Recent Images

  • Jacob, holding a little black kitten that Donna, the lady on the side of the frame, brought over. That little black kitten grew into an accomplished killer. I once saw this cat jump from the top of our patio fence and catch a bird in mid-air. As you might expect, such a stone-cold killer was not the most cuddly of cats. Donna eventually took the little beast back and put it on vermin patrol in her garden, where I am sure it excelled.

  • Alberta Bernice (Eggar) Drake (1939-2021). My aunt Alberta posing in a bubble bath. Alberta died in early 2021. I belatedly learned of her death from my brother. I’ll miss Alberta. I know she suffered from recurring bouts of depression and spent much of her life yo-yo dieting. However, for me, she was a fun aunt. Goodbye Alberta.

  • The colorful cliffs of Capitol Reef Nationl Park.

  • Chunky getting funky in Escalante.

  • Capital Reef cliff colors.

  • I guess I'm good to go!

  • Mali beside a “tank pool” in Capitol Reef National Park.

  • I'm standing on the rock wall of a Capitol Reef National Park gorge. The scale gives one a sense of the grandeur of these canyons.

  • Old guys like to point out the obvious.

  • Capitol Reef “tank” tableau.

  • Looking northeast from Highway 12 over Boulder Utah. The B&B we stayed at is the large two-part building beside the cattle pastures on the right.

  • The canyon walls surrouding Lower Calf Creek Falls enclose a striking little beach. Despite being a very popular destination the falls was not crowded on the day we visited.

  • Helen, on her first cross Canada road trip in the summer of 1995. Most of my family pictures from the mid-1990s were taken with an old Ph.D. (push here dummy) fully automatic film camera. This camera embossed the date on each film frame. It was EXIF before EXIF. Decades later, I’ve come to appreciate these dated frames; they help date pictures taken with other non-dating cameras.

  • Bill Drake, my long-deceased uncle in 1971. I recently learned of my aunt Alberta’s death. Bill was Alberta’s husband and the father of my three cousins. I’m sorry to say that I have mostly lost touch with this side of the family. I only learned of Alberta’s death in 2021 from my brother. I haven’t heard from any of my cousins, and given that one of them was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple of years ago, I’m not certain they are all alive. Bill was probably the smartest of our lot. He earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry and rose through the ranks to lead a large global chemical company. He suffered from a weak heart and died of a sudden stroke right in the middle of a business diner in South Korea.

  • Walking around the Annie’s Place Bed and Breakfast one late afternoon shooting scenes that caught my eye.

  • Conformed Escalante rock and soil textures.

  • Mali heading up Capitol Reef gorge trail.

  • The Mormon temple in Manti Utah viewed through believer glasses.

  • When I first saw this graffiti on the canyon walls, I thought it was recent. With a second look, the dates in the 1880s jumped out. These abominations predate Capitol Reef National Park. Capitol Reef still has a graffiti problem. 21st-century dipshits still occasionally leave their odious “my dumb ass was here” marks. A shoot to kill policy would quickly correct such behavior.

  • The patterns in the smooth runoff channel rock near a Capitol Reef National Park “tank” got my attention.

  • Mali in Red Butte Gardens. Red Butte is probably the finest botanical garden in the western US. It’s location overlooking the Salt Lake valley easily eclipses gardens in other western cities.

  • Lower Calf Creek Trail landscape.

  • A moonset from the balcony of our B&B. It’s hard to resist a setting moon.

  • Lower Calf Creek Falls. The hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls trail ends at one of the nicest small waterfalls I've seen.

  • In the summer of 1971, I walked around the Livingston Montana golf course with my father, grandfather, and two of their golfing buddies. My grandfather Frank Baker senior is the older man in full-length plaid pants. The man in the yellow shirt beside him is my father, Frank Baker junior. I don’t know the other two men. My dad and grandad were both excellent golfers in their prime. My grandfather even continued golfing after a stroke that made it impossible for him to use both arms. He chased golf balls around the course whacking away with his one good arm while sitting in his golf cart. My father and grandfather are now gone, and I’m next in line. Whenever I look over these old slides, I wish I could give my younger self-framing advice. Never cut off feet in full-body group shots and pay more attention to sun angles to mitigate harsh shadows.

