Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Flicker Blogging

Northern Flicker - New Mexico  2012

Northern Flicker - New Mexico  2012

Rounding out the set of bird photos taken at Kay's birdbath, here are Northern Flickers, male and female (of the woodpecker family). Also known as Red Shafted flickers.

Mike used the Olympus 14-150 lens for these shots.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rio Grande

Rio Grande - New Mexico  2012

Rio Grande - New Mexico  1993

As afternoon shadows began to lengthen Kay and Mike stopped at the White Rock scenic overlook with its great view of the Rio Grande.

The view this year was pleasant enough, but once again, an earlier black and white film photo is more dramatic.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

San Francisco Sightems

Cable Car - San Francisco  2012

Streetcar - San Francisco  2012

Uniquely SF forms of public transportation:

- Cable car at the Hyde/Market St turnaround.

- Antique streetcar coming down an oddly empty Market St.

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Mexico Churches

Church, Front - New Mexico  2012

Church, Side - New Mexico  2012

Per information received from Kay, "Nuestra Senora De Guadalupe Del Valle De Pojoaque" seems to be the name of the above church. Wow. Although it presents as being an old style New Mexico adobe church, it might very well be recently-built. Not sure.

Below, church door seen in Santa Fe.

Ristra, Church Door - Santa Fe  2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Santa Fe

Religious Tile 1 - Santa Fe  2012

Religious Tile 2 - Santa Fe  2012

After their hike in the mountains, Kay and Mike wandered through the Santa Fe Plaza area, having lunch at the Blue Corn Cafe. Food was good! The beer was . . . interesting.

However, several Yelp reviews are praising the beer! So Mike might need to go back for some further research.

Blue Corn Cafe - Santa Fe  2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pines and Aspens

Pines & Aspens (Sangre de Cristo Mountains) - New Mexico  2012

For he who does not understand that the wilderness of mountains serves us far more than their tameness, understands very little. Slopes given to the plow may serve us less than the vast, stony undulations that are patterned gray and green in the spring, and gray and gold in October, with the quaking aspens. All up the Sangre de Cristo, the pine and aspen patterns make a hieroglyph still undeciphered, except as you find the key to it in the script of pagan thinking, at the back of the mind of man.

~ Mary Austin, Land of Journeys’ Ending, 1934

Kay and Mike did a short day hike in the high altitude October light starting from the Big Tesuque trailhead in the Santa Fe National Forest, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Elf & Evening Storm Clouds

Elf, Evening Storm Clouds - Marin County  2012

Red skies at night, sailors take fright!

Red skies at night, sailors' delight!

But . . .

Red skies at dawn, sailors mow their lawn!

Red skies at dawning, sailors repair their awning!

Earlier red skies angle at this post. Taken from almost the same spot!

Anyway, Happy Holidays! (Upon leaving the Xmas tree lot, I drove towards the Civic Center ((Frank Lloyd Wright-designed)) and took this kind of Blade Runnerish shot:)

Civic Center - Marin County  2012

(BTW: possible record for exclamation points in a mikereport post! Also, please note Mt. Tamalpais in top photo.)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday Dog Blogging

Zoe, View of Los Alamos - New Mexico  2012

Zoe - New Mexico  2012

Zoe, Laura's dog, was so involved in running back and forth that she probably climbed the peak 2 or 3 times.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Olympus 14-150mm Zoom Lens

Olympus 14-150 Lens - Yosemite  2012

I really dislike changing lenses. My theory has always been to get one all-purpose zoom lens and leave it on the camera. Thus, the purchase of this particular zoom.

My Olympus E-PL1 originally came with two lenses, a normal zoom and a telephoto zoom. This new lens replaces those two since it covers the same zoom range, that is, in 35mm terms, 28-300mm, wide-angle to telephoto. Also, I was very pleased to discover that my old Olympus C-8080's lens cap and lens shade fit on the new lens perfectly. Above, a photo (taken with the trusty Canon G12) of the new lens with the new focusing gizmo on top. So: this is the only lens I had with me during my October Utah/New Mexico trip. So far, so good! Not that great in low light situations, though.

BTW, I sold my Nikon D90 body back to B&H. The weight advantage of the new Olympus/Panasonic m4/3s cameras is too great to overlook.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Burma Superstar

Burma Superstar - San Francisco  2012

Waitstaff (Burma Superstar) - San Francisco  2012

We finally got to eat at Burma Superstar! We had tried earlier, but just missed being able to wait for the required longish time.

This time we got in, although there was a lot of preliminary to-ing and fro-ing. It was good! (No judgement here as to whether it was worth the wait.) Best part of the meal: the tea leaf salad.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tchicoma Peak - Summit

Kay & Laura - New Mexico  2012

Pine Tree, Burnt Area - New Mexico  2012

After reaching the summit (for my own part, totally out of breath) we spent some contemplative moments up at the top as befitting a mountain that some consider "the center of all."

Views opened up on Los Alamos far below; closer by, we could see snags and dead trees left behind by the big Las Conchas fire.

