Monday, April 30, 2007

We had a wonderful time on our four day trip to Parks, Arizona. There is a small sampling of photos below, but Click Here to see the entire web album.

A BIG thank you to our hosts my sister, Joyce and brother-in-law, Neil. This was truly one of our best vacations! Thank you Joyce for taking time off work to spend time with us.

We had a GREAT time! Kelly and I can't wait for our next trip.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

This morning started with homemade waffles on the back patio. While enjoying breakfast, many different types of birds could be found in the pine trees right off of the patio.

After breakfast, we loaded up the quads and took a 27 mile drive through the forests and plains around Parks. This was such a great opportunity to see the landscape up close. One of our stops included a 1.5 mile round trip hike to some petroglyphs.

Back at home, Joyce & Neil prepared the best BBQ yet! To top it off, Joyce baked homemade angel food cake with fresh strawberries. Time to roll into bed.
A view looking westbound on the old Route 66.
Another local visitor to the Rudofsky avery. I believe this is a Western Bluebird.
A local woodpecker picking out a tree for dinner.
Here is a final image of a Steller's Jay sitting in a tree about 50 yards away from my comfortable chair. These birds are so beautiful, but very hard to catch with a camera.

Friday, April 27, 2007

This morning we started our day with a wonderful breakfast prepared by Neil our resident chef.

After breakfast, we drove the country gravel roads to Red Mountain. This volcanic cinder cone rises 1,000 feet above the surrounding landscape. The 3 mile round trip hike was not too difficult. The colorful and uniquely sculpted rock cliffs and formations were simply awesome.

It was a wonderful day of hiking, followed by a great dinner at Chili's Restaurant. Kelly is off playing bingo at the local school, and I am going to clean the red dust off of our boots and settle in for another movie.

Walking back to the truck, we had this spectacular view of the Humphreys Peak at 12,643 feet, the highest point in Arizona.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

We made it to Parks, AZ with very little traffic, save the thousands of motorcycles making their way to Laughlin. When we arrived at my sisters home, they had a wonderful dinner ready for us (including homemade apple pie). After dinner we took a walk in the woods. We had Elk sightings, but they did not stick around for photos. I did capture this picture of April during our walk. After our stroll through the forest, we jumped on the quads and took a trip around the neighborhood. What a great day!

Well, off to the couch for a movie and popcorn!

More later

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kelly and I are off tomorrow morning for a visit with family in Arizona. We are very excited to visit with Joyce and Neil at their wonderful log home in Parks. This is such a beautiful place to relax and enjoy nature. There are so many photo opportunities around their home, so I'm not sure where we will start or end. For sure there will be photos posted as soon as we return to our normal routine in the "OC."

Monday, April 23, 2007

This past weekend was our ACES camera club annual trip to Joshua Tree National Park. We had good weather, with mild temperatures. We explored the park all day Saturday, hiking, watching rock climbers, snapping lots of photographs, including this one of the sunset at the end of the day. On Sunday morning, we explored Keys Ranch through some private tour time secured by the camera club. This was a great weekend with some really neat friends!

Click Here to view the entire album of photos
Cactus, catus everywhere!
Keys Ranch, located inside of Joshua Tree, is a wonderful place to capture history. The ranch is only accessable through a guided tour by park rangers, however, Gerry from our camera club secured a private tour for us early on Sunday morning.
An early morning visit to Keys Ranch netted a surprise appearance of rarely seen big horn sheep. They quickly darted as we approached, but their curiosity kept them around long enough for a few photographs.
The park was full of rock climbers. We spent about 30 minutes watching this man make his way to the top of a very tall cliff. His friends shouted encouragement from the ground, while we snapped pictures. We had a brief visit with the climbers and learned a great deal about their equipment.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Old Geronimo chewing on leftovers. Our buddy definitely reaps the benefits of our BBQs. At 10 years old (70 in dog years), he is still going strong.
Kelly's rose garden is in full bloom. Here is a ruby red bud just starting to show us it's beauty. Spring is really here!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Late this morning, I made a trip down to the "Wedge" in Newport Beach. The tide was low and the surf high. The conditions were great for the surfers, not like the past two days when extremely large waves were offset by strong rip currents and windswept seas.

The "Wedge" is located at the end of the Balboa Peninsula, at the west jetty. Two days prior, on the east jetty, a couple was swept off of the top of the jetty while they were fishing. Sadly, they still have not been found.

Plenty of Harbor Patrol boats and lifeguards were on the watch today.
Another set of very large waves.
It was a good day for the surfers!
My Goddaughter Hailey, her kids, and her sister Amy came by the studio for some headshots of Kirby and Alexsa. The kids were absolutely wonderful in front of the camera.

This is one of my favorite shots of Alexsa.
This very cute shot of Kirby was her own pose. I think they had a lot of fun making these pictures!

Monday, April 09, 2007

I absolutely love this shot of Stephanie and Isabelle. One of my favorites! This is one of the studio shots from Easter.

Isabelle's second Easter!

She was so cooperative having her pictures done in the studio. We used the same bunny prop from last year, and we plan on continuing to use the same one each year. Last year, Isabelle wanted no part of this bunny, and she cried when we put her next to it. This year, she was very happy to share her space with the bunny. What a wonderful little personality.

You can see all of the Easter photos, including the rest of the studio shots from my web site. Look under galleries, and then family. You will be prompted for a password. Please email me if you don't have the password.
"Look Papa, I found one!"

What a cutie in her new Easter dress. Isabelle had a blast looking for the hidden eggs. This year, she was able to appreciate the concept of the Easter egg hunt.
Reward time! The best part about finding the hidden eggs is when you get to eat the treats inside. Isabelle wasted no time enjoying her rewards.
With a little help from Papa, Isabelle finds another egg.
Well, I made it to 50! Kelly planned a wonderful party for me, and she spent the entire day cooking my favorite meal (her homemade tacos and enchilada casserole). Kelly's mom, Marie, made my favorite birthday cake - pineapple upside down cake. My mother made this cake in an old castiron skillet. It really is the best, and Marie made it just like mom!

Stephanie decorated the house with all kinds of "old folks" stuff. There was a special hat, neckless and cane for me too. She had some really funny stuff, like an box with a hammer that said to break in case of emergency. Of course, inside the box was a diaper. Yep, it was all complete including a handicapped parking spot in front of the house, just for me!

We had a great time visiting and eating. Later, the guys settled down for the UFC fight on pay-per-view while the gals played a little poker.

Thanks to all my family and friends who stopped by to wish me well on my next 50, and for making this day so special for me!
Isabelle having fun yelling into the fan. Forget the games at a party, just put a fan up and watch the kids have fun!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

On Friday, I made my way down to Santa Ana where a large protest was advertised to occur at 9:00 am. There were plenty of police on scene and ready, but no protestors to be found. After almost 3-hours of driving around the area all I could find was a few mounted units, lots of cops waiting patiently by there vehicles, and three lone students passing out fliers.