  • Mali wanted to check out the Indian Creek greenbelt trail in Kuna, so we hopped into Chunky and drove to Kuna. Upon arriving, we had a problem finding parking. My parking patience was exhausted years ago. It’s one of the main reasons I refuse to live in large cities, which, with few exceptions, are parking deserts. Some woke-hole cities even take pride in their lack of parking. Savages! While walking, we discovered why the parking spots were filled. Kuna was holding a medieval fair, and mobs of people showed up. It was Monty Pythonesque: “You don’t expect medieval fairs in Kuna.”

  • The view to the north of Annie’s Bed and Breakfast in Boulder Utah.

  • Burr Trail red acne cliffs.

  • Looming Capitol Reef gorge cliffs.

  • We stayed at an eccentric bed and breakfast in Manti Utah. The name Manti derives from one of the ancient North American Hebrew cities mentioned in The Book of Mormon. Just to be clear, there were no pre-Columbian Hebrew cities in North America. Even today, if you exclude some neighborhoods in cities like New York and Los Angeles, there are still no Hebrew cities in North America. The Book of Mormon is best described as Biblical fanboy fantasy. Joseph Smith, or whoever concocted the Book of Mormon, had a lurid imagination. I particularly like his vision of Mormon heaven depicted in the left side painting. In Mormon heaven, you put on your white robes and frolic with your family forever. Mormons didn’t get the message that Hell is other people! I enjoy poking fun at Mormon beliefs, but to be fair, there is a lot of sky fairy nonsense in ancient religious writings. The Book of Mormon and Scientology texts seem crazier because they are more recent than equally absurd fantasies found in the Koran and Bible. Provide a verifiable scientific argument demonstrating why your religion is less made up than Pastafarianism, (the worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), and I might revise my hard-ass skeptical assessment of religious rubbish.

  • The view to the west of Highway 12 over the landscape of Phipps Death Hollow natural area. Notice how large and green the trees are in the stream canyon below.

  • Winning the waterfall pool: this young woman braved the cold water pouring over Lower Calf Creek Falls. Many dipped their toes, but only a few immersed their bodies.

  • A major renovation project in Salt Lake’s Temple Square ruined the standard views so I made do with a traffic mirror selfie.

  • Me dipping my feet in the cool of the Calf Creek Falls pool. The water was cold enough to make your toes go numb.

  • Early morning sunlight falling on the cliffs near our Boulder Utah B&B.

  • After spending the morning hiking the Lower Calf Creek Falls Creek Trail, we took our B&B host’s advice and drove the Burr Trail Road. The road snakes into Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument. Successive US administrations have squabbled over Grand Staircase–Escalante for decades. It was created by Clinton over the objections of Utah, then expanded by Obama, then shrunk by Trump, and now “re-expanded” by Biden. As much as I despise the Federal Government running roughshod over states, given the spectacular landscapes in Grand Staircase–Escalante, I’d favor turning the entire expanded monument into another national park. That would stop the size yo-yo-ing.

  • Aileen, around the time she started walking in a flower garden. Hazel's original Kodachrome slide has retained its colors despite six decades of neglect. Let’s hear it for stable film emulsions.

  • I’ve been experimenting with geometry diagram drawing tools. One of the best I’ve come across is Geogebra (click here). Geogebra is geared toward teaching school kids geometry, and that suits me, a bonafide old boomer fart, just fine. My drafting skills never amounted too much, nor did my grasp of high school geometry. As an 8th grader at the American Community School in Beirut, I was exposed to a proper Euclid Elements style geometry course. Our teacher, an old French Sorbonne graduate, marched us through the first few books of Euclid like we were the tutored children of 17th-century European nobles. Unfortunately, the geometry was wasted on me. I was left with a nagging feeling that impressive as geometric arguments appeared, something was off. It turned out something was off! Euclid’s informal proofs had a few subtle holes that had eluded centuries of inspection.

  • The colored cliffs near the Capitol Reef National Park visitor center.

  • Little feline shits. The Boulder bed breakfast had three “outdoor” cats. One was full-grown, and two, seen here, were kittens. Judging from their behavior, I’m pretty sure the cats did not sign off on the outdoor thing. The second you sat on a balcony chair, they were on you in a flash. If you walked around the house, they chased your shoelaces. If you opened your car door, they jumped in. It was a constant battle keeping them outside. The B&B host kept tossing them out, and they kept sneaking in.

