Quiet States

Farmhouse, North Dakota

Farmhouse at Dusk, North Dakota

“Nothing could be more lonely and nothing more beautiful than the view at nightfall across the prairies to these huge hill masses, when the lengthening shadows had at last merged into one and the faint after-glow of the red sunset filled the west.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt is big in the Dakotas.  And that’s not referring to Mt. Rushmore.  But when thinking of how I could describe North and South Dakota, “quiet” came quickly to mind.  After driving more than 2,200 miles in just over a week, the scarcity of development, people and changing landscapes are a constant.  There was sound- the wind and birdsong is always around, but it didn’t erase that quiet. Continue reading

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Is Yosemite Overrated?

Now when looking at the great western parks for an autumn trip, Yosemite wouldn’t probably be my first recommendation.  It was a first time to the area, so I carved out a few days to camp and explore in late September, hoping to discover the type of iconic views made famous from the likes of Ansel Adams and many other talented photographers over the decades.

Valley View, Yosemite National Park

Valley View, Yosemite National Park

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Smokies Spring

The Smoky Mountains in Spring are usually a safe bet for a productive photography trip.  From the heavier flowing falls, the wildflowers and possible sightings of recently born animals, there are plenty of subjects to focus a lens on.

Middle Prong River, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Lady Killers

Grizzly Bear, Denali National Park, Alaska

Grizzly Bear searching for a moose, Denali National Park, Alaska

If you have the National Geographic Wild channel on your local cable, an episode recently aired (airing again February 9, 2014) and is available, at least on Comcast,  in the On-Demand section for the show “World’s Deadliest Animals”.  The episode “Lady Killers” includes an edited two minutes from about 30 minutes of footage I shot in Denali National Park of a moose defending her two calves from a grizzly.   It starts about 7 minutes into the show right after the “Moose” transition.  More details are included on the National Geographic website at the link below.http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/worlds-deadliest/episodes/lady-killers/

Arizona Desert

On a recent trip to Arizona and New Mexico, I flew into Phoenix and headed south into the Sonoran Desert.  It was the beginning of Fall but still topping out at 106 degrees.   For this part of the desert, the roads through them are limited,  unpaved and vary in how easily a vehicle can access them.  I had to turn around a few times once I reached a washed out area or deep ditch, so photography was limited to where my rental car could safely travel.

Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona

Other than birds and lizards, the only other life occasionally around were border patrol agents.  There was  also a lot of littered water jugs and other trash from the people that passed through before.

Illegal Immigration Warning Sign, Sonoran Desert National Monume

Illegal Immigration Warning Sign, Sonoran Desert National Monument

Sonoran Desert National Monument, Southern Arizona

Dead cow, Sonoran Desert National Monument, Southern Arizona

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