Archive for December, 2013

it’s that time again….

snow-covered trail sign

Wishing you all the best for the New Year.


The view from Mt Raymond

Mt Raymond is easily recognized from many locations within the Wasatch Mountains.  You might remember that there are three major canyons in the section of the Wasatch range that forms the eastern geographic boundary of Salt Lake City…Millcreek, Big Cottonwood, and Little Cottonwood…from north to south…and they all lie in an east/west orientation.  Mt Raymond lies somewhat near the middle of the ridge that separates Millcreek and Big Cottonwood Canyons.  While I had hiked around it three times and had stared at it so many more, I had never set-out to actually climb to the top of it…until the end of October of this year.  This post doesn’t highlight the hike itself…it shows what can be seen from the trail up to, and from the summit.  If you’ll click on any of the images in the gallery, you’ll be taken to a slide presentation that includes additional orientation-related commentary with most photos.


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Happy Christmas….

Happy Christmas, Aspen and Pine on Lake Desolation Trail


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wispy wintry winds

delicate snow drift


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portrait of a boy, third

Boy in sepia


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The first day of Winter

Snowy stream-bank, Little Cottonwood Canyon Stream


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streaming reflection

snowy streambank with reflection


City Paint 16 – Utah Arts Alliance Legends Mural

If you remember the City Paint post about the Urban Jungle, you might recall that I mentioned that I was allowed access to the property by “someone nearby;” this happened to be the staff at the Utah Arts Alliance (UAA).  Before I ventured over to make the photos of the jungle scene on the adjacent lot, I took advantage of the opportunity to capture some photos of the murals that the UAA had on the side of their building.

Utah Arts Alliance

I couldn’t find any artist information for the next two panels.  They measure somewhere around 10 x 10 feet square and are on the building just to the left of the above image.

Utah Arts Alliance woman image

This next one looks like it belongs in a gallery somewhere…can you imagine creating it on the side of a building and then leaving it out in the elements of the weather?

Utah Arts Alliance abstract people

I didn’t speak with the arts alliance staff about the following gallery, so I don’t know if they’ve even properly titled it, but I refer to it as the “Legends” mural because of the status of the personalities shown…they are singers, composers, actors, philosophers, authors, scientists, and even social activists.  The mural was painted by a street art duo known as Weird Chief.  If you’d like, you can click on their highlighted name and be taken to their web-site to read their bios and see more of their work.

Here’s another gallery of some close-up images of the mural –

And lastly, this is what the mural looks like complete…minus the “far right” panel that is actually on a smaller segment of adjoining wall that is just off-frame to the right.

Utah Arts Alliance Legends mural complete

If you’d like to see more examples of Salt Lake City’s street and building art as I’ve presented them in this City Paint series, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Street Art – Graffiti” category to be taken to a continuous feed of the earlier posts.  


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snowy shadows sliding….

trees on snowy hillside


Late Fall in Little Cottonwood Canyon

After only a fifteen-minute drive from my neighborhood, I was off on another adventure into the woods of Little Cottonwood Canyon.  You might have seen similar images over the last couple of years, but it’s that time of year again when the cold and water combine to make some beautiful and natural art in the out-of-doors.  You can click on any image from the gallery to be taken to the slide presentation that has larger renditions of each photograph.


the preaching of pine trees

“Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.” 

 – John Muir

Wasatch Mntn Forest in color


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to fly again

feathers in fall grass


horizons near and far

The following are separate images of the same mountain ridges…the presentations are only altered by distance and the change in the elevation of my position on the opposite mountain slope and ridge.

Near-Winter in the Wasatch

It’s amazing how grand and vast your view becomes when you’re another few to several hundred feet higher on the mountain.

Ridge-line perspective of near-winter Wasatch Mountains

I made these images on the slope about half a mile south and above Lambs Canyon Pass in Millcreek Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains, just east of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.


