Archive for Ted Grussing

By Ted Grussing

…and the bird. The Scott’s Oriole was named in honor of General Winfield Scott who was born in 1786 and passed in 1866 … Darius N. Couch who named this bird was born in 1822 and was also a General Officer in the Union Army during the American Civil war. He was also a naturalist and I imagine today he would be called a “Birder” Not sure about Scott, but perhaps he was one too. Later it was discovered that the Oriole had been previously described by Bonaparte, but the name “Scott’s” Oriole stuck. Also interesting to me is that the bird is an Icterid which puts the Oriole in the same family as many Blackbirds, Meadowlarks, cowbirds, Grackles and others. Thanks to Eric for giving it a name for me and the shot in his backyard.

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By Ted Grussing

… but then they all are and glad I am here to enjoy them … and you to share them with. This image is one of my favorites of the Sedona area because the various rock formations are pretty well lined up and looking right up the canyons (Oak Creek and Munds) and the San Francisco Peaks appearing just above them. It was a good day up there and a nice little rain cell on the right portion of the image. It moved in and came across the field shortly after I landed. Altitude was around 7,000’ (about 3,000’ agl – above ground level) and the shot was looking almost due north. I was just above the village and the formation on the left is Courthouse Rock and on the right Lees Mountain. The airport is about center line of the image on the left. Anyhow, hope you enjoy the photo.

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By Ted Grussing

… and this White Crowned Sparrow was taking a bath – with exuberance and water was flying everywhere! I stopped on my walk and visited with a friend who’s backyard is like Nirvana for wildlife in the area … and of course I had my camera along.  

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By Ted Grussing

… it is into the weekend again … with a few wing beats this Great Blue Heron flew the length of one of the ponds before settling in to do a little fishing. I stopped by the ponds on the way back from Cottonwood late this afternoon; a quick stop at Wildflower to pick up a salad and eat some of the bread samples while I waited for them to make my large vanilla latte … that is about the only bread I eat anymore and I figure since it is out there as a sample it likely has no calories … even the butter :+)

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It was a day filled with work on computers, visiting with friends, walks and a zip day for photos … a very good day! I took this shot Sunday at Filoli Gardens and although there are a lot of photos of other flowers I took, this rose is kinda special … at least I like it and that makes it special … to me. Hope you enjoy it too. The bloom is likely gone and faded by now … human life on a shorter timeline … hopefully we as humans will also display beauty during our tenure and leave memories that are as beautiful as this rose.

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By Ted Grussing

…that I have sent out a photo of a water lily before, so this is a good night for it. I took this shot at Filoli Sunday afternoon … the water lily was in the reflection pond near the main house … should I say palace?  The pond is surrounded with beds of all manner of beautiful flowers. I did not get any tulips this year as they finished up last week before I got there. Anyhow, hope you enjoy the photograph.

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By Ted Grussing

… the last few days have been filled with so many joys and new experiences that it will take me a while to fully absorb…everything from the delicate balance of the San Francisco Bay, salinity of the water and impact on everything else (thank you Chris and Carol) check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Army_Corps_of_Engineers_Bay_Model and  http://bay.org for more on the Bay Model and more.

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By Ted Grussing

Still a ways to go before I can call it a night … enjoying music by The Script … need to finish getting ready for a short trip and besides having some fun looking forward to celebrating Annika’s twelfth birthday, visiting with a friend at a new facility of the http://bay.org in Sausalito and some walks along the beach. One will have company while I am gone and hope she will want me back. Anyhow likely this will be the last missive for the week … if I get a really neat shot I’ll find a way to do an edit on my tablet and get it out.

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By Ted Grussing

… or so it seems as this Black Hawk left its perch high on a power pole and was on his way to collect his lunch at the buffet served up by the planet every day for all of us to partake of … no refrigeration systems and all food is prepared and/or captured fresh each day … no questions, no soul searching about what to eat or not to eat, simply partake of the feast given to all each day … each according to his needs …

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By Ted Grussing

My neighbors Iris are in bloom and although I had gone out on my walk with the full intent of shooting wildlife I had to take the opportunity to get some decent shots of her Iris with a 400mm telephoto lens; like the closer up and more intimate shooting with a macro lens, but what the heck, this didn’t come out to bad … tomorrow I’ll be back with the 100mm macro lens and see if I can do a wee bit better. Beautiful blooms Liz, thanks.

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By Ted Grussing

What a great weekend it was; time with friends, some flying, some good food, some neat photos, and lastly just a good feeling being alive … went for a late afternoon walk with a friend today and the air was fresh, wind soughing in the pine trees and heck, life is just good. It is also a good feeling to take into the new week … flying this morning and hope to get some neat shots. Just bought a Canon 6D to use in the cockpit as the 1D-X bodies are a wee bit on the cumbersome side especially with a passenger along. An excellent full frame sensor in a body geared to be small and light and with 20MP you can get good size low noise enlargements. I took this shot of Montezuma’s Well with it on Friday morning.

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By Ted Grussing

It is spring and the time of year when all manner of flowers are putting on their finery trying to attract the insects, birds and whatever to come visit and assist in the pollination of their blooms … continuation of the species assured … choose me … and this Iris in Allan and Marge’s yard called out to me this morning. It is a Dutch Blue Iris, and has my vote … for now. Next month the Innovator planted in our yard will be in bloom and that trumps all.

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By Ted Grussing

I’m back in the mood for compositing; a blending, mixing  and use of multiple images to tell a little story about nature, life and all that is. Last night I  used an aerial shot of the painted desert as a background for One, and tonight a reminder that the San Francisco Peaks has a very explosive history. Like the other 600 or so hills/mountains up here the peaks are the aftermath of a volcano currently at rest. Sooner than later the field will come alive and sometime in the next 100 years or so we will again have a volcano emerge from beneath and spew all manner of stuff across the landscape while building yet another volcanic cone.  Before The San Francisco Peaks blew its top off, it is estimated that the mountain was about 6,000’ higher than it is today. So anyhow if you felt some rumblings in the ground today, this could be the answer :+)

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By Ted Grussing

A beautiful day today … wind … friends … and One has told me that she will allow me to stay … at least for a while. In return I have her looking out at her kingdom and she is basking in the rays of the sun which were intended solely for her.

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By Ted Grussing

I went for a walk late afternoon and as I rounded the corner onto Moons View Rd I saw some beautiful Argentine Giant Cactus in Dan & Joann’s yard receiving the last rays of the day before dark enveloped them for the night. In a few hours daylight will once again bathe them in a soft glow. I have a special affinity for these blooms and every time I see them they remind me of the singularity in Greg Bear’s books … it has been a while since I have read them and perhaps time to reread them.

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By Ted Grussing

… as so frequently happens with downwind landings in high winds, things tend to go a wee bit wrong. I took this shot of a Blue Heron at the ponds this afternoon and the winds were blowing, he took off downwind and landed downwind. He was coming in pretty hot and you can see him in this photo just after he completed his first landing and was airborne again and looking to touch down again soon; full airbrakes were deployed! The next landing was successful and he stuck.

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By Ted Grussing

I have learned that the hawk I labeled as a Black Hawk is actually a Zone Hawk which is much rarer than the Common Black Hawk I thought it was. Common has nothing to do with rarity or the lack thereof, but refers to the size of the bird and thus the “Common” simply means the normal size. The Zone Hawk is actually a rarer bird and he was dining on one of his favorites … lizards. I wonder if the lizard had going flying on his bucket list? I also wonder when people tell me flying in a glider is on their bucket list what they are thinking … is it dangerous? Geez, I hope not especially since I am the one flying them.

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By Ted Grussing

… there was an emergency meeting of the local Eastern Collared Lizards in Sedona this afternoon. Due to aggressive misbehavior by the Black Hawks in the region they are imposing sanctions on the Black Hawks … they have threatened to have fewer offspring which could decimate the population of Black Hawks with a decrease in the available food supply … surely this would deter the Black Hawks from their bad behavior. At 3:09 this afternoon the Black Hawks issued their response … they decided to take out the leaders of the Lizard movement that made the threats and attached is photographic evidence of the response. It is the response that fits with the nature of all life forms on this planet …survival of the fittest.

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By Ted Grussing

One thing I hear a lot is how can you be so consistently positive, or words to that effect. The answer is really simple and that is that I choose to view the world and events in a positive/cheerful manner. That opens the way for a lot of good stuff … friends, fun, smiles and just that really good feeling you get when the warm sun splashes its love all over you and a cool breeze wraps you in a pleasant embrace and brings a smile to your face … you gaze skyward and the soft white clouds morph against a brilliant blue sky. We are a part of all that is and embraced by it.

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By Ted Grussing

… behind the story … a number of years ago the National Park Service closed off access to the summit of Sunset Crater NE of Flagstaff, AZ. Ostensibly the reason given was the preservation of the beautiful crater which formed from a volcanic eruption nearly a thousand years ago. I was able to dispel this assertion on a flight a few years ago. It seems that they keep the secrets by barring anyone from climbing the crater and hide it from aerial view by covering it with a fake cover making it appear to be a normal crater. Evidently they have to clean it periodically and I was lucky enough to be up there when they were doing the cleaning and the true nature of Sunset Crater was revealed … oh well, what can you expect from someone who has been up for 22 consecutive hours :+) Still, it could be true. Plausible? Probably not, but it is possible. Portals to where?

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