Tag Archive | stories

Meeting of the Bucks

DSC_0364A pile of out-state-plates lined both sides of the busy road.  I knew there was something to see.  I do not tend to follow the masses, but when there is wildlife at stake….well, I tend to at least see how close to the edge the crowd is standing. 

There started out only being a few pairs of horns.  Standing on a hill and minding their own.  Just grazing away. 
DSC_0294I’m still not sure what I think of elk.  They’re an interesting set of creatures.  I’ve just never really given them much thought.  I believe I said in another post, I guess I just never really thought I’d ever see anything of the sort.  Taking spontaneous trips has its perks. 

As these three stood there, their demeanor changed and eventually the started heading down the field at a rapid pace.  About the same time a baby antelope walked onto the field.  He is not pictured and he may have been deer.  I was looking at pictures and it appears that baby antelopes look a bit like baby deer.  He was just as fast as either.  Antelope had graced most of my remaining drive through those Wyoming back roads.  Fast little devils they are.  Anyway….as the three  boys made their way down the hill.  A mass compilation of horns came out of the woods.  (The pictures are a bit misleading, but I assure you that the majority of them had horns. Some much bigger than others).

DSC_0336  DSC_0344I am not sure if it was some territorial dispute.  Boys being boys or what was going on, but two of the biggest horns from both sides locked horns a couple of times. Unfortunately, those pictures didn’t come out as well.  The only thing that is worse than my ability to manual focus under stress is my ability to see well enough to manual focus when it starts getting dark.  Consequences of sitting to close to the TV or getting old….whichever. 

I did get some shots worth sharing. I hope you think so too.  Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

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Montana Rose Photography

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Little Black Bear

SONY DSCLittle black bear hiding in the trees and playing in the leaves.  So many times I drove up this mountain looking for thee.  Four or five time it seems. Until a mass of cars found you for me.

That is not an exaggeration. Just a poetic way of saying I spent forever trying to find this little guy.  I was just about to give up when I convinced myself to make one more trek up the mountain.  I didn’t actually mind the drive up…I was starting to, but it was the way down that was really getting to me.  I’m glad that I did or I would have missed him.

SONY DSC I was down near the bottom of this mountain pass harassing some female moose and their offspring.  This stranger stopped and asked me if I had seen the little black bear cub off in the ravine playing with the flowers.  I was like,  “No way! Shut up!”  He laughed and told me where to find the little guy. I thanked him and he was off on his way.  The zone and I made our way back up the mountain.  Drove to the top. No little black bear cub.  We made our way back down.  No little black bear cub.

We drove back up and  down this mountain at least four or five times before I had reached my limitation of driving this mountain road.  It was high altitude and winding roads and the others driving it….well, they were not as cautious as me. When we reached the bottom one last time, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave. I wanted to see this little black bear cub.  We made our way back up to the top one last time.  No little black bear cub.

As we headed back down, there was line of cars stopped and blocking my passage way.  I was learning relatively quickly that if there was a pile of out-of-state plates stopped along the side of the road then there was something worth seeing.

As I put the car in park and got out, a woman stuck her head out of her car window and confirmed that the little black bear cub was hiding in the leaves.  Another woman glared at me.  I’m not sure why. I think she thought that I was trying to take her photographic moments. This was the third time we had run into each other and she was less than happy each time.  I just let her have it.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had been stalking this bear cub for the last 45 minutes.  I just made my way to a good standing destination and tried to get some good shots.

SONY DSCHe was deep in the trees and I so badly wanted to maneuver myself to a better viewing point, but there was a line full of cars and I knew that there also had to be a mama bear lurking off in the distance.  With that said, I should mention that yes, I am the fool that tends to see how close she can get, but by no means am I stupid.  I know the dangers of wildlife…of bears, moose, wolves, coyotes, etc.  I know that you never mess with a bear and certainly never mess with a mama bear. I do, but I also dare to test the boundaries.  Throw caution to the wind while holding tight to the rope.  This means that as foolish as I am, my foolishness is limited. A fool tests the boundaries, an idiot tends to just cross with no regard.  So, for the concerned at heart…I rarely, rarely cross the line.

In this particular case, I also knew that if I attempted to get closer that there would be at least two other people who would think that they could too.  This would lead to a third person and a fourth person and a fifth and so on.  Then not only is my moment ruined, but that boundary line just got a lot closer to my feet.   I just stood where I could and attempted to get the best shots that I could. Thank goodness for a 70-300 lens and a Sony with three batteries.  The quality may not be as good as my Nikon, but I had to work with what I had.

SONY DSCNot sure where mama bear was, but I do thank her for letting me take some pics of her little one.  I’m guessing had she wanted to…that moment would have ended mighty quickly as there were several of us out of our cars at that point.  It made it totally worth the blocking traffic, the dirty looks, and the driving up and down that mountain for 45 minutes looking for that little black bear cub.

SONY DSCSONY DSCHave a beautiful today and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Little Brown Bear

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As he walked across the street, I remember saying out loud, “That is a really big raccoon.”  Even saying it now sounds foolish.  I think a part of me knew that it wasn’t a raccoon, but where I come from….there are just some things you don’t see.

When I got closer, I started smacking the passenger seat shouting, “it’s a bear…it’s a bear…it’s a bear”.  The zone was not impressed.  She looked out the window and her curiosity did heightened just a tad, but there was a barrier between her and him.  Let’s just say that she didn’t care near as much as I did.

DSC_0166 (5)I pulled over as far as I could so I could get a picture.  This decision….well, it was not one of smartest moves I’ve ever made.  Not because of the bear.  When it comes to wildlife like this, I’m a little bit more fearless than what I should be.  No,  it wasn’t smart because where I chose to stop.  I mean after all, I was in the mountains rounding a curve and there wasn’t any real place to pull over.  Had someone come flying around that curve…well, it could have ended badly.  Luckily, the powers that be were on my side.  Especially, since I was bound and determined to get that picture.  I’d been waiting a long, long time for an opportunity like this.

Years ago, a couple of friends and I went to the great Smoky Mountains.  As her and I were hiking, my other friend stayed back at the car (he couldn’t hike as far as we could and we were chasing waterfalls).  While there, he had struck up conversation with another hiker who told him about the bear he had seen earlier that morning.  I was jealous, I wanted a picture of a bear….no, I wanted to take a picture of a bear.

I wanted to see it in its natural habitat not locked up in a concrete enclosure (we had seen that on one of our expeditions to the North Carolina side.  It was heartbreaking).  I wanted to see a real life bear.  Close up.  Wild and free.  Now yes…bears are dangerous and you should be careful.  Wildlife is unpredictable.  I know all this and I’m not completely daring, but I am the fool that will see how close she can get.  Do not try this at home.

DSC_0160 (5)Anyway, back to the point and my little brown bear.  Ever since that day in Tennessee, being able to take my own picture of a bear has been on my bucket list.  So, when I saw this little guy walking across the road and realized that it was not a raccoon….I was like a kid in a candy store.  Absolutely ecstatic.

By the time I got situated and out of my car, he was already off and down the hill and on his way.  Thank the man for who invented amazing lenses and the bear’s curiosity.  Not only did I get pictures of a little brown bear….later in my trip, I’d meet another baby too.
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Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Daddy

I cannot actually take credit for this picture.  My niece was playing around with my camera and she snapped this one so credit goes to her.

I cannot actually take credit for this picture. My niece was playing around with my camera and she snapped this one so credit goes to her.

Thirty-eight years ago, this man chose to marry a woman pregnant with another man’s baby.  That other man was no father nor did he ever choose to be.  This man stepped up and took on the responsibility without a second thought.  The powers that be really only know why.

It was never an easy road; especially, when the couple had children of their own, but still there he stood.  I may have no longer been daddy’s little girl. Still, he was my daddy.  We butted heads often, but I guess that is what parents and kids do.  I’ve often wondered what would happen if that woman ever followed through on her threats. Would I still have a dad?  I would like to think that I would.  I mean despite all, he still only does what a father would do.

So many times I’ve been told that I’m not allowed to call him father.  Not by him, but by outsiders that think they know everything.  This man may not be by biological counter part…my biological counterpart decided long ago he had no room for me, but this man is my true father. Anyone can be dad, but it takes a true man to be a father.  Someone who stands by your side, always comes to your aid, drives you up the wall, tries to save you when he can, and is always there even when he doesn’t have to be.

With that said, happy father’s day to all the fathers out there.  Especially, my daddy, the only father I have ever had.

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Montana Rose Photography

The Beast

I wasn’t looking her when I walked into that dog kennel.  I was there to see another beast in need. 
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It was a warm spring day and I had been eying this yellow thing online.  He was a beast by definition and puppy at that.  Great Dane and pit bull mix. Sweet as sweet can be, but I lived in an apartment as well as I had no upper body strength at the time.  He could have overpowered me in a heartbeat had he wanted to.  I’d soon realize we weren’t for each other. 

I think that moment was helped into my mind as I was waiting for the aide to bring him to me.  I was looking around at the other babies in need.  Standing in this area with some cages and half enclosures, I was waiting by the door when this wet nose touched my elbow. I turned to see these big brown eyes staring up at me.  Her white fur with her random black markings.  There was something about her. 

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I’d take her home that night.  $40 and she was mine. We hit the ground running. She was always making me laugh.  She was a nut. I was hers and we were inseparable.

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We’d hit our bumps as she had been given up twice.  Consequences of not liking other dogs nor little kids.  I’d often ponder giving her away.  One time I even tried. It lasted a week and I took her back.  We made it work for 9 and a half years.

She had to be in my sight.  If I moved, she moved. No matter my mood, she loved me.  I probably didn’t deserve that, but she did.  Every day, every moment. Even when I was mean.  My patience and my temper often got the best of me in my younger days.  Still, I could not give her up. 

I never really was the kind, at that time, that thought a person and a dog could be so attached.  Then the day would come when I realized how possible that actually was.

My first trip to the beach was a year ago.  She wasn’t to go with me, but circumstances changed that.  I am glad now that this is how it played out.  I wish I’d changed my ways sooner. 

As we sat on the beach, she was so tired and so beat.  I wanted to chalk it up to stress and maybe it was.  I wanted to blame the blistering heat and sun…maybe it was, but even that day I knew.  Her black spots had grown so gray. Her steps were not as swift.  Her desire to play had diminished.  Her and I knew her time was limited. 
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I wasn’t sure how much time she really had left. An emergency vet had told me two years earlier there was a possibility she was suffering from cancer.  Still she defied the odds and I found an amazing vet that fixed her up as it ended up not being cancer at all.  At least not at that time. 

It happened so fast. One day, five months after that day on the beach, she’d just stop eating.  She barely moved, would often get confused, and the spot under the bed was her favorite place to be. I struggled all week.  The vet said it was inevitable. Surgery would be worse than the disease.

That last night, I slept on the floor with her so she could lay by me one last time.  She stayed by my side the whole time.  When I woke to her falling down, I knew she had made the decision I had been struggling with.  She could not stand at all and just continued to fall.  I made the call.

As we awaited our appointment, I laid by her one last time and she touched my elbow with her nose.  Her way of saying goodbye. The same way she said hello.  Rip, Ramsey.  Love you, baby girl.
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Beachin’

DSC_0513I have never been a beach girl. I know, I know. One of the few out there in the world, but they had just never really appealed to me.  I’m the “sitting out at the lake in the middle of nowhere” kind of girl.  Still, when I heard of this beach I just had to go. 

I had just gotten a tent as my five year anniversary gift from my “actually pays the bills” job and I was dying to use it.  I love camping.  Sleeping out in a tent, bundled up in a sleeping bag, rocks sticking in your back, and taking in the stars all while lying beneath that big dark midnight blue sky…it makes my heart happy.  That one ridiculous rock and all. 

My first instinct was to go to Montana, Wyoming, or Colorado somewhere like that where the mountains are tall and the wild horses run free.  Being on a limited budget and not necessarily wanting to drive an entire day out, I did some research to see what my options were.  That is when I found it. 

SONY DSCAssateague National Seashore.  My new favorite place to visit.  Horses run free and sand under my feet…more appealing than what I thought.  With it only be a nine hour drive, the dog and I set out a few hours after midnight (to get an earlier start) and we were there by two or three in the afternoon.  There is a small possibility that my GPS may have taken us around every bloody freakin’ tow road there was increasing our drive.  Not to mention, apparently my GPS does not like Pennsylvania at ALL.  So, that was fun.  

We got to the campsite, set up the tent, and headed immediately to the beach.  I’m not going to say that I was immediately hooked, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t immediate see the appeal. That big blue Atlantic staring me in the face, warmth of the sand on my bare feet, and that May sun beaming down….yes, okay…I get it now. 

DSC_0002We had four glorious days on the beach.  Horses sneaking up here and there. It was quite a scene.  I had this vision, while planning my trip, of coming home with all these stories and finding myself.  Sitting on the beach, everything just kind of disappeared.  Clarity was clear as the sky, but stories didn’t come rushing in.  It was just a serene, peacefulness that sank in while basking in the sun.

Getting lost in the ocean.  Watching the beast (that is what I called my baby girl dog at the time) just soaking it all in. It was hard to want to think about…well, anything.  It is easier to enjoy the moment when you are not thinking. 

I still can’t say that I’m a beach girl.  I am never going to have the desire to live on the beach.  I will never say that I enjoy long walks on the beach.  I’m never going to enjoy that finding sand hiding a year later.  However, I can say I’d frequent a beach bond fire or two and that I will never turn down the 5am wake up call to watch a beach sunrise.  This will be why I’m going back at least one last time, because we never know what tomorrow will be and it is well worth the drive.

SONY DSCLive, laugh, love, and let it ride.

Montana Rose Photography