Thursday, September 29, 2011


Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul.  They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span upon this earth.  They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal.
                                                                                      -Elizabeth Aston

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Graham's Dad Visits.

Fly Fishing.

It’s always exciting when family gets to visit. It’s a pleasure to be able to show those that we love the area where we live and what we get to experience as part of our daily lives.

Graham’s dad and his buddy went to Sturgis for some good clean motorcycle riding fun and then headed west to visit us in the park. The first day that we had off with them, we went to the Lamar River to try some fly-fishing. Graham and I don’t really have a lot of success in general and this day was no different. Although, JR had a good point – they call it fishing and not catching for a reason.

 We did see quite a few snakes in the river, which gives me the heebie-jeebies but we sat and watched one catch some minnows for it’s dinner. We rode (us in the truck and them on their bikes) the rest of the way through Lamar Valley before heading up the check out the Canyon before the last of the sunlight went down over the hill.

The next day we were planning on fishing on a boat but they were all booked up. So we all pilled into the truck and took a tour of the upper loop, since they did the lower loop one day when we were working. We didn’t see a whole lot wildlife wise – except for some Big Horn Sheep near the northern entrance that seemed a little distressed so many people were around so we didn’t stay for very long. We stopped at all the major viewing points and wandered around a little bit.

Big Horn Sheep

That evening we grilled out some veggies and pork chops, which were delicious. It was nice to have a relaxing weekend where we got to show the park to friends and family.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Simple Beauty.

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
                                                      -Anne Frank

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I don’t claim that I know what I’m doing when I’m photographing– but I really enjoy it. I couldn’t give you an explanation that would make you understand what an f-stop is or how to adjust your camera because I only have a vague conception of a lot of these terms.

I’m also a really impatient photographer. For example, I woke up this morning before the sun was up to head out to Hayden Valley to photograph whatever was around. (I was hoping for Bison since it is their rut season and they have taken over – but I didn’t even see one.) I got out there early enough to scope out the scene and pick my spot. I climbed up on a hill to get a good overview of the valley and then I didn’t want to sit and wait for the lighting. So I climbed back down and started to look around some more. Of course, during this looking around the sun peaked up over the edge and I wasn’t in any spot during the BEST lighting.

I’m working on this impatience. I know it’s a problem. I have other problems too.

I don’t like photographing from the road, which is what a surprisingly large number of “Yellowstone Photographers” do. (“Yellowstone Photographers” = someone who sells their pictures for a decent price.) That means if there is a pull out crowded with people to see a wolf that I won’t pull over, unless it was just discovered and there are only 5 or so cars or if the wolf runs in front of me.

There are times when I do photograph from the road, usually when I’m driving to pick Graham up, and I get frustrated that all the others around me have significantly better cameras. I am trying to take one picture and my camera has to unfocus and then refocus itself before one snap is taken and by then the subject has turned it’s butt to me. However, all around me I hear these people click, click, clicking away – sure to have gotten 10 pictures during the time it took me to take one.

I always wonder if their pictures are really worth anything though. (I have learned that having a nice camera doesn’t make you a photographer.) I’m especially frustrated this morning. I know I’ll get to where I need to be one day (equipment and knowledge wise) because I’m working on it but in the meantime I have some mornings where I just want to throw my camera at a tourists head after they come running over – yelling at the wife in the car – and scare off the Great Blue Heron that I have carefully snuck over to get a descent shot of with my little bit of knowledge and whimpy camera.

Great Blue Heron.

I just had to share my frustrations. Overall, I love photographing and will continue to do it if for nothing else but my own enjoyment. I appreciate all/any of you that have stumbled to here and enjoy my pictures and words – thank you!

NOTE:  I wrote this after a morning where I felt super frustrated and inadequate.  However, as time has progressed and I look back at the photos from that morning - there are many that I truly love due to the beauty and peace they instill in me.  Funny how that works.  I thought I'd share anyway.

Friday, September 9, 2011


No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.
                                                                                 -Ansel Adams

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Electric Peak.

Some hikes kick your butt much more than other hikes. This one kicked our butts. We hiked a total distance of 20 miles and an elevation gain of 5,700 feet. We started before the sun was up (around 5 a.m.) and got back to the vehicles 15 hours later. It was absolutely stunning.


The first half was an old dirt road that was closed to vehicle traffic. (It would have been so nice if the road had been opened up!) We watched the sun come up and brighten the mountains surrounding the northern entrance into Yellowstone National Park. 

 After we got to the end of the road, we had to cut across a beautiful display of Golden Aster and Lupine to follow along the ridgeline to the mountainside of Electric Peak. The ridgeline had a rather undistinguished trail that was hard to tell which path was the real trail and which path was a game trail. Eventually, we made it to the tree line and paused to get our rain/windbreakers on since the wind tends to be unrelenting once you get to this point.

We moved up the steep mountainside to arrive at the rocky (aka skree) peak that we had to traverse across to get to the actual peak. This is where the group got split up (and after a rock smushed Graham’s finger and he threw a temper tantrum) – Graham decided to turn back and I didn’t want to take the dangerous path by myself. When Josiah, Berlynn and Cody got to the saddle (right before the actual peak) a group of Big Horn sheep crossed the snow right in front of them. The other half of the group, Sam, Hannah, Graham and myself took a nap on the sunny mountainside to rest for the 10 miles back down.

Total Summer Mileage: 201.5