Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mountains of the Snowy Range

The first day of our Snowy Range adventure was overcast and rainy, but day two was sunny and gorgeous.  I just LOVE driving around out here, on roads where you may not see another person for days.  We didn't spot any elk, but I did see my first grouse in person.  It didn't want to be photographed, however. 

Also - fun fact - the fence in the second image was explained by a sign (as it was in the middle of nowhere, and on public land).  It was part of a Forest Service snow fence experiment, erected in the 1970s.  I'm not sure anyone has touched it since then. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Snowy Range Backroads

Saturday morning we decided we didn't feel like sitting around the house, so we filled the cooler and grabbed an overnight bag and set out for the Snowy Range.  We used to camp with tents, but I have to tell you, having everything already packed in the camper and being immediately ready for any sort of weather (esp. the cold, windy mountain kind) makes last-minute adventures possible.  We were hoping to spot some elk, but this doe was the only large game we saw. 

Well, the deer was the only large game we realized that we saw.  When reviewing these photos, I noticed a black spot that was moving around this stream.  We saw a black bear (a mom with two cubs, I think) and didn't even know it.

To be fair, this is how far away the stream was.  That's French Creek in the center of this photograph.  There was no way I was going to see those bears with my naked eyes, but I really wish we had thought to just look around with the binoculars.

You can see a lot of trees that have been killed by beetle infestation.  It is very sad to see so many dead trees, but if you look closely you can always see five or six new seedlings that are ready to take its place.

There are also a lot of stumps from efforts to keep the road clear, more reminders of the juxtaposition of old life and new life.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

ETSY PLUG - Amanda Kindregan

Good morning, everyone.  I have blogged about Amanda Kindregan's work before, but I purchased another print from her, this time for myself.  I am collecting happy prints for my bedroom, prints that make me smile when I look at them and prints that will hopefully send me to bed with pleasant dreams.  I feel spring when I look at this print of the fawn basking in the warm light, nestled tight in the flowers.  It makes me feel that light feeling in my heart, you know?   Maybe you feel that way about your favorite season.  Amanda has prints for those, too.

Here is "Summer," a delightful little print of a sun-drenched day at the beach.

"Fall" is another favorite of mine, since I do love to watch squirrels playing in the trees.

Winter even manages to look cheery through Amanda's eyes, with this cute little duck looking happy to have found a bit of water to float in.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Heading Toward the Storm

As Bonnie and Henry and I were driving up to Guernsey State Park for our picnic, we pulled over to photograph the sky.  The boys swore it wasn't raining in Guernsey, but the terrain is so flat out here that we could see the storm even though it was miles away.  As it turns out, it began to rain just as we got to Guernsey, so we turned tail and headed back down south to Greyrocks where the sky was clear, but was still very windy.  So our picnic didn't work out, but at least we got some cool photos.  I'm still trying to decide which is my favorite.  I keep changing my mind.  What do you think?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

FEATURED: First Light Photography

I wanted to thank First Light Photography for featuring my "Warmth of the Sun" photo over on her blog. It was part of a larger feature on the many beautiful sunflower photos than can be found for sale on Etsy, so go take a look if you are a sunflower fan. 

And, by the way, you can find "Warmth of the Sun" here in my shop.

Greyrocks Afternoon

We had made picnic plans with our guests for their final evening here in Wyoming with us, but they didn't really pan out.  A storm had just passed through and though we missed the rain, it was still very windy.  But Greyrocks in the afternoon light was still a beautiful sight to behold.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fort Laramie

Another day my friend and I went to Fort Laramie.  It's a national historic site that was home to one of the original trading posts of the frontier, a place where natives and newcomers joined to exchange goods.  It was also the site of the event that set off the ensuing wars between the two.  A cow that had wandered away from some Mormon travelers was killed and eaten by a local tribe, and when a group of Army was sent to settle the dispute, it turned bloody. 

Today the shells of buildings from many of the fort's incarnations are visible, as well as some that have been rebuilt to show what life was like.  There is a museum and a top-notch book store if you are looking for books on the Western way of life.  There is even a cute little bar with a jovial bartender where you can get a birch beer (maybe the only place in Wyoming you can get a birch beer).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer Relief

We took our friends camping in the national forest up in the mountains, about an hour and a half from our home in Wheatland.  The temperatures were so much nicer and it was such a relief from the summer heat.

The dogs enjoyed the outing, of course. 

Henry had fun in the great outdoors, too.  He helped the boys build a fire pit and he is admiring his handywork, here. 

Some grazing cows kept us company.

And the aspens were so pretty.  They will be turning gold soon, so it was nice to see them still dressed in green.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Henry in the Flowers

When our friends from Pittsburgh were out a couple of weeks ago, we spent a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors.  Wyoming is so different from back east, and I think they really enjoyed soaking it all in.  Henry did, for sure, examining the petals of the wild flowers that were growing near the lake. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

ETSY PLUG: A Line Of Her Own

Today I wanted to share these beautiful note cards from A Line Of Her Own.   In the process of putting together packs of pretty stationery as gifts for some of my family members, I came upon the beautiful swirly animal drawings on these.  There was an animal that suited each person's personality, including the rabbit, the hummingbird, and the wolf.

There are quite a few designs available, from African wildlife to birds to something you might see outside your window.  The intricacy is just staggering when you look at these up close.

You can also find these beautiful leather journals at A Line of Her Own, some plain and some with beautiful detail work.

If you are looking for a smaller gift, these lovely bookmarks would be perfect. 

IMAGES: A Line Of Her Own

Friday, August 20, 2010

Alaska: Basking On the Rocks

I'll leave you with one last image of Alaska, this week, of the seal lions that inhabit the Chiswell Islands in Kenai Fjords National Park.  They are very small in this picture, but if you look closely you can see them basking on the darker rocks. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  I'm working at the gallery Saturday (867 Gilchrist Street, here in Wheatland), and who knows what Sunday will bring?  I will also be hard at work putting together my new collection of prints from my travels.  I'll give you some peeks as I add them to my Web site and my shop next week.  There are images from, yes, Alaska, but also Ohio, West Virginia, California, Louisiana, Colorado and Utah.  I can't wait to show you what I've chosen!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Alaska: Waterfalls

In and around Seward, we saw so many waterfalls, as you might expect since all that melting snow and ice has to go somewhere.  This one was on the edge of town, and the water flowed out to the ocean through this little stream.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Alaska: Glaciers

In addition to all the amazing animals we saw on our day cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park, we also had some close encounters with glaciers.  We had been close to Exit Glacier before, accessed by land, but this was our first time seeing any from the ocean.  The wall of ice really was massive, and as we got closer we could see all the beautiful blue tones in the ice, and all the little chunks of ice floating the water.   From time to time we could see pieces calving off, and hear them as they crashed into the water.