Friday, May 24, 2013

The adventure continues...

After we finished playing with vortexes, we went to see a little chapel that looked like it had been built right into the rock.
It's called the Chapel of the Holy Cross and it was finished in 1957.  It has a phenomenal view from inside.
It's a Roman Catholic Chapel, so it has most of the usual attributes but somehow, beautiful though they are, they pale in comparison to that view.

Outside, the landscaping and decorations are kept very simple to blend in with the environment. 

Later that day, we went back to the airport to watch the sunset, along with a couple hundred other folks who had the same idea.  We got there early to get set up and get a good spot.  It was everything we expected it to be and the perfect end to a really great day.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vortex Central

One of Sedona's main claims to fame is the presence of energy "vortexes" in and around the city.  This is what the Merriam Webster dictionary had to say about vortexes:

1: something that resembles a whirlpool <the hellish vortex of battle — Time>
2a : a mass of fluid (as a liquid) with a whirling or circular motion that tends to form a cavity or vacuum in the center of the circle and to draw toward this cavity or vacuum bodies subject to its action; especially : whirlpool, eddy
Apparently this definition can also be applied to energy, and the city has embraced this concept with great relish.
We visited three of the four main vortexes in Sedona:
Bell Rock:
the Airport Vortex:
and Cathedral Rock
The Cathedral Rock Vortex can be accessed from several different directions.  We chose the Red Rock Crossing path because it seemed to be the easiest way for us to get there.  We parked at Crescent Moon Park and from there, it's about a half-mile walk to Oak Creek, where the vortex is.

They say that the closer you get to the energy source and the stronger the energy source is, the more twisted the juniper trees get.  I don't know if that's true, but we saw some amazing trees at the airport vortex.



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sedona, Day Two - Jerome

On our second day in Sedona, we decided to drive over to what we thought was a ghost town called Jerome.

As it turned out, it wasn't really a "ghost town", but a copper mining town set into the side of a hill. 

A mansion belonging to the owner of one of the two mines was donated to the state in 1962, leading to the founding of Jerome State Historic Park.  The town, which had fallen on hard times since the closure of the last mine in 1953, reinvented itself as a tourist destination and now has many little gift shops and galleries to sustain it although parts of it still retain that "just-abandoned" atmosphere.

After we left Jerome, we went in search of vortexes.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Arizona, Part 1

Last month, we spent a week in northern Arizona.  We took a day and a half and drove to Sedona, where we stayed for three days.  Then we drove up to the Grand Canyon for a couple of days before we headed home.  I really liked Sedona; it's truly a photographer's paradise, with or without a circular polarizer.  Take a look.

Many of the rock formations have names.  This is Bell Rock.

This was the view outside our hotel room.

The first night, we walked down to a local arts and crafts market called Tlaquepaque, that looks like an old Mexican village was picked up and transported to Sedona.

Sedona is famous for crystals, vortexes and other mystical stuff and on our way back to our hotel, we passed a shop that had an enormous crystal ball in front of it.

It was really cool to see the sunset reflected in the crystal.

Later on, since our hotel room was facing away from the street, I decided to try capturing star trails for the first time.  It's not great, but not bad for a first effort.  I really want to try it again now.

Stay tuned.  More to come.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Random stuff - March, 2013

March was actually a pretty good month for photography.  Early in the month, R had an all-day class so instead of cleaning the house or going to work, I decided to go on a walkabout at the old Santa Fe Depot and Seaport Village in San Diego.

Being a tourist destination, Seaport Village was nothing special photographically, but I did get some practice with extension tubes and my "Nifty Fifty".

A couple of weeks later, R and I went back to the Wild Animal Park in Escondido, where we hadn't been for about a year. 

There were a couple of random shots along the way, too.