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Monday, May 25, 2015

Our beautiful country

On this Memorial Day, I find myself thankful for the beauty of our country that so many have fought to preserve. During our time in the desert, the song "America, the beautiful" wafted through my mind many times.
You may notice that we often stop at K's Rock first when we go to the Utah desert. The reason is that we love it there, and it's the closest great campsite that we know of. It makes a peaceful and beautiful place for me to recover from the spine pain that traveling always evokes. This past trip was especially hard because the disc just below my lumbar spinal fusion is getting worse and worse. Sitting in a car seat was agonizing.

Movement is key to controlling the pain so Shyla and I mountain biked to a favorite overlook while we stayed at K's Rock.
One of the best parts is being able to share the mountain bike ride and the view with Shyla. I shared it many times with K, but not over the last couple of years of her life. It had become too hard for her to run up to this viewpoint by then. That fact makes me appreciate this phase of Shyla's life even more.
After we girls mountain biked and the boys ran, all of us hung around camp, reclining in our super comfortable La Fuma chairs. We watched a pair of bluebirds working hard raising a brood that seemed to be stashed in a crevice in K's rock. It was warm, sunny, and so quiet.

Each day, clouds rolled in at sunset so I never got true "sunset golden light" while we were there but Shyla and I had fun with mini-photoshoots anyway. In this photo, she was just about to wave at the camera!
After darkness fell, the clouds sometimes cleared out so that I could photograph the stars. The second night at K's Rock was very special because my time lapse photos showed both the stars spinning around Polaris and moonrise. At the start of the series of photo, K's rock was completely dark because the moon hadn't risen yet. By the end of the series of photos, K's Rock glowed red, bathed by moonlight.

Here's a very short time lapse video of the stars spinning and the moon rising that night. You can watch it at Youtube if you have trouble with the embedded version here.

And here was the final photo after an hour and twenty minutes of photos. The moonlight made it look almost like daytime.
The beauty of our natural world astounds me.


  1. really like that paw-gonna-lift shot. :)

  2. Well,said and well photographed. this sure is a beautiful country, Happy Memorial Day.

  3. That video is just breathtaking. We hope you were able to enjoy your visit to the desert despite the pain.

  4. Glad you got to travel a bit for the long weekend. Love all the photos, particularly the third one of Shyla.

  5. The beauty IS astounding. So grateful that you share it with us!

  6. Just beautiful. We are so blessed to live here and thankful for those who have made that possible.

  7. Beautiful reflections on this Memorial Day. Lovely photographs.

  8. Thanks for sharing a part of our country I might never visit.

  9. Shyla looks so happy out there! I love the video of the stars! That's so neat!

  10. Oh KB, how beautiful is this!!! This is the part of our country that I love so much, where my heart and soul feel at home. That time lapse video is stunning, and it's quite amazing how K's rock lights up. Your are right - this is such a beautiful country, and the beauty of our natural world is amazing and something I'm forever grateful for.

  11. Gosh, doesn't Shyla look great!

  12. Memorial day for you up North, K's rock in the moonlight, and that beautiful night sky, yes, each of us has a special place in our own country, and this might well be yours.

  13. What gorgeous photos and the video was just spectacular!

  14. your country is beautiful and it's great tha I could enjoy it through your wonderful photos...
    easy rider

  15. I think the bast way to show appreciation for our country, and they people who protect it, is to enjoy it. Awesome shots!

  16. Back pain is terrible! We hope it is feeling better. We especially love that first photo. Mom likes that sort of angle. And who doesn't love red rock??

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  17. Glorious desert vistas and skies!

  18. Oh, how you make me long for red rock!!!

    Gorgeous photos, and it truly is amazing how the moon can light up a dark scene! Wonderful photos of Shyla!

  19. What lovely shots of Shyla...and your time lapse is just awesome!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  20. Every bit of your trip.. we say wow, wow WOW!
    We cannot even imagine being in such a beautiful space on the earth.
    There are no words to describe the beauty. As you talked, we felt like we were there with you! And the star show!! The beautiful star show!! WOW!
    thank you

  21. Your star shots always floor me...but the moon makes that one seem like full sun! Wow!


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