Archive | July 2017

Conversations with…

DSC_5355a mountain goat.

He did not speak.  There was no need.  His presence was enough.  His gaze spoke wonders.  He probably thought that I was nuts, but he did not move.  He sat there contently and listened to me speak.  I remember not what I said, just that for and hour I had a conversation with a mountain goat.
DSC_5303bwThat isn’t really lyrical. It’s actually true.  It was an early, early morning on my last in South Dakota.  I hadn’t hiked my favorite trail yet.  That of Little Devil’s Tower.  I also had not seen a mountain goat yet.  By this morning, I had about given up on seeing these bigfoots of the Blackhills and I had hiked so much by that day-I was a little hiked out. Still, I couldn’t fight this overwhelming “need” to make the hike.  So, I made the drive to Needles Highway and through the Needles and made my way to Little Devil’s Tower.

As I got out of the car, I made the executive decision to leave my camera behind.  My camera had practically been glued to my hand the entire trip…I wanted to be in the moment.  As a self-proclaimed photographer, I should no better than to leave my camera in the car. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Little Devil’s Tower trail is not really for the weak hearted.  It’s about 1.2-1.5 mile but it is up hill and considered strenuous.  I don’t know if I would call it strenuous, but it is definitely a little challenging; especially, at 530 in the morning when you have spent your entire vacation walking trails that are miles and miles long and exposed to the elements.  I was in my element, but man that trail makes me work for it.

I was about a mile in, I think…almost to the top where all the trails meet (there is more than one way to get to the top).  I was tired, my joints were getting the best of me, pretty sure I was sweating even though it was not at all hot and then I see it.  I glanced to my right down, past the Cathedral’s trail and there he was sitting upon a rock with many of rocks between him and I.  DSC_5340Bigfoot.  No, I kid, but these guys-it is about like seeing Bigfoot.

I climbed, I maneuvered, and my way over to him as close as I could get.  I was on one rocky hill and he was a couple feet away from me on another.  I sat and looked at him. He sat and stared at me.

I had a sense of peace, which I know sounds funny-but I was at ease.  We had in silence for a bit and then I talked a little bit.  Ate some snacks.  Talked some more. Sat in more silence.  At that point, I started to realize that I really wish I had brought more than my cell phone.  I debated about going back to my car for the camera, but it was a long-long way back to the car.

If I went, would I even have the energy to make it back up?  Would he even be there?  I had to take a chance. I mean, did I really want to miss this opportunity.  The cell phone pictures I had decided to snap were just not going to do him any justice.  I climbed, I maneuvered, and I worked my way back to the path and ran all the way back down.  That 9 weeks of working out six days a week really paid off that day.  I made it back to my car and grabbed my camera.  As I headed back to the trail, I looked up-man, it was a long-long way back up that trail.  Off I went.

DSC_5338To my surprise, there he sat when I returned.  The sun was a little higher, but he was still there.  Staring at me contently once again.  And once again, I made my way over to my spot.  We talked some more, he allowed me to take some pictures, and after many of minutes passed, I decided to leave him be.  I said my thank yous and my goodbyes. I then make the wonderful maneuvering and climbing back to the trail.  I was not far from the top, but I debated about just heading back down.

I stared at him a few more minutes and looked up to the tower.  Mountain goat, tower, down the trail.  Finally, I decided that I put too much work into it just to go back to the car. I made my way up to the tower.  After more climbing and maneuvering, I reached my destination.  It was well worth the site.  That picture will come at a later time, but I also discovered that my buddy the mountain goat was not alone up there on those rocky inclines.
DSC_5376There was a fourth closer to my buddy, but I couldn’t get a good shot.  That is okay, because I think the ones that I did get made up for it.   They definitely made up for me going up and down that trail twice.  As did my conversations with a mountain goat.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography




DSC_3542.jpgMaybe because I could not think of a good one.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Deer Me,

DSC_3101bw.jpgI wonder what this picture says about me.  Is it unique enough?  Probably not.  Is it expressive of my soul?  Is it personal enough?  If the answer is no to all, do I wonder what the point is?  Do I wonder why bother continuing?

This is not self-pity.  It is more of self awareness.  Or at least finding there of that.  A friend told me that my paintings were more expressive of my soul than my photography.  It is why I cannot profit from photography.  Maybe there is a point, but are my paintings really such?  I cannot help but wonder as all I do is pour paint on to a canvas and hope for the best.

I was never really trying to be anything that I wasn’t.  I just enjoy photography. I enjoy writing and I enjoy painting.   I keep hearing how everyone is a photographer these days.  How everyone can be a painter thanks to the development of fluid painting.  Everyone’s a writer.  So, how do I stay unique and expressive in a world where it seems like everyone is trying to tell me that I’m no different than anybody else?

These are the thoughts that run through my head, but as I was typing this-I started thinking about the deer staring back at me from this picture.  Most deer look the same for those that do not pay close attention, but every deer is different.  And no deer presents the same picture or the same type of moment when seen.  Are we as people not that much different than deer?

I don’t know if my photography is truly unique.  It probably isn’t.  I don’t know if it is truly expressive of my soul. I would like to think that it is.  I was told once that you could see how much I care for animals in my pictures.  I don’t know if that is true, but I would hope that some part of me appears in my photography.  I don’t know what kind of painter I truly am?  Am I even a painter? I don’t consider myself one.  All of these things fall under the art category in some sense. So am I an artist?  That question remains open.  What I do know is that I truly enjoy all of it and I love sharing it.  Will I ever profit from any of it?  I don’t know. It shouldn’t be about the money, it should be about the love of it all.  I just hope that I’m enough like a deer that it brings enough to the table for people to notice and like my work.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography