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Category Archives: Photography

My wife and I spent an hour walking around the Prairie at Hoffman Hills. Not the peak season for photography but we did manage a few photos.

Morning Dew

Growth

Queen Anne’s Lace

False Sunflower

Big Bluestem

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We were up early to catch the train to Kalmar, Sweden. Unfortunately we were forced to miss the great breakfast at the hotel and had to settle for something at the Central Train Station.
On our way to Kalmar we traveled over some of the territory covered in the late great Swedish crime author Henning Mankell. It was fun to see the land described in his books.
We arrived in Kalmar mid afternoon and soon headed out to explore the town. We walked over to the Södra Kyrkogården and then on to Kalmar Castle.

It was a beautiful spring afternoon and young people were taking in the sun around the castle fortifications.

We were able to get a quick look at the Kalmar Castle Chapel just before a wedding was to take place.

There was a display of the Medici Family in the castle and we spent most of our time walking through this display.

The castle was closing so we went outside and walked around the fortifications.

I was able to capture a little wildlife as we walked around the castle grounds.

Black-headed Gull

Hooded Crow

Rabbit

We then walked around looking for Old Town and finally found it after a couple of false starts.

We had a bit to eat before heading out again for a walk along the waterfront.

As we neared the end of the waterfront we found The Cavalier Town Gate.

We then walked over to Stortoget where the Kalmar Cathedral is located.

As we wandered past the old fortifications we encountered this water tower. We concluded that it had been turned into apartments. I Imagine the residents have a great view of the city and harbor.

We ended up back at Larmtorget where the New freemasonry hotel was located. Note the Ben & Jerry’s.

We finally decided to call it a day.

The next morning we were up early for a great Scandinavian breakfast before heading out. Since we were only going to be in Copenhagen for a day so we decided to sign up for the Hop-on Hop-off Red Bus Tours. We managed to catch the first red line tour of the day. We didn’t get off anyplace we were just interested in getting the lay of the land. After the tour we stopped at the visitors center again (restroom break) and then decided to catch the next bus on the red line. Turns out there are more red buses than we realized and we tried to get on the Grey Line Red Bus tour. We waited for a while and saw another red bus and hopped on it. We hadn’t gone far before we realized we were on a different tour. We decided to stick it out and ended up touring another section of Copenhagen. When we came back into town we exited the bus and walked along the waterfront.

There was a lot of construction taking place along the waterfront.

Black Diamond Library

We walked along the waterfront until we found where our waterfront tour would start. As part of our Hop-on Hop-off tour we were allowed one water tour of Copenhagen.

There were a variety of housing units along the waterfront. These are some of the conventional housing units.

There were also a number of Squatters Houseboats along the waterfront.

It was the weekend and there was a lot of activity at the  Copenhagen Street Food Warehousen. We were dressed in our down jackets but the locals were going to be out enjoying the spring weather regardless of the temperature.

Our trip took us past the Royal Danish Naval Museum.

As we sailed past the training ship SJOKURS the cadets were out on parade.

We were also fortunate enough to see the Royal Yacht Dannebrog sailing toward the dock.

Copenhagen is all about the water. There were houseboats and boats everywhere.

Fortunately the tour boats were designed to fit under the historic bridges.

After the boat tour we boarded the Red Bus and rode out to Gefion Fountain where we got off.

From Gefion Fountain we walked past St Alban’s Church on our way over to Kastellet. We also encountered a pair of Mute Swans with their young.

The Kastellet was a popular place. It was a beautiful day and I was fortunate to capture a couple of birds in the park.

Eurasian Magpie

Fieldfare

No visit to Copenhagen would be complete without a stop to see the Little Mermaid. We had sailed past it earlier in the day.

We then hopped a bus over to the Botanical Gardens. As I noted earlier it was a beautiful day and folks were out enjoying the Gardens.

I was able to capture a Jackdaw on the walk through the Gardens.

At this point we decided that everything we wanted to see was within walking distance so we started walking toward Nyhavn. This place was jumping on the weekend.

As we walked through Nyhavn we encountered the relatively new Inderhavnsbroen cycling and pedestrian bridge.

We then walked back along the waterfront where we encountered this interesting grouping of cargo containers. I think these were used for offices.

We eventually ran into the Stroeget Walking Street and took it back toward Tivoli Gardens. It was sure great to find cities that appreciate the value of walking streets. We tried to get Duluth to adopt the idea but all of the local business folks were fixated on protecting their street parking spots even though there was plenty of unused parking spots in the ramps. The Duluth business community apparently doesn’t get out much and they still are thinking cities function like they did 50 years ago.

No visit to Copenhagen would be complete without a visit to Tivili Gardens. After grabbing a bite to eat we walked back to our hotel after a very long day.

We reached Monument Valley late in the afternoon and it was closing for the day so we took a few pictures and decided to wait until the next morning to drive through the park. More photos from Monument Valley can be found on my website.

We were staying at Goulding’s Lodge so we drove over to check-in. One of the attractions is John Wayne’s cabin. This area was the location for many western films back in the day. Since I was a big fan of John Wayne’s my wife took my photo in front of his cabin.

The next morning we headed out into the park. It was a rough road with lots of dust but with some spectacular scenery.

 

Lower Antelope Canyon is one of the most spiritually moving places I’ve ever visited. It’s too bad that social media has found it. When I first visited it about 15 years ago it was a place known mainly to photographers. It is only about a half mile long and 120 feet deep. In those days you could pay $10 and spend the entire day wandering through the canyon. As the light changes the views in the Canyon change. It is a photographers paradise. One one of my visits I met a couple. She was blind but the one doing the photography. Another time there was a Native American playing a flute at the mouth of the Canyon. The haunting music filled the Canyon. Social media has changed things dramatically. The cost to enter the Canyon is now about $40 for about an hour in the Canyon. You can only go in as part of a tour. Tours of people leave every 20 minutes so it is difficult to contemplate the meaning on life while in the canyon. Still it is one of the most spectacular places you will ever visit. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

More photos from Lower Antelope Canyon can be found on my website.

 

 

After leaving Red Canyon and Moccasin Mountain Tracksite we drove to Page, Arizona. The next morning we retraced our route back toward Knab, Utah. We were looking for a ranger station to get updated information. The first one we stopped at was closed but were able to find someone at the Paria Contact Station. She was a retired volunteer who spends her summers working in national parks and was very knowledgeable about the area and current conditions. We then headed for the Toadstools which were just down the road from the Contact Station. I had been there an number of years ago and thought it would be a nice short hike.

In addition to the Toadstools we found a few early spring flowers blooming.

There was also a little wildlife to be found.

 

After visiting Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park we race back to Dreamland Safari Tours to catch our tour out to Red Canyon. The locals call it Peek-a-boo Canyon and Dreamland calls it the Mystical Slot Canyon Tour. We drove back through Kanab and out to the Best Friends Animal Society. The family we were touring with had visited Animal Society the day before and thought it was great. We turned off on a sand road. after driving for a ways the driver stopped to let some air out of the tires to gain more traction in the sand. He said that the sand was still fairly stable but as the summer goes on he has to let almost all of the air out of the tires then has to pump them back up when he returns to the main road.  A little further on we encountered a 4 wheel drive SUV that tried to make it and was seriously stuck in the sand. We were very lucky that we didn’t try it in our all wheel drive van. We were also lucky we didn’t try hiking to it. It would have been tough slogging through the soft sand. We did meet a family that made the hike and were not looking forward to the trip back. When we talked to the rangers about the hike in they made it sound like we would be walking down a single lane road. As we discovered the area was crisscrossed by ATV roads so we would have been hopelessly lost since there were no road markers. Even our experienced driver missed one turn and had to backtrack.

