A Little Piece of Heaven on Earth

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For our second anniversary we re-visited a favorite location in the Vedauwoo Recreation Area near where we live in Wyoming. My husband found this beautiful “crow’s nest” on top of a rocky hill and knew of it before he took me up there to camp one night. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve been yet in my life and it’s our favorite spot to be.

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The camp site is like a bowl, surrounded by boulders and rock formations on all sides. At night, the wind can absolutely howl at this height. But we were there to watch the sun set and it was perfect, with just a slight movement of air (not even a wind) now and then. Sunset and sunrise here are magical hours.

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Everywhere you look, it’s a scene to be photographed. It’s important though, to put the camera down now and then and just take it in as God intended. On hiking up to the top this day, I took all the photos I wanted and then did just that. Put my camera away and sat with my husband taking in the views and roasting marshmallows.

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I find the trees and dead wood make their own composition just as strikingly as the far away views of mountains and plains. There is something interesting to see at every turn.

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My husband is a tireless worker and is always busy. His happy place is being outdoors and I love to see him relax when we venture here. It’s different when you’re somewhere that has quiet like this place. Even I feel it when I arrive. You are compelled to not talk so much, to sense everything around you differently and you just are different. It’s the re-set that happens when you’re in nature. It’s how we should be, but how we forget to be.

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On the way up the trail to get to the crow’s nest, we stumbled right into this pair of bull moose. They were happy to be left alone and continue to munch around the underbrush. (They seemed to realize we didn’t pose any threat but they kept a wary eye on us and never got too close).

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Once we had made it up to the crow’s nest, we caught sight of them again; this time much farther away but still on the move on a neighboring hilltop.

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There is abundant birding up here as well. We just had to sit still and watch around us and birds were everywhere, flitting this way and that, making final runs for food and what not before the sun set.

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This one seemed to set a reverie of evening light and stillness as it perched calmly in this tree. It was as if it knew the day was ending and it wanted to take it all in before retiring.

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It’s our little piece of heaven on earth. No better way to spend a special day 🙂

Critters on the Plains

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I’m actively trying to improve my skills at selecting the right aperture for bright, beaming sunshine. Lately I’ve been horrible at washing out my photos by forgetting to change that basic setting on my camera. This cute furball was my first subject of the day while out for a day of shooting (first rifle, then pictures). I know, ground squirrels are pests and the cause of many, many problems. But darn if they’re not cute as a button.

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I’m not sure if this is the same earless lizard I saw a few weeks ago; this one is smaller I think. No doubt, even in our shooting spot, there are many.

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I’m also trying to up-skill a bit on focusing on smaller subjects on the fly. However in this photo I was really focusing on the flowers and had no idea a grasshopper was in my view until I loaded the image to my laptop. Observant of me, no?

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This fellow was hanging on to this blade of grass for all he was worth. It’s not noticeable in the pictures but the wind was whipping and this guy had clamped onto the grass and was riding the gusts like a championship bull rider. It was a day for critters of all sizes!

Evening Waves

10-16-2011 Lake Hartwell 11A lazy evening fishing on Lake Hartwell, SC circa 2011 with my dad. I didn’t recall from this day if we caught anything, but I do remember being so taken with the sky’s gradient of colors, the gentle slap of water against the underside of the boat and it being so peaceful. It was quiet on the water as the final few boats trolled along with only their electric motors barely humming, searching for hits near the bank. Impressive how just a photo can remind you of so many details from so long ago.

Coldscape

2016-11-19 Egbert SnowA cold November day this past winter to be target shooting in Wyoming.

It was windy. And not the simply gusty kind of windy; no this was the kind where my cold-weather coat was on, hood was up, gloves on, wool base layers on and my eyes still teared and ran from the whipping cold air with sunglasses having zero effect in shielding them. It was a definite no-go. But I still snapped a few quick shots because even though it made for a miserable short time, our favorite shooting spot was ever beautiful in the strong and unforgiving way that Mother Nature is. Have to respect that.

Kaleidoscope of Leaves

20100403 Cheswick L1 2 2Staring upward and feeling the sun on my face while walking through Cheswick Park, Richmond, VA.

I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but there’s always been something about this picture I’ve wanted to blow up into a huge print and hang on a wall.

It still reminds me that in this quiet moment on a random foot trail, it was that perfect warm feeling you have when the sun seeps into your skin while being neither too direct or hot. I could hear small chirping birds about and the branches were so ever lightly swaying in the breezes shifting above, clicking against one another in time. The light was filtering through the leaves as they danced into this beam of light and then that one, like a kaleidoscope of leaves.

Simply a very fine day.

Splish Splash

2010-05-16 Robin SplashOne of my most favorite photos. This one was during a stroll in the Coker Arboretum at UNC Chapel Hill (North Carolina) in 2010. Over the years, this picture still makes me smile. It was a perfect summer day, and the arboretum featured this fantastic creek of little rocks and waterways that the birds were just enamored with. Playing this way and that, splashing and bathing not caring how close I was with my camera.

But this little one was having a far better time with much more enthusiasm than all the others. I delighted in sitting there for a solid fifteen minutes just watching it wriggle, shake, roll, duck it’s head under and become thoroughly drenched. The little water droplets hanging in mid-air here were nothing compared to the waterworks display in other photos. But I love this shot best because this little ball of feathers just had all sorts of fun-loving bird attitude: Tail up, feathers askew and having a good ‘ole time.