The town of Erie’s balloon festival is normally in May but this year all of the rain we had turned the field into a muddy mess so it was postponed to this weekend. About 20 balloons were inflated with most taking to the skies making for some very colorful scenes. I don’t usually post pics the day I take them but I figure some locals may want to go check out this event as it continues tomorrow. Head over to the Erie Chamber website for details. Thank you to the town of Erie, the chamber and the balloonists for putting on a fun show!
Not one of the birds I was expecting to photograph yesterday. ? While photographing a wide variety of feathered friends, I heard the sound of a small engine growing closer. Soon, this guy appeared, flying over the state park, sometimes as low as 30 feet above the ground. It was fun to see but I don’t expect many of the campers enjoyed the noise on what was otherwise a quiet Sunday morning.
So frustrating. I was setting up the perfect shot of the daytime waning gibbous moon as it hung gloriously in the clear blue, Colorado sky. Our only natural satellite looked fantastic up there and then, suddenly a streak of blue, gold and red comes flying through the frame. Dang it! 😀
Okay, in all seriousness, I don’t blame the airline or pilot one bit and was actually kind of happy to have them fly by. I was looking to find a composition that included the moon when I saw the airliner approaching. Quickly I zoomed in and started snapping, capturing a nice sequence of images.
I do have to ask though… Next time Southwest Airlines, could you fly directly in front of the moon? That would make an even better shot. 😉
Of all the demonstrations at The Great Colorado Air Show last month, this was the one I was most looking forward to. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is the United States’ latest fighter aircraft and I expected it to be impressive – and it was.
The U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team and pilot Major Kristin “Beo” Wolfe put on a heck of a show. The single-seat, single-engine aircraft was amazing to watch, feel and hear.
It is interesting to note that there are three distinct versions of the F-35 Lighting II.
The F-35A, seen here, is the Air Force version and the lightest of the bunch. The Marine Corps flies the F-35B with it having the distinct capability of short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL), allowing it to operate in a wider variety of environments and off of Navy amphibious assault ships. The F-35C is the U.S. Navy’s version, beefed up with larger, foldable wings and stronger landing gear for operations off of aircraft carriers.
Continuing to intermittently share my pictures from The Great Colorado Air Show a couple weeks ago. This was one of the two military aircraft I was most looking forward to seeing.
The A-10, affectionately nicknamed the Warthog, is absolutely legendary. It is a plane, quite literally, built around a gun – a beast that shoots 30mm rounds at nearly 4,000 rounds per minute. That gun and the other armament the plane can carry make it perfectly suited for its mission of providing close air support to ground troops. Titanium armor helps to protect the pilot and the essential aircraft systems from ground fire.
For the air show, the demonstration team showcased the plane’s maneuverability and demonstrated attack maneuvers like what are used in combat. These planes may not be the prettiest or the fastest but they are nothing short of incredible.
Photographer’s note: I thank you for continuing to indulge me while I share some pictures of “birds” far different from what you normally see on this page. It was a fun and challenging event photographing the planes at the air show and don’t worry, feathered birds and furry creatures will certainly continue to dominate the pictures you see here.
A local aerobatic team that put on a heck of a display at the Great Colorado Air Show last weekend. Their seven planes may not have the speed associated with the military demonstration teams but that doesn’t make them any less exciting.
As I understand it, this was their last public performance as the team undergoes some changes. I am glad to have gotten to see them one last time.
Being a sailor, you can of course guess how much I loved seeing these! It has been 20+ years since I last saw the Blues perform and this was a good year to do it as they transitioned to the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
Arriving at my campsite last Thursday, I was greeted by the familiar sound of roaring military power as the Blue Angels wrapped up their practice for the day. The next day I watched them practice from the campground and then Saturday and Sunday from the The Great Colorado Air Show itself.
Several hundred pictures later, I am not entirely sure which ones to share but here is a batch of my personal favorites, mainly because at least a few are uncommon views of this amazing team at work. It certainly brought back memories of my time in the service working in aviation and being on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
My thanks to my shipmates for their service and for a show well done. Bravo zulu!
Definitely not the usual type of birds I photograph but I couldn’t resist. I had long planned for this, making reservations at Boyd Lake State Park six months ago and buying tickets for the show the second they were available. Mother Nature played nice and it was a great way to wrap up our camping season watching stunt planes, parachutists and, of course, the Blue Angels. My thanks to all of the people that worked hard to make this show happen, the volunteers, and the performers. Please do it again soon!
I’ll be incommunicado this weekend while I hang out with some warthogs and hornets and watch some lightning. 😉 More pics to come on Monday.
Not the usual type of “bird” I photograph but this was something I had never seen before and I spent hours watching and photographing the action.
One of the biggest hazards after a wildfire is the potential for erosion, mudslides, water supply contamination and further damage due to a bare, plant-less landscape. To help speed recovery, large areas need to be reseeded.
Grand County’s Northern Water began a project using helicopters. The Kaman K-MAX helicopter is perfectly matched for the task.
Capable of hoisting up to 6,000 pounds and being highly maneuverable, the chopper initially made passes with a large “bucket” dispensing what I presume was seed. The days that followed saw it carrying nets full of mulch which it was then dropping on the same areas.
It was pretty impressive to watch these pilots operate with amazing speed and precision and is just another step toward recovering from last year’s devastating blazes.