Tag Archive | Custer State Park

Rusty Old In the Snow

DSC_9956As I walked this old dirt path looking for a “ghost town”, it began to snow.  It was incredibly cold this year in the Black Hills.  Some would say that I should have checked the weather…I did and I went the same time of year that I’ve gone the two years prior….weather is unpredictable and it is never the same.  This year was no different.  It was cold.  It was raining.  It was snowing.

I walked what seemed to be for miles.   It wasn’t, but it felt like it.  Slipping and sliding in the mud. Snow that grew heavier.  Temperatures that dropped.  I didn’t care. I was on a mission.

After sometime, I stumbled upon and old house.  I wondered around. Saw old cars.  Realized that the “ghost town” was really just an old house, and old concrete enclosure of sorts, some old structure remnants, and some old cars.  Maybe if I had walked up the muddy hill further down the path I would have discovered more, but I didn’t.  Did I mention it was cold and snowy…and muddy and I didn’t wear my cowboys boots.  We all know by now that I’m fearless when I am in my boots….if only.

DSC_9979I was more fascinated by the old cars anyway.  The house, I couldn’t nail down the pictures I wanted.  I still have some…I will get to them someday.  As far as this car, there wasn’t much to him.  I’m also pretty sure that it was more of a truck than a car. It looks truckish.  I also altered them.  There were a handful of old cars in this “ghost town”, but regular editing just didn’t seem to fit them.  They needed a ghostly, soft, and faded vintage type look to them.  I hope that you agree that this look fits.

Live, laugh, love, and let it Ride.

Burned to Beauty

DSC_8754It has been a while.  For now, I will spare you the details and just share this photo.   It is one of my favorite from what I will call the “Burned to Beauty” series.

This is one of the numerous trees in Custer State Park that was a victim of the wildfire a while back.  Through the charred bark, remnants of the base shined through.  The blackened tone accentuated the lines and shapes embracing the bark and giving it a distinctive appearance.  The core of the tree peaking through looked like what I imagine an area covered with hardening lava with burning lava still flowing underneath would look like.  For that, I chose to enhance the colors to give it what I consider an amazingly mesmerizing type of appearance.  I hope that you like this picture as much as I do.

Until the next time, have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Burro Me This….

DSC_0209Not all survived the fire.  Some were donated back to, but these are the ones that remain.

There were nine when the fire took place.  Three succumbed to consequences of the fire and six remained.  I forget how many were donated back.  Some burros are auctioned off during the buffalo auction and it was of them that were returned home.  But then another died.  In its place a baby was born.  The baby will be big before I return again, but they are still beautiful and fighters.  At least I think that they are.  DSC_9246

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

One With the Tree…

DSC_1914Sometimes you just have to become with the tree. I am actually surprised that I had not posted these already.  I did them sometime ago.  They are some of my favorites.  DSC_1916The weather was so touch and go this past trip.  One minute it was raining and the next it was a sunny as could be.  I should not be surprised considering last year I experienced all four season in one hour (that sadly is not an exaggeration).   Thanks to the luck of the buffalo, it was quite sunny and beautiful when I took these. This guy and his buddies gave me the perfect scene.  Just hanging out by the trees in Prairie Dog town. DSC_1922I didn’t have to do a lot to these photos.  They did the work on their own.  The sun was right. The buffalo were cooperating. I stuck with my big lens.  I trusted my fingers, my mind to make the right call.  DSC_1930I was reluctant to say that.  I don’t know if that is true.  I was trying to think about it because I needed these pictures today.   A reminder I guess.  We all have those moments.  Overthink things.  Something that we’ve been doing for a while.  Something that we are trying to make  goal of.  We begin to doubt our abilities.  I didn’t really doubt my ability. I doubted my ability to be able to offer certain versions of photos.

A few people have suggested that they will be reaching out for photos.  I was also thinking about the upcoming September show.  I get overwhelmed and I overthink.  When I am home I tend to think about the photos that I’m taking. I overthink them.   Most are taken with a purpose these days so I’m constantly thinking about it.  Worried about getting them just right and lately it seems like I’ve hit that rut again.  When I’m on vacation, there is no thinking. No focusing. Just doing.  I need to learn to do that everyday.  Things turn out better when you don’t overthink things.

DSC_1950This set of vacation photos…by far some of my favorite.  I’ve still got quite a few go through and have not shared many of them on here, but I am done with my buffalo photos…they are awesome.  At least to me.  Hope you agree.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

This….

DSC_0648 (2)This may be a bit deceiving.  It is not as it appears.  It’s not a buffalo?  Well, the scholarly will tell you no, because there are no buffalo in the United States.  It is a bison.  Soapbox, I’ll move on.  It is a buffalo.  He is grazing.  He is not at sunset.  Wait! What?  You heard me right.

This picture was actually taken in the afternoon.  High and harsh sun battling it out with some wanna be storm clouds.  For a while, the sun won.  So, why does this picture look like a silhouette at sunset?  Filters and a lot of shade.  This guy was so dark that when I shot the photo, the shadow being cast upon him made look like a silhouette against a big blue sky.   Beautiful, but not what I was really wanting.

I could have tried to turn up the shade and down the highlights.  I actually did on another, but I didn’t like the way that he looked at that moment.  I wanted something different. I wanted this and I think it looks pretty gosh darn good. Hope you do too.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

One down….

DSC_8863-2bwMy first art show is done and over with.  It was by far from being a success, but I guess ultimately I knew that it would not be.  I did my best to mingle and try to connect. I think that I did okay with that part.  I learned a bit about what would work and what didn’t, so here’s to the next one.

The picture…I hope that it speaks for itself.  I did two different versions, but I think I like the top one better.  There was nothing wrong with the original.  The lighting was good enough. The backdrop was good enough…I just got bored, so I played.  I hope that you like the final result.
DSC_8863Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Journal Entry #505

DSC_2853I know that I should stay in my car.  There are too many other cars and someone else will decide to get out.  Someone always thinks that they need to join me.  “She’s doing it, why can’t I.”  They’ll get out and get all involved and muck of the moment.  Probably tick off the beauties, run them off.  Oh, good they are leaving.

I get out of my car and find a place on the pavement.  I can hear the voices now, “They’re dangerous and unpredictable.”  Yes, I know.  I’ve got this.  I’m at least three fancy RV lengths away.  I respect them. I’m not imposing my presence on them and I’m not running up to them.  It will be fine.

Seriously, don’t get your spurs all rusted up and tangled up in tumbleweed.  I was hiking yesterday and ran into like 6 and a coyote and lived to tell about.  Besides, if it is my time to go…what better way to go at the moment.
DSC_2854
I feel like I’m being stared at. Am I being stared at?  Where is that coming from?

Hey there, cutie! Are you looking at me?  Is he looking at me?  Maybe he’s just afraid that I will reach out and touch him.  There’s plenty of space, he can go far around me.  He’s not going around me.  Is he coming up to me? Surely, he’s not coming up to me?  He’s getting awfully close. Should I be worried? I should probably get back in my car.  Yes, I should most definitely get back in my car.  Oh, my.

Well, hello there.  Are you going to eat my camera?  Are you going to eat me?  Is your mama going to come slam me against the car.  Crap.  Here comes a car. They’re slowing down and staring. I need to act like I’m avoiding you.

He’s following me. Are you following me?  He’s seriously following me.  Why are you following me?  Must stop smiling.  We’ve gone around my entire car.  The other car has driven past.  Can I pet you?  No, no I should not pet you. I cannot take you home and call you George. I’m going to do it. Wait…no, there’s another car.  I’m going to leave now.
DSC_2860Stop looking at me like that. I cannot pet you.  One of these people will think that they can do it too.  Go away. Go act like a buffalo.  I’m getting in my car now.  Don’t.  Don’t do that.  Don’t look at me with those big doughy eyes and rub against my car.  What’s this idiot doing?  No, not you, honey.  The idiot that just got out of his car and is approaching that big, giant beast that is 10x bigger than you are.  This cannot possibly end well.

Guy gets back in his car unscathed.   That is good…yes, that is good. I’m not disappointed.  It is good.  It is.  Yes.  Though, I do wish that big beast had stood up and knocked the guy down a notch of two from that cocky arrogance he is walking with.  I didn’t say that. Don’t judge.

**No buffalo, or idiots, were harmed during this moment.  And no…as much as I wanted to, I did not pet a buffalo nor pick him up and put him in my car.**

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

The Poet’s Table

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“The Poet’s Table”
 
Built by the self named Vegabond Poet in the 1960s. It has sat in this particular spot for 16 plus years, though it was not the original location. I will not disclose the location for the same reason many are angry about the ones that have. Even if I did, it would not matter….over the weekend people took it upon themselves to remove not only the table and chairs, but the books and keepsakes people left behind. Left behind as a tradition, because that is what the site became. A place to hike to and leave a note or something to show you were there.
 
I found myself torn as there was graffiti on the walls of the mountain alcove. Graffiti?  Why do people feel the need to write on everything, but it has become a custom for this particular spot.  There is chalk for the option.

The suspects stated they did it because no one was taking care of it.  Considering the location, I’m not sure what they were expecting.  I’m also not sure the condition when they saw it.  When I was there, there was nothing there that would justify (except for the graffiti) that there is a disrespect for the area.  At least not at first, by the end of my trip  people had started leaving behind water bottles.  Plastic, store bought water bottles.  I’m sure they would justify it by saying that it is tradition to leave something behind.  Um…there’s a different between leaving something of thought and leaving something of trash and leaving a plastic water bottle is just laziness.  Especially, when there is a community trash bag a few feet away.

The suspects that took it upon themselves to remove the items, sawed the table in half to carry it down.  Now, I will admit that leaving trash is one of my biggest pet peeves.  The graffiti was disheartening; however, however, I think sawing the table in half and removing all the items may be slightly worse. Trash can be removed, memories (items representing those memories) cannot be replaced.

 
The items have been retrieved. I can only assume in their entirety.  The suspects caught, or turned themselves in.  Rumor is that there will be no charges.  Some say that they did nothing illegal.  This thought confuses me, because though the table was not an official park attraction, it had become a part of the park and the park (and County Sheriff’s Office) consider the act vandalism and the last I checked…vandalism is illegal.  The suspects were smiling as they carried the items down the trail (they were caught on camera by another hiker…who in return caught grief for taking the pictures instead of stopping them.  Really?  Can’t win for losing and people are rarely satisfied).  Anyway, as they felt they were doing no wrong at the time, I suspect a fine would not phase them a bit.   What is done is done anyway?  Will making an example out of them really matter?  In today’s world?  I’m going to go with no.

As for the items, the park plans on returning them to their “original location.” The question would remain whether that means the site that has become known, or the site where they were originally built. Either way, it will never be the same. The people whom took it…well, they made sure of that. The table will have to be repaired and even more visitors will want to see the infamous table.  This means more graffiti, more trash, and more people that feel they have the right to do some kind of harm to the popular area.   People always want to see sites of popularity and there are always people that ruin it for everyone else. That may be extreme, but it is the truth.

 
I am glad that I was able to see it in its resting place before people took it upon themselves to decide its fate.  It is in a peaceful and beautiful place.  I could do without seeing the road and the cars, or hearing the other people….but that is neither here nor there at this point.  I’m sure that was not the case many years ago.

With all that said, the pictures may not do it the justice it deserves, but I hope that you enjoy them just the same.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography