peteh, yes - the recent Death Valley images are IR. The Shiprock images are 40/60 (some IR some straight B&W acquisition).
In regards to the website and loading speed, the next version (someday) will be mainly html based with limited flash usage. Just haven't got to that yet. So for now the first time you access the site you have to allow a few seconds for images to cache. Then the next time the site is then accessed there should be little-to-no loading time.
And nniko, pauls, jd, ph and the others... thanks for the comments. - Mitch