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Many posts have been removed. Google closed the picasa photo sharing service and I abandoned YouTube and Flicker. This broke many posts. I repaired some posts but deleted many others.

The 31 days of December

A couple of people have encouraged me to publicly display some of my photos; maybe even sell some of them. I don't want to hassle with collecting sales tax, or mess with all the forms and legal stuff, so I don't plan to sell any of them (unless the price is right and we can do it without government supervision.)

A neighborhood restaurant displays local art work in their dinning room; it's usually a different local artist each month. They will let me display some of my photos in February.

I've selected the photos I plan to display and have had test prints made of a few of them. To keep the cost down I'm going to do the mounting myself. I plan to display them on matt board without frames.

On a whim I had calendars made from the photos. I'm sending one to each of my brothers, sister, Aunt, and have given one to several of my friends. I almost forgot to keep one for myself. The company I used is a little expensive, and there aren't any price breaks for larger quantities. I've found a different company for next time; they have good price breaks, the more you order the cheaper they get, and they offer more print & binding options.

The Great Watermark Project

I've been doing a lot of work in my photo library to make things more manageable. I'm making sure every photo has appropriate keyword tags, a descriptive title, and an informative caption field. I'm also renaming the picture files using a naming convention that will help to identify them if the library software is unavailable. Part of this project includes watermarking many of the photos I've uploaded. This has been really tedious and time consuming.

My watermarks aren't quite this obtrusive.

PS. I discovered that my Picasa photo albums are really disorganized. Since most of them are linked to Blog posts it will be a real chore to straighten them out.

Jupiter over moon

I was awestruck tonight to see the full moon with the planet jupiter just above it. Seeing the two, one above the other, like that is rare enough, but they were also encircled by a moonbow. I felt privileged to see such a sight. It took awhile but I finally got a half-way decent picture of them.






Urban photography and pretty colors

My camera doesn't have a time-lapse function built into it, so I bought a gadget called an Interval Timer that lets me do time-lapse. I had to read the directions several times before I was able to capture this sequence on Halloween night. I programed the timer to take a picture every 10 seconds for 3 minutes. I used the Blend function in Photoshop to combine the pictures into a single photo. It's a real mess but I still think it's pretty cool. Now I know how to use the timer and am ready to make a time-lapse movie of the sunrise and sunset.


I ordered take-out from Brothers BBQ a few nights ago. The sun had just set and the lights were starting to come on when I went to pick-up my order. I looked over and noticed the neon sign hanging in the window. I used my cell phone to capture this photo.


A cold front swept across Colorado and coated Denver with a little snow; this was the same cold front that collided with hurricane Sandy a few days later. I was still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes when I noticed this shot.


I couldn't resist. I think the juxtaposition of the Private Parking sign and the outline made by the snow makes for a great photo.


Just about every artsy fartsy photography book has photos of streaking tail lights, and I wanted to make one for myself. I setup my tripod above the tunnel at 6th & Speer and took several shots between sunset and twilight. They all turned out but struck me as static and uninteresting. I took one of the better shots and cropped it way down to produce a more interesting photo.


They've been running a jackhammer while making repairs to the apartments underground parking garage. The sound reverberates through the entire building. I took a walk around City Park to get out and away from the noise. I took several shots of the Pavilion but really wanted a photo that wasn't a simple straight on shot. I think the bench in the foreground and the frame made by the trees makes this a more interesting photo.

Point and shoot

Sunday I went on a free tour of Riverside cemetery. I only took a couple of pictures, but I sure got sunburned. Tuesday I took my point and shoot camera with me on my morning walk. I let the camera do all the work while I concentrated on colors and shapes.


Riverside Cemetery


Fungus on a wall


Points on a fence

Gulf to Gulf on a Harley

I just returned from a motorcycle trip to the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California. The trip took me through seven states, two countries, and covered 4,408 miles.

Eight of us left Denver Sunday morning and arrived on Mustang Island TX. late Tuesday evening. Mustang Island is one of the barrier islands that guards Corpus Christi Bay. We stayed on the island at a rental cottage in Port Aransas TX. It was insufferably hot and humid.


We went to the beach Wednesday where I swam in the Gulf of Mexico! Late Thursday evening a friend and I rode our motorcycles on the beach; it was a little difficult but different and fun. The highlight of the Port Aransas trip was visiting the USS Lexington aircraft carrier anchored at Corpus Christi Texas. The Lexington was commissioned in 1943 and decommissioned in 1991; it is now a floating museum. I was able to tour the flight deck and the bridge, but didn't have time to tour the rest of the ship.


Saturday a friend and I set out for the Gulf of California. Along the way we visited Big Bend National Park TX., and spent a few days in Phoenix Arizona. Big Bend National Park has a lot to offer visitors, but it didn't make a big impression on me. We rode through South Mountain Park when we were in Phoenix.

Friday we took our passports and headed south to Mexico. We bought Mexican auto insurance before crossing the boarder; US auto insurance isn't any good in Mexico. We spent several days at Las Palomas in Puerto Pe┼łasco, Sonora, Mexico. This was the first time I've been outside the United States, so crossing the boarder was the highlight of the Mexico trip! Swimming with a school of fish in the Sea of Cortez was another landmark event.


After returning to the USA Wednesday, we made a picture and shopping stop in Sedona Arizona. Thursday we rode east to Gallup NM. then north on US481 to Shiprock NM. This is very flat and barren land interrupted only by the occasional large rock formation jutting out of the ground. The largest of these stark rock formations is Ship Rock, the remnant of a 30 million year old volcanic eruption, rising 1,900 feet above the surrounding plane. We stopped for the night in Chama New Mexico.

The last day of the trip may have been the most challenging. I was almost run over by a steam locomotive in Antonito CO., we encountered a lengthy construction delay south of Fountain, a nasty washboard dirt road, heavy rain and hail at Monument, and stop-n-go traffic in Denver. It took three hours to travel from Fountain to my apartment.


The trip included two countries (USA, Mexico); seven states (Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Sonora); lasted 20 days, and covered 4,407.8 miles (7,093.6 kilometers). It was a good trip in spite of the heat and humidity.

A video slideshow by Clyde Hoadley

All photographs were taken in Colorado.

A video slideshow by Clyde Hoadley 2012 from Clyde Hoadley on Vimeo.

Photos by myself, Clyde Hoadley.
Music is by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com).

Come fly with me

Going to Barr Lake, Cherry Creek reservoir, and Chatfield have been on my to do list for a long time. I visited Barr Lake last week and finally visited Chatfield this week; I haven't been to Cherry Creek yet. All three are part of the State Parks system and practically in the city. I don't have a reason for not visiting these parks before, just a list of lame excuses—too busy, too late in the day, too cold, too windy, or too tired.


Chatfield opened as a state park in 1976. The park gets its name from Isaac W. Chatfield, a veteran of the civil war, who first owned the land. Chatfield dam was constructed in 1967 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers following the destructive flood of 1965. Chatfield State Park is well known as a spot for birding; the Audubon Society of Greater Denver has facilities in the park. Chatfield State Park is surrounded by the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield and Hildebrand Ranch Park on the west, Roxborough State Park on the south, and South Platte Park on the north.

A friend and I rode our motorcycles to Chatfield Saturday afternoon. We didn't take the direct route preferring to motor around the western suburbs first. We stopped for lunch at the Hunan Dynasty Restaurant—9882 West Belleview Avenue in Littleton. The service was good, the food was excellent, the portions generous, and a very reasonable price!

At the park we circled the still frozen lake stopping a couple of times so I could snap some pictures. There were a lot of bicyclers and hikers in the park. We watched people fly model airplanes at the Chatfield Aerodrome, then circled the southern end of the lake along Rampart Range road and Waterton road. South Wadsworth ends at Waterton road on the south end of the lake. We took Santa Fe Drive (US-85) back into Denver.


I nearly dumped the bike a couple of times when I slipped on loose gravel. After 13,700 miles it's time for new tires. That's a lot of miles on one set of motorcycle tires—3 to 6 thousand miles is typical. With new tires I'll be ready for new adventures this summer.