  • An interesting tile pattern and an unintended double entendre. Quick question: if an infinite plane is covered with this tile pattern what percentage of the area is white?

  • Spot the pictographs! One of the “interpretative” trail markers along the Lower Calf Creek Trail directs your gaze to three old rock paintings on the canyon cliffs. When we arrived at this spot, another hiker advised me to follow the vertical cliff stains in the middle of the cliff, to where they end at the bottom, and then look a bit to the left. The three figures were in the shade when I tried to follow these instructions. I was also wearing my dark polarized sunglasses. After I took off my sunglasses, I saw the three figures. Mali didn’t see them, so I patiently repeated the instructions. She still didn’t see them. I repeated my directions and pointed at the cliff. Eventually, we determined that she was following the cliff stains on another cliff! As Red Green so wisely noted, it was my fault that she couldn’t follow directions, “I am a man. I know I’m wrong!”

  • The Anasazi State Park and museum in Boulder Utah was a pleasant surprise. The museum is near an archeological dig of a 13th-century ancestral pueblo village. The dig is on the museum grounds and exposes the remaining foundation stones of the pueblo. The inhabitants abandoned the site after living in the area for about a century. Nobody knows why.

  • Mali reading the lower calf creek trail brochure at a trail marker. The lush vegetation along the stream bed is surprising given that Grand Escalante is a high desert. The high canyon walls limit the direct sunlight falling on the stream bed resulting in a classic riparian microclimate.

  • Striped cliffs on the Burr Trail road. Boulder locals like to drive the canyon after it rains and watch scores of temporary waterfalls pouring from the cliffs.

  • Mali on the Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail. This is a popular hike and it’s easy to see why.

  • Erosion: the ultimate natural abstract artist.

  • Sitting beside a Capitol Reef National Park "tank." Tanks are natural catch basins. Most of the water pours down the wash but tanks retain some of it.

  • My mother Evelyn and brother Steve on a late afternoon winter walk near our Edmonton home in Lansdowne in 1971. My mother has died, and Steve is now (2021) a grandfather in his sixties. Gollum’s riddle about time, “a monster that beats mountains down,” says it all.

  • In the fall of 1970, shortly after being reinfected with the photography virus, I gathered my mother’s blue Persian prayer beads, loaded my father’s old 35m Signet Rangefinder camera with 64 ASA Ektachrome slide film, and headed outside to photograph this still life in our Edmonton Alberta backyard. It surprises me that I can remember so many details about an image I snapped over fifty years ago. I always liked the colors in the resulting slide, and as I kept coming across it in my slide boxes, I would pause and admire it. A few years ago, I scanned it with my trusty Nikon film scanner and saved the scan file in my ever-expanding image directories. Today, while playing with the latest version of Darktable I wondered how well Darktable would handle a standard 16bit TIF. Darktable is used to develop RAW files; it's not geared to TIFs. Out of curiosity: I loaded this image, applied some adjustments, and decided I liked what popped out.

  • We visited Red Butte Gardens on an overcast fall day. The subdued tones here echo the quality of the light.

  • Kitschy yard ornaments on display outside a Torrey souvenir store. My shiny object affliction strikes again!

  • A yard sign beside the outdoor Boulder restaurant Mali picked out. Would it kill the woke to let the rest of us eat without puerile political platitudes?

  • The art of the selfie.

  • Highway 12 runs over the very top of a rock ridge called the Hog’s back. At one point, the width of the road is the ridge top. Highway 12 is a very scenic byway and merits a little pavement porn.

  • More of erosion’s fine artwork.

  • Scenes from Annie’s Bed and Breakfast in Boulder. One of the nicer B&B’s we have visited.

  • Mali standing at the Sundance Resort in Utah. This is the resort Robert Redford started. It’s nestled in a very nice mountain valley near Provo Utah. We drove up to Sundance for breakfast. Travelling with Mali is basically driving from one Mali approved restaurant to another. Breakfast was excellent.

  • We added Capitol Reef National Park to our list this week. Capitol Reef and the nearby Eschalante National Monument are both spectacular and unlike Zion and Arches are not overrun. It helps to be a bit off the beaten path.

  • Ah, come on! It will be more of an adventure without swim diapers.




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