Archive for October 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Canyon Country   8 comments

_MGL7085

Mountain Monday: The San Juan Mtns., Colorado   8 comments

Since I missed Single-image Sunday again I will post a single shot from yesterday evening.  The sunset promised to be a pretty one, and I was racing to catch it from Dallas Divide, where Hwy. 62 in SW Colorado offers a grand view of the San Juan Mountains.  But on the way to this place from which I’ve been skunked repeatedly by weather socking in, I spied a dirt road to the left.

I took the road, went through a cattle gate, and it wasn’t long before things got too rough for my (2WD) vehicle.  The view was of a different part of the San Juans here, an eastern arm that is lower in elevation but with a lot of cliffs and knife-edge ridges.

I had no time to spare as I hiked as fast as I could up a nearby ridge to get a decent view of it.  The high altitude here always hits me hard whenever I exert myself, and so I had to stop a couple times to catch my breath.  Though I caught the direct orange light on the range (barely), it is this purplish light just after sunset that I think I like best.  The colors are more subtle but I like the way they match the overall atmosphere of the place: high and pristine.  The air was crisp and clean as it should be in late autumn in the Rockies.  And the view so grand and beautiful!

If you are interested in this image just click on it for purchase options.  It’s copyrighted and not available for free download without my permission, sorry.  If you have any questions or a special request for this or any other image, just contact me.  Thanks for checking it out, and have a great week everyone!

An eastern arm of Colorado's spectacular San Juan Mountains.

An eastern arm of Colorado’s spectacular San Juan Mountains.

Friday Foto Talk: Dealing with Crowds   9 comments

Woods Lake in Colorado's San Juan Mountains.

Woods Lake in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Shot just this morning, virtually all the aspen leaves have fallen. So there are no other photographers in sight, and only one other guy who was giving his dog a walk.

As you might be able to guess from some of my previous blog posts, I am someone who does not go from one well-known spot to another.  Often called trophy-hunting photography, it’s not really who I am.  That’s not to say I don’t ever visit popular spots.  I just have to be in the mood for it.

If you’re anything like me and think nature photography and crowds don’t exactly go together well, you might go about photography in a similar way.  In this post I’ll try to relate the different ways in which I approach visits to popular destinations for landscape photography.  Two recent examples illustrate my approach:

Aspens hold on in south-central Colorado.

Aspens hold on in south-central Colorado.

Adjusting Expectations: Deadhorse Point

The first example, a visit to Deadhorse Point State Park in southern Utah, happened a few weeks ago.  It was dark when I decided I was too tired to continue on to Colorado.  nstead, I turned off of Interstate 70 and headed south toward a viewpoint I knew was both nearby and potentially spectacular at sunrise.  Next morning I arrived at Deadhorse Point to find plenty of other photographers.  Fortunately it is a place with plenty of room to photograph from, so I wasn’t worried.  I was walking along the rim in the dusk, looking into the chasm formed by the Colorado River, when a bright light hit me in the face.

A relic of Colorado's rich mining past.

A relic of Colorado’s rich mining past.

At first I didn’t know where it came from, so I stopped.  When it happened again, this time briefly hitting me square in the eyes, I looked over to see a photographer with a flashlight.  I asked him to please lower the light.  He responded that I was in his photograph and to move.  I couldn’t believe it.  Passive aggressive behavior followed by rudeness, and this before sunrise!  He didn’t seem to realize that I was (A) moving along, and (B) even if I stayed I was quite easy to remove on the computer.  I walked up to him and told him in no uncertain terms that I was not going to put up with passive aggressive behavior from him.  I also pointed out that cloning me out took seconds on the computer.  I don’t think he expected to be confronted forcefully on this, but there wasn’t enough time to have a chuckle about that.

I shot the Animas River as it goes through Durango, Colorado just before dark.

I shot the Animas River as it goes through Durango, Colorado just before dark.

I moved on and actually met several people who were going out of their way to be polite, adjusting their positions so they were not in other people’s photos.  A couple times I told people not to worry about it, that I could always clone them out later.  It really does take only seconds to do this on the computer, after all, in Photoshop or whatever software you are using.

I didn’t stress about getting into the “perfect” position, did not worry about whether I was getting “the” shot.  After sunrise, I walked over to my vehicle, made some coffee, and chilled out.  There was a bus with a large group of older folks toting cameras.  Speaking to the driver I found out it was a photo-oriented tour.  Photo tours and workshops are one of the main reasons popular spots get crowded.  But instead of getting annoyed at this unavoidable fact, I saw it as a chance to talk with others, perhaps find out (from the driver) about less-popular places.  This is the way I often deal with crowded places.  Instead of getting competitive and nasty, as my friend with the flashlight did, I lower my expectations about the images I’ll get and use the occasion as a chance to socialize.

Silver Falls in Colorado's San Juan Mountains.

Silver Falls in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.

It’s similar to when I lived in Alaska and the salmon ran up the Kenai and Russian Rivers in summer.  You might have heard of “combat fishing”, where people are lined up shoulder to shoulder.  I have had the best fishing experiences in my life in Alaska, but not combat fishing.  On several occasions friends and I would go to the Kenai during big runs, leaving home after work and arriving very late.  We would fish in the middle of the night when most other fishermen were asleep.  Then we’d crash in the grass back from the riverbank and sleep until noon.  Afternoon and evening was spent grilling the fish in the open-air and consuming large quantities of beer.  While hardly a quality fishing experience, especially compared with what is possible in Alaska, we had great times.  The fish were plentiful, fat and tasty, and there were some crazy goings on.  Fishing was an excuse to party.

Engineer Mountain in Colorado's San Juan Mountains from a lake at 10,000 feet.

Engineer Mountain in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains from a lake at 10,000 feet.

Had to look twice at this sign to get the New Mexico Highway Dept's humor.

Had to look twice at this sign to get the New Mexico Highway Dept’s humor.

The tourist train that runs between Durango and Silverton, Colorado is authentically steam-powered.

The tourist train that runs between Durango and Silverton, Colorado is authentically steam-powered.

Alternatives to the Herd: Maroon Bells

The other way I handle photographer crowds is illustrated by my visit to Maroon Lake, a popular spot near Aspen in the Colorado Rockies.  The spectacular Maroon Bells overlook the subalpine lake.  I deliberately avoided peak time, which is late September when the aspen leaves turn gold.  This is a common myth among not only with landscape photography but travel as well.

People search on the internet while doing their research, looking for the best time to visit/photograph a given place.  Very specific advice is given, directing everyone to herd up at the same time.  It’s ridiculous.  I’ve traveled and photographed extensively and believe me, this is bunk.  While there might be a “best” time to visit a place with respect to weather or fall color or…   But it is never, never a good idea to take that to mean it’s the only time to visit/photo.  Great times can be had, great images can be made, by visiting at any time.  You can actually throw a dart at a wall calendar and be just fine.

The Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colorado was built in 1879.

The Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colorado was built in 1879.

Back to Colorado.  I arrived at Maroon Lake on the 11th of October at night, at least two weeks after the supposed “best time” to be there.  Next morning before dawn I was not the only photographer.  It happened to be a weekend.  If it had been last week of September there would have been photographers staking out spots along the lakes with their tripods, in some cases from the previous night!

There was a cluster of other photographers in one spot on the lakeshore.  I suppose it offered what was considered “the shot”.  Instead of joining them or getting mad, I teetered out onto the beaver dam, where nobody would dare risk getting their feet wet in the freezing temps.  I got an interesting shot with the beaver dam partly in view, plus the photographers off to one edge (easily removed on computer).  It was clear so the light was not the best.  The best part was I managed to keep my feet dry!

The Maroon Bells stand over the lake of the same name in the Colorado Rockies.

The Maroon Bells stand over the lake of the same name in the Colorado Rockies.

After all the “serious” photographers had packed up and driven off, I was still loafing around below the lake, drinking coffee and shooting a beautiful beaver pond with aspens still in full leaf.  It was a couple hours after sunrise, well after golden hour, when a moose showed up and entered the pond.  It was pure luck!

This illustrates more than good luck.  It’s part of how to handle these types of places.  You can simply slow down, chill out, stick around after the “good” light and see what you get. Combined with visiting on other than peak times and looking for compositions that differ from the norm, it can result in a much happier experience.  It can also, as happened with me at the Maroon Bells, result in your best image.

Mama moose takes a drink with the Maroon Bells in the background.

Mama moose takes a drink with the Maroon Bells in the background.

Do it Your Way

You may choose to handle crowded photo. spots in a different way than I do.  You might not, like me, want to miss some “must-sees” while traveling and taking pictures.  This is purely personal preference.  Part of my style as a photographer is generally avoiding the over-shot compositions.  The image at bottom is typical: on the way to Great Sand Dunes N.P. is this dry lake bed, abandoned by all until next spring, and even then no serious photographer would bother with the famous dunes close-by.  Of course I don’t necessarily avoid popular subjects.  But you might not want to skip places as I often do.

However you choose to photograph at popular locales, do it in a way that matches your style.  But realize there is definitely a wrong way.  And that’s the way the flashlight guy at Deadhorse Point does it.  To be so fixated on getting a certain shot at a specific (over-popular) spot is a surefire way to have a horrible time doing photography.  It leads to “combat photography”.  The whole purpose for being out there is defeated.

A simple mountain portrait: New Mexico's highest point, Wheeler Peak.

A simple mountain portrait: New Mexico’s highest point, Wheeler Peak.

Hope you enjoyed this selection from the Rockies of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.  They are copyrighted and not available for free download, sorry.  If you’re interested in one or more, please contact me.  They will soon be uploaded into my galleries (which you can access by clicking on any of the pictures) but I’m happy to accommodate any request.  Thanks for your interest.  Have a great weekend!

A dry lake bed just west of Colorado's Great Sand Dunes, the Sangre de Cristos Mountains in the background.

A dry lake bed just west of Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background.

Wordless Wednesday: Edge of the Erg   2 comments

_MGL6459

A Visit to Photograph Santa Fe & Taos, New Mexico   8 comments

Adobe rules in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Adobe rules in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I had never been to this part of the country and I wanted to see why it was so popular as a travel destination.  Great Sand Dunes National Park was still closed because of the Govt. shutdown, and thinking it might open very soon (which happened) I made the detour down from south-central Colorado last week.

I drove down to the little town of Questa in spitting snow.  Camping above the Rio Grande River, I woke next morning to find about 4 inches of snow had fallen.  The weather gradually cleared and warmed a bit over the next few days.  I made my way first to Taos and then to New Mexico’s capital Santa Fe.  Both are chock-full of adobe architecture, some of it very old and restored.  This post will give tips for visiting the region and touch on its history.  Images of the architecture will take center stage.

The Rio Grande Gorge near Questa, New Mexico on a snowy morning.

The Rio Grande Gorge near Questa, New Mexico on a snowy morning.

Both Santa Fe and Taos are great for strolling and exploring.  Santa Fe is the more touristy of the two and is larger.  But you’ll find no tall buildings in Santa Fe, and really not much traffic.  Both are small enough to walk but Taos is very much a town compared to Santa Fe, which is a small city.

Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Santa Fe

I started in Santa Fe, America’s oldest state capital (and highest at 7000 feet).  It was founded by the Spanish in 1607 and played a big role in the early western expansion of the U.S.  Many famous people have spent time here, both in historic and more recent times.  The artist Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted here in the early 20th century.  It also has a world-renowned opera.

There is paid parking throughout the downtown area, in old-fashioned coin meters.  If you’re willing to walk into the center, you can find free parking.  I visited the friendly Capital Coffee, which is only 5 minutes walk from the edge of the historic center.  After coffee, I used their parking lot to strike off into the streets and shoot.  I was only a little over an hour doing this.  I would not take advantage and spend half the day parked there.

Adobe houses are, above all, simple.  You can see the straw used to mix the adobe.

Adobe houses are, above all, simple. You can see the straw used in the adobe.

I recommend simply wandering through the streets around the central plaza.  The plaza (zocalo in Mexico) is a good landmark to keep circling back to.  There are innumerable art galleries to visit of course.  The town is a magnet for artists of all stripes.  I focused on shooting exteriors here.  I photographed mostly when the sun was low but not so low that shadows dominated.

Built in 1607, this is America's "oldest" house, though since it is adobe, it's been continuously patched and rebuilt over the years.

Built in 1607, this is America’s “oldest” house, though since it is adobe, it’s been continuously patched and rebuilt over the years.

Rather than list places to visit, I urge you to check out Wiki’s travel guide (which includes a walking map) or do your own Googling.  For the rich history of this 400+-year old city, you couldn’t do much better than start with the Palace of the Governors.  This is the former center of Spain’s colonial government here and is now New Mexico’s state history museum.

While you’re strolling, it’s very worthwhile trying to get access to the placitas (commonly called courtyards in most areas).  Placitas characterize the architecture here. Found throughout Latin America as well, here these delightful open-air spaces are surrounded by low-slung adobe buildings.  During my travels in Mexico, Central and South America, courtyards have been a favorite place to chill out and soak in the sun: reading, journaling and relaxing.

Inside a traditional placita.

Inside a traditional placita, this one at the Blumenshein Home in Taos.

Traditionally several families would live in the homes bordering the placita, sharing it as an outdoor living and animal husbandry area.  Some flowers and other plants were grown but placitas were not traditionally devoted to gardens as they mostly seem to be these days.  Modern placitas (courtyards) also differ in being most often surrounded by one single-family dwelling.

I found Taos to be much easier than Santa Fe in terms of wandering in and out of placitas, but you might have better luck than I did in Santa Fe.

The Scottish Rite Cathedral is located a mile or so from the center of Santa Fe but is a magnificent building worth photographing.

The Scottish Rite Cathedral is located a mile or so from the center of Santa Fe but is a magnificent building worth photographing.

The moon rises over the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Santa Fe.

The moon rises over the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Santa Fe.

I like Taos a little better than Santa Fe.  Santa Fe seems a bit strange to me.  Maybe it’s because of all the tourism clashing with history clashing with the modern influx of wealthy retirees clashing with the older residents of the area (many Native American) clashing with the new-age types.  It seems to me to be a place lacking an identity. Also, real estate prices are way out of whack.

So much of the adobe in Santa Fe looks like it was built yesterday, which I think takes away from the real history of the place.  Taos suffers some of the same, but I’ve found this effect to run rampant throughout the world, anywhere history and authenticity gets in the way of modern life and “progress”.  At least they keep to adobe construction and style here.

A house in Taos.

A house in Taos.

Taos

Taos has some of the same vibe as Santa Fe but it’s much smaller and has a definite character.  Besides being a gateway to mountain recreation (including great skiing), Taos is a fine place to wander around and photograph.  Kit Carson, the famous scout and mountain man lived here.  Or I should say his hispanic wife and their kids lived here while he passed through from time to time.

One of the few windows in Kit Carson's old home.

One of the few windows in Kit Carson’s old home.

The restored placita next to the Kit Carson Home in Taos, New Mexico.

The restored placita next to the Kit Carson Home in Taos, New Mexico.

There is a main plaza in Taos as well.  In Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America these zocalos or plazas seem to be much more “alive” with activity than in Taos and Santa Fe.  I think it’s because of all the limitations in the U.S. for people to just set up carts with cheap eats.  Here they serve as centers for shopping, much of it high end.  In Mexico they’re places for street performers, strolling couples and great street food.  The ones in New Mexico look just like zocalos but are not the same at all.

A church-bell in Taos.

A church-bell in Taos.

You can park very near the plaza at one of the public parking lots (feed coins into the meters) or look for free spots 10 minutes walk to the plaza.  You can just wander through the streets surrounding the plaza.  The placita bordered by Kit Carson’s house is interesting, restored to near what it would have looked like.  The placita at the Blumenshein Home is a great one too, and the narrow street it’s on, Ledoux, is lined with attractive adobe architecture.

A great mural at the entrance to Ledoux Street in Taos, New Mexico.

A great mural at the entrance to Ledoux Street in Taos, New Mexico.

A couple places I neglected on this trip but which are certainly worth checking out are Taos Peublo just north of town and Ranchos de Taos a couple miles south of town.  Taos Pueblo has some of the oldest buildings in the area.  At Ranchos de Taos, the deservedly famous San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church is an amazing building.  I suppose I need to skip some things to have an excuse to return!

A bit of fall color in Taos, New Mexico.

A bit of fall color in Taos, New Mexico.

This high and beautiful area of New Mexico is certainly worth visiting.  The climate is darn near perfect and the Sangre de Cristos Mountains are gorgeous.  Also, the Rio Grande River flows through it.  It’s a very beautiful stream that runs in and out of rugged canyons.  One morning I took a frosty walk along the river and found some fall colors (image below).

As usual, clicking on any of the images takes you to my gallery page, and all the pictures are copyrighted and not available for free download without my permission. Please contact me if you are interested in any of them; they’ll be uploaded to my site soon.  Thanks for reading and have a superb week!

The Rio Grande River and colorful cottonwoods between Santa Fe & Taos, New Mexico.

The Rio Grande River and colorful cottonwoods between Santa Fe & Taos, New Mexico.

Beaver Sign   6 comments

_MGL5897

This is a follow-up to my little puzzler last Wednesday.  The picture above was accompanied by the question, “Who made these tracks?”  Jakz guessed correctly that it was a beaver.  All the clues are there, from the tail dragging as he waddled back to the pond with his load to the marks made by the aspen tree he was dragging.  At upper left you can see the tracks he made on the way to the “harvest zone”.  He wasn’t loaded down yet, so there is little sign of tail dragging.

The Colorado mountains are chock full of beaver sign now.  These are the same mountains that drew all those trappers in the early 1800s.  Men like Jim Bridger, Hugh Glass, John Colter, the Meek Brothers (with their unfitting surname), and my favorite character, Jedediah Smith.  These colorful characters were inspiration for the legendary image of the Mountain Man.  And they were definitely colorful.  Consider Grizzly Adams and Liver-eating Johnson.

I have always wished I was born then, wished I had lived the life of a mountain man.  They trapped out these mountains, supplying the beaver pelts for all those top hats worn by fashionable Europeans.  Succeeding decades saw continuous pressure on beaver populations.  But the beaver are definitely back now!

Here are a couple other shots I got on that (freezing) morning walk at over 11,000 feet.  Despite all the sign, I haven’t yet spotted one of the industrious critters on this trip.  When I do I’ll post the pictures.  Hope everyone’s weekend is going well.

This is just a close-up of the ice forming along the edges of the beaver pond near where I saw the tracks.

This is a close-up of the ice forming along the edges of the beaver pond near where I saw the tracks.

A large beaver pond reflects a high mountain in the Colorado Rockies.

A large beaver pond reflects a high mountain in the Colorado Rockies.

Friday Foto Talk: Deliberate Blurring   4 comments

Aspens in abstract.  This recent image from the Rockies was shot at 1/6 second while moving the camera straight down.

Aspens in abstract. This recent image from the Rockies was shot at 1/6 second while moving the camera straight down.

I’ve been deliberately blurring my pictures more and more lately.  In fact, the last post has an example of blurring in it.  To create a deliberately blurred photo, you need to combine a relatively slow shutter speed with movement of either the camera or subject.  For this post, I will concentrate on the types of blurring I’ve done in nature photography.  Though I’ll list and briefly explain the other types, I will leave panning and urban motion-blur effects for another post.

To be honest, I’ve in the past thought many blurred images looked too gimmicky for me.  And images like the above have become very popular pictures to post on the internet.  That said, I’ve now come to the conclusion that blurring (more than water at least) has a place in my portfolio so long as I’m selective about it.  Maybe it has a place in your portfolios too.

A new image, I shot this small falls on a recent icy morning in the Colorado Rockies.

A new image, I shot this small falls on a recent icy morning in the Colorado Rockies.

I use deliberate blurring to help create a mood and/or tell a story with the picture.  In addition, I like the painterly, watercolor effect that blurring sometimes gives.  The goal of mood/story is what I’m usually thinking about when shooting.  The painterly effect, though very worthwhile when it’s there, is something that only comes through when I’m looking at and processing the image later.

In other words, for me shooting to create some artsy effect is pretty much anathema.  It is not how I approach photography.  I almost always want to tell a story or impart a mood with my images.  In addition, I often try to put the person inside the image.  That’s not to say that I want people to have a specific first impression when they look at one of my images.  It’s just fine when someone says “that looks like a painting.”

Colorado Aspen Grove

View from within an aspen grove in the Colorado Rockies. I moved the camera only slightly for this image.

Your shutter speeds when blurring will, in general, be about 1/50 to 1/5 second.  You are normally best off starting at 1/15 to 1/30 sec. and going up or down from there. The exception is when blurring water, when shutter speeds will start at a half to one second and go longer from there.  Note that your focal length plus the speed of the subject or camera movement will likely influence the shutter speed you end up using.

 Here are a few ways you can use deliberate blurring in your photos:

      • You can blur to imply movement, using a slow shutter speed to blur a speeding car, person, animal, etc.  You can simply mount the camera on a tripod and let the subject accomplish the blur.  I regard blurring moving water, as you see in most waterfall images, to be a special case of this type of blurring.
Northern California Coast, where a shutter speed of 0.6 seconds served to streak the incoming surf.  Worth the wet sneakers!

Northern California Coast, where a shutter speed of 0.6 seconds served to streak the incoming surf. Worth the wet sneakers!

      • Related to the effect above, you can “show the wind” by allowing moving trees, flowers, etc. to blur part or all of your image.  Again, you should probably use a tripod for this.
Spring flowers in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.  There is a reason that the Gorge is a mecca for wind-surfers.

The blooming Columbia River Gorge, Oregon on a windy spring morning. There is a reason why the Gorge is a mecca for wind-surfers.

      • You can follow a moving subject and blur the background.  This is called panning and is a topic for another post.
      • You can move or vibrate the camera to imply tension or other emotion.  This takes even more practice to get right than other types of blurring, probably because it involves the most random types of camera movement.  I need to try this.  But It’s hard for me to shoot while I’m tense!
      • You can blur to spread out colors.  This is a favorite of mine.  It can easily result in a painterly look.
      • You can move the camera in one direction to exaggerate the lines in an image.  I like doing this too, and it can be combined with the effect above, spreading out colors.  It’s quite a popular look these days, so I’m picky about when I do this; don’t want to overdo it.
Click on this image for purchase options.  Since I was shooting these reeds in an Eastern Washington wetland at a longer focal length (160 mm.), I used a faster shutter speed (1/80 sec.).

Click on this image for purchase options. Since I was shooting these reeds in an Eastern Washington wetland at a longer focal length (160 mm.), I used a faster shutter speed (1/80 sec.).

      • While using a zoom lens, you can zoom in or out during a slow exposure to create a radiating pattern.  This can create tension and impact, depending on your subject.
      • You can combine any of the above.  For example, you can zoom in on a moving subject, or spread colors while showing the wind.
I haven't yet done much zoom-blurring.  This is a big, snow-basted fir tree I admired during a cross-country ski tour in Oregon.

I haven’t yet done much zoom-blurring. This is a big, snow-basted fir tree I admired during a cross-country ski tour in Oregon.

You’ll undoubtedly find other ways to blur as you get into this.  In fact, I hope you do!  Realize, however, that you’ll probably be shooting tons of images to get the effect. It’s not really that it takes practice to get right.  What is “right” in abstracted images of this type after all?  Truth is, deliberate blurring encourages experimentation.

Later on when you take a look at the images, if you’re like me you will initially think most of them look cool.  You may end up liking too many!  That’s natural.  Your eye will become more discerning with time.  Keep your mind on what you want to impart with the image and you should be able to whittle down all of your experiments to the very few (or one) that are just right.

If you are interested in any of these images, please contact me.  I’ll be glad to accommodate any request.  Note that they are copyrighted and not available for free download without my permission.  If you click on the images you will be taken to my galleries, or in some cases to the high-resolution version.  Thanks for your interest and have a great weekend!

Click on this image of a sunset in abstract for purchase options.  The fast camera movement here was courtesy of a speeding motorboat in Sian Kaan Lagoon, Yucatan, Mexico.

Click on this image of a sunset in abstract for purchase options. The fast camera movement here was courtesy of a speeding motorboat in Sian Kaan Lagoon, Yucatan, Mexico.

Morning Walk through the Aspens   3 comments

_MGL5402

Aspen in Abstract.

Chilly morning walk through the golden aspens, autumn in the Colorado Rockies.  Location: not far from the town of Aspen, Colorado (go figure!).  There were two moods: the first in the heart of the grove; the second nearing its edge with the sun peeking over the high ridge beyond.

Aspen Sunstar!

Aspen Sunstar!

Wordless Wednesday: Guess who made the tracks!   10 comments

_MGL5897

Mountain Monday: Maroon Bells & Moose   7 comments

_MGL5303

No internet for the past few days, so I missed Single-image Sunday.  I know about Macro Monday, but having been in the mountains, this seems more appropriate. This post is all about the letter M!

I’m in the Rocky Mountains trying to soak up the last of autumn’s atmosphere.  It seems that this year winter is coming early to these parts.  I did some morning photos at Maroon Lake the other day. Finishing up at a small beaver pond, I had already gotten ready to leave when this cow moose showed up.  She quickly waded right into the pond and began to munch away on the water plants, plunging her big head all the way under and coming up with a mouth-full of moss and such.

_MGL5291

I’ve had the opportunity to see moose wading belly deep on numerous occasions.  But I’ve never had this spectacular a backdrop at the same time as having camera equipment at the ready.  The mountains are called the Maroon Bells, fairly famous because of their proximity to Aspen.

If you are interested in any of these images please contact me.  I’m on the road now and will not have them up on my website until I can get to a faster connection. Clicking on any of the pictures will take you to the gallery on my site that is animal-focused.  Thanks for reading and have a fantastic week!

_MGL5315

 

%d bloggers like this: