"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold



"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Friday, April 29, 2016

Desert Impressions

For the first time we have visited some of the
Southwestern states.  Our three week visit included the states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada.  
I learned some things in the desert.  I learned that what wildlife there is remains hidden until the cover, and coolness, of nightfall.  The one notable exception is the desert bighorn sheep...



There is beauty here, even in the arid starkness of the place.  The earth is bare of vegetation except for scraggly bushes, the names of which I have not learned, and the occasional cactus plant.  The ground is  dry rocky yellow dirt.  Hillsides and mountains reveal other colors, mainly shades of red and grey.  As in most places sunrise and sunset are the most appealing times for taking photographs.

We are presently staying near Boulder City, within sight of Lake Mead.  Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in North America.  It was created by the construction of the Hoover dam in 1936 and obtained its peak pool level in 1983.  Following recent droughts 60% of Lake Mead has dried up.  The bathtub ring effect was created by minerals in the water and clearly defines the high water levels of earlier times…





  Many structures that were flooded when the dam was built are now visible such as this water clarifer tank that was used at an aggregate plant during
construction of the Hoover Dam in Hemenway Harbor...




During our stay the mountains surrounding Lake Mead could change appearance almost hourly as conditions varied from sunlight to cloud cover and even thunder storms…







Three species of birds that were common in our camp ground were the African collared dove…




The gambel’s quail…





The white winged dove…




We will soon be heading north to Grand Teton National Park. 


Until the next blog update I hope you will be well and stop back often.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada

Valley of Fire State Park is located in Nevada, roughly 50 miles from Los Vegas.  It is notable for the landscape and the arid desert environment that is found within its borders.  The following images depict the park as it appeared during our stay… 



















The highlight of our stay in the Valley of Fire were the petroglyths on Atlatl Rock.  These prehistoric images are said to be the first recorded depiction of an atlatl, a tool for casting a spear that predates the use of the bow and arrow...


Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Zion National Park –Last Days


As our visit to Zion was coming to a close I made a final drive through the canyon to the east entrance.  I saw a single bighorn in a spot that would have been too dangerous to stop.  The trip back was more productive.  A band of three ewes and two lambs were feeding on a steep mountain side above the road.  The following images are the result of that encounter…




One of the ewes laid down and her lamb came over and began stroking her back with a forefoot. I am not sure if the lamb wanted her to stand so it could nurse, wanted to move on, or to express affection...

                             







Gradually, the small band began to move on as I marveled at their ability to cling to the steep rocky slope...




I took a few final shots of the landscape before our departure for Nevada on the following morning…




Thanks for visiting, be well and check back soon for the next leg of our journey.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Day Four - Zion National Park

I was out before the sun this morning looking for the grey fox that are known to live in the park.  While waiting for the sun to rise and the morning light to reveal the secrets of the night I was inspired to photograph the "edge of light" on the mountains.

All of the following images are handheld, taken with a Nikon 18-200mm lens…








No wildlife appeared during my vigil, so I headed back to Kolob Mountain.  While checking the talus pile that seemed so promising for pika I did find a marmot enjoying the warmth...


I photographed a few of the seasonal houses in the high country...

 
They varied from luxurious…


 to more modest shelter…


I must admit that my taste runs toward the latter.

The next image is of a typical high country corral...


Fences and corrals are usually made of locally cut trees.  Probably due to the expense of obtaining wood from a mill.

Finding wildlife may be a matter of chance, but the amazing scenery is consistent...









We will soon be heading to Nevada for a few days, and then on to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.  It is hard to contain my excitement at being back among the grizzly bears and wolves.

Check back often to follow our journey, be well, and thanks for visiting.

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