Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Santa's Helper aka the Fetch it Man

Thought I'd get a post out before Christmas...The recent "Big" event here was the Grand snow "storm" of 2017...though it was nowhere near what Jerry and Wanda of EggRolling experienced....It was the first time since 1985 that anyone saw snow flakes in this neck of the woods. Depending on where you live there was anywhere from 2 to 4 inches that stuck to the ground...well until about 10 am the  next day...I did have my snow shovel "on call"...I guess it will now go back in service as my leaf pick er upper. Unlike the Blizzard Jerry had, ours was more of a "Flizzard"...or something like that.
Impact of Storm of 2017...Back yard

We are in full swing in gearing up for the arrival of Santa....The mantel has stocking hung, the Christmas tree is getting the final touches, candle lights in the windows are almost all up.....wish lists have been updated, hints are being thrown out on a continuous basis, Christmas decorations are being placed on everything that doesn't move, the smell of sugar dough is bellowing from the kitchen, eggnog  is being made and tested(sampling takes a long time) and left over Halloween candy is being snacked on, I always buy 3 or 4 bags too many....go figure! ....and before you know it, the calendar will read 2 January 2018 and the scale will show  I've put on 10+ extra pounds....'tis the season. and the memories made....priceless!
(c)2017Horst Kelly...Back yard of my campsite

(c)Horst Kelly...and sunset from Campsite

(c)2017HorstKelly...By the Main Highway near CG
(c)2017HorstKelly...one more 


I suppose I better leave it at that...too busy to write a long Blog....I'm hearing "Horst, fetch me this...can you get me that...need you to make a run to Target and stop by HEB".....plus I'm thinking folks will be to busy to read a long post.....so I leave you with mostly sunset photo's from my recent trip...and the impact of the snow storm...Happy Trails...Horst sends
(c)2017HorstKelly...Close to Home









Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Trip Recap.....Happy Thanksgiving

I just arrived back home...just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving.
(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer
What a wonderful  and relaxing time I had the past 10 days or so..photography became secondary, hiking the trails and experiencing the magnificent sights and sounds of  B A Steinhagen Resevoir   was my main priority . It was a serene experience...and one I hope to return to.  The two camping grounds where totally different ..one was mainly in a "Slough" while Sandy Creek(CoE) was on the open Lake.  Enjoyed both immensely...Martin Dies State park was empty in the section I was in for the entire week...just the Vol Host...however  I was told that on the weekend it was be filled to capacity. I left Friday for Sandy Creek and stayed there until Monday... My spot was site 23 right on the "stickout" area...no neighbors to my left, just water and Cyprus Trees and a site on my right, but down a ways...noone in that site until Sunday evening ....
(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

Though not my usual two plus months to the West, I did enjoy this trip and the location was just "what the Doctor ordered" ...For me I think Spring and Fall are probably the best times to be there...they do have birding activities...lots of canoes and kayaks, which you can also rent..I didn't go, as I forgot to bring my waterproof packs for the camera gear. There will be a next time.

Before I close out this post, I want to give a Congratulations to Jerry and Wanda of Eggrolling Blog... Their Granddaughter just got married...and what a great Tribute Jerry did...Check it out by clicking  EggRolling
(c)2017Horst Kelly photographer

I wish all of you  a very Happy Thanksgiving...and may this holiday week bring lots of Peace, Love and Joy with Friends and Family...and don't forget to invite a "Turkey"...Horst sends

Remember our troops that are not able to be with Family this year...

