Jan Dill Hall's Blog


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Welcome to Jan's Weblog

— Events, opinions, thoughts

Here's what's going on in our family!

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Oct Nov Dec

Sat, 14 May 2022

May 2022 Cathedral Gorge and Fossil Canyon

I have been wanting to take a trip back to Cathedral Gorge to try to take some star pictures. Thomas agreed to go with me and we took the three hour drive on a Friday night after he got off work. We arrived late and spent several hours taking some pictures. In addition to trying to learn the techniques, we hadn't counted on how cold it would be. We were at about 4000 feet elevation and had only brought light jackets. We managed to get some pictures of stars, but there was no moon and so we couldn't get the rocks in the foreground to look good. Plus, the Milky Way didn't appear until after we were in bed and by then we were too cold to take more pictures.



After a very cold, mostly sleepless night, we got up to explore the area and take a few more pictures before driving home. We will want to go back and try it again, maybe when there is a moon so that we can get better pictures of the rocks with the stars.







This weekend, the family went on a hike to Fossil Canyon. It's in Red Rock, so only about a half hour away. We went early, while it was still cool and had a nice hike.

We took pictures,

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and looked for fossils,

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and climbed on rocks,

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and it was a nice morning.

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posted at: 22:09 |

Mon, 18 Apr 2022

More from Hawaii…nature pics

I posted earlier the main things that we saw and did in Hawaii. But I also took lots of pictures of birds and trees and other nature that I wanted to save somewhere. So here are just pretty or interesting things that I saw.

I couldn't do justice to all of the interesting trees that I saw. Once when I was trying to frame a large tree in an interesting way by trying to frame it with a plant nearby, I noticed a gecko in my picture. I didn't see it until I was done taking the picture. So I took one with the gecko in focus.


red bananas 


brown kelp in the tidepools





  sea urchins that look like space aliens


yellow tang in the waves


just leaves


  And lots of misc pretty


















  In retrospect, this one was probably an invasive species that I should have killed, but I like snails when they are not eating my garden and I was on vacation…






OK, gotta stop now. So many pictures…I've still got lots more.

posted at: 13:25 |


Marc and I went to Hawaii to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.We had talked about going for quite a while and booked the trip nearly a year ago. It was fun to anticipate going. We decided on the big island because of all the variety and we were not disappointed because there was a lot to do and see. Here are a few highlights. Of course, I took lots of pictures and think that I will post a summary of our trip here and some other pictures in a future entry.

The flight was long and we flew to Honolulu first. Because of this, we got to see Pearl Harbor from the air so that was nice. Our flight to Kona was delayed and we were very tired of traveling when we finally got to the condo.

The first day, we explored the north part of the island.  We saw the little town of Hawi and had lunch at a cute restaurant.


 And drove to the end of the road to see some pretty scenery.


I was impressed the whole week with the variety and beauty of the palm trees. They are so different than what we see in Vegas. I don't like palm trees in Vegas, but they were so beautiful in Hawaii. I kept trying to figure out the difference.  One difference is that we don't have coconut palms.


The next day, we went out on aboat and did a major snorkeling expedition. We went to three different sites. It was a good day and we got GoPro pictures of the reefs. They all look a little like this.Only with fish swimming around in them. And sometimes Marc or I would swim into the scene.


One of the things that we really wanted to see in Hawaii was the volcanoes. Kilauea is active and so we wanted to see that especially. It took us two trips across the island before we could really see what we wanted because the first time it was too rainy and cold. That first time we detoured to Hilo and explored a park there, went to a planetarium show (meh…winking and walked to a couple of falls. Here are some pictures of those trips.

A black sand beach in the south.


Rainbow falls without a rainbow.


Akaka falls and the hike to it. Lots of pretty scenery here.







  And finally the waterfalls…


And more pretty scenery on the hike back.



A plover in Hilo.


And flowers everywhere.


So, it took a couple of days, but we made it back to the volcano to see it by day.



