Thursday

Daytrip - Bellagio's Botanical Garden and Conservatory

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Each year I try to make a pilgrimage to the Bellagio to view the exhibits in the Conservatory. This year I attended their summer exhibit with my friend Blake Smith. The summer exhibit features its first Italian-inspired display titled "Tour of Italy". Follow this link for pictures and description ... Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Garden.

Tuesday

Daytrip - Bonanza Trail Hike

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On 07/03/2017 I made my tenth visit to Cold Creek. Today, Jim Herring, her daughter Christina, Bob Croke, Harvey Smith and I decided to head to Cold Creek Nevada to hike the Bonanza Peak trail. Once we reached the town of Cold Creek, we spent a little time looking around for some wild horses that normally populate this area. After a few pictures we then headed up the 2.2 mile dirt road above the town (Camp Bonanza Cold Creek Road) that leads to the trailhead. We made it in Jim's SUV without any trouble. Click here for description and pictures of today's hike ... Bonanza Trail Hike - Notes for 07/03/2017.html.

Sunday

Index for Category - Pareidolia Pictures

This page last updated on 12/27/2017
Unusual Pictures: This category was created to display pictures that fit under the phenomenon of Pareidolia (pair-i-DOH-lee-ə); a psychological phenomenon in which the mind responds to a stimulus, usually a visual image, by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists (e.g., in random data). Common examples are perceived images of animals, faces, or objects in cloud formations, the Man in the Moon, the Moon rabbit, etc. Over the course of the last 4-5 years of hiking, I have come across dozens of natural tree and rock formations that suggest (to me) familiar patterns.
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Index for Category - Collages

This page last updated on 12/27/2017
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2017-Collages
2013 The Birds of Bellagio
2012 Wildlife Collages
2012 Water Collage
2012 Relics From the Past Collages
2012 Nevada Mine Collages
2012 Petroglyph Collages
2012 Tree & Wood Collages
2012 Rock Collage
2012 Flower Collages
Fire Wave Collage - Valley of Fire
Winter In Venice at Venetian/Palazzo
Ethel M Chocolate Factory & Botanical Cactus Garden
The Neon Museum
Bellagio's Botanical Garden Winter Display
Bellagio's Botanical Garden Fall Display
The Art of Deco - II
The Art of Deco - I
Car Show Images - Engines & Interiors
Chloride Arizona Cemetery
The Square at Town Square Park
Cadillac Through The Years
A Mid-winter's Spring
Year of the Dragon
Holiday Spirit
Alpin Hong Concert
Daffodil narcissus - Reflections In Color
Pitman Wash Images - Let The Trumpets Blare 

Car Show Images - Power Chrome
Car Show Images - Grills

Saturday

Index for Category - Portraits of Us & Family

This page last updated on 01/21/2017

Index for Category - Boulder City Hikes

This page last updated on 04/13/2018

Antelope Canyon - Page Arizona

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This page last updated on 12/12/2017
(Fig. 01)
(Fig. 02)
Location: Only a short jaunt from Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon is located east of Page, Arizona in Coconino County and is a part of Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park. Take Highway 98 East. There will be one stoplight (Coppermine Road). Stay on 98 for 2 Miles and you will See Lower Antelope Canyon to your Left, Just west of the Navajo Generating Station. Take a left. Refer to (Fig. 02) above.

Description: Because Antelope Canyon is located on land owned by the Navajo nation, the road to the canyon is gated. Since 1997, the Navajo have allowed access to the canyon only on authorized guided tours, both to protect the canyon from overuse and vandalism and to ensure the safety of visitors. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon carved out by the same waters that flowed into the Colorado River and carved the Grand Canyon. The canyon walls have been carved into what looks like fluid rock. Water from above Antelope Canyon travels through cracks and caverns in the sandstone until it builds up significant speed near Antelope Canyon. As the flood water rushes and spirals through the present formations, the water continually sands and reshapes the walls into sandstone masterpieces. This water eventually makes its way to Lake Powell and ultimately the Colorado River. Unaccompanied visitors to the Antelope Canyon are prohibited due to potential flash floods. In 1997, 11 tourists were killed by a flash flood. The danger comes from the water accumulating far from the canyon itself. It could rain 10 miles from Antelope Canyon and create a flash flood. See Note (1) below.