Image result for soldier having thanksgiving in the field


Friday, November 17, 2017

As They Say....Every Mile is a Memory Maker

Since my last post I have moved to a new Campground. I am now at Sandy Creek CG(CoE)..Another terrific place. I am right on the lake..I'll try download a  photo from my phone.With the Senior pass, its almost like they're paying you.  :)) A little overcast and a nice breeze...I'm here until Monday and then its time to start heading home...but what a great time so far...
(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

Yup there was a small hiccup..Car Battery went dead on me yesterday...first I thought it was the starter as I had no real warning that anything was wrong ..The camp staff and the Vol Host where super...Got a jump, went to Jasper to O'Reilly Auto Parts as they will do some diagnostic stuff...No other problems then the Battery...got a new one...hopefully not some short playing havic on the system...we shall see,  Other than that it been a great five days at State Park..Still was trying to slow down on the number of photo's I take...seems to be working..Though I did play around with my Medium Format Film camera a bit...can't wait to get that developed.
(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

I'll continue doing some exploring in the area and relaxing...this CG will probably get filled up for the weekend...what I like about my site is one side does have a neighbor, the other side bumps up to the woods and the back is at the waters edge....I could get use to this life...Oh, I did travel into Louisiana the other day....didn't hit any towns, so I turned around and came back...I was hoping for some history "stuff"..found none...other than one Bridge on the River that is the state Line...I'll see if I can download the historical marker.
(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

Again, I'll keep this short as not to play havic on my Tethering between phone and laptop...Have a Great weekend...and Happy Trails to ALL.Horst sends

(c)2017 Horst Kelly Photographer..and now its time for the "Sandman" to come put me to sleep

(c)2017Horst Kelly Photography

(c)2017Horst Kelly Photography
My Little Slice of Heaven


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

All Alone...just Me and The Gator.....I'm thinking that could turn into a Country Hit

What a great two days it has been. The weather is better than perfect, and the scenery is fantastic. There is alot to be said for the vast differences of Vistas in Texas. Had a Flatiron steak last night and its Salmon on the menu for this evening...No Moose Drool though....will the suffering ever end. haha
(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer...Fall Reflection

Verizon cell is excellent and though they don't have working wifi, I am tethering to my phone and it seems to work pretty well, even downloading some photo's. Tomorrow I want to do some sightseeing..see whats around the area..the two towns close by are Jasper to the East and Livingston to the West.
(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer...can you hear the Solitude

Will keep this short as not to cause too much havic to my downloading while teathering...don't want to experience another "Blue Screen" as was the case in Big Bend this past March....I leave you with a couple of photo's of the Area...Horst sends
(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Somewhere Between Peace and Tranquity

Its Sunday the 12th of November and I was determined to launch to Martin Dies St. Pk...I was so ready that my entire list of stuff was done Friday afternoon.  It gave me time to relax...and get antsy. This morning I got up at 0500, got all my personal stuff done, finished the little bit of hitching that was left, made coffee..chatted with the Bride...At 0600 we said out goodbyes(Hugs and kisses) and I was looking for the interstate. The drive was pretty boring..and Houston is Houston..arrived at the campground around one pm and they informed me check in was not until two...since I had a reservation I looked at the block of sites in my designated section, found one on the water and they allowed me to check in.... By 3pm the place was empty at least where I am...Ah, the solitude is deafening. :)) I called the bride then drove around to get the lay of the land.
(c)2017 Horst Kelly Photographer blurry do to little wind

I am staying at this campground until Friday and then meander over to Sandy Creek, which is a CoE CG and only a few minutes from here. That's my plan, whether I execute the plan depends on the weather and that all is well on the Home-front!
(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

Its only 620pm but pitch black outside...no human activity...only crickets and a few "gators". To lazy to grill, had leftover chicken I had brought with me.  Life is better than good. Let me see if I can download a couple photo's I took..Verizon has great cell coverage and I am tethering my phone to the computer...I think its going to work pretty well...until next time....and please don't wake me up from this dream.  haha.. Happy Trails Folks.  Horst sends

Friday, November 3, 2017

Going to Find and Catch me "The Crack of Dawn, East Texas Style"


Its been awhile again....We went to Kansas City to Celebrate and "give away" our daughter. It was a magnificent event with a most beautiful lady....and her now husband a terrific person...It took her a long time to find Mister Right, but to me the wait was well worth it. Lots of smiles and tears ...but lots of Memory Makers....It was a wonderful evening of meeting new folks, seeing a daughter about the happiest in her life, which gives me a real warm feeling right between my heart and soul...Yet it was one of the most relaxed weddings I have been to...People had FUN!! ...and there's a lot to be said for fun!
Brad Gaddy and Beth Liston Wedding Photo 3
Bride and Groom....thats all I get to share right now..this was part of their engagement photo's

Stayed in the area for a while so the Better Half and I could visit, relax  and spend some quality time with family and friends..FIL is still going strong at 93....We enjoyed ourselves, headed back and two days after our return both of us caught colds,  mean, ugly ones...not the Flu, just good old fashion colds...the kind that makes you drink Brandy.  :)) Just now getting over them. Plus I manged to break a toe....life is just too good to me.  :))

Now for the "Smiley traveling" news....I am going on a short camping/photo trip. ...and I am biting at the bit...really ready for the adventure. As some of you may remember when I got back from my abbreviated trip(Bride was in hospital) from out West last Fall, I had decided to forego a Fall Western  Trip for this year.  Instead planned to do some short ones around Texas...didn't get to do as I had planned, though I had a terrific trip to Big Bend this past March.
We are in Texas..had a camera for a change

This trip I wanted to see about getting some Fall Foliage somewhere in Texas. There are five good places in the State, so they say...and one of them is suppose to be Martin Dies State Park, which is East and a little north of here...have never camped in that area, so I'm looking forward to it..with a little luck the weather will be nice and there will be some Fall color...but if not, thats OK...I will be spending time with "Mother Nature"....and thats my priority! I also plan to spend a couple days camping a few short miles from there at Sandy Creek, a CoE campground...just to see what its like...both of the campgrounds are on the lake but is more of a forest, swampy area....
Early morning fog

I plan on hitting the road around the 12th of the month...this weekend I'll spend getting all the gear ready to go, getting Ms Casita all cleaned up and road ready and researching for those little known "gems" that are in most areas. It will be terrific just to sit and watch a sunset in the wilderness and the smell bacon and strong coffee as the sun peeks over the horizon..more to follow......Horst sends

BTW...How could I forget...A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to the Houston Astros!!!!!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I am Breathing and there is Movement

It has been 3 months since the last post...I am one of those folks who has not been able to pen out a post lately... for whatever reason....I have not been busy, nor lazy, nor bored with the prospect of writing a post...what it is .....is a mystery to me. But as they say, "What is, is"
(c)2017 Horstkelly photography..From an earlier trip to  Skyline
Drive in Virginia

I do think I've had a motivational lapse due to knowing I wasn't going to go on a 2 or 3 month trip this summer/fall. Due to the heat taking my planned short week or less trips around the State didn't pan out...I did do some "Driveway Camping" and rationalized it as testing systems in the Casita. :))
(c)2017Horst Kelly Photography...Million Dollar Highway, Colorado
I liked the knife "initial" carving in the Aspen
Small town Texas

4 Corners at No Where Texas
I have done some short outings when the heat was under 100, or did it before 10 am...took several photo's...went to various small, almost ghost towns...kinda interesting... played with my medium format camera. I can't wait to travel to the Southwest and fire off several Black and White rolls of film.  Maybe next Spring!
Of Days Gone By...left with Memories

Near San Antonio...10 stop filter used..playing around
Small town Texas...if photos could talk....




I wonder if it had a soda fountain....
I had to chuckle at this "Handicap parking space"...in the
Middle of nowhere....
I'm waiting for the sun to go down.... 

We have been occupied with Hurricane  Harvey, the Storms that impacted Charleston SC(Gkids live) and the upcoming wedding of twin number 2 in Kansas City next month...don't get me started.  Ok, give me a Margarita or three  and I'll bend your ear. :)) We'll be going up there soon, spend a week or so and maybe take a side trip on our way back...I wouldn't mind going to  Eureka Springs in Arkansas and it should be nice this time of year. When we get back, and if the temps have dropped I think I'll hitch up the Casita and  go up to the Northeast part of Texas for a week or so....try to capture some Fall colors at Caddo Lake, Lost Maples or even head West to Guadalupe Mountains...was thinking of going to the Coast, but Harvey got there first and its still a mess. We'll see.