 I don't know if you can see it, but this is a rainbow over the caldera. It was still rather misty at times this day. And on the left side of the picture is the old observatory for the caldera. The volcano erupted in 2018 rather spectacularly. The caldera collapsed when the lava went flowing out and covered about 700 homes and expanded the island some more. The visitor center has some rather spectacular videos of this. But the resulting collapse, damaged this observatory and so it was roped off and closed.


We could visit some steam vents and a nearby lava tube.


And later that night. The hike was cold and long to the viewing site and we were accompanied by a lot of other people who came to see this rare sight: a lava lake at night. So cool! or rather hot.



  The rest of the week was just relaxing and hanging out on the beach and seeing more beautiful scenery. I will post a few more pictures here to finish off and then do another post later with my some more excessive pretty pictures. We had a great time. Let's do it again.


This is the beach we could walk to from our condo.




A school to learn to surf…


 And our last Hawaii sunset…



  Worth recording several times. It was a good trip.



posted at: 10:37 |

Tue, 18 Jan 2022

Meeting with family

I went to visit Mom over the long weekend and enjoyed meeting some cousins and an aunt who I haven't seen since I was little. We visited all day, shared family stories, and really enjoyed catching up.

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Mom with Edith Wayment (my aunt).

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And with cousins, Roland,  Mark, and Joan Wayment.

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And with Wayne and me. 

posted at: 20:58 |

Sat, 01 Jan 2022

December 27 Valley of Fire

Marc and I went to Valley of Fire together to celebrate our anniversary. (30 short, blissful years!) It was a nice day. We enjoyed exploring together and then drove back via Overton. Later, we went out for a nice dinner.

Here are some pretty pictures of rocks.









Thanks, Marc, for a fun day together, and for 30 years. It's been a wild ride. I love you!


posted at: 21:17 |

Mon, 01 Nov 2021


Marc took Nevada Day off, so we had a three-day weekend together. We didn't feel like we wanted to make a long drive, and after exploring some options, we decided to check out the Eastern part of the state. Nether of us had been up highway 93 before, so we got a hotel in Caliente, NV, and decided to explore that area.

There are five state parks in that area and we went to three of them, along with Pahranagat, which is a national wildlife refuge. We didn't see a lot of wildlife, but saw some pretty areas. It was a relaxing weekend and I got my share of "pretty" nature for awhile. Here are some pictures I took.

A pond at Pahranagat. 


Some cholla cactus along the way


A cave at Cathedral Gorge state park


Some "rocks" to explore


A water tower built by the CCC


Climbing to the top


In Pioche, an old mining town



On to Echo Canyon state park







 And then we finished with Kershaw-Ryan state park.





There are lots of tree pictures here because I was enjoying the beautiful Fall colors and leaves that were not palm fronds.

We had a nice time, saw some pretty things, ate some good food, and just relaxed. Happy Nevada Day!

posted at: 07:29 |

Sun, 11 Jul 2021

A hike on Mount Charleston

We are having a heat wave this week (nothing new) and decided that we would go to Mount Charleston on Saturday to escape the worst of the heat. We thought we could go on a hike and also take some pictures. I left home early and picked up Bryan and then Melody and Calvin. We ate muffins in the car and brought some other food with us.

We took the trail to Fletcher Canyon and also Eagle's Nest. Even though we arrived fairly early (about 7:30) we got the second to last parking spot at the trailhead. Next time we may need to leave even earlier. It was already hot in spite of clouds in the sky. The hike was nice. Melody and I stopped often to take pictures. Even hiking slow, we were sweating and tired.


We saw lots of lizards.


And walked in the sun.



When we ran out of water, we went and ate our lunch at Melody and Calvin's house, in the air conditioning. We may wait until September of October to go hiking again, unless we can go somewhere cooler. 

thumb.DSC00428.JPG posted at: 12:31 |

Sun, 04 Jul 2021

New Camera

I bought a new camera! I want to start doing some photography. We haven't been doing ceramics because the times just weren't working out and so I thought that a camera would let me be creative and have an excuse to make me go outside and see some nature.

This morning Thomas and I got up early and went to the Wetlands and took a few pictures. It was nice to go together. He is helping me learn about using a digital camera. It was nice to go together, although it has been extra humid here and it reminded me of being back in Missouri. We were very hot and sweaty when we got home.

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It's MY camera, but we did both use it. I also bought a macro lens, which I really like using. Here are a few pictures I took.


I took this coyote at Sunset Park a couple of days ago when I was trying to figure out how to use the camera. This is with Dad's old telephoto lens. I got an adapter so it fits on my new camera. It was cool that the coyote came pretty close and posed.

Back at the Wetlands today. A Desert Willow with the macro.


 Evidence of last year's fire..







  And some more random scenery pictures…



The above one needs to be blown up to see the roadrunner in the middle of the picture. Can you find it?



  I took more, but just wanted to quickly post a few random ones. I need to learn more and need lots of practice. And maybe to go find some new places to explore.


posted at: 23:53 |

Sat, 19 Jun 2021

School’s Out

School ended for Melody and I. It has been a long year with Covid and online teaching and I was really looking forward to a week at our timeshare in Tahoe with the family. Melody came with us, but Calvin had to work, so it was just the five of us. I wanted to sit on the beach and relax and avoid the heat of Vegas.

It didn't exactly turn out like that because we hit a cold-spell in Tahoe. The lake is at 6000 feet so I should have been more prepared for cold weather in June. We had a good time anyway, but might have thought to bring heavier coats and earmuffs. It was nice that we had the beach practically to ourselves. 

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Bryan was the only one who actually got in the lake, and that was only up to his knees. We had planned to go kayaking, but put it off because of the wind and high waves. We were finally able to do it on the final day, and it turned out pretty relaxing and tranquil as we went in the morning before the wind picked up. I didn't take pictures of that though. Melody did, but I haven't asked her to share any yet.

We ended up doing more away-from-the-water activities. We took a drive to the south end of Fallen Leaf Lake, where there is a pretty waterfall. There is also a trailhead to the Desolation Wilderness there and it was a nice area. Tahoe gets pretty crowded so it was nice to see areas that weren't crowded.

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Another short hike that wasn't too crowded was to the top of Cave Rock. It was pretty windy here though. Look at Melody's hair.The view was great though.

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What's a trip to Tahoe without going to my favorite spot, Taylor Creek? Bryan asked to go to a "meadow with aspen trees," so Taylor Creek fit the bill. It was very tranquil too. We saw a strange horizontal rainbow there at the end of the hike. We watched a duck with ten babies and saw mergansers. Of course, there were also aspens and meadows.

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One day, we drove to Sparks and had lunch with Sheila, Dena, and Corbett. That was very nice too. 

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On the way home, Bryan, Melody, and I went to Utah to cousin Miranda's wedding, where we were able to enjoy a short visit with more family, always enjoyable.I should have taken more pictures, but that is it for now. I will try to post more soon and be better at keeping this up.


posted at: 21:23 |

Thu, 31 Dec 2020

Christmas 2020

Christmas this year started with a quick trip to Fresno to see Mom. It was unusally foggy, so that is what we think of as a "White Christmas" in Fresno. It hasn't been as foggy the last few years, so that was new.



We wenet out to look at Christmas lights.


Back home, I was excited that Bryan was going to drive down and spend Christmas with us. So when Melody and Calvin came over, we were all together. We had the usual traditional dinner, opening presents, and playing games. It was low-key but nice. 




We made English toffee. Yum. And one of my favorite presents was a painting done for me by my talented daughter.



posted at: 20:01 |

Jan Dill Hall St. Peters, Missouri  Henderson, Nevada 

Page created: 09 November 2008
Page modified: 09 December 2017

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