Category Archives: Uncategorized

2015 Photographic Art Rose Calendar

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I think I might have to do more than one rose calendar because I have billions and billions and billions of rose pictures.

Here’s the first one:

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Current list of calendar subjects:

Birds – done
Little Cats I – done
Little Cats II
Big Cats
Dogs
Wildlife Variety I
Wildlife Variety II
Sunrises & Sunsets
Orchids – done
Roses I – done
Roses II
Roses III
Hibiscus
Flower Variety I – done
Flower Variety II
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Great houses (idea provided by a reader)
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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2015 Calendars—Birds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Now that I have templates for the twelve months of 2015, it was fairly easy to create a second calendar.

I chose to do birds today, so I have two calendars finished:

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Below was the first calendar, which I’ll name Standard, and which will be the first one I print and hang on my wall:

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

So now I can cross Birds off my list of calendars, which I guess means I’m doing Butterflies today:

Birds
Butterflies
Little cats
Big cats
Dogs
All other wildlife
Sunrises & sunsets
Orchids
Roses
Hibiscus
All other flowers
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)

For more on the calendars, see SNIPPETS 5 in yesterday’s post.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I think I like freeway art!

Did you know?

The first time I saw a freeway being built incorporating “public art,” I thought that the expense for incorporating the public art might better be spent on feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and healing the sick.

When I was in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, I saw some beautiful public art being incorporated. Looked like this:

Freeway public art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Freeway public art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Apparently there are two major reasons for incorporating public art into the freeway structure, both of them having to do with graffiti.

First, it is more difficult for criminals to scrawl their graffiti on the surface when it isn’t smooth.

Second, apparently vandalizing public art is a more serious crime than vandalizing public property, so criminals who scrawl graffiti on this public art get put away for a much longer time with a bigger ding in their bank account.

Hmmm. I think I like freeway art!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Free stuff for my loyal readers!

Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

I will email you a free postage stamp, similar to this:

Maelee stamp

Tall or wide stamp.

You may choose any photo out of my galleries at Fine Art America or I can use a digital photo that you provide (you’ll need to email it to me at photographicart@russelrayphotos.com). Make it the highest resolution you have available for the best quality stamp.

So what do YOU have to do? That’s easy!

Leave a comment below telling me that you are sending me a digital file or letting me know which picture from my galleries at Fine Art America you would like me to use for your stamp.

That’s it!

Simple!

Only one stamp per person, but there is no limit to the number of people, so comment away!

Also, remember that there is free stuff over here, too: Free calendar page, any month, any year.

Both of these make super birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, and more:

Uses for Photographic Art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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A short visit to Galleta Meadows in Borrego Springs, California

Out & About

On my 476-mile journey through Southern California on August 12, I had several goals. While seeing three friends in three cities distant from each other was high on the list, seeing the collection of life-size prehistoric creatures out in the desert was #1 on my list:

Prehistoric elephants in Borrego Springs, California

Those three mammoths are part of Galleta Meadows.

Galleta Meadows

Millions of years ago the desert was a lush jungle and home to all sorts of strange animals: Mammoths; saber-toothed cats (often wrongly called saber-toothed tigers); huge birds; prehistoric horses, pigs, and dogs; sloths; camels….

Mammoths

Wild pig

Galleta Meadows was created by Dennis Avery (1940-2012), one of Southern California’s great philanthropists who lived in Borrego Springs and owned various parcels of land around the community. I’ll have more about Avery in an upcoming post because I just found out that a place I visited a couple of years ago was founded by Avery.

Raptor

Bird and prey

Desert birds

The steel-welded sculptures were created by Ricardo Breceda, creator of Perris Jurassic Park that rises alongside Interstate 215 in Perris, about 90 miles away. Breceda moved his sculpture and welding enterprise to Borrego Springs in December 2013.

Wild horses

Known as “The Sky Art Project,” it started in 2008, originally intending to feature species which once lived, or still live, in the area. After a while, other animals, some of them imaginary, joined the collection, as well as sculptures of people relevant to its history, such as a gold miner, a Spanish padre, and Native Americans.

Wild horse and foal

I did not know the name of the collection before heading out to Borrego Springs, only that it existed. I came home with what I thought was a lot of pictures (27) and only now found out that there are about 150 sculptures scattered throughout the desert community surrounding Borrego Springs. This, of course, means that another trip is required….

Fighting horses

Wild horse

It took me a couple of hours to explore the sculptures I found, and I was only able to do that because you’re allowed to drive from sculpture to sculpture. Trust me, you don’t want to walk in the sand in that heat.

In a few areas, though, driving means four wheel driving. I nearly got stuck in a couple of places and gave up when the going got tough….

Horses fighting

Wild horses in the desert

Sculptures that I missed this first trip include prehistoric dogs, Gymphotheriums, dinosaurs, and a 350-foot long sea serpent—that’s longer than a football field!

Borrego Springs is a dark sky community, meaning that it is sufficiently clear of light pollution to allow for naked-eye astronomy. I have seen some pictures of these desert sculptures taken at dusk and at night—long exposures—and the effect is awesome. I might have to make an overnight trip to Borrego Springs.

Prehistoric horse

Sabre-toothed cat

Sabre-toothed cat

Cat fight

Borrego Springs location

See location on Google Maps

There are several routes to Borrego Springs. Take the route I’ve highlighted on the map above because it will take you through Cuyamaca State Park and by Lake Cuyamaca, as well as through Julian, home of the world’s best apple pies—my favorites are the apple/peach crumb and the apple/cherry crumb.

Sabre-toothed cat

The chase

In the clutches

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (9-22-14) Second Edition — Julian’s Music

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Hello, all of Russel’s loyal WordPress followers. It’s Julian, number two over here at Russel Ray Photos.