(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

(c)2017 Horst Kelly Photographer...
Taken at Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, Tx.  Great place to visit.
Plenty of shops and Restaurants...
.Hopefully I'll get a post off before Christmas(haha)....take care and safe travels. Horst sends



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reflective Babblings.....and Camera Stuff

Looked at the Calendar and its just about mid June...... I've been busy, but not very productive....and then I've had more self inflicted aliments and wounds and have no idea how they happened...the outcome has been a series of stitches, crutches, toenail removals, physical therapy...and other sundry Bodily fix it stuff. But I'm still breathing and that means moving...so all is well.
(c)2017HorstKelly Photographer

As I recall I was going to write about the increase of visitors in our Parks here in Texas and the impact that was causing. Well, the more time I had reflecting on the issue, the less self righteous I became and the more I came to grips with the reality that more folks are enjoying the outdoors....

The only concern that still lingers is I see a decrease in the "carry in carry out" concept...more stuff on the ground.....      empty waters bottles, papers, soda and beer cans, cigarette butts, increase in noise pollution of all kinds, and sometimes less consideration of the person(s) in the adjacent campsite, and the like. Having said that, I think its a good thing that more people want to be one with nature and explore this great country,  and by the way I can still find numerous places that are isolated...I just have to explore more. :))
(c)2017HorstKellyPhotographer

I was being a selfish old curmudgeon ...Look at the Crowds attempting to summit Mt Everest each season....Now that's a real problem.

As I said I have been busy, it just doesn't show...For one, I've been attentively sitting at my computer and bidding on Camera gear on Ebay... :)) and I ended up buying a new medium format camera and a spot meter.  The camera weighs in at a hefty 8+ pounds, and then you need to have a sturdy(which equals heavy) tripod...which means I'm not in that line that's trying to scale Mt. Everest. I have shot 3 rolls and am waiting to see the results and make sure that there are no light leaks or other stuff wrong with the camera. It is in mint condition so I would be surprised if anything is not working correctly. Plus its all mechanical... no batteries..its modular. comes completely apart, and no "priority setting" to tell it what to do....
(c)2017HorstKellyPhotographer

So why go that route with a camera, when you can buy a digital that does soooo much more and will give you a perfect photo....For me its the same reason folks are enjoying geocaching, woodworking, playing a dulcimer, cooking great dishes, quilting, building houses, extreme hiking...cross word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and the list goes on....to keep the mind and body active...it beats going to planet fitness....well maybe not. :)) I enjoy the slowness of the approach, the decisions I have to make(not the camera)on the  manual setting of aperture and speed based on the reflective lightening, the manual focus, the composition, and the waiting for the result...for me its a relaxing and personal event where you get one shot at doing it right and doing it "not so right" makes you want to go out and concentrate even more the next chance you give yourself. In the fast pace world of instinct gratification and feedback, I enjoy the slow and deliberate process of this method of photography....Now don't get me wrong, I haven't turned into a Monk and gone off to some Tibetan Village in the Himalayans....I still need and enjoy fast food and quick fixes....bottom line I still carry my digital camera with all its "whistles and bells" with me every time I go out to shoot.
(c)2017HorstKellyPhotographer
Have my  images improved, probably not, but like the camping experience, when they say its the journey more than it is the destination. Well that is kinda how it is with this slower process of film photography....at least for me, and my enjoyment has increased ...and that my friends is the bottom line for me.

I have rambled on long enough, I'll close and leave you with some  photos and also my website has some new stuff for 2017.
Speaking of adventures, I hoping to take one to the Coast or to the Jasper, Texas area in the next 3 or 4 weeks...Camping, relaxing, and just enjoying being out...Ahhh


(c)2017HorstKellyPhotographer

     Have a terrific summer and Happy Trails, wherever that Journey may take you. Horst sends

new web photo pages:  new web photo pages link
  
(c)2017HorstKellyPhotographer

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Big Bend...A Haven for Geologists....and a Happy Easter to All

I had intended to write a second installment of my Big Bend trip before this....but sometimes higher priorities work their way into your "gameplan"...The Bride had two Day surgeries since my return...she is doing great, but I am playing the role of Chief Nurse Houlihan ...well maybe just Corporal O'Reilly....Needless to say everything else has taken a back seat.
Big Bend, By My campsite. (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

I did fix my(its dead honey) Lawn Tractor...knowing my limited skills, the Vegas odd makers gave me a zero percent chance of being able to get it started, much less mow a lawn....Just to let the Naysayers know, this morning I cut the Lawn....all 2 1/2 acres of the.....  :)) Also piddled with the camper and other meaningless stuff.

Ahhh, now back to my Big Bend Trip. One of the things I wanted to get into  a post was that Big Bend is a Haven for geologists. There is more diverse fossils/history of the Earth concentrated  at Big Bend than any other place in America...maybe the world. It is a geology treasure trove that spans 130 million years or so.  To give you a short introduction that puts into perspective far better than my ramblings, below is a short article ...your history lesson for Easter.

Article is written  by Amy Atwater, Paleontology Intern and posted in The Paisano, The Big Bend Newspaper.

"One hundred thirty million years of geologic time is preserved at Big Bend, one of the longest and most complete sequences of geologic time in a national park. Big Bend is also the only national park with rocks crossing the K-Pg boundary which marks the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Mule Ears(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer
So it is not surprising that there is an abundance of fossil fi nds here at Big Bend. In fact, over 1200 diff erent species have been found, and some have been found only at Big Bend.
Signifi cant Fossil Discoveries in Big Bend: • Horned dinosaurs such as Agujaceratops mariscalensis and Bravoceratops polyphemus. The Fossil Discovery Exhibit currently has the only Bravoceratops specimen on display. • Long-necked sauropod, Alamosaurus sanjuanensis. This large dinosaur grew up to 80 feet (24 meters) long. • The pterosaur, Quetzalcoatlus northropi. This was the largest known fl ying creature of all time with a wingspan of 36 feet (11 meters). • Duck-billed dinosaur (hadrosaur), Gryposaurus alsatei. A partial skull, vertebrae, and limb bones were found along with Big Bend’s fi rst and Texas’s
second dinosaur skin impressions. • Mosasaurs (large, predatory marine reptiles) found at Big Bend may represent the oldest North American mosasaurs ever found. • Giant alligatoroid, Deinosuchus, was discovered by famous paleontologist Barnum Brown in 1940. This prehistoric alligator could grow up to 39 feet (12 meters) long. • Eighteen stumps of 2 species of fl owering tree (Metcalfeoxylon and Agujoxylon) were found in their original growth positions. This “paleo-forest” allows scientists to determine the height and density of the ancient forest by measuring the distance between the stumps and their diameter. • Mammals such as the brontothere Megacerops, the early mammal Coryphodon, as well as the “dawn horse” Hyracotherium have also been found at Big Bend." 
Big Bend(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer notice tips of mtns through clouds

There is a Museum of sorts ...it is free and is for the most part an Open Air exhibit...but worth going to...IMHO.  I guess I'm just one of those "romantics" who looks at the ground I'm standing on and wonders what or who else stepped/stopped at this exact spot thousands or millions of years ago...I'll never grow up....there is a difference between growing up and growing old. Growing old is kinda mandatory, growing up is optional.  :))

Terlingua, Tx(c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer
I'm guessing that this post is long enough...I will do one more in a week or so  as a wrap up and my thoughts on the increase of visitors to the Park and other observations....

I have posted some more photos.  Here is the link, folder number B has the new stuff.

Appears you need to click on the photo twice to open up the folder. :( 

Big Bend Photo Albums 2017

Happy Easter to all and safe travels.  Horst sends

A little Slice of Heaven, Big Bend(c)2017Horst Kelly photographer


Sunday, March 26, 2017

The New Camping /Photography Adventure Philosophy was a Success ...at least in my Mind....


I am back from my Big Bend adventure, and what a great adventure it was.  I tried to post twice, while at Big Bend,  and somehow the posts disappeared into a computer "Black hole"....Decided to forgo the blog until I returned Home, and here I am.

