Arches

On the second day of the journy we headed from Moab into Arches National Park. We tried to get there early for spots on a ranger guided hike through the Fiery Furnace only to find out that all the spots had been book over a week ago. Without that there were still many landmarks and hikes to entertain us in the park. Including the state symbol of Utah the Delicate Arch.

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Up early for some hiking

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Driving in Arches National Park

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The Balanced Rock surrounded by many others

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Native American petroglyphs

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Even the trail markers are arches

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Me under the Delicate Arch

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Up on the rocks

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Looking out over the park

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Some cheerleaders unperturbed by the ledge

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Trees here look dead but are very much alive

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Wild Turkeys

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In the desert a pile of rocks is majestic

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And a muddy stream is serene

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The Delicate Arch from the other side

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The fiery furnace

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We couldn’t go in without a ranger

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Jonny on this phone

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Justin taking pictures

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The desert is a lot more colorful than one would expect

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Fiery Furnace from farther away

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That group of rocks is the Garden of Eden

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Posing in the Garden of Eden, watch out for snakes

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The park road cutting through the desert

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More arches!

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Justin framed by the window arch

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The sun setting through the arch

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Underneath a few tons of rock

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This arch has an extra hole

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This arches are everywhere!

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Arches from afar

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Time to turn around

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I think we need to go to the right

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A little cactus forest

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The trails were all amazingly sandy

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Two arches for the price of one

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Double arches

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Climbing up inside the arch

Justin hanging out under the Double arch

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A Salty City

After flying into Salt Lake City late on Friday, Saturday was really our first and only day to experience the city. We started the day by heading down town to check out some of the impressive architecture at the heart of this city.

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Driving into downtown Salt Lake City

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Stopping by the local library

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Its a very impressive building

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Utah really likes its bees

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The fallen comrades

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An albatross in the Tracy Aviary

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Shooting through a fence is a challenge

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The Andean Condor removes all doubt that birds were dinosaurs

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rawr

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A Southern Ground Hornbill with its lush eyelashes

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Glamour shot of this Green Parrot

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Those feathers look very fluffy

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The Parrot’s red brother

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This little guy is about the size of a softball, adorable

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This Owl is terrified…

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of whatever this owl is planning

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This bird has a hat

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This Sun Conure is in the middle of a pedicure

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More fluffy birds

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A majestic Bald Eagle

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Is this Peacock dead?

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Nope, he was just sleeping

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Salt Lake City is also the new home of the Mormons

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That’s a large Temple

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“Its only a model”

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The Utah state Capital Building

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Abe of the golden schnoz

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Philo Farnsworth

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We stopped at a Lake on the way to Moab

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Justin always taking photos

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Jonathan always on his phone

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The valley of the wind

We continued driving until we reached our motel in Moab, by then it was already dark.  We retired to be up early to try and get a spot on the ranger guided tours of the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park.

Boris the Spider

While I was out this weekend, when I was out looking for small things to take pictures of  I found some of the local wildlife which fit my photography goals nicely. I found some Orb -Weaver spiders, a common site in the pacific northwest, and was able to capture some pretty amazing photos of them.

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This picture is less amazing when you realize how large the spider is

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That spider is about the size of a quarter

More amazingly, two of the spiders I found were in the process of building their webs. I remembered that my camera has the ability to shoot video and was able to hold it decently still to answer a question I’ve always wondered: How do spiders build their webs?

Small things up close

Today I went for a walk in along the damp streets of Seattle, looking not for a new view of the skyline with a backdrop of clouds. I had outfitted my camera in a configuration that forced me to look at the smaller things in life. And even though it is getting close to winter, I found that there was still a lot of color and life to be found.

Fitting my camera with my zoom lens, but with tube extenders reducing the maximum focal distance down to only a few feet, I was able to zoom in on small details instead of far away objects.

Getting Back to an Old Hobby

Long ago I used to play Games Workshop miniature games. While I haven’t battled any armies in years, I have stilled kept my collection on miniatures. They recently have been getting some use as markers while playing Dungeons and Dragons. Going through my collection on a regular basis I’ve noticed that there are still quite a lot of unpainted figurines.

Replacing paints and brushes I’ve given my old hobby another shot and am pleased to find that I have not lost all of my skill at fine detail painting.

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Freshly painted Elf with a Beaver-back Nickel for scale

Honey I Shrunk the Dice

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For this week’s Dungeons and Dragons session I, probably under a confusion charm, forgot to bring my materials. My character sheet and information are all backed up digitally, but using electronic dice rollers is no fun. Luckily I had with me a backup mini dice set on my key-chain and I could continue rolling unimpeded. Though next time I may also want a magnifying glass too.