Memorial Falls, Montana

A few days ago while visiting family in Montana, I took my son and cousin’s on a short hike to a waterfall in the Lewis & Clark National Forest. The trail was about 1 mile round trip, with two waterfalls. The first trail led to the lower falls, photographed below:

Lower Memorial Falls, Montana

The second trail(a little more challenging), led up to the upper falls, photographed below:

Upper Memorial Falls, Montana

The upper falls used to be more picturesque, but due to winter conditions, tree limbs and rocks went tumbling to the bottom of the falls. There is another trail that above the upper falls that follows the creek up the mountain.

American Avocet on Eggs at Sunset

Here’s a look back…from June 2014. I went to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Northern Utah, looking for shorebirds. What I found at the end of the tour drive was this American Avocet at sunset, sitting on eggs on a nest. This image won in a local great salt lake bird contest in 2015. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago that I photographed this scene. American Avocets are one of my favorite Shorebirds.

Long Billed Curlew in Evening Light

Every Spring, the Long Billed Curlews can be heard across the valley of the Great Basin in Northern/Western Utah. If you can hear their calls, then they’re either flying over head or wandering around somewhere nearby.

I photographed this curlew during Golden Hour as this one and it’s mate were foraging for food in the grass. For a moment, it stood tall, before going back to hiding in the grass.

I haven’t been out to take pictures since last week due to a tooth infection that started last Friday and by Monday, I was at the dentist getting it pulled. It’s the day after and my face is miserable. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back out before vacation is over.

Burrowing Owl Perched on Wood in a Field of Grass

In May I took a few hour drive through Northern Utah and while driving on a dusty dirt road, I spotted this Burrowing Owl perched on a wooden stake. The light was quite harsh,  but thankfully, the Owl was positioned just right to avoid the shadows.

You never know what you’re going to find when driving through the country side. While it may take a bit of time to get to where you’re going, the end result makes it worth it. Except for a car plastered in dead mosquitoes.

Burrowing Owl

Male Wood Ducks on a Sunny Afternoon

I don’t have any images to share, so here’s one of a male Wood Duck, swimming in a local pond, on a sunny afternoon.

Wood Ducks are my favorite ducks, due to the beautiful coloration and patterns of their feathers. I’ve photographed these ducks many times, so now I think it’s time to find a Mandarin Duck.

Here’s another image of a Male Wood Duck:

This Day, One Year Ago

This day, one year ago, I photographed several Short Eared Owls hanging out around the Golden Spike area. The two following images were my favorites out of all the images.

Short Eared Owl Mid-Day

The below image was photographed as the sun was dipping below the mountains behind me. The glow gave a nice over all color to the scene, despite being low light and with good catch light in the Owl’s eye.

Short Eared Owl at Twilight

Owls are my favorite bird of prey. They blend in well with habitat and for the most part are stealthy fliers.

Sunset at the Great Salt Lake

Several years ago, I enjoyed daily trips to the Great Salt Lake; whether it was at Salt Air or Antelope Island State Park or up North to the Spiral Jetty – that all changed once I moved further away from the lake. Now, I’m lucky I’m there once a year. So, sometimes I like to revisit previous landscape images I’ve photographed, of the Great Salt Lake.

This one has been my personal favorite; I remember standing on the shore, being bit by gnats, trying to maneuver the tripod to get the right composition. And then, I waited. Back then, it was easier to anticipate what kind of sunset would come out of the clouds, so I often was rewarded with beautiful colors, like the one below.

The sun had just dipped below the clouds, creating rays of light to shoot up through the high clouds, then I noticed how the rocks were lit up. And, with a GND filter, I was able to capture this scene with a slightly smoother appearance of the water.

Every time I’ve ever shared this image with others, they told me they had never seen a sunset at the Great Salt Lake or had never seen it look so pretty before. If you ask local Utahan’s if they’ve visited the GSL, most of the responses would be a, No. It’s usually stinky in the summer and full of swarming mosquitoes, so most people avoid it like the plague.

It should be noted that the Great Salt Lake is like a hidden gem; you have to observe it closer to see it’s real beauty.

A Pair of Curious Red Fox Kits

in 2015 I went to the Uinta Mountains and got the chance to photograph a Red Fox family. I took my son along, who seemed thrilled at watching the youngsters playing; we sat in the sagebrush, a good ways from the foxes, so as to not disturb them. However, my son had to move from his spot on a rock, which caused the foxes to stop playing and look our direction to see what the noise was. They stared for a few moments before going back to playing, then later disappearing into the den.

This image has been well received and featured in an issue of Wild Planet Photo Magazine. It’s available for sale at my Fine Art America Shop.

Here’s an image of my son holding the image as a 12×18 framed print.

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Just Another Burrowing Owl

I forgot about this image, photographed last Monday in the middle of nowhere. Actually, not in the middle of nowhere, but driving to get there, feels like it. Up at Golden Spike there are several pairs of nesting Burrowing Owls and they can often be seen perched on the fences that line the side of the roads. Burrowing owls are usually skittish, but sometimes you get the one that doesn’t seem bothered by your car’s presence, like this one.