Watching the World Go By

February 21st, 2015

Filed under adventure, Animals, Life

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Gandalf_150220

I always wonder ” What’s he thinking? Or what’s he seeing?

 

 

Gandalf, our 8 year-old male Weimaraner ; Flower, our 6 year-old female Weimaraner and I took about an hour hike on a nearby mountain trail yesterday during a late lunch break from the office.

With an impending winter storm heading into Colorado with the potential of throwing a powerful punch, I decided I wanted to get the pups out for a good hike in case the next couple of days really turned nasty.

Weimaraners need lots of exercise and daily hikes are the norm for our crew.

When we hit our favorite trail we were buffeted by hefty winds and the dogs had to leap frog through snow drifts for about 30 yards in chest to neck deep snow…ears flapping all the way. It didn’t faze them and the rest of the hike was spirited with lots down hill lunging toward the trail as they weaved through the trees like ski slalom racers hell bent sniffing for four-legged furry little critters.

There were even some face plants where snow had built up and the pups had no clue how the gullies along the trail had filled. The episodes made for some pretty good laughs along the way.

For me part of the fun is to observe the dogs on the way home. Often if it’s a good physical hike they will sit or sometimes lay on the cars seats with eyes half open and heads bobbing -a sign they had a thorough hike.

Then other times like yesterday, their golden-yellow eyes are scanning the horizon or the shoulders of the road on alert as though they know something I don’t.

Gandalf appeared almost “people-like” as he sat staring out the window. And I always say to myself, ” I wonder what he’s thinking or what he sees”?

 

Note: Advice from Gandalf, Flower and all dogs, “Delight in the joys of a long walk”. 

 

Community Pride

February 15th, 2015

Filed under Business, Entertainment, Life, Nature, News, People, Photography, Scenic

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A cover image for the 2015 Evergreen Chamber of Commerce Visitors and Business Guide.

A cover image for the 2015 Evergreen Chamber of Commerce Visitors and Business Guide.

Most trips to the mailbox usually disappoint. Like just about everyone else the arrival of bills is kind of a downer and the abundance of junk mail just frustrates me because even though we recycle all our junk mail here at our Evergreen, Co. dwelling , it just seems to me there has to be a better way to do business.

Surprisingly this week I did receive a magazine I don’t mind greeting me at the mailbox. I think it is one that deserves to spend sometime in households and there is a mobile version as well. It was the latest edition of my hometown chamber of commerce business and tourism guide “Explore Evergreen”. On the cover , five feature photos were laid out with the one shown above. Thirty one others were sprinkled about the publication and complimented nicely written articles or tidbits about Evergreen.

I have contributed photography for the magazine for well over ten years. It gives me a sense of pride to help show off our mountain community and offer my services. I am offered a stipend for my contributions for which I am grateful but the small-talented staff of EasyChair Media who contracts to organize, create and distribute the publication is well aware I have many more hours  invested than what I get back monetarily. And that’s just fine with me.

Local writers Jo Ann Colton, Jane DeJonghe and Wendy Burt-Thomas also spend countless hours researching, whittling and eventually delivering great words to the pages.

We are all proud of our community and honored to share its splendor.

P.S. If you are interested in more information about Evergreen check out the online version.

http://www.evergreencoguide-digital.com/evergreencoguide/evergreen2015#pg1

 

 

Silver, Turquoise, Wood and Snow

February 9th, 2015

Filed under Art, Business, Photography

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Soft light and spring-like temperatures with a few natural elements from the home studio area provided a nice setting for a new client’s test shot.

Turkey Mountain Traders

 

Missing the Winged Ones

Sand Hill Cranes, with the help of their sentinels, scope out a roosting spot on the North Platte River near Kearney Nebraska at twilight.

Sandhill cranes, with the help of their sentinels, scope out a roosting spot on the North Platte River near Kearney Nebraska at twilight.

Spring like all the seasons has special meaning to all of us. It’s  a time of intent. New beginnings, rebirths and regeneration. The initiation of a new cycle. And it too, has it’s smells and sounds. One event in particular defines spring for me.

Like they have for centuries, the majestic Sandhill and Whooping cranes, with out-stretched wings, recently made their migration from Mexico through America’s heartland on their way to more remote regions north.

Unfortunately, due to work conflicts, I wasn’t able to witness the spectacle this year.

My wife and I have had the privilege of visiting good friends Jerry Kenny and Bridget Barron ; Executive Director and COO, respectively, for Headwaters Corporation in Kearney Nebraska to see first hand shrouded skies and corn stubbled fields amassed with these beautiful creatures. Headwaters has been overseeing the Reclamation of the North Platte River Project for nearly seven years. It is a program dedicated to reclaiming, revitalizing and sustaining  the river and river habitat for a myriad of migratory birds  and wildlife. It is a life belt of water in central Nebraska.

Kenny, Barron and their entire staff reap the benefits each spring and summer as they witness activity in the flyway and nesting grounds.

Though we weren’t  able to make the pilgrimage, we did, however, see  Dean Reynold’s CBS’s segment on April 1 featuring the crane migration with wonderful appearances by University of Nebraska emeritus professor Paul Johnsgard and Jane Goodall as well as Joel Sartore’s piece on the March 30 Sunday Morning program.

I emailed Jerry and reported just hearing on the news programs that incredible ancient call the birds reveal on their migratory stop in the heartland of America made ” my juices really flow”.

He responded with a classic Jerry Kenny response.

“There has been excellent viewing this year, but they will do it again next year. And, Nebraska is open all year, so you don’t have to wait for cranes to come on out and enjoy the Good Life!”.

Indeed the Good Life!

Lacing the sky at sunset like well strewn ribbons, the Sand Hill cranes move with precision westward along the North Platte River near Kearney, Nebraska during migration

Lacing the sky at sunset like well strewn ribbons, the Sandhill cranes move with precision westward along the North Platte River near Kearney, Nebraska during migration.

 

 

A memorable wet and wild assignment

Jean Devera paddling through Elkhorn rapids prior to reaching camp at Deadman on Day Three of the scouts' whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River in northern Idaho.

Jean Devera, my “Cover  Boy” for Boy’s Life Magazine, is captured paddling through Elkhorn rapids prior to reaching camp at Deadman on Day Three of the scouts’ whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River in northern Idaho.

I often get asked, “What’s been your favorite assignment?”.

The response is usually pre-empted with a chuckle and  a smile and a rather bewildered reply of “That’s a hard one.”

Much like with a bucket list there are assignments you hope to cover in a career and then there are the ones you have encountered and register deep in the memory bank.

Just about a year ago one of those occurred. I joined a group of seven senior scouts and their four adult leaders from St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands on a river expedition of the Salmon River in Idaho. I was assigned by Boy’s Life to document these young men’s adventure. The story was just released about a week ago.

Living in Idaho years ago I had heard many tremendous stories of the “River of No Return” but never had a chance to explore the river until last summer.

The five-day float took the expanse of 94 miles of the Main Salmon River. We covered nearly 80 miles of the most scenic and raft-gobbling white water this giant flow of water could offer.

Verle Dureden, guide and owner of Action Whitewater Adventures, who orchestrated the trip, told me during spring runoff certain sections of the river would crest at 40 feet. And I bared witness to the scarred walls of the canyon to prove it- shivering at the thought that over 100 years ago the first explorers of this river floated it in raw-timber rafts.

Each day presented incredible experiences and it definitely gave me a chance to relive my youth. It’s hard not to when you are amongst some well-mannered, experienced scouts that are total thrill seekers.

Camping on pristine sandy beaches carved and manicured by the powerful river, sleeping under the stars with an occasional call of an owl and the ever-present rushing sounds of the river complimented with daily roller coaster rides of white water rapids engulfing your raft with names of the likes of Split Rock, Salmon Falls, Big Mallard and Elk Bar made for lifetime memories.

When the expedition came to an end and we pulled our supplies from the rafts and deflated the crafts to be ferried back the AWA headquarters, I kept mulling in my head,  “couldn’t we just go a couple more days?”.

I am pretty sure the scouts felt the same way.

 

Awquen Irish from Boy Scout Troop 227, from St. Croix , U.S. Virgin Islands gets blasted from a wave on the first day of river running during the their whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River in northern Idaho.

Awquen Irish from Boy Scout Troop 227, from St. Croix , U.S. Virgin Islands gets blasted from a wave on the first day of river running during the their whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River in northern Idaho.

Philip Edwards ,left, and his father scoutmaster Dale Edwards of Boy Scout Troop 227, from St. Croix , U.S. Virgin Islands get swallowed up by the Five Mile rapid on the morning of the third day  during the their whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River in northern Idaho.

Philip Edwards ,left, and his father scoutmaster Dale Edwards of Boy Scout Troop 227, from St. Croix , U.S. Virgin Islands get swallowed up by the Five Mile rapid on the morning of the third day during the their whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River in northern Idaho.

 

A dragonfly rests atop bow rope on a raft during the St. Croix Boy Scouts,Troop 227  whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River in northern Idaho.

A dragonfly rests atop bow rope on a raft during the St. Croix Boy Scouts,Troop 227 whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River in northern Idaho.

A scout knocks sand from his cot as he preps his camp spot for the night on the raft trip.

A scout knocks sand from his cot as he preps his camp spot for the night on the raft trip.

A watered down inverted raft made for some awesome play time  for the St. Croix Boy Scouts at a campsite on their whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River in northern Idaho.

A watered down inverted raft made for some awesome play time for the St. Croix Boy Scouts at a campsite on their whitewater rafting trip down the Salmon River in northern Idaho.

Awquen Irish pulls a wake up prank on one of the scout leaders who overslept one morning on the trip.

Awquen Irish pulls a wake up prank on one of the scout leaders who overslept one morning on the trip.

 

On the morning of Day Five a pair of scout's river sandals sits idle in the sand on the Maxwell river bar  on Day Five of their Salmon River whitewater rafting trip in northern Idaho.

On the morning of Day Five a pair of scout’s river sandals sits idle in the sand on the Maxwell river bar on Day Five of their Salmon River whitewater rafting trip in northern Idaho.