After an eventful few days Bre drove C and me to Salt Lake City to fly home. He stayed in a beautiful area of Utah over the next couple of weeks as I flew in and out to New Orleans, Illinois and Memphis for work. I got to enjoy the weekends in this land of milk and honey.
Logan is at the end of an incredibly scenic canyon and surrounded by rich farmland. The local Farmers Market was a delight, with organically grown fruits and vegetables and meat and milk. We were able to buy milk for $1.59 a gallon and cherries and tomatoes for 39 cents a pound. Fresh baby salad greens were heaped into a plastic bag for $2. While we were here it was the peak of raspberry season and fresh raspberry shakes were available everywhere.
This is definitely a place to re-visit. The mountains surrounding Logan offer many opportunites for photography. The people are warm and friendly. A great place.
I'll post many photos from the area soon.
Grand Tetons and Yellowstone
We left Denver and drove for a couple of days to reach Moran, Wyoming and a great campground to explore the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. The highlight of the trip for the favorite eight-year-old was the thousands of bison in Yellowstone.
Due to a number of obstacles we left on our summer trip much later than originally planned. My favorite eight-year-old and I flew into Denver and spent a few days enjoying the zoo and sightseeing in the area as poor Bre drove the the Big Red Blind and Go Home II from Louisiana.
Mustang Island State Park
Our second major stop on our trip to the Texas coast was Mustang Island State Park. It was just 40 miles away from Goose Island but it has an entirely different mood. The park is directly on the Gulf of Mexico with a mile and a half long beach and huge crashing waves, quite unlike the gentle bay fronting Goose Island. Goose Island had great shower facilities, spacious, spotless and well designed. Mustang Island's shower facilities reminded me more of an old high school locker room. Fortunately we bring our own shower with us wherever we go and I didn't have to use the facilities of Mustang Island.
My favorite bit was the proximity to terrific birding sites. The Port Aransas Birding Center has a boardwalk into the marsh that attracts many photographers with long lenses early in the morning. The Day Use area of Mustang Island provided hours of opportunities with herons, egrets and spoonbills.
We spent five days there before heading on our journey toward home.
Goose Island State Park, Texas
Our view for the last few days has been of glorious waterfront sunrises and sunsets and pelicans swooping overhead. The front of the camper faces a marsh filled with shorebirds and our backyard is on a wide bay. We're a short walk from a long fishing pier. As we walk through this campground we see license plates for Michigan, Quebec, Ontario, Minnesota, Oregon and Kansas. Texas has so many beautiful state parks that many retirees winter solely in state parks, skipping from one park to the next as their 15 day limit expires.
We're very near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and spent the day there yesterday. The size of the javelinas roaming in the refuge amazed me. At first I thought they were cows. There was quite a bit of wildlife, despite the drought which has dried out most freshwater sources.
Norris Dam State Park, Knoxville, TN
We stopped for the night near Norris Dam State Park and got up early the next morning to look for the old grist mill there. We photographed the mill and then walked along the river below the dam for a bit. There were an amazing number of hummingbirds visiting the flowers along the path and the trees held lots of bluebirds and goldfinches.
This state park is a real jewel with hiking trails, joggging paths, horse trails and a marina. The river was lined with flyfishermen. The photos of the fishermen look a bit strange because of the strong reflections and the morning mist.
August 21, 2008
After a long series of delays we left for our fall trip. The first night's stop was at Lake Lurleen State Park above Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This is a beautiful park, wooded and on a lake. We were the only campers in the entire section. I wish we weren't in a hurry. The park is filled with enough birds, flowers, and butterflies to keep me busy for a while.
March 5, 2008
We originally booked a week in a campground in Venice, Florida, and enjoyed ourselves so much we stayed on for a few more days. It was a fascinating peek into a different lifestyle for us. I kept thinking the phrase "second childhood" but in a much more positive way than it's usually used. There were over 650 lots in this campground, almost all taken up by snowbirds. Everyone in the campground seemed to spend the day riding bikes, fishing at the river, swimming in the large pool, and playing games. I was reminded of my activities the summer I was ten.
Bre and I got up every morning but one before 5:30 a.m. and drove to a rookery or refuge to photograph.
The birds are white pelicans. I was going to post this under the title "First Date".
Winter in the Swamp
After almost six months and 24,000 miles we finally arrived back home. We were anxious to see the kids but not as excited about the heat and humidity. My grandson did a great job of handling the mail and cutting the grass and my neighbor Timmy even removed several of the Katrina-downed trees from the back of my property. It was such a delight to have the view to the back open again.
We're home for a while but already planning our next trips.
October 15, 2007
Cottonwood in the Setting Sun
Only a photographer can get impatient when someone makes them miss the fall of dust. The sun was shining through dust raised by a passing car, making wonderful beams of golden light. I quickly set up then another car came along. The occupants slowed down, wanting to see what I was shooting, and then went on very slowly, not even raising a new cloud of dust. This is the small remnants of those beautiful dusty sunbeams.
Our next stop on our journey was New Mexico. I'd arranged to do quite a bit of consulting work here and we stayed at the Bosque Birdwatchers RV Park for almost two months while I worked some days and played others. Breland loves New Mexico and photographing at the Bosque so it worked out well.
Our next stop after Yellowstone was the Grand Tetons. We stayed at an RV park only a few miles from Oxbow Lake, a terrific place since we went there at dawn almost every morning of our stay. This park is breathtaking. I saw more wildlife here than I did in Yellowstone, including the moose that Breland wanted to capture, but the views were especially incredible. This photo is from the morning of our anniversary. I took four gigs of photos in less than an hour. The light and color were breathtaking.
We began to worry that we would get snowed in if we stayed much longer. There were many warnings about road closures. We reluctantly left this bit of Paradise.
HDR processing. This is a small, compressed version of a file processed for print.
Here Comes the Sun
We spent a week in Yellowstone looking for wildlife. The trip to Yellowstone from Glacier National Park was eventful. We left in the beginning of a snowstorm. Breland told me to just stay warm and he'd take everything. One of my tasks is to make sure that the antenna is down. That didn't happen and as we were crossing a mountain pass in a snowstorm I kept hearing a strange noise. Fortunately Breland was able to purchase and install a new one in Great Falls and we traveled on to Yellowstone.
This time we stayed in West Yellowstone. Two PBasers, Jim Prudente and Tom Munson, were there also. Each day Bre and I traveled down the roads of Yellowstone looking for wildlife. The highlight of our time there was the great grey owl.
Here's a picture of photographers lined up taking photo of the sunrise at Yellowstone.