Antelope Canyon is the most famous slot canyon in the southwest. More people visit and photograph Antelope Canyon than any other formation of its kind. In short, Antelope Canyon is a canyon that consists of two distinct areas: the upper antelope canyon, also known as Tse' bighanilini, and the lower antelope canyon, commonly referred to as Hasdestwazi. According to Native American history, large herds of antelope once roamed Antelope Canyon, providing the canyon with its name. The canyon is regarded as a spiritual place where Native Americans can connect and seek insight from Mother Nature. Antelope Canyon formed due as a result of erosion caused by flash flooding during the monsoon season. Over time, rainwater rushed across the canyon, picked up speed and washed the ground away.

Trip Notes: The pictures in this post are from a road trip that my wife Connie, Marc Resnic and I took back in took back in October of 2009. To get the most out of our visit, we split up; Connie and Marc toured the 'upper' canyon and I toured the more difficult 'lower canyon. While the Navajo call this canyon "the place where water runs through rocks," most tourists come to know the upper section as the Crack, and the lower as the Corkscrew. The pictures shown here from the upper canyon were taken by Marc.  I took so many photographs here, each beautiful and unique in its own way, that it was really hard to select just a few for posting here. Some provide beautiful color, some unique geometric-like shapes, some smoothed textures like you have never seen before.

The Upper Antelope Canyon is called Tsé bighánílíní, 'the place where water runs through rocks' by the Navajo. Upper Antelope is at about 4,000 feet elevation and the canyon walls rise 120 feet above the streambed. It is the most frequently visited by tourists for two reasons. First, its entrance and entire length are at ground level, requiring no climbing. Second, beams or shafts of direct sunlight radiating down from openings at the top of the canyon are much more common in the upper canyon vs the lower canyon (Fig. 03). These beams occur most often in the summer months, as they require the sun to be high in the sky. (con't below)
                                  
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
As you approach the upper Antelope Canyon, there is no obvious clue as to its location. Sometimes called “Corkscrew” Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon measures a quarter mile long and 130 feet deep. It is reached by traveling a 3.5-mile-long dry (most of the time) sandy wash. The trail seems to end at the base of a red sandstone plateau about 20 yards high - the entrance is a narrow curved slit in the cliffs only a few feet wide. From the entrance, it’s an easy stroll through the upper chamber, which is fairly level. Once inside, the temperature drops as much as 20 degrees as the visitor enters one of the most beautiful of all natural formations.

The sunlight filtering down the curved sandstone walls makes magical, constantly changing patterns and shadows in many subtle shades of color (Fig. 04). Some sections of the canyon are wide and bright, while others are narrower and more cave-like, with no light reaching the sandy floor. After only 150 yards or so, the canyon becomes suddenly much shallower near the top of the plateau. It may take only 3 or 4 minutes to walk straight through, but the canyon is well worth the arduous trek or expensive journey required to get there (Fig. 05). (Con't below)
                                     
(Fig. 05)
The Lower Antelope Canyon is called Hazdistazí, or 'spiral rock arches' by the Navajo, is a few miles away from the upper canyon. The lower canyon is nearly 1,400 feet long. The canyon is filled with majestic and narrow passages (Fig. 06) with just enough space for persons to walk single file on the sandy floor, punctuated with occasional shafts of sunlight to shine down from above (Figs. 07 thru 09). The maze of abstract shapes carved from sandstone by twirling winds and water are mind boggling. As you descend further and deeper, making an elevation change of more than 240 feet down, the gentle lighting and textures of the canyon’s sandstone walls create amazing photo opportunities. The sculpted sandstone walls appear frozen in a series of graceful waves, which somehow give the illusion of motion. Even though you have more photo opportunities for capturing beams of light in the upper canyon, the lower canyon definitely provides more interesting twists, turns and shapes. With frequent stops for photo opportunities, the hike from one end of the canyon to the other can take more than three hours. (Con't below)
                                              
