Archive for December, 2011

Last “Good-morning” and Last “Good-night”

I don’t suppose it’s too unusual for someone to watch the sun rise and set on the same day, but it is/was unusual for me to have camera ready and to capture photos of each event today, the last day of 2011.

This sunrise photo was taken along Interstate-15 somewhere around an hour and a half south of Salt Lake City…maybe around Nephi…or farther south?

The sunset photo was taken on the side of the same freeway a few miles north of Fillmore, Utah.

So…on this last day of the year, and in the waning minutes, too, I want to thank my family and friends and blog-friends for your support and encouraging comments throughout the past 12 months.  Your comments have been wonderful additions and complements to the contents of the posts, as well as being inspiration to continue in my endeavors here.  Thank you, again…and I hope to continue to have the pleasure of your visits and comments in the year to come….

P.S. – And thank you, too, Lori Kim, for my new camera…the early Christmas present has enabled me to capture so many beautiful photos that I simply could not have taken without it.  🙂


Together again….

Time finds us in different places and for various periods and then it brings us together again, sometimes, and the meeting is more than could be asked for; it fulfills the soul and rocks the body and leaves us exhausted and sated and wanting only to relish in the love and company of that other one, the one from whom we were separated for a time…and long to be with again and again.

May our separations be few and our love enduring….


Sky

Boundless or framed, it’s more beautiful when there’s something in it….


Miniature Crystals

I found these little treasures while walking the trail in Little Cottonwood Canyon and couldn’t resist bringing them home with me!


to be alive

I think it’s incredible that plants can live and thrive on the side of a rock.  It’s more believable, I suppose that they can live on the side of a tree, but I suppose when I consider it all together, there are minerals and salts and whatever else might be needed in the both of them…and with the abundant moisture on the often wet rock and trees, I guess everything is there.


The Ice Tube Revisited

Just over two weeks ago, I found an ice tube in the stream in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Maybe it should be called a “chute” instead of a tube…because it performs the function of a chute…with water passing through it from one level down to another.  At any rate, one tube was complete and it appeared as if another tube was forming to the left of the completed one.  I took a few photos of the tube/chute to preserve it and hoped to return to take more pictures to see how it might have changed over time.  Please press the highlighted number for December 17, 2011 on the calendar to the right to see the earlier post.  For some reason, I am unable to create a link in the text at this time.

I thought I remembered the tube on the right as being smaller and less opened at the bottom…or maybe it changed a bit over the weeks.  As you will see in the last photos of this series, there is an icy lace or filigree on the right tube that wasn’t there in the earlier photos.

I had to go to the other side of the stream and come in from the right to get these last photos.  The two previous shots and the ones from the earlier post were taken from the left side of the stream as you’re looking at the water-fall.


Christmas Morn….

Memories have already formed of another Christmas Eve spent with some of the family and then; moments and hours are passed and past and exist now in essence only or in captured images of lights and movements…sweet and bittersweet, hazy reflections of those who were and were not with us for whatever temporary or forever reason.

And we joined in that happiness and looked closely at the present and the past and marveled in the new moments shared, and hoped for fond memories again to populate those future Christmas Eves with like moments and reflections…

…of when we sat with happy faces and recalled the unceasing movements of our little ones and their ever wonder at what we have learned is the spirit of Christmas, the things that are ours in moments and time when we cherish what we have together…

…and hope for that continued peace and happiness for those Christmases yet to come.


Crystal Punchbowl in a Stream?

Either that or maybe a suspended crystal jelly-fish?


Pattu loves the snow….

This post is for my blog-friend, Pattu, who loves the snow…and doesn’t get to see much of it where she lives in India.  You can visit Pattu’s gardening blog by clicking on the name: “Gardenerat60.”

When you stand on this bridge and face to your right, you will see a snow-covered European Mountain Ash tree with its beautiful red berries hanging over the stream –

All of these photos were taken along the stream in Little Cottonwood Canyon, which is to the south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.  The photos were taken after the first significant snowfall of the season, which happened to be in the first week of November of this year.  If you are familiar with the trail, you might notice that the photos start near the beginning of the trail by the Mormon Temple Quarry and progress toward the end, which is beyond the power-plant ruins, approximately three miles into the canyon.

This last photo was taken at one of a few spots along the stream where the trail is significantly above and perpendicular to the stream.  This vantage point allows you to see a relatively lengthy stretch of the waterway and its accompanying natural beauty.  Few other locations afford such a clear and unobstructed view of the stream.

I hope you have a happy Christmas, Pattu.  🙂


Wonder….

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child.  There are seven million.”  ~Walt Streightiff


Water and Ice

Somehow the element of it being really cold doesn’t play into the equation when viewing this natural beauty…except when standing and kneeling next to the edge of the stream…or leaning over it to take the picture, and hoping that I don’t slip and fall in….

These were taken over a stream near Church Fork, just down the hill a little ways from Pipeline Trail on the way to Burch Hollow and Elbow Fork…curious names of places in Mill Creek Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.


Slow down

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…. ……. … …. …. … …. ….,

……. …. …. … …. … …, ……. … ….. ….

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Winter Berries

Natural Christmas ornaments, somehow…bright winter berries for the birds…they turn dark and black by the end of the season, but they’re bright and beautiful for now….


Boy…

In a chair….

Watching….

Thinking….


Ice Tube?

I believe I mentioned in an earlier post how the stream in Little Cottonwood Canyon is greatly diminished during the winter months when the annual snow-melt is finished and when most of the remaining water is diverted into the local cities’ water reservoirs.  To take these pictures from the front angle, I was stepping/crouching on rocks that were in the middle of the stream bed.  You can tell from the pictures that the stream is not flowing with any significant force or quantity of water.  During the rush of the snow-melt months, the stream is usually flowing with several thousands of cubic meters of water per minute…and it would be impossible to capture pictures from the middle of the stream during those times.

When I first saw the ice formation from the side of the stream, it appeared to just be a bunch of ice that had formed near the flow of water.  The closer I was able to make it to the actual waterfall, the more I could see that ice had formed in the shape of a tunnel or tube and the water was channeling through it from the rock above and into the little pool beneath…another crazy little marvel of nature…and a beautiful one at that.

It seems that the flow on the left is forming another tube…with the outer edges eventually coming together to completely enclose the water channel…maybe.  It would be interesting to return in a few weeks and see if it happened…provided nothing destroys it in the interim.

This last picture is my favorite….


Frosted

I believe this is a Subalpine Fir with the upright and silvery needles.  Its cones also grow upright along the branches.  These photos were taken along the stream in Little Cottonwood Canyon, in the Wasatch Mountains, to the south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah.


Old Dog

She stood forlorn in the dewless grass while an almost warm wind or breeze blew through the early-morning yard.  The porch light was on and things were clear, but she looked about as if she were lost.  The other dogs were in the house already and I suspected that she was trying to see something moving about so she might know that she wasn’t alone.  I opened the door and called to her, but my voice didn’t register; I whistled and she remained there, looking around, wondering.  Her younger playmate ran down the stairs and out into the yard and seemingly on purpose, bumped the side of his body into hers, startling her, but letting her know that she wasn’t alone, telling her that she could come in now.  And so she sleeps…in her winter years….


Ruins

I stood there on the opposite bank and searched for a way across, a way to get to the other side without soaking my feet in the stream, and finding none in my purview, I settled for looking for a way to cross time.  I thought that might be easier, somehow.

I found a place where the snow could be cleared from a sizeable rock, one that would support me in my leaning against the bank, one that would hold me, whole, and almost comfortably as I chose to sit there in the freezing air and try to pass through eons of time, years that had passed, a century and more.

I stared into the windows and at the fallen beams, trying to see the rocks all back in their places, the carved and solid arches back over the window frames, glass reflecting the day’s gray light, or even some candles there, on the various sills, or on the mantle over the wood stove that might have been tucked into the far corner of long ago.

I heard notes floating in the icy air, these from a tinny piano that had been brought out from back east in a mule-drawn wagon for someone’s home and later donated to the church, the congregation, to His people, so it might accompany their country and refined voices as they lifted their praise and worship on those mountained Sunday mornings of then and gone.

I heard notes and the scuff of leather work boots on the lumbered floor…and then I heard a car horn honk in the canyon roadway, an engine roar, and a fading note.  The cold was reaching into my muscles on the rock by the stream as I closed my eyes again and listened hard to what might have been, to what might still be there in spirit form, to what might still be living there in the rocks and beams from that other time.

The rocky stream wore icicles on her edges and snow on her banks and silver-gray clouds hung low in the air and I thought I smelled wood smoke, that piney richness that even curls in your mind when you smell it again after it has been so long.  Women’s voices, high and low, some children at their sides, tiny voices singing, too, as fathers and single men stood at the sides and in the rear of the white granite building with hats in their hands as they growled and hummed the hymns’ refrains and shuffled their boots and scuffed the floor…as the stream still rolls and the water is cold and the trees sway in a growing wind…that carries notes and wood smoke out into the mountains and draws and tucks them away into moments of time that will live again in my imagination and then….

*****UPDATE*****

Please follow this link for an update on the history of these ruins in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, USA.


“Define Necessity….”

I don’t know who the picture actually belongs to, but I would give them/you full credit for it if I could…borrowed from a re-post of a re-post on Facebook:

What else is there to say?


Crystal Craziness

I left the trail and was preparing to cross the Little Cottonwood Canyon stream-bed where it lies beyond the Temple Quarry nature-trail and was surprised at the crystal nursery that I found in front of me.  The stream is empty at this time of year, as the remaining water coming down from the canyon is mostly diverted and captured for use by the local cities.  When I was finished taking photos at this location, it was almost hard to make myself step between the rocks and proceed on my way, knowing that I would be crushing some of this natural wonder with each move of my foot.  Hopefully I will be forgiven for my destruction, as I will be preserving these crystal images forever…or as long as they exist in the ether of the world-wide-web….


So beautiful it almost hurts….

Mill Creek Canyon is one of the three main natural canyons in the Wasatch Mountains that provide the eastern border of Salt Lake City, Utah.

On the First of November of each year, the parks personnel close the road at the five-mile mark in the canyon and do not plow it beyond that point.  The main road then becomes a favored location for cross-country skiers to practice their skills in climbing upward for six miles or more and then racing down the smooth pathway back toward the gate.

There are also numerous trails that lead up and into and along-side the various other mini-canyons and gulches that fill the mountain area to the sides of the canyon proper.

On this particular Sunday morning and afternoon, I took the Pipeline trail for about two miles until it reached Elbow Fork, and then took the trail that leads to Mount Aire and/or Lamb’s Canyon.

I chose to go to Lamb’s Canyon pass, which was close to another two miles up and into the mountains.

Lucky for me, I had my gaiters on, because the snow quickly became six to twelve inches deep, depending on where the trail lay under trees or in clearings where there was nothing to prevent more snow from accumulating.

After I came to what I thought might have been Lamb’s Canyon pass or the ridge that was my destination (where the previous hikers and snow-shoe-ers had turned around), I continued down and along what I perceived to still be the trail that actually led to Lamb’s Canyon.  I followed some large deer or elk or moose tracks for another few hundred yards…until the snow was deep enough that my knees were getting cold from the snow above my gaiters….and decided that it was time to turn around.

At any rate, it was a beautiful hike into the snow-covered forests of Mill Creek Canyon.


I Found a Frozen Waterfall

I heard somewhere that adventure seekers often participate in the winter sport of ice-climbing in Little Cottonwood Canyon, just east of Salt Lake City.  I knew that there was at least one set of falls in the canyon, Lisa Falls, but had never seen it in the winter, so I couldn’t imagine what it might look like.  Today, as I was hiking through Little Cottonwood Canyon, I happened upon an odd trail that led off into the woods, away from the main trail that continued for almost three miles and terminated at the ruins at the far end.  Since I had started my hike late in the day, I figured I would follow the trail and explore a little more of the canyon that I hadn’t seen, instead of continuing on toward the ruins at the end of the trail.  The well-worn trail led to the base of a frozen waterfall…and I could still hear the water from the moving and living stream beneath the ice.  I will have to return to this spot after Spring returns so that I can see the wonderful waterfall in action.

This was the first glimpse I had of the falls –

After a few more minutes of climbing, I reached the base of the falls, a sheet of ice covering a huge rock…and strangely, I could see the water still “flowing” under the ice at the far left edge –

I had to move around a bit on the side of the mountain in order to find a better, or more complete view of the falls.  It appears that there are essentially three segments –

When I was standing at the base of the falls, I noticed a backpack sitting against one of the trees.  I hadn’t seen or heard anyone on the trail above me when I was hiking up toward the falls, so I imagined that there must have been someone above me.  His red coat made it easier to spot him with my camera –

I had to move to still another location, more to the left of the falls, in order to get a better picture of the upper section of the falls –

And then with the fantastic zoom lens on my new camera, I was able to see the greater detail of the upper section of the falls…quite amazing, actually –

It wasn’t until I returned home and looked more closely at the pictures on the computer that I saw the second climber at the top of the falls –


Good morning….

So, it’s 18 degrees outside this morning and there is an icy blanket of frost covering the entire back yard…not only in that blanket form, but it appears that each blade of grass is wearing the sparkling finery and reflecting the glow of the porch light and waking sun.  My wife’s old dog was still breathing as I walked past her, which is likely a good thing, even though the poor creature is blind and deaf and can barely make it down the stairs and into the yard for her morning relief.  There is laundry tumbling in the dryer and another cup of coffee waiting in the pot on the counter as the rest of the house is still quiet and the marvel of my Saturday morning is rich and wonderful.

We’ve been together as a family up here in our new home for a year now.  We’ve had some rough go of it making adjustments, learning new things and places, slowly letting go of that past where comfort and familiarity were solid and known and as dependable as a mourning dove on a fence post at a given hour…she might have not beeen there every morning at the same time, but she was there with enough regularity that we almost came to refer to her as family, a known and constant presence that meant things were right and proper and the way they should be.  And in our 18 degrees this morning, there was another mourning dove on the fence post; she sat there for a moment after I opened the door and let the old dog outside, and then fluttered with her characteristic sound over into the Russian olive tree nearby and sat there for me, signifying or telling me that yes, things are kind of normal again…mostly, maybe, close enough probably…and it’s a good morning already and so far, as the boys are waking and causing their ruckus and stir down the hall…which means that my morning quiet is fleeing fast and running far away….


Old Doors and New

I was at first stunned by the clarity of the image and then by what I noticed when I actually looked at the keys and what they meant, what they were and are in their time.  This is my wife’s key-ring and keys…and most of the keys belong to locks that she no longer opens…some of them no longer exist, literally, and others might still be there, somehwere, in a city and a time from not-so-long-ago, but because of the context of her life, and mine and ours, there is no reason to possess them, for they will no longer be used for anything…other than to add mass to her key-ring…or to open doors to memories of that other life in that other place where things were familiar and made sense, before they became what they are to her now, and then.  But there are new keys, too, new keys to open new doors with new possibilities…and new memories….