Recently I flew out-of-town visitors over the Grand Canyon. As always it was amazing, but I found myself dodging clouds so we returned early.
On our way back, however, sun pierced clouds over flaming autumn aspens lining the Inner Basin of Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks, and… Wow, one of my most amazing aerial sights ever! (Click on photo to see a larger image.)
“Inner Basin Flaming Aspens” Fine Art Metal Print sizes and pricing* in ready-to-hang frameless floating wall mounts (pictured at my Fine Art Metal Prints page):
*Prices include standard shipping within Continental US. (Contact me for pricing of custom sizes and framing options.)
Order your “Inner Basin Aspens” Fine Art Metal Prints HERE.
NEW! 2019 “Views from Kachina Wetlands” Photo Wall Calendars
Nearly every day for years I’ve hiked or biked this beautiful wetlands near Flagstaff, photographing sunsets, weather phenomena, wildflowers, and birds.
(The Audubon Society ranks Kachina Wetlands among Northern Arizona’s top birding sites.)
Finally this year I’ve collected some of my favorite and most unique Kachina Wetlands images into Standard and Premium-sized wall calendars, including many from my “Down to Earth” series of Fine Art Metal Prints.
2019 “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.)
2019 “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.)
2019 “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.)
“For once,” said Jean, “a routine flight.” We cruised homeward through cool, calm skies thanks to a high overcast filtering New Mexico’s high-desert summertime sun.
Driving from Flagstaff to Alamogordo takes eight hours each way. Going commercially requires two airline legs plus ninety minutes’ drive from El Paso. So general aviation truly offers the fastest way to get there, circumstances permitting, and this weekend was proving to be such an occasion.
But what is a routine flight, anyway? Piloting light airplanes turns out to be more about anomaly than routine. However often we travel a given route, every flight is different. Most aviators learn to appreciate that variety as adventure, but anyone expecting uneventful aerial “auto trips” is doomed to disappointment…
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!
Jean and I would fly from Flagstaff to Phoenix, soak up sun at a tony resort, and attend a late-afternoon wedding in nearby Tempe.
Shortly before the wedding, however, Navajo friends invited us to a same-day high school graduation luncheon in Gallup, New Mexico, an hour in the other direction.
For days Jean and I calculated and recalculated how we might attend both events, but the timing was too tight—even an embarrassingly-brief Gallup stop might make us late for the wedding. How disappointing, that two celebrations involving treasured friends should land so far apart on the same day.
“We’d need a time warp to make both events,” lamented Jean as she RSVP’d regrets to Gallup.
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!
Unlike most teens of my era, I favored old autos and sports cars over tire-squealing muscle cars. So I bought a ’39 Chevy before heading off to the University of Wisconsin.
After two years of worthy adventures, however, the old car’s 55mph maximum speed became tiresome. Then one day the rear axle bearings seized in a cloud of smoke on Interstate 94, and finding replacements took weeks.
So I sold my beloved Chevy and set my heart on an idiosyncratic Volvo P1800S sports car like that driven by Roger Moore in television’s The Saint.
After much searching I found a fire-engine-red ’67 coupe in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, with four-speed transmission, overdrive, and a claimed 60,000 miles.
My younger brother Alan and his high-school buddy Paul Cowdrey were already private pilots, so I hitchhiked home to Chicago and Paul flew me to Sheboygan in a Grumman Traveler.
This was my first time sharing a cockpit with a peer. I’d aviated since childhood with my dad, but although enjoying our destinations had developed little piloting passion since we kids were mostly relegated to the back seat. And while having recently earned my own pilot wings, I’d barely begun overcoming the training traumas to appreciate future aerial adventure.
But tracing the sparkling Lake Michigan shoreline under Paul’s command on such an exciting mission changed all that…
“Hey Greg! I’ve just experienced my first two engine failures—in one trip!”
Flight instructor Jim Pitman had just ferried a 1946 Ercoupe from Wisconsin to Arizona, and wanted to brainstorm what might have caused the power losses.
“The seller had kept the annual current and run the engine regularly, but hadn’t flown the plane in a few years. Following a thorough preflight inspection and engine runup, I departed Rice Lake Regional Airport (KRPD) for Storm Lake, Iowa (KSLB), where I stayed in a neat lakeside hotel.”
After waiting for fog to lift the next morning, Jim launched toward Phoenix with refueling stops at Smith Center, Kansas (K82), Dalhart, Texas (KDHT), and Belen, New Mexico (E80).
Following a slight diversion for thunderstorms, he crossed the Mazatzal mountain range east of Phoenix in darkness, “which was fine because I am very familiar with the area,” and overnighted at his home field, Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (KDVT). After 15.3 flight hours from Rice Lake, all that remained the next morning was 60 minutes to Salome Arizona. Deer Valley Tower issued Jim an intersection departure from Runway 7R.
“When I lifted off, the engine lost power and the plane settled back on the main gear. As the nose came down, the engine regained power just as I pulled the throttle to abort the takeoff.” Back at the ramp, Jim thoroughly tested the engine. Everything worked fine and having so much time in the airplane, he figured the culprit was a one-time bit of water in the fuel. Still, as a precaution he requested full runway length for his next departure…
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.