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Sunset Picture Time!
Pictures for the soul . . .

Posted March 8, 2005 by Michael A. Morrow

I do a 3-mile walk every day. Rain or shine. Around these parts, the weather is mild. It's usually not great, but then again, it's rarely really bad either.

One of the nice things about this area is the views. People don't always appreciate what's right under their noses.

Case in point. I get to look out from this viewpoint every time I go on a walk. Much of the time, it's cloudy and gray. Sometimes it's sunny. But I always stop and look, if only for a few seconds. It's one of the few things that one can do for almost free, and it's magnificent whether you're looking out at a storm-pushed sea, or a calm sunset like the one shown here. The view is actually a 180 degree panorama, but I snapped this narrow picture of just the sunset with my old beat-up K-1000. Very nice, and made my day.

Feluccas at Rest
Sunset on the Nile

Posted May 13, 2004 by Michael A. Morrow

While traveling in Egypt, some friends and I hired a felucca to sail up (down?) the Nile. This shot was taken the night before we left on our little cruise. Our felucca was the one on the left with the person half up the mast stowing the sail.

The experience was a very memorable one, with several sight-seeing stops along the way. The peace and quiet was very relaxing, and Egyption sunsets are almost always beautiful because of all the dust in the air.

Tourists in the Valley of the Kings
The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same ...

Posted May 13, 2004 by Michael A. Morrow

October 3, 1992

Nope. It's not a mistake. It really does say 1992 there. Fourteen years ago. That's 14 - One - Four years ago, when the following happened.

One of the advantages of staying in Hostels while traveling is getting to meet people you wouldn't otherwise meet. I ran into a couple in South Soest (in The Netherlands) who gave me all kinds of tips about local customs. We talked for several hours, and I mentioned that I would eventually wind up in Egypt. When we parted company, they told me to look them up when I got to Amsterdam.

I finally got to Amsterdam, and called them up. We went to eat at an Indonesian restaurant. The food was interesting, and we had a lot of fun discussing differences in table manners (impolite to use both hands to eat in US, impolite NOT to use both hands to eat in the Netherlands), different rock groups and their respective fan's dress codes, the different museums in Amsterdam, and the similarity between the name of an Indonesian vegetable dish called Gata, and the Spanish name for cat, Gato.

They also found the newspaper clipping in the picture above and gave it to me. It's in Dutch, but even I could get the drift. Here's a (very) loose translation:
TOURIST - An extremist Islamic group in Egypt warned tourists not to go near Luxor to visit the temples and graves of the Pharaohs because of conflicts between the fundamentalists and the police.
Luxor. For the uninitiated, Luxor is the jump-off point for tourists visiting the Valley of the Kings, where the Tombs of ancient Pharaohs are located, and where 'King Tut's' tomb was found.

As usual, the 'extremist Islamic group' wasn't telling the real story. The conflict with the police wasn't because there was some minor disagreement over traffic tickets or business licenses. The conflict was because the 'extremist Islamic group' was shooting tourists to drive them away. Why would they want to drive away the tourists, you say? Because tourism brings in most of the hard currency Egypt earns, and if they could bankrupt the country by driving away the only source of hard currency, they could overthrow the government and install a theocracy. Turns out that the more democratic and educated their society gets, the less power the religious leaders have.

The More Things Change ...

Sunset in Apache Junction
Sunsets in the desert can be stunning!
Posted April 20, 2004 by Michael A. Morrow

My Dad sent me this picture he took of a sunset in Apache Junction, Arizona. Pretty Stunning! They don't last long, but they sure are purty!
Sunset in Apache Junction

Is It Art Yet?
Art from Wool in New Mexico
Posted April 13, 2004 by Michael A. Morrow

Late afternoon sun, wool blankets, different fabric textures, and striking colored designs, all neatly framed by dark shadow - I really like the way this picture came out. In the background, draped over the arm of the sofa is one of my favorite wool pieces. The combination of tan, black, yellow, and blue, is striking, and the colors are brilliant.

