Unintentional Shot

DSC_1027.jpgSomewhere in the Coal Canyon of Colorado, I stood in a river bed.  Maybe just a creek bed.  It was anything but with only a bit of water flowing through.  Waiting on rain to come and fill it.  Rain that I could see moving in, but hoped that it would wait.  Driving on wet dirt roads gives me a bit of a panic.

I was searching for horses. Ones I would eventually find, but we know that I’m not one to miss a photo opportunity if I was smart enough to take my camera.

I don’t quite remember this picture.  However, to be fair I have upwards of an embarrassing amount of photos.  This apparently happens when you have large gig SD cards, 10 days on the road, and not a lot else to do.  Anyway, I do remember standing in the bank.  I do remember snapping all kinds of pictures just see what came about.  Apparently, this is one that came about.

It is an unintentional shot.  I am not even sure what I was necessarily going for.  The sky is not what I remember, but in the raw file it is just a grey wall.  I thought that it was sunnier, but I also remember that the rain really was moving in and must have taken over more of the sky than I remembered at this point.  I also think that it looks a bit on the long exposure side, which is strange because I wasn’t doing long exposures in this moment. I used a lens that I don’t normally use and a focal length that I don’t tend to play with.  I might have to make this more of a habit.   I also do not even remember putting a lot of thought into my scenery pictures on this hike.  All of these combined….I have an unintentional shot.

An unintentional shot or an unintentional outcome, I’m not sure.  What I am sure of is that I hope that you like it.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

Montana Rose Photography

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The Crow and the Ritz

DSC_2343In various places off the beaten path leading up to Old Faithful there are a dozen or so little Ritz cracker  buried beneath the dirt and rocks.

“Did you bury them?”  you ask.  No.  This little beauty did.  A crow?  Yes. A  crow.  Did you know that they bury their food?  I certainly didn’t.

DSC_2289I’m sure if I had taken the time to research crows and their habits, this would be information that I had but the truth is…I am just not that into birds.  There is so much to “knowing” birds.

To know birds you have to know the absurd amount of bird breeds there are.  There are ample amounts of books on the subject.  You have to know their feathers.  Colors.  Mating habits. Nesting habits. Migration.  Calls.  Who has that kind of time?
DSC_2282This guy didn’t really have a lot of fear.  At least not towards me.  I’m not being all “I am an animal whisper.”  No.  I’m pretty sure that it was just because I was one person.  Just me and my camera, but he let me get pretty close to him and he came pretty close to me.  As other noticed him, he got faster in his travel and would fly further away when he collected his crackers.

It took me a while to figure out what he was doing with them.  He would nibble a bit then pick up a couple.  He would then walk to various areas on either side of the walk way, sit them down, and pick at the dirt.

DSC_2293It wasn’t until I really watched him that I realized he was digging a hole, placing the crackers in it, covering them up (Not very well mind you), and then collecting more to do over again.

I’m not going to lie, I quite enjoyed watching him.  I didn’t get any good pictures of him burying his cracker.  You know, since it took me a bit to figure out what he was doing and then other people started realizing and watching.  I really enjoy the ones I did get though.  DSC_2295So, crows bury their food.  That’s a thing I know and now it is a thing you know.  You also know where to dig for snacks should you be in Yellowstone at Old Faithful and don’t feel like buying them.    DSC_2275DSC_2290Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Double…

DSC_0512Double windows.  Double arches.  Double helpings.  Double standards.  Double mint gum.  Do the even make that anymore?  I’m not really a gum person, so I don’t pay attention.  Anyway, just double.  Double me this, if you will.

The double arches in Arches National Park.  A window of opportunity to achieve some great shots if you can get it right.  Nature.  Sun.  Canyon sun.  Desert canyon sun.  Lizards.  So many lizards.  Rocks and primitive trails.  Designated trails, but also primitive trails.  Strangers.  Strangers galore, from one end of the park to the other from the break of day.  And activist.  At least those pretending to be.  Is there a story there, you ask?  You know that there is.

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It was my last day in Utah.  At this point, I had reached my fill of my vacation and I was ready to hang with horses in the basin and move on home.  I missed the zone and felt a little guilty because she had been boarded for several days at this point.  Anyway, I was done but I had a National Park pass and by god…I was going to make that thing pay for itself.   It more than did.

