Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

One of my photos was recently published on the Tiny House blog.  It is in the “Tiny House in a Landscape” series.  This post is to share a few more pics from that location.





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New Years tree

The large snag in the center of this pic fell sometime between our new years visit of 2011 / 2012 and our visit back in April.  It was something I noticed as soon as we arrived.  Being in tune with your surroundings is something many folks miss.  A good example of this is the phase of the moon.  Ask any random person in the office or on the street and I think the far majority of them would not have a clue.  They would however be able to tell you who is on the current cover of  “People” magazine.  To me this is just sad.  When we live at the cabin we are always more in tune with nature.  I think some of this stems from having to go outside more, just like at home we go out to get firewood, but there we also go out to use the facilities  ( our sawdust composting toilet)  and to retrieve items from the cooler.  While most folk spend entire days sitting on the couch and stare dumbly at a TV.



A Void in our southern horizon.


Some possible firewood for the summer roundup.


The fallen tree was upwards of 2 feet in diameter at its base.  Its age is still a mystery, as well as how long it has stood silent and naked waiting for its turn to return to the earth and nourish the next generation of patriarchs.  This Ponderosa was one of a handful we have on our land.   In the southwest corner of our ranch we have the “Four elders”, who are still alive and going strong, as well as the “Moontree”  from which we named our ranch.

The four elders

The four elders on the horizon and 2 youngsters in the foreground.

When we trimmed some juniper on our driveway, I cut some cross sections of the limbs which were about the size of my wrist.  After looking over them with a magnifying glass  I was seeing close to 100 growth rings per inch, putting the age of these limbs at 100 to 150 years old.  The big Ponderosas may be 500 to 1000 years old or more.

When I was building the cabin Gil stopped by one day,  as he walked past our picnic table he picked up and handed me an arrow head.  He says he has found many near our land, and along the ridge of the bigger canyon nearby.  Our little canyon is about 40 to 50 feet deep as it exits our land, the nearby bigger canyon is close to 100 feet deep.   Thousands and thousands of years of erosion,  and perhaps thousands of fallen patriarchs.

In august of last year I took my girls back to my home state of Michigan and got to visit some of my old stomping grounds.  Some of the trees we planted in my old front yard are now quite big and no longer resemble the scrawny sticks I remember.  We also visited the Nature Center where I spent many summers as a camper and, later,  as a counselor.  We strolled through the beech maple forest of my youth and the forest had indeed changed.  The big trees were laying about while a new crop of younger trees were reaching for the canopy.



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I took the girls down to the cabin between Christmas and New Years.  I had a load of the Blue Stain pine T&G to install and we opted for a little quiet down time.  Tori stayed home and had some quiet time of her own.  She actually roughed it a bit, as we did,  because just before I left we discovered the water heater was leaking, and I had to shut it down….I replaced it on New Years Day when I got back ( but that will be another post in itself).

The Snowy driveway

My main goal of this trip was to add some more of the siding, In this case on the back wall.  I brought down (20) 12 foot lengths, some 1x for the closet wall end, and a few bits of the cove molding.  Another side project was the “speaker” shelf.  Here I joined some blue stain 1 x 6 into a shelf for holding the iPod speaker sound system in the dining / sleeping nook.

We got down to the cabin a bit after sunset and the cabin’s passive solar was once again doing its thing.  Temps were in the low teens, but it was a balmy 48 inside when we opened her up.

Sunsets at the ranch

Thursday morning I promptly got on the siding and was pretty pleased with my progress, Friday I combined some cove trim with the last of the siding and got a temporary shelf up on the new brackets I installed Thursday moring.  I was still adding some poly to the shelf so that did not get fully installed until just before we left.

Thursday morning...Maybelle resting in the truck

Siding start on the back wall

steady progress

Totally Cool Wood grain

We got a small hike in on Friday, despite the snow and Tasha’s crappy footwear, when will the Ex and a 12 year old learn that Fashion does not beat usability.

Taking a break hiking

Shoe drying in the middle of the night


Speaker Shelf taking shape

In addition to the siding and shelving and cove mold, I did cut in two more windows.  These are the pair that flank the chimney pipe and provide main level viewing to the north.  The blue tarp is still in place on the north wall, so the views are not quite there…but it looks better than storing all of my nails and bits in the old window  holes.  I have just one more window to instal in the loft.  To store the nails out of site and use up some of the small siding bits I boxed in the below the seating area  in the dining / sleeping nook.

Two new windows installed


seat bases boxed in


Miss Maybelle had a good time on our hike too.


Our sparkling snow dog




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North Butte Mining Company Stock Certificate from 1914

What?  you say,  never heard of it.  I did not until a few years ago when my buddy passed away.  In the collection of stuff I recovered from his storage locker was some old papers and Mining Memorabilia.    After doing some research I discovered that Scripophily is the study and collection of stock and bond certificates,  a specialized field of  numismatics  Scripophily is an interesting area of collecting due to both the inherent beauty of some historical documents as well as the interesting historical context of each document. Some of these stock certificates are excellent examples of engraving.

I purchased some additional sets on ebay and was  thinking I would “get into it” …I bought a few hundred at various times and resold some others.  Yesterday, I was doing some deeper cleaning of my desk and dug out the stuff that I had squirreled away years ago.  As I am continuing to pare down my belongings, I spent some time yesterday and today putting some of these up for sale on Ebay as well as Esty.  The really fine examples I have listed on Etsy and a big lot of 75 on ebay. 

Railroad stock

If you looking for a new artistic hobby You should check it out.

One of the common themes in many of these engravings are half naked men (gods) with laurel head bands, industrial hammers, anvils, factories etc.  The one from ITT International Telephone and Telegraph features a dude holding a vacuum tube with “atomic” swirls around it, in the back ground building with Rockets launching from them…its so 60’s is it not?

Dawning of the atomic age?

1950’s era Steamship company Serving my old stomping grounds of the Great lakes.

Stock formerly owned by Goldman Sachs & CO

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Shot off the deck


Last year we spent the 4 th at the cabin…This year I went down for the long weekend but still made it back for the “show”.

Things are starting to get back to normal following my tweaked back from Memorial day…full work days no longer leave me spent.  This week I finished up a subway shower tile project for a client and next week I start a smaller floor tile project for a another client.

Subway tile start


completed tile

On the home front we finally got half a day with no rain…so I started on the deck oiling…we ended up with three separate thunder storms later in the day.  You squeeze in what you can when you can.

Oiling start


Rain rain go away

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As promised from yesterday…this will be a short post…I did a pretty big deck repair today..after fixing a poorly installed interior door this morning.

I’m spent and its Beer-thirty. I have a date with a 400 Pound Monkey (a newish English Style IPA from Lefthand Brewing)

Bighorn sheep gylphs in Utah

This second pic shows the anthropomorphic dude with the big earrings…and manly bits.



Sheep, other things, and the Earring dude



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Pictographs in Virgin Spring canyon

I joined a couple of groups on Flickr the other day…today I dug through some of the old files to nab some of the old pics I shot that match up with these new groups.

The first group is the Rock Art Group with a bit over 1,000 members, along a similar vein I also joined the Petroglyph Group which has less than 200 members.  I’ll try to get some of the petroglyph pics posted here tomorrow.

The jumping animal and alien dude

The difference between a pictograph and a petroglyph is pictographs are painted on the rock, while petroglyphs are chiseled into the rock.

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Last week after picking up our Christmas house guests, we swung by the Denver Botanic Gardens for the light show.  Tori and I had stopped there a couple of years ago.  At that time there was a very large tree that was completely covered in small blue lights, and to us it gained tremendous favor as ” The Blue Tree” and we have fashioned our personal indoor Christmas trees in its style.  Last year we upcycled the blue LED lights on our tree for under the bed,  That can be seen at this post.

Those lights are still in service as a “nightlight”.

This year the great blue tree was decked out in green and red…impressive but not to the level of the original.


The Great Blue Tree is now Red and Green

Denver Botanic Gardens

Japanese Gardens with the Creek in the foreground

The Big Pool

Main Walkway near the Entrance

All of these shots were done with my Nikon D90 and a basic tripod, this year it was WAY warmer than the original “Blue Tree” year…but still cold enough for the ponds to have a bit of ice in them.



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Actually it is Momma moose and her 2 kids.  OK… before you bash me for a crappy pic of a moose butt…let me fill you in.  While heading back home after a gig near Rollinsville today,  I spied a number of cars parked along the Peak to Peak Highway about half way between Ned and Rollinsville, not only were there a handful of cars, there were about 10 people along the side of the road, a good handful of them with cameras.  Lucky for me I had my camera in the truck, as I drove by the center of the group I could see some critters off in the brush.  At first I thought…..Elk?  ..then why so many people? we see Elk all the time…after walking up to the group I could see that they were Moose.

As I approached the human group, the Moose group headed off into the thicker brush before I could get a good pic…the loud rumbling truck that went by must have spooked them somewhat.  They headed along the road through some thick willows before heading deeper into the forest.  Since tracking a moose…and especially a Mother Moose with kids is high on the list of dumb things to do with very large game, especially un-armed… as my .44 is  on the shelf back home.  I considered my moose butt pic satisfactory.

The Moose is Loose

This is fifth moose sighting I have had in the last few years. Tori and I spied one while hiking in the west Magnolia area a couple years ago. I also saw one about then when heading to get the girls from school.  the other two were in Rocky….Our all time best Moose views however were from a couple years ago up in the Park near Sprague Lake.  Still looking for Bullwinkle with his impressive spread…these cows and kids are utterly “rackless”.

Rocky Moose 2008

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Looking south at the cabin

The last few weeks have been demanding.  Continued complications from the Ex-wife’s .375 BAC DUI with the kids in the car.  Had to initiate an emergency DR (domestic relations) order to get the kids for the holiday weekend.  Lots of headaches  and tons of money spent to an Attorney so far.  All of that plus try to get some real work done to cover the thousands in unexpected costs…..Jeesh

The 4th  however was spent down at the Ranch.  I had hoped to get a fair amount of work done but relaxing with Tori and the girls was just too much fun.  I did get the compost bin set up so we can empty the sawdust toilet.  I also got the metal roof up on the shed and built the door for it.

We had some rain the first few days / nights but Sunday night we got to see the Milky way in all its glory.  We played with some glow sticks to make our own “fireworks display”

Sierra backlit with the glow stick

Fireworks at Moontree

The projects that will need to wait until next time, are laying some more backer board and putting up some more of the T&G for the ceiling.  While the ladies were playing and relaxing I did get to complete some landscaping by moving a few tons of rocks…the fire ring has been beefed up and the “trail” to the cabin I edged with local boulders…some of those buggers were HEAVY.

Rocks along the trail

I also got a coat of oil on the picnic table….things were looking better just as it was time to go.  Our return drive had a delay as thousands of fellow travelers decided to return via I-70 at the same time…2 1/2 hours from the tunnel to Idaho Springs…How I long for the full time peace and solitude of Moontree Ranch.

I-70 or Parking lot

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