Then lunch, including some home-made beef jerky. Yum! (Mighty chewy, of course.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tchicoma Peak

Tchicoma Peak, Jemez Mountains from Los Alamos - New Mexico  2012

Tchicoma Road - New Mexico  2012

Tchicoma ("Chicoma" in Wikipedia) Peak looms over Los Alamos, at over 11,500 feet the highest point in the Jemez Mountains.  Kay and I had been planning a hike to the top for some time. Finally: reality!

With Kay at the helm, we set off from White Rock in Joe Mundy's 1980's-era truck. After picking up Laura and her dog Zoe, the bone-rattling drive up to the "trailhead" (there's actually no official trail that we could see) commenced. Shortly after one very washboardy section Zoe decided that the camper shell wasn't really where she should be, so she moved up and sat with Laura in the slightly extremely cramped rear.

Joe's Truck - New Mexico  2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Los Alamos Sightem

Oppenheimer & Groves - Los Alamos  2012

Manhattan Project Plaque - Los Alamos  2012

Statues seen near Mike's motel.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chama Valley

Chama Village Limit - New Mexico  2012

Clouds & Hills - New Mexico  2012

After negotiating some horrendous traffic in Farmington, Mike finally made it to the Chama Valley, north of Santa Fe.

There was something about that name . . . hm. Chama . . .

Oh right. Ansel Adams:

I had been photographing in the Chama Valley , north of Santa Fe . I made a few passable negatives that day and had several exasperating trials with subjects that would not bend to visualization. The most discouraging effort was a rather handsome cottonwood stump near the Chama River . I saw my desired image quite clearly, but due to unmanageable intrusions and mergers of forms in the subject my efforts finally foundered, and I decided it was time to return to Santa Fe .

Of course, the story ends with Adams pulling over and taking his well-known masterpiece, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.

Somehow, Mike didn't see any potential masterpieces. Some nice clouds, though. And then, finally (long day's drive), his motel in Los Alamos.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Horse Blogging

Brown Horse - Marin County  2012

White Horse - Marin County  2012

In the San Geronimo Valley, after a rainy spell.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Oak Leaves - Yosemite  2012

Maple Leaf - Marin County  2012

Taken with the Olympus 14-150mm zoom lens.

Top: Yosemite, late October.

Bottom: Marin, early December.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Olives, Washed - Marin County  2012

Olives, Brining - Marin County  2012

Big crop this year! Olives were harvested over a three-week period in November, and are now slowly  brining in a saltwater solution in the garage.

Brining instructions have already been posted.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Barn - Colorado  2012

Crested Butte - Colorado  1993

It turns out that when going from Monticello to New Mexico you get to cut across a small portion of Colorado. Nicely rural . . . not much to photograph. An earlier trip in 1993 to Crested Butte was more scenic.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Canyonlands - Views

Canyonlands - Utah  2012

Canyonlands - Utah  1996

After returning to the car Mike got out the tripod for a four-photo merge shot of the canyon on the other side of the road.

He had better luck with clouds in an earlier 1996 photo taken in the same area.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Slickrock Hike

Rabbitbrush (Canyonlands) - Utah  2012

Rock Wall (Canyonlands) - Utah  2012

After entering the park Mike drove to the end of the road to the Slickrock Trailhead, parked, and then set off onto a relatively short hike into Utah's mesmerizing sandstone country. It was just a little bit warm! Slightly rubbery legs served as a warning to Mike to yank out his canteen for some major hydrating.

He continued on, for distant views of The Needles and some closer looks at the numerous yucca seed pods.

Needles (Canyonlands) - Utah  2012

Yucca Pods (Canyonlands) - Utah  2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands - Utah  2012

Mike got up early in order to visit Canyonlands National Park in the AM. One drives on a fairly level route, then drops down into a scene of faroff buttes, ravines, and yes, canyons.

The area must be right below some major air routes. LAX to ATL? Maybe. The contrails in evidence were amazing . . . perhaps they could be removed in Photoshop, but what a hassle.

Contrails - Utah  2012

And, more contrails: in the Sierra. Also, there's probably no need to get into conspiracy theories.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Cow Blogging

Cow - Utah  2012

Cows Crossing Road - Utah  2012

Cows seen on the way to Canyonlands National Park. They apparently really enjoyed wandering back and forth across the road.

Earlier Utah cow photograph: Cows in Snow.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Monticello Utah

Blue Mountain Foods (Monticello) - Utah  2012

Orrin Hatch Sign (Monticello) - Utah  2012

Cello pronounced like cellophane.

Top: Grocery store where beer was purchased.

Bottom: Orrin Hatch campaign sign. Mike's trip was in the runup to a major election, but there was hardly any sign of it in the states he visited. Maybe some ads and stuff in New Mexico.

BTW, Orrin Hatch won.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Utah Beer

Provo Girl - Utah  2012

Evolution Ale - Utah  2012

Mike was pleased to find beer for sale at the local Monticello grocery store. And, local Utah beer!

He liked the Provo Girl artwork, for sure.

And he was very pleased to be able to purchase some Evolution Ale ("Darwin Approved.") From the label on the back: "This beer was part of our protest to the Utah Legislature's attempt to mandate the teaching of 'intelligent design' in our public schools. We think church and state should stay separated, even in Utah."

Both beers were fairly light-weight, but still . . .