Death Valley National Park—what a contrast of textures and colors and vast badland vistas. The early morning sunrise on the dunes was my favorite. The night shoot of the Milky Way on the Salt Pan Polygons—wow!
As the sun begins to play on the dunes, there is light and shadow, S-curves and diagonals. Meanwhile, it’s still dark in the valley beyond.
Dawn on the Dunes
We hiked out a long way in the dark with our headlamps on. It was worth it. Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
Still Life of Mesquite
Hat Tip to Ken Fox for the composition idea.
Two People, a Long Way Away
It had to take 2 hours to hike out that far. But the rewards are great. No footprints in your shot!
PS If you can even see those 2, you can skip the eye doctor check up this year.
We were zooming along, on to the next latest and greatest place. But wait! The light is happening right here, by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
Manly Beacon at Zabriskie Point
It had rained in the morning. By sunset this playa of mud and vivid cracks was perfect to photograph. Not to mention the sky.
"I Want to Go There!"
—David Swindler, Action Photo Tours, our guide and instructor, as we looked out from Dante’s View, Death Valley.
The sandstone has been carved by years of wind and water. At Zabriskie Point.
Purple, terra cotta, pink, tan, aqua—minerals of many colors.
Manganese is the purple mineral. The aqua is Chlorite.
Badwater Basin and the Salt Pan Polygons
Why do these salts form such geometric shapes? The ridges are hard crusty salts. In contrast the clouds that evening, although heavy with moisture, were soft and diffuse. Too tired to rain any more.
Badwater Basin is a pretty remarkable place. It’s the lowest point (282 feet below sea level) in North America. About an hour away is the highest point in California, Mt. Whitney, at 14,494 feet. Go from one to the other. Think how your ears would be popping.)
Milky Way from the Salt Pan Polygons
This is a dark sky area, except for the lights of a town off to the right. Nevertheless, I liked including the warm glow and the way it played into the Milky Way as it moved across the sky.
I'm So Pretty!
It’s spring. And it’s mating season for Roseate Spoonbills. Will this guy catch her eye? (to be continued…)
Little Blue Heron
Often a fiesty guy who does not play well with others. Now he’s alone, with his vivid blue breeding plumage and smooth unruffled feathers.
He’s gorgeous in profile, as he fluffs his feathers and takes delicate steps with his golden slippers. But the back view is pretty cute too.
The Green Anole and the Dragonfly
It’s a sad ending for the dragonfly…
Great Blue Heron Stare Down
There's an unsuspecting fish, just below this guy in the lake. No recent sightings of the fish.
No, silly! Scarlet Macaw!
Fairchild Botanical Garden
Fish for Breakfast
A Royal Tern mom feeds her chick.
Hint--Not a Bird
Alligators are breeding too, and loudly. They roar like lions to let everyone know who’s king of their jungle. They stick their snouts up in the air, take a deep breath and let go with a great guttural sound. It’s pretty terrifying!
Or Sanderlings. Just the cutest little guys, and always on the move. When a wave comes in, they scurry to the moist sand, searching for little snails, worms, and crabs. Suddenly they'll dart upwards, just in time to miss the surf. Then down they come, and busily poke in the sand for food again. It's a life lesson in determination and persistence.
Blue Morpho--wings closed
These butterflies are in camouflage as they eat some tasty starfruit. But when they spread their wings, it is a startling change to blue.
Mr. Willet on his PM stroll
It was a beautiful afternoon for a stroll down the beach. Sun on my back. Light sea breezes. Critters in the sand. Nobody around except this paparazzi woman.
A male Snowy Egret does his dance hoping to catch his lady's eye.
Two Great White Herons
It's spring! Time to get out the green eye shadow and vie for the attention of the ladies. "You take the blond. I'll take the one in the turban." Groucho Marx
Red Tailed Hawk (and a thief!)
This Red Tailed Hawk completely terrorized the small birds, cardinals, and squirrels in a tree, Must have been going for a nest. The birds tried to peck his back and shoo him away. He finally flew off, straight toward me on his way out. Eeeeek!
Down the Hatch
On a gray day this bird looks almost black. But when the sun is out, his feathers turn iridescent colors of green and purple and chestnut!
Male Great Egret
He displays his feathers, bobbing up and down, for hours. She has to notice eventually.
Vivid color, strange red eyes, and a bill that's more like 2 paddles. Now they’re building a nest. He presents the branch. She approves. To eat, they swoosh their bills in the water, and suck in little aquatic tidbits for lunch. Yum.
A Great White Egret takes flight as the sun goes down.
Hey, Mom. What's for breakfast?
Look, hon. I found this soggy curvy stick!
Great Heron fishing
Supposed to rain tomorrow. But tonight it’s glorious!
La Quinta Sunrise
Occasionally the sunrise in the California desert takes on this fiery glow. It has to do with the cool dry air meeting the massive Santa Rosa mountains.
Sailor, take warning? Not to worry. Generally it's another sunny day.
It's Cloud Illusions I Recall
Above & Below
Sunrise at the Juno Beach Pier, in South Florida.
The Juno Beach Pier catches the warm rays of sunrise, but the real attention getter is the girl in the red dress.
Under the Pier
St. Augustine Pier
Surf Fishing at Juno Beach
Paraglide into the Sun
Red Sky at Night
For all you sailors out there.
Our American Flag
Last week I went to the beach early to photograph the sunrise. I got a few shots. The sun came up. It was time to go. At the top of the stairs I turned around for one last look. And that’s when I got the shot of the day.
In a sea of clouds
Over the ocean
Reflective. Ever moving.
Starry Starry Night
It's summer. There's a new moon. Clear skies. Perfect time to see the Milky Way on the beach in North Florida.
Elephant Ears in the Sun
They lined the path in Bellingrath Gardens, Mobile, Alabama.
Happy Hibiscus. Brief blooms, but so beautiful.
Japanese Red Hanging Hibiscus
Abstract treatment of a bamboo forest using motion blur.
Blue Morpho--Outside Wings
In a resting position these Blue Morpho butterflies don’t attract much attention. They are eating star fruit, one of their favorites.
As he opens his wings the color appears. A close up of the wings reveals they are like little scales, reflecting light in different ways, looking almost iridescent.
Mrs. Daly Orchid
A Myrmecophila (I think.) From Mexico or the West Indies or Venezuela, and related to Cattleyas. John Daly’s mom gave this plant to us about 25 years ago, so she’s a hearty soul. She’s lived in Houston, Miami, the Keys, and even north Florida.
Pink Water Lily
She floats alone, knowing all eyes are on her, and only her.
Bellingrath Gardens, Mobile, Alabama
A common street tree in south Florida that’s not common at all.
Thousands of blooms become an explosion of color on this tree.
Jean's Birthday Roses
Free Spirit Roses from Debbie
A Red Maple was cut down in my neighborhood in North Florida. But look what sprouted from the base of that stump.
Hens & Chickens Have Flowers
Such a silly name for such delicate little bell flowers on the Sempervivum, Pacific Blue Ice. It's a sage green succulent plant, hearty in our North Florida winters. In the spring, this happens!
The background is a stand of bamboo.
The Wave Detail
Intricate patterns of sandstone and red rock.
The Wave Abstract
Sand packed hard over millions of years. Takes your breath away.
In Coyote Buttes North, part of the Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness on the Arizona Utah border. It's known for unique and colorful layered sandstone formations. This is a state park and only 20 permits a day are given out in a lottery. We won! In more ways than one. This hike was the favorite of all we have seen in Utah. Amazing.
A Bit of a Hike
To get to The Wave, you must hike 5.5 miles round trip over pretty rugged terrain, sand and red rock. The hike was 3 hours one way. David Swindler, Action Photo Tours lead us in.
Cedar Breaks National Monument
10,000 foot elevation. Utah.
Still as desolate as in those John Wayne movies. Southeast Utah.
An old brick oven built by ancestors of Navajo is here. Southeast Utah.
The Mittens at Moonrise
Monument Valley, Utah.
Canyonlands, Utah. Waiting for sunrise over the mountains.
Islands in the Sky, Canyonlands, Utah.
Massive. In Arches National Park, Utah.
Balanced Rock at Sunset
In Arches National Park. It defies gravity and erosion now, but not forever, and may topple over in our lifetimes.
She looks out over Park Avenue and the Courthouse Towers in Arches National Park.
Fisher Towers at Sunset
Just outside Arches Park on the scenic highway.
Sunset at the Goblins
It was an overcast evening as we shot the Goblins, their shapes looking like scary guys or animals or fantasy figures. Then we watched the sky turn from gray to pink and purple and yellow and orange, a rich and changing light show.
The Milky Way
The Canyonlands are a good place to catch the Milky Way, since there's very little ambient light. It was a great way to end the day.
So much to see. So little time.
Puffins! Seals and whales and otters. Mountains and glaciers and sea planes. But mostly, it was about the bears. Took a workshop with Chas Glatzer near the Katmai National Park. Amazing experience!
You lookin' at me?
This is my best side.
Alaska Sealife Center, Seward
Scariest hike ever! Crevasses and ice pools. Cramp-ons and ice axes.
But the bears stole the show.
Alagnak River and Salmon
The bears pace up and down the river, because the sockeye salmon are running now in July. The bears have been hibernating, so they’re hungry and fish is their favorite.
Over 1000 pounds of bear there.
Sometimes they miss.
Please no remarks from the gull gallery back there…
But some of the time, they catch one.
Lots of competition.
and no sharing.
Not even for mama bears and their cubs.
This mama and 2 cubs
is on a steep cliff, trying to catch a salmon.
You go, Mom.
She makes a dive, but comes up short. Meanwhile, the little guy is precariously on that cliff.
Mom leads them on down the river,
but something in the woods is making them all nervous. What could it be??
Mr. Big Bear
This must be his territory. The mama and cubs scurry on down stream to safety (I hope).
It's hard being a bear.
And scary looking at one!
Beach & Blue Angels
Water & Shorelines
This day started out as a challenging “birds in flight shoot.” That was OK. But the sun quickly got higher and hotter. Too much light for those white birds. So we packed it up and turned around for one last look at the ocean. Way off shore was a shrimp boat, riggers out, birds flying all around. It was so bright, with atmosphere so thick. Yet the light sparkled off the water like little bubbles. I shot it as I saw it—hi key and diffuse.
Huguenot Park, Jacksonville, FL
...so it's not Hawaii. It's north Florida. But still a thrill!
The Beaches Photography Club has contests every few months. The subject for this month was seashells.
I had gotten these sand dollars years ago on the beautiful beach in Seabrook, South Carolina--there are dozens of them. Here in north Florida all we have are little or broken shells. Never a sand dollar. So…I took my pretty to the beach and nestled her in among the shells, and took the shot. Later I looked up sand dollars and their nickname is “Florida Tourist.”
In these contests we have to name the piece, so that’s what I called the photo. It got first place!
Savanah at sunset
This and That
Pumpkins in Window
Halloween in Charleston
Antelope and Rattlesnake Canyons are in Arizona on Native American lands, north of the Grand Canyon. Some of the canyon walls are 80 feet high, with skinny, winding passageways through them. Some shapes are so recognizable--Olympic Flame, The Chief, Lady of the Wind, The Wave. Others are abstract, textural, and flowing. Breathtaking. Peaceful. Spiritual.
Grains of Sand
Grains of sand spill off the ledge. It's momentary movement. Then all is still again.
Snow in the Canyon
A sudden wintry wind blew in that night, and left a carpet of white in the morning. It's Grand.
Grand Canyon in January
The next morning--clear skies and cold temps.
Art from Erosion
Formed by water, ice and wind erosion, it's 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and 1 mile deep. Huge.
Bayside Islamorada. For sunsets, dining, relaxing.
Squalls out on the gulf stream
Balmy breezes. Sun at your back. No place like the Keys.
Near Flamingo in Florida Bay. Almost 6 feet long with a wingspan of 10 feet. The vivid yellow-orange on the beak and feet indicate it's breeding season.
Near Flamingo in Florida Bay.
Osprey on Marker
In Florida Bay.
Sunset from Morada Bay
Lake Louise, Canadian Rockies
Moraine Lake, Canadian Rockies
Shot from The Rock Pile. We saw a rainbow later!
Triangle X Ranch, Tetons, WY
Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park, Canada
Herbert Lake, Canadian Rockies
This lake was right by the road, and unremarkable, as we drove by each day. But one morning we went early when the sun was catching just the trees and steam was still rising off the lake.
Peyto Lake, Canadian Rockies
Paradise Lodge, Lake Louise
Flower boxes everywhere.
Barn in Moulton Cabin area, Tetons
Morning Roundup at Triangle X Ranch
Tetons in the Morning
at Moulton Cabins, Tetons
Jackson Lake from Signal Mountain Lodge
Hawaii Sunset on the Rocks with a Splash
Kilauea Volcano Vent. Pele is active!
Kilauea Vent and a full moon starburst
Black sand beach and popular with surfers
These surfers were off the Kona coast near the Mauna Lani golf course. Beautiful spot!