直産チーズ – Local Cheese

正に敷地内で生産されているヨーグルトやチーズ。Hildale のフェニーファーム のお店に立ち寄りました。
We stopped by at the Finney Farm shop in Hildale, Utah. They produce yogurt and cheese right on their property.

A tiny building was right along the road. It’s so tiny that only five people max can go inside the shop.

You find photos of their cows with name tags on the wall. It made me so thankful to them for the fresh products and personal service.

We bought a container of cherry yogurt, and several packages of cheese. Kricker cheese is their own type of cheese which tastes like Asiago cheese. Umm, so good.

Thank you… Truly, Sally, and Amy (cow’s names)!!!

しし座流星群 – Leonid Meteor Shower

I couldn’t see the Leonid Meteor Shower. For some reason, I was looking towards the South East sky full of clouds. I only could see the hazy moon.

夜空を見ながらジッとしていたら、自分が動いているんだと気づいてしまいました。いえ、私が発見したわけではなく、もちろん、アインシュタインが「相対性理論」ですでにお話しされてます。ただ、地球上でジッとしていても、秒速 1280 km もの超スピードで宇宙を動いているっていう事実、すごくないですか?
While I was looking at the night sky, I realized that I was moving even though my body was completely still. Of course, I didn’t come up with such a great notion myself. Einstein already wrote about it in his papers on “Relativity.” It’s an awe inspiring feeling that we move 800 miles per second while doing nothing.

秋の色 – Fall Color

空一面に雲が覆っていた。でも一瞬だけMV Rock に朝日が差した。
The sky was covered with dark clouds. But a beam of morning light lit MV rock for a moment.

That’s right. I better look for Fall color before Winter comes.

But what is Fall color?

Where should I go to find it?

Does it have a shape?

The fall color doesn’t fit in my camera.

The wind is getting stronger. Please stop coming, Winter, for a little longer.

Desperately, I looked up to the sky and asked the Sun for help. Then, I could find the color.

やりたい事をすればいい – Do What You Want To Do!

レッドクリフの崖っぷちのポケットに建てられた Tuacahn 野外コンサートホールに、ビーチボーイズがやって来た。
The Beach Boys came to Tuacahn outdoor amphitheater located in at a pocket of red cliffs.

Of course, the performance level wasn’t as good as it used to be. But still the live music is best because the players and audience make the very special “high” moment together. The entire theater was dancing together.

ボーカルのマイク ラブはすでに79歳。将来、車椅子に乗ってでもコンサートを続けるかもしれないと思わせるほど、意欲とパワーがあった。
Mike Love, the vocal, is already 79 years old. But his will power was so great that it made me think that he might be singing on the stage even with a wheelchair in the future.

“If you like it, do it.” “Do what you want to do!” I will remember that when I don’t feel energetic.

焼け跡で - Fire Ravaged Area

We had many wild fires this year, including some in Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. This post is specific to one of them. Although we protect Desert Tortoises there, many of them couldn’t survive through the fire. Even for the survivors, the plants they feed on were burned as well.

Last Spring was my first experience seeing wild Desert Tortoises. Therefore, my heart is still attached to them, and the unfortunate news gave me pain. So I participated in a volunteer project last Wednesday.

The work was simple. It involved planting small native plants and protecting them until they grow larger by adding wire cages around them. The cages are to protect them from being eaten by wild animals.

Plant plants to feed animals, but don’t let them eat? That sounds like a contradiction! It turns out we need to be patient until the plants grow larger after about six months to two years. The plants die if the Desert Tortoises eat them when they are young, but when large enough the plants can easily survive being nibbled on. We will carefully monitor them and remove the cages gradually.

Red Cliffs NCA is right next to the Pine Valley mountains, and a fire started at Pine Valley the day before Wednesday. As we worked, we could see the smoke coming up from there.