City Paint 15 – Korner Market Mural – 2013

If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you might remember the earlier posts on the Korner Market’s murals…City Paint – 3 2012…The End? and City Paint 12.2 – 2020…Perfect Vision – Mural Complete. I realize that it’s a little late in the year and that the mural has been completed for a few months already…with next year’s remake only another four or five months away, but here’s 2013’s rendition.  I’ve not been able to determine the theme and have not spoken with the Korner Market staff to learn more about it, so maybe you’ll have some ideas for us.  To see the images in a larger presentation, click on any of them to be taken to a slide-show of the photos.

I’d like to give credit to the artists who created the work, but can’t decipher any of the names that might be hidden in the script on the mural.  I would imagine that at least some of the artists who contributed to the earlier murals also helped create this one, but I’m not sure, so I’m not going to list any names.

You can click on the highlighted titles above to be taken back to the earlier posts.  If you’d like to see more of Salt Lake City’s street art and graffiti, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Category labeled “Street Art – Graffiti” to see a continuous feed of all of the earlier posts.


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the setting sun doesn’t ask us….


“a little longer”…thoughts of a young father

“As I put her to sleep, holding the bottle to her small mouth, I listen to her breathe.  I feel her little movements as she struggles against the sleepiness that always wins in the end.  I hear her drinking from her bottle, first quickly as she is so excited to get her evening nourishment, but then slower and slower as the heavy weight of slumber pulls her little eyes closed in longer and longer blinks.

But tonight something different happens.  Tonight, as she drifts closer and closer to sleep, she reaches up with her hand, as she does often while drifting off.  But this time she rests her trusting hand on mine as I hold her bottle.  Not a brush, not a slip, not an accident.  Her hand rests on mine with purpose, with intent.  This is where she wants her hand, what she wants to hold.

Can’t this bottle be just a bit bigger?

Can’t there be more left in it for her to drink?

Can’t she stay here a little longer with her hand on mine?

That’s all I want, just let this moment last a little longer.

Her bottle empties and I replace it with her binky.  Her hand moves as I shift her body, cradle her, and rock her the rest of the way to sleep.  With her bottle empty, she surrenders herself to the sandman.  Her eyes close, her breathing slows, her body stills.  Her hand is no longer on mine as it was.  Such a small gesture and yet she has no idea.  She knows not what this means to her Daddy, what joy it brings to my heart.

portrait of a baby in black and white

***

                She wakes up and begins her day, chattering on about breakfast, about her Mommy, about her games and shows.  She is happy, as she is most days.  There are no owies or runny noses or naps.  She moves through her world freely and with more and more independence.  ‘I can brush my own teeth, I can put my plate in the sink, I can get dressed, I can, I can, I can.’  The day nears its end, as all days do, with bedtime stories and ni-nights and kisses and hugs.

But this day is different.  This is the last of this era.  This is the end of this stage.  Tomorrow she goes to school.  Tomorrow she meets new people, learns new things, begins new routines, needs help from someone else.  This bedtime I know all about her day, what she did, what she saw, what she said.  When she lies down to bed tomorrow her stories will be new.

Can’t this day be just a bit longer?

Can’t there be more words in this story?

Can’t she stay here a little longer with her world in mine?

That’s all I want, just let this moment last a little longer.

The story ends, she gives and gets her hugs and kisses.  She rolls over and lets me believe that she will be going right to sleep, but knowing she will be up imagining what tomorrow will be like.  Excited and anxious and scared.  Her days are no longer only mine as they were.  So precious these moments but she doesn’t know.  She knows not what this means to her Daddy, what joy it brings to my heart.

to hide away

***

                Busy as always, so much less time to spend in the house these days for a young adult.  She learns more every day than I have in years.  The world is still opening up to her as she stretches her legs into the adult world, learns to live, to work, to be responsible.  I get to see where my efforts have paid off.  I get to see where she could have been guided better.  But that’s only when I get to see her.  New friends with new faces and new stories and experiences and places and people.  It seems that most of the time there is considerable effort to keep up and by the time I do, the whole story is new and different and I’m not caught up anymore.

But in this rare moment, something is different.  She sits beside me as the evening winds to a close to share her day.  She isn’t busy with friends or work or school, she is busy spending time with me.  She wants to be with me, she wants me to hear her, she wants to hear me.  I listen as she unfolds her busy day before me and allows me to participate, because today I am part of her busy day.

Can’t this conversation be just a bit longer?

Can’t I say more to keep her from going to bed?

Can’t she stay here a little longer with her story in mine?

That’s all I want, just let this moment last a little longer.

She begins to yawn, her eyes grow redder as her body tells her it’s time for sleep.  I tell her goodnight and watch as she leaves to her room.  She carries on to bed thinking nothing different of the day.  Another day closer to where she’s going.  Another day further from where she started.  Something as simple as time spent with someone, but she doesn’t get it.  She knows not what this means to her Daddy, what joy it brings to my heart.

***

                She walks to the door as she prepares to leave.  She is always going places, new places, old places.  Places I’ve been to, places I haven’t.  Some places maybe she’ll take me to, places maybe that I really want to see.  We gather around the door, talking about when she’s coming back, who she’s going to be with, what she’s going to be doing.

But this time it’s different.  She’s not coming back, unless it’s to visit.  She’s going to be with people I don’t know, people I won’t know.  She’s going to be doing things that I won’t have any involvement in, or even know about in some cases.  Today she’s going to her house.  That used to mean the same thing as when I was going to my house, but not now, not this time.  She is going to her own house.  She is leaving my house and going home.

Can’t we stand here at the door just a bit more?

Can’t I find something else to load into your car?

Can’t she stay a little longer with her home in mine?

That’s all I want, just let this moment last a little longer.

She walks out the door and gets in her car.  I get one last wave and she blows me a kiss as she drives to her new house, her new home.  I watch as the car winds down the street into the distance.  Even after the car is long out of site, I continue to watch down the street as if I can watch her make it home safely, as if I can see right to her door from mine as I always have.  She grew up here with me, I watched her grow, but it’s not something she is able to appreciate yet.  She knows not what this means to her Daddy, what joy it brought to my heart.

***

                I walk with her as I have so many evenings, arm in arm.  There is a cool breeze that blows through the trees and causes our hair to stir.  We always just walk, nowhere in particular.  To the end of the street, up the road, around the block.  It never really matters, we always know where we are going back to.  It is wonderful when she comes to visit and spend time, talks about her life, her job, her friends.  Sometimes we can walk together without saying a word at all.

But it is again different this time.  This time we walk with a destination.  It is not a far walk, but it is the furthest walk I have ever taken.  My destination is near the end of the aisle, at which point I take my seat and let her walk the rest of the aisle to another arm to place hers in.  It is not as if I won’t have another walk with her, arm in arm.  Our next walks will be different, about a new chapter.

Can’t the aisle be just a bit longer?

Can’t we slow the pace of the walk?

Can’t she stay a little longer with her arm in mine?

That’s all I want, just let this moment last a little longer.

I give her away, just as she asked me to.  Tears in my eyes, I smile at her.  I sit down and watch her speak words of love to her best friend.  She stands there looking as beautiful as the day she was first mine.  We still take walks, arm in arm, and still talk about life.  We even talk about the very walk that began her newest chapter and my role in that walk, but I can’t expect her to understand what it means to me.  She knows not what this means to her Daddy, what joy it brings to my heart.

***

                Visits at her house are always wonderful, visits with her at any place are wonderful.  She has grown into an amazing woman.  I get to see her world as she decorated it around her.  There aren’t words for my pride when she introduces me to her friends.  To be important enough that someone she knows will, should, gets to meet me.  To be this far down the road and still hold the honor of being an important figure in her life feels like a rarity.

But this visit will be different.  I am not meeting her friend or neighbor or coworker.  I am meeting her daughter.  I am holding her daughter.  I am rocking her daughter.  She watches me as I stare into her face through another.  The flood of memories, of emotions, of beauty overwhelms me.

Couldn’t she have been this small a bit longer?

Couldn’t I go back to do this all again?

Couldn’t she stay a little longer as my baby?

That’s all I want, just let those moments last a little longer.

She takes her baby daughter from me and I get the joy of watching her stare into the eyes of her precious daughter as I once did.  The most beautiful transformation takes place right before me as I look at her and realize that now, after all this time, she understands, and will forever.  She knows what this means to her Daddy, what joy it brings to my heart.

***

                As I see her approach me, I reflect on all the times I have truly watched her as she experienced life.  As she lives life.  I watched as she placed her small hand on mine in a trusting hold, as she moved from my world into hers, as she kept me in her story, as she stepped out of my home and into one of her own, as she held her arm in mine for the longest walk, as she transitioned from a woman into a Mommy.  She sits beside me and smiles at me as I always loved her to do.

But this time is, different.  I am watching her approach me for the last time.  I am watching her for the last time.  As she sits in the chair beside my bed, she places her hand on mine.  As I drift off, I feel her hand as she softly weeps.  Her hand is on mine with purpose, with intent.  This is where she wants her hand.  What she wants to hold.

Can’t this life be just a bit longer?

Can’t I have her by my side tomorrow?

Can’t I have tomorrow?

Can’t she stay here a little longer with her hand on mine?

That’s all I want, just let this moment last a little longer.”

© 2013 – Caleb Michael Brill


Albion Basin under an early snow

It can all look so different, depending upon one’s location and the season in which one is doing the looking.  The peak to the right is named “Sugarloaf” and has a ski-lift and run just outside of the frame to the right.  In August of 2011, I found myself standing atop Sugarloaf and then walking the ridge to the point right about in the center of the photo…in that little dip in the ridge just before it begins to climb up into the Devil’s Castle, just left of center.  If you’d like to take a look down into Albion Basin from up on that ridge, click on this highlighted link – Cecret Lake and Surround, which is the post I shared after the hike.  I made the image below on September 29 of this year…while standing on another ridge on the opposite side of the valley.

Albion Basin Utah


Revisiting the Trail-side Tree-house….

My older son and I were hiking the Desolation Trail back in July of this year and happened to visit the tree-house that I featured in this post, Trail-side Tree-housefrom June of last year.  You might remember the little purple door in the base of tree?  Well, it looks like someone has done a little bit of renovation or remodeling in the last year and some months….

Desolation Trail shrine 1

Here’s another view from a little more to the right….

Desolation Trail shrine 2

Nobody answered when we knocked on the door….

Desolation Trail Shrine with purple door

My son noticed this little lock-box hanging in the branches on the left side of the tree…and among other things, there was a little notebook inside.

Desolation Trail shrine safe

“Peace of the breeze…joy of the sun….”

Desolation Trail shrine notepad 1

“There’s no wi-fi out here, but I promise you, the connection is much better.”

Desolation Trail shrine notepad 2

Many of the other entries pertained to people remembering their dogs who have passed over the years, but who loved to join their human companions out on the trails of Millcreek Canyon.


Toward Lake Blanche in November

My older son and I made our first snow-hike of the season a few Sundays ago…we made the familiar trek up the canyon to Lake Blanche.  I know I’ve shared many photos of the area over the past couple of years, but there is a timeless beauty to be captured and appreciated up there, so it’s difficult to get tired of the views and the sheer wonderfulness that Nature has to offer to those who will endure the hike up into the mountains to partake of the feast.  You can click on any of the images to be taken to a slide show where you might see them in a larger format.


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Aspen corridor

Aspen sunrise