Sunday, September 27, 2009

Meantime, back at the ranch ...

This was my last photo outing of the trip - back to Triangle X Ranch. If you ever visit the Tetons and are looking for a great place to stay, with an authentic ranch experience, you gotta go there.The valley was still full of smoke from fires burning nearby, so lighting conditions weren't ideal, but hopefully you get the spirit of it all.Tomorrow I catch a 7am flight back east. It has been a really great trip and I hope I can get back here soon - maybe next Spring.

Adventures on the way south to Jackson

Fires are burning everywhere it seems. I am so fortunate to have been here in the Tetons last week before it all started, because now you can barely see the mountains for the smoke. This image was taken in the Tetons this afternoon.I had an anxious moment when the small gravel road that I was exploring dead-ended, and it seemed as though the fire was racing up behind me. Actually it was the first time in my life that I availed myself of the 911 service, but I didn't want to turn around and run into a line of fire. Anyway, all was well since the fire was a safe distance from me - it was just the smoke that was very intimidating.Later on, I re-visited the Triangle X Ranch at the time I knew they would be turning the horses out to pasture overnight. I think I would enjoy working on a dude ranch. Maybe in the spring after Leigh and Josh are married, and when I win the lottery...The wranglers are really friendly and now I even get a ride in the pick-up to the pasture, so I don't have to walk with all my gear.This is Chase, a sheepdog who specializes in herding horses through the pasture gate. She follows them through the creek and makes sure they are all accounted for. I'll be back there again one more time tomorrow.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The drive east to Cody

That's not as simple as it sounds, thanks to road closures, detours, and slow traffic. However, I'm on vacation and not trying to beat the traffic to work. The bison (we need to eat more steak) are everywhere, and they particularly enjoy just standing in the middle of the road. Everything comes to a halt and people seem happy just to wait until it pleases the beasts to move.Then I snapped this guy giving himself a great back scratch on the road sign that warns drivers about wildlife on the roadway! I wonder if he can read.A wildfire was burning near Fishing Bridge so visibility was poor due to the smoke for awhile. It did make for an interesting image though.One of the things I wanted to do in Cody was to photograph the Old Trail Town outdoor museum of original log cabins, wagons, and other western memorabilia that have been salvaged from all over and brought to this place to be preserved. It is fascinating, especially when you realize how simply these folks lived. When I looked at the wagons with their wooden wheels and lack of any suspension etc., I vowed never again to despise my car - whatever I drive.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bonus feature - Castle Geyser

This is not my "official" entry for the day, but since I have a good and fast internet connection in Cody, I thought I'd quickly upload it. This video novelty thing will wear off eventually, but in the meantime, look for the rainbow! video

Next stop Cody, Wyoming

I've been in West Yellowstone for two nights now, and it's time to move on. There's only so many geysers and hot springs you can photograph before they start to look the same.In fact, I've been moving around so much for the last week (filled up with gas for the third time today) that all the roads, rivers, towns and motels are beginning to run together, and it's hard to separate it all.So, tomorrow the plan is to drive up to the Northeastern entrance, through Cooke City, and along Chief Joseph Highway to Cody, Wyoming. Someone was telling me today that it is a "real" cowboy town, with real cowboys walking through the streets etc. We shall see. Anyway, it's a long drive, but as I said, I'm done with geysers!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome to Gardiner, Montana

Today I have explored the area around Gardiner, Montana. This town is the northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park. The wonderful thing about travel is that you discover places that are really like the storybook versions. Yes, some of the stores etc. are very tourist oriented, but the people who live here, that own the local grocery stores and take-out places, they are the real thing. Anyway, I went back to Mammoth today to re-visit the hot springs, and also to be entertained by the elk who seem to dictate how life goes in that town. Right now, the elk rut is in full swing, and one bull moose is preoccupied with overseeing his harem of approximately 30 cows, all residing in the town square.The rangers have their work cut out protecting both the elk and the tourists and keeping traffic moving throgh the town. Today's images are a collage of Gardiner scenes, elk in Mammoth and a video of Angel Terrace hot spring; lower resolution this time for the web. Next time I'll turn the sound off on the camera which will take care of the wind noise and babbling tourists. video

Mud Volcano - live!

I never thought I'd have much use for the movie function on my Nikon D90 (being a still photo snob) but boy, for these kinds of subjects, you can't beat it. It's the next best thing to being there. I think you'll be seeing more of these as I go. This one is very short, but the file was huge to upload, so I'll have to film them at a lower resolution from now on.
video

Yellowstone is truly amazing

I am so glad that I finally made it up here after living in the US for almost 20 years.It was a long drive yesterday from Jackson at the southern end of the Teton Park, up to Gardiner at the north entrance of Yellowstone. The roads are narrow and winding, and there are still a lot of RV's and tour buses about, so I don't think I would want to be here in mid Summer.For today's entry, I'm just focusing on my images taken at Mammoth Hot Springs. What an incredible place. If you go in the evening or early morning, there are very few people around, and you almost imagine you are on another planet.Tomorrow I am leaving Gardiner and heading for West Yellowstone, from where I will cover the geyser basins on the west side of the park, the most famous one being Old Faithful. For more images than I can upload to this site, please see my photo gallery, current work, at www.vanessak.com.<

Monday, September 21, 2009

This is hard work!

I had great intentions of journaling each day with details of where I've been and corresponding images. After all, what else was I going to be doing when the light melted into darkness and photography was no longer feasible. Well, come to find out I would be exhausted. I don't know how many miles I've put on the rental car in the last 48 hours, but I've already had to fill up the tank.Taking the photos is only half the story. They have to be sorted, cataloged, uploaded to my online gallery, then I have to do my blog .... Not that I'm complaining.I am still on east coast time and although 5.15am is better than 4.45 as an internal wake-up call, I am hopeful that tomorrow I will sleep a little longer. No plans for a pre-dawn shoot.I am moving on up to Yellowstone for a few days. There is a storm expected to move through the region overnight, and snow is forecast for the upper elevations, which is great for photography.The fall color hasn't really kicked in here yet, and I'm counting on the expected cold snap to accelerate the process.I plan to photograph the amazing display of geysers and other thermal displays and then head back south for my last few days here, by which time the fall color should be close to peak.In the meantime, here are today's "quick pics"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I've a feeling we're not in Charleston anymore ..

This is my second night at the Antler Inn, Jackson, Wyoming. Last night I crashed after spending the best part of the day in planes and airports. This morning I woke up at 4.45am which would be normal if I were still on the east coast, but very early for mountain time.Anyway, since I couldn't go back to sleep, I made some nasty coffee, grabbed a breakfast bar and hit the road.I didn't get back again until after 7pm and I must have put a good couple hundred miles on the rental car, which is by the way a Kia Sportage, same as mine. That was convenient since I didn't have to learn where all the controls were when I picked it up last night and headed into the dark unknown.Anyway, the Teton National Park is beautiful. The colors are still a good 10 days away from peaking here, so I'm going to leave for Yellowstone earlier than planned, then return for a couple of days, hoping that the aspens and cottonwoods will all be yellow.Here are some of the pics from today's activities.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Early morning at Ripley Light Marina

Another high tide and some wonderful light on my way to work, so I peeled off at Ripley Light Marina and took this for today's image. Again, not that exciting, but hopefully soon they will be. Two days and counting ...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

3 days and counting ... so long Lowcountry!

This image is of the flooded marsh, taken this evening from my deck during an unusually high tide. It is not particularly noteworthy, except that it will probably contrast sharply with the images I post over the next couple of weeks. Can't wait - really need that change, to re-charge batteries. I'm just a tad burned out right now. Big sky country, here I come!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Early Saturday morning on Folly Beach

Yesterday Cosmo got the idea in his head to make a pre-dawn trip to the old coast guard station end of Folly Beach. He knew I wouldn't pass up an opportunity for some sunrise shots, and I happily agreed. We pumped up the bike tires, loaded photo stuff into baskets and were on the beach before sun-up. Part of it was beautiful - just like Folly should be, and the other photo shows the aftermath of a party last night, where folks just left trash, beer cans, and a cooler strewn across a wide area of sand. Shame on you, whoever you are!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Some "catch-up" (9 days and counting!)

I have been very slack with my blog - apologies if there's anyone out there that has noticed! So many of my days are routine though, so it gets old to keep taking multiple photos of my regular commute to work, walking the dog in his usual park, working out at my usual gym.. you get the picture (ha ha). Anyway here are a couple of "catch-ups". I had lunch with Marty today, so he was my victim. I thought I would use my fisheye lens for a slightly different perspective. He's going to kill me when he sees the close-up.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Still chasing that moon ..

Last night I had planned to make a second attempt to catch the moonrise, although it was later than last night and the sky was darker, so not optimun conditions for photography, but all that was moot because I stayed too late at a social event and missed it again. I resolved instead to catch the moonset in the morning but again I was a day late, because the moon was still too high in the sky as the day broke, so it was very blah. I still have this ultimate shot in my mind's eye, the big yellow moon setting behind the shrimp boat rigging, reflected in the calm waters of the creek ... Dream on. Maybe next time.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The call of Folly Beach

I am always amazed at how much the beach can change from week to week. Dunes appear where previously there were no dunes, tons of sand disappear revealing features long buried, and familiar features get buried - for the moment. I was wanting to capture the full moonrise scheduled for 7.32pm, but the bank of clouds on the eastern skyline thwarted my plan. Anyway, Logan and I got a good dose of sea air and some exercise, and of course a few more photos (moonless).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fun at the Dog Park (15 days and counting)


It was a beautiful evening, sunny and cool, and the dog community turned out in their droves to enjoy the county park. I needed a photo for this blog today, so I took my camera with me and created a collage of all the doggie activity - and there was lots!
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