Archives

Sands of Time

DSC_7317Not really.  Maybe. I feel stuck in the sands of time right now.  However, instead of time running out, the hour glass keeps getting flipped before it has a chance.  Me, I’m that little grain somewhere in the middle….every single time.  That is not a complaint.  Not really anyway.

I don’t even remember where I was going to go with that.  Sands of time.  Time in the sands.  Sandy road.  This road, it made me uneasy.  I love old dirt roads.  I hate old dirt roads…the long and the unfamiliar.  The ones out in the middle of nowhere, deep in the heart of the canyon, with nothing for literally miles upon miles.    This one was especially taxing; especially, when I hit deep rutted muddy spots and this very sandy, sandy road.

I don’t know why they make me uneasy.  Those roads mean I am out in the middle of nowhere with plenty to see…sometimes.  They also mean that I am often alone, no one to call, and if something was to happen….well, who knows how long I’d be stuck.  In theory, I shouldn’t even have been on this road.  It was recommended for four-wheel drive only.  Some of my paperwork indicated I do indeed have a four wheel vehicle….I do not.  I knew I didn’t, but I think at that moment I really needed to believe that I did.  It was worth it.  The world didn’t end and nothing bad happened.  So there’s the sand of it all I guess.  A grainy annoying substance that is beautiful but can also leave traces behind for years to come….for some of us anyway.  I’m convinced that there is still sand in my back up from the last time I went to Assateague…four years ago.  Anyway, not really the point.

What was the point?  I am not even sure, I took a second and got distracted.  Anyway, these sands…Utah.  Canyonlands National Park, or some part there of.  I was hunting burros.   I didn’t find them the night I took this.  The directions I was following were meant for people with knowledge of the area and that on top of the fact that it was getting late, I was tired….the burros would wait until the next day.

I created two different versions of this picture…kind of.  They are two different photos with only a slight variation.  Not enough you can even pick up on it unless you truly study it for a minute or two.  They were taken at dusk, but I wasn’t sure what I really want to represent with them.  Sadly, I am not even sure that I remember what it looked like.  Just that there were miles upon miles of sand…rolling sands, a sea of sands.  I like both pictures but I guess it really just depends on what mood you are in.

I hope you can pick one to like, if it is not both.

DSC_7319Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.
Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

~Montana Rose Photography~

Advertisements

All About the Moose

DSC_5441.jpgJust a moose hanging in the water.

It is not often that I just take a sit and hang out with the animals, but when I do it is because I stumble upon one.  Of course, this guy I didn’t exactly stumble upon.  I was driving back from hiking where I was indeed looking for some more moosies.  I had already seen too, but I stumbled upon some fresh moose tracks, and not the foot print kind, so I was on a mission.  As I crossed over a river, I thought to myself, “You know what, it would be awesome to catch a moose just chillin’ the water.”  Well, I figured that was another one of my pipe dreams and went on my way.

As I was driving back into the main park, which apparently I wasn’t even in yet, there was a line of cars along a narrow road and herds of people.  Naturally, I had to look while I mumbled about the asinine amount of cars in my way.  Well, thank you to the gawkers because I may have missed this guy….maybe.  We’ll never actually know because well they were there and he was there, so you know.

With all that said, I parked…I walked…I maneuvered…and I hung out with Mr. Moose.  I was so entranced that I hadn’t even noticed that ALL of the gawkers had vanished and the only thing that remained was the moose, myself, and another photographer further down.   I wouldn’t even be able to tell you exactly how long I actually sat there, but it was worth it.

This is just one of several, it just happens to be the only one I have done right now.  I hope that this picture does the big guy justice and that you like it, but for now I must get to chorin’.   Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

Montana Rose Photography

The Coyote

DSC_5669It is not often that I follow an animal.  It is not often that I can say that I truly just sit, observe, and truly photograph an animal.  Most have read this story.  I posted it a little while back, but this beauty drew me in.  Running.  Relentlessly.  Tirelessly.  Hunting. Searching. Traveling.  She was on a mission and I couldn’t help but want to go with her.  If even for just a little bit.
DSC_5769Now some of the “activist” types will say that you shouldn’t follow.  You shouldn’t do this and you shouldn’t do that.  To you I politely say, “Pipe down.”  I followed her from a distance, she was on foot-I was not.  She was back and forth between the road and the fields, I was restricted to road access only.  She had plenty of space. Plenty of room. Plenty of “get away from people” land, she knew what she was doing.  It was not I that she was running from, she had another focus in mind.  I kept my distance to not oppose a threat. I was the furthest thing from her mind.
DSC_5750I had seen coyotes before, but always much further away.  Sometimes I had my camera. Sometimes I didn’t.  One time, I was confused about why someone was letting their dog roam free in Wind Cave.  Then I realized what it truly was and by that moment it was too late.  Never have I had this opportunity, so I wasn’t going to pass it by but at first I didn’t even know it was there to catch.
DSC_5765I only noticed her because another car was parked along side the road.  I learned sometime ago that if people were stopped, there was usually something to see.  And sure enough, there she was.  The other car gave up before I did.  That’s okay.  I had to her myself until I didn’t.

I actually had to turn around to follow her.  By this point she was off in the field and it was more of a “hope I catch her again” kind of moment.  It was too easy for to lose my line of vision.  So, I followed to the next turnout and I thought she was gone.  I couldn’t see her and had no idea where she was.  Little did I realize, she was behind me back towards the road.
DSC_5724I only discovered this when an RV pulled in.  I suspected they saw her, or something, so had I not turned to see what they were looking at I would have missed her.   Thank goodness for the touristy tourist and the gawkers.  I can always count on them to guide me to something that I might have missed.

This beauty hung out in the parking lot for quite some time.  Well, the field next to the parking lot.  Truth be told, I actually think that I gave up before she did.
DSC_5732She must of been hungry at this point, because she had found something to eat.  Lip licking good apparently.

I don’t know why I felt so inclined to spend so much time with her.  I did this multiple times through my trip.  Not just with her, but with a few moose and horses and burros.  Not the begging burros from Custer. I spent some time with them too, but there is a herd of wild burros hidden in the canyons of Utah.  I’ll save them for another day.

DSC_5699Anyway, back to this beauty.  I honestly do not know how long I sat there just watching her and photographing her.  I actually got a little lost in the moment.  I could take a million guesses as to why, but thinking back now…I really don’t know what it was.

I know that it was discussed in my original blog, but just the same.  Maybe she really was my spirit animal and that is why I was so drawn to her.  How is that for some sappy rambling?
DSC_5783
What I do know is that I walked away with so many pictures that it was hard to narrow it down to which ones to share.  I probably still chose too many, but I mean look at her.  Look at them.  Not only is she just so incredibly beautiful….I got some amazing shots.  How often do I say that?  Even I amazed myself with this one.  A lot of the photos from this trip actually.  Not sure what happened there.  Maybe I’ve improved that much or maybe it was just me getting lost in the moment.  I’m not really sure, but I am loving so many of the shots that I’ve yet to share.  We’ll get there.

Did I mention that I have an insane amount to get through?
DSC_5787

With all that rambling aside, I hope that you love these pictures as much as I do because it is not always often that I say I love a series of pictures but these are print worthy.
DSC_5789Live, laugh, love and let it ride.

Montana Rose Photography

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

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.

DSC_0539
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.
DSC_0430
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