My last post I was at Seminole Canyon ...The next morning I got up...did a hike around the rim and then left for Big Bend...arriving I was again amazed at the number folks at the park...doing a informal survey of looking at license plates at the visitors center the majority where out of state plates...talking to the Ranger at the visitors Center, he indicated that it had been like this since the New Year. An interesting phenomenon. More on this in my wrap up post.

I decided to stay  at Cottonwood Campground the first night, which is on the West end of the park, close to Santa Elena Canyon. I also booked some dispersed campsites out in the hinterland of Big Bend Heaven...lastly I camped on the East end. Usually Cottonwood has one or two folks at CG...This trip, by 4pm the place was filled up...has about 24 sites.  Again most vehicle's when I was there where from out of State. That afternoon I went to the Canyon to see where a good spot was for an early morning shot...I wanted to try and get a panorama shot if that was possible...with my new shooting philosophy that was going to be my one photo for tomorrow...returning to the CG, I relaxed outside the camper reading a book on Terlinqua. Dinner consisted of a pork steak, coleslaw and German potato salad.

Next morning was  at the Canyon site at about 0545, still dark...found my spot and waited for the sun to sprinkle some magic light on the cliffs....and it did....not a cloud in the sky...I slowed down, set everything up and worked the panorama scene.  Here it is.
Santa Elena Canyon (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer


The rest of the day I hiked, relaxed, and hitched up and moved to my dispersed campsite...it was a mile and a half off the main road, little bumpy, but the end result was fantastic...what do you think.
Campsite (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

Ah, this is when I really feel close to my Maker...solitude,  magnificent views(IMHO), great weather and some of the best creations God molded together. Speaking of weather, one of the things to be cognizant of is that depending on where you are in the park, the temps can be vastly different... due to the elevation gain/loss..anywhere from 1800 or so feet to close to 6000 feet at the Basin.

Dinner the second night consisted of Salmon, spinach salad and Texas Bean salad...sat outside and watched the sun set....and listened to the coyotes..it was a good day!

The next 3 days I picked out some photo ops and went either in the early morning or in the evening...I did cheat a little on my one shot per day and got some photos of the Mules Ears and the  back side of the  Windows.  I changed campsites again and went to Grapevine that has 4 or so boondocking sites...the problem with that is folks drive in  to view  Balanced Rock and a lot of them don't adhere to the speed limit and kick up  limestone dust...not good for the "respiratory concerns"...so after 3 days I moved on. Found another great spot on the East side. Also had a small hiccup, though at the time it appeared more than a hiccup...my "smart" phone decided not to be smart and thought being a "SMARTass" would be more fun...it had a blue screen and said it was downloading, though it wasn't. Long story short I drove to Alpine to a Verizon outlet(200 miles round trip)...and the irony it took the tech no more than 3 seconds to have it running...I ask her what the problem was and that explanation took 15 minutes and I still don't understand. So I ask for the "trick" to fix since I don't want to have another 200 drive...Since I had the digital camera with me, I decided to take some shots on the way back to camp.

Though it was difficult to stick to my one a day shooting and I was only there a couple weeks or so..and it was more crowded than I had anticipated....I can honestly say it is on top of the list as one of my favorite trips.....I relaxed more, read more, cooked more meals, especially breakfasts(which I have always maintained is my favorite camping meal) and enjoyed the area more. I will definably keep "tweaking" this type of photo/camping approach....

I think I have rambled on long enough,  I will do another  couple posts on some of my observations, my thoughts on using the  Mamiya camera and the results,  Big Bend, and other stuff.
All alone in the Fog (c)2017Horst Kelly Photographer

I only posted a couple photos on purpose....the files are large, especially the panaromas and to reduce the size is a major headache for this NOT so techie Guy...so if you click below, it will take you to the 2017 Big Bend folder on my website.....I hope. :))


  2017 Big Bend Trip photo's

  Not all are loaded yet...so keep returning for the next 10 days or so...

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it and especially enjoy reading your comments and thoughts.  Horst sends