Archive for June, 2012

One hike…and 23 wildflowers…part two

…picking-up where we left-off in “One hike…and 23 wildflowers…part one“….

To be continued one more time….


On Granite

A couple of weeks ago, I finally managed to find the upper falls in Bells Canyon, just south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.  My last ventures up into this particular part of the canyon had been in December and February, and there was still three and more feet of snow on the ground.  Accumulation of that amount makes it hard to find and follow the trails that are so evident at other times of the year.  The scene in this photograph is from an area above those upper falls…as I continued to explore, looking for the trail that leads to the upper reservoir.  As this was all new territory for me, it was all I could do sometimes to keep my eyes on the trail so that I would be going forward…I could have stood there for tens of minutes or more at each new vista and would have never made it anywhere on the hike…such a beautiful place….


One hike…and 23 wildflowers…part one

This was a longish hike, to Lambs Canyon Pass and beyond, part of which I had made before…once in the middle of January or February when I had turned around 30 yards shy of the pass, as the snow was over my knees and making the hike more work than fun.  At any rate, I set out this past Sunday to accomplish the entire trail, two miles along the Pipeline Trail in Millcreek Canyon to the trailhead just beyond Elbow Fork, two miles up to the pass, and then another two miles down to the road in Lambs Canyon…and then turned around and did it all in reverse order to make it home again.  As I began the hike, I noticed different flowers that appeared in single bunches or individual plants and then didn’t notice any others of their kind anywhere along the trail…so I started taking pictures of what I found…and as the hours and miles ticked by, I thought about all of the different flowers that I had encountered and couldn’t help but smile and think of Allen from New Hampshire Garden Solutions and his comments on earlier posts, something to the effect of “Wow…that looks like a good place to find a bunch of wildflowers.”  If you aren’t familiar with Allen’s blog, I highly recommend a visit…it’s chock-full of beautiful photographs of wildflowers and plants that he encounters during his own forays into the wild, as well as those from his garden and other New Hampshire locations that he frequents…each post of photographs also includes an interesting narrative about each plant.  So here you are, Allen…part one of three.  The photos aren’t of the best quality, as the morning sun was quite bright and caused a bit of over-exposure on some of them, but I think they are still a fair representation of the natural beauty of the flowers as they adorned the trail to Lambs Canyon.

to be continued….


Table in the park


Little One at Silver Lake (Islets)

We had started our Saturday morning exploring downtown, looking at murals and talking about what they meant, my little one and I.  After getting a bite to eat, he asked if we could take a drive into the mountains…magical words to my mountain-yearning soul.  We drove to the end of Big Cottonwood Canyon and pulled over at Guardsman Pass…where the road turns to dirt for a mile or so and then leads to Park City.  We have been on the road before, but had never stopped there for longer than a few minutes…and I had never hiked the trails leading away from the pull-out, either.  My little one asked if we could go for a hike…and as we didn’t have a back-pack with snacks and water, I told him that we would just go for a little bit of a walk, but nothing too long.  We were on the trail for maybe ten minutes when we saw water sparkling ahead of us.  As I had never been there before, I didn’t know what lake or body of water it might be.  Earlier in the week, I had mentioned that we might go to Silver Lake, down in American Fork Canyon…and as coincidence would have it, the little lake we found also happened to be named Silver Lake…rather, it was one of three small lakes/ponds that are part of what is labeled as “Silver Islets” on our map of the three main canyons in our Wasatch Front.


Dappled


Water-Wheel

The water-wheel is located in Brigham Young Historic Park, just a couple of blocks east of the Mormon temple in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.  The park is a memorial to the pioneer religious and civic leader who brought his flock from the eastern states in the mid-1800s, seeking a place where they could practice their faith without scrutiny or conflict….  I have read that the park was established on land that was once part of Young’s family farm…choice land that is just across the street from City Creek, the initial and primary source of drinking and irrigation water for the Mormon pioneers when they settled in the Salt Lake Valley.


Sticks and stones….


faces on the wall….

The man sat in the dark and thought of the pictures on the wall and the eyes that looked out from their frozen images of faces and whatnot in the chemicals that held them in such places from their making until they left in some manner or other, moved to another wall, moved to another house, passed among the things that leave when he would leave on that unknown date and then.  The eyes that could bore through their selved-images into the eyes of the man who sat in the chair with heavy lids and pondered those things as night wound into itself and him and the sounds of day’s passing had become the creaking and yawning of the presence of its neighbor and twin, the one who exists on the other side of the thoughts of himself.

Picture frames glowing or reflecting the light that sneaks in through the windows from the posted light in the yard, that one thing that illuminates the darkened corners where what was present in the day has crawled into itself and themselves and exist only in shadow form or memory, but not sight, as they are hidden in the black and gray of their shadowed selves.  Those eyes accuse and remember in their fixed gazes and the man stares at the blank middles of the frames at what he knows is there but cannot see for the passed and past day and the dark inside the four edges covers but doesn’t hide the faces he knows.  Night doesn’t cover his heart and his wandering soul and it doesn’t relieve the ghosts that walk in his mind and in the fibers of the carpet and lay like a film inside the paint and wooded textures of stair railings and benches, those things that capture sounds and emotions as they are fleeing in their shouted births and deaths of echoes and remain.

Hollowed eyes and grins and thoughts and cheekbones and lips that lie in a stuck rictus, like painted and dead clowns and he doesn’t know who is inside, who is behind those portals of life and then, and he turns away and closes his eyes and hears the ringing in his ears as the cat talks not walks down the hall and a hidden beam somewhere in the wall creaks or sighs as the house wonders at the man in the chair in the dark, wonders at his thoughts and sitting there while others sleep and dream and think of nothing in the passing of the stars and moon in their circuits as the heater kicks on and whines through the vents and blows in its blowing and warmth of breath and stops with a shudder and how, as the man’s foot twitches as sleep tries to pull him deeper into the chair as his heart beats and beats and his eyes open at the cat’s passing and scratching on and of the one corner of the rug that has its frayed spot and spot as the eyes on the walls sleep in their openness and hide their thoughts in front of him as he looks away and remembers a younger self that fled a smile in furrowed brows and pursed lips of anger and rot, his eyes scorned and shaken and cast away and aside and down and away from any who would look.

He remembered the thick hand that smacked his mouth when his eyes were closed and thought the Divine was blind as the prayer was stuck in the swirl of ceiling paint as the black eyes bored into the smaller one’s eyes as his mouth throbbed and his heart ached and his mom sat at arm’s length away as her man’s hand smacked her child’s mouth and she kept her eyes closed as the sound echoed in her ears and she squeezed her eyes closed as she smelled the dinner cooling on the table in front of them and wondered how the paint could keep the prayer inside the ceiling as it rolled about and thinned against the summer air and finally withered and faded and was gone in the tears that rolled down his cheeks as hate breathes by itself in blank picture frames and white rocks cast along the way, tripping the travelers who dare not watch where they are walking, who are blind to the path and stumble in the dark footsteps that lumber ahead of them.

This is a Favorite Re-post from February, 2010.


Windows and Wood

The first shot isn’t real pretty…in fact, it’s probably technically ugly…but it provides context for the photos that follow….


City Paint 12.1 – 2020 Mural…Perfect Vision

If you remember the next two photographs from the my earlier post “City Paint 3 – 2012…The End?” you might also remember that I had spoken with one of the clerks in the Korner Market who told me that the mural was going to be painted-over in the next few weeks…and it was supposed to be something even more grand in scale and content than the Maya calendar predicting the end of life as we know it.

It has taken a bit longer than the projected few weeks to get the new mural underway…but here it is….

