Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday Night Date Night

Both Bernie and our neighbor reported to me on Friday morning that just over the hill near Park City the fall colors were really ablaze. That was all I needed to hear to settle on a drive for our date night. We headed out around 4, and stopped at Cafe Rio for a Mexican salad. Then over the hill we drove. KIDDING the colors are blazing!

Bernie turned off at Coalville, a small rural community about 20 minutes from our house, where apparently a Friday Night Date Night is also being enjoyed by a drive, only they took the dog for along too. Don't you love how the dog called "shot gun!" for the road trip?
Bernie wanted to wet a line near where we had fished last spring. The sheep apparently remembered me, at least they trotted up like they couldn't wait to get all caught up.
"Me? Oh, nothing new really. My coat finally is growing back in."
The shadows were already lengthening as Bernie headed off towards the river. I was not properly shod for tromping through sheep dung, so I stayed out by the road. The sheep seemed disappointed; they soon turned their back on me to let me know their true feelings.
There B. in the distance...
Who cares if the fish bite or not? This is just a pretty place to be for a bit.
I am so glad we have found compatible hobbies: He fishes and I take pictures!
The light was perfect!
The fishing...not so much. He did see quite a few in the water though.
I'd love to paint this photo; it is so relaxing with the feed troughs on the river bank and just a hint of fall colors in the trees.
It is true; the more you look the more you see.
I had retired to the car to play with my new "bells and whistles" phone when I looked up and spotted this tattered spiderweb wafting in the breeze attached to the fence post next to the car.

I got out of the car to try to get a better photo, but as it turned out, the only place where I could see the web lit by the sunlight was while seated in the front seat of the car with the side window rolled down.

It pays to just look, look, and look some more; that's usually how I come to see my favorite shots.

Four more days left in summer. The fields have already given over to fall.

The temperature was almost 90 degrees outside; the spraying water looked inviting! We drove past a small house with a sign reading "Farm Fresh Eggs: $2 a dozen"; that is handy information to have for when pesky recipes demand "farm fresh eggs" instead of my usual store bought kind.

Black and white cows were lumbering through meadows and ultimately lined up to enter a rustic looking milking shed.

No "Farm Fresh Milk" signs were posted there; thankfully recipes never seem to be quite so demanding about the source of the milk element, except to occasionally require that the cream be sour. I just buy that stuff at the store; letting cream sit around and go bad seems like too much time investment for my life style.

( Wink. Hi Judy! Hi Lovella!)

One hanging basket is so lovely.
Two is nice too.
Three is a balanced number.
Oh what the heck. Wouldn't about twenty three baskets be just fabulous?
(I do hope this woman had those baskets on some kind of drip system. Keeping those baskets watered would have to be like a religion or something if they weren't.)
We drove back home through Parley's Canyon where the bright fall colors seemed to dance around the jutting rock structures on the hillsides.
I made a note to myself that I should take this close to home drive every day now, at various times of the day to capture the various lights.
The colors stream down the hillsides like rivers of firery lava. And to think that the season has barely begun!
It is still summer...I can't bring myself to put fall colors up on my blog header just yet.
This old barn that we seemed like the right sort of scene for the end of summer, with the surrounding fields still green, and awaiting harvest.
So up it goes for now.
Enjoy this weekend...the last weekend of Summer 2010!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Flicker! And Fall flickers upon the hillsides.

I was racing around trying to get out the door for work when Bernie yelled "Where is your camera?"

I yelled back "In my purse!"

A few minutes later he chased me down and showed me the above picture.

"They are still out there if you want to see them" he said.

Swoosh...I grabbed the camera from his hands and was out the door...forget being on time for work!

The bigger bird on the right seemed to be the baby. At least he/she kept a close eye on the other bird and occasionally there would be a meeting of the bills.
I've always known there was a bird called a Red Shaft Flicker, and have found a feather or two in my life time, but this was the first time I had actually seen a flicker in person. They were a lot bigger than I thought they would be!
Cute little spots and red mustaches!
And I'd like to report that on Monday the first sprinkle of fall color arrived on the hills and mountains surrounding our home.
This is the hill at the end of our street.

Our son is actually quite poetic, even as a child he would make poetic observations.

He was the one who told me "Spring comes up from the valley, Fall comes down from the mountains."

Yes, Fall is stealthily streaming down the mountain, weaving through the summer's green, and setting the scene ablaze.

Hooray for Bollywood!

Yup, my India phase continues.
Now I am getting Bollywood flicks from the public library, curling up on the couch and checking out of my American life via DVD.
I have heard about the Bollywood phenomenon; I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about.
Preparing myself for endless high pitched whining songs, lots of dancing and hoping to catch a glimpse of Switzerland (I had heard lots of Bollywood movies include Swiss scenery) I checked out the above six DVD from the local public library last Thursday and finished watching them last night.
The represents a considerable investment of my time by the way. Hindi movies run around four hours, and midway through the film a screen with the words INTERMISSION pops up...just to give you a chance to catch your breath, go to the bathroom, refill your beverage or whatever.
Verdict: Oh yeah...I am TOTALLY loving this genre!
The movies are all in Hindi, with English translation under the scenes. It is quite amusing that the actors often speak entire lines or paragraphs in English, then go right back into Hindi without missing a beat.

What do like so much about these movies?

For starters, they are romances. The guy falls madly, MADLY in love, captured by an innocent faced woman who is both modest and gentle in her demeanor.

He seeks her out; she is shy, or bold, or comedic by turns. They sing and dance in inexplicable exotic locations (in one movie the couple race away from a religious celebration on his motorcycle, and apparently are able to ride on a boat, go to the alps, eat at Macdonalds, and see a movie together in one evening, and still have her home when the band packs up for the night....he is in the band, by the way...)

While all this singing and dancing is going on (sometimes solo, sometimes large number of dancers also appear)the girl keep appearing in different outfits, sometimes she has four or five outfits in a single song! How fun it is that?

This was the first movie I watched. I was quite surprised to find that the movie begins with a gangster like shoot out which endangers the girl, and allows the boy to rescue her.

I never imagined Hindu people being gangster-ish.

The very end has some awful "Rocky" like scenes of "our hero" being beaten to a pulp but still arising to save his woman, over and over again. I figure the fight scenes are in there to keep guys willing to go see romantic plots.

I sat through the movie smiling like a teenager in love. It sort of reminded me of the old "Gidget" and "Tammy" movies of the '50's.

I thought this one was pretty interesting too.

As the back cover explains, a widower is tasked by his dying wife with befriending his three "of age" daughters and to see them wed.

You want to see old fashioned family values promoted in a movie?

Try this one. It has it all...and I found myself longing for such sensibilities and wisdom being written into English language movies.
The first four movies were pretty lightweight, comedic and just plain fun.
Then I popped in the DVD pictured in the top right hand corner of the first picture of this post, the one with two guys in black and a woman in white.
Entitled Mohabbatein, all I knew about it was what was written on the back: It was the story of Love verses Fear.
Three couples have to chose how they will live: in love or in fear.
It didn't sound particularly appealing.
Ever heard the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover"?
You would think I would know better by now...
This movie was AMAZING!
It is still haunting me.
Bernie joined me in watching it too. We were both entralled by the poetry of the dialog, the beauty of the dances, but mostly by the message of the movie.
How much did I like it?
I plan to buy a copy.
I almost never by copies of movies.
But this one...I want the sound track too.
After watching the movie, I had to know more about it, so I did a little research.
The movie had won all kinds of award. It launched the careers of several of the performers, and the clean shaven guy is arguably the hottest actor in the Eastern film market.
I dare you not to love the character he plays.
I dare you not to love this movie!
At the end of the movie, I turned to Bernie and said "Isn't that the way it should be?"
We both should.
Since it won so many awards, a lot of libraries own a copy.
If yours doesn't, consider buying it online. Trust me...
I guess I am quite lucky; the SLC public library has an extensive collection of Hindi romance movies (and surprisingly, Hindi Horror movies...that might be worth taking a peek at too...)
The library has movies from everywhere: Swedish, Bali, China, Italy, Iceland....

I had no idea that Iceland had its own language.

Did you?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Millinery: Get 'er done!

Guess what today is?

Hint: It always happens on September 15th

Give up?
Today is National Make a Hat Day!'s the link to prove it.
Make a Hat Day is a day for fun.
Design, make, and wear your a hat for yourself today.
Put your personality into it.

This day is very popular with preschool, kindergarten, and grade school teachers and students. Early in the new school year, teachers look for fun and interesting projects to break up the classroom routine, or for art projects. Kids, who love arts projects by nature, can use their creativity in making a hat that fits them!

The rules for Make a Hat Day are quite simple. Just make a hat, any hat.
It can be for you, or for mom or dad.
(And wouldn't your parent's be surprised if, like me, you currently are in your middle or late 50's...)

Wearing the hat is optional. But, it's half the fun.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Silver Lake: Another Fabulous Saturday Hike!

The Hiking Guide book featured the Silver Lake hike as "moderate", which is one step up from "easy". After last week's hike, we were up for the challenge! We decided we would get up early Saturday morning and hit the trail bright and early.

So around eleven o'clock, we backed our Subaru All-wheel drive vehicle out our driveway and headed south. About an hour later (stopping for picnic goods along the way...fried chicken strips, crispy apples, cheese and energy drinks), we were driving up a rocky road through the forest to the Silver Lake trail head.

Our timing, in the end, proved perfect! Oh what we would have missed if we had headed out any earlier!

The guide book said the hike up would take about two hours and we would go through alpine meadows with frolicking moose.

We didn't see any moose....we did share the trail with a few dogs, a returning Boy Scout troop and a few toddlers though.

You take what you get...moose apparently do not feel obligated to frolic just because they were touted as doing such in some guide book. They probably don't even get paid when they do appear.

I'm such a SoCal girl: I still stop and take pictures of any falling water.

We were looking closely for any signs of fall.
This one small aspen was strutting its colors, but it was a one tree show. Everything else was stubbornly summer green. (In the distance: Mt. Tipanogas, with glacier snowfield atop.)

Our destination was the foot of this Lone Peak. The trail was manageable, but the final ascent had me ready to give up if the lake didn't appear just around the bend.

Happily...ta da!
Silver Lake!

The water was quite low, which allowed the submerged rocks to reflect beautifully upon the lake's surface.

Rocky beaches, either oceanic or lake, are so much more interesting than plain sand beaches.

Bernie hiked on around the lake's edge as I angled for just the right shot to capture the lake's beauty.

I kind of like this angle...

Across the way the mountains seemed determined to shed down into the forests. How long will it be before that ridge is no longer above the timber line?

We assisted with a family photo shoot early on the trail; Mom, Dad and "three in December" baby boy got to the lake just a bit after us. The boy had his very own hiking stick which he sort of used as he raced about. Most of the hike he had enjoyed the scenery from his high up seat on his dad's backpack. No wonder he still had energy at the end of the trail!

Later a couple of college age loons, er, I mean guys were jumping off that tall rock, their splashes were immediately followed by screams. The Scout Master we passed on the trail told us it had been below freezing at the lake the night before. You think that water was a tad cold? I suppose some people would have considered it to be invigorating. To each their own!

Bernie tossed a lure at the fish, and in a few minutes the first catch of the day was reeled in.
The fish were fighters, you can see the fish at the base of the rock.

Nice brookie!

I shot about a hundred pictures....

Thought about what a nice watercolor picture this scene would make...

Followed the tiny eight inch wide and half inch deep feeder streamlet up into the brush.

Got high up enough to get both B. and another Nimrod plying their skills upon the lake fish.

Then I found a comfortable rock on the shore where I plopped down an inflate able pillow and took a snooze.

Not a deep sleep mind you. I just enjoyed being a few feet from the stream so the sound of the water clicking over tiny pebbles lulled me enough to relax.
Each time I opened my eyes, the lighting had changed slightly and I'd take another picture.

My pillow and rock chaise lounge. It fit my body perfectly! No bugs either!

Bernie caught four fish, which was the daily limit. I love it when he wears an orange tee shirt with gray pants: it is such an artistic backdrop for freshly caught fish portraits!

Now I could just swear that ridge has gotten lower while I slept...
As I mentioned earlier, I was not bothered by any insects at the lake. A few little black bugs landed on our gear, but none pestered me at all, and I didn't even have on insect repellent. the blink of an eye...the air was filled with tiny white insects that seem to drift through the air.

Bernie called out to me, rousting me from a slumber: "'s a hatch! The mayflies are hatching and there is a rise!"

We had never seen the phenomenon before: the lake now had become the stage of a fish ballet. Trout were leaping everywhere on the lake, their mouths opened hugely as they lunged through the air at the passing mayflies.

The white specks in the photo above are the mayflies. The vertical white things are jumping trout!

The hatch followed the edge of the setting daylight on the water. I raced to the far shore to get as close to the fish as possible.

Each ring in the picture above marks the movement of a rising trout.

These feisty fish got air borne!

Five fish leaping at once in this shot: Fish ballet indeed don't you think?

The sound of the fish leaping was simply wonderfully amazing!

The lake was nearly completely in the shadows when we left. The temperature quickly dropped and we packed up for the hour long hike back down the trail.

Now remember I said earlier that we had been keeping an eye out for any fall color change as we hike up the mountain?

Remember I said that we only saw one golden tree? Well, this is how the mountainside looked on the way down.

We kept looking at each other, stopping and staring. Did we really not see all this color on the hike up? photos proved that the hillsides were green just hours earlier.

Now there were pops of yellow interspersed in with the green.

Could the trees really change color that fast? Apparently so!
Absolutely astonishing! Had we hiked up earlier in the day we would have hiked down earlier. To think that we could have missed both the hatch and the color change!

This time we shared the trail with pack horses lead by hunters heading out with goat permits. They would all spend the night at the lake before heading high up into the terrain. Several older teens also passed us by; we told them of the hatch and they quickened their pace in hopes of seeing a bit of the display too.
At the trail head, the forest floor had also picked up some more color. this shot with the first one of Bernie on the trail. Do you see any of this kind of color around the trail before?

At the trail head we went back to sign ourselves out from the trail registry book.
I had to laugh at the last folks that had signed in.
It was 9/11 after all.
I can remember escaping from the 47th floor of One Shell Plaza in Houston on that fateful day.
The streets in the city teamed with people rushing to get home, to get away from all the high rises in that oil industry town.
I remember Bernie driving to the curb to pick me up; us driving to the freeway, and watching gridlock form behind us, trapping commuters inside the city boundaries for hours.
What a day that was.
What a day this was.
God is Good.
And all is safe and well in America for now.