Wednesday, October 31, 2012


"Walk" Figure - Santa Fe  2012

"Walk" figure seen near the plaza in Santa Fe.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Arizona Desert . . . (Unexpected)

Desert - Arizona  2012

As Mike traveled north from Las Vegas towards St. George, Utah, he was surprised to find himself entering Arizona. Interesting! He didn't know that was going to happen: there's a tiny section of Arizona to travel through going from Nevada to Utah.

Very scenic, even though tiny. The drive though the Virgin River Canyon is awe-inspiring, although there's a sad lack of turnouts. But then one comes across the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area. Mike had to stop and walk around a bit in spite of the over 90 degree (F) heat.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday White Winged Dove Blogging

White Winged Doves - New Mexico  2012

Another in the "Kay's Bird Bath" series. Per Wikipedia, the White Winged Dove's range "extends from the south-western USA through Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean."

Sunday, October 28, 2012


CasaBlanca Casino - Nevada  2012

Kitty Glitter Slots - Nevada  2012

Just before exiting Nevada Mike stopped at the CasaBlanca casino for lunch. He found the coffee shop, and yes, there it was: the $3.99 breakfast! So he had breakfast for lunch. It was good!

One major disappointment: the slots are now coinless. Yuck! Where's the magical sound of jackpot coins hitting the metal bowls? All gone now.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Food & Drink

Chicken Littles - San Rafael  2012

Stella Rosa - San Francisco  2012

Seen in San Rafael and San Francisco.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vegas 1998

Glass Ceiling (Las Vegas) - Nevada  1998

Mannequin (Las Vegas) - Nevada  1998

In 1998 Hali's work paid for a stay at the Bellagio, just after it had opened. Mike remembers the ornate glass-sculpture on the ceiling, by the well-known glass artist, Dale Chihuly (had to look that one up).

Also, very classy mannequins.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Bellagio (Las Vegas) - Nevada  2012

"One night last May, some twenty financiers and politicians met for dinner in the Tuscany private dining room at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. . . . The richest man in the room was Leon Cooperman, a Bronx-born, sixty-nine-year-old billionaire. . . .  in an interview and in a speech, [Cooperman] has gone so far as to draw a parallel between Obama’s election and the rise of the Third Reich."

“Super-Rich Irony” by Chrystia Freeland - The New Yorker

Mike had intended to stay overnight in Las Vegas, but realized that he could bypass it and head directly into Utah. So all he saw of Vegas this time was glimpses from the freeway, including this fleeting look at the Bellagio.

So that’s what goes on at the Bellagio! But wait! Didn’t Mike stay there once, back in the 90’s?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Information Age / Desert Rest Stop

Rest Stop - San Bernardino County  2012

Rest Stop & Self Portrait - San Bernardino County  2012

Mike took three cameras with him on his trip, his m43 tryout camera the Olympus E-PL1, his older, but trusty, Canon G12, and his iPhone 4.

The interesting thing was that he deliberately tried to make use of the iPhone, because the photos that it takes can be immediately emailed. In order to email pix from the other cameras you would have to download the files to a computer, resize, and then mail. Both the above photos of a typically barren California desert rest stop taken with the iPhone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Desert Photo Op

Joshua Trees - San Bernardino County  2012

Joshua Tree - San Bernardino County  2012

Heading towards Las Vegas Mike decided to take an offramp at the top of a freeway grade, wanting to unlimber his little Olympus E-PL1 for some scenic pix. He was in luck . . . many joshua trees in evidence.

Must say though, that there remained in inordinate amount of "haze" during this first portion of the trip.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Gray Headed Junco Blogging

Gray Headed Junco - New Mexico  2012

Little bird enjoying a perfectly-positioned birdbath at Kay's house in White Rock (near Los Alamos).

We've seen juncos before, but this is a different type of junco. Very cool.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Early A.M. Mojave

New Promise Land - Mojave  2012

Driving into Sun - Mojave  2012

Mike stayed overnight in Mojave (mentioned before on the blog), then got up early to make his waffle.

He couldn't help but notice, right across the street, what looked to be the headquarters of New Promise Land Incorporated, with a nice full moon illuminating the scene (wind turbines in the background). Then, the drive east through the desert, right into the sun.

BTW: flicker user zanzyb was also attracted to New Promise Land.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Twirl (St. George) - Utah  2012

Twirl Label - Utah  2012

Seen in St. George, Utah. I was thinking that this piece might be a good fit for the grounds of Terrapin Crossroads.

Friday, October 19, 2012

More Tehachapi Train Photos

Santa Fe - Tehachapi  1972

Caboose - Tehachapi  1972

At least, I'm pretty sure these were taken up near the Tehachapi Loop. How nice to see an actual caboose, with cupola! Added bonus: actual Santa Fe diesels. Extra special added bonus: no graffiti.

(Reason for uncertainty: no photo showing trains crossing over one another. I'll have to go back there next visit to nail this one down.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

. . . from the archives #75: Cab Ahead Articulated, Los Angeles 1958

Cab Ahead Articulated - Los Angeles  1958

While writing yesterday's Tehachapi post, I recalled that I had taken a photo of one of Southern Pacific's monster cab ahead articulated steam engines (with a 4-8-8-2 configuration) some years ago. So I delved into my contact sheets and found the negative . . . taken in 1958 in Taylor Yard, in Los Angeles. By then diesel engines had taken over, steam was out and these sculpturally exquisite machines had been moved to side tracks, waiting to be sold for scrap.

