Sunday Stills: High #Flight

Flight is this week’s theme for the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge!

Flight has a variety of meanings, whether it is the obvious where something has wings and flies, or a flight of stairs, or fleeing from danger (flight or fight), or how about a flight of beer samples? Have I piqued your imagination yet? This week I share several photos, new and used, depicting “flight.”

A red-tailed hawk flies over my head between the red rocks in Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park, which is the photo that inspired this challenge today. One of these days I’ll get that elusive eagle!

Hawk flies over Valley of Fire state park

This is me excitedly disembarking our short flight from Honolulu to Kona last year! Photo credit: my husband.

Landing in Hololulu

Caught a shot of this windsurfer in “flight” on a nukin’ windy day in the delta last summer.

Windsurfer takes flight
Windsurfer takes flight

Legacies of Flight

Every year, the California Capital Air Show hosts the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels at Mather Air Force Base, now known as Mather Field. It was an active air force base after WWI then was closed in 1993.

Mather Field is currently home to Sacramento Mather Airport for cargo flights (UPS), and military air maintenance. Most of the base was transferred to Sacramento County, which now holds a variety of social services and recreational opportunities in the buildings previously used by the air force.

“Mather Air Force Base was named after Second Lieutenant Carl Spencer Mather, a 25-year-old army pilot killed in a mid-air collision while training at Ellington Field, Texas on January 30, 1918.

More about Mather Field here.

I live within 2 miles of the northern-most boundary and can watch the air show practices all week long from my neighborhood. I managed to get some decent photographs, this one from my mobile phone a couple of years ago. It’s pretty grainy, but I only had my cell phone with me when I saw this.

Blue Angels Ascent

This image it reminds me of a poem I used to hear read at the sign-off of late-night television (remember when local channels ended at 12 midnight?). This poem is shared in part here. Perhaps you have heard of it.

High Flight

“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunwards I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a thousand things…
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high un-trespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand…
…and touched the face of God.”


Doesn’t that just give you goosebumps?

Written by John Gillespie Magee, RCAF, 1941

Read more about Officer Magee and the poem. He is another young man killed (age 19) in service to his country.

What high flights of fancy will your blog take us to this week?

March themes are published on my Sunday Stills page.

Camera graphic

59 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: High #Flight

  1. mommyhon333

    Interesting that I have heard the last lines of that beautiful poem before but didn’t realize it was written by a pilot in the Canadian Air Force. His words paint as a much a picture as our photos do at times.

    What a great job you did catching that wind surfer in action. Incredible. I can’t imagine that he was in that ‘pose’ for longer than a split second. Amazing photography, Terri.

    The hawk photos are stunning. That magnificent creature framed against that blue sky! I can hear John Denver’s lyrics for his song The Eagle as I admired your art.

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  9. You’re so lucky to get to see the airshow. Terri. Once a year, on the first weekend of July, we have the Wales Air Show. It’s always held in Swansea. We can sit in our back garden and see a lot of it. The highlight of the show is the Red Arrows doing several bypasses. I don’t know how those pilots do all the acrobatics they do, but it’s amazing to watch.

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  12. Incredible photo of the hawk, Terri! I’ve taken flight on a few bumps on dirt roads recently, but other than that we have been flight-free after our plane ride back from New England in January. I’d like to keep it that way. Except for seeing some amazing birds in flight. Hopefully in Arizona later this spring.

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