Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's All a Matter of Perspective

Trying to see familiar things in a different and pleasing way, that's what I've been after lately.

In the past I looked for green grass and foliage to provide an out of focus background for colorful flower images. So it was a leap for me to point my camera towards the nearby gravel road in order to create these images of Indian Paintbrush flowers(Castilleja coccinea).

The flowers were in prime condition and I'm really pleased that I didn't shoot it in my usual way and then leave. By spending the time and trying to imagine a different view I ended up with some beautiful images.

By way of comparrison, here are some Indian Paintbrush flowers I had shot a little earlier.

Though I don't think these images are bad, I much prefer the almost painting like quality of the earlier ones.

Whatever your preference, you really can't go wrong when photographing Indian Paintbrush. The colors are amazing.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

You Never Know..

what you'll find when you head outside.

I spent two cool and sometimes wet days at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area last week and saw these

diamond like raindrops on the leaves of a flower I haven't identified yet. (If you know what it is please let me know.)

A rain drop on a bird's-foot violet. (Viola pedata)

A trumpeter swan taking a break from feeding on underwater plants.

Although it was cold, I was able to find two northern prairie skinks by turning over a few logs. It may not look like it, but this skink is fine. When prairie skinks are captured by predators (or people) they wriggle their bodies until whatever is attempting to catch them is left holding only their tail. The skinks tail detaches from its body and continues to twitch and move, keeping the attackers attention while the actual skink makes its escape. Over time the skink will grow back its tail.

With the day as cool and damp as it was, I felt really lucky to find a 4-5 foot bullsnake crossing one of the dirt roads. I made a few images and watched it move off into a nearby woods.

It was as if I was actually watching spring unfold as these new leaves grew on a scrub oak.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Over the years......

I've gone to many great places and seen lots of cool things.

Such as wild horses just after sunset in western North Dakota.

Mount Moran reflected in the still waters of the Oxbow Bend of the Snake River just after sunrise.

A common loon looking quite uncommon reflected in the waters of a northern Wisconsin lake surrounded by a lush green forest.

Steam rising from Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser on a cool fall morning in Yellowstone.

A sow grizzly encouraging her new cubs to cross a mountain stream.

A bolt of lightning over Yellowstone Lake during an afternoon thunderstorm.

A grizzly bear sow and her almost grown cubs in a heavy spring snowstorm.

A beautiful cinnamon colored black bear in an Alberta berry patch.

The sun setting through steam from Clepsydra Geyser as it erupts.

These are but a few of the many memories I now hold from my travels through the years.