By the way, this is a heart-warming story. I was wearing a pair of sunglasses at the beginning of the work, but took them off and put them in my pants. When I was ready to go home, I realized that I don’t have them in the pocket or my backpack. So I asked the students, volunteers, and the professor who organized the activity if they have seen them. They started searching for them without any hesitation. It’s quite a vast area. I was actually ready to give up. But they said, “Don’t worry, we can find them.” and sure enough, they found them 20 minutes later. Wow! I said good-bye saying “You all are my heroes!!!”

That unexpected kindness made me even happier that day.

フクロウが帰って来た The Owl Is Back

Banchan was taking pictures in the backyard in the dark after sunset. So I went out and found a Great horned owl sitting on the neighbor’s roof. “Welcome back, Mr. Gho!”

And you got a treat, too!

隣家の屋根の上で。On top of the neighbor’s roof.
ってしまったと思ったら、ウサギを捕まえた。We thought it flew away, but it actually got a rabbit.

ISO 5000, 800 mm, f/11, 0.4 sec. 獲物が重すぎてまだ飛んで行けない。ちょっと物陰に隠れたつもり。The captured dinner was too heavy, so he couldn’t fly away. He moved to a more secure place beside a rock.

私たちがいると安心しておご馳走を食べられない様子だったので、退散しました。It seems that he couldn’t eat his dinner while we watched, so we left.

ジョンソン キャニオン – Johnson Canyon

スノーキャニオン州立公園内のジョンソン キャニオンは、往復 5 km 未満の短いハイキングコースです。秋の紅葉を探しに出かけましたが、まだ早かったようです。
The Johnson Canyon trail at Snow Canyon State Park is a short hike, about two miles round trip. We went there to see Fall color, but it was still a bit soon.

日没1ー2時間前の渓谷は、もう暗い。It’s already dark in the canyon 1-2 hours before sunset.
あと一週間ぐらいしたら、ここにも秋が来るのでしょうか。It may take another week or so to have Fall color here.
遠くにはコロラド高原の端、断層が見える。We can see the faults at the edge of the Colorado plateau in the distance.
帰り道、夕日が眩しい。遠くにウェストマウンテンが見えます。あそにはもう雪が積もり始めているのでしょうか。The sunset light dazzled my eyes on the way back home. The shaded mountain is the West Mountain. I wondered if I still have time to go there

春にはまだ滝もありそうだし、早朝や夕暮れ時はきっと綺麗なことでしょう。You could see water falls in early spring, and the sunrise and sunset views must be pretty there.

風が変わった – The Wind Has Changed

風が変わった。The wind has changed.

While I was preparing dinner, a large bird flew down onto the backyard lawn. Is this a dream?

A Redtailed Hawk? but the tail is different. A Cooper’s Hawk? But the face is different.

レンズを取り替える間も無く、とりあえずワイドレンズで撮った。I didn’t have time to change the lens, so I took shot’s with a wide angle lens through the window.

ェブ検索の結果、未成年のクーパーハイタカだとわかりました。After a web search, I found that it was a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk.

コヨーテビューツの彫刻 - Sculptures at Coyote Buttes

What a magical power of Nature with the aeolian process.

南コヨーテビューツ – Coyote Buttes South

この美しさを守りたい。 I want to protect this beauty.

This is a wonder of nature created over millions of years.

We won the lottery for the South Coyote Buttes entry tickets in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.

20 people per day total are allowed to enter, 10 from online applications and 10 in person the day before.

The road to get to the trailhead is through deep sand. Even off-road vehicles could , 8and do, get stuck in there if you don’t know how to drive in sand. So we hired a guide to take us there.

そこからおよそ 2.5 km 、道標もない砂原を歩いて辿り着いたナバホ砂岩のビュート群。ティーピーと呼ばれています。
After about 1.5 miles of hiking, we got to the buttes made of Navajo Sandstone. They are specifically called “Teepees”.

The sandstones in Coyote Buttes are so pretty and so fragile as you can see. So I hesitated even to step on them and had to be very careful where I stepped.

We were able to come this far led by our guide, but I really wondered what people do without a guide. They may walk around not knowing where to go and destroy precious sandstone formations. In fact, this has happened not so long ago.

The erosion of wind and water creates these fragile formations. That is why we want to avoid unnecessary damage.

The Navajo Sandstone is the geological formation formed during the Jurassic period. The area was marshy with a river running through it. So dinosaurs roamed around here as well.

Thank god we had our guide. We even didn’t know of the existence of dinosaur tracks. We blew sand off the surface and revealed many footprints.

It is amazing that we could see the footprints made 200 million years ago because they were protected by layers of rock, until finally revealed again by erosion. My thoughts jumped into the fourth dimension again.

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument is vast. Coyote Buttes is only a small portion of it. There are so many other interesting places in there, that I wonder if we have time to visit them all during the remaining time in my life.

ともあれ、この素晴らしい自然を保護してくれるこの国に、新しい Canon EOS R5 に感謝して帰途につきました。
In any case, we went back home, being grateful that this country protects areas like this well. I was also grateful that my new camera, Canon EOS R5, worked so well for me.

渓谷を撮る – Canyon View

キャノンの EOS R5 をテストする為もあり、カナラビルという町からスタートするスプリングクリーク渓谷沿の山道を歩いてみました。
We went to Spring Creek Canyon Trail in Kanarraville. This was my first test of the EOS R5 camera and RF24-70mm lens.

往復 9km 弱という距離ですが、渓谷に入ると石の上を登ったり、小川を渡ったりするので、予想外に時間がかかります。でも、その分、素晴らしい景色が待っていてくれました。
It’s only 5.5 miles round trip but it took much longer because we needed to cross creeks and maneuver up and down rocks. But it was surely worth it because we could see the magnificent view at the end.

The trail was already well into peak Fall. The golden color on trees makes me so restless like Spring time.

空の雲たちも嬉しそう。Even clouds in the sky looked happy.

The Canyon must be near. We could see the orange grow like a lamp in the distant canyon.

期待にソワソワ。The orange glow makes me restless again with high expectation.

やっぱり息を飲む美しさ! Wow, it’s indeed a breathless view!

The canyon was dark and narrow. When I looked up, I found a little tree on a small shoulder of the wall trying to get every little bit of light to grow up.

All shots from the day looked so good that I had a hard time choosing the best. These are the 9 finalists.

The canyon view was far beyond my expectation, and I was happier than ever. The clouds in the fall blue sky were also dancing with joy .

また、EOS R5とRFレンズは、カメラ調整をすっかり忘れてしまうほど、シャカシャカと撮れて満足です。
By the way, the camera and lens were fabulous. I totally forgot to adjust the camera settings yet they gave me great results.

R5が来た! – R5 is here!

キャノンの EOS R5 は発売前から大騒ぎ。発売されてからもバックオーダーで、1ヶ月以上待たされました。
The expectation was so high for Canon’s new camera, EOS R5. Therefore, the demand was so high that I couldn’t get it for more than a month after I ordered it.

これが R5 です。
But now it’s here!

新しいミラーレスの世界。The world of Mirrorless has arrived.

今までのレンズもこのカメラに使えるんですが、アダプターが必要です。でも、そのアダプターも需要度が高すぎて、バックオーダーです。そこで唯一買った R5 専用の RF800mm レンズをつけてテストショットをしてみました。 We can use EF lenses for this camera as well but it requires an adapter. Because of the high demand, I don’t know when I can get EF to RF lens adapter yet. So, I decided to try out a new lens, the RF800mm.

ISO 320, 800mm, f/11, 1/200 sec. 道向こうの隣家の植え込み。 A plant at a neighbor cross a street.

三脚無し、800mmレンズを手で持って撮れるって、今までは夢の世界でしたが、ミラーレスの軽さとスタビライザーのおかげでしょうか。ブレてない。It’s unbelievable that I can hold 800mm lens in my hands, and be able to take picture like this without tripod.

ISO 400,, 800mm, f/11, 1/890 sec. 川向こうの鉄線の向こうの鳥。 A bird beyond river and a wire fence.

