Sunday, May 6, 2018
Weather: mid seventies, overcast, breezy

Key to the Gates

I am considered a volunteer, and upon arriving, had a lengthy and informative orientation, and was then given the keys; one to the hogan and one that unlocks every gate in the park. This morning I unlocked my first gate. Besides the fact that I was able to drive onto a closed-for-the-night park road, I had a wonderful feeling of ownership, and that I was trusted. Tomorrow morn, I'm planning a drive to Wetherill Mesa, where there was an extensive burn in 2000, leaving 4740 acres burned, and there is another locked gate. This one I needed a permit for, so I went to the Chief Ranger's office and let them know my intention, then went for a hike. A few hours later I was given clearance.

Half the time has gone by. I'm trying not to think of the remaining days as a countdown, and I tell/counsel myself to use each day well. The best times of day for photography are sun-up and sun-down and I'm determined to not be a slacker in the morning. I'm excited by all of it, especially the grass in bright light, and especially when blended in some way with the burned trees.

The past few days have held many special moments. Park volunteer Tom G. took me to Mug House, and now I can go on my own.

 Mug House double: young yucca and wall

 Volunteer Chris S. helped me to preview images for last Saturday's evening presentation, and then we went hiking the Farming Terrace Trail. I took photos, she looked for birds.

Wednesday morn snowfall, outside my door!

 Along the Farming Terrace Trail

Yucca double with burned tree up center

Sunday morning sunrise

 Light lit grass

 Movement double

Sunday morning Light!

This week will be quieter, more on my own. I would like to post again, but no promises. I will for sure though if we have bad weather.

By the way, the MV Museum here has started a collection of podcasts. You can check them out here:

In parting; no worries about tics here!


  1. Thanks, Ellen. I'm looking forward to my time there. Enjoy!


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