Posts Tagged Mountains

Alaska Critters

It’s been forever since I’ve tried any wildlife photography, but one just can’t pass up the opportunity at Denali. I may have an alignment problem with my lens or just with my eyes, so will spend a little more time practicing with critters to figure it out. At least I got a start.

Here are a couple of Dall Sheep hanging out on a cliff. There were three others directly below the bus, but the German across from me glommed on to the window and wouldn’t move to let me get a good shot. Reminds me of me.

Dall sheep, Denali NP

Dall sheep, Denali NP

And, of course, what trip would be complete without seeing a GRIZ. Or several. We saw two groups of three, both made up of a sow with two cubs (I think they’re yearlings) and one boar. The boar didn’t get very photogenic for my small lens, so here’s a cub wondering what sort of trouble he can cause next.

Grizzly cub, Denali NP

Grizzly cub, Denali NP

More to follow,

Bob

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Alaska Adventure Day n

Yeah, I kinda lost track of time. After several days shared out between Denali and Seward, we came back to Anchorage for a couple days of meetings. They were pretty busy, but productive, so it was all to the good. I was chair of the Board of Directors that met, so I had to keep everyone on track. Wasn’t really too hard and we got some good stuff accomplished.

But, of course, we all figured that today was a play day, so a few of us took a drive to Thunder Bird Falls. (No, it’s not in Arizona, seems the Native Alaskans like that name, too.) Saw some water and some ferns. It’s kind of a rainforest here. At least we got rained on and we were in a forest. Here are some of the things we saw today.

Ansel Adams has a wonderful photo of a fern, I think taken in Washington or Alaska. I saw this and decided to pay tribute to the master. It still needs some work, but I like what I’m seeing to this point.

Homage to Ansel

Homage to Ansel

For someone who’s used to the desert (and still prefers it), I am fascinated by water. We see a lot of it up here. There’s that ocean thing out my hotel window, lots of rivers and some creeks (I guess that’s why all the restaurant menus are infested with dead fish). That doesn’t count the water that comes out of the sky. Here’s Thunder Bird Creek.

More Water

More Water

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Where I live #2

Those pesky mountains keep calling me back. It’s not as strong a draw as the desert, but it’s growing. I guess Ma Nature don’t make no junk, and as I learn about the high country I am drawn in.

This has been an abundant year for flowers in the mountains. We had a very wet spring and quite a bit of moisture this summer. I took an easy drive through the hills the other day and came across a couple stands of my favorite flowers. I used to say I knew only two wildflowers: One is indian paintbrush and the other isn’t. I guess I’ll have to expand that to three. The second is columbine. I’d have to say that columbines are favorites.

I remember waaaaaay back when. I mean a long time ago. I was probably eight or ten years old. Grandma Steinkamp led me through the garden, naming flowers. She had a lot of columbines in her garden and she taught me that if I took a flower head and bit off the little sac at the end of the long spurs behind the flower, I’d get a taste of a very sweet nectar. Now that I’m older, I’m not sure I’d do that again (I’ve gotten awfully fussy about what goes in my mouth as I’ve ripened), but it’s a -ahem- sweet memory.

Here are some columbines and friends I found in the mountains:

Columbines #1

It’s not unusual in Wyoming to have the wind blowing. It certainly was the day I found these flowers. I waited and waited for the wind to cycle down, then made several exposures of the same image just in hopes that I didn’t get any camera motion  in them. The biggest issue is contrast in these shots because the columbines are so light and the surrounding rocks and greenery are awfully dark, but I think I’ve found a good compromise.

Columbines #2

The mosquitos were quite interested in what I was doing. Or interested in my blood, I’m not sure which. I never thought they would fly right into my eyeball, but a couple tried to. I finally gave up and ran, but not before I got these last two images. Here’s a little closer view of just how tough those flowers are and the conditions they live in. You can see they’re not territorial. Here they share their range with some daisies.

Columbines #3

Knowing Indian paintbrush and Columbines, I can only say that these columbines are sharing their space with some little blue flowers (LBFs) and with a purple-pink one. That might be an aster.

Who knows? Maybe next time I’ll sample the nectar in one of these beauties.

More to follow.

Bob

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