Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sky Art

We took Miki for a walk this morning, well after sunrise.  At first, I wasn't going to bring my camera with me, because I thought there would be "nothing" to photograph - by now, you'd think I'd know better.  Glad I thought again about that!
I loved the way the clouds just sort of drifted into a sort of abstract art being lit from the side by the sun.  Puffy clouds and whispy clouds mixed together created a sort of abstract intimate portrait of the sky.
I thought this view further into our walk was the sky's version of drawing lines in an abstract way!  The one line in the upper right corner seemed to be a contrail from a jet, but the others just looked like cloud line drawings, swirled around by the breeze up high!

Sunlit Grasses

We took Miki for a walk around the airpark this morning, and one of the things that looked so pretty were the summer grasses with the sunlight playing off them.
From the look of this, you'd think it was an entire field of grass.  However, it was just one little patch along the roadside.  I focused on one frond, and that made the others seem like they were just dancing in the sun, because they were somewhat out of focus - the movement of dance!
I really loved the way the sunlight backlit this grass frond.  I emphasized it just a bit by playing with the contrast when processing this image, but it was really mostly there, even without my "help"!  It looks so delicate.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Welcome Home!

We are now back home, and New Mexico welcomed us with open arms!  I took a few minutes out today to take some images and create some art!  Take a look!

Good morning!!  What a great sunrise we woke up to!  Jeff wandered out of our bedroom and told me to check out the great sunrise.....and he was right!  We actually arrived home this past Saturday, but with unpacking and getting life at home back on track, I slept thru Sunday's and Monday's sunrises.  Thank goodness Mother Nature is a patient being and gave me this beautiful one this morning!
Here's a look at the sunrise slowly making its way across the sky.  Mountains and big sky - I really missed "my" mountains and sky, altho we saw some beautiful ones on our trip.  I really love the way the colors blends into each other.
Later in the morning, I noticed some wonderful sunflowers blooming all over the airpark - we've had a great monsoon season (things are actually green here!).  I went out in search of sunflower portrait images and here's one that I really like.  Face up to the sun!
I really love this image - I converted it to a painting because it really struck me that way.  The background is the wonderful green that the land is this summer, with the blue clouds.  Overall, this is a happy image, and just reminds me of the words of Dorothy, who said, "There's no place like home."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Spring Canyon Bottom Road

Our last true stop of our trip was Moab, which was only appropriate, since it was our first true stop of the trip.  We’ve come full circle on the greatest trip I’ve ever been on.  I can’t speak for Jeff, but I think he had a pretty good time, too! 
We did a bit of off-roading on our day in Moab.  We decided to check out a back road we hadn’t been down before – Spring Canyon Bottom Road.  It was definitely off-road, and very narrow.  This was at the beginning of the road, and we’d soon to be heading down to the bottom of Spring Canyon.  You can get an idea of how narrow the road was, and yes, we drove between those 2 large rocks – right where the light is shining thru.

We didn’t really get a look at the canyon until we were on the road.  I like this view because it shows how narrow the road is, and how “on the edge” we were on it!  You can also get an idea of how big and beautiful the canyon was.

Here’s another view of the road we were on.  Just to give you perspective, I’m sitting in the Jeep and the bottom of the image is the actual edge of the road……and some parts were even narrower – Yikes!

We’ve reached the bottom of the canyon!  It had just rained a day or so before, so there was still some water around, and the shrubbery was very green!  I love the contrast between the red clay earth and the green growth, too.

This is the furthest that we went on this back road.  We were a couple of miles from the actual end, but due to the rain I mentioned before, the sandy/dirt road was getting pretty “shifty” and we were a bit concerned that we’d sink in and wouldn’t be able to get out.  Not a good thing when one is as far from town as we were and probably out of cell phone range! 

This image was taken when we were back on top of the road.  Jeff pulled off so I could walk to the edge, at a sort of scenic view area.  The lower right corner of the image is the ledge I was standing on.  Altho it looks like I’m on the very edge, I’m not that brave!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wizard Island Views

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US, and the 9th deepest lake in the world.  The lake rests in a caldera formed about 7,700 years ago when a 12,000 foot talk volcano collapsed following a major eruption.  Scientists believe that the eruption went around the mountain and as the eruption happened, the mountain blew out from there (so to speak), and the top of the mountain just fell into the caldera and Wizard Island was formed.  Eventually, between rain water and snow melt (an average of 43.5 feet falls each year), the lake was formed.  It is the clearest, cleanest lake in the world because the water is only from rain and snow melt – no rivers run into or out of it.  Anyway, enough of the details – take a look at this beautiful lake and island!

Meet Wizard Island – it's 694 feet tall (measured from the water line).  I really like the reflection in the lake.  And the water is so incredibly blue due to how clean the water is.  There’s only 1 boat that’s allowed on the lake – it does a tour of sorts, and the tours are limited.  It looks unreal, but it’s naturally real!

Here’s another view of the island, taken as we drove the road around the rim.  I like the view between the trees. 

Godfrey Glen Trail

As we drove around the rim of Crater Lake, we stopped at a trail called Godfrey Glen.  It runs thru an old growth forest that is protected because it’s in the National Park.  Many old growth forests are not protected any longer, so it’s nice to walk among these giants.

Isn’t this a peaceful looking trail?  It was really a nice walk, and it was one of only a few trails they allow dogs on (leashed, of course).  Miki really enjoyed the walk and being with her “people pack”.  

There were some canyon views along the trail.  The walls are actually made up of volcanic ash compressed together.  I really liked the colors of the walls of the canyon.

Isn’t this a lovely view of a valley below the trail?  I love the winding stream thru it, and the vibrant green of the meadow area next to the stream.  This area only has about 2 full months of no snow (snow melts sometime in June, and begins again sometime in September, so July and August are the only 2 no snow months), so seeing this lovely meadow and stream snow free is really something!

Altho we always want to look up at the tall trees, the floor of the forest provides some treasures as well!  I don’t know what these flowers are, but I just loved the look of them rising up from the forest floor.

Here’s a lovely intimate portrait of some greenery and a dead log.  I really love the contrast between the textures.

One of the things that are cool about the forest is all the moss that hangs from the pine trees.  Here’s an image of one – I really liked the way the sun shone thru the moss.  Kind of magical….

Crater Lake Rim Drive

I was really excited about driving around the rim of Crater Lake.  The last time we visited this national park was in June, 2010.  At that time, there had been a blizzard the day we arrived, and altho the weather cleared the following day, we only got to see one small portion of the park.  The road around the rim was under between 8 – 12 feet of snow!!  This wasn’t just from the blizzard the day before, but from the entire winter season.  So, this time when there was no snow, it was a great drive!
I never knew this little island existed – it’s called Phantom Ship.  If you look at it, it is sort of shaped like a ship.  It’s called Phantom because from the main portion of the park, you can’t see this tiny island.  It’s hidden behind Wizard Island.  It is a really pretty island, and actually isn’t all that small – it’s about as tall as a 16 story building.

I had to include this image – I truly believe the reflections in the water of the surrounding coastline make this look sort of surreal, but this is how it really looked.  I think the clarity of the water played a part in this as well.  I just love it.

There’s an area on the drive that’s a bit away from the lake, but that has these formations called The Pinnacles.  They are made up of volcanic ash, and it’s very cool the way they just sort of rise up from the ground.

This is a view of what is called The Castle.  It’s a natural formation along the shore of the lake.  It’s interesting to see how the color is so different from the surrounding rocks and ash.

And finally, here’s a wide view of Crater Lake.  The blue of the lake is really incredible and I love the cloud reflection in it.  The little boat in the lake is that one tour boat that’s allowed on the lake.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Herons and Gulls at Fay Bainbridge State Park Beach

One day while visiting Jeff’s sister, we took a ride to look for photo ops for me.  We ended up at Fay Bainbridge State Park, where there was a lovely beach with a heron and seagulls on the shore.  I had fun following them up and down the shore to capture them while they busily worked at getting food!

This lovely heron stayed pretty much in one place, just looking for food, and every so often snatching some food tidbit from under the water.  I love the free flowing reflection of his body in the barely moving water.

I love this image of both the heron and a seagull.  I couldn’t believe that I actually captured the seagull with a clam shell in his beak!  The heron just keeps doing his thing in the background.

I think I like this image the best of all of the bird photos.  The heron was so still, and the water pretty much matched his stance.  It’s flowing, but peaceful at the same time.  I converted this to a black & white image, just to keep with the mood.

Photo Paintings

I found a couple of good images that I converted into photo paintings.  The subjects are very different, but hopefully, you’ll find the outcomes equally nice!
A mom and her kids were digging in the sand.  I’m not sure if they were digging for clams, but it’s possible.  Jeff said he thought the clam digging season was over, but I doubt that this mom and her kids would get in trouble – heck, who knows if they’ll even find any!

I loved the tiny yellow blooms growing out of this pile of old driftwood.  Altho the photo image was nice, I thought it would really sing as a photo painting.


Treasures on the Beach

When I would turn back from the beach or would look down, there were treasures to be had.  It’s getting to be later in the summer, but blooms can still be found……and a touch of fall.

I love the brightness of these flowers – 2 different types, altho I don’t know either for sure.  It was a bit of a cloudy day, so the bright sunny flowers were welcome!

A touch of autumn among the beach rocks.  The color of the leaf really brightens up the rocks, altho I love the variation of blues, greys and a touch of purple in them.

One more shot of the bright summery colors – this was a little patch of color, altho from the image it looks like a field!  Summer’s last hurrah….almost!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park, Cassiar Highway in British Columbia

My last entry from Canada on our return trip is from another gem of a provincial park on the Cassiar Highway, Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park.  And, once again, our timing was perfect and we got a lakeside campsite.  If we arrived just a bit later in the afternoon, all of these great sites were gone!  Take a look at how we spent the afternoon here –

Again, great cloud reflection!  This seemed to be the theme of this campsite.  I loved the line that was formed by both the cloud reflection and the actual clouds.

This was one of the images I was able to take in between Miki playing fetch the stick with Jeff – of course, the stick had to be tossed into the water, or it just wasn’t worth fetching!  Clear sky and calm lake waters equal a great image!

Ok, last image of clouds!  Again, I love the line of the clouds from the sky and the water sort of creating an infinity point of nature.  So cool.

Boya Lake Provincial Park, on the Cassiar Highway in British Columbia

After we left Whitehorse, we took a bit of a different route toward home, down the Cassiar Highway.  It was a bit more rural than the Alcan, with brush and trees growing right up to the shoulder of the road.  It was also somewhat less used, altho the roads were pretty good.  One of the little gems we found along this route was Boya Lake Provincial Park, and we lucked out yet again with a lakeside campsite!

Here was the view looking out from our campsite.  I really loved the color of the water in this lake!  That blue-green color was exactly how it looked – no enhancement on my part!

In the morning, when we took Miki for a walk, I noticed the cloud reflection in the lake.  Since the sun wasn’t quite up yet, it wasn’t as vibrant, but this had such a nice positive moody feel to it, I couldn’t resist!

Isn’t this a great peaceful lake image?  I just loved the deserted dock reaching out into the lake.  This too was in the morning, just a bit later, but early enough so the kids weren’t yet out playing on the dock.  I guess we could call this the quiet before the storm of playing kids!

I know, the color of the reflection in this image seems really fake, but it isn’t!  This is truly the way it looked, which was why I couldn’t resist taking this image.  It almost looks like you could taste it and it a fresh fruity taste!

Nature at Boya Lake Provincial Park

In addition to great lake views, there was some nature to see at Boya Lake!  Take a look!

I thought this was such a cool image!  I was playing around and snapping this butterfly, and when I started processing the images, I saw that I managed to catch this little beauty in flight, just before landing on the bloom!  I decided to convert it to a photo painting, just to further capture the softness of the image.

Here’s the bloom the butterfly was focused on, alone and in the spotlight!  At this point, this far up north, we were beginning to run out of flowers – closer to the end of the summer season – so I was glad to see what I could!

Per my own personal birder, Jeff, this is a sharp-tailed grouse.  No, he’s not really a birder!!  At first, he thought it was a willow ptarmigan, but then did more bird photo research online and believes it is a grouse.  He was hidden in the tree, and I wasn’t even sure at first that I managed to capture him.  Love the profile shot!

Return to Whitehorse

This will be a short update with just a couple of cool images, very different from each other.  It was our return trip to Whitehorse on our way back home!!

I was so surprised by this image.  We were driving along on an overcast and rainy morning, when I thought the sky, road and terrain just begged to be photographed.  So I picked up my camera, and shot this thru the windshield.  When processing it, I decided the moodiness of the image warranted converting it to a black and white shot.  Wouldn’t this look cool as a metal print?

When we got to Whitehorse, the sun came out, and as we walked around, I noticed the rain drops clinging to the pine tree needles.  It was such a soft and peaceful shot, I couldn’t resist.  And, it seems half a world away from the first image, doesn’t it?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Return to Kluane Lake, Yukon Territory

On our way up to Alaska, we stopped at this campground and loved this campsite, even tho it was very rainy and overcast when we first visited it.  This time around, the weather was much more cooperative with us!  We also learned how to correctly pronounce the name of the lake – clue-ON-ee.  Take a look –

Here’s the view from our campsite on the sunny day we arrived!  The blue of the lake and the sky was just wonderful, and we had a great campfire later in the day!

Walking down the shore, we were able to enjoy being outside more than the first time around!  It was great to be able to get a good look at the mountains!  And, it was as peaceful and uncrowded as it was the first time around.

At one end of the shoreline, there was a small stream that flowed into the lake, with some lovely pink flowers growing on the shore.  I thought the image made a great photo painting.