バンちゃんのミラーレス用のRF24-70mmレンズを借りて、さらなる手振れテスト。I took a few pictures to test the image stabilization by borrowing Banchan’s new mirrorless lens, the RF24-70mm.

ISO 100, 70mm, f/8.0, 1/80 sec. 中庭。EOS Mark IV での1/200秒ぐらいないとブレが出ることを考えると、全然悪くない。 A courtyard shot. Not bad at all comparing to my usual 1/200 sec. with EOS Mark IV.
ISO 100, 70mm, f/8.0, 1/8 sec. 中庭。1/8 秒では流石にぶれてます。My favorite cortyard sitting area. It was too much to ask not to be blurry with 1/8 sec.

ところで、写真編集段階になって初めて気づきました。私の使っているLiterooomにはROW/CR ファイルはインポートできない!!!だから、JPEGで撮りました。 By the way, I realized that my Lightroom version doesn’t handle the R5 ROW/CR files when I wanted to edit them in Lightroom!!! Ugh. So I took these pictures with JPEG.

ISO 1250, 38mm, f/5.0, 1/125sec. 造花のヒマワリのビーズまで綺麗に撮れてます。ISO1250とは思えない。

 Lightroomを対応バージョンにアップデートする為には、まずMacOSをCatalinaにしなくてはいけないんです。ついにこんな日が来てしまいました。このMacBook Proは2014年に購入し、必要以外極力アップデートは避けてきたんですが、今回ばかりは仕方がない。次回からのブログ写真は、カタリーナからになります。Apparently, I need to update my MacOS to Catalina first before updating Lightroom. I know a day will come eventually that I have to update MacOS, but I refuse to update as much as I could for not only OS but other apps as well to avoid compatibility issues. I guess I can’t anything but surrender. My pictures for this blog will be uploaded via Catalina from next time.

2度目のチャンス – Second Chance

The Texas Sage right outside of our bedroom window was dancing with joy, getting plenty of sunshine when I woke up.

It was so pretty before the last storm but lasted only one day because the storm blew all the petals away. I was reluctant to accept that I would not be able to gaze at them this year anymore. But look at this! This is a gift from nature for me to enjoy the lovely flowers again.

I went out to the backyard right away to look for other Texas Sage flowers, too.

The little leaves looked as if they were sitting on flowers. They even gave me the impression of butterflies sitting on flowers.

The weather is much friendlier and gentler now. Our Texas Sages seem to be fully enjoying the weather.

ワイルドな訪問者 – Wild Visitor

A rustling sound came from a corner in our bedroom this morning. I was shocked to see a Spiny lizard there inside the window not so far away from me. I am sure he was also scared, because he was frantically scratching the window hoping to get out from there.

I screamed and run out of the room, closed the door, and sent a text to Banchan asking him to take care of it. And I left the house for my morning exercise class.

I wonder when the lizard came in. I want to keep all insects and lizards outside of the house!

The spiny lizard was captured safely.

I love to see wildlife outside around our house. We haven’t had many wild visitors this year, compared to last year. So I thought we would be safe inside the house, but I was wrong. Below is a nice portrait picture I took before he ran away at the speed of light.

ミスターゴー – Mr. GHO

It happened one early morning more than a week ago.
The security camera by the front door captured a fantastic action.
A Great Horned Owl landed on a beam in the courtyard.

We jumped out from bed and peaked out through a tiny window in my room. The window is positioned so high that I had to raise my camera over my head without looking.

While I was struggling to see the owl, he jumped on to the guest house roof. So we moved also. Now we could see him from the hallway window. From this window, we took a few decent shots like below.

“The sun has just risen. I assume it is your bedtime and you must return to your nest. Please visit us again! We have many delicious looking rabbits around here.”

I named him “Mr. GHO” (pronounced “ɡō”) hoping to see him again.

The security camera’s video is attached below. He stayed there about 4 minutes, so I trimmed it to make it shorter. The funny thing is that you can see our activity through the window on the left. We were both in pajamas. Banchan was walking naturally, while I was running in a rush.