The old buffalo wallow

Sunday and Monday was great motorcycling weather—blue skys, 70F temperatures, and calm winds. I needed to get outside so I grabbed my camera, hopped onto the motorcycle, and rode to Barr Lake north of Denver. There were a lot of people visiting the park Sunday, so I wasn't alone.



I was told an owl was sitting on a nest a short walk north of the visiters center. I took the camera and went looking for the owl. I met several other photographers and bird watchers along the way. I never found the owl, but I took several pictures of trees, tree stumps, and ducks. Only a couple of those shots turned out to be keepers.

What is now Barr lake use to be nothing but a buffalo (bison) wallow prior to 1880. In the late 1800's a dam was built across the north end of the wallow, and canals were built to fill the reservoir with water from the South Platte river. Unfortunately, by 1960 Barr lake had become the biggest sewage lagoon in the United States. Clean-up efforts began on the South Platte and Barr lake after the 1965 flood. Barr Lake opened as a state park in 1977, and in 2004 the lake was declared a source of drinking water.


I went back to the lake late Monday afternoon. I took my big telephoto lens and a tripod with me. I headed south from the visitors center shortly after 4 O'clock. There is an eagles nest at the south end of the lake. After walking 1 1/2 miles I finally spotted an eagle in a tree; it didn't appear to be siting on a nest. I took several photos of the bird even though it was too far away. I continued south to the end of the trail before turning around. I never found the nest. I learned later the best view of the nest is from a pier that is close to where I saw the eagle. I took several photos of the setting sun on my way back. It was twilight when I got back to the motorcycle, and I rode home in the dark.


My feet really hurt by the time I got home. I discovered large blisteres on the bottom of both feet ! I've hiked in those boots before without problems; it may have been the socks I wore that caused the problem. Next time I'm taking a pair of walking shoes with me.

The Big Red Castle in Westminster

Todd and I went motorcycling around the metro area this afternoon. The temperatures climbed into the sixties today. The forecast didn't call for high winds but we sure ran into a few strong gusts. My face got wind and sunburned. We rode as far north as Boulder, and made several stops along the way.

One place we stopped was outside the Westminster Castle. I didn't even know it existed. The building was built in 1893 to house the Westminster University. The university didn't open until 1908 and only lasted ten years; it closed in 1918. The property was sold to the Pillar of Fire Church in 1920. The building is listed as a National Historical Landmark. This picture was taken with my cell phone from the rear of the building on the east side. We should have gone around to the south side, because the building is much more impressive from the front.

The Mysterious White House on 7th Avenue

I have long been intrigued by the big white house on the north west corner of 7th Avenue & Ogden Street. For the longest time I thought it was an old tuberculosis sanitarium, later I errantly concluded it must be the Germain Consulate. This week I learned the true identity and history behind that mysterious big white house.

Twenty Six year old Alfred Cass married Mary Ashton in 1876. They spent time in Nebraska before relocating to Denver in 1888. Alfred quickly rose to prominence in the Colorado Fuel & Iron Co. The widow Mary Cass built the large Colonial Revival house in 1908, five years after her husband died. She died shortly after the house was completed.

It may not be fair to label the second owner of the house, oil tycoon Henry Blackmer, a miscreant. It was never proven he was smuggling bootleg liquor, but Blackmer didn't always conduct business on the up-and-up either. He fled the country in 1924 leaving his son Myron in charge of the house.

The Teapot Dome oil field in wyoming is a mere 60 miles from my home town. Teapot Dome and several other oil fields formed the U.S. Navy's oil reserves. In 1921 President Warren Harding transfered control of some of the reserves, including the Teapot Dome field, to the Department of Interior under Secretary Albert Fall. Secretary Albert B. Fall truly was a miscreant. He had ties to vote fixing, cattle rustling, and murder for hire. In 1922 Fall quietly gave drilling rights for parts of the reserve to Mammoth Oil Corporation and the Pan-American Petroleum & Transport Company. This shady transaction would bloom into the Teapot Dome scandal and ultimately resulted in Fall's imprisonment in 1929.

Henry Blackmer held an interest in the Continental Trading Company which was to receive large sums of money from the oilmen involved in the Teapot Dome scandal. He fled to France when he was subpoenaed to testify and didn't return for 25 years. At the age of 80 and in poor health, he was fined $20,000 in 1949 for contempt of court.

Sometime between 1925 & 1949 the house was converted into apartments, but for the past 62 years the big white house has belonged to the Saint Germain Foundation. Many consider the St. Germain Foundation to be a cult. As symbolic of their "I AM" activity the cult painted the red brick building all white.

Thus ends the mystery of the the big white house on 7th Avenue.

Sources:
Ferril, Will C., ed. Sketches of Colorado. Vol. 1. Denver: The Western Press Bureau Company, 1911.
Keezer, Dexter M. "Blackmer Will Dodge Oil Trial." Pittsburgh Press, 12 Oct. 1927, Two.
Leonard, Stephen J. and Thomas J. Noel. Denver Mining Camp To Metropolis. Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1990.
"Teapot Dome Figure Fined." Milwaukee Journal, 2 Nov. 1949, M2.
Widmann, Nancy L. The East 7th Avenue Historic District. Denver: Historic Denver Inc., 1997.
Wikipedia contributors, "Albert B. Fall," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Fall (accessed February 22, 2012).
Wikipedia contributors, "Saint Germain Foundation," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Germain_Foundation (accessed February 22, 2012).
Wikipedia contributors, "Teapot Dome scandal," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teapot_Dome_scandal (accessed February 22, 2012).

 

Playing with water

I was playing in the water this evening. I can't wait for summer when I can try this on a waterfall. The picture on the top was taken using: ISO-3200, 1/200 sec, f 5.0 freezing the motion of the water (or nearly so). The picture on the bottom was taken using: ISO-100, 1/2 sec, f8.0 blurring the motion of the water.

The bottom picture is how I've seen the world lately. The lenses in my glasses got scratched real bad, and I've been wearing my old glasses. I had an eye exam this morning and ordered new glasses. The new glasses will have larger lenses, photo-grey (progressive), anti-glare, scratch resistent, and have a two year warranty. Soon I'll be able to see the world more like the top picture. I assume that will be a good thing.

Old School

I'm reading Denver Inside and Out (the Colorado Historical Society, 2011). The book is a compilation of short essays, each written by a different researcher, on a different topic of Denver's history. The third essay, by Shawn Snow, details the establishment of the first schools in Denver.

A factoid I will try to remember is: Owen J. Goldrick started the first school in Denver on October 3, 1859. Goldrick's school was a private school located in a cabin along the west banks of Cherry Creek in an area now called Auraria. I wonder if it is coincidental that Auraria now hosts two universities and a community college. The first free public school in Denver opened in December of 1862.

A lot of these interesting little factoids can be found on the internet If you have the interest and know what to look for. I like having information collected, fact checked, collated, and presented in an interesting, organized, and consistant manner the way books do.

A broken record

I stayed in Friday and let it snow while the apartment manager busied himself shoveling sidewalks. It snowed all day Friday; it didn't stop snowing until 8 o'clock Saturday morning. The city of Denver recorded 15.9 inches of snow breaking the February 1912 record of 14.1 inches. It never got very cold. After the sun came out Saturday it warmed enough to melt some of the snow.

I went for a walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon. The neighborhood looked to be in good shape. Most people had shoveled their sidewalks, but the streets were still a mess. Walking was easy except when crossing the streets where the gutters had filled with snow and slush. I didn't see any broken tree limbs; the strong wind we had a few weeks ago already took care of that. Some parts of the city lost electricity for a short while, but the apartment never lost power.

I had the pleasure of seeing a couple of mountain chickadees up close while on my tour. They didn't stop to pose for pictures, but you can see one of the birds perched in the bush in this picture.

Suck It In

My doctor offeres evening classes that promote healthy living and discuss health care options. I attended his last class about core strengthening. He invited a Physical Therapist to describe and demonstrate some simple exercises that anyone can do at home, without any equipment, to strengthen their core muscles.

The therapist described core muscles, in layman terms, as those muscles between the chest and thighs including: the abdominals, back, pelvic floor, hips, and transverse abdominis. Many core muscles aren't obvious because they are hidden underneath other muscles. The transverse abdominis is hidden by the rectus abdominis (six-packs). It fits around the hips like a corset and keeps us upright and stabile so we don't wobble around.

All of the demonstrations the therapist gave help strengthen the transverse abdominis along with other muscles. The simplest exercise that can be done by anyone, anytime, anywhere is simply to "suck it in". Don't suck it in all the way - just half way, and do not hold your breath! I have to concentrate on breathing in and out while holding my tummy in. This simple exercise can be done in bed, while standing in line, while driving, while on a walk, or while doing other strength exercises. The exercise not only strengthens the transverse abdominis muscle but also trains the muscle to act on its own voluntarily.

I've gotten very lax with my daily exercises. Days may go by without doing my exercises; it's simple laziness. I still go for walks frequently, but not every day and not far or long enough. I need to come up with strategies to motivate myself to exercise and walk daily, and I need to loose those 20 pounds I gained over the winter.

Did you know the average life span of a black-tailed prairie dog is 7 to 8 years?

A different approach

I started reading from A History of the American People by Paul Johnson (1997). The book isn't a standard history text book. Johnson is English and takes a different approach to the subject. He does not give a detailed description of every little event, rather he is more interested in who these people were, and the political and social climate of the time. I skipped over part one of the book, and began reading at part two (1750-1815), now that I understand his approach I am interested in reading part one.

This afternoon I filled the bike with gas, checked the tires, and the air presser in the suspension. All were ok. It's not ready for new tires quite yet, but soon.

No particular place to go

Today was a beautiful day for a ride. A friend and I headed north from Denver with no particular place to go. We traveling a familiar route to Brighton where we stopped for lunch.

We had an excellent meal at the El Jimador Restaurant, 275 S. 4th Ave, Brighton, Colorado. The food was great, the prices reasonable, and the portions generous.

After lunch, we continued north to Fort Lupton where we turned east, through Hudson to Prospect valley, then south to Bennett. The temperature was quite comfortable until we turned west at Bennett, then the air took on a chill. We stopped for coffee at Biscuits Cafe in Watkins.

Over coffee, we discussed which of three routes to take back to Denver. I said I wanted to "turn the screw," meaning—go fast! This ment taking the interstate highway back to Denver. It was good we didn't encounter a highway patrolmen on our way back. It wasn't an airplane that caused that sonic boom!

In Denver, we each went our separate ways. I circled the park before returning to the apartment. It was a fun day.


Photo of decorated chair at El Jimador Mexican Restaurant, Brighton, CO.

Ranger's report

I finished reading Colorado: The Highest State (Noel & Smith, 2011) this morning. In the afternoon I attended a combined potluck / meeting for volunteers at the refuge. I took pasta salad that I bought at the store.

The head ranger spoke near the end of the meeting . He reported there are 50 eagle roosts on the refuge; this is the most they've counted in three years. I was alarmed and saddened when he told us about a new poison that farmers and ranchers are using to kill rodents including prairie dogs. We all understand prairie dogs and other rodents are very destructive and need to be controlled, unfortunately this poison kills a lot of other animals too.

The poison (Rozol) is an anticoagulant that causes the animal to hemorrhage and bleed to death; it can take several days for the animal to die. Prairie dogs leave their burrow before dying. Their carcases attract other animals such as eagles, hawks, and coyotes who feed on the carcases and also die from the poison. Other animals have been killed when the poisoned bait, usually grain, was misapplied. The poison is water soluble and is dangerous to use near lakes and streams.

Some of Colorado's influential people

It started snowing before I finished my second cup off coffee this morning. It was windy further north but it never got windy here. I decided today was a good day to stay home.

I continued reading about Colorado's history; two more chapters and I will have finished the book. I learned about some of the state's more influential people including: Judge Lindsey, Governor Shafroth, Josephine Roche, Emily Griffith, Robert Speer, John Otto, Enos Mills, and Charles Boettcher.

I was very surprised to learn Emily Griffith was shot to death in 1947, and the case was never solved. I was also surprised to learn that "Baby Doe", the 2nd Mrs. Tabor, froze to death in Leadville in 1935; she died a pauper.

By noon it had stopped snowing and the sun was out, so I went for a short walk; It was still a little cold.

Hide and seek

Today I put the telephoto onto my camera and drove to South Platte Park to look for eagles. The area south of Mineral and north of C470 is good eagle country. The park has reported many eagle sightings on their Facebook page. I spent 2 hours tramping around Cooley, Redtail, and Eaglewatch lakes with no luck. All I saw were some ducks, a coyote, and some prairie dogs. That telephoto lens gets heavy after awhile.

Last month I counted 5 eagles at the refuge while working on trails, but I didn't have a camera with me then. I spent 2 hours hiking around the arsenal with the camera last week, but didn't see a thing. Maybe they know when I have a camera and are playing hard to get. I'm getting paranoid.

If Ben Franklin had gotten his way, would we still be able to eat turkey or woud the turkey be a protected bird?


The snow covered mountain in the distance is Mt. Evens; you can ride motorcycles to the top of it in the summer.

Plan for a day trip

I am reading Colorado: The Highest State by Noel & Smith (2011). It's a history of Colorado. I didn't know the book was for 8-12 year olds until I started reading it. Oh well, that makes it easier for me to read. I learned about Bent's Fort near La Junta, while reading about trappers and fur traders. Bent's Fort, on the Santa Fe Trail, was the largest trading post in Colorado from 1833 until 1849, when it was burned after a cholera epidemic.

A visit to Bent's Fort will make a nice day trip on the motorcycle. A stop at the Koshare Indian Museum in La Junta will make a full day.

Did you know San Luis, in the San Luis Valley, is the oldest town in Colorado? It was founded in 1851.

Just write one sentence

I am challenging myself to take at least one photograph, and write something in my blog every day. It doesn't need to be anything important, informative, or profound. What's important is to write something, and photograph something every day. I know of someone who does that very thing. I got started today by writing posts, with photos, for the past 4 days.

I don't know why this building makes me think of Hercule Poirot.

An early pour

I've gained back the weight I lost over the summer - I'm back up to 220 Lb. I falter occasionally with my daily exercise and walking routine. I've set a daily alarm on my iPhone to remind me to take a walk and do my exercises.

On my walk this afternoon I became aware of the stamps embedded in some of the concrete sidewalks. I see these everyday but have never looked closely at them. All of the stamps have the name of the contracter that did the work and most have the year the sidewalk was poured. Most of the sidewalks in the neighborhood were laid down in the late sixties and early seventies. I was startled when I turned the corner and found this stamp:




Good golly! This sidewalk is older than I am.

Deceptive weather

The weather was nice today, or so it seemed. I got the camera, telephoto, and motorcycle out and rode to the wildlife refuge. It wasn't windy when I left the apartment, but darn it was cold and windy when I got to the refuge. I was hoping to photograph some eagles, but all I found was this sign.

I stopped at the visitors center to say hello. The ranger said someone reported seeing a Bobcat earlier in the week. She wanted to get a picture of it but wasn't sure where it was, and no one else had seen it. It's not imposible for a Bobcat to be on the refuge, but it is doubtful. The arsenal isn't the kind of habitat Bobcats like, and it's too close to people, and there are a lot of coyotes on the refuge.

I'm twenty feet tall

I feel like I'm twenty feet tall! It could be a side effect of the Wellbutrin and Zoloft, but I mustn't discount the affect spending more time outdoors and getting more sun has had. I'm looking forward to summer weather. I'm already planning trips on the motorcycle for the summer.

Things have changed

I've never needed a passport. I've never been outside of the lower 48 states. Things have changed. I want to tour around the U.S. and Canada on the motorcycle, and twice I've been invited to motorcycle into Mexico but declined both times.

This week I took the plunge and applied for a passport and wallet card. You only need a wallet card to travel to/from Canada and Mexico by land. There isn't any reason why I should be declined so I should receive them in 4 or 5 weeks.