Tag Archive | rambling

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?
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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?
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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

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

‘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

Off the Beaten Path

DSC_9824Hey, all!  I guess it has been quite some time since my last post.  I’ve sat down many times to do one, I’ve had the pictures to do so…I just haven’t had the heart for it.   I’ve tried to log on and read blogs, but I’ve failed at that too.  I guess that I just needed some time away.  I don’t really know why, just did.

With that said, I thought that I would start my post with this.  The first major DSLR picture that I did, that I really liked, was an old truck that was hidden off the beaten path in a park that I used to walk in Ohio.  This is not it and maybe I will dig through my files and find them but for now you get this car.  A car amongst the “ghost town” hidden in the Black Hills.  It was one of several old cars, so yes you will be seeing more…a lot more because for some reason I was fascinated with photographing old cars this trip.  I was fascinating with so many things.

I was obsessed with photographing to be honest.  I came back with a ridiculous amount of pictures. I know I have said that before, but this time….it puts all the rest to shame.  I am unable to clear off my SD cards because my laptop is out of space and so are the external hard drives I have on hand.  Before you say it, it is time for a new one and it is on the to do list but for now, the first set of pictures has been transferred so we will play with those for a while.

I will keep this blog relatively short.  I will be taking a different path with some of the future blogs.  As always, I’m not really sure what that means or really what that is going to look like.  I am hoping that it will be an improvement that you like what you see.  I appreciate anyone who has stuck around and those that are new.  You all rock and I hope you stay for the rest of the ride.

Some probably think that I should talk about what I did to the picture since this is a photography blog.  Those that have stayed know that really isn’t my thing.  I just take the pictures and then do what I need to do to make it something that I would like to share.  I added filters to this gem, because it was just not the scene I would have liked.

For this picture, I was in the Black Hills.  I had checked the weather before I left and it was supposed to be sunny and relatively nice.  Not overly warm but not cold either…well, the weather lied to me.  It ended up being in the low thirties and I was exploring the said ghost town, it started snowing.  Trip was already off to a great start.  I’ll save those stories for another day.

Since it was snowing, there was no sun and I was kind of in a realm of surrounding trees.  There was a car directly behind this and it just wasn’t easy to get the shot that I would envision for this car but I think that I made it work.  I used my kit lens 18-55, which I never-ever do.  I cannot remember the last time I intentionally used that lens, but it got it workout this trip.  Maybe too much….again, a story for another day.  I am really glad that I used that lens as it really worked for the environment that I had to work with.  Anyway, I pulled this up for editing and it just needed something that simple editing wasn’t going to do and with that, I added a few filters until I got the effect that I wanted.  I like the way that it turned out and I hope that you do to.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

The Horizon…

DSC_4556I was going to write something, but the words are lost.  Probably somewhere deep in translation.  Lingering around wanting to reveal themselves, but not really knowing how.  Tangled up with a bunch of other words and feelings.  Not being able to come together to form a coherent and logical thought.  Unable to find the correlation between many of them.  We have all been there.

I have news.  It is good news, and yet for some reason I am unable to bring myself to really share it.  I should share it. I should want to share it. I should be excited to share it. I should be excited about it.  Yet, I am unable to find myself excited about it.  Probably because of the disruption it causes.  This could have gone three ways.  One unfavorable, one unfavorable with little to no disruption to daily life, and one that totally uproots my life.  It should have been assumed that it would be the one that totally uproots my life.  Isn’t that always the way that it works out?

There could be many other reasons, but I won’t bore you with the details.  For now, I will simply share this picture.  I hope that you like it.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography