Dawn was breaking as we boarded Robert’s pontoon boat for a cruise on Canyon Lake. Although I’ve been to this area many times, I have never been on the lake or had the opportunity to go up the canyon.

The quiet of the early morning brought me back to when I was child. Our family would rent a cabin on a lake in Maine.  How many dozens if not hundreds of times had I been in a boat at dawn to go fishing with my Dad? I loved the stillness, the reflections and the special one on one time with my father.

Back to the present, the clouds in the sky were turning pink, and Robert spotted big horn sheep on the ridge.

Two of the dozen or so bighorn sheep that made their way down to the lake.

Around the next corner a Blue Heron waited patiently for a fish to swim by his feet.

Got ’em!

I sat and watched the Blue Heron eager to capture a good shot. The Blue Heron was my Dad’s favorite bird to photograph. So much so, that he called his photography work – Blue Heron Studios (www.blue-heron-studios.com).

I was thrilled to capture the bird in flight to his next his next fishing spot.


My Dad would be envious.

The canyon walls are spectacular.  We spot more bighorn sheep.

Enthralled, we wait until the herd comes down to the water to drink.


The ram’s horns are huge. What a magnificent animal. Dad enjoyed big game hunting in his youth and would have been thrilled to spot and photograph these animals.



I kept thinking how much Dad would have enjoyed this morning’s photography outing. It was only as we departed that I realized that he and I were here photographing this area on his last visit back in April 2012.

Dad, you asked that I keep your photography alive, which I have, but I think more impotantly you would be pleased with how your passion lives on in me.

I miss you!


My Dad, John Sklenak, passed away unexpectedly in 2013. He was an avid photographer, won numerous local awards, and actively had his work exhibited locally. Check out John’s gallery on our website