Weekly Photo Challenge – Ambience


Christmas Tree Worms

To me, ambience means light, sound, texture, and I loved the light in this macro shot of Christmas tree worms on the reefs of Belize.  You may recognize the structure of these little critters from the scene in Avatar where Jake is walking through the jungle and touching the large plants, which immediately recoil into a tube. When they feel even the slightest pressure change in the water, that’s exactly what these creatures do. Turns out, James Cameron is a scuba diver and that scene was inspired by what he witnessed in real life on the reefs of our beautiful planet!

To learn more about The Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.


Weekly Photo Challenge – State of Mind



Hannah Alkire plays the cello during a performance with her husband Joe Scott. Together they comprise Acoustic Eidolon – a Colorado ensemble that travels around the world playing wonderful music. This shot was taken during a concert at The Mishawaka Amphitheater on the banks of the Cache Le Poudre River west of Fort Collins, Colorado. Hannah and Joe shared the stage with the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra. It was a magical summer and a fabulous concert.

I chose this shot because I love Hannah’s facial expression and posture. To me she reflects a state of mind that is contemplative and relaxed.

To learn more about Acoustic Eidolon, click here. If you ever have a chance to see them in concert, please go! I know you would love their music and stage presence.

To learn more about The Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

50 Happy Things – Bloggers Unite in Gratitude

When Dawn from Tales from the Motherland emailed me last week about her project, I was thrilled to be included. Her idea is to share gratitude with the world! While this blog has turned into a photography blog over the past years, I’m stepping outside of my norm and sharing my gratitude today. No photos, just a list of things that have made me happy this year.

So without further adieu…Drumroll, please:

  1. Today is Solstice. I’m happy for the returning of the light!
  2. Great food.
  3. I’ve so enjoyed my Inspiralizer and all the fabulous vegetable noodles this year.
  4. My health. I feel so blessed to enjoy great health
  5. Fitness. I love to run, bike, hike, ski, scuba and I’m so glad my body allows me to do all of these things.
  6. My wonderful home in the Colorado Rockies.
  7. The Colorado Rockies – not the baseball team…
  8. My fabulous town. I so love Fort Collins, its people, places, atmosphere.
  9. My husband Peter – his love, support and companionship fills my days with happiness.
  10. My sister Becky. I have so enjoyed having her live close by for the first time since I left Georgia after college.
  11. My kitties, Leo and Cielo. They constantly entertain and give us lots of kitty love.
  12. My awesome kitchen where I spend lots of time cooking and creating.
  13. My vegetable garden – its so fun to be able to pick fresh vegetables in the summer.
  14. Sunrises from the kitchen window.
  15. Friends who love and support me.
  16. The fabulous people who I get to care for in my Physical Therapy practice.
  17. Music. I’m so glad that I committed to take piano lessons this year. It is so paying off with improved playing skill.
  18. Hikes in the summer.
  19. Ski season is coming up fast!
  20. My fabulous Volkl Kenja skis.
  21. Trips to the Caribbean.
  22. Scuba diving
  23. Underwater photography
  24. I so loved my birthday present from Peter this year. A private underwater photography class at Cathy Church’s school in Grand Cayman.
  25. Taking my underwater photography to a whole new level!
  26. Photography in general. I love my botanical photography shots.
  27. Living in the western United States. I get to see so many beautiful places.
  28. Technology. I love my iPad, iPhone and Mac. They talk to each other and make my busy life easier.
  29. Living in a time where technology is so amazing.
  30. Meeting Dawn this year at the Denver Art Museum. What a cool thing to meet one of my blogging friends in person.
  31. Loving my work. I enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work.
  32. Starting a new art form and working again in my art studio – I’m making tooled leather bracelets to go with my photography in my sales booth this summer.
  33. Selling my first art print from my website this week! (I wonder how she found me?)
  34. My best year ever selling my photography.
  35. Getting into several high end juried art shows this year.
  36. Looking forward to spending Christmas with family.
  37. Books – I have so enjoyed reading this year.
  38. Blogging – I am so glad I joined the WordPress Community three years ago.
  39. Sitting on the deck in the summer enjoying a great meal.
  40. Running on the bike path.
  41. Living on the Cayman Aggressor for a week and meeting other divers.
  42. Skiing 20 days this year.
  43. Being able to play “Christmas Time is Here.” really well!
  44. My new Jeep Cherokee.
  45. Sharing the Snowmass Jeep Jamboree with Peter and Becky.
  46. A world where people are still good and caring.
  47. Getting to see the new Star Wars movie in two days!
  48. Living in a community where people are friendly and caring.
  49. My fabulous cameras.
  50. Trader Joes…They just opened a store around the corner from my office this year.

If you’d like to join our band of grateful bloggers, head on over to Dawn’s place for instructions. Tales from the Motherland. And for those of you who celebrate the season, I hope your holidays are merry and bright.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Symbol

Sego Canyon

Sego Canyon

One of my favorite subjects is the rock art of the Southwest and my very favorite is these ancient pictographs. They’re quite rare and very old. There are two kinds of rock art seen throughout the Southwest: petroglyphs which are carved into stone and pictographs which are painted. The pictographs like this one are much older – dated to around 5000 B.C.E.

These figures are named after a famous site in Canyonlands National Park in Utah – the Barrier Canyon style. I have been to Barrier Canyon and did photograph the site several years ago, but it was before I got my new Nikon. I’m planning on going back in the next year since I have my new Jeep which can traverse the 25 mile dirt and rock road get to the trailhead!

This Barrier Canyon style of rock art is especially fine work and has survived (obviously) on the sandstone walls of the canyon lands for seven thousand years or so. We know very little about the people who painted these figures, as all that remains are the paintings themselves. But symbolic they certainly are, and as with most art we’re left with our own thoughts and feelings about what these symbols mean. This shot was taken at a site near Thompson Springs Utah in Sego Canyon.

How would you interpret these symbols?

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Broken



It’s not really a topic I think about to photograph, but I looked through my files and found this shot. It’s one I took last fall at Vedauwoo Campground in southern Wyoming. We have had an epidemic of pine beetles in the West – one of the reasons that the High Park Fire near my town of Fort Collins, Colorado was so severe in 2012. The skeletons of these Ponderosa Pines are all that’s left after the beetles had their way with them. They’re beautiful in their death – a broken link in our ecology? I really don’t know – maybe it’s just a natural part of the cycle of life.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

The Elusive Forms of Reality

Eagle Ray's Flight

Eagle Ray’s Flight

I seek truth and beauty in the transparency of an autumn leaf, in the perfect form of a seashell on the beach, in the curve of a woman’s back, in the texture of an ancient tree trunk, but also in the elusive forms of reality.  ~Isabel Allende