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Foothills Parkway Morning Foothills Pkwy Fog Another Foothills Pkwy Good morning vista
Foothills Panorama Staff Retreat Staff Retreat II Seabrook Sea Oats
Back Porch View Crab Dock Overlook Vicious Visitor Gratuitous Pelican Photo
Gratuitous Sea Oats Photo Norris Dam Fog on the Clinch Fog on the Clinch II
Moments before sunset  This was taken just moments before sunset at Seabrook Island near Charleston, SC. It probably isn't my best sunset ever, but it may have been harder to get than any others! Left late to get to a preselected sunset site, but it wasn't as good as I thought it would be. So tried Option 2, which looked good on the map -- which did not show the big "DO NOT TRESPASS" sign that blocked the road way before the site I had hoped to use. So Option 3 it was, and we arrived just moments before sunset, only to realize that I was missing the camera plate to attach my camera to the tripod. So hope you enjoy this handheld shot taken from Option 3!!! (July 2018) Nesting heron  I really like herons! So this day at Seabrook Island was a real treat! Terri and I were exploring the resort when we turned a corner and were shocked to find a heron nesting ground! There must have been 50 of these herons perched in the trees all around a small pond. I took so many photos and was hoping to one of the whole scene with many birds, but they all look like trees with bare limbs that have white puffballs in them. So I settled for this shot of just one of the 50 birds. You should have been there!! Bashful Bobcat  When Terri and I first spotted this, we thought it was just a cat -- and maybe it is!! But Seabrook has bobcats, so we now think this is one of them. It was about twice as big as a typical housecat but still fairly small. It was peeking out just about at sunset, and it was pretty shy when it noticed us noticing him/her! Very pretty -- glad I could get a shot of it before it scampered back into the woods. Siesta Key Sunset 1  This old, dilapidated pier at Siesta Key sort of fascinated me. It was nearly perfectly positioned for the sunset, so I showed up and set up and waited.  Serene, bit quite chilly! It was January and Siesta Key as having a rare cold snap!! My wife stole my jacket, and the wind was a bit brisk! As sunset approached, I had to relocate quickly as I was in the way of the daily flag lowering ceremony complete with Taps playing!! Still managed to get a shot just as the sun was touching the horizon!! (January 2018)
Turtle Beach Sunset 1  On this night in Siesta Key, I went further south from the pier in the previous photo. Found Turtle Beach and settle in to wait for the suncet. Tried to find some interesting foreground material just in case the sunset colors didn't pan out. So here it is! Nice sand walkway from the parking lot to the beach. The couple that almost stepped on me on their way out to the beach did manage to get clear of the shot just in time! Turtle Beach Sunset 2  It was interesting watching this sunset from Turtle Beach in Siesta Key. Many, many people came out to watch the sun go down. Once it was down, they all quickly left -- missing probably the prettiest part of the sunset. Once the sun was below the horizon, it kicked up some magnificent colors that were caught by these clouds. I think it was just me and the couple in the photo left out on the beach. Tranquility personified!! Loved this early evening -- and still made it home in time for dinner! Siesta Key Sunset 2  Another take on the old, dilapidated pier at Siesta Key (see earlier photo and description). Same night, same coldness, same Taps ceremony!! Burgess Falls - Big Falls  Having now been retired for over a year, I thought it would be a good time to finally endulge my photography hobby for the very first time. So Terri and I took a short day trip to Burgess Falls in the Cookville, TN area. Beautiful day. We hiked the massive 1.5 mile round trip to the falls and back despite the "Strenuous Hike" warnings posted here and there. This was shot from the overlook at Big Falls, so there are about a million of these photos already available on the internet, but heh! I have to work back into this hobby gradually. Bear with me as my dried up creative juices begin to flow again!! September 2017. : waterfall, east tennessee, burgess, falls, hike
Burgess Big Falls 2  From the edge of Burgess Falls Big Falls. While I was taking this (and about a thousand similar shots -- quantity over quality is my motto), Terri was watching a snake eat a fish just a few feet away. Fun for the whole family! This photo was taken because you can't really get to the bottom of Big Falls at this time. The metal staircase to the bottom was closed for repair after recent floods (and a lot of rust if you ask me). Maybe we'll return in the future to get the more iconic bottom of falls shot!! Burgess Middle Falls  Burgess Falls actually has a whole series of waterfalls starting near the parking area and getting more and more interesting as you hike the short distanse to the biggest falls just 1/5 miles away! This was waterfall #2 I believe. Sunset from Morada Bay  In January 2016, Terri and I felt an overwhelming urge to return to Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada, Floriday -- one of the Florida Keys. The driving force was probably the 30 degree difference in temperatures between Tennessee and Islamorada. This photo was taken as we watched the sunset from our dining table at Morada Bay Beach Cafe. The table and chairs are on the beach so there is warm sand under your toes as you eat, and talk, and take pictures of the brilliant sunset behind the next door marina. Ah!! Now that's the life!! : boat, sunset, florida, islamorada, keys, marina Twin Falls  On the spur of the moment, Terri and I drove to Rock Island State Park on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Beautiful fall day. Nice drive. Noone around (because the Vols were playing football). Once we found Twin Falls, which is actually outside of the actual state park, we were mesmerized by the beauty of the falls. Patient Terri sat on a rock for an hour while I took a series of pictures of the falls. This was my favorite. This may be my new favorite waterfall in Tennessee! : waterfall, east tennessee, water, twin falls
Burgess Big Falls  Another one from the edge of Big Falls. The snake was gone by now or this photo would not have happened! Anne's Beach Sunrise  In January 2014, Terri and I once again snuck off to Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. I was just a couple months back from a 5 month stay in London, England and we wanted a warm getaway to relax and recharge after the holidays. I didn't get any great shots of Cheeca Lodge this time (see the 2011 shots for those masterpieces). But one morning, I did manage to get up for sunrise at Anne's Beach which is about a 10 minute drive from the Lodge. And I was rewarded with this very colorful sunrise, punctuated by the silhouettes and the rippled sandbar which is composed entirely of calcium carbonate. I am still getting that stuff out of the sandels I had on that morning!! London Dragonfly  In 2013, I spent another 5 months working in London, England. On one of my Sundays off, I caught the bus to the London Wetland Centre, just 10 minutes from Hammersmith (where I was working). Just wanted to be outside, away from people and concrete for a little while. Wandered around for hours with my camera, and wound up shooting weird stuff. I caught this dragonfly in mid flight. Liked it. Probably could have gotten a very similar shot in Tennessee, but hey, it wouldn't have seemed this "exotic." : insect, nature One Swan Aswimming  In 2013, I spent another 5 months working in London, England. On one of my Sundays off, I caught the bus to the London Wetland Centre, just 10 minutes from Hammersmith (where I was working). Just wanted to be outside, away from people and concrete for a little while. Wandered around for hours with my camera, and wound up shooting weird stuff. I like the way this shot of the swan turned out. What you don't know about this photo is that I took it from probably a couple hundred feet away. I cropped it a bit, but I must say the sharpness is pretty good for that distance. Nice job Canon 100-400mm lens!! : bird, swan, nature, wildlife
Ibis at Anne's Beach  In January 2014, Terri and I once again snuck off to Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. I was just a couple months back from a 5 month stay in London, England and we wanted a warm getaway to relax and recharge after the holidays. I didn't get any great shots of Cheeca Lodge this time (see the 2011 shots for those masterpieces). But one morning, I did manage to get up for sunrise at Anne's Beach which is about a 10 minute drive from the Lodge. After the sunrise, I hung around to snap a couple photos of the Ibis that were working the beachline. This was my favorite shot of these birds. : bird, wildlife One Duck Aflapping  In 2013, I spent another 5 months working in London, England. On one of my Sundays off, I caught the bus to the London Wetland Centre, just 10 minutes from Hammersmith (where I was working). Just wanted to be outside, away from people and concrete for a little while. Wandered around for hours with my camera, and wound up shooting weird stuff. I caught this duck as he was making quite a splash (not sure why though). I sort of like the way the water droplets are frozen in the air. The duck is still visible, but the photo is about the water in my mind. I know, I had been working really hard, so forgive me for this one. : wildlife, bird, goose, water, england, london Islamorado Moonrise  In January 2011, Terri and I once again decided on the spur of the moment to go south for the winter (well, at least one week of it). The year before, we had gone to Key West. Liked it okay, but too many partiers for us. And too long of a drive from the Miami airport. Problem solved -- go to the Keys, but not Key West. This time, we stopped at Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada. Perfect for us! Calm, relaxing, warm! With this very photographic pier that I shot a sunrise and moonrise (which is a much better time for my body clock!). Moonrise Over Pier  In January 2011, Terri and I once again decided on the spur of the moment to go south for the winter (well, at least one week of it). The year before, we had gone to Key West. Liked it okay, but too many partiers for us. And too long of a drive from the Miami airport. Problem solved -- go to the Keys, but not Key West. This time, we stopped at Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada. Perfect for us! Calm, relaxing, warm! With this very photographic pier that I shot a sunrise and moonrise (which is a much better time for my body clock!).
Cheeca Lodge Sunrise  In January 2011, Terri and I once again decided on the spur of the moment to go south for the winter (well, at least one week of it). The year before, we had gone to Key West. Liked it okay, but too many partiers for us. And too long of a drive from the Miami airport. Problem solved -- go to the Keys, but not Key West. This time, we stopped at Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada. Perfect for us! Calm, relaxing, warm! With this very photographic pier that I shot a sunrise and moonrise (which is a much better time for my body clock!). Sunrise Over Pier  In January 2011, Terri and I once again decided on the spur of the moment to go south for the winter (well, at least one week of it). The year before, we had gone to Key West. Liked it okay, but too many partiers for us. And too long of a drive from the Miami airport. Problem solved -- go to the Keys, but not Key West. This time, we stopped at Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada. Perfect for us! Calm, relaxing, warm! With this very photographic pier that I shot a sunrise and moonrise (which is a much better time for my body clock!). Foothills Pkwy 4 Key West Sunset  In February 2010, Terri and I decided to escape the Tennessee winter and head to Key West. We improved the temperature by about 50 degrees, but the Key West locals thought they were going to freeze -- we hit one of their coldest spells in years!!  Despite the "cold", we went to Smather's Beach for a sunset one night (to avoid the crowds at Mallory Square -- it was fun, once!). While Smather's Beach is on the wrong side of the island for a direct shot of the setting sun, we did manage to "catch some color" by looking southwest along the beach.
Smathers Beach Sunrise  In February 2010, Terri and I decided to escape the Tennessee winter and head to Key West. We improved the temperature by about 50 degrees, but the Key West locals thought they were going to freeze -- we hit one of their coldest spells in years!! Despite this "horrible cold", I managed to crawl out of bed one morning to catch a sunrise at Smather's Beach. Glad I did!! Pretty stunning combination of silhouettes, sun, clouds, and color! Smathers Beach Sunrise Panorama  In February 2010, Terri and I decided to escape the Tennessee winter and head to Key West. We improved the temperature by about 50 degrees, but the Key West locals thought they were going to freeze -- we hit one of their coldest spells in years!! Despite this "horrible cold", I managed to crawl out of bed one morning to catch a sunrise at Smather's Beach. Glad I did!! Pretty stunning combination of silhouettes, sun, clouds, and color! (This shot is an HDR for you photo geeks and it is also a stitched together panorama. And no, I don't know who the couple on the point was, but thankfully they didn't move much. Probably frozen in place). Key West Heron  In February 2010, Terri and I decided to escape the Tennessee winter and head to Key West. One day, we wandered around Fort Zachary Taylor which was built starting in 1845. While the fort was interesting, it wasn't all that photogenic, so my attention wandered to this bird -- which to this day I'm not sure what to call. I think it is a Great White Heron, but maybe it is a Great Egret. Not sure -- if you know, let me know!! : bird, nature, wildlife, heron, florida, key west, keys Silas' Hand  Okay, so I broke my "no people" rule again! My daughter and son-in-law had just brought their adorable adopted son home from Ethiopia and we had to have frameable photos of him to match those we took of my granddaughter about three years ago! My grandson was just 5 months old when he got home, and these were taken shortly afterward. What a blessing he is to all of us!!
Mother and Child  Okay, so I broke my "no people" rule again! My daughter and son-in-law had just brought their adorable adopted son home from Ethiopia and we had to have frameable photos of him to match those we took of my granddaughter about three years ago! My grandson was just 5 months old when he got home, and these were taken shortly afterward. What a blessing he is to all of us!! Sweet Sleeper  Okay, so I broke my "no people" rule again! My daughter and son-in-law had just brought their adorable adopted son home from Ethiopia and we had to have frameable photos of him to match those we took of my granddaughter about three years ago! My grandson was just 5 months old when he got home, and these were taken shortly afterward. What a blessing he is to all of us!! Mother and Child II  Okay, so I broke my "no people" rule again! My daughter and son-in-law had just brought their adorable adopted son home from Ethiopia and we had to have frameable photos of him to match those we took of my granddaughter about three years ago! My grandson was just 5 months old when he got home, and these were taken shortly afterward. What a blessing he is to all of us!! Watercolor Lilly Pad  Taken on vacation in WaterColor, Florida. Another water lily – see WaterColor Water Lilly I for an explanation of why in the world I was photographing water lilies.  This one was shot from a bridge – not a canoe. Therefore, a slower shutter speed. The bridge wasn't rocking like the canoe was!!
Little Feet  Okay, so I broke my "no people" rule again! My daughter and son-in-law had just brought their adorable adopted son home from Ethiopia and we had to have frameable photos of him to match those we took of my granddaughter about three years ago! My grandson was just 5 months old when he got home, and these were taken shortly afterward. What a blessing he is to all of us!! Weird Watercolor View  Taken on vacation in WaterColor, Florida. What in the world is this??? Don't blame me. My wife made me take it. Can you figure it out? It's looking straight up into the cupola of a gazebo. There, I hope that explains that!! (It's looking up at the bottom of the roof on a pavilion built over the Western Lake.) It caught my wife's eye. I actually had to lay down and look up to get this unusual shot of an usual structure making an unusual pattern. Tough duty. Watercolor Sea Oats Watercolor Lilly Pads III  Taken on vacation in Watercolor, Florida. Yes, more water lilies. I couldn't decide which shot I liked best, so you have to suffer through all of them (actually, there are lots more if you want me to load them onto the website! Just drop me a note at rick@rrphotos.com and I'll upload the other 9,154 water lily photos for you). See the story on WaterColor Water Lilies I for why I was intrigued by these lilies. And yes, this was taken from the canoe too. Terri stopped wiggling, so I could use a lower shutter speed for this one!
Watercolor Lilly Pads II  Taken on vacation in WaterColor, Florida. Yes, another one! You didn't realize how strong the Water Lilly Protection Consortium was, did you?? They require four photographs for each one you really want to publish. So here is the mandatory fourth shot (no more, I promise)! This one is looking straight down from a bridge. No adventures in a canoe for this angle. But I did lean way over, so there was some risk involved (more than you may suspect if you knew me better). WaterColor Water Lilies I  Taken on vacation in WaterColor, Florida. The sun was hot. The sky was bland. The distance was obscured by that summer haze thing. I was too sleepy to catch the sunrise (this vacation occurred a week after my return from a 5 month stay in England).  So what to shoot? Close-ups of lily pads! Drive 8 hours from Tennessee to the Florida beach, and photograph lily pads that I probably could have found in the creek out back of my house!! Still, it was fun and relaxing (and hot and humid) and the Western Lake on the northern side of WaterColor Resort was beautiful. This shot was actually taken from a canoe (which explains why I thought I needed the 1/1500 shutter speed to stop the rocking motion! -- no I didn't fall in even once!). P.S. In the larger versions of this, you can see the bonus item -- what I believe is a young dragonfly on the edge of the lily. What do you think? Watercolor Boardwalk  Taken on vacation in WaterColor, Florida. The sky was dull and the day was hot. So what better to do that go on a hike! At least it was in the shade (sort of). It was early morning and I liked this wooden walkway with the warm morning light. Hope you like it too! By the way, this was the walkway that led to all those water lily shots you've had to look through to get here! Morada Bay Beach Cafe Vista  We now have a very favorite restaurant in Islamorada!  It is on the opposite side of the island from Cheeca Lodge (which means it is a five minute walk since the island is very narrow). This sunset panorama was shot from the Morada Bay Beach Cafe where you eat great seafood at your table in the sand on the beach. Some live music in the background. Watching the sun go down. Stand up, take the photo, sit down, order dessert. Nice!!!!!
Late Afternoon Lilly Pads  Taken on vacation in Watercolor, Florida. Really! I really, really promise this is the last lily pad shot!! I had to include this one since I had to put on my waders, waterproof the camera, and then wade out into this lake water. All that work...or maybe it was just a zoom lens shot from the side of the lake while I was sitting on the bank having a refreshing DIet Coke. Either way, you gotta admit it is a pretty nice shot of water, lily pads, and cattails (?) with the late afternoon sun drawing your eye into the middle of the shot...yes?? Upside Down World  Taken on vacation in Watercolor, Florida. More lily pads caught on my search for the perfect sunset. In the late afternoon sun (that looked like it would produce no interesting sunset colors), I stopped to shoot this interesting juxtaposition of water, sky, nature, man made structure, right side up and upside down images all rolled into one.  I shot this pretty quickly as I was headed back to my bike to continue my senseless and sterile search for the seminal sunset shot (don't ya just love alliteration!). Was amazed that this wasn't all blurry when I looked at the exposure data -- that's a pretty slow shutter speed for that degree of zoom, ISO, and light! Thank you Canon for the image stablization built into that lens! (Alternate explanation: With my eyes these days, that photo may NOT be sharp, in which case, forget the praise Canon!). The Night Scene in St. Thomas  This is what we saw every night as we sat on our balcony at Gallow's Point in the USVI. The lights on on St. Thomas, a 15 minute ferry ride away. Yes, it is a bit blurry even though I used a tripod and remote release. But to get this shot, I had to use a 30 second exposure at f/6.3 and ISO 200 (could have gone faster I guess, but didn't want to pick up too much noise in the dark colors). So in 30 seconds, boats rock on the waves, leaves (fronds to be more precise) blow in the wind, and clouds move. I must have also had some camera movement since the lights are a bit blurred as well. Still, it was fun taking it, and it is a serene shot even if it is a bit blurred. Watercolor Waterway II  Taken on vacation in Watercolor, Florida. More lily pads in the late afternoon sun on Western Lake (which is actually sort of on the northern side of the resort -- go figure!). This was taken early in my quest for interesting sunset shots. The late afternoon light with its low angles helped make this an interesting shot. Well, at least that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!
Watercolor Waterway III  Taken on vacation in Watercolor, Florida. Okay -- I lied. I said no more lily pads, and I lied. You are therefore entitled to get your admission money back!  If you read the description on 'Seaside Sunset' then you know the story behind this photo. This one caught my sweaty eye as I was biking here and there and here again trying to find the penultimate sunset photo. (No luck on that by the way). But I like this one as the scence combines the dark water, bright green lily pads, and the reflection of the trees from the far bank. This is what you get from trying to take photos in August in Florida!! Watercolor Sunset  Taken on vacation in Watercolor, Florida. Taken just a few minutes before 'Seaside Sunset' so see the story behind the photo there! This was taken just about 30 feet from the other shot. From this angle, the seashore and ocean were obstructed by the white sand dunes, sea oats, and other vegetation. Gave the shot a whole different look (but is was still hot!). Seaside Sunset  Taken on vacation in Watercolor, Florida. And now, the rest of the story...This shot was taken on the last night of our vacation. I was determined to get some sort of a sunset shot and they had eluded me all week. Flat, colorless skies. Hot, hazy, humid conditions. There just hadn't been any sunsets worth fosusing on (pun intended). One last night...one last attempt.   Throw the tripod in the tripod bag and sling it across my back. Camera in the camera bag over a shoulder. Hop on the bicycle (yes, a bicycle -- fully loaded down, in the 95 degree, 90% humidity weather). Pedal to the trails at the back of the resort along the Western Lake. Wave at all the people staring at the idiot on a bike. "No, I don't know if the fish are biting. No, it's a tripod. No, you don't use a tripod for fishing. Yes, my wife is very understanding!"   Back to pedaling. Search for the right place. No, the water lillies won't look that much better in the setting sun. Oh, take one shot anyway (see Late Afternoon Lilly Pads). Move on. Set up to shoot the gazebo on the pier. Oops, sun is in a bad spot. Tear down. Bag up. Pedal. Sweat. Next spot. Set up. Oops, too many people in the shot (you know how I feel about people in my pictures! Ugh!). Tear down, bag up, pedal some more. Sweat a lot more. Stop, shoot those lilly pads with the bridge reflection (see Upside Down World -- and why are lilly pads the only thing I can photograph at this beautiful resort? Something Freudian I'm sure...). Well, you get the picture (pun intended). No good sunset shots. Still was lacking that quintessential beach sunset. Bike back to the room in resignation.   Terri and I decide to drive 5 minutes to Grayton Beach to watch the final sunset of our trip. Nice quick drive in the air conditioned car... and this shot was the result. Maybe not the most beautiful sunset ever, but it at least commemorates the end of our trip to the panhandle of Florida in August! Sun, surf, and sweat! St. John Sailboat
St. John Joy  Ah! Maybe the most perfect beach in the Caribbean! Secluded, peaceful, warm (but not hot), shaded, turquoise water, nice breeze. Perfect! This is along the north shore of St. John island in the Virgin Islands. Went here on vacation with the whole family after a particularly difficult project at my day job. Good place to relax and recharge. St. John is now my favorite getaway spot, and on the 'must do it again' list. As Kenny Chesney sings, 'No shoes, no shirt, no problem'. St. John Hummingbird Gallow's Point Foliage  Nothing much to be said on this one. It caught my eye. I shot it. You're looking at it. You'll love it or hate it. Move on. Shot sitting on the bench outside our room at Gallow's Point on the lovely island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands while de-stressing from several months of proposal management. Gallows Point Sunset  Our room at Gallow's Point on St. John looks west toward St. Thomas, one of the islands in the center of the picture. Thought you may want to share in the serenity of this sunset, which cast the islands, sailboat, and trees into nice silhouettes under the orange glow of the sky.
Gallows Point Sunset II  Our room at Gallow's Point on St. John looks west toward St. Thomas , one of the islands in the center of the picture. The sunsets can be spectacular, as this one was -- and this wasn't even the prettiest one during our stage (of course, the most beautiful sunset occurred while we were walking around Cruz Bay without my camera). So you'll have to settle for this one. Sorry! Room with a View  Okay. I got a little distracted as I was shooting the beautiful St. John sunsets. This was taken from the balcony of Room 8C at Gallow's Point Resort. We were all watching the sunset when I noticed this colorful tree branch off to the side. So I framed it up, got the palm tree silhouette and sunset colors in the background, and took the shot. Even using the flash, the shutter speed was a bit too slow and there was some movement of the branch in the wind (1/80 sec exposure). So sorry, there is a little blurring of the flowers. If you'll chip in, I will go back and try to get a better shot... Salomon Beach Solitude  Taken on vacation in June 2008 on the glorious island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. What a place -- please do not visit (we do not want it to get crowded)! Thanks to my wife and son-in-law, who are the most obnoxious "morning people" you ever met, we always get to the beaches before anyone else. Bad on my system, good for my photos. This morning, we rented a nice dinghy (www.calypsovi.com) and reached this beach first. Very peaceful and beautiful. Salomon Beach used to have a "clothing optional" reputation, but that is being discouraged these days! Jumbie Beach  Taken on vacation in June 2008 on the glorious island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. What a place -- please do not visit (we do not want it to get crowded)! This was one of our "new beaches" for Ô08. (We have tried to find a new place each of our 4 visits to St. John). Jumbie is a small beach that is just a short walk from the parking area -- which is extremely limited, so the beach is largely unpopulated. Just the way we like them!  Jumbie has interesting rocks on the beach covered with some form of mussels, these large cactus trees, and okay snorkeling. Josh and I snorkeled over to adjacent Trunk Bay (while the women sunbathed), probably the most famous and visited beach on the island. It was listed on one of those "Top 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World" shows. It is, but we quickly snorkeled back to our secluded spot on Jumbie!
Gibney Beach  Taken on vacation in June 2008 on the glorious island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. What a place -- please do not visit (we do not want it to get crowded)! Another shot of our very favorite beach on the whole island. Gibney!  It has it all -- sun, shade, snorkeling, seclusion, sea grape trees, and yes, palm trees like this one. When you don't go to St. John per my admonition above, especially don't go to Gibney Beach! I hear Oppenheimer (who used to own this property) did experiments with radioactive substances on the beach here!! Gibney Beach II  Scenic view from Gibney Beach on St. John's North Shore Drive. As said in many other captions to the photos on this website, Gibney is our favorite beach. It has just the right combination of seclusion (but still easy access), sand, surf, snorkeling, scenery, and shade. And that's all the 'esses' I can think of. I love alliteration. Waterfall Weirdo  This was taken at Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The falls is about 80 ft tall, but consists of two segments. This is the top half of the falls.  So, why the Waterfall Weirdo name? Because that's probably what all the other tourists were thinking while I was shooting this! Why? Because I was the only one with shoes and socks off, squatting in the water, camera on tripod, wiping waterdrops off my lens. For some reason, they all thought taking snapshots from the bridge or walkway was good enough. Oh no. Not true. Yes, I'll go to any lengths to get the shot and bring it home to you, my faithful (and highly limited) audience.  It's okay -- I'm happy to be your weirdo. And yes, you're welcome. Laurel Falls  Laurel Falls is an 80 ft or so waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, it has two main segments and this is the top half (roughly). It is pretty easy to get to -- only a mile or so walk, but most of that is uphill on the hike in. I liked the walk back better. Please note the time on this photo! 9:30 AM!! Now, back calculate -- 15 minutes to set up for the shot (includes setting up tripod and positioning. The other 14 minutes were for taking family snapshots for three other groups of tourists who were impressed by my big lens!), 30 minutes to walk to the falls, and 60 minutes drive from Knoxville. Do the math! I was up at 7:00 am on a day off so Terri and I could leave at 7:45 to get to the park and beat the crowds. We were even moderately successful at that last part. Except for the three families wanting pictures taken.
Laurel Falls II  Taken at Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For the story on how/where this photo was taken, see Waterfall Weirdo. I think you begin to get the idea. Up close and personal would be putting it mildly!! I do like my waterfalls wispy. Without the slow shutterspeed, the water gets frozen in action, which to me suggests the power and noise of a waterfall. I found this one to be more serene and beautiful. So I added a neutral density filter to allow a slower shutter speed and more blurring of the water. Maybe I overdid it a little! This 4-second long shot makes the water very wispy and surreal -- especially this slight amount of water flowing over the rocks in the foreground.  Hey -- if you don't like it, I'll gladly refund your entrance fee to this site. Leave me a nasty note in the Feedback section (at least then I'd know someone had visited the website this millennium). Laurel Falls III  Taken at Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is the bottom half of the 80 ft tall waterfall. By this time of the day, the more spectacular top half (shown in the Waterfall Weirdo and Laurel Falls photos) was so crowded with tourists I couldn't get a shot of it. My spotter (Terri) found this off-the-beaten path location that at least gave me a somewhat different view of the falls. The rhododendron in the foreground was unfortunately about a week past its prime. My fault folks! Abby, the Puppy  Just couldn't resist including this one. This is Abby, the day we brought her home from the humane society. One of 7 puppies from the same litter, she was the only one that had white markings. When she waddled over to me, I knew she was going home with us. Mountain Swag  Fall in the Smoky Mountains can't be beat. Vivid leaves, fog in the mountains. Ridges on ridges. Definitely lowers the blood pressure.
Adirondacks  Sunrise at the Swag (a Smoky Mt. resort outside of Waynesville, NC) is usually pretty spectacular. On this morning, I woke up, glanced out the window, saw these pink colors beginning to form up, ran outside with my tripod, and started shooting. Another photographer joined me a few minutes later (but my equipment was much better than his...but, maybe his talent was much bigger than mine??)  I wanted to capture the colors of the sunrise but still show the Adirondack chairs sitting on the lawn aimed at the rising sun. It was so peaceful and serene, I could imagine sitting in those chairs watching the dawn brighten (if I liked mornings that is!). Idaho Aspens Big Creek Bust Barn on Buttermilk Road
Babes in the Nest  Man, did I have to work hard for this shot. Aren't you impressed by the close-up work -- and I promise I didn't disturb these babies or their mom. No amount of work is too much for my photography. (Actually, I opened my kitchen window and snapped this from the comfort of my air conditioned home. Thank you Mrs. Robin for building in the juniper bush just outside my window). Kiawah Sunset Kudushi Sunrise  Nice sunrise over the ocean on Bonaire, and island that is part of the Netherland Antilles (along with Aruba and Curacao). I liked this photo because of the silhouette of the Kadushi cactus, and the diagonal lines of the roadway and shoreline. And now for the rest of the story... What you don't know is the pains I went through to get this simple shot. Woke up at 4:30. Hopped on the moped (my only means of transportation on this island) with camera backpack and tripod slung across my back. Raced at 40 mph (moped top speed) across the width of the island (3 miles) and up the northeastern coast (maybe 10 miles) to get to this scenic spot. Hiked a short ways through the Kadushi cactus forest. Climbed a small hill of volcanic rock with very sharp edges. Set up the tripod while avoiding the small cactus trying to spear my foot through my shoe (and it succeeded!). And then waited for the sun to rise. All that just to put this picture on this web site so you may find it one day. Don't you feel lucky??? Bonaire Cacti
Bonaire, Boats, Beauty  Bonaire, which is part of the A-B-C islands that make up the Netherland Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao), is known as a diver's paradise. This is where a group of us from work chose to get certified for scuba diving. Good choice! Nice, calm, 80 degree water made it a joy to learn to dive! This scene jumped into my camera's eyepiece one evening as the sun set over the ocean just outside my hotel room window. The dive boats were all moored for the evening, awaiting a fresh load of divers the next morning. Bonaire Flamingos  Lake Gotomeer is an inland salt lake on the northern end of Bonaire (an island 50 miles north of Venezuela and part of the Netherland Antilles). This lake is home to hundreds of pink flamingos. Bonaire is one of only four places in the world where flamingo colonies breed. In fact, more flamingoes live on the island than do humans.  Since this is a flamingo sanctuary, I didn't want to risk getting closer, and they were very shy.  The mountain in the background is one of the highest places on the island at around 700 ft. Bonaire Surf  Bonaire is one of three Netherland Antilles islands, along with Aruba and Curacao. The west coast of the island is a scuba diver's paradise. The east coast is much rougher -- in terms of land, rock, and surf. This breaking surf at sundown caught my attention, demonstrating the power of the ocean along with its beauty. Bonaire Birdy
Oak Ridge Reflections Midnight on Shem Creek Wish I Was There! Midnight on Shem Creek II
Wild Dunes Wildlife  Wild Dunes is a perfectly manicured resort on the Isle of Palms, just outside of Charleston, SC. One day as I was walking to the beach from the Lagoon Villas, I stopped to take this turtle's photo. Just seemed fitting that he was sunning, and I was on my way to sun on the beach. No serious work going on for either of us this particular day. Turtles are plentiful in the creeks and lagoons on Wild Dunes. They have become accustomed to people feeding them as well. While I was settled on the bank of this lagoon to take this shot, about 10 other turtles swam over and got as close to me as they could get without getting out of the water. They gazed at me expectantly. The guilt of not having anything to feed them drove me away as soon as I was finished with this photo! Charleston Dinner Guest  While eating dinner at a nice restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, SC (during a stay at the Wild Dunes Resort), this Laughing Gull (real name, not a commentary on his nature) posed for me right beside our table. We were eating outside near Shem Creek where a fishing fleet resides. I'm guessing this guy is pretty used to handouts -- either from the restaurant patrons or the returning fishing boats. Since he was so nice to pose, I had to take his photo, I enjoyed studying him through the telephoto lens -- nice orange beak contrasting with his white, grey, and black feathers. Okay, I'm easy to amuse! Shem Creek Beggars Why not!?  I took this shot mostly just to see if I could. I guess I can. Now, why?? Still, I like the way the gull is frozen in time against the deep blue sky -- but there is still enough light to make out some details of his body and wings. Again, I'm easy to amuse. (And for you photo geeks, look! I even managed to achieve the rule of thirds placement for the bird!)
Cruz Bay Sunset  The main town on St. John is Cruz Bay. It's about a five minute walk from Gallow's Point where we stay, so we walk down most every night to have dinner at one of the nice restaurants -- many of which have ocean view dining. This photo was a quick shot of the sunset as we were walking back up the hill to our rooms after dinner one night. Not too bad a place to hang out and unwind after several months of proposal work! Ghost Town I  Rhyolite was once a booming gold town in the early 1900s -- complete with a stock exchange, hotel, school, and a "red light" district. All that remains now are a few shells of the old buildings. Rhyolite is located in Nevada, on Hwy. 374, 35 miles from Furnace Creek in the heart of Death Valley.  I stopped here on my way into Death Valley. My timing was unfortunate -- heat of the day, sun straight overhead, and temperature around 120 degrees. So, not a lot of good lighting, and I wanted to be in Death Valley for "golden hour." Still, I thought a couple of shots from Rhyolite work okay, emphasizing the heat and remoteness of the ghost town. Nevada Highway 374  Not my most scenic photo, but one I like a lot. It pretty much sums up my trip through Death Valley. Remote, hot, barren, hot, hazy, hot... Happened to visit Death Valley on July 13, 2003 -- the hottest July 13 in recorded history with a scalding high temperature of 128 degrees. So, this photos helps me remember that the barrel of my lens got too hot to hold comfortably within 10 minutes of being out of my nice, air conditioned SUV. Oh, my ruined shorts help me remember too -- there is tar on the seat of them where I sat down on the asphalt to take this photo! Ghost Town II  Rhyolite was once a booming gold town in the early 1900s -- complete with a stock exchange, hotel, school, and a "red light" district. All that remains now are a few shells of the old buildings. Rhyolite is located in Nevada, on Hwy. 374, 35 miles from Furnace Creek in the heart of Death Valley.  I stopped here on my way into Death Valley. My timing was unfortunate -- heat of the day, sun straight overhead, and temperature around 120 degrees. So, not a lot of good lighting, and I wanted to be in Death Valley for "golden hour." Still, I thought a couple of shots from Rhyolite work okay, emphasizing the heat and remoteness of the ghost town.
Red Rock Canyon II  Red Rock Canyon is just about 30 minutes outside Las Vegas. It has a nice scenic loop road that takes you through some very interesting red rock geologic. According to the literature offered at the Visitor's Center, "the gray carbonate rocks of the ancient ocean have been thrust over the tan and red sandstone in one of the most dramatic and easily identified thrust faults to be found." I visited on a nice toasty day with temperatures around 115 degrees. But it was still a nice drive with some short walks through very interesting geology. Red Rock Canyon  Red Rock Canyon is just about 30 minutes outside Las Vegas. It has a nice scenic loop road that takes you through some very interesting red rock geologic. According to the literature offered at the Visitor's Center, "the gray carbonate rocks of the ancient ocean have been thrust over the tan and red sandstone in one of the most dramatic and easily identified thrust faults to be found." I visited on a nice toasty day with temperatures around 115 degrees. But it was still a nice drive with some short walks through very interesting geology. Cruz Bay Panorama Artist's Palette  Artist's Palette (so named because the colors in the hills faintly resemble dabs of paint on an artist's palette) is located fittingly enough on Artist's Drive, a scenic loop just off Highway 178 in Death Valley. It winds through very barren, desolate hills and canyons and offers an occasional long-distance peek at the white, salt-encrusted floor of Death Valley. The colors in the Palette result from different exposed minerals. Did I mention the heat? 128 degrees. How did miners ever work there??
Artist's Drive  Artist's Drive is a one-way scenic loop just off Highway 178 in Death Valley. It winds through very barren, desolate hills and canyons and offers an occasional long-distance peek at the white, salt-encrusted floor of Death Valley. Zapriskie Point I Zapriskie Point Disaster  As the sun was starting to set at the end of my long, hot day in Death Valley, I selected Zapriskie Point for my hopeful sunset shots. (Zabriskie Point oversees a wide expanse of sedimentary and volcanic deposits at the end of the Black Mountains just a mile or two from the Furnace Creek Inn. It is named after Christian Zabriskie who ran a borax mining operation.) As is my typical luck, the setting sun proved fairly colorless on this day. But at least I met some nice people who dropped by hoping for a colorful sunset.  I've kept this photo in the collection mostly as a reminder of my trip to Death Valley and the scalding heat of the day (128 degrees). While the sunset wasn't dramatic, the simplicity of these far off ridges were appealing to me at least.   It was also the first photo I took after the wind blew over my tripod and EOS 10D. My 20-35mm lens shattered, but the camera kept working! Therefore, all remaining photos from my Nevada trip are with my 100-400mm lens!! Zapriskie Point II
Mothra  After spending a week in Las Vegas in record heat (117 degrees on several days), I just needed to find some cooler temperatures. I drove about 45 minutes to Mt. Charleston, which has an elevation of 11,000 ft (although I only went to about 8,000 ft.). There, the temps were about 25 degrees cooler and I found this nice meadow of wildflowers and thistle. And I wasn't the only one -- there were butterflies, moths, bees, and hummingbirds enjoying it as well. Hummingbird in Flight  After spending a week in Las Vegas in record heat (117 degrees on several days), I just needed to find some cooler temperatures. I drove about 45 minutes to Mt. Charleston, which has an elevation of 11,000 ft (although I only went to about 8,000 ft.). There, the temps were about 25 degrees cooler and I found this nice meadow of wildflowers and thistle. And I wasn't the only one -- there were butterflies, moths, bees, and hummingbirds enjoying it as well. Mt. Charleston Close-Up  After spending a week in Las Vegas in record heat (117 degrees on several days), I just needed to find some cooler temperatures. I drove about 45 minutes to Mt. Charleston, which has an elevation of 11,000 ft (although I only went to about 8,000 ft.). There, the temps were about 25 degrees cooler and I found this nice meadow of wildflowers and thistle. And I wasn't the only one -- there were butterflies, moths, bees, and hummingbirds enjoying it as well. Indian Paintbrush
Pollination in Action  After spending a week in Las Vegas in record heat (117 degrees on several days), I just needed to find some cooler temperatures. I drove about 45 minutes to Mt. Charleston, which has an elevation of 11,000 ft (although I only went to about 8,000 ft.). There, the temps were about 25 degrees cooler and I found this nice meadow of wildflowers and thistle. And I wasn't the only one -- there were butterflies, moths, bees, and hummingbirds enjoying it as well. Not positive about the identification of this guy, but as near as I can tell, its a carpenter bee. Mt. Charleston Monarch  After spending a week in Las Vegas in record heat (117 degrees on several days), I just needed to find some cooler temperatures. I drove about 45 minutes to Mt. Charleston, which has an elevation of 11,000 ft (although I only went to about 8,000 ft.). There, the temps were about 25 degrees cooler and I found this nice meadow of wildflowers and thistle. And I wasn't the only one -- there were butterflies, moths, bees, and hummingbirds enjoying it as well. Coming in for a landing!  After spending a week in Las Vegas in record heat (117 degrees on several days), I just needed to find some cooler temperatures. I drove about 45 minutes to Mt. Charleston, which has an elevation of 11,000 ft (although I only went to about 8,000 ft.). There, the temps were about 25 degrees cooler and I found this nice meadow of wildflowers and thistle. And I wasn't the only one -- there were butterflies, moths, bees, and hummingbirds enjoying it as well. Joshua Tree I
Joshua Tree II Lonely House on the Prairie Swan Valley Swan Valley Fishermen  Taken on a business trip to Idaho Falls, Idaho. Had the chance to go sightseeing on Sunday, so I took a drive through Swan Valley and then up through Driggs which is on the west side of the Grand Tetons. Beautiful scenery, especially in the Autumn!! They're a bit hard to see, but I like the fly fisherman working the Snake River in the middle of the photo! What a nice way to spend a crisp fall morning!
Farming in Shadows of the Tetons Teton View from Driggs The Road Less Travelled  Taken on a business trip to Idaho Falls, Idaho. Had the chance to go sightseeing on Sunday, so I took a drive through Swan Valley and then up through Driggs which is on the west side of the Grand Tetons. Beautiful scenery, especially in the autumn!!  Since this photo is taken looking east, this is the backside of the Tetons since I believe most people see them from the Jackson Hole (Wyoming) side. But if you ask me, not a bad backside! I wanted to name this photo T&A, but thought my daughter would be embarrassed (once she got the joke). Think about it. Rexburg Buffalo  Taken on a business trip to Idaho Falls, Idaho. Had the chance to go sightseeing on Sunday, so I took a drive through Swan Valley and then up through Driggs which is on the west side of the Grand Tetons. On the way back to Idaho Falls (right around Rexburg), I stopped into a place called "Yellowstone Bear World." This buffalo (North American Bison to be more precise) was chillin' in the afternoon sun. So I took the opportunity to get a quick photo from my SUV photography blind. I hope I didn't bother him too much.
Rexburg Bear  Taken on a business trip to Idaho Falls, Idaho. Had the chance to go sightseeing on Sunday, so I took a drive through Swan Valley and then up through Driggs which is on the west side of the Grand Tetons. On the way back to Idaho Falls (right around Rexburg), my keen eyes spotted this bear off to the side of the road. Okay, he was in a small drive-through zoo thing called "Yellowstone Bear World." And yes, I did snap him out the SUV window. But I was so brave that I did roll down the window first -- strictly against Yellowstone Bear World rules I'll have you know!! The perils I will face for the sake of my craft! Pristine Beach  Taken on vacation at Wild Dunes, a lush resort on the Isle of Palms just outside of Charleston, SC. This sunrise didn't produce a lot of striking colors, but I thought this one sort of captured the mood of the morning. Nice deserted beach. No tracks in the sand. All debris and human signs washed away by the receding high tide. Sun just coming over the horizon. Clouds rolling out to sea leaving the promise of another pretty November day in South Carolina. I even like the sunburst effect from stopping the lens down f22. Not colorful, but glorious in its own way. Sunrise Shrimpers  Taken on vacation at Wild Dunes, a lush resort on the Isle of Palms just outside of Charleston, SC. Sort of a colorless sunrise, so I was just messing around with the camera when this fishing boat wandered into the middle of a dramatic 'skybeam' breaking through the clouds. So, I took its picture. Different anyway. Oceanview Properties
Sunrise Striders THE Grand Canyon  Taken from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon along Desert View Drive. People who had been to the Grand Canyon before told me that we were getting an unusual perspective -- it isn't usually so green. Apparently, the rainfall in 2005 was more than they had seen in 90 or so years. So everything was in bloom and flourishing when this was taken. Grand Vista  Taken from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon along Desert View Drive. People who had been to the Grand Canyon before told me that we were getting an unusual perspective -- it isn't usually so green. Apparently, the rainfall in 2005 was more than they had seen in 90 or so years. So everything was in bloom and flourishing when this was taken. Wile e Coyote
Grand Canyon Vista  Taken from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon along Desert View Drive. People who had been to the Grand Canyon before told me that we were getting an unusual perspective -- it isn't usually so green. Apparently, the rainfall in 2005 was more than they had seen in 90 or so years. So everything was in bloom and flourishing when this was taken. Except for the tree in the foreground of the picture -- it certainly wasn't flourishing!! Down in the Canyon  I like this 'unusual' view of the Grand Canyon because it shows the dramatic landscape down in the canyon. This was shot from the south rim looking very far away to the north. The sun was beginning to lower a bit, contributing to the moody light and misty quality of the photo. Talk about a rugged landscape. All I can say is that if I were a pioneer and pulled my wagon up to the rim of this scene, I would have been heading back to the old homestead on the east coast!!!! To heck with crossing or going around that!! Kentucky Thoroughbreds  Lexington, Kentucky is definitely horse country. These magnificent animals were spotted on Manchester Farm, located behind Keeneland just off Versailles Road. We were touring the area looking for a barn to board my daughter's horse when she started attending the University of Kentucky. Ironworks Pike Sunrise  Just my luck. I deliberately arranged a trip so I would be near Lexington, KY for a splendid sunrise over a magnificent horse farm (off Ironworks Pike for those of you familiar with the area). I'm awake (an accomplishment in itself), in place, tripod set up, camera in place -- just waiting for the sun to rise.  No sun. Mist and fog everywhere. No rays breaking through the trees. No pink sky. Just mist. Still, when you get lemons, make lemonade -- so I hope you enjoy this lemonade. When for the stunning colors; came away with the mysterious morning fog. Works for me.
Manchester Farm II  This is a vertical version of Manchester Farm I.  Manchester Farm is quaint little place located behind Keeneland just off Versailles Road. We were touring the area, looking for a barn to board my daughter's horse when she started attending the University of Kentucky, when we spotted this stable. Try to guess why we didn't board at Manchester Farm: A) Not up to our quality standards. B) Overcrowded with horses already. C) Horses were not as fine as ours. D) The guards kept running us off.  If you said D, you are nearly right. We actually asked if our daughter could live in the barn. To heck with the horse! Keeneland Neighbors Manchester Farm I  Manchester Farm is located behind Keeneland just off Versailles Road outside of Lexington, KY. We were touring the area looking for a barn to board my daughter's horse when she started attending the University of Kentucky. This particular barn was not on our list of potential stables. Just a bit upscale for our tastes. But very, very photographic!! Humble Home for Horses  Manchester Farm is quaint little place located behind Keeneland just off Versailles Road. We were touring the area, looking for a barn to board my daughter's horse when she started attending the University of Kentucky, when we spotted this stable. Try to guess why we didn't board at Manchester Farm. A) Not up to our quality standards. B) Overcrowded with horses already. C) Horses were not as fine as ours. D) The guards kept running us off.  If you said D, you are nearly right. We actually asked if our daughter could live in the barn. To heck with the horse!
Driftwood English Countryside View from Albert Dock  On a business trip to England in 1999, I had a chance to take in Liverpool one evening. This shot was taken near Albert Dock, looking west toward the setting sun. And yes, the "home of the Beatles" was right here!! So if my map skills are correct, the silhouetted buildings must be in Birkenhead across the inlet of the Liverpool Bay. I believe the domed tower is the Birkenhead Town Hall. Posing Iguana  While vacationing in St. John, this guy forced me to get my camera out and take his picture. I really didnÕt want to. I was tired from a day of swimming and I really wanted to chill in the hammock. But he kept staring at me, as if saying "What, don't I warrant a little effort to unpack your camera and get my portrait?" So I did. I wish I could tell you I searched and searched and struggled to get this shot. Sorry. He sat there waiting for me to get ready for 5 minutes. Teasing me. Then, as soon as I get the big lens all mounted up, off he goes up the nearest trees. Telling all his buddies about how he only let me get the one shot. Geesh.
St. John Dinosaur  See 'Posing Iguana' for the full story on this guy. He was quite tame, until I got too close with my 100 - 400m lens attached. Then he scampered up the tree to try to hide from me. But I got this final glimpse of him before he disappeared. Doesn't he just look like some kind of prehistoric throw back?? Cruz Bay Harbor  A nice sunset on the small beach in the small town of Cruz Bay, St. John. I liked the way the branch on the Sea Grape tree framed the nice (but not real colorful) sunset.  I also included the rubber dinghies in the shot as a reminder -- next time I'm in St. John, I want to rent one of these to get shots of the nearby islands. I would have done so on this trip, except my wife flatly refused to participate!! Something about, "I know you Rick -- if you get in one of those things you'll take it to Puerto Rico and never find our way back!" No where would she get such a crazy idea!! Room 8C at Sunset  Taken on vacation in paradise!! Another sunset as seen from Gallow Point Resort Room 8C. (See other photo by that name for details -- and no, you can't book that room -- it's mine!!!). Another Pelican Photo  Seems like I just have to take at least one photo of a pelican on each of our beach vacations. So here's this one. Yes, they are fairly ugly birds, but I do find them fascinating for some reason. This guy had just finished fishing for the morning and was drip drying in the top of a short tree at the edge of Salt Pond Bay.
Fall Creek Falls  On a nice spring Saturday, Terri and I drove up the Cumberland Plateau just west of Knoxville to visit Fall Creek Falls State Park. Had never been there in the 25 years we had lived here -- and it's just 90 minutes away. Go figure! So we hiked a little and huffed and puffed our way to the top of the hill to get to this scenic overlook -- only to discover that you could have driven to within about 100 feet of where we were and walked downhill to this same spot!! I should have studied the map a bit more before we visited the park. The park has several waterfalls and they are all really pretty accessible. The one shown here is the namesake for the park -- Fall Creek Falls. It is 265 feet tall, making it the tallest waterfall this side of the Rocky Mountains. Go figure again! CRW 1374 Lazy  Why name this photo 'Lazy?' Maybe because the cool temperature and autumn leaves on this fine fall day made me want to lay under these trees and soak in the sun. Nope. I named it 'Lazy' '”cause I was such a bum that I shot this through the sunroof on my car. Terri and I were driving home, down the long, steep driveway from the Swag Resort back to civilization. I glanced up through the sunroof to see these tall, straight, colorful trees. Quite beautiful. So do I stop and get out to photograph God's handiwork. Why bother, I can get the shot sitting right here! JUST PLAIN LAZY!!!!! Roadside Redbuds  It is springtime in East Tennessee! Just thought you may enjoy a couple of photos from my daily drive to work! This is a beautiful time here! Redbuds are in full bloom and all the other flowers are trying hard to measure up!  So I hiked and hiked trying to find the definitive redbud shot. I see you doubting me. Guess you know me better than that. Okay, truth is that scene is found right on the edge of Pellissippi Parkway, which is my main road to work each and every day (at least when I'm home and working in Oak Ridge). So to get this shot, I had to slow down, pull of the road, get the camera out of the trunk, walk 25 feet (I may be exaggerating a bit there), and press the shutter. But hey! I did use some manual settings on the camera, so that counts as working for the shot!!! And I did do a masterful job of using the trees and flowers to mask out the buildings and roads in the background. What a price I pay to get these shots for your viewing pleasure...
Flowers and Redbuds March showers bring... The Cascades  This is another waterfall at Fall Creek Falls State Park, which is just outside of Crossville, TN -- about 90 minutes from Knoxville. It was very pretty, and easy to get to. This waterfall is just a few feet from the Nature Center where we parked. Now that's the way to plan a State Park!    Just slightly upstream from the top of the falls is a swinging bridge that you must go across to hike most of the trails in the park. Terri loved it. I stopped in the middle to take a couple photos and it was sort of swaying in the breeze. Then my stomach started swaying with the bridge. Then I put the camera over my shoulder, and gripped the cable railings until my knuckles turned white and walked quickly to the other side. Terri thought it was rather humorous. I did as my mother told me and restrained from hitting a women, barely. I was not feeling so humorous.   The things I suffer through to bring you guys these photos. By the way, I cropped the nasty bridge out of the picture just to show it who's the boss!! Gibney Beach Panorama  Taken on vacation in paradise!! This is my family's favorite beach on St. John. Usually deserted. Never crowded. Great sand beach. Nice snorkeling. Good shade on the beach. Crystal clear water. And no, I'm not giving you directions on how to get there. This panorama is made of 5 photos stitched together in Photoshop.
Grayton Beach Heat Wave  Taken on vacation in Watercolor, Florida. This photo is actually from next door at Grayton Beach. Stupidly, I took this photo about 1:00 pm in August. Suffice it to say, it was HOT! You can see the distortion from the heat waves in the distance (this is NOT an error in my focusing!!!!). What will I be? Downstream of Gotto Falls Grayton Beach
Downstream of Grotto Falls II Downstream of Grotto Falls III Grotto Falls Hallie's Head  My daughter and son-in-law asked me to break my "no people" rule for my photos just this once. They wanted some dramatic photos of their new baby (my first grandchild) just a few days after her birth. So here you go -- my artsy attempt to capture the most beautiful, talented, and intellectual baby ever born, Hallie Grace being held by her adoring dad! Hope you like, but don't really care if you do. I believe she is just magnificent!
Hawk Eyed Hunter  Okay, I took a bird picture. Not my usual photographic fare. Why? Just to prove I could! Actually, these guys sort of fascinated me while I was on a business trip to Idaho Falls. I must have seen 100 of these in one afternoon -- sitting on hay bales, circling recently cut wheat fields, sitting on power lines. They were everywhere, and that isn't something we see back in Tennessee (at least not in these quantities). But the challenge came in trying to photograph them. I'd stop the car, they'd fly off. I'd wait and they'd come back. I'd raise the camera, and off they'd go. Well, no 3 lb. bird of prey with a 50 inch or so wingspan is going to outsmart me -- completely. So I finally got this shot. Yes, I did have to shoot him while he was in the air, a hundred feet up or more. But my telephoto zoom was up to the task (almost -- sorry for the noise in the background. Had to crank up the ISO to stop the action). So I win. Sort of. From Wikipedia: "The Red-tailed Hawk is a medium-sized bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the 'chickenhawk,' though it rarely preys on chickens. It breeds throughout almost all North America and is one of the most common hawks in North America. It is one of the largest members of the genus Buteo in North America, typically weighing from 1.5 to 3.5 pounds and measuring 18 to 26 in. in length, with a wingspan from 43 to 57 in." Precious  My daughter and son-in-law asked me to break my "no people" rule for my photos just this once. They wanted some dramatic photos of their new baby (my first grandchild) just a few days after her birth. So here you go -- my artsy attempt to capture the most beautiful, talented, and intellectual baby ever born, Hallie Grace being held by her adoring dad! Hope you like, but don't really care if you do. I believe she is just magnificent! Itsy Bitsy  My daughter and son-in-law asked me to break my "no people" rule for my photos just this once. They wanted some dramatic photos of their new baby (my first grandchild) just a few days after her birth. So here you go -- my artsy attempt to capture the most beautiful, talented, and intellectual baby ever born, Hallie Grace being held by her adoring dad! Hope you like, but don't really care if you do. I believe she is just magnificent! Hallie's Hand  My daughter and son-in-law asked me to break my "no people" rule for my photos just this once. They wanted some dramatic photos of their new baby (my first grandchild) just a few days after her birth. So here you go -- my artsy attempt to capture the most beautiful, talented, and intellectual baby ever born, Hallie Grace being held by her adoring dad! Hope you like, but don't really care if you do. I believe she is just magnificent!
Grayton Beach Heat Waves  Taken on vacation in Watercolor, Florida. This photo is actually from next door at Grayton Beach. Stupidly, I took this photo about 1:00 pm in August. Suffice it to say, it was HOT! You can see the distortion from the heat waves in the distance (this is NOT an error in my focusing!!!!). Autumn at the Swag  This path is the Swag's Nature Trail. The path on the other side of the fence is part of the Great Smoky Mt. National Park trail system. Both photos share the same elements -- golden leaves carpeting the trail, autumn leaves, the rough hewn wood fence, and converging lines as the path meanders off into the distance. View from the Pass  I was in Idaho on business in mid-April, and decided to take a day trip to Yellowstone National Park. I had never been there and thought I'd get plenty of photo ops, so what the heck! Road trip! I think the drive was about 2 hours.  As you climb to go over the 8,400 ft. Teton Pass from Idaho into Wyoming (near Jackson Hole), this scene unfolds in front of you. You are looking at the backside of the Teton mountain range as seen from Idaho looking east. I clambered up a snowy peak to get this photo -- after wheezing for air for about 10 minutes. That elevation thing is really true -- and it sucks! By the way, I never did get into Yellowstone. On April 16, the roads were still under about 4 feet of snow and most of the park was closed. I was properly equipped to take a snowmobile, so turned around vowed to come back another time. Snow on the Sawtooths  I was in Idaho on business in mid-April, and decided to take spend one free Sunday on a drive around the State -- most of which was hidden under about 4 ft. of snow! Yes, that's a fence buried in the snow in this photo. It was very beautiful and grand! The scale of the mountains is hard to judge from these photos, but the are truly huge (for us Easterners). Over 50 peaks in the Sawtooth mountain range top 10,000 ft.  This photo was taken along the Sawtooth Scenic Byway (Hwy. 75) north of Sun Valley and Ketchum. It was so peaceful that I could stop the car and take these photos without being passed by anyone! "
Ice House Creek (of course)!  Had a Sunday off while on a recent business trip to Idaho Falls so I did what I usually do -- took a drive through the surrounding countryside. This shot came from a little road (snow packed of course) called Yale-Kilgore Road just north of the Harriman State Park. I thought the meandering little creek with snow covered creek banks was pretty, but probably not photo worthy -- until I noticed the name of the creek. Ice House Creek. Now how appropriate is that!! So here you go, you can now say you've seen Ice House Creek in Idaho and you understand how it got its name!   Just to finish the story, continued onward on Yale-Kilgore Road with the intent to cut through to Dubois and finish the circuit back to Idaho Falls on I-15. Oh no. Not in February you don't buster! Made it about 15 miles or so on snow-packed Yale-Kilgore Road before I hit the ubiquitous rural Idaho sign stating that the road beyond this point was not maintained (that would explain the 4 feet of snow laying unmolested on it) from September 1 to August 30 (or some duration almost that long as I recall).  So with no other choices available to me, I execute a textbook Y-turn maneuver between the mountains of snow lining the road where the snowplow guy will not go. But as I must admit defeat and acknowledge that my rented Nissan Altima is not well suited to this landscape, I am further humiliated by about 40 sneering snowmobilers gunning their engines and jumping the snowbank that had stymied my progress. In disgrace, I retrace the miles back to the highway and return to Idaho Falls through now twice-viewed scenery. Arghh. I hate that!   P.S.  This photo was actually shot on the drive BACK out of old Yale Kilgore. So it wasn't photo worthy the first time I saw it, but it made the cut the second time!!  I needed something to salvage the day's driving! Snow on the Sawtooths II  I was in Idaho on business in mid-April, and decided to take spend one free Sunday on a drive around the State -- most of which was hidden under about 4 ft. of snow! Yes, that's a fence buried in the snow in this photo. It was very beautiful and grand! The scale of the mountains is hard to judge from these photos, but the are truly huge (for us Easterners). Over 50 peaks in the Sawtooth mountain range top 10,000 ft.  This photo was taken along the Sawtooth Scenic Byway (Hwy. 75) north of Sun Valley and Ketchum. It was so peaceful that I could stop the car and take these photos without being passed by anyone! " Elk Refuge  On the way to Yellowstone (on a day off from a business trip to Idaho), I passed this guy just outside of Jackson, Wyoming. He was enjoying grazing on the National Elk Refuge where about 7,500 elk winter each year.  Unfortunately, the males also lose their antlers in March and April of each year, so no chance to get a photo of a big rack of antlers that would have been spectacular to see. But if you look close, you can see the start of this year's antlers -- just knobs at this point. The antlers start to regrow within a week of losing them! And they can grow up to an inch a day later in the year! Oh, Yellowstone was closed when I got there. Too much snow on the roads (about 4 ft) and it was mid-April! Who would of thought that??? Home on the Range
Sunday Stroll Iggie  This guy came to visit us one day at the villa we rented on St. John in the Virgin Islands. When we first came out after our siestas, he was sprawled out on the warm concrete next to the pool. By the time I came back out with the camera, he had retreated to a nearby bush. I'd guess he measured about 3 feet long from nose to tail -- big enough for me! He let me snap a few shots (I always need multiples to ensure one is a keeper), then scurried up to the top of a nearby palm tree after we all got a bit close for his comfort. Seagull for Lunch Dear Deer  On a Sunday afternoon drive around rural Idaho (courtesy of a business trip of course), I detoured down River Road alongside Henry's Fork. Was enjoying the way the snow was piled up to depths of probably 8 to 10 feet along the steep edges of the river, when I spotted three deer. Unfortunately, they spotted me too and they were faster than I was. By the time I was ready to snap the picture, two were gone and I was only able to capture the curious one. So here she is for you to view! For all you geology/geography lovers, Henry's Fork is the northern fork of the Snake River in Idaho. Its headwaters are Henry's Lake a few miles from the Continental Divide. The river flows through the east end of Island Park Reservoir, created by the Island Park Dam, and afterwards flows mostly south and a little west, being joined by the Teton River before joining the main branch of the Snake River.
So much wood, so little time!  Went to the Smoky Mountains one weekend on a lark, but found a Pileated Woodpecker instead!  The sun was out and the weather was warm and my wife wanted to take her BMW convertible somewhere fun. So we put the top down and went to Cades Cove in the Smokies! Good decision! Halfway through Cades Cove, I suggested we take Rich Mountain Road back to Townsend. We had never been that way and it looked like a nice adventure. Bad decision. Rich Mountain Road turned out to be an 11-mile long torture track. Gravel, rutted, pitted, and dusty. My wife was a trooper but let me know several times BMWs weren't meant for that kind of road. By the way, it was one way -- so once you started, you were pretty well committed. Got passed once by a few 'woodsmen' in a monster truck who yelled down at us, 'That thing got a spare? You'll need it. Wife wasn't amused -- and we never needed the spare thank you very much!!! See the Bear?  As the crowds picked up at the main part of Laurel Falls, Terri and I retreated further and further downstream. I got intrigued by these miniature falls. Yes, the photo is straight -- the rocks were very jumbled and crooked and interesting. And yes, I am once again in the water, crouched down, focused on the waterfall. Terri is 20 feet away, but I can't hear her for the noise of the falls and rapids.  And now for the rest of the story...While I'm intent on my photos, I hear a voice right behind me. "Mister" spoken with that country drawl that happily reminds me that I'm not in California anymore (just home from a business trip there). "Mister, I jus' thought ya might wanna know thar is a momma bar (bear for you northerners) coming down the slope o'er thar. And ya know, they can be sorta mean when they'se got thar cubs with them." So dedicated photog that I am, I spun around (calmly and in a very non-threatening way) to spy a well muscled (that's the way it looked to me at least) black bear and two tiny cubs wading across the stream about 30 to 40 feet from me. Black bear facts I know now that I didn't know then: Adults can be as big as 6 feet tall, 3 feet at the shoulder, and up to 400 pounds. Being a girl, this one may not have been quite that big, but I'm not thinking I could have taken her in a fair (or unfair) fight. They have color vision (um hum, and me in my nice red shirt) and keen sense of smell (just how does fear smell?), are good tree climbers (so much for that escape route), swim very well (there goes another one), and can run up to 30 miles per hour (gulp, and I don't even have my tennis shoes on!).  But thankfully she was pretty oblivious to me and the 'Mister' teenager. So we watched cautiously and tried to remain on the other side of the stream from them. She must have thought it was some sort of a game '”cause she kept crossing from side to side.  So, you may be wondering where the black bear pictures are on this website. Well, I tried. Got about 4 shots off as the trio forded the stream, and back, and back. Unfortunately -- the right lens, shutter speed, and camera settings for dark waterfalls don't work so well with moving black bears and shaky hands. So they all came out blurred. You can almost tell they are bears and that two are small and one is large. Other than that...Guess you'll just have to trust me on this one. Jenny Lake Kolob Pano  Kolob Canyon is one part of Zion National Park in southwest Utah -- granted, it is a much less popular part. That's why I like it!  This is probably the most famous vista within the park. I hiked earlier in the day to Double Arches Alcove (see other photos) and timed it so I would be back here for the sunset. I think I timed it about right. The low angle sun warmed the red rocks of the mountainside, giving it a nice front lite glow -- just for me.  This panorama was made by stitching together four separate photos using Photoshop. I think I did a fairly 'seamless' job. Get it???"
Jenny Lake II  Another photo of Jenny Lake with Mount St. John (I believe) in the background. I wish I could have been there at a better time of day for a more dramatic shot, but my fellow business travellers weren't too excited about staying here for 6 more hours!! Just no patience these days. Geesh! Jost Van Dyke in the Distance Kolob Caution  Kolob Canyon is one part of Zion National Park in southwest Utah.  This photo was taken at the end of a long day of hiking through the pink rocks of Kolob Canyon. I made it to this scenic overview where I got to sit down and watch the sun set. The setting sun was caught by these mountains, giving the mountains that nice, warm, orangish red glow that you only get in the 'magic hour' around sunset. I thought the little road sign in the bottom middle of the photo just helped but a little perspective on the size of this peak! Zion National Park
Self Portrait  In the northwest corner of Zion National Park is Kolob Canyon—a little visited area of the park (and therefore just right for me!). One popular hike in this area is along the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek. This flows through a deep V-shaped canyon that eventually becomes sheer-sided and narrow, with several unusual features such as Double Arch Alcove—a large cavity eroded into the rock walls with multicolored patterns formed by seeping water, and a curious waterfall that flows through a narrow curved slit in the rocks. That's me on the rock, by the way! Since I'm huge, you can sort of get the scale of this alcove. Pink Pathway Artistic Framing  Kolob Canyon is one part of Zion National Park in southwest Utah -- granted, it is a much less popular part. ThatÕs why I like it!  This photo was early on in my hike down the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek. My destination was 2.7 miles away at the Double Arch Alcove. But this scene -- with the trees framing the mountain peak and the juxtaposition (from my Word a Day Calendar) of the yellow leaves against the vibrant blue sky -- made me stop and set up the tripod. I'm glad I did, not very many other photos from this hike have made it into this exhibition. Brompton Cemetery  One day on my walk home from the tube station to my flat, I noticed hundreds of people turning into this cemetery (including roller bladders, bicyclists, skateboarders, and joggers). Mighty happy cemetery if you ask me! So I got out the map and found two things. First, the main path through the cemetery is quite a shortcut between two major roads. Two, people in London will take advantage of 'green space' no matter how many dead people were there first! Turns out this cemetery has been used in several movies (The Wisdom of Crocodiles, Crush, and and Johnny English). It wasn't opened until 1840, which explains why I couldn't find any really old tombstones. Still, I thought it was rather photogenic. The big crosses and statues packed so closely together with mausoleums encircling them just caught my attention. So I took this series of photos. I don't think this struck my fancy based on my dour mood from the frustrating proposal I was working on -- but you be the judge. Interesting or depressing??
Brompton Cemetery II  One day on my walk home from the tube station to my flat, I noticed hundreds of people turning into this cemetery (including roller bladders, bicyclists, skateboarders, and joggers). Mighty happy cemetery if you ask me! So I got out the map and found two things. First, the main path through the cemetery is quite a shortcut between two major roads. Two, people in London will take advantage of 'green space' no matter how many dead people were there first! Turns out this cemetery has been used in several movies (The Wisdom of Crocodiles, Crush, and and Johnny English). It wasn't opened until 1840, which explains why I couldn't find any really old tombstones. Still, I thought it was rather photogenic. The big crosses and statues packed so closely together with mausoleums encircling them just caught my attention. So I took this series of photos. I don't think this struck my fancy based on my dour mood from the frustrating proposal I was working on -- but you be the judge. Interesting or depressing?? Dark Shadows  One day on my walk home from the tube station to my flat, I noticed hundreds of people turning into this cemetery (including roller bladders, bicyclists, skateboarders, and joggers). Mighty happy cemetery if you ask me! So I got out the map and found two things. First, the main path through the cemetery is quite a shortcut between two major roads. Two, people in London will take advantage of 'green space' no matter how many dead people were there first! Turns out this cemetery has been used in several movies (The Wisdom of Crocodiles, Crush, and and Johnny English). It wasn't opened until 1840, which explains why I couldn't find any really old tombstones. Still, I thought it was rather photogenic. The big crosses and statues packed so closely together with mausoleums encircling them just caught my attention. So I took this series of photos. I don't think this struck my fancy based on my dour mood from the frustrating proposal I was working on -- but you be the judge. Interesting or depressing?? No Vacancy  One day on my walk home from the tube station to my flat, I noticed hundreds of people turning into this cemetery (including roller bladders, bicyclists, skateboarders, and joggers). Mighty happy cemetery if you ask me! So I got out the map and found two things. First, the main path through the cemetery is quite a shortcut between two major roads. Two, people in London will take advantage of 'green space' no matter how many dead people were there first! Turns out this cemetery has been used in several movies (The Wisdom of Crocodiles, Crush, and and Johnny English). It wasn't opened until 1840, which explains why I couldn't find any really old tombstones. Still, I thought it was rather photogenic. The big crosses and statues packed so closely together with mausoleums encircling them just caught my attention. So I took this series of photos. I don't think this struck my fancy based on my dour mood from the frustrating proposal I was working on -- but you be the judge. Interesting or depressing?? Buckingham Collage  This panorama is made by stitching 5 shots of Buckingham Palace together in Photoshop.  I took these with my Canon PowerShot A520, the only camera I had with me during my 5 month long business trip to London in 2007. I took these photos from the wall between the Palace and St. James Park along the circle where Constitution Hill and The Mall come together at the fountain. And yes, it really is curved like that! Sorry for the cloudy day! I didn't get a lot of days off and had to take advantage of the time I could get to go on an urban photo safari!
Brompton Cemetery in B&W  This is basically the same photo as Brompton Cemetery V, only in black and white versus color. I couldn't decide which I like best, so you get the choice? Color? B&W? Both? Neither? Brompton Cemetery IV  OOne day on my walk home from the tube station to my flat, I noticed hundreds of people turning into this cemetery (including roller bladders, bicyclists, skateboarders, and joggers). Mighty happy cemetery if you ask me! So I got out the map and found two things. First, the main path through the cemetery is quite a shortcut between two major roads. Two, people in London will take advantage of 'green space' no matter how many dead people were there first! Turns out this cemetery has been used in several movies (The Wisdom of Crocodiles, Crush, and and Johnny English). It wasn't opened until 1840, which explains why I couldn't find any really old tombstones. Still, I thought it was rather photogenic. The big crosses and statues packed so closely together with mausoleums encircling them just caught my attention. So I took this series of photos. I don't think this struck my fancy based on my dour mood from the frustrating proposal I was working on -- but you be the judge. Interesting or depressing?? Brompton Cemetery in B&W II  One day on my walk home from the tube station to my flat, I noticed hundreds of people turning into this cemetery (including roller bladders, bicyclists, skateboarders, and joggers). Mighty happy cemetery if you ask me! So I got out the map and found two things. First, the main path through the cemetery is quite a shortcut between two major roads. Two, people in London will take advantage of 'green space' no matter how many dead people were there first! Turns out this cemetery has been used in several movies (The Wisdom of Crocodiles, Crush, and and Johnny English). It wasn't opened until 1840, which explains why I couldn't find any really old tombstones. Still, I thought it was rather photogenic. The big crosses and statues packed so closely together with mausoleums encircling them just caught my attention. So I took this series of photos. I don't think this struck my fancy based on my dour mood from the frustrating proposal I was working on -- but you be the judge. Interesting or depressing?? Garden and Gate  Once upon a time, I went to London, England for a one week work assignment to decide on a proposal strategy. Five months later, I came home. It was a very busy time, but I did get a few days off to see the sights, like this one. These are the gates that separate Buckingham Palace from St. James Park. I thought the beautiful gardens and golden gates made a nice composition. Sorry about the quality of the photo. I only had my little Canon PowerShot A520 point and shoot with me. It was also pretty cloudy and windy and the flowers wouldn't hold still. Still, you get the idea of what a good photo from here may have looked like.
Maho Bay Panorama  This is another view from Northshore Road on St. John in the US Virgin Islands. You are looking down on the turquoise blue waters of Maho and Francis Bay. The boats (should I say yachts?) are moored in the bay, dotting the water with their whiteness. The lighter colors in the water come from the depth -- shallower water shows the white sand on the bottom. Great snorkeling here too! Technically, I love this shot because I know what went into it. It really consists of 5 photos stitched together by hand in Photoshop. I'm amazed how well it turned out since I handheld the camera (a tripod is usually recommended for this technique). Try not to look too closely -- you may find a seam (I almost dare you!). I liked this picture so much, it is framed on the wall right behind me as I type this in! St. Paul's as seen by the Brits!  On the very last day of my 'extended' business trip to London, I got a chance to go to St. Paul's Cathedral (the domed structure in the background). I didn't take any photos of it because I just couldn't do it justice with my little Canon PowerShot A520 (the only camera I took to London since I was only staying a week -- which turned into five months!). This Millennium Bridge is a 330m steel bridge linking the City of London at St. Paul's Cathedral with the Tate Modern Gallery at Bankside. It is for pedestrian traffic only. It was quite busy, and the people all seemed so happy to be using this beautiful, relatively new bridge. Just judge for yourself based on their expressions captured forever in this delightful photo! P.S. The bridge did not open on time, missing the turn of the millennium by several months. When it did open, it swayed so badly it became known as 'The Wobbly Bridge' and was closed two days after opening. Renovations took 18 months and the now stabilized bridge reopened in 2002. The Mona Lisa Lake Gotomeer  Lake Gotomeer is an inland salt lake on the northern end of Bonaire (an island 50 miles north of Venezuela and part of the Netherland Antilles). This lake is home to hundreds of pink flamingos. Bonaire is one of only four places in the world where flamingo colonies breed. In fact, more flamingoes live on the island than do humans.
Slave Falls Lake Gotomeer II Lizard Treats? Turquoise Trail Mission  While driving down the Turquoise Trail from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, NM, I happened across this old church or mission. It had snowed the night before, and I thought the dark stucco of the mission worked well with the white snow nestled in with the scrub brush.  At this time, this is the only black and white shot in my collection. I'm rarely happy with my B&W photos -- which makes me appreciate Ansel Adams all the more. B&W is hard!!
Olympic Gold Fall at the Swag My View from the Beach  Taken on vacation on the glorious island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. While I love beaches, my skin isn't so crazy about them. I discovered long ago that my ability to tan is broken. Red, white, red, white. Some freckles do get bigger which may give the appearance of a slight tan (or leprosy) -- but my melanin is just plain uncooperative. It's clumpy, not smooth. So I basically don't even try anymore. That's why I took this picture. This is my sunscreen -- laying on the sand in the shade of a big, beautiful palm tree, listening to the gentle rustle of the fronds in the breeze while the ocean surf laps at the shore. Ahhhh...now that's relaxing.  Did I mention that you probably would not like St. John?" Tame Sanibel Pelican?  I was just starting to pack up my camera gear after shooting some sunrise shots on Sanibel Island in Florida, when this friendly pelican landed about 50 feet away from me. So, I just sat there and let him get used to me. I slowly edged closer and closer until I got within about 25 feet.  He posed for me for several shots, with this one being my favorite. This shot enlarges well, keeping incredible sharpness in the feathers on the pelican's head and wings. "
Reservoir View  While I was roughing it outside of Swan Valley, Idaho (staying at my boss' vacation home best referred to as Weaver Lodge although that may downplay its magnificence a bit), I did manage to arise at dawn to snap this panorama of the view from his back deck. Not too shabby. The reservoir fills a 180 degree view from that vantage point. This panorama was made by stitching together five photos in Photoshop. The Painted Desert  This shot is not one of my most beautiful, but it is certainly a dramatic landscape. The Painted Desert is in northeast Arizona, just off I-40. It was worth a stop on the way from the Grand Canyon to Albuquerque -- even though I wasn't there at a time with good lighting (this may be more spectacular at sunrise or sunset). Still, it makes an interesting panorama at least for its unusual geology. This panorama was created using 8 images merrged in Photoshop. Rhododendrons on Bermuda Drive Azaleas in Bloom
Ridges from the Swag  This is another view from the Swag, a mountain top resort outside of Waynesville, NC. This was taken in June, when the mountain laurel and rhododendren were in bloom. Beautiful, relaxing place just adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Over the years, the original of this photo has been lost. The quality of my only remaining scan of that photo is not good (scanned at too low of resolution). I apologize for the poorer quality of this photo, but I've always liked the composition, color, and mood of this photo. So, it still makes my Greatest Hits list despite its lower quality. Wild Dunes Waves Under the Pier  This is a side of the bridge from Fort Meyers to Sanibel Island that most people probably never see -- the bottom side! But it caught my attention as a different kind of 'photographic frame' one day when I was out scouting for sunrise/sunset spots. So, I came back one evening to catch the sunset below the bridge.  Can't really explain why I like this shot -- maybe just my recall of how peaceful it was sitting here, off the beaten path, next to the water, amidst the pelicans, waiting for the sun to set, watching the orange color creep across the water and into the sky. For January, it was very mild and pleasant. Salomon Beach Panorama  Another shot of Salomon Beach taken in St. John, USVI. This one was taken from the rocks separating Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches. The stalking seagull is still there (see Salomon Stalker photo for details). Way in the distance is the dinghy we rented (not the sailboat, IÕm not rich ya know) with Kelly and Josh in it. Terri is on the beach -- but you'll probably just have to take my word on all that.  All and all, just another day in paradise.
Sanibel Sunrise Oak Creek Canyon  Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road follows U.S. 89A through this scenic canyon, made popular in the 1920s when it was discovered by Hollywood. The road traverses seven major plant communities as a result of elevation changes, temperature variation and precipitation. It begins near the town of Sedona, and runs in a northerly direction through Oak Creek Canyon to the top of the Mogollon Rim, traveling areas rich with geologic formations similar to the Grand Canyon. Okay, enough tourist talk. Bottom line is that this is a beautiful drive with a huge variety of scenery ranging from Sedona's red rocks to forests. This shot was taken from the roadside. Wish I had been here at sunrise or sunset, but the schedule didn't allow that. On an embarrassing note, this is one of the first shot taken after I realized I had just taken 20 gorgeous photos with no film in the camera!! Man, those were some great shots too! (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) Sedona Watchman  While waiting for the sun to set on Schnebly Hill Road outside of Sedona, Arizona, I became intrigued by this rock formation. The more I stared at it, the more it stared at me. I can't help by see this stone outcropping as the face of a watchman overlooking the valley below.  Okay, quit laughing. I was stone sober (no pun intended) and Terri, my patient wife, fully supported my hallucination. She says she sees it too. How about you?? Salt Pond Bay Panorama  We visited Salt Pond Bay for the first time during our 2008 visit to St. John, USVI. It was a bit of a walk downhill (which of course meant uphill when leaving, which proved a bit difficult in the heat for my pregnant daughter!). But the snorkeling was good. I think we saw both turtles and sting rays there. Lots of colorful fishes (blue tang, parrot fish, tetras, reef squid, needlefish, and one big barracuda) around the reefs.  Nearby was the salt pond from which the bay gets it's name. This was very unusual looking (in a way that was not photogenic at all in my opinion). Shallow, brine water that was slightly pink. Salt crystals forming on exposed rocks. People were actually gathering the chunks up to take home, dry, and use. Two strange girls had coated themselves in the highly salt mud from the bottom of the pond, then rinsed themselves off in the ocean, and then began shouting about how soft their skin felt. Well yeah! By comparison to the salt crusting and then the removal of several layers of skin, I'm sure it did feel soft!!  This panorama is actually a series of seven photos stitched together in Photoshop. The lens distortion makes it look like a circular bay -- which it is, only not quite that much!!
Courthouse Butte A Schnebly Sunset  My wife's patience made this shot possible. We had driven up to this Schnebly Hill overlook while exploring Sedona, but got here to early for the sunset. But being the seasoned wife of a wannabe photographer, she was prepared. Whipped out a book, settled against the nearest rock, and read while I set up and waited. And waited. And waited. The sunset didn't really pan out all that well. Clouds rolled in and very few colors showed up. Still, I like the fading light on the side of the mountains with the dramatic clouds in the distance. Thank you Terri for waiting! Schnebly Hill Road is a primitive ascent up Arizona's Mogollon Rim, the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau. After the first mile, the paved road gives way to a pock-marked, rutted dirt road. Over the next five miles, the dirt road ascends 1,800 feet to Schnebly Hill Vista. At 6,000 feet, the vista overlooks the Verde Valley and Sedona below the summit, and Steamboat Rock at the mouth of Oak Creek. Oak Creek Canyon Cactus  Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road follows U.S. 89A through this scenic canyon, made popular in the 1920s when it was discovered by Hollywood. The road traverses seven major plant communities as a result of elevation changes, temperature variation and precipitation. It begins near the town of Sedona, and runs in a northerly direction through Oak Creek Canyon to the top of the Mogollon Rim, traveling areas rich with geologic formations similar to the Grand Canyon. Okay, enough tourist talk. Bottom line is that this is a beautiful drive with a huge variety of scenery ranging from Sedona's red rocks to forests. This shot was taken from the roadside. Wish I had been here at sunrise or sunset, but the schedule didn't allow that. On an embarrassing note, this is one of the first shot taken after I realized I had just taken 20 gorgeous photos with no film in the camera!! Man, those were some great shots too! (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) Schnebly Hill Adventure  This photo was taken from just off the Schnebly Hill Road outside of Sedona, Arizona. I was really waiting for the sunset from my perch on the side of a cliff, but couldn't resist burning some film in the meantime.  I liked this rock formation across the valley as it shows the distinct geological ages in the colors of the weathered rock. The clouds in the distance and the tree in the foreground give it nice depth, in my opinion. This one wound up as a 12x18 on my office wall. This is the shot just after I had retrieved my 20-35 zoom lens from the prickly pear cactus, where it had landed after it rolled off the edge of the cliff and fell about 20 feet. Soft, but spikey landing spot. Thanks to Canon for making such a durable lens!!
Cathedral Rock  Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona is probably one of the most photographed geologic formations in the United State. It makes it into lots of calendars and coffee table books. I wanted to find a slightly different angle (who wants to recreate those gorgeous photos by famous photographers), so I backed up some and used the very red rock of Red Rock Crossing (aptly named) to fill my foreground. Different? Yes. Better? Nope. Guess this is why I'm not the pro. Chillin' with the Wife  Sometimes, you just gotta take a break. Photographing beautiful places like Sedona can just wear you out. All that focusing and clicking and stuff. Just couldn't resist getting into this photo (I'm the really good looking grey-haired guy with his back to you) with my wife. Just chillin' and checking out the scenery of red rock, cliffs, and trees. Good times! Sunset from Schnebly Swag Scenic
Wild Donkey!  Bonaire is a small island off the coast of Venezuela -- part of the Netherland Antilles. The island hosts quite a few 'wild' donkeys. Only, some are much wilder than others. This guy was roaming free, but not too concerned about people. He was off in the distance when I stopped to photograph him. By the time I had the camera ready, he was within arms length -- this is shot with a wide angle lens!!! I'm guessing this guy figured out that tourists feed wild donkeys, even though they aren't supposed to. Wind Swept Wife  Bonaire is a small island off the coast of Venezuela -- part of the Netherland Antilles. It is best known for its scuba diving, but in between dives it can be nice to relax on its beaches -- if you like serenity. On this day, there wasn't much competition for a place to sit and relax. Note the wind-swept divi divi trees, whose branches grow at a 90 degree angle to the trunk. Hold the Salt!  Bonaire is an island (part of the Netherland Antilles) just off the Venezuela coast that is best know for its scuba diving. One of its products is salt. Originally harvested by slave labor (see the photo Slave Huts), it is still produced today. This very large pile of salt caught my eye with its whiteness and dune-like formation. Hey, what can I say. I'm easily amused -- especially when I have a camera in my hand. The pink area in the foreground is a brine pool from which the salt is extracted. Slave Huts  Bonaire is a small island off the coast of Venezuela -- part of the Netherlands Antilles. Known today for its scuba diving, it's history includes African slave labor used to harvest solar salt. Grim reminders of those days still remain in the form of these slave huts and adjacent salt pans which were laboriously constructed by hand. They are an important part of the island's heritage and have been left to stand mute testimony to BonaireÕs repressive beginning. The scale of these is hard to understand. Each hut is a tiny, one room thing. The doorways you see in the photo were probably only 3 or 4 feet tall. Each hut served as shelter to a family of slaves.
Brain Coral Crepe Myrtle in the Snow  It does occasionally snow in Knoxville. This one was dry and flaky, but piled up neatly on the Crepe Myrtle buds left over from last fall. Just thought you may enjoy! So enjoy! Surf and Turf  Bonaire is one of three Netherland Antilles islands, along with Aruba and Curacao. The west coast of the island is a scuba diver's paradise. The east coast is much rougher -- in terms of land, rock, and surf. This breaking surf at sundown caught my attention, demonstrating the power of the ocean along with its beauty. Great seats!  Taken standing in the crystal clear water of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. Ahhhh... This was taken on the day we rented a nice dinghy and got to Salomon Beach earlier than anyone else! Excellent opportunity for beach shots without any beachgoers! So I waded and wandered and shot from any angle I could think of. This seagull was fascinated by it all. Kept staring at me the whole time (and you will see him in other shots as well). So I guess he wasn't too keen on sharing his unspoiled beach this early in the morning either!
Another St. John Beach  I like oceans. I like white sandy beaches and I like turquoise blue waters. The Gulf Coast of Florida is great and offers all that. But what I love about St. John is that you get all that plus interesting stuff on the beach (like big rocks) and on the horizon (like little islands and inlets). It makes photos of the ocean so much more interesting that just that unbroken horizon line you get in Florida. Don't you agree? From this vantage point, you see (I think) Whistling Cay, Mary's Point, and either Jost Van Dyke or Tortola in the background. Sunset on St. John  Yet another 'sunset in St. John' photo. Taken from Gallow's Point in 2008. Yes, it is real and it really looked like this. Sailboats and Sunset Telescopic Sundown  Just one more St. John sunset photo. This one was shot from our daughter and son-in-law's room at Gallow's Point. I know, you are bored with all these sunset shots. Sorry, I couldn't resist.   For the photo nerds out there: This was shot with on a tripod with my Canon EOS 40D and 100-400mm lens at the full 400mm length. With the 1.6x crop factor of the Canon 40D, this equates to a focal length of 640mm -- and that's why the sun looks so big and close. Yes, I love telephotos! Wish I had had my 1.4x teleconvertor with me!!
Lynchburg Business Trip Lynchburg Light Show Lynchburg Sunset Lynchburg Sunset II
The 9C View  Taken on vacation in paradise!! What a sunset! And this was just one of several the week we spent there. This shot is a composite of 7 photos, merged using Photoshop. This shot was taken from the balcony of Room 8C at Gallows Point Resort -- my daughter and son-in-law's room for the week-long vacation. My wife and I were next door in 9C -- either balcony had stunning sunset views! Dam Reflections  When I found myself in Lynchburg, VA on business, thought I'd take in the local sights. Got to this spot early one morning and waited for the sunrise. As is typically my luck, the sunrise was less than spectacular -- but the mirror-like surface of the calm water behind the James River dam was fascinating. I liked this one, reflecting the trees a little and and with the water looking blue. See Dam Reflections II for this same scene in green! Dam Reflections II  When I found myself in Lynchburg, VA on business, thought I'd take in the local sights. Got to this spot early one morning and waited for the sunrise. As is typically my luck, the sunrise was less than spectacular -- but the mirror-like surface of the calm water behind the James River dam was fascinating. I liked this one, reflecting the trees and with the water looking green. See Dam Reflections I for this same scene in blue! James River Dawn  Even though I am allergic to mornings, I can sometimes force myself to get up for a dawn adventure. Such was the case when I found myself in Lynchburg, VA on business. Got to this spot well before sunrise and was taken by the wonderful dawn light on this waterfall over the James River dam. Very misty and moody. Peaceful with noone around. Dawn isn't all bad I guess!
The Smoky Smokies Big Creek Rapids Sans Water  So what do you shoot when the rapids aren't running? Close-ups of mossy rocks and still waters. This is what happens when the creeks in the Smoky Mountains go nearly dry due to lack of rain! Still, I thought this view had some redeeming social value. I like the moss, the still water, and the bronze color ot the water stemming from the reflections of the sun. Swag Sunrise Silhouette The Smokies in Blue
Swag Sunrise II Swag Sunrise Swag Sunrise III Swag Sunrise IV
Swag Sunrise V Swag Sunrise VI Swag Sunrise (they aren't all perfect)!  This is one of my favorite photos of all time -- and it was not was I was looking for that day at all.  Woke up early (not my strong suit at all) and hiked to the top of a grassy bald in the Great Smoky Mountains to take sunrise photos. Needless to say if you've glanced at the photo, the sun was invisible until noon on this day. But as I was hiking (read that 'trudging') up the hill at 6:00 a.m., came across this nice foggy path scene. And that's the 'rest of the story'.  I really like the mystery of this photo. The fog combines with the slight movement of the leaves on the tree to give it a surreal feel. What lurks down this path? Swag Sunrise VII  Hiked all day, camped out, woke up early -- NOT. Woke up a little early at the Swag (a rustic resort in the hills of North Carolina), stepped out onto the perfectly manicured lawn, shot a few pictures, went to a gourmet breakfast, took a nap -- YES. Now that's the way to be a nature photographer!
Swag Sunrise VIII  Morning in the Smoky Mountains is beautiful. This is shot from the Swag, a rustic resort on the North Carolina side of the Smokies. This was taken just at the end of the 'golden hour' -- right after sunrise. Swag Sunrise X Swag Sunrise XI Swag Sunrise IX  Morning in the Smoky Mountains is beautiful. This is shot from the Swag, a rustic resort on the North Carolina side of the Smokies. This was taken just prior to the end of the 'golden hour' after sunrise. As I watched the sunrise on this morning, the colors transitioned from purple, to pink, to orange, to the golden yellow of this photo. It almost made it worth getting up that early!
Moose View  Another photo I had to work and work to get. Had to climb a whole flight of stairs to sit on the outside balcony of Pizza Pasta Company in Moose, Idaho (now you get the title, right?).  And after climbing the exhausting stairs, had to sit and have an iced tea while awaiting my Stromboli (or was it a calzone? I really need to add these captions in a more timely manner to keep these important facts straight!). In fact, I was so tired I shot this sitting down at the table. Don't you just ache for me? This panorama was created by stitching 7 photos together in Photoshop. Your really should try this one in full screen mode (just click the middle of the photo or use the full screen button in teh navigation bar below).  Again, sorry for the time of day. This was a Stromboli lunch. If it had been a Stromboli dinner, the lighting would have been much more dramatic!! My driver wouldn't wait. Something about meeting his boss at the airport or else... Terri's Reflections Slice of the Tetons  Had a Sunday off while on a recent business trip to Idaho Falls so I did what I usually do -- took a drive through the surrounding countryside. From alongside of I-20 somewhere around Sugar City, I stopped to take this shot of the lesser-photographed side of the Tetons. It was an overcast February day, so apologies for the grey sky and low clouds. Some time you just gotta play the hand you╒re dealt! Icy Tunnel  While exploring the countryside around Idaho Falls, I happened upon this scene. The snowy trail I was hiking bent around a corner and disappeared right into the mountain, passing through this tunnel to the other side. I loved the dramatic contrast between the dark tunnel with the icicles dangling from the ceiling and the brightly lit snow at the end of the tunnel.  I hate to tell you how much film I burned up trying to make sure I got this right. The tunnel needed some underexposure to keep the blacks black. But I didn't want to lose the icicles. The snow needed some overexposure to keep the snow white. My solution was to take this shot at almost every conceivable combination of aperture and shutter speed. When in doubt, burn film! It's cheap compared to the lost opportunity to get a shot when traveling.
Trunk Keys Alone in Paradise  Ah! Maybe the most perfect beach in the Caribbean! Secluded, peaceful, warm (but not hot), shaded, turquoise water, nice breeze. Perfect! This is along the north shore of St. John island in the Virgin Islands. Went here on vacation with the whole family after a particularly difficult project at my day job. Good place to relax and recharge. St. John is now my favorite getaway spot, and on the 'must do it again' list. As Kenny Chesney sings, 'No shoes, no shirt, no problem.' St. John's Most Photographed Beach  On our first full day on St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands), we ate breakfast at Sputniks and then drove the length of the island along Northshore Road -- which isn't all that long! But every turn in the road opened up on scenery like this photo. Gorgeous blue water, deep blue sky. Creamy sand beaches. Green trees. And little islands (called keys or cays) dotting the ocean. Breathtaking. After this drive, I had to start rationing my slide film to make sure it would last me the entire 7-day trip! The beach in this picture is Trunk Bay. This is one of the most popular 'tourist' beaches on the island -- and gets visited occasionally by smaller cruise ships. It wasn't all that crowded when we visited. Trunk Bay Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in the world. Privacy in Paradise  Just another typical day on St. John. Tucked in under the shady trees that overhang the beach. Resting up after a morning full of snorkeling and swimming and floating in the azure and turquoise waters. No one around but us. Quiet. Nice breeze. Gentle surf. Ahhhhh....... This is on our favorite beach -- Gibney. It is a little off the beaten path, behind a wrought iron gate that leads down to a community center that seems to be rarely used. The property was once owned by J. Robert Oppenheimer -- father of the atomic bomb and well known in my industry! P.S. All beaches on St. John are public. Isn't that great!
Up to My Neck  My wife called me crazy. My daughter rolled her eyes. All at the sight of me wading in chest deep water with my camera!! But I wanted this shot, and I got it. The anchored boat, the clear blue water, the island in the distance and the clouds in the sky all say 'tranquility' to me, and that was just what I was feeling at the time!  For those of you with sharp eyes, I apologize for the slight out of focus on this one. With the water that high, I probably didn't pay enough attention to the depth of field and set the aperture too open. Oh well, guess I'll have to go back and do it right!!! Love Blooms on the Beach  Romantic, isn't it? A young couple, enjoying the crystal clear turquoise water of St. John island. Overhanging trees providing shade if you get too hot. Water temperature of 82 degrees. Air temperature of 85. Little island keys dotting the horizon. No one else in sight (other than the stalker photographer -- me -- who happens to also be the girl's father who happens to be totally dedicated to keeping this scene wholesome!). Seriously though, what a paradise. Excellent swimming and snorkeling. Beautiful beach. Terrific weather. What more could you want! St. John Paradise  The north shore of St. John's is just one perfect beach after another. Most are deserted, secluded, peaceful, warm (but not hot), shaded, and have crystal clear turquoise water and a nice breeze. Good place to relax and recharge. St. John is now my favorite getaway spot, and on the 'must do it again' list. In this shot, three gulls decided to pose for my shot of the palm tree against the matching water and sky. Just the right touch in my opinion! Stripes  Taken on safari at the Knoxville Zoo. This guy was nice enough to pose for me in front of a dark background, allowing me to get a nice contrast between his B&W stripes and the black background. Handsome fellow isn't he?
Long way down  Taken on safari at the Knoxville Zoo. I just had to take this picture. What you can just barely see is how wide he had to spread his legs just to get his head down to drink. Amazing.  Giraffe facts: 1) The giraffe has the same number of vertebrae in its neck that most other mammals have (seven)...they're just larger. 2) Newborn giraffe calves begin their lives by falling 6 feet to the ground. And 3) A giraffe usually sleeps for only 1-12 minutes! Millionaire's Row Zoo Kudu  Taken on safari at the Knoxville Zoo. Frederick Selous, in his classic work, A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa, 1881, described the kudu as "perhaps the handsomest antelope in the world." Who am I to argue with such a classic work. This animal was beautiful. And I think he/she liked me too based on how it was staring at me!!! Once more with feeling!
East African Crowned Crane  Taken on safari at the Knoxville Zoo. This sort of shy crane kept turning his back to me, and then peeking over his shoulder to see if I had gone away. Well, little did he (she?) know that his (her?) pose was perfect for me. The late afternoon sun provided nice backlighting for his (her?) crown. (Probably a male with such radical plumage, wouldn't you think??) Crane Trivia: These cranes are often considered the living fossils of the crane family. They were able to survive the Ice Age in the savannas of Africa. Bengal Beauty  Taken on safari at the Knoxville Zoo. The modern tiger is thought to have originated in northern Asia during the Pleistocene Epoch and spread southward thereafter, crossing the Himalayas only about 10,000 years ago. Now this guy was definitely chillin', but I don't think he was THAT old.  Seriously though, what a beautiful animal. Simply majestic. What a shame that there are only about 5000 of these creatures living in the wild today. Despite its amazing ability to survive, it's hard to find room to roam these days. Gorilla Staredown  Taken on safari at the Knoxville Zoo. Okay, the pensive gorilla in the previous photo got a little testy with all the people staring at him. Or maybe just the little boy rapping on the window at him. Wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that stare out in the wild!! Pensive Primate  Taken on safari at the Knoxville Zoo. This big guy was just chillin' and I sort of liked his pensive mood. Just staring off into space, ignoring all us idiots staring at him through the glass. Gotta admire his cool.
George's Aunt  We took a quick trip to the Knoxville Zoo to see if we could spot the baby chimpanzee that has just been born a few weeks earlier. Supposedly, this was to be one of the first days the baby and mother were back on exhibit after the birth. This photo is one of the baby's 'aunts' which were being very protective of the new mom and baby. As seen in this photo, she is definitely on the lookout for any trouble! The aunt shown here was certainly taking it seriously! One of the zookeepers told us that the day before the birth, all the female chimps attacked and beat up the soon-to-be-a-father chimp. According to the zookeeper, it was all about a change in dominance immediately preceding the birth. Apparently, any mother chimp becomes dominant the moment the baby is born. What have I gotten myself into?  This pensive chimpanzee is Daisy, and she is located at the Knoxville Zoo. The baby, named George, is about two weeks old. This was taken on one of the first days the pair had been back on exhibit following the birth.  I took quite a few shots of these guys, but this one was my favorite. Daisy just looks so thoughtful, and her biting of her fingernails reminded me of how Terri and I felt years ago bringing our daughter home from the hospital! "Oh my, what have we done here! Who in their right minds would entrust a child to our care! We're not ready for this!" Turns out, Daisy is 34 year old and has had several other babies. She has a reputation for being a good mom, but this was her first baby in 18 years. So yeah, chew those nails! That little guy is gonna be a real handful! Too Cute!  Now how cute is this guy (gal actually). She (I think) was spotted at the Knoxville Zoo as Terri and I visited with the hopes of spotting a baby chimpanzee born just a couple of weeks earlier.  (Baby George is captured in other photos, so keep browsing!) Well, once we arrived at the zoo, we found out that there were also two baby Red Pandas that had been born recently and were also on display. So we went by the panda exhibit. The babies were busy being bottle fed by hand (no photo ops there), so I settled for a couple of shots of this cute girl. But don't think they are just all cuddly and warm, look at those claws! Good for climbing, ripping into bamboo, and more. Red pandas like to eat bamboo shoots and leaves, grasses, roots, fruits and acorns. They may also eat insects, eggs, young birds and small rodents. Yeah, now who's feeling cuddly! More red pandas have been born at the Knoxville Zoo than at any other zoo in the Western Hemisphere. River Otter  Taken on safari at the Knoxville Zoo. Okay, he's not that exotic. Just a River Otter. But isn't he cute??? Even if his closest relatives are weasels! Human's are the primary threat to this species, which is endangered due to overhunting for its pelt -- over 30,000 of which are sold annually in the United States and Canada.
Too Cute Two!  Now how cute is this guy (gal actually). She (I think) was spotted at the Knoxville Zoo as Terri and I visited with the hopes of spotting a baby chimpanzee born just a couple of weeks earlier.  (Baby George is captured in other photos, so keep browsing!) Well, once we arrived at the zoo, we found out that there were also two baby Red Pandas that had been born recently and were also on display. So we went by the panda exhibit. The babies were busy being bottle fed by hand (no photo ops there), so I settled for a couple of shots of this cute girl. But don't think they are just all cuddly and warm, look at those claws! Good for climbing, ripping into bamboo, and more. Red pandas like to eat bamboo shoots and leaves, grasses, roots, fruits and acorns. They may also eat insects, eggs, young birds and small rodents. Yeah, now who's feeling cuddly! More red pandas have been born at the Knoxville Zoo than at any other zoo in the Western Hemisphere. Andean Condor  Okay...not all photos have to be of beautiful things. This guy posed for so long I just had to take his picture. Not exactly sure why, but he (she? heaven forbid!) stood with his massive wings fully extended for the entire time we stood there watching him. And by the way, those wings extended about 10 feet from tip to tip! This is a big bird! This was taken at the Knoxville Zoo. The plumage is uniformly black, with the exception of a frill of white feathers nearly surrounding the base of the neck. This guy must be young, because Google says there should be patches or bands of white on the wings if he had been through first molting (and there weren't). For hygiene, the head and neck have few feathers exposing the skin to the sterilizing effects of dehydration and ultraviolet light at high altitudes (yes, I believe condors are a type of vulture). The male is crowned with a carbuncle or comb, while the skin of the neck in the male lies in folds, forming a wattle. So yes, I think this is a male. I'm sure the females are much more attractive!