Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Happy New Year!  May 2019 be a better year for each of us.

I am wishing you Peaceful Places:
·         A Quiet Pond;
·         A Serene Lake and Breathtaking Formations ;
·         A Hidden Forest Glen;
·         A Lazy Stream;
·         A Bubbling Creek;
·         A Wooden Footbridge Crossing;
·         Majestic Mountains and Snow-capped Peaks;
·         Sandy Beaches and Quiet Harbors;
·         A Canyon of Rich Hues;
·         A Beautiful Valley View;
·         A Gentle Waterfall;
·         A Tranquil Garden;
·         A Calm Place to Sit and Ponder;
·         A Field of Fragrant Flowers;
·         A Lush Meadow of Waving Grass;
·         A Sky of Floating Clouds;
·         A Soft Sunrise to Greet Your Day;
·         A Sunset at Day’s End;
·         And Twilight Scenes to Grace Your Night

I wish these things for all of you, along with a joyful year with no sorrow; a prosperous year with no new debts; a calm year with no anxiety; a year to enjoy sunny days and the beauty of God’s earth unspoiled by earthquakes or tornadoes. I wish you – most of all – Peace.

I hope you will view the new page on the website (www.obscureobservations.com) titled Peaceful Places. There are two or three pictures for each wish shown here; and many more I could add.  These are places which bring me serenity, and I hope they will for you as well.  A 20-page hard bound photo book featuring these photos will be available soon. 
Peace from the Desert… Karen

Monday, December 10, 2018

December 2018 Orations
Advent has begun. May all the blessings of the season be yours!  Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanza! And have a safe, New Year’s Eve celebration.
So you don’t believe in Santa Claus?  If you look at our Photo of the Month and the Featured Series, you might want to change your mind.  I found out where the reindeer (caribou) rest in the summer, and had the privilege of meeting and photographing a few of them.  They move down from the North Pole into greener pastures in central Alaska, and build up strength for the long flight on Christmas Eve.  It’s no easy job with Santa and all those toys onboard the sleigh.  I wonder how they even fly themselves with the huge antlers they have.  Seriously, they are magnificent animals, and look as though they could pull a sleigh most anywhere.  Enjoy the photos. (https://www.obscureobservations.com)
While you are exploring our website this month, check out the Antlered Kritters under the Animal Antics tab.  Not only will you find the caribou, but elk and deer as well.  Most of the elk and deer were taken on or near the Mogollon Rim, here in Arizona, and many of the elk had wandered onto our road near our cabin.  They know they are safe there.  Enjoy the pictures.
See you in the New Year!
Peace from the Desert… Karen

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Behind the Grass

November 2018 Orations

Happy Thanksgiving!  Daylight Savings Time finally ended, and I can stop figuring out if the East Coast is two or three hours ahead and if we are on the same time as California or not.  Enjoy the fall weather!  Have you started preparing for Christmas and the holiday season?  If so, you are ahead of me.

I am not doing a typical Thanksgiving theme this year.  I found some interesting photos from a previous trip to Niagara Falls, and liked them so much that I decided to feature them.  All the flowers are found around, beside and below a spray of Purple Fountain Grass, some hidden slightly.  I think you will enjoy them.

Our featured page this month is found on the Tree tab on the left side under Flowers & Foliage. When you open the Tree page, scroll on down to the autumn photos. I could not pass up fall selections entirely, even though not the featured selections, and added many new photos that I really like.  The aspen in their brilliant yellows and oak leaves in their brilliant orange, yellow and brown are particularly beautiful, and there are red leaves showing in some.  We have a type of maple here in Arizona, though not the typical one found in most places. You will find these photos at www.obscureobservations.com/tree.shtml.  

Peace from the Desert… Karen

Friday, October 5, 2018

October 2018 Orations
This month we are featuring the mesas of the Mogollon (mug-ee-OWN) Rim, which runs across the central portion of the state of Arizona.  It is fascinating to view and scary to drive across the Rim Road, which incorporates part of the original General Crook Trail during his explorations. Our Photo of the Month was taken from the highway below the Rim showing some mesas, and the Featured Series photos were taken from the Rim Road, showing the depth of the canyons. For your edification, I have borrowed some information from Wikipedia which describes the Rim.
“The Mogollon Rim is a topographical and geological feature of mesas (an isolated flat-topped hill with steep sides, found in landscapes with horizontal strata) cutting across the state of Arizona. It extends approximately 200 miles (320 km), starting in northern Yavapai County and running eastward, ending near the border with New Mexico.  It forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona.
The Rim is an escarpment (a long cliff or steep slope separating two comparatively level or more gently sloping surfaces and resulting from erosion or faulting) defining the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Its central and most spectacular portions are characterized by high cliffs of limestone and sandstone, namely the Kaibab Limestone and Coconino Sandstone cliffs. The escarpment was created by erosion and faulting, cutting dramatic canyons into it, including Fossil Creek Canyon and Pine Canyon. The name Mogollon comes from Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, the Spanish Governor of New Mexico from 1712 to 1715.
Much of the land south of the Mogollon Rim lies 4,000 to 5,000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 m) above sea level, with the escarpment rising to about 8,000 ft (2,400 m). Extensive Ponderosa pine forests are found both on the slopes of the Rim and on the plateau north of it. The Mogollon Rim's limestones and sandstones were formed from sediments deposited in the Carboniferous and Permian Periods. Several of the Rim's rock formations are also seen on the walls of the Grand Canyon. In many places, the Rim is capped or even buried by the extensive basaltic lava flows. The uppermost sandstone stratum of the Mogollon Rim, called the Coconino Sandstone, forms spectacular white cliffs, sometimes several hundred feet high. This formation of the Permian Period is of aeolian (windblown) origin and is one of the thickest sand-dune-derived sandstones on earth.”
I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of the Mogollon Rim.  Until next time…
Peace from the Desert…

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

September 2018 Orations
This month, though slightly out of season, I have featured the water lily.  I have been photographing them in a variety of places for many years, and find them to be a beautiful flower.  I wanted to know more about them, so looked them up on Wikipedia.  Following are some facts I gleamed from that source.
Nymphaeaceae  is a family of flowering plants, commonly called water lilies. They live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs in temperate and tropical climates around the world. The family contains five genera with about 70 known species. Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on or emergent from the surface. The leaves are round, with a radial notch.  Water lilies are a well studied plant because their large flowers with multiple unspecialized parts were initially considered to represent the floral pattern of the earliest flowering plants, and later genetic studies confirmed their evolutionary position.  The beautiful nature of water lilies has led to their widespread use as ornamental plants. The Mexican water lily, native to the Gulf Coast of North America, is planted throughout the continent. It has escaped from cultivation and become invasive in some areas, such as California's San Joaquin Valley. The white water lily is the national flower of Bangladesh and state flower for Andhra Pradesh, India. The seal of Bangladesh contains a lily floating on water. The blue water lily is the national flower of Sri Lanka. It is also the birth flower for July.  Water lilies were depicted by the French artist Claude Monet (1840–1926) in a series of paintings.
I hope you enjoy my Photo of the Month and the Featured Series.  Take time to explore the other flowers featured in our Beautiful Blossoms section. You will find a series of all ten water lily photos. I have also made some additions to Fountains, found under the Wonderful Water link, and an updated photo or two on the Wildflowers page.
I am adding some new features, one of which is a page with framed pictures on it.  If you have wondered how something might look framed this page may help.  It is just a small selection, but I have included flowers, a fountain and a landscape, and they will give you an idea of the type of frame you might purchase for your fine art print. Please note that Obscure Observations Photography does not sell frames nor offer framing.  
I am also featuring a particular page from the website this month.  That is Antelope Canyon, and you can reach it by clicking on this link. www.obscureobservations.com/antelopecanon.shtml.
Peace from the Desert…

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Shore Bird
July 2018 Orations
Hope you all had a great 4th of July celebration. A lot of those in Arizona were canceled due to our forests being so very dry.  We had little rain during the winter and none to speak of for Spring.  We are hoping for a good Monsoon season.

My featured photographs this month have little to do with the patriotism we applaud and celebrate here in the U.S. this time of year. I have decided to bring you an "almost" black and white series. The Photo of the Month is a shore bird walking along a beachfront, and I just happened to catch him at the right moment. He is nearly black & white but with highlights of blue and tan in his feathers, and he is walking across white sand, which is cream in color. I spent a lot of time "separating" him from the sand and producing a distinct body and beak - the latter of which blended in to the sand. He is a beautiful bird and I was pleased with the characteristics I was able to capture with my camera and bring out with techniques I love to use.Then I had the dilemma of whether of "give" you more birds for this month, or stick to the black &white. I decided to do strictly black and white, or almost black and white.

My featured series is an interesting presentation of patterns and shadows, originally shot in black and white, but to make them more interesting I have a touch of color added. Two are truly shadow patterns, the third is a wonderful lake on the Canadian border with a lot of deadwood along the shore, and just a hint of color added to the water. I have a lot of fun creating these and I hope you will enjoy them. Please view them at www.obscureobservations.com.

Until next month . . .

Peace from the desert . . . Karen

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 2018 Orations

Happy Summer!  Hopefully, wherever you are you are enjoying the warm weather, looking forward to school being out and planning some summer vacations. It seems the weather is pretty erratic this spring. I hope the current subtropical storm does no harm in your area.

This month I am exploring some fun variation on flowers, with the base subject [in most cases] the daffodil. The double daffodil is frilly and elegant and perfect for applying different effects. I particularly had fun with a colored gradient in different degrees of intensity.  Check them out in our new Photo of the Month (which really is a different photo each month) and in our Featured Series of the Month, which is a series of three different photos often a similar subject related to Photo of the Month. 

While you are exploring, please remember that all of the photographs on our site are for sale.  The Portrait Portfolio contains both portraits that have been taken for stock and are for licensing and some which are examples of the types of portraits we can take for your stock needs. Our Smart & Sassy section features some beautiful African American women all available for licensing.  Our Spirited Seniors section holds examples of our favorite senior citizen models in a variety of happenings.

I hope that you had a nice Memorial Day remembering those who served for our country.  I hope that you summer is pleasant, and I will see you again next month.

Peace from the Desert… Karen