Make a lovely face, Roxanne

In spite of fitful weather, we headed downtown yesterday for the 2012 Denver Chalk Art Festival. This was one of our favorites (reminds me of our kiddo’s response to a camera):

Make a lovely face, Roxanne

Normally the weather’s pretty cooperative by this time of year — it’s generally hot, but dry. This year, for some reason, we’ve had alternating hot & dry / cool & wet weather for the past few weeks. Saturday night, we got nailed by some fast-moving thunderstorms.

So most of the chalk artists lost Saturday’s work (in full or in part), and had to do major repairs on Sunday. Pretty impressive for a day’s work, I’d say…

Great Expectations

One of the best parts of living in Colorado is that we can get up to some… interesting… mountain events over the course of the year. This was a Canadian entry at the 2012 Breckenridge snow sculpture contest:

Great Expectations

I’m always amazed at just how much detail the sculptors can coax out of packed snow (OK, in this case with a bit of help from some icicles).

Great Expectations details 1

And of course, you have to look carefully to spot all the goodies they’ve packed into their work.

Great Expectations details 2

Ridin’ and shootin’

Another fun shot from the 2012 National Western Stock Show — this one from the Cowboy Mounted Shooting event:

Ridin' and shootin'

Honestly, I’d never even *heard* of Cowboy Mounted Shooting as a competitive event before. But when we showed up at the stock show ticket desk, we could definitely hear it! We wandered into the arena to see what all the noise was from — and found this fun little event going on.

Getting this shot was a bit tricky, though. The arena lights are relatively dim, and the horses move pretty quickly — so I had to let the ISO get up to 2500 in order to get a reasonably fast shutter speed. At times like this, it helps to catch the action when the horse and rider are rounding a corner — so they’re moving as slowly as they’ll ever be. Oh, and put your camera on “continuous” shooting — catching sparks in mid-air is a game of chance…


A Quick Engine Change (QEC) unit for a historic P-38 fighter undergoes a rebuild at WestPac Restorations — on the campus of the (not quite open to the public yet) National Museum of WWII Aviation in Colorado Springs, Colorado:


QECs were developed to speed aircraft maintenance — containing an engine and all its support equipment, a QEC allowed an engine swap to be performed with a relatively short grounding of an aircraft.

I made this image on a recent tour of WestPac Restorations and the National Museum of WWII Aviation. The Museum has been designed and is in the process of collecting funding to start construction (anybody have $12M they can spare?). Meanwhile, they have monthly tours during summer months — my daughter and I went on a special tour this past weekend as part of an AIAA-sponsored group.

Cool stuff!