When I took the photo these engines were known as "cab ahead," but now I see that they're called "cab forward." Same idea.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Autumn Journeying

Tehachapi Loop - Tehachapi  2012

Tehachapi Loop Mural - Tehachapi  2012

When autumn came, he knew that part at least of his heart would think more kindly of journeying, as it always did in that season.

Mike too, emulating Frodo, chose to embark upon an autumn journey this year, bound for the summit of Chicoma Peak in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico via a somewhat circuitous route.

First stop was in the mountain town of Tehachapi, also a hardcore railroad town noted for its proximity to the famous Tehachapi Loop. Mike was pleased to find a railroad museum featuring an aerial schematic of the loop and a mural depicting one of Southern Pacific's cab-ahead articulateds climbing the grade.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Laundryworld - San Francisco  2012

Welcome to Laundryworld - San Francisco  2012

In San Francisco. Seen from across the street, then (later) close-up.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Marmot & Ground Squirrel Blogging

Marmot - Yosemite  2012

Ground Squirrel - Yosemite  2012

Checking the photographer out. Both creatures seen on Mike's auxiliary hike up to Upper Gaylor Lake.

(Earlier, more human-centric marmot seen here.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Fog Coming In (Sausalito) - Marin County  2012

Fog in Trees - San Francisco  2012

Yes, yes. The fog comes on little cat feet.

Sometimes, though, it can get very blustery. Big cat feet.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Foto - Mazatlan  2002

Please compare to 1979 Fotografia black and white shot.

Actually, I prefer the earlier photo . . . more going on.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gaylor Lake Hike - 4

Gaylor Lake (Upper) - Yosemite  2012

OK, for the record, here's a photo of Upper Gaylor Lake, an easy-enough hike from the lower, more picturesque lake. Might be fun to hike around the perimeter some day.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gaylor Lake Hike - 3

False Hellebores, Gaylor Lake - Yosemite  2012

Gaylor Lake - Yosemite  2012

When Mike arrived at Gaylor Lake (lower lake) he was pleased to see a stand of false hellebores decorating its border. The lake has a kind of "infinity pool" look to it with just a few trees and some far peaks interrupting the far edge.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gaylor Lake Hike - 2

Tree Trunks - Yosemite  2012

Cathedral Peak - Yosemite  2012

Near the top of the crest Gaylor Lake was visible through a forest of foxtail pines, Cathedral Peak in the far distance.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Gaylor Lake Hike - 1

False Hellebore - Yosemite  2012

False Hellebore - Yosemite  2012

On his final day in Yosemite Mike decided to hike up to the Gaylor Lakes. The trailhead starts at Tioga Pass, elevation 9,950 feet and goes up to over 10,000 feet. So the trail was fairly steep . . . but actually not that long.

On the way up Mike noticed this group of false hellebore on the mountainside so he had to stop. Photography provides many good excuses to stop and catch your breath!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Deer Blogging

Deer - Yosemite  2012

Mike stopped off at the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center early in the morning to get his gear ready for a day hike. He looked up to find that there was a group of male deer grazing quite close to him.

They were not at all concerned about having their photograph taken: they kept on grazing and moseyed across the highway for more grazing opportunities.

Deer, Tioga Road - Yosemite  2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake - Yosemite  2012

Taken early in the morning as Mike was heading out for a hike to the Gaylor Lakes. Prior photo of the lake seen here.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Underneath Highway 101

Highway 101 - Marin County  2012

Kayaker - Marin County  2012

Top: your typical urban abstract: curving forms, etc. In San Rafael.

Bottom: Kayaker seen in Corte Madera Creek.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Oakland Farmers Market

Freeway and Sky - Oakland  2012

Kwik Way Drive-In - Oakland  2012

When Mike sets his booth up at the Oakland Farmers Market he drives to the site next to the freeway, unloads his stuff, then drives about two blocks away to park.

He walks back and sets up the booth and awaits fame and fortune. (Not much fortune that day: sold a bunch of notecards and some 11x14s.)

Anyway, here's two photos taken during the walk back to the booth.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yosemite Valley - 2

El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks - Yosemite 2012

After a visit to the Visitors Center and the purchase of a sandwich and some Gatorade, Mike headed back on up to Crane Flat and his campsite. Before leaving the valley he stopped to take a photo from one of his favorite viewpoints.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yosemite Valley - 1

Yosemite Valley - Yosemite  2012

Burnt Area - Yosemite  2012

Mike drove down to Yosemite Valley after his early morning meadow pix. As he descended the smoke from a controlled burn grew more pronounced: getting out of the truck at a pullout the smell was quite noticible.

But Mike wondered if all that haze would lead to an interesting view at the traditional Yosemite Valley viewpoint. So after reaching the valley floor he turned and went up there. Yes . . . interesting how the haze isolated the various geographical features of the valley.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Meadow, Early Morning

Trees in Meadow - Yosemite  2012

Meadow, Self-Portrait - Yosemite  2012

Back at the White Wolf Campground . . . Mike decided to use the tripod for some early morning shots. He didn't begin quite early enough, though; the sun's rays start slanting through the forest pretty early at this location.