I actually drove past this street scene on my way to meet the artist from the Five on Five western mural and almost did a quick U-turn to go back and see what was happening…but given the level of activity with the BBQ grill and tent and crowd of people milling about, I figured they would still be there when I was finished with the interview.  I had just checked the wall earlier in the week, too, and nothing had been done, so I would imagine that the work was started on Saturday, June 9.

From the conversation that I had with the store clerk back in March, I understood that only one artist would be doing the work, Kier Defstar…but as you can see in this photograph, there were two artists working on it.  If you click on Kier’s name, it will take you to a City Weekly interview from November 2010.  While it’s not current info, it does provide a great background on the artist.

On my way to work two days later, I stopped to see what progress had been made through the rest of the weekend.  I was surprised to see this man working at such an early hour on a Monday morning.  When I asked him if he was Kier, he said that he wasn’t, but that Kier had done the work on the woman’s head and some other pieces, but they had two or three other artists working on it, as well.  I asked the man for his name so I could give him credit for contribution to the mural, but he politely declined to give me even his first name.  He said that he hadn’t painted in 12 years, but Kier had asked him to help.  The man said he’s been published in different books and magazines, but he prefers to avoid the media nowadays.  I assured him that I was just a guy taking pictures and had nothing to do with the formal media and wouldn’t share his name if he didn’t want me to, but he still refused.  He said to give Kier the credit for the mural, as it was mostly his idea and he had painted the most significant part…the woman.

The man said that the theme for this mural is 2020…as in the year…and as in perfect vision.  The contents of the mural are supposed to be exploding or pouring from the woman’s head…signifying her ideas and dreams for the future…he said it is meant to be much more positive than the earlier mural, depicting hope instead of a final destruction.

I took these last three photos yesterday morning, Tuesday, Jun 19.  Quite a bit of progress has been made in a week and a half….

There seemed to be no vantage point available in taking a picture of this entire image without the street-lamp being included….

As with the Five on Five western mural, I will be visiting this 2020 mural every few days and posting updates of its progress until it is completed…so stay tuned.  Also, if you’re interested, you can view all of the posts in the City Paint series by scrolling down to the bottom of this post and clicking on the Category button for Street Art – Graffiti.

And, as always, thank you for visiting.  🙂


Salt Lake City “City Library”

The Salt Lake City Main Library sits directly across the street from the Salt Lake City County Building that I shared in another post…while the library building seems to evoke a sense of peace and appears to be a wonderful place to sit and read a book or two, it has a rather grim history.  Check-out the article from Wikipedia for more information.

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I stumbled across a new blog today…Melinda has been posting for just over a month…thought you all might enjoy taking a look at the world through her eyes…..

want beautiful

fallen petals on pavement.

+++

“i walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away

he doesn’t expect to arrive.”

–jorge louis borges

[photos: kitsilano beach, vancouver, bc]

 

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Mountains and Clouds


Saturday Sunset

It’s been said that there’s nothing quite like an Arizona sunset…except maybe when it’s viewed from the front steps of our home in Utah….


Cloud Halo…?

Walking the Great Western Trail from above Desolation Lake toward Guardsman Pass in the Wasatch Mountains, I happened to uncautiously look up from the steeply slanted snowbank that I was crossing and had to quickly steady myself from falling backwards as I stood upright and gazed at the strange clouds above me….

Another mile or so down the trail, I happened to look up again and off to the east beyond the mountains and found that the cloud was slowly dispersing….


Heartbeat


City Paint 6.5 – “Becoming” Artist’s Insight

In my most recent post on this western mural, City Paint 6.4 – “Becoming” almost finished…, I mentioned that I had spoken with the artist and that we were going to meet the following weekend.  Well…because of life and parades and being called-in to work, that meeting finally took place three weekends later.

Aside from talking about life and relationships with girlfriends and wives, his siblings, my children, living in military families, maturing on our paths in life, sports, mixed-martial-arts, college, art, blogging, sports-talk-radio, trust, forgiveness, graffiti, street code, bastards who tag over other artists’ work, guns, bartering, Utah history, and religion…we also talked about his mural….

The artist, Gerry (pronounced “Gary”) Swanson (at www.silentswanart.com), has named the mural “Five on Five,” a sports reference to a battle being waged between a group of Native Americans and a group of western cowboys.

He was not formally commissioned to paint the mural, but he has done work for Gallenson’s Gun Shop in the past, so the store owner trusted that he would create something appropriate without having any guidelines or requirements.  Gerry said he wanted the mural to showcase an event from the history of the Mountain West…which included guns.

He said that the canyon provides a literal and metaphorical boundary or divide between the opposing sides, such geographical features are common to the Mountain West area, so it seemed fitting that it would be the line of demarkation between the participants.

When I asked him if this was a fair fight, guns vs bows and arrows, he said that the cowboys might have had a technological advantage, but the braves were stronger physically and had time and nature on their side.  The sun was painted as it was to represent the familiar image of the Maya calendar, easily applied to these native people, as they are of the same indigenous stock as the Maya.  The natives were aware of time, but it was simply part of life, the cowboys were caught-up in time and attemtpted to control it, marking their actions and lives by its rules.  The vegetation was supporting the braves, pushing them into the battle, while it was wrapping around the cowboys and hindering their efforts.

Gerry said that the cowboys weren’t in full control of their horses and are off balanced and not shooting straight, one cowboy is even on the ground wielding a bowie knife…while one of the natives isn’t even presenting a weapon…he’s in the charge, yes, but not needful of a weapon yet…so the battle isn’t as unfair as it might first appear.

The natives and the cowboys are painted the same color because they share in the brotherhood of their singular species, yet the braves have their white stripes and the cowboys have their red shirts, as opposing teams are given to wearing opposite colors when on the field of play.

Gerry said he put bandanas over the mouths of the cowboys to protect them against the dust, whereas the natives didn’t need the same protection, as they were adapted to their environment and had stronger constitutions.  When I mentioned that some commentors on the blog thought the cowboys might have been hiding behind their masks, he said he hadn’t considered that perspective, but he likes it.  He said he loves to stand within earshot of people as they are discussing the mural (or any of his other work), so he can hear  what they think it means, and in that vein, he appreciates the comments and the thoughts that drive them.

Additional “essentials” for painting a mural on a bright, sunny, spring afternoon in Salt Lake City….

Gerry said it might be interesting to add birds or some other object to the bandanas to increase the effect, to heighten the observers’ awareness of them….  On a side note, Gerry said that he is not finished with the detail on the guns yet; I understood that there would be greater definition, but the bright silver will remain.

To view the other posts that show the progress of this mural, please click on these highlighted titles: City Paint 6.1 – Becoming, City Paint 6.2 – Progress Report on “Becoming,” and City Paint 6.3 – Another progress report on “Becoming.”  You can also scroll to the bottom of this page and click on “Street Art – Graffiti” under the Categories heading to view all of the posts in the City Paint series.


Spring Blossoms – Two


Dust to dust….

I had just crossed the empty stream-bed in Little Cottonwood Canyon and was making my way toward where I knew the trail was located…when I heard the sound of falling water.  To the left of this little waterfall is where I found the moss and other tiny plant life that I featured in my post “Life on a Rock.”

I had visited the same area in the past and wasn’t aware of any other streams nearby…but the canyon was/is still full of things that I haven’t seen, little treasures tucked-away beneath wind-blown trees, lying in the shadows of whole and broken boulders of fallen granite, and ever-changing scenes of Nature’s drama of unfolding life and death.  In my searching for the falling water, I had to go off-trail and deeper into the wild of the canyon forest.  Amid the waking plant life and the blanket of the previous season’s fallen leaves, I found what appeared to be the skeleton of a deer or other medium-sized vertebrate.

A great mind once posited that matter can neither be created nor destroyed…it simply changes form…becomes something other than what it was as the result of some greater force acting upon it.  As we find beauty in a decaying building, crumbling walls of barns and castles, trees whithering and rotting back into the forest floors of their cradles and graves, I believe we can find an equal beauty in the physical remains of a once living and breathing being as it returns to its elemental form where it will nourish the tiny creatures and plants that share its environment…for such is the stuff of life and death…regeneration…coming together in a new and other form….


Follow me….

The Pipeline Trail in Millcreek Canyon, in the north-eastern part of the Wasatch Mountain front that borders Salt Lake City, runs for close to seven miles, starting just outside of the canyon (you actually start from inside the canyon, but have to go backwards to reach the closest end of it) and terminating at a significant bend in the canyon that is called Elbow Fork.

The first location to access the trail is at Rattlesnake Gulch…and it is a one mile hike back out of the canyon to get to the outside terminus (which is located at a fantastic overlook of the Salt Lake Valley).  If one continues into the canyon, the trail can next be accessed at the Church Fork picnic area…or further into Millcreek, one can pick it up at the Burch Hollow Trailhead, just across from the Porter Fork trail…or one can continue up Millcreek Canyon Road until it turns sharply toward the right at Elbow Fork.

There are a couple of steeper grades, but most of the trail climbs gradually, levels out, and then continues at a slight incline for much of its length. Supposedly, it only gains just over 600 ft in total elevation from the beginning to the end.

If one starts at Rattlesnake Gulch and follows the trail up into the canyon, it is 1.6 miles to the access-point at Church Fork; it is another 2.1 miles to the access-point at Burch Hollow trailhead, and another two miles to the junction at Elbow Fork.


City Paint 11 – Something-ist

I spoke with one of the men who works at the window/glass business to the left of this mural…he said it’s left-over from the arts festival that Salt Lake City sponsored last year or the year before…and he doesn’t know what it says….maybe one of you can figure out what it means…the letters appear to form into a word of something-ist….  I’d love to hear your ideas….


blog update

Just to let you know…I have changed the name of my blog…just the name…everything else remains the same….

Effective today, right now, actually a few moments ago, “Pieces of Me and Other Sundry Things” has changed to “Scott’s Place…Images and Words.”  With the evolution of the blog and its contents over the past year or so, the new title seems more appropriate.

And…thank you to all of you who view my photos, read my writings…and follow my blog…your part of the conversation is what makes this so rewarding….  Thank you again for being there….  🙂


Newlyweds…?

I had seen their sign on the way up the trail, huge hoof-prints, huge droppings, and bits of long, black, coarse hair…but not much else…no sounds, anyway.  It was hard to tell how old the marks and droppings were, but I kept looking to the sides of the trail for a bit…and then gradually didn’t think more about them.  I have seen their sign on other hikes and have only seen them once before…a solitary cow standing in the middle of the early morning trail….  On my return trip back down the trail, a couple of other hikers were stopped ahead of me, had their cameras out, and were pointing up the slope…all we could see was the female…laying there all large and sleepy in the woods.  I crept up the slope a couple of steps as the other hikers tucked their cameras away and started down the trail again.  As I kept zooming-in and taking increasingly closer shots, it seemed that I could see another ear flicker in the woods behind the cow.  The brush was too dense to see more than an outline of the other moose, so I tried to quietly head down the slope and over to the one side where I could see another access that might give me a better vantage point to see who else was back there.  Well…the couple of drops of Native American blood that I have remaining from my ancestors waaaay back did nothing to help me sneak-up on the creature that was hiding back there.  The bull moose heard me and slowly got up and started ambling through the brush, once or twice turning to look in my direction.  Again, the brush was thick and I only managed two non-blurry pictures that give a good indication as to what he looked like…with his antler buds starting to protrude from his forehead.