Taken during the Harvest Moon last week. As I have written about and posted pictures of recently, smoke from wildfires in Oregon and Montana blanketed Colorado for the better part of a week. While the cause is saddening, this led to some awesome colors at sunrise, sunset and in this case, a moonrise.
One more for Patriot Day. Our nation’s emblem symbolizes the spirit of this great nation – ferocious and unrelenting when we must be as we were in the days and years following that horrific date. We are, however, by nature a peaceful, loving nation, and one that would prefer to extend the olive branch.
It is hard to believe it has been sixteen years since that fateful day. September 11, 2001. That date is forever emblazoned in my memory and in the hearts of all good Americans.
Like few other dates in our history, we can all remember exactly where we were when we learned of the attacks and recall in vivid detail the horror that followed. 2,977 people were killed that day and thousands more have perished since then in the War on Terror as we sought justice across the globe and fought to ensure no one could ever harm our nation as they did that day.
While we shed tears for those that died that day and since, we should also remember the other, too easily forgotten scenes that day.
The firemen and police officers who rushed to the scene and helped those in need, many sacrificing their own lives in the process. The office workers who helped their friends and co-workers down dozens and dozens of flights of stairs. The steel workers who helped to search the rubble of the buildings their fathers had built. The heroes on United Flight 93 who with the simple words, “Let’s roll,” battled their hijackers and ultimately sacrificed their own lives to save countless others on the ground. The soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who dragged their compatriot’s bodies from the rubble of the Pentagon.
Certainly, September 11, 2001 will be remembered as one of the saddest days in our history but it is my sincerest wish that it will also be remembered as one of this country’s proudest. We stood together then, as the truly United States of America.
Perhaps now, when we seem so divided, it would be wise to step back and remember how on that day and the immediate days that follow, we were not left, not right, not black, not white. We were Americans. Indeed, we still are. Remember that and honor the fallen.
Well, my hope for Moose pics this weekend did not pan out at all so this one comes from early last month in the forest up above Grand Lake, Colorado. This young guy was chomping down on the young aspen trees and despite what appears to be intimidating pose here, he actually couldn’t have cared less about us watching him.
Such an amazing experience that I will never forget! If anyone is interested in pics of the event, let me know – I think I got some great ones!
One of the bears we saw during our early summer trip to Yellowstone National Park. This one was grazing not 20 yards off the road, largely ignoring us and a couple other folks that had come along and were watching us.
Ursus americanus is by far the most common bear in North America with a wide range and populations in most wooded and higher elevation areas of the continent. While not as big as some of their cousins, they can be 5 to 6 feet in length and weigh from 200 to 600 pounds. This particular one was probably right about in the middle of those ranges.
Taken back on Independence Day, I had spent a couple of hours waiting for this little one and its siblings to emerge from their nest at Barr Lake State Park, Colorado. I was about to give up when this one finally decided to make an appearance.
While it was the only one of the three to show its face, it put on a nice little show for myself an the other photographers nearby. I love this shot of it as it first appeared with what looks to be a huge smile at its audience. It isn’t often you will find these birds out in the open.
Like most owls, they are nocturnal and during the day they usually hang out in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other spots well out of sight. These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States.
Perhaps, at least for this image, it is highly appropriate that female Mountain Goats are called ‘nannies.’ This pretty lady was providing a bit of high country babysitting this past weekend keeping watch over three kids while the other adults grazed. Thankfully for her, they were all pretty well behaved and quite content to lounge around enjoying the chilly weather.
When I was choosing my photo destinations for this past weekend, there was one that was at the top of the list – Mount Evans. The road to the top is the highest paved road in North America and due to the extreme weather it sees at over 14,000 feet in altitude, it is only open from around Memorial Day to Labor Day. With the seasonal closing only two days away, I knew this is where I needed to go as I wanted to have one more chance to spend with these cool creatures.
Arriving at the top at sunrise I was dismayed that the herd was not there and nowhere to be seen. I waited for over an hour with no luck, finally decided to head down a ways to see if perhaps they were at a lower spot and indeed they were, hanging out a few hundred feet below the road’s summit.
Fans of Superman will get the reference there. 😉
As I mentioned yesterday, the last few days have seen our normally clear, blue Colorado skies obscured with smoke from wildfires in Oregon and Montana. Yesterday morning as I arrived at my photo destination right at sunrise, I couldn’t help but take note of the rather odd coloring of the sun.
The smoke gave it distinctive red coloring and the light was so filtered, I was able to shoot directly at it without any sort of filter. There were even a few sunspots easily visible. Kind of cool but also kind of eerie.
A lack of clouds typically doesn’t make for a nice sunrise but (for better and worse) smoke from wildfires in neighboring states helps. Below the 14,000 foot elevation I was at atop Mount Evans, Colorado, the smoke blanketed the landscape giving nice colors to the rising sun.
For these images I experimented with stacking three bracketed images for each one allowing for a wider dynamic range. This is my first attempt at doing this and think they didn’t come out too bad. Taken yesterday morning with my new Canon 6D Mark II.