It was Wednesday morning.  I was up early.  Not as early as I would have been had my trip been going according to plan, but early.  It was still early enough that I would not have expected there to be as many people in the archest at that time of day.  Spoiler alert:  I was wrong.  The park was not busy, but it was increasingly so as I traveled each half mile.  Anyway, I hadn’t gotten near enough hiking in and stopped at this set of arches.

I had already walked the primitive trail.  The primitive trail was supposed to take me up to the Double Arches, but the trail is not well marked (Pretty much at all, which is also says in the brochure) and so I was a bit uneasy about trying to figure it out on my own.  I’m an adventurous sort, but I think that spirit had left me by this point.  With that said, I decided to go get back on the main trail.  A main trail that turned into a primitive trail to go up under the arches.
DSC_0541I had already visited a couple of other arches at this point.  I had been watching a countless number of people go up into the arches and climb over rocks.  The brochure even indicated that some of the trails indicated that you would have to manuever over rocks and such.  To be careful because sandstone is slick.  I had also seen, over the years, a countless number of pictures of people under the arches.  Pictures people had taken themselves from different perspectives of the arches, including underneath the arches.  The only things that the park specifically indicated was to stay on trails in high vegetative areas and to not climb on top of the arches.  Therefore when the main trail ended and the primitive trail began, I didn’t think anything of it.  I followed the path, which many  before me had already followed and went up into the arch.

As I’m coming to an end of doing my thing, I heard an old woman yell at some girls about how they needed to stay on the path.  That they were supposed to stay on the path.  I knew where they were and technically they were on a path, a primitive path but a path none the less.  It was a path lined by rocks and had already been traveled a countless number of times, but in a demanding voice she told them to get back on the path.  I knew she was going to bother me, so I decided to start back to my car.

DSC_0543As I was walking towards her on the main trail, she told me to smile because I was busted.  I looked at her confused and she said that I wasn’t supposed to be climbing on the rocks.  I was confused and hadn’t recalled seeing this anywhere and informed her that I wasn’t aware of this fact and that I had just been following the path where others had already been.  She then informed me that primitive trails would be marked with cairns, which is not true and it even says that in brochure.  It is also not actually naturalistic, right to build cairns.  You are supposed to leave the park as is so building cairns is messing with the elements that she just yelled at me for climbing on.  Anyway, I digress.

When I told her that I wasn’t aware of this fact, she said that she wouldn’t turn me in.  Then proceeded to tell me about how people disrespect the parks and that is how they get closed off to people.  And I tried adamantly to emphasize that by far that was not me and that I had nothing but the utmost respect for the parks.  I wasn’t vandalizing. I wasn’t disrespecting it, or moving things. I was merely following a trail.  She said, “Well, you never know unless you ask.”  That is fine, but she didn’t ask. She just assumed.  I won’t get on that soap box, but just the same.  I left very upset and distraught.  Distressed that I had done something wrong and that I was going to get banned from the park, or worse…internet shamed.

I was then determined to find the actual answer, because as I had said…I hadn’t seen anywhere that it was against the rules to go up on the rocks.  A lot of the trails I was about to encounter required such an action.  There were decades worth of pictures, including one in the visitor center, that indicated this was allowed.  I was now on a mission.

DSC_0533I looked in the brochure.  Nothing other than primitive trails were not well marked and to be careful when hiking them.  Signs around the park, “Do not climb on the arches” with pictures that indicated on top of the arches.  “Stay on the trail” signs in high vegetative areas.  Fellow hikers, “That is not a rule.  If it was, no one would ever come to the arches.  They just do not want you climbing on top of the arches.”  Finally, my saving grace…a NPS worker who said the woman could suck it because she was wrong and that there is no actual rule to that regard and that going up under the arches was more than allowed.  The only thing they do is discourage travel of path in high vegetative and high trafficked areas like the ones they were working in.  That there are no actual park rules to such natures.  That I had done nothing wrong .

As first I was mad. I wanted to track this woman down and inform her that she was mistaken and demand that she delete my picture.  She had made me feel horrible and I wasn’t thrilled at the thought of being internet shamed over something that I knew and had confirmation about not being wrong, but I never did see her again.  Thinking back now, I do respect the fact that she was just trying to protect the park and it just is what it is.  I also don’t know how many other people she yelled at that day.  She was definitely going to have her work cut out for her and I’m sure that she eventually ran into someone who put her in her place as she was trying to do everyone else.