Hereís a closeup.
I got it at a little weaving shop in Chimayo, New Mexico. If you happen to be passing through the little village of Chimayo, New Mexico, be sure to look up Ortegaís Weaving Shop. Itís a tiny little place, and you have to look for it - it isnít on the main road. They hand-weave beautiful 100% wool rugs, blankets, and placemats. I picked up a 6 x 3 foot blanket, and several placemat-sized pieces. They arenít inexpensive, but they are very tightly woven, and the quality is very high. You can get and use them as wall hangings, blankets, carpets, placemats, end table covers, etc., etc., etc. When I was there (1987?), they took credit cards - a great way to go, Ďcause I guarantee youíll see a bunch of stuff youíll want.

The address from one of the labels says:

Ortegaís Weaving Shop
Chimayo, New Mexico

I looked it up on the internet, and found their web-site and a more detailed address:

Ortegas Weaving Shop
Nm 76 And Nm 520
Chimayo, NM
(505) 351-4215

If you are passing through, say, on your way to Taos?, be sure to drop in and visit them.
Is It Art Yet?

"O fatherland, O Ilium home of the gods, O Troy walls famed in battle!" - Virgil -
Posted April 4, 2004 by Michael A. Morrow

One of the neatest moments of my travels - sitting on the walls of Troy on my 36th birthday and watching the sun set.

Amazing events must have transpired here to spawn Homerís Iliad, the beginning of secular written history.

Itís a fantastic view, but a different landscape than in Homeric times. Several thousand years of erosion have turned a once great harbor into a silted plain of rich farmland plowed by the descendants of Troy.

This monument of history has been visited by generals, leaders, historians, archeologists, romantics, and poets throughout the ages. It will be interesting to see how the new movie TROY deals with the most famous love story of all time. I leave you with a little Tennyson and Marlowe:

Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners; climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honored of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world.

Lord Alfred Tennyson

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships,

And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?

Sweet Helen, make me immortal with kiss.

Her lips suck forth my soul; see, where it flies!

Christopher Marlowe


Bryce Canyon
Addendum: All the photos in this post were taken on August 11, 1985. The original idea for the story of "The Running Tree" formed in my mind as soon as I saw the little tree on that day. With the story forming in my mind, I framed and took the picture so as to give the best impression of the little tree scampering over the edge of the hill. It worked. I gave a slide show after my return from the trip which included the short story (related below) of how I got the picture. The picture and the story prompted several of my friends to go see "The Running Tree", and the rest is history. A scenic attraction had been created. Do an internet search now for "The Running Tree", and you will find numerous photos taken over the years, all because of one little humorous slide show story of a little tree scampering over the edge of a hill into the fantasy-inspiring spires of the Queen's Garden.

Fantasyland in the Queen's Garden
Posted March 30, 2004 by Michael A. Morrow

Bryce Canyon - Stunningly beautiful, and one of my all-time favorites. I had just spent 4 hours hiking the Fairyland Trail in 90+ degree heat.

The scenery was magnificent. There were post-card views everywhere, so film was used as fast as I could put it in the camera. The trail finally came out at the north end of the rim by the campgrounds in the shade of trees.

A quick hike back up the rim to the Queen's Garden trail head was in order - I wanted to see it before it went into shade. I hustled down the Queen's Garden trail into a surreal landscape of fairy tale spikes and spires. More film used. Then with the shade of dusk approaching, I hiked back up to a vantage point on the rim that looked out over the canyon.

Looking north, you could see the Fairyland Trail snaking through the red, orange, and white rock formations. While admiring the beauty, I heard a rustle behind me and caught movement from the corner of my eye. I whirled around just in time to see a little tree running over the edge of the canyon towards the Queen's Garden.

The camera was already cocked (a bad but useful habit), and I just managed to get a shot as it scampered over the edge and into the lengthening shadows in the fantasyland of spires which made up the Queen's Garden.

OK, so maybe it was a little fanciful. But if you have any imagination at all, it seems not at all improbable after seeing the fantastic scenery of Bryce Canyon.

And just to give you a little incentive to see it for yourself, that little tree is STILL THERE! Check in the vicinity of Sunrise Point, near the Queen's Garden Trail Head.

I heartily recommend Bryce as a destination. Go there. See it. Take a bunch of film, your imagination, and if it's hot, take a hat, and lots of water or your favorite soda. Don't forget your sunscreen, as the park is at 9,000 feet, the air is thin, and you can burn fast.

- Bryce Canyon -

Recent Posts

Sunset in Apache Junction

Is It Art Yet?


Bryce Canyon - Fantasyland in the Queen's Garden

Copyright Michael A. Morrow - March 21, 2004.