A journey into the eyes and mind of a naturalist.

Some of My Favorites

Every now and again I take a picture that becomes one of my favorites.  I don’t know why or what makes them my favorites  Maybe its the setting.  Maybe the light.  What I do know is that I can remember the exact moment when I took each picture.  It is a memory burned in my head.  I can describe the surroundings, the time of day and the feeling of that location.  I don’t often know that I have taken a ‘favorite’ but when I see it after the fact I know.  Perhaps these are the photos that captured the moment in time and all that goes with it.  Perhaps these photos are more than a collection of digital markers and represent a deeper image in my mind.  Whatever the case here are some of my favorites!

This was sunset at Oswald West State Park in Oregon.  I took this with my first digital camera (a 2.1 MP Canon A220).  The tide was going out, but the sad was still wet creating a reflection of the colors of the sunset.  There were people walking across the beach at the perfect location.  This is one of the few picture I like with people in it!  This is still one of the best sunsets I have ever witnessed.

This is probably my most favorite picture of all time.  I took it in Yosemite National Park in 2004.  We rolled into the park well before dawn and had the whole place to ourselves for a couple of hours.  I remember I actually stopped my car and put it in reverse to get this picture.  There were forest fires in the area and all the smoke settled in the valley overnight., creating an eerie red hue in the sky.  The smoke rose as the air heated and by the time all the ‘tourists’ started showing up the smoke was gone and so was I.

This is another picture from my predawn tour through Yosemite.  The reason I like this picture is two-fold.  I knew I loved this picture the moment I took it.  I saw this cool looking rock in the middle of the Yosemite River and snapped the shot.  A couple of hours later while touring the Ansel Adams Museum gift shop I saw a print of nearly the same shot priced at $700.  I think I like mine better.

This is a picture that reminds me to make the most of any situation and look for the opportunity with different light.  This is a snag on the rim of Bryce Canyon National Park.  I was hoping to get to the park before dawn to get the ‘good’ light and some pictures of sunrise.  Well I slept in and didn’t get to the park until about 9am.  I thought the light was ruined and didn’t really have what I was looking for.  After snapping this shot I realized that the light is still good you just need to find how to use it.  I love this shot I this is one of the photos that I have already sold several prints.

Once every decade or so the lakes in Minnesota will flash freeze.  This means that the air goes so cold, so quickly, that the lake freezes in motion.  There are small ripples and bubbles visible and the ice is like glass.  I took this picture of a wayward oak leaf on one of those memorable days.  The ice looks more like water and the leaf seems to float across the top.

To give you an idea of how smooth the ice was that day I took this picture.

That is White Bear Lake frozen nearly perfectly smooth.  I skated all the way across the lake that day and it was nearly as good as any Zamboni can do!

Fire is more than just a combustion reaction of wood producing carbon dioxide and water it is a look into what makes us human.  Fire is one of the few things that separates us from the rest of the animals.  It taps into the deepest layers of our mind.  Each ember dances toward the sky like sprites flickering in the night.  To me fire watching a fire is when the spirit comes alive.  So much can be read and felt from a fire.

I like taking pictures of fire and this is one of my favorites.  I think it represents the feeling that fire gives on a cold fall night.  I can almost hear the snapping of wet wood and feel the heat and smell the smoke.  This fire was at Uncle Bill’s Cabin, a very special place for me, making this fire all the more powerful.



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