my camera.  It belongs to my husband who was just as lost as I was with the demise of my D70 last month.  My camera is in the shop, hopefully being repaired, but in the mean time Dickidoo couldn't bring himself to use a smaller point and shoot camera so he made an investment.

Unfortunately he doesn't share very well. I have only been able to take the camera out twice so far.  I can see we will have to come up with a custody agreement like we had with the D70.  Grrrr!

A little about this bright eyed grasshopper.  I couldn't have asked for a better subject as I fiddled with the controls of the new camera.  He sat quite patiently while I clicked and adjusted and clicked again.  I think I may have bored him half to death, but the pictures came out so clear.

I miss my camera and really hope it can be fixed, but man, that D80 is sweet!


Sunday, July 8, 2007

4th of July

My youngest son Art stands maybe just a little too close for comfort during our recent 4th of July celebration.  This year was extra special, my oldest son Gabe was home on leave.  He is scheduled to deploy to Iraq at the end of summer so this was a very special time for us.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Summer just doesn't begin for me until I see the pelicans.  They seem to prefer to breed at Big Johnson Reservoir a few miles away, but always stop by at Carp Lake (aka The Pelican Pond) for the first couple of days. 

I got some pictures late yesterday afternoon, and was delighted to see them still at the pond this morning, floating lazily over the misty waters.  They were gone by this afternoon.  During mating season the pelicans bills turn bright orange and the males will develop a plate on the top of their beak.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Colorado Renaissance Festival 2006

These are the pictures I used for my musical slideshows that were posted on Youtube.  Once again I recommend that you view this as a slideshow by clicking 'View Larger' and selecting the slideshow option from the top toolbar.


'Tis the season... tis Renaissance season.  Huzzah!  I found these old pictures stashed in my AOL album and thought I'd post them.  These are from 2005.  We have been going to the Faire since 1999 or 2000 (not really sure any more) but I didn't really start taking pictures until 2004 (still have to find those ones) after I went digital.

For best results I recommend that you click 'View Larger' and then select the slideshow option.

Friday, May 4, 2007


Who would have thought a chain link fence would be such a big obstacle when photographing something on the other side.  Maybe its not the fence, maybe its just me.  Either way, this is the best I can do thus far.  Yes, I used my 300mm zoom.  Nope, it didn't really help much.  I need a bigger zoom!

Still, I have to admit that these pictures came out much better... no doubt due to the fact that they were taken while the sun was still high in the sky.  The kits are getting bigger but still show no fear.  They listened reluctantly to their mother when she barked out a warning.  They ran immediately for the safety of their den between the pipes, but kept poking their heads out to investigate. 

I haven't seen the father fox since the first day when he ran off before I could even raise the camera.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Ever Wary

A mother red fox warily watches me while her kit feeds on the carcass of a cottontail.

We have often caught fleeting glimpses of foxes in the residential area.  Usually it was just a flash of orange out of the corner of our eye.  Last night Steve was delighted to come across an entire family feeding near some pipes at a construction site.  He was, as it often happens, without a camera so he called me and told me to be waiting when he got home. 

The light was already fading but it was easy to spot the mother fox against the snow.  3 kits, their fur still dark, played near by.  The mother instinctively moved off to a safe distance but kept an anxious eye on us as the youngsters continued to frolic, unconcerned by our presence or the clicking of my camera.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the pictures were grainy due to the low light and and subsequent slow shutter speed.  I was also forced to shoot through the holes of a chain link fence.  Determined not to waste such a precious encounter despite the limitations, I lightened the picture up a bit and softened the edges to give it a painted effect.  Hopefully I'll be able to catch the foxes out playing in the morning or afternoon when the sun is out and the lighting offers a better opportunity for decent shots.


Friday, April 13, 2007


A bull elk rests after a long morning of bugling and sparring with other bulls.  Apparently he was victorious as a dozen or so cow elk grazed contently nearby.

* Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

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This picture was originally posted in a test journal which was a trial attempt to update this photo blog.  It didn't come out the way I had hoped (individual pages have an archieve column which throws off the setting of the photos and drops them to the bottom of the page), but I really REALLY liked the photos on the black back ground.  Enter global photo community aminus3. I have been posting there since the end of March on my site "Colorado At The Speed Of Life".  I invite you to take a peek there.  You'll see some of my old favorites, and maybe a few new ones as well.  I shall still keep this blog going because this is my home, my family and friend, but I really enjoy the interaction with the new global photo community.  Check out the Community link while you're there.  Photographers can feature a new photograph every day and some are just out of this world!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hawk vs. Snake

Here are some more pictures from my encounter with the hawk and snake the other day (this one's for you justplainbill).  I didn't take any pictures of their escape because my husband and I were busy 'mediating' at the time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

STALE MATE (edited 4/13/07)

Steve called me at home to come and witness the aftermath of a real life and death battle.  When I arrived at the scene, this is what I saw.  A red tail hawk had gone hunting and obviously underestimated the size and strength of its intended prey.  The large bull snake wasn't about to go without a fight.  Although it was badly wounded, the snake managed to wind itself around the hawk's tail and wing, pinning it to the ground.  Stale mate!

Our presence proved to be a greater threat to the animals and the snake loosened its grip on the snake and went on the defense towards me.  Eventually they untangled themselves (?), their eyes and body language indicating that they were more concerned about us than they were of their opponent which they were just in a death struggle with. 

The hawk shook out its ruffled feathers, and took a defensive stance, feathers fluffed out and wings thrown back, but when I didn't make any threatening movement, it hopped up into the air and with a flap of its powerful wings it flew off.  Although it had the hawk in an obvious death grip, the snake suffered greater injuries from the hawk's talons and beak.  It hissed at me but also seemed to realize that I meant no harm and it slithered off slowly and painfully to find a safe place to rest.

As a rule I try not to interfere with nature, but after looking both creatures in the eyes and seeing the fierce desire to live in both of them, I am glad that I showed up when I did.  It would have been a sad shame to see both of these magnificent creatures perish in a battle that neither would win.  To be honest, I half expected the hawk to come back and scoop up the injured snake, but I guess it was just happy to be alive and free at that point that its hunger was forgotten.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Nature~ my favorite photography subject.  And this is one of my all time favorite photographs.  This little green guy saw me long before I saw him, but he wasn't the least bit concerned by my presence.  He was perfectly camouflaged by the pond plant life and I only spotted him when he blinked.  Even as I inched forward for a closer shot he just floated lazily.  I had no doubt that he was aware of my every move. 

Okay, so its a close up of a green frog in a green pond.  Its got good color and the composition isn't too bad.  Those reasons aren't why its my favorite picture though.

I love this picture because for me its not a picture of a frog in a green pond.  Its a picture of visual contact.  The black and gold eye was seeing me at that precise moment.  I was watching nature and nature was watching me.  It didn't feel threatened by me.  It didn't run and hide.  In that moment in time I was a part of nature and that creature's life, and it didn't fear me.  It merely watched with curiosity and trust.  That is what I felt at that moment, and that is what I remember as I look at this picture and into the frog's bright eye.  That is why this is one of my favorite photographs.

The Round Robin Photo Challenges: Round Robin Challenge: Nature

Friday, March 16, 2007


Growing up in the islands kind of made me immune to the usual run of the mill touristy type photos but I don't care who you are, nobody can resist a sunset... especially one as brilliant as this one.  Next to dawn, dusk is my favorite time of the day when the world is winding down and preparing for the night.  I suppose I could have made a run to the other side of the island to get a shot of the sun as it sank below the horizon over the ocean but I found this silhouette of the palms against the gold and turquoise sky much more captivating.  Can you feel the warmth of the sun against your skin?  Its magical, this time of day, it really is.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


These sunrise shots were taken on the same day, same beach just minutes apart.  At first the sun just peered from behind the thick cloud cover and I didn't think I would be able to get a shot at all but I chanced it anyhow.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Diamond Head in the distance.

In just a matter of minutes the entire coastline was lit up with the brilliance of the sun, giving the sky a rich apricot glow.  I wish I could share the soothing sound of the surf with you, or the heady aroma of salt as the waves washed up over the crystal sand.  I find it hard to hold on to stress when I'm at the beach in the morning, it always erases the chaos and offers a fresh beginning. 

Thousands of miles away in the mountains I now call home I find solace by standing beneath the tall pines, closing my eyes and listening to the sound of the breeze as it blows through the majestic boughs, echoing the whisper of the distant seas. Ah, the best of both worlds.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I took this picture of Becca on the pond in early February when the Cattail Marsh pond was frozen over.  The brightness of the snow and ice threw my manual settings way off... something I really need to start checking before hand, but even after the proper adjustments were made I found that I liked the washed out version much better.

Now, one month later and 40 degrees warmer, the pond is already thawing and getting ready for the spring community.  The ducks and geese are returning by the flock.  It will only be a matter of time before the babies start making their appearance.  I love the springtime.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


I happened across this scene in December of 2005.  The thermometer read 1° but the wind chill had pushed the needle way below that.  This is not snow, and in fact it hadn't snowed for a couple of days.  The icicles that clung to the fence and trees were caused by the steam emmited from a building on the other side of the street.

I was in awe of the natural beauty of the scenery and lost track of the time as I clicked away.  That proved to be a dangerous mistake.  I was wearing flip top mittens that folded back to free my fingers and allow me to maneuver the various settings on my camera.  Unfortunately that exposed my fingertips to the extreme cold.  My fingers were so painful that I was in tears by the time I finally made my way back to the warmth of the truck.  To this day my fingers are extra sensitive to cold temperatures.  I say they are having flashbacks but my husband hints that I suffered a minor but permanent cold weather injury.  I don't regret it but I never want to be that cold ever again!

The Round Robin Photo Challenges: Round Robin Challenge: Cold

Thursday, January 25, 2007


It wasn't until Steven explained the intricacies of 'macro' that I understood the process and realized that not only did my camera have the capabilities but I had been utilizing it all along!  I found these images in a file I shot over the Memorial Day weekend at the Colorado Springs Pioneer Days Celebration in Old Colorado Springs earlier this year.  The market place was filled with booths that appealed to all of the senses.  The sights, the sounds, the scents and the rustic textures recreated the atmosphere of the old west of days gone by.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Main Entry: ²magic
Function: adjective
1 : of or relating to magic
2 a : having seemingly supernatural qualities or powers
b : giving a feeling of enchantment

The honey bee depends upon the sunflower for nourishment.  The flower relies on the bee for pollination.  Its fascinating, isn't it, how intertwined life of all shape and size really is. While I may understand the complexities of life more now than I did as a child playing in the field behind our house, it still captivates and amazes me. It was never parlor tricks performed with the wave of a wand or an 'abra cadabra' chanted amidst a poof of smoke that kept me spell bound.  It was the wonders of nature, that was real magic to the 6 year old child that was once and still is 'me'.

The Round Robin Photo Challenges: Round Robin Challenge: "Magic"


Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Just messing around here.  The mirror of my camera is so dusty that after a while I gave up on trying to remove the spots from the background.  I'll have to reshot this after I get the camera dusted.