(Fig. 06)





(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)

Pulled TaffyAs you decend down through the canyon there are even some metal steps to aid in walking (Fig. 10). Many of the water carved walls look like 'pulled taffy' (Figs. 11 & 12). When I was a kid back in the 60’s, I worked in Junkin’s Candy & Ice Cream shop at Hampton Beach, N.H. Their main claim to fame was making pure salt water taffies right in front of the customers. The water and wind honed sandstone  ledges look almost exactly like the salt water taffy we used to make back then.


Depending upon the lighting from above you are constantly presented with a variety of ever changing colors (Figs. 13 thru 15). Sometimes you can even recognize objects or faces in the carved sandstone. This is called pareidolia. Check out this page (and then use your browser back button to return here. Examples of Pareidolia (con't below)
                                               
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)
(Fig. 15)
Prior to the installation of metal stairways, visiting the canyon required climbing along pre-installed ladders in certain areas. Even following the installation of steel stairways, it is a more difficult hike than Upper Antelope. It is longer, narrower in spots, and even footing is not available in all areas (Fig. 18). At the end of the journey, we actually had to walk three sets of steel stairs (Figs. 16 & 19) up more than 125 feet to get back to the surface. The picture below was taken at the top of the canyon’s exit, looking down at where the water would run out of the canyon during the rainy season. Once outside, you have a lengthy, steady uphill climb to get back to the staging area (Fig. 20).
                                 
(Fig. 16)
(Fig. 17)
(Fig. 18)
(Fig. 19)

(Fig. 20)



Using the picture on the left (Fig. 21) that I took at Antelope Canyon, I created a composition titled "LavaMan". Click the following link to view the result and a description of how it was created ... Lava Man - Guarder of the Canyon






(1) Note - Antelope Canyon Floods: Rains during monsoon season can quickly flood the canyon even though rain does not have to fall on or near the Antelope Canyon slots. Flash floods to can whip through from rain falling dozens of miles away upstream of the canyons. Water can funnel into them with little prior notice. On August 12, 1997, eleven tourists, including seven from France, one from the United Kingdom, one from Sweden and two from the United States, were killed in Lower Antelope Canyon by a flash flood. Very little rain fell at the site that day, but an earlier thunderstorm had dumped a large amount of water into the canyon basin, 7 miles upstream. The lone survivor of the flood was tour guide Francisco "Pancho" Quintana, who had prior swift-water training. At the time, the ladder system consisted of amateur-built wood ladders that were swept away by the flash flood. Today, steel ladder systems have been bolted in place, and deployable cargo nets are installed at the top of the canyon. At the fee booth, a NOAA Weather Radio from the National Weather Service and an alarm horn are stationed. Despite improved warning and safety systems, the risks of injuries from flash floods still exist. On July 30, 2010, several tourists were stranded on a ledge when two flash floods occurred at Upper Antelope Canyon. Some of them were rescued and some had to wait for the flood waters to recede. There were reports that a woman and her nine-year-old son were injured as they were washed away downstream, but no fatalities were reported.



Index for Category - Architecture

This page last updated on 01/08/2018

Index for Category - Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

This page last updated on 03/21/2018

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Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
    Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art - Fabergé Revealed
    Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art - Andy Warhol Exhibit

Index for Category - Stone Images

 This page last updated on 12/26/2017

Index for Category - Desert Tortoise

This page last updated on 01/10/2018

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DESERT TORTOISE
   Desert Tortoise at Red Rock Canyon NCA - 2016
   Desert Tortoise Finding Near Nipton California - 2015
   Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) - 2012

TURTLES
   Painted Turtle

Index for Category - Death Valley National Park

This page last updated on 02/19/2018

Index for Category - Desert Bighorn Sheep

This page last updated on 01/10/2018

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Index for Category - Wild Horses

This page last updated on 01/09/2018



Index for Category - Lovell Canyon Road & Spring Mountains

This page last updated on 04/13/2018

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      Lovell Canyon Road & Spring Mountains:
             

        Index for Category - Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

        This page last updated on 03/29/2018

        Index for Category - Year In Review

        This page last updated on 03/12/2018

        Index for Category - Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway

        This page last updated on 02/19/2018

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          Morning Walk at the Clark County Wetlands Preserve

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          This page last updated on 08/07/2017
          (Fig. 01)

          An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. 

          Henry David Thoreau

          General Description The Clark County Wetlands Park is the largest park in the Clark County, Nevada park system. Only a few miles from our house, the park is located on the east side of the Las Vegas valley and runs from the various water treatment plants near the natural beginning of the Las Vegas Wash to where the wash flows under Lake Las Vegas and later into Lake Mead. The park includes 2,900 acres of water, trails, and trees along the Las Vegas Wash.  The 210 acre Nature Preserve (Fig. 02 below) is a map showing the preserves two miles of concrete and graveled secondary walking trails. 
                                                       
          (Fig. 02)
          Our Morning Walk:  On 08/05, Blake Smith and I got up bright and early and around around 5:30 am we headed over to the Clark County Wetlands Preserve. The 'red' circle  bottom center of (Fig. 02) at the north end of the parking lot is where we started. Even though it was partially overcast after a night of rain, I captured the picture in (Fig. 01 above) as the sun was rising shortly after our start. Even though we have both been to this preserve several times before, I forgot to bring my map and we ended up getting 'lost' among the maze of paths and trails. Even though Our original goal was to hike to the Weir Bridge and falls in the upper right corner of the map, we ended up weaving around the mostly dirt trails in the western side of the preserve, and never made it to the bridge.

          Along the way we circled three different ponds (Fig. 03). As is usual here, we must have spotted more than a dozen rabbits (Fig. 04) along side the trails. One of the small ponds had a little waterfall at one end (Fig. 05). We could hear occasional birds, but couldn't get any shots. Near one pond we spotted a Dusky Moorhen tending her young chick (Fig. 06). Clickhere to read about this waterfowl ... Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa). On the side of the largest pond, there was a small bench that provided us with a good spot to rest and drink some water. It was amazing how much we were sweating. Even though the temperature was only in the upper 70's, due to the previous nights' rain the humidity was more than 40%, high for Las Vegas. The picture in (Fig. 08) was taken from in front of the bench. Figure 08 is the third pond we found. Even though I didn't take many pictures on this visit, we both enjoyed the walk and the conversation. We both agreed that we wanted to to it again soon. After walking more than 2.2 miles, we drove to the Cracked Egg on Green Valley Pkwy for breakfast on our way home.
                                                       
          (Fig. 03)

          (Fig. 04)
          (Fig. 05)
          (Fig. 06)
          (Fig. 07)
          (Fig. 08)
          (Fig. 09)


          I challenge you to walk where you have not yet walked before - there is a whole world right outside your window. You feel the silence as if it were a great fresh wind blowing away the clouds of life. The silence is tremulous. You can walk yourself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness, imagined or real. You’d be a fool to miss it.

          Click here for pictures and info from previous visits ...
          Clark County Wetlands Park & Nature Preserve.

          Index for Category - Tonopah Nevada

          This page last updated on 12/26/2017

          Index for Category - Searchlight Nevada & Nipton California

          This page last updated on 12/26/2017

          Index for Category - Lake Mead Lakeshore Drive

          This page last updated on 04/13/2018

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              Lake Mead Lakeshore Drive: