Category Archives: nature

A Few Days Left

I thoroughly enjoy the outdoors, especially our fabulous National Park system of 400+ areas.

As a senior citizen, I’m entitled to a “special deal” for the Lifetime Senior Pass to visit these great places. I purchased my pass several years ago for an amazingly low price of $10. I’ve used my pass many, many times. In fact, these past three weeks we visited five national parks. So you can imagine how much we’ve enjoyed ourselves over the years.

On August 28, the price of the lifetime pass increases to $80 (which is still a bargain). However, if you hurry you can still take advantage of the low $10 price.

Visit our government’s site at USGS. Don’t delay.

SuperBloom

Death Valley Shows Its Colors

Yesterday I returned from a trade show in Las Vegas. While there, I heard about one of nature’s spectacles. In nearby Death Valley a rare happening was taking place. Armed with my camera, I made the 2-1/2 hour drive to experience the so called SuperBloom.

Death Valley is the driest, hottest place in North America. Although the climate isn’t very hospitable, wildflowers do appear each Spring. But I learned that this past October rainstorms set in motion a series of conditions that led to a literal explosion of colorful wildflowers that blanketed the normally harsh landscape of the park.

Here are a few recordings of my visit to the 2016 SuperBloom:

 

I’ve been fortunate to have visited Death Valley at least a dozen times previously but I’ve never seen as many visitors taking in the colorful wildflower as I saw two days ago.

Click here to see a Park Ranger describe a “once-in-a-lifetime” visit to Death Valley.

How lucky I was to be able to see this unexpected event.

On The Road Again

Many friends and acquaintances tell me that they dislike long drives. On the other hand, I totally enjoy long drives, especially the cross-country variety that cover hundreds or even thousands of miles and span several days.

For my latest road trip I ferried Mom’s car from Grand Rapids to her Winter home in the Phoenix area.

I asked my 6 year old grandson to be my traveling companion, promising to visit a couple of “fun places” along the way. Logan and I packed our bags, hopped into the car and headed West for our week-long journey.

Here’s a photo essay of the places that we visited.


Arches National Park


Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park


Grand Canyon National Park


Antelope Canyon Navajo Park


Horseshoe Bend



Phoenix and the Flight Home

Logan checking on the grapefruit

a snack on board the plane going home

What a nice getaway. We delivered Mom’s car to Arizona one day before she arrived from Grand Rapids. But just as importantly I was able to spend uninterrupted time with Logan and record it on film.

 
 


First Snow … get out there and enjoy

Today was the first day of appreciable snow in West Michigan with Mother Nature blanketing us with a foot or more.

It’s cold outside – about 20 degrees – but if you bundle up you might appreciate the beauty that comes with the first snowfall.

Here’s a suggestion for the photographers among you. The white fluffy stuff usually “tricks” your camera’s automatic exposure into thinking that it’s brighter outside than it really is. I usually set the camera to add an additional one stop of exposure (+1 exposure compensation) when shooting in the snow so that my pictures don’t appear overly gray and washed out.

Following are a few snaps that I made on a short walk down the street to get my morning coffee.

DSC02749 DSC02752 DSC02753                 DSC02754

                    
DSC02756   DSC02760 DSC02762

Bundle up to stay warm and then get outside to enjoy the outdoor sights!