Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Photos That Tell the Rest of the Story

This little photo essay is an experiment. My record with photo placement on Blogger is spotty at best. Sometimes the layout is exactly as I planned. Other times my first attempt looks like I stirred the content with an old-fashioned egg beater. I've put together this post to pre-schedule for early Wednesday morning, so if you get here before I do and see a scrambled mess, check back later. I will attempt to fix it and re-post later in the day.

In Monday's post I mentioned some of the things I did on my vacation in Las Vegas. Here are a few photos that clearly, or in some cases not so clearly, tell more of the story.

There's a large tank full of jelly fish in the middle of a room at the Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay, and I tried a dozen different ways to capture the feel using background light from the far side of the container. This is the best I could do. The creatures were constantly moving and pulsing, so a bit of blurriness was inevitable.

The dolphins at Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage are not used for tricks or shows, but these guys seemed interested in putting on their own form of entertainment for the crowd. The beached dolphin got there on his own, and seemed able to jump out of the water and back in at will. The curious fellow in the water seemed interested in these crazy antics, but he didn't try any unusual moves of his own.

In the evening after dinner, we headed outside to wait for the volcano eruption in the lagoon in front of The Mirage. The first picture looks across the water with the edge of the volcano on the left side of the photo.

All is calm . . .

until the eruption begins. Here are different phases, ending with the fire on the lagoon itself. As the display increased in intensity and the flames became visible between the rocks, we felt the heat.

My face flushed. Perspiration beaded on my forehead and on the back of my neck.

Well, okay, the air temperature was close to a hundred degrees without the volcano, but the flames made the evening air even hotter. Earlier in the day we were using glasses of ice to cool off . . .

and hot fudge sundaes.

Oops, let's get back to the volcano.

The flames leaped higher . . .

and exploded through the rocks.

All these little gas jets poked up out of the water and flared so it looked as though the volcano was throwing burning debris into the lagoon.

Okay, enough with the volcano. I'm sure it was nothing compared to the real thing in Iceland.

We ended the evening by attending that Cirque du Soleil Love event featuring the Beatles and their music. Well, not the real Beatles, of course. But there were some poignant special effects that made the show extra-special.

No photos were allowed inside, so I made sure to get a shot of this huge neon ad outside The Mirage.

I eventually had to stop eating and playing and go home. We were on a driving trip because the route from Colorado through Utah to Las Vegas is so beautiful. There's something new to see every few miles. These two random shots through the window of our moving car are a sample. I didn't keep track, but I think the first one is in Utah.

This shot was taken in the mountains in Colorado. All that green is a result of the extremely wet weather Colorado experienced while we were roasting in Las Vegas. You can almost see the snow on that far peak in the background if you squint your eyes and use your imagination. It's there, I promise.

The brownish trees in the center background are probably pine trees killed by the mountain pine beetle. It doesn't look so bad in this location, but some parts of Colorado are horribly blighted by these infestations.

That's all, folks. Be sure to come back tomorrow for my guest blogger, Wyoming mystery author Barbara Graham, who will tell you about her writing life and that all-exciting path to publication.


welcome to my world of poetry said...

An excellent post Patricia, having been to Vegas I reconised some of the places. There certainly are some lovely scenery enroute to and from Las Vegas.
Have a safe journey,

Ann Best said...

I enjoyed this photographic tour. Except for the first two, which you'll probably fix, the others turned out very well. I'm impressed since I don't yet know how to get my photos to come out smaller for posting.

I'll look forward to your guest blogger tomorrow!!

Ann Best said...

p.s. Being from Utah I miss those western scenes! Nostalgia is setting in . . .

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel like that dolphin out of water. Maybe he's just having on of those days. Glad you're having fun. Is there a sotry brewing that takes place in Las Vegas?

Stephen Tremp

Carol Kilgore said...

I can see what a great time you had. At the Corpus Christi acquarium a few years ago, I tried to take photos of part of their jellyfish exhibit. Mine didn't turn out well at all, but they are fascinating to watch.

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, those photos are amazing. I've been to Las Vegas before but I don't remember it being so beautiful. Of course, I was really young...IMHO, Colorado is one of the most beautiful states I've seen.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. I love the dolphin. Super cute!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm surprised, there's only one photo out of place when viewed in both Firefox and Internet Explorer. The jelly fish photos are as good as they're going to get (at least until I learn how to use PhotoShop), but I couldn't resist posting them anyway. I was so fascinated by that display that I kept going back. The last two, taken from a moving car, are better than I expected. I'd like to get better at using this little digital camera...I think it livens up a blog to have a few photos once in a while.

Gary said...

That shot of the rugged butte is almost an exact duplicate to the one I took on a trip last year. Mine is a bit fuzzy, as the car was moving at about 70mph when I took it through the windshield.
It is indeed in Utah, and not too far from the Colorado border.

I made the trip when the aspens were decked out in their golden fall foilage, and yes, it is a beautiful drive.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great photos - thanks for sharing! :)

Barbara Scully said...

Thanks for this post Patricia - I loved reading about Vegas... its a place we would love to see.

But I love the contrast between the photos of man made madness in Vegas the beauty of the countryside on your drive home.

Brilliant - thank you!

Jan Morrison said...

So great to see your photos! Makes me want to go for sure...