Red Canyon is a hidden gem. It is very similar to Lower Antelope Canyon in Page but without the crowds. Like Antelope Canyon it is very short, less that a half mile, that can be easily hiked before it is blocked by boulders. Our guide said that a few years ago heavy rains caused a flash flood that scoured out the canyon and made it about fifteen feed deeper and much more spectacular.

More photos of Red Canyon can be found on my website.

 

 

The following morning we drove out to Sunrise Point. It was a beautiful morning. We took a few photos from Sunrise Point and then started walking down the Queen’s Garden Trail. There were already folks out hiking.

More photos from Bryce Canyon can be found on my website.

As we reached the bottom a bathroom emergency arose. The closest bathrooms appeared to be back up at Sunrise Point so we turned around and raced back to the top. Fortunately it was still cool out or we wouldn’t have made it.

After regrouping we decided to drive over to Sunset Point and hike down the Navajo Loop Trail. Unfortunately Wall Street was closed because the constant freezing and thawing was causing rocks to fall. We hit the trail head just ahead of a large group of foreign students who were on spring break.

At the bottom we made a wrong turn and ended up on a horse only trail. I wondered what was going on when everyone else went one direction and we went the other.

We decided to turn around and retraced our way back to the main trail. We hadn’t gone fare when it started to snow rather heavily. It wasn’t sticking to the ground and it made the trail a mess.

Fortunately we had our rain gear with us but I did put away my main camera and brought out my little pocket camera.

As we worked our way back up the Queen’s Garden Trail things started to clear once again.

Because we spent time in the morning at Capital Reef we didn’t arrive in Bryce until late in the day. A fellow traveler told us the park had been closed a few days earlier because of snow so we were in no hurry to get to Bryce. We hoped to go out for some sunset shots but it started raining so we decided have a nice steak dinner and wait until morning. The next morning we were up early and drove over to sunrise point. I was a bit disappointed because the sunrise was not that great.

More photos from Bryce Canyon can be found on my website.

After spending a little time looking around and taking a few photos we headed off to Bryce Point where we were going to hike the Peekaboo Loop Trail. I had forgotten that Bryce Point was one of the higher points in the park. Since since it had snowed a few days before and rained the evening before we immediately encountered mud and snow. It was the type of mud that clings to your hiking boots. It was also a little tricky in spots with a nice drop off. My wife doesn’t like high places. After going a few hundred yards we talked about turning around but decided to keep going. We were both happy that we did because it was a long but enjoyable hike.

It was spring and still cool out. Fortunately we like cool and try to plan our trips so we can travel and hike in nice cool weather. There were lots of tunnels on the trail.

The views in the park were truly spectacular. It was a cloudy day and it appeared that it might rain but it didn’t. The overcast made it a little easier to shoot without the harsh light. On the trail we met another photographer who hadn’t realized how many photos he would be taking and ran out of batteries. He had left one battery plunged in at the park store so he would have it charged when he returned.

After finishing our hike we drove back to the hotel stopping at some of the pullouts to take a few photos. We encountered these two women taking photos and one pullout. As you can see there was still quite a bit of snow at the higher elevations.

After dinner we drove out to Sunset Point to take a few photos. Not much of a sunset.

Just about every year we try to drive out to Wisconsin Point to Photograph the lighthouse when the sun rises from behind the lighthouse. We made the trip again this year. We arrived well before sunrise so we stopped to photograph the Burlington Northern Ore Docks that were lit up. The Roger Blough was at the docks loading Taconite. I was very surprised to find there were no mosquitoes around.

We then drove back to the road that leads to the south breakwater where the lighthouse is located. I walked out to the beach for a photo before sunrise. As it turned out the best color was well before sunrise.

I decided to walk along the beach between the south and north breakwater photographing from various locations along the way. My wife drove the car over to the north breakwater parking lot to meet me.

I then walked out on the north breakwater to watch the sun rise.

When I turned around to leave I notice the beach was glowing in the sunrise.

I walked back along the breakwater to photograph the abandon Burlington Northern Ore Docks.

As I turned to leave I notice some small rocks on the breakwater. The sun had cast a long shadow.