Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A few more tulips

Hooray for tulips!

Compensation photo

Though the light was wrong for optimal landscape pictures,
I did get a good expression and pose from my parents in this setting.

Opportunities gained and lost

I love this mountain.
And with the blossoming trees in the foreground, it made a terrific scene.
However, the midday light was flat.
(Fine for photographing backlit tulips,
not so good for mountains.)
Alas, we could not stay until good evening light.
I was battling a headache and so I didn't go out again in the evening.
As if to mock me, from my window I saw perfect alpenglow on Timp,
when I was lying down battling my migraine.
Ah well! One can't get every photo opp in the world!

More than tulips

There were a lot of spring things on show today in the gardens.
New aspen leaves...

Various tree blossoms (don't know what kind)...

pansies (interspersed with the tulips)

and lots of daffodils, too

Tulip festival

Though it was still spring-chilly today,
my parents & I went to the tulip festival at Thanksgiving Point.
Most of the tulips were at peak bloom.

Most of the beds were really pretty,
but this last group of yellow tulips was one of my favorites--
at perfect peak.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter from Lady Mortimer

I don't think she liked being placed among the cold eggs
(they had been in the refrigerator)
but she was a fairly good sport about it.
Happy Easter to all reptile-lovers everywhere!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Family Vacation

And what did we do on vacation
(other than take a tour of Monument Valley)?

We went to church locally on Sunday morning
(most of us did, anyway).

Monday morning we took a very short hike up to see a neat arch-
the arch was in shadow but it was fun to hike together.

Ted practiced math games with the kids on his iPad.
He says he got his iPad as part of a research grant.
(Of course, I can't complain... my university is sending me to Italy in the fall...)

Then while we adults napped or biked or read,
the boys played endless games.
House of cards seemed to be a favorite.

Our Photogenic Group

Dad has wanted to go to Monument Valley for years.
It was fun to see him so involved.
Dad, Joe and I were the main photographers in the group.
But even those who weren't shutterbugs seemed to have a good time.
Ted & Caleb sat in the back and talked about math for the entire 3.5 hour tour...

Our tour vehicle was a pickup with what I think was a sawed-off converted schoolbus attached to it. It was tolerably comfortable, but then I personally like bouncy dirt roads. (Dad doesn't, but even he thought it was worth it, to go out into Monument Valley).

We got ONE group photo.
It's in Joe's camera (his sensor is better than mine).
This was the prep photo that I set up so that our guide would get the whole group (including me).
I don't know where the dog came from. But he sure liked the boys.

Evening in Monument Valley

Our trip into Monument Valley on a jeep tour had a mixture of cloud and sun.
Above: one of the Mittens formations, in nice evening light.
Below: John Ford Point (with Navajo 'cowboy') under clouds.

Even cloudy and backlit can be potentially interesting,
though we weren't getting the Typical Postcard Views.

The road itself was beautiful.
I hope they never pave it.

Monument Valley Sunrise

Friday, April 15, 2011

More reasons to love an AZ spring

Prickly pear blooms!


Hedgehog cactus and globemallow!

I LOVE blooming cacti!

I love Arizona in the springtime

Flowers here! Flowers there!

Of course, it's even nicer if there's a poolside area with chairs to relax...

And courtyards with fountains, too.

Here is a toad detail from one of the fountains.
The local blackbirds use it as a drinking fountain
(I've seen them! The chlorine can't be too great for them...)

Mesa, AZ Easter Pageant

I'd never been to the Mesa, AZ temple before.
It's very imposing, and in the evening, the light was gorgeous.
And the grounds were full of flowers.
Warm weather, pools, reflections, palm trees--
it felt like paradise.
(Mom and Dad are at the far end of the reflecting pool.)

We went to the temple visitor center grounds
for the Easter pageant.
April 13 was its opening night.
Dad's cousins Joy and Carol Ann had come very early,
and had saved us terrific seats.
(They say there are about 8,000 chairs set up on the grass!)
The pageant was very impressive-- a cast of over 400--
and with great sound, costumes, effects,
telling the life of Christ.
It was a great uplift, but for me the nicest thing
was the pre-performance mingling.
The actors came through the audience,
all dressed up in their costumes
(which were really well done)
and visited with people.
Since we were on the front row of the second section,
we got to see a lot of the actors and talk to them.

My absolute favorite 'actor' was the baby lamb--
yes, they did use him in the pageant,
along with several other live sheep,
plus a donkey colt on Palm Sunday and two miniature ponies,
in the Garden of Eden and Nativity scenes.
This darling lamb had been well scrubbed,
his fleece combed,
and possibly tranquilized, as he behaved very, very well.
All the children wanted to pet him too.
Dad kindly photographed me in between crowds of eager kids.

The whole atmosphere of the pageant was just delightful.
It was great to visit with Dad's cousins,
be part of the crowd energy,
and best of all, think more deeply about the meaning of Easter.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Primary Rules

I just got called to be one of two primary teachers to the 10 and 11 year olds in our ward.
I plan to start off on the right foot,
so we came up with some class rules today.
The third one, 'act respectable,' is a favorite of my dad's...
Also, one of our students is an enthusiastic artist.
This is her illustration of our lesson (Jesus heals the sick).