Monday, March 21, 2011

Super Moon 2011

Saturday night was the closet the moon has been to the earth in full moon phase since 1993! However, it was raining here in the old Midwest. Boo!
Jessi, our daughter in Colorado saw it rise and said it was GORGEOUS!
Well, last night was clear and I decided to try to capture it with my camera.
After wrestling with controls and which manual setting to use, I finally got it!!! So excited. This is the first fairly decent full moon shot I've taken in almost four years of owning this camera. I have lots of cool images of the moon, but none as clear as this one. I need to take a little class because self-teaching is a great way to learn, but unless you have oodles of time to dedicate to it, it's also a very SLOW way to learn. CLICK ON IT!

Super Moon one day after...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Once Again Here's Hawaii...

So the priorities for this trip were to relax after the long year we'd experienced 2009-2010 and to see real live whales in their natural environment.
Both priorities were accomplished
Below are some photos we got from the balcony (The Lanai- pronounced La-nigh') of our condo on the third floor. Fred estimated that these whales were in the deeper water probably about three to five football fields away! I will say that the way they looked thorough our amazing binoculars were what I would have loved to have captured on film. However, that would have necessitated an even better lens than I have and getting a better tripod which finally broke last year. That expense would have eaten up the trip budget. Therefore we opted to go and get the best pictures we could, but the main thing was to sit there and over and over be stunned at the power, strength, and grace of these largest of mammals! Even without binoculars we watched them in amazement.
The fact that each of us caught a full breach at two different times is miraculous.A couple told us they had been coming there for the past eleven years, going out n the whale spotting tours and only last year caught a full breach n film. There's just no way to judge when these large animals are going to burst up through the ocean from the depths like this. Enough blathering then...

This is the underside of one of the whales that breached...Fred took these shots


These next shots were taken by me, perhaps a little bit closer in. Look at the boat and the people on it to gain perspective on the mammoth size of these Humpbacks... Remember to click on each photo below to see the entire shot. The program with my blog needs to be replaced...
 There was a sizable pod just hanging around this whale excursion boat for a very long time, so I just shot repeatedly and finally...

And off he goes...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Start

So, I woke up yesterday, looked outside, and said, "WHAT? SNOW? I knew we were to get a little dusting, but really, this?"

Then I started going through our photos from Maui some more and the snow really began to look prettier as I looked at the beaches, sunsets, etc. from our trip to the island.

Following are some sample photos of our time there:

These first ones are just some examples of "classic" island flavor
(Remember to click on individual photos to see the whole shot!)

Maui is known as the "Valley Island" because it has so many amazing valleys and vistas. Here are some shots of our trip up the "Road to Hana" It's basically a rain forest road curving around the mountain and overlooking the coastline on the other side of Maui from where we stayed.
The Road was winding and sometimes went to one lane on curves and bridges. I drove so I wouldn't get as carsick. It was nice part of the time and it misted part of the time. It is a rain forest after all!

Some of the road itself...

Some of the Vistas...

Into parts of the rainforests...

Where we ate our picnic lunch...

Of course there are LOTS of gorgeous waterfalls...

We went down a single lane road to a spot where there was a black sand beach, and lava rocks, and some blow holes...and this cool archway in the lava rocks...

Watching him walk out there was scarier than the actual shot

He likes pockets. Have you noticed?

These are a few of the shots of the sunset we caught on our way back from the Road to Hana...

When I saw this I thought, "This could turn into a beautiful sunset..."

And it did!!...

The island across from Maui looks like it's on fire or erupting!

Goodnight Sun...

 Next posting I'll have some of the whale shots we got and some underwater fish photos as well!
We were fortunate to go to such a beautiful place and we appreciated even more how God has created amazing beauty all over this world!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


We just got back yesterday from an incredible eight days in Maui! My amazing husband decided to put this trip together last year when we were in the throws of caring for my mom in the last three months of her life here on earth with us.
He planned the entire trip down to the convertible he rented for tooling around the island on dry days or in the dry areas. If it's raining on one part of the island you can always drive to another and find the sun shining.
I have loads of photos and I will post them over this next week or two as I am just barely starting to cull through them and we took soooo many pics of waterfalls, the ocean, the scenery, and the main reason Fred timed our trip for this time of year...the whales!!!
Before we left I came down with the 14 day respiratory virus that many of your suffered through yourselves and then it was followed a week after recovery by a good case of shingles. Lovely! So when we were barely a week from leaving and I came down with a painful case of shingles I was getting nervous that we would even get to go. Thanks to good diagnosis work by Fred and my friend Marti (long distance via a phone conversation) we were able to get on the anti viral drug early enough that I recovered fairly quickly and we were on our way on Saturday February 26th early in the morning!
I owe a huge thank you to the many sweet friends that prepared meals for us that week before we left as it left me free to focus on packing, which if any of you know me, I hate that part of traveling! Thanks also to our friend Karen for the ride to the airport at the  ungodly hour of 6 a.m.on a Saturday and also to our daughter-in-law Missy and grandson, Teddy,  for the ride home upon our return on this past Monday morning.
So, "it takes a village to raise a child" and it takes a lot of loving friends to help me get myself out of town while getting over two crummy illnesses and trying not to stress about it! Above is the view from our lanai and ONE of our bedrooms views!

The next few are from our drive on "The Road to Hana" It's winding switchbacks so I had to drive or be sick the entire time. It was sort of overcast part of the time and too chilly to play in any of the waterfalls or pools, but it was still stunningly beautiful!

The vistas and the numerous waterfalls are the draw for this long, long drive!

(You need to click on this waterfall picture and the sunset picture below for the full frame and full effect!)
This was the perfect end to another perfect day in Maui! This was taken on our way back on a little stretch of beach just off the main road along the coast in West Maui.

So, there's some teaser photos, unedited. Whale shots will follow after I do some cropping and enlarging as even with my amazing lens I was still on land and not out there with them. Our binoculars (Nikon 10 X 40) were awesome to watch them and spot for one another to shoot pictures then enlarge the photos!)