This summer has been one of the best in memory for wild sunflowers blooming in Northern Arizona’s meadows and mountains.
Every time I go out, my camera insists on capturing more perspectives, and each time I post one I’m encouraged by audience response to take more. So thanks, everyone, for enabling my camera’s sunflower addiction!
Here’s my latest “Down to Earth” terrestrial Fine Art Metal Print,“Mountain Sunflowers,” photographed at Kachina Wetlands south of Flagstaff, Arizona.
This summer has been one of the best in memory for wild sunflowers blooming in the meadows and mountains of Northern Arizona. Just the other day I captured this image of the San Francisco Peaks framed by sunflowers at Kachina Wetlands.
“Sphinx Moth with Thistles,” (right) for their silent auction, and yes, more “Sunflowers!” (left) for their live auction. Coincidentally both of these were shot in previous years at Kachina Wetlands. Best of success to ANCA at their fundraiser!
And here’s my latest “Down to Earth” terrestrial Fine Art Metal Print, “Sunset Lenticulars,” photographed at Kachina Wetlands south of Flagstaff, Arizona.
Lens-shaped “lenticular clouds” commonly form downwind of mountains—in this case, Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks—during periods of strong winds aloft. See all my latest “Down to Earth” terrestrial Fine Art Metal Prints.
Restricted airspace is something we pilots study and then studiously avoid.
Fortunately, it’s limited enough in most places to easily bypass. But here in the Intermountain West, huge swaths of the stuff can dictate 100-mile detours.
Jean and I regularly experience this flying from Flagstaff to Alamogordo, New Mexico to visit family. To bypass 135 miles of restricted airspace encompassing White Sands Missile Range, we must steer east past Socorro and then 90 miles south, or southeast to El Paso and turn north.
Normally we take the shorter northern route. But when weather recently shrouded northern New Mexico, we launched via El Paso.
En route, we reflected on restricted-airspace lessons we’ve learned…
Earning your wings requires hand-eye coordination, but instrument flying (IFR) is a brain game.
Yes, mastering flight by tiny needles is tough, but navigation, holds, and approaches are exciting and fun. And while IFR may be the hardest rating, it’s also the most safety-enhancing, rewarding, and practical. When I earned my cloud wings forty years ago this month, my flight-completion rate doubled overnight to over 90%.
Instrument flying, of course, gets you where you’re going without sight of the ground, and “instrument approaches” deliver you safely to landing.
As with VFR cross-countries, instrument flight plans are crafted around checkpoints, but using predefined fixes from an IFR chart. These days, thanks to GPS and moving maps, we can fly great distances and shoot programmed instrument approaches almost as readily as by looking out the window.
Wow! Five years have already passed since my first solo “Views from the Flying Carpet” photography exhibition.
Thank you, friend, fellow pilot, and Master Printer Richard Jackson (above left) for starting me down this path, and former Northern Arizona University College of Arts & Letters Dean Michael Vincent for inviting this first solo exhibition that led to numerous others.
Both calendar sizes feature exceptional image quality suitable for framing!
Note that because these photographs represent my most popular images to date, all have appeared in previous-year calendars.
2018 “Views from Flagstaff” Photo Wall Calendars
These calendars feature some of my favorite photographs shot in and around our beloved Flagstaff, Arizona, including several from my “Down to Earth” series of Fine Art Metal Prints.
Among them are photographs of historic downtown Flagstaff including the landmark Weatherford and Monte Vista hotels, the San Francisco Peaks, Coconino County Fair, seasonal views of summer sunflowers and autumn aspens, and Flagstaff’s famed New Years “Great Pinecone Drop!”
(Previous buyers note that this year’s “Views from Flagstaff” calendars contain the same great photos as last year’s.)
2018 “Views from Japan” Photo Wall Calendars
Once again, I’m also offering my terrestrial, “Views from Japan” photographic wall calendars.
Although a departure from my aerial persona, Jean and I have been so taken with Japan’s beauty and character during our travels that I can’t resist sharing special images from there.
This is one country you must make plans to visit! And once seeing the included photographs, I suspect you’ll agree.
Included are amazing views of Kyoto’s and Nara’s exquisite temples, Matsumoto Castle, Osaka’s Dotombori Entertainment District, a Shinto wedding at Miyajima Island, Tokyo’s Ginza District, and Ogimachi Historic Town.
(Previous buyers note that this year’s “Views from Japan” calendars contain the same great photos as in prior years.)
2018 “Views from Korea” Photo Wall Calendars
Check out my “Views from Korea” photographic wall calendars!
Included are amazing photographs taken in the Republic of [South] Korea, little-known among Americans, with its fascinating blend of old and new.
See Seoul’s renowned Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gunsan’s Barley Festival, traditional Korean horsemen in Jeonju, Gochang-eup Fortress, and more troubling, North Korea viewed from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Joint Security Area.
(Previous buyers note that this year’s “Views from Korea” calendars contain the same great photos as in prior years.)
“Beware—the airport you fly into every day is not the same airport at night,” my friend Donna Wood observed last year.
As a new private pilot, Wood had invested in a Cessna 182 and launched on ambitious regular flights between her Detroit home and Charleston, South Carolina, where she has family and business.
Wood is exceptionally careful and diligent, but 18 months after earning her wings, she’d experienced a scare. Battling u
nforecast headwinds from South Carolina with her nonpilot husband, Roger, the couple had arrived home after dark.
“I was legally night current,” Wood said the next morning, “but wasn’t planning on night flight.” Her first challenge was finding urban Oakland/Troy Airport (VLL) under Detroit Class Bravo airspace, landlocked by obstacles and buildings. “All I saw were lights, everywhere.” Then, on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the runway lights—activated by a previous aircraft—went out.
Rattled, she keyed the mic too quickly to reactivate them. Fortunately, her former CFI Wayne Hendrickson was waiting to help hangar the airplane, and triggered the lights with his handheld radio.
Now flustered, Wood turned final for Troy’s obstructed 3,549-foot runway, high and too fast. So, she went around. But this time she flew downwind too near the runway and overshot final, destabilizing her approach. This began a dangerous chain of events…