Me at this very moment:

picture009

I have not spoken to y’all in quite some time, and moreover I’ve never made a blog post on here besides to promote our pages on Facebook and Twitter (those are here and here in case you haven’t seen/liked/followed them already).

However, Russel is currently a little under the weather. He already posted one Music on Monday today, but I offered to post a blog so he wouldn’t have to strain his creative thinking process in the midst of his illness in order to produce a second blog. He liked that idea, and said I could create another Music on Monday today if I so wished. So, here I am.

I have no central theme for this music post, however, what I do have is an audience that hears about me quite frequently without really having a good idea of who I am. My plan here is to take advantage of this opportunity to both supply you with bonus Monday music, and hopefully provide you with a better sense of who I am as a person. I think one’s taste in music has a fair amount to say about who they are. I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

To begin, I figure it would be appropriate to post what I’m listening to currently. As you may know, Russel listens to all of his music chronologically. We just finished the end of his “modern” collection, and therefore have just looped back to the forties, fifties, and early sixties. I thought I appreciated music from that time period more before I actually had to listen to it for more than ten minutes at a time, and by the second hour I couldn’t stand it and had to plug my headphones in and return to my music comfort zone.

Right now, I’m really getting into alternative rock band from Kentucky, Cage the Elephant. They’re best known for their big hit “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” that was released off of their debut album back in the summer of 2008. I thought their initial stuff was alright, but what I’m really appreciating are their two latest albums, Thank You, Happy Birthdayand MelophobiaMost of today I’ve been listening to this song on repeat:

I would highly recommend looking further into their material. I was quick to judge on just the hits, and was kicking myself when I found out how quality their other material was.

Hailing from NYC, one of my very favorite bands of all time is another alternative indie rock band, The Strokes. Their first three albums, Is This It, Room on Fire, and First Impressions of Earth, are my favorites. They are best known for their hits off of their debut album:

Along with the Strokes, another of my all time favorites is CAKE, from Sacramento, CA. They have received a ton of radio play from their variety of hits, including the Distance, Short Skirt Long Jacket, Never There, Let Me Goand Love You Madly, all of which I loved extensively enough to explore their entire discography. As is usually discovered when exploring a band beyond their hits, their lesser known material was just as good if not better. Here are a few tracks worth listening to:

Some of the lesser smash hit bands/musicians I love include Tokyo Police Club, an indie rock band from Canada:

Manchester Orchestra:

Beach Fossils:

Bright Eyes:

And hundreds more. I could go on and on and on about all the music I love, but this has already gotten quite lengthy and my shift is almost ending. Perhaps I may expand more on my personal taste in music some other Monday in the future, but for now I leave you with this small sample of the bands and musicians I am particularly fond for (there are still so many bands I want to talk about, so secretly I’m hoping I get to do this again). Anyway though, I hope all of you enjoy the rest of your week. Keep rockin’ the free world.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (8-25-14)—Look at granny run (still got run over by the reindeer, though)

 

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

When my wise old grandmother died in 2003, her three living sons (my dad died in 1961) disinvited me to the funeral. Now stupid me didn’t realize that you could only go to funerals if an invitation to attend had been extended to you. Stupid, stupid me.

The funeral was to be in Kingsville, Texas, the farming and ranching community where she had lived since 1937. My three uncles, one from Kingsville, one from Houston, and one from Los Angeles (where he had lived since 1967) all thought that I would bring Jim and we would be dressed in drag and making out in the front pew of the Catholic Church. Seriously, that’s what they were afraid of….

My wise old grandmotherIt was more than that. Much more. You see, Jim and I had been to Kingsville many times (yearly from 1995 to 2003) to see Grandma. Jim knew all three uncles and had been out to eat with them many times. Jim had even been to the family reunion for my Grandma’s side of the family…. Twice! So it’s not like no one knew that Jim and I were an item.

Sadly, my Kingsville uncle (we will call him Rodney since that’s his name) warned me that he couldn’t guarantee that nothing would happen if Jim and I came to the funeral. Then in his next sentence he had the gall to ask me to be a pallbearer. That, of course, would mean going to the funeral without Jim, and since Rodney had more guns than the United States Army, I took him at his word and did not go the funeral. My disappointment was assuaged by a friend who told me, “Funerals are for the living, so don’t go if they don’t want you.”

Not only did I not go, but in September 2004, I legally changed my name to Russel Ray (from Russel Ray Kirk). Names are for the living, too! I wanted to change it to Bryan Lynn Austin but Jim (and others) convinced me to just drop my last name and take my middle name as my last name. So there you have it. To this day, I’m estranged from everyone on my dad’s Catholic side of the family except a gay cousin (and from everyone on my mom’s Mormon side of the family, too).

In honor of my wise old grandmother, and grandmothers everywhere, I thought that we’d listen to songs about grandmothers for today’s Music on Mondays. In order to do this, though, I have to break my rule that songs featured in Music on Mondays are songs that I have in my music collection. After listening to these songs, I understand why none of them are in my collection………..

“Look At Grandma” by Bo Diddley

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Hey, Grandma” by Moby Grape

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Grandma’s Hands” by Bill Withers

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Funky Granny” by Kool & The Gang

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Boomin’ Granny” by The Beastie Boys

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Let’s Go See Gran’ma” by Joy & Dave

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Look at Granny Run, Run” by Howard Tate

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy

I leave you with this thought that my wise old grandmother told me in 1966:

“Ten percent of the people will love you because that’s the kind of people they are. Ten percent of the people will hate you because that’s the kind of people they are. Eighty percent of the people will love or hate you based on your words and actions, so speak and act lovingly.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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