Wild

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ M Oliver

Wildfire
Wildfire

One thing I noticed about the horses in the Navajoland is that when well cared for, they are gorgeous specimens. I saw many Appaloosas and painted ponies of various sizes and colors and horses with a fierceness in their eyes. They have spirit. The horse above was grazing with a herd of about a dozen and they all ran from me as soon as I got close enough to have them fill my frame. I am not sure if they were a wild herd or just a cautious bunch.

Two cool things happened in regards to my photography last week. First, I was contacted by The Discovery Channel to use one of my images in an upcoming production on gold mining. Then a RE agent asked me for local shots for their company’s website. That will pay for my next trip to Mexico at the end of the month. I work to enjoy myself and live my one and only precious life. It’s really not as irresponsible as it may seem. I swear.  :)

Monument

“Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.” ~ RW Emerson

Monument Valley (1 of 1)
Monument Valley-Monument Valley is really a spectacular place. I plan to go back in October and camp in the park not only to be able to shoot in the sunrise and sunset but also to see the night sky and take a horseback tour.

A road trip took me to the Navajoland area of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley, a location I have always wanted to visit since seeing images of these beautiful and unique places. We left for Chinle on Friday and the entire northern part of Arizona was experiencing an unusual May rainstorm. We decided to reschedule our tour of Canyon de Chelly from Friday to Sunday due to the weather and hoped the gray skies would clear out by Saturday when we were planning our day trip to Monument Valley. When we left on Saturday morn, the storm had not yet cleared but as we drove on, some blue began to show in the sky, and along with that, clouds began to roll in. I cannot tell you how happy I was about that; I almost felt like a kid on Christmas morning. And they were not just average clouds, they were billowy and plentiful and they filled the entire landscape. It’s not always possible to photograph at sunrise and sunset and sometimes mid-day is your only option. Clouds are your savior under those circumstances and I was blessed to be able to come away with images that I liked….all because of clouds.

 

 

 

Stationary

“We are either progressing or retrograding all the while. There is no such thing as remaining stationary in this life.” ~ JF Clarke

Old Schwinns
Old Schwinns

I guess I myself am retrograding as I am stationary right now after a minor procedure. I don’t like being shut down for 3 days but the worst part is NO BATHING as my leg is wrapped and cannot get wet until tomorrow. I am counting down the hours until I can take a nice, long shower and wash my hair!

That got me thinking about the John Muir Trail which I was supposed to do this fall (we could not obtain permits so that is out for this year)….how would I feel sweating and dirty and no shower for days on end? I know you can wash up in the lakes but I think I’d need a lake to appear at least every other day. Of course, I’d have been prepared with baby wipes and powder and such but every little thing you bring adds weight to your pack and must be thoughtfully planned out.  Yes, I’d have survived but bathing IS one of those things that we take for granted until we cannot do it.

Tomorrow:shower, oil change and pack up for a little weekend trip! :)

WP just told me this is post 500; now to make it to 1000!

Sweet

“Life is short and it is up to you to make it sweet.” ~ S Delany

Pie Shop

We have an old-fashioned pie shop in Prescott that sells pies of all kinds and it is the real deal. The outside drew me in and I stopped to take a picture of the front of the shop. I already previously had snapped a shot of their adorable pie truck (https://artizenimages.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/pies/)  and wanted an image of the mechanical toy horse.  Then a sugary, baked good scent wafted through the air and hit my nose; there really is nothing like the comforting and irresistable smell of freshly baked pies. It was a Pavlovian draw that insisted I go in as my mouth began to water.

Free Ride (1 of 1)
What kid can resist a free frontier ride?

I myself just took a free pass on the pies…..as much as I wanted a slice of the apple rhubarb, the health coach inside my brain insisted that I forgo. This time. ;)  As Arnold once said, “I’ll be back.”.

 

 

Golden

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,

Smiles awake when you arise.” ~ T Dekker

I have been posting a lot of flowers lately but then, it is springtime!
I have been posting a lot of flowers lately but then again, it is springtime!

It has been raining off and on all day here and  I was supposed to go on a hike this morning but  decided that I’d rather not go in the rain…..I truly have become a weather wimp since living in Arizona. So, instead I got my bike tuned up and a new, more comfortable seat as I am hoping this will compel me use it more often. Hope is a BIG four letter word. :) I prefer to hike but as the weather temps start climbing, a bike seems like a cooler and breezier way to get some exercise.

Soil

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”~ W Berry

Urban Farm Hollyhocks
Urban Farm Hollyhocks

So, I am in Phoenix and driving through one of its many neighborhoods, which generally consist of modest homes and strip malls, and I see a huge mass of tall hollyhocks in every color. Of course, I had to stop: A. because the hollyhocks were so beautiful. B. because this looked so out of place for the suburban area. As it turns out, it was actually a small urban farm, not a huge garden as I had initially thought.

I was photographing all of the hollyhocks that outlined the  garden, not wanting to trespass and then saw some people and asked if it was okay to venture in. I started talking with a man there and came to learn some of this place’s interesting history. It all began when one man had a calling to do some good in this world and another man who donated the land to make the dream happen. The idea for Harvest for Humanity was born and they grow not only flowers but organic fruits, vegetables and herbs for the financially needy and for cancer patients. Volunteers run the operation at this point in time and they have even branched out to other areas within Phoenix. In addition to the concept being fantastic, I could not believe the quality of their produce.  Not only is it organic but it is also in the middle of the dusty desert. The thousands of flowers…..most all of them were actually perfect (e.g. no bug holes, healthy blooms, etc.). I was invited in not only to take pictures but I was also given cutters to pick some flowers and I ended up taking home a few sunflowers, a hollyhock stalk and 3 allium flowers. They had no donation jar out but a left a few dollars with my pair of cutters when I left.

Coming in contact with something like this gets one thinking about possibilities….dreams, possibilities, plans and then actions are what make up your reality, to a certain extent. Maybe all possibilities cannot manifest to fruition but without moving in the direction of your dreams, hoped for possibilities will most likely not happen. The soil is rich but one has to plant the seed.

Eggs

“The world is full of hopeful analogies and handsome, dubious eggs, called possibilities.” ~G Eliot

Naturally Colored Eggs in A Bowl
Farmer’s Market Eggs

I want to let you photogs out there know about some pretty Lightroom pre-sets from VSCO (link below) that I downloaded today for free. The package contains camera brand-specific film simulation presets and they are very pleasing to my eye. I mostly use Flakebook these days to follow businesses that I am fond of and photo sites and I read about the freebie on FB in an article from PetaPixel.  I processed the above image with one of those pre-sets, although I never just use the pre-sets as is or even alone but the possibilities are endless.

http://vsco.co/film/00/lightroom