Thinking back, it still bothers me a bit.  I have nothing but respect for nature and wildlife, the national parks.  To have someone assume otherwise is just disconcerting.  We all want to feel holier than now in some areas, but we shouldn’t assume the worse unless we have confirmation to the such.  That is my little here and there on the subject.
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With all that aside, I think it was worse the momentary controversy.  The arches are quite beautiful in their own little way and I really like these shots that I got.  I’m definitely glad that I went and eventually I will get to more of my pictures.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, I have an insane amount.  I made last year’s number look like a snack box, but this year there are so many amazing shots from so many different areas that I’m excited to get to some more of them.  To be able to share them.  It’s just been hard to determine where to start and how to go about it.  For now, though, I offer up these.  I hope that you like them.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Wild and Free

DSC_2519 c(2)I keep taking a step back to regroup, revamp, and rejuvenate.  I have to be honest, I kind of suck at it.  I always seem to end up back in the same loop that I am trying to escape.  With that said, I was thinking about my last two post.  They were not pretty.  The pictures were, the writing was not.  I’m bad about that.

I have always been one to say what I think and what I feel.  I wear my heart on my sleeve when I am writing.  A lot of us do, but for me…well, it has always been the best way for me to communicate.  I also figure that it is my blog so I can write what I want.  However, I also want to write in a way that connects with people.  Something else that I’m pretty freakin’ horrible at.  Sorry about that on all accounts.

I’ve really just wanted to be somebody most of my life.  I’ve always been looking for a place, but at the same time I knew that place needed to involve photography and writing.  There is that whole heart on the sleeve thing.  I think it is just that for some of us, most of us, it is so easy to get lost and trapped when we are on the wrong trail.  When our souls are able to be wild and free.  Sorry, had to throw that in there somewhere but that is all I will say on that subject.

I don’t really know what any of that means.  I know that with some recent physical ailments and health issues, I’ve started really treading mud in the realms of this path that I’m on.  It is time for serious buckling down.  I am not sure what that means, but it means something.

As for wild and free, as cheesy as it is that is actually what I felt when I photographed this beauty.  I was deep in the heart of a basin in Colorado.  I actually parked my car and hiked to get to this guy and his herd.  There were multiple herds and I just took the time and sat there…watching, photographing, being an actual part of the moment.  I’ve done a lot of wildlife photography over the years, but honestly I can say that it was not like it was in this trip. I need to do more of that.

Thank you to everyone who continues to follow my blog and bearing with me through it all.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

Montana Rose Photography

‘Tis the Season

DSC_4472Wedding season.

I could post more vacation and photos, because believe me I have no shortage of those, but I’m going to take a break for a moment.  Partly, because I have such a vast amount of them that I do not know where to start nor really the best way to go about it.  The other part is because yesterday I was able to photograph a wedding.  I also may feel a little guilty about my last post as it was a bit of something.  I don’t know.

With that said, change of pace because I also have a lot wedding photos to get edited.
DSC_4441I was actually reading another blogger and he was talking about change.  First, I admire is photography and writing.  I wish I could write like that. I use to write like that, but over time I have become lazy and rusty.  Time never allows for much of it and motivation started to fade with lack of support.  All of that combined led to the laziness and rustiness I mentioned.

I am constantly thinking about how I ended up where I am; especially, when looking at couples.  42 and single is definitely not where I thought that I would be.  There is a long list of things that I didn’t think would be when I turned 42, but mainly single.  Love is something that seems to be a given for everyone…but me.  It has always seemed to eluded me.

I could ponder why.  Most will say that it is because I haven’t met the right one.  One friend told me that even though she was happily married, I was better of never being or getting married because it just isn’t worth it.  Only a portion of that was her exact wording, I was stuck on the part where she could be happily married and yet seemingly against it at the same time.  Everyone has such a different vision of love and marriage.

These two have been together for several years.  Over 2000 plus days, from my understanding.  A lot of up and downs, heartbreaks.  To me that says a lot right there.  Not a lot of people can say that and these two are young.  I think from what I know that they have been through, not a lot will break them.  I do realize that people change and that things between people change, but I am pulling for them.

