100 Days of National Parks: Day 50 – Bighorns on Checkerboard Mesa, Zion National Park

Bighorns on Checkerboard Mesa

It’s the halfway point of my 100 Days of National Parks Photo Series, and I wanted to mark it by going back to the photo that in many ways marked the beginning of my love affair with Zion National Park, with landscape and nature photography, and with travel and exploration in general. This shot of a herd of bighorn sheep on the slopes of Checkerboard Mesa in Zion is the first photo I took in the park, and marked the point where I stopped shooting randomly as a tourist, and started to take photos with a purpose in mind.

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Bighorns on Checkerboard Mesa

Bighorns on Checkerboard Mesa
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It’s the halfway point of my 100 Days of National Parks Photo Series, and I wanted to mark it by going back to the photo that in many ways marked the beginning of my love affair with Zion National Park, with landscape and nature photography, and with travel and exploration in general.  This shot of a herd of bighorn sheep on the slopes of Checkerboard Mesa in Zion is the first photo I took in the park, and marked the point where I stopped shooting randomly as a tourist, and started to take photos with a purpose in mind.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 50 – Bighorns on Checkerboard Mesa, Zion National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 31 – Golden Bee, Joshua Tree National Park

Golden Bee

I’ve mentioned it before, but I love the perspective a macro lens gives you on the world, particularly when I walk by a flowering bush surrounded by buzzing bees. Normally, I avoid sticking my nose into the business of these industrious little pollinators, especially in the deserts of the southwest where they might be a little more aggressive than other bees. With a macro lens on my camera though, my usual hesitation towards getting close to these guys is pretty much wiped away, and I find myself sitting next to them, letting them crawl on my arms, lulled into a sense of calm by the steady hum of their buzzing, and the focus I find trying to frame up the perfect shot.

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Golden Bee

Golden Bee
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I’ve mentioned it before, but I love the perspective a macro lens gives you on the world, particularly when I walk by a flowering bush surrounded by buzzing bees.  Normally, I avoid sticking my nose into the business of these industrious little pollinators, especially in the deserts of the southwest where they might be a little more aggressive than other bees.  With a macro lens on my camera though, my usual hesitation towards getting close to these guys is pretty much wiped away, and I find myself sitting next to them, letting them crawl on my arms, lulled into a sense of calm by the steady hum of their buzzing, and the focus I find trying to frame up the perfect shot.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 31 – Golden Bee, Joshua Tree National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 30 – Doe, a Deer; Olympic National Park

Wildlife encounters when you’re in the backcountry can be some of the most exciting, and unexpected times that you can spend in the wilderness. When I’m hiking or backpacking, I’m often lost in my own thoughts, and invariably get surprised when I come across another life along the trail, be it person or creature. Most of the time these moments are fleeting, an elk bounding up fern-covered incline above me, or a marmot scurrying behind a rock as I walk past. Sometimes these moments are terrifying, like a bear encounter in the mountains, or lifting my pack to find a scorpion the size of my hand. Rarely, though, I get the chance to really observe the animal I come across, to connect with it for more than those few brief seconds it takes for it to run away.

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Doe, A Deer

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Wildlife encounters when you’re in the backcountry can be some of the most exciting, and unexpected times that you can spend in the wilderness.  When I’m hiking or backpacking, I’m often lost in my own thoughts, and invariably get surprised when I come across another life along the trail, be it person or creature.  Most of the time these moments are fleeting, an elk bounding up fern-covered incline above me, or a marmot scurrying behind a rock as I walk past.  Sometimes these moments are terrifying, like a bear encounter in the mountains, or lifting my pack to find a scorpion the size of my hand.  Rarely, though, I get the chance to really observe the animal I come across, to connect with it for more than those few brief seconds it takes for it to run away.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 30 – Doe, a Deer; Olympic National Park”