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.

Rocky Mountain Getaway – Day 3

2017-06-17 Independence Pass 01Departing the hotel in Snowmass, we took an indirect path back so that we could hit a few sights along the way. One of these was to drive Independence Pass, which ultimately tops out at over 12,000ft. Fair warning – the speed limit nearly the entire way is between 25-35mph for good reason. This drive is not for the faint of heart.

2017-06-17 Independence Pass 02The views are breathtaking. This is truly God’s Country here; totally protected and preserved and just amazing. The contrasting peaks, summer snow, warm sunshine and shallow creeks and rivers seemed right out of a magazine. The roads are very narrow and you will be turning your wheel to take hairpin after hairpin but with a little backbone, it’s absolutely worth it. Pull over as many times as you like to take photos and thank the universe someone had the good sense years ago to set this land aside to be what it is today.

2017-06-17 Twin Lakes 01 Once we exited Independence Pass, we briefly stopped by a place called Twin Lakes as we started back east. Due to time constraints and needing to get home, we couldn’t explore here but it was a great view here from the side of the road at least.

2017-06-17 Dillon Reservoir 01While this is another similar lake view, this is actually Dillon Reservoir by Frisco also in Colorado. Another location I’d noticed on the map but had never seen in person before. It was just a few miles off the main highway to get to this spot. This wasn’t the spot I wanted to shoot from though. An impromptu wedding had taken over the overlook where we hiked to. It was an elderly couple tying the knot with maybe 10 family members present and was just about the sweetest moment I’ve seen and worth pausing a respectable distance away to witness their vows and silently wish them well before I left.

Somehow that moment seemed the perfect way to end our trip as we motored on back towards Denver then Fort Collins.