Wednesday, April 19, 2017

melissaenderle


Spring Awakens at Olbrich Gardens


Having photographed (at least according to my sister) all the flowers in Korea, it was high time that I began to document those spring beauties in Wisconsin. Spring in Wisconsin is a few weeks behind that of Korea, so I had to be a bit more patient. Finally (as my eyes and sinuses also revealed), the warmer temperatures have awakened spring in the area. After completing my online teaching, I took advantage of the pleasant temperatures and non-rainy late morning to walk to the Olbrich Gardens. It was the first time that I had visited Olbrich in spring, so I was eager to see what it would look like.


Other people, young and old, seemed to have had the same idea, strolling around the grounds (free admission) to see what firstfruits of spring were present. While many areas still looked rather dormant, sections were sprinkled with color. Blue Stars carpeted the ground, interspersed with daffodils. Magnolias and cherry blossoms added to the color palette, offering variation in size and color. I crouched low to the ground to get some shots, immediately getting dirt on my freshly laundered jeans. Oh, the price that a photographer must pay! 

Needless to say, it wasn't difficult to quickly rack up quite a few shots. I'll have to return in a week or less to see what further changes there will be. The folks (including many volunteers) were busy with spring cleaning and preparing many areas. I can't wait to see the fruits of their labors!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

On our way to Antelope Canyon, we stopped for a short visit to Horseshoe Bend.  Although it is located only five miles from the beginning of the Grand Canyon National Park, the weather was remarkably different from our visit to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon just a day earlier. 
To reach the famed spot, we walked about 3/4 a mile off of Highway 89. The soil here was very sandy, its red-orange color contrasting sharply with the blue skies above. Not a tree in sight.
In a few places, people had created sculptures with the rocks.


The sandstone rocks were quite weathered, sculpted by wind and rain.
A boat makes its way around the bend
Once at the lookout point, we were afforded a breathtaking view of the Colorado River 1,000 feet (305 meters) below, curving its way around the Navajo sandstone. In addition to taking the classic shot of the bend, I took some alternative views. 


A bridal couple posed for some photos. A drone (even though signs explicitly stated that drones were forbidden) buzzed overhead, taking additional shots. 

If you are visiting the Grand Canyon or Antelope Canyon, this stop is worth your time! 

Arizona, Horseshoebend, melissaenderle


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Walk Through the Desert Wildflowers at Catalina State Park

I timed my trip down to Arizona this spring so I could see the desert wildflowers. The area had received ample rainfall this winter, so the flowers were happy. We took a drive about 1 1/2 hours away and visited the Catalina State Park near Tucson. 

I was surprised to see how green much of the park was. The leaves of many of the trees were emerging, and grasses of different sorts looked very fresh - unlike the wild grasses near Apache Junction which have already dried up. The creek going through the park definitely helped.
In addition, the area was dotted with various wildflowers, in various intensities of yellow, white, orange, red, orange, and blue. Some were so tiny and appeared to be very fragile. They reminded me of some of the tundra flowers higher on a mountain.

Some of the flowers played hide-and-seek, peeking out between the cacti. Many of the cacti themselves were beginning to blossom as well. I suspect that in a few weeks, rocky hills and mountains in this park will look very different yet again, with these fragile rainbows all dry and withered up, hoping to reappear next year.

See more of my photos from Catalina State Park on my Flickr Site

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Meetup with Teton Ken

Having completed my drawing of Teton Ken and his burro Daisy, I wanted to bring the artwork back to Arizona so Ken could see it. He had been so obliging when I had asked if I could take some photos of him back in December, that I wanted to show him what I had created. I called up the staff at the Superstition Mountain Museum where Ken often came during the weekends to give kids ride on his burros. They informed me that Teton Ken had been recovering from a heart attack he had about a month ago. Upon seeing the drawing, they gave me Ken's phone number and we arranged to meet the following day. 

Ken was especially touched that I had included his burro Daisy, as she had died from a rattlesnake bite just a few days prior to his heart attack. Ken said I had captured Daisy's likeness and his pals agreed that the depiction of this former prospector was quite authentic as well.