I am not sure how I feel about doing weddings.  The lovey dovey and what not.  I think it is because when you don’t have it and you want it, watching everyone else get it-well, it just makes it a bit cringe worthy.  I am hoping that it was it is and that I’m not some Scrooge when it comes to love.  My family wasn’t huge on showing affection when I was younger and so certain displays of emotion elude me.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t like romance and all that jazz.  Actually, I’m not sure what it really means.

I don’t mind doing small weddings.  I actually met these two while photographing my friend’s wedding back in 2017.  However, doing weddings for people you know is different than doing it for people you don’t.   I have only photographed four weddings.  The first one was a daughter for a friend at the time.  Then two sets of friends, and then this couple…a growing friendship and they live behind me.  So, I don’t know.  It changes things a bit when you do a wedding for people you know and are comfortable around.

Anyway, I don’t mind doing small weddings. At least so far.  The thought of doing an overly large wedding is a bit nerve racking, but I think I could handle it.  I would hope.  I also think that marriage is worth it.  That is with the right person.  I know that I’m not alone there.  It is a beautiful thing.  Seeing people in love and that truly care for each other, do anything for each other.  I’m glad that I was chosen to help capture that them.  I’m also very sorry that got so sappy.  That was an unexpected, unintentional turn of events.  DSC_4466I might have a little Scrooge in me when it comes to lovey, dovey love as that sap I just spilled made me a bit nauseous.  Either way, I still like to hope that the day will come when I, too, get to walk down the aise with some cowboy who’s willing to spend my days with me.  That little sappy tree hugger in me likes to think that there is someone for us all.

With that said, I must call it day.  There is work to do and pictures to edit.  I hope that you like the pictures I’ve posted so far.  The bride is happy.  Now off to finish getting through the rest.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

Buffaloed by Pipe Dreams

DSC_3034It has been about four years since my original visit to Wyoming.  I wanted to be super exited about this trip.  My photography skills had improved, I wasn’t taking the zone, it’s early enough in the season that it shouldn’t be busy, and overall it should just be a great trip.  That is what I thought.

I didn’t start in Wyoming.  I stopped in South Dakota to rest up because I was driving.  It should have only taken me half a day to get to Wyoming, but I took advantage of the time and it took me a good 12 or so hours to actually arrive.  Now for those that have not visited the Grand Tetons or Yellowstone, the majority of the campsites are first come-first serve.  Most are also not open very early in May, so I am thinking it is early enough that I can get a campsite and the parks won’t be busy….Yeah, I was wrong…so very, very wrong.
DSC_3041Since I didn’t get to the Tetons until well after 9 at night, it was too late to go to any of the three campgrounds that were open.  At the time, at least two of them had not filled yet.  Two of them were also in Yellowstone, which by the luck of all that is mine…were still a few hours away and I was exhausted but I was positive and thinking I got this. It will be fine.

I won’t whine about sleeping in my car, but I slept in my car which my body didn’t approve of.  I woke up early as I always do, so I headed for Yellowstone because I wanted to spend the day there.  It also contained two of the campgrounds and they were the cheapest out of the three that were open.  Thinking I still had time, I stopped at Old Faithful.  Some of you may remember that my first visit to Old Faithful was not fulfilling as he proved to unreliable after I stood around for hours waiting for him to go off which he never did.  He made up for it, but this is not about that.  He’ll be another day.  DSC_3050After Old Faithful, I took a hike and as I was finishing my loop this beautiful beast appeared.  I sat down on a log about two fancy RV’s away and eventually he wondered closer, but he was paying me no mind.  I snapped some pictures and decided to go to the convenient store across the way and grab some food since I had yet to eaten.
DSC_3045When I walked in I saw a restaurant of sorts and chose to eat there instead.   If you stop in Yellowstone, I recommend the Old Faithful Basin.  I cannot attest to their bison meat, but their regular burgers are pretty amazing.  With that said, after I finished I went on my way.

As I’m walking I see this undetermined figure at the time motioning to something.  I realize that this beauty was still lingering and made his way to a tree.  For some reason, this figure seemed focused on me. I don’t know why and I would have said otherwise until I took another couple of steps and the undetermined became a woman yelling at me that I was too close to the bison.  I assure my fellow blog readers, I was not.  I was still over a fancy RV and a half away and the farthest thing from his eyesight and his mind.  Ms. Yeller on the other hand, was barely a car length away and so was the guy standing the sidewalk adjacent from her, so why she was so fixated on me…I’ll never know.    Think she wasn’t?  I didn’t want to think so either.DSC_3053After spewing some things that I know she couldn’t actually hear like, “I’m not too close. I know what I’m doing,”  she turned and walked away.  As she was walking away I took another step and unbeknownst me, she had noticed and yelled at me to walk around.  Well, as I was walking around I noticed there was a guy literally two feet from Mr. Beauty’s hind side and yet I’m the one that she was worried about.

As I got closer, I realized that she was a ranger of sorts. I’m guessing a new ranger because I have never seen the rangers out there before and no one was yelling at me when I was a lot closer.  Now, I realize that she was just doing her job and I cannot truly knock her for that.  She didn’t know me and to her, I was just some dumb tourist with a camera.  But here’s a secret, folks, I may push my luck and I do but I never push it to the extent that I am disrespecting the animal or intentionally putting them, or myself, in danger.  If I am considerably too close, they came into my space…rarely the other way around.  I do get closer than the “rule” allows, but I maintain, watch, observe, and read.  I am usually not the problem.  And everyone that was involved this day, I was the least likeliest to be hurt.  Not to mention, if he had wanted to charge….it wouldn’t have mattered how far away any of us were.  DSC_3062So, after getting yelled at by Jr. Ranger…again, this time for stepping off the path for trying to get out of someone’s way, I had-had it with Old Faithful.  I decided to try and find the Yellowstone campgrounds, one of which was still and hour away and the other which was still more so than that.  I drove and drove and soon realized how mistaken I was that there wouldn’t be a crowd this time of year.   I also under estimated the number of trails that would actually be open for non-snow prepared hikers.  Hint:  none.  DSC_3067 I eventually found the first campground and it was now full.  I didn’t bother looking for the other two because what took me a short time to get took forever to get back to.  Between being the fixture of someone’s misplaced anger, traffic, construction, and bear traffic (not as exciting as it sounds and a story for another day) I was reaching my limitations.  I headed back to the Tetons where there was less snow, less rangers, and a tolerable amount of traffic.  DSC_3068Despite all of that, I made the most out of my time and got some decent pictures of this beautiful boy.  I never did get a campground, it became unworthy of the trouble.  I’d also decided that the next day would be my last day in the Grand Teton/Yellowstone area.  Too many tourist for early May and too many people messing with my vibe.  It was time to move on.  I hope you think the pictures are worth it, though.  He’s one of the only things that made my day in Yellowstone worth it.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Angry Bird

DSC_3940I was excited about this trip.  Probably not to the extent that I should have been, but as it grew closer I was excited.  I was excited to hit the Tetons again.  I hadn’t been able to make the most out of it the first time and my photography skills had greatly improved and there were some animals waiting for me.  I wanted to see bears, moose, elk, coyotes, and funny looking birds.

I got my funny looking bird on my last morning there.  It hadn’t really been a good trip to this point.  The weather was less than desireable until I got to Wyoming, I had no campsite due to the whole “First come, first serve…OH SURPRISE, we are busy year around and it took you too long to get here.” thing and therefore I’d been sleeping in my car.  I was dirty, I was tired, I had a headache that wouldn’t quit, and I was pretty well over it at this point; especially, after the day before.  With that said, I was bound and determine to make the most of what I had decided was my last day in Wyoming and I head to Signal Summit.

I wanted to watch the sunrise as I had never found a good place for that the first time around.  I also really just liked the view from there.  Well, who was awaiting for me when I got to the view site….this guy.  The Dusky Grouse.  Dusky…how can you not love a bird with that name.

Much to my surprise, he didn’t really care that I was there.  He didn’t fly away.  He didn’t run away.  He just chilled making a low little call with all his might.  After a while he started flying off the post and landing on the ground, gawked around, and then would jump back on the post.  Let me tell you, those are some noisy wings.

Once I figured out he was the one making the noise I kept hearing, I also realized that I was also hearing it come from another direction.  It donned on me that he was calling to a mate, or potential mate, foe…another somewhere off in the wind.  He wasn’t in any real hurry to find it.   He actually seemed a little irritated that he was having to call for the other.  Kind of like a father that had to call for his child one too many times.  I don’t know that this was the actually case, but the storyteller in my was having fun making up stories.

Mr. Dusky hung out with me for quite some time before scurrying by me and down the mountain side.  I don’t know if he ever found what he was looking for, but he made my list so there is that.
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Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography