Photography: My Shot — Wild Burros at Lake Pleasant – Morristown, AZ

We decided to take a hike at Lake Pleasant to see if we could locate the wild burros that reportedly live there. As we travel along the highways, we see signs to watch out for the burros, but we have never seen one.

The park has a Wild Burro Trail so naturally we decided this would be our target destination. Lucky for us we were less than ten minutes into the hike when we spotted a lone burro. Upon further exploration, we came across the tres amigos (three friends) pictured here.

So…there really are wild burros at Lake Pleasant!



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Capture time: 10:44:14 AM
Capture date: Feb. 15, 2019
Exposure: 1/400 sec @ f/5.6
Focal Length: 79mm
ISO: 80
Camera: Canon PowerShot AS590 IS
Lens: 4.3-215mm
Edited in Lightroom/Photoshop

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Photography: My Shot —Deer Mountain Peak, RMNP, Colorado

My wife and I enjoy hiking and every year we take two significant hiking vacations. During these hikes or treks, I enjoy taking photographs of the scenery, nature and other interesting finds.

The hike to the top of Deer Mountain, Rocky Mountain NP, was somewhat difficult in parts, especially the last ascent with a steep upward grade. The view from the top was striking although the day was overcast and the colors subdued.

Nevertheless, I captured the streaks of light coming from the sky, piercing the clouds and hitting the Moraine Park area. The picture captures the mood.



I thought perhaps since the tonal values were not intense that it might be better depicted in a black and white rendition. As you can see, the subtle color of the streaks of light become lost as they blend in with the surrounding monochromatic tones. What do you think?



Longs Peak is almost directly north, far off in the distance of the leafless tree on the ledge. Here is a closeup of Longs Peak.



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File Name: DSC_1031-2.tif
Capture time: 11:04:48 AM
Capture date: Sept. 16, 2016
Exposure: 1/80 sec @ f/25
Focal Length: 21mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18.0 – 55.0mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom/Photoshop

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©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Photography: My Shot — Elephant Mountain Cave Creek, Arizona

A couple of weeks ago, the weather was rather mild in our part of the Sonoran Desert so we decided to take a hike which was partly in the Spur Cross Recreation Area. As we hiked over a dozen miles that day, we could see Elephant Mountain from numerous vantage points.



This is a well-known landmark in the area and there are several ranger-led hikes to the mountain every year. You can call for information if you like. Our hike this day took us near the mountain and around the sides, but not on to it. It was our near constant companion as we trekked along.

If you are having difficulty “seeing” the “elephantness” of the mountain, here is another copy of the photo with my interpretation.



As a bonus, I included a relevant quote. If you read my website regularly, you probably surmised that I am a collector of quotes.

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Metadata

File Name: DSC_4018.NEF
Capture time: 10:50 AM
Capture date: Dec 14, 2018
Exposure: 1/160 sec @ f/10
Focal Length: 18mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18.0 – 55.0mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom

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©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2018 – JBRish.com



Photography: My Shot — Pine Cones in the Mist

When we plan our hiking and photography trips, we understand that we are most likely going to have some days when the weather is not ideal. Even if it rains, as long as it isn’t a deluge, we carry out our plans to hike. We may elect to alter the selection of trails, but hike we will.

During our adventures in Sequoia National Park, California, we wanted to see a stand of the giant sequoias that were located in the Muir Grove near the end of the Muir Grove Trail. The day was a dreary, drizzly one. To add a bit of drama, we had a map that accessed the trailhead through one of the campgrounds that was unfortunately closed for renovations. Cars were not allowed, but we were told we could walk in.

The construction turned the campground into ghost town and the cloudy, misty, rainy day created an eerie spectacle. Undeterred however, and with most of the landmarks altered or removed, we finally located the trailhead.

As we made our way along the designated path, we came across the beautiful branch pictured below. The two elongated pine cones were dangling in the air. They were posed in such near perfect juxtaposition against the misty background, that I was inspired to take this photograph and I am glad that I did.



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File Name: 000031_sequoia_1619.NEF
Capture time: 12:10 PM
Capture date: June 10, 2018
Exposure: 1/60 sec @ f/16
Focal Length: 35mm
ISO: 1250
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18.0 – 55.0mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom

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BTW – Here is a picture of me by the unbelievably huge sequoia’s near the end of the trail. To give some perspective to the scene, I am nearly six feet tall and I am standing at the base of a single tree.

Click HERE for more information about the Grove Muir Trail.



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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2018 – JBRish.com



Photography: My Shot — Swirling Pine Needles


Pine Needles Swirling in the Stream

After hiking for more than a week in Yellowstone National Park, we moved on to Red Lodge, Montana to continue our adventure. We decided to explore a course along the Silver Run Plateau, Trail #102, Loop #3 just outside of town.

The first part of the loop was quite rocky with boulders and large rocks buried in and around the path. The return half of the hike, however brought us nearer to the river which had much better footing and more intersting views. Along the way, we passed a feeder stream that had a very slow, but consistent flow. A large number of pine needles were “caught” in a side channel and they were swirling around in a somewhat circular motion as the water worked its way around some rocks and debris.

The pattern was very appealing and I found that watching the movement was similar to playing with a kaleidoscope.

 

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Metadata

File Name: DSC_3958.NEF
Capture time: 11:18 AM
Capture date: Sept. 17, 2018
Exposure: 1/100 sec @ f/11
Focal Length: 55mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18.0 – 55.02mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom & Photoshop

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2018 – JBRish.com



Yellowstone and Bear Country



I recently returned from more than a week of hiking in Yellowstone National Park and all I can say is WOW! We hiked over seventy miles, but enjoyed every hard-earned inch. We are so lucky to live in a country that has such natural beauty in abundance.

Whenever I explain to other people that I hiked in Yellowstone one of the first topics to be raised is bears. Yes, Yellowstone has bears and by reading all the literature, posted warnings and sales pitches for bear spray one would think they were lurking around every corner. I am not making light of visiting areas in bear country. It needs to be a real concern and we did take it seriously, but not everyone sees the bears of Yellowstone when they visit the park.

My wife and I both had bear bells to make noise as we walked so we didn’t startle any bears in the vicinity. One thing worse than an unintended encounter with a bear is to startle a bear unexpectedly and have them feel threatened. Wearing bear bells sometimes brought snarky comments like: “I thought you were Santa Claus.” My retort would be: “Not Santa Claus, but no bear claws!”


Yes, Yellowstone has two types of bears. Grizzlies are more agrgessive than Black bears. – Picture courtesy of naturalunseenhazards.wordpress.com

All the hype does make one a bit paranoid, but I am not sure that is a bad thing. According to the National Park Service, over 100 million people have visited Yellowstone since 1980. During that time 38 people were injured by grizzly bears.

Here is an interesting breakdown according to their website Bear-Inflicted Human Injuries & Fatalities in Yellowstone

Type of Recreational Activity: Risk of Grizzly Bear Attack

  • Remain in developed areas, roadsides, and boardwalks: 1 in 25.1 million visits
  • Camp in roadside campgrounds: 1 in 22.8 million overnight stays
  • Camp in the backcountry: 1 in 1.4 million overnight stays
  • Travel in the backcountry: 1 in 232,000 person travel days
  • All park activities combined: 1 in 2.7 million visits

Also noted is that only eight people have been killed by bears in Yellowstone since 1872. To keep things in perspective, the website reminds visitors that more people have died from drowning, burns, etc.

We had two grizzly bear encounters in and near Yellowstone National Park. We were hiking along one of the paths around Ice Lake in Yellowstone returning to the parking area. Three hikers were hiking towards us and as they passed, they explained that a mother grizzly crossed in front of them with two adolescent cubs and they were going to hike around the lake to get back to their car. This was a significant, lengthy detour part of which was uphill along the roadway.



Picture courtesy of National Park Service

All the literature I read indicated that the chances of being attacked in a group of three or more was only two percent. I suggested to the group that we continue heading back toward the parking lot and risk a bear encounter since we were a larger group and had several canisters of bear spray between us.



Picture courtesy of National Park Service

We walked quickly, but deliberately toward the area near the road where the bears were spotted. We noted their tracks along the path. Apparently they didn’t like the debris in the wooded area any more than we did and they were walking along the relatively clear hiking path.

About one quarter mile from our cars, the three bears (not those three) were spotted about 300 feet ahead of us. The mother bear (very large!) stood up on her hind legs and spread her arms wide in an “it was this big” fashion. I estimate that she stood at least nine feet tall at that point. One of the rather large cubs also stood in the same fashion while the other remained on all fours looking our way. The bears were only there for a half-minute or so when they scampered into the woods.

It was very exciting indeed, but we were glad that we did not have a more intimate bear encounter. We made it to the cars without further ado. My only regret was that the action happened so fast I couldn’t get a picture.

Our second sighting a few days later was of a grizzly with three cubs along the Beartooth Highway near Beartooth Lake. We noticed a group of people along the side of the road, a certain giveaway that something interesting was happening, and we pulled over.

Sure enough, there was a group of three Grizzly bears about 450 feet downhill munching on a carcass that I assume was that of an elk. The speculation was that this was a mother with her cubs, but the bears all looked to be similarly sized…so who knows? The bears were more interested in eating than in what we were doing and since we were a lineup of more than a dozen people standing quite a bit away uphill, it was not a tense encounter.

Bears are large and they look fat, but don’t ever think you can outrun one and don’t for one minute think climbing up a tree is going to help. Read the placards above to see how to survive a bear encounter.

I am an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I enjoy wildlife, but I don’t have an expensive wildlife kit. The closest I come is my Canon SX50HS bridge camera that has a telephoto lens of approximately 600mm of reach. This isn’t the highest quality camera or lens, but I think you can get an idea of what we saw at the bear buffet along the Beartooth Highway.


group of grizzly bears


lone grizzly bear


two grizzlies bears


lone grizzly bear with carcass



After leaving Yellowstone, we stayed in Red Lodge, Montana one night and did some hiking along the Silver Run Plateau, Trail # 102, Loop #3 in the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

There were warnings there as well.



There’s a reason for all these signs. One shouldn’t be afraid, but it is important to take precautions and be aware. They refer to it as being “Bear Aware” and they aren’t kidding.

Yellowstone even uses celebrities to help impress the importance of bear safety upon visitors.



We now have bear encounter memories that will last forever and we are very happy that they turned out the way they did.

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2018 – JBRish.com



Photography: My Shot — a Tree with Character

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.

— William Blake —

A Tree with Character - Rocky Mountain National Park

While hiking along the Glacier Gorge Trail to Loch Lake, we came across an evergreen tree nestled off to the side of the trail. The photograph is not technically excellent, but I like the way it shows the character of this tree. It appears to me that this tree has been in this location for a long time and it has had to fight to survive.

Look at how the roots encircle that large rock in the middle and how the other roots are “hugging” smaller rocks at the base. The roots are running shallow along the earth which denotes how hard the ground is in that area. This tree is holding on and fighting for life.

This is survival of the fittest at work!

 

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Metadata

File Name: 000026_DSC_0717_r.tif
Capture time: 5:23 PM
Capture date: Sep 11, 2018
Exposure: 1/3 sec @ f/18
Focal Length: 18mm
ISO: 1600
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18.0 – 55.02mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Photography: My Shot at Puente Nuevo – Ronda, Spain


Puento Nuevo - Ronda Spain

It was an unusual decision for us, but we decided to take a trip to Portugal and Spain this spring. Usually we enjoy hiking the national parks and beautiful areas of the United States while our knees and joints can still take to the hills and dales America the beautiful has to offer.

One of our favorite stops on the tour was Puento Nuevo in the town of Ronda Spain. My wife and I often remark at the historic nature of towns in Europe which are very old compared to those in the United States. We tend to think of something as being old if it was founded two hundred years ago, but in Europe we are often talking about multiples of that or even thousands of years.

Ronda was first settled in the sixth century B.C. That is old! The photograph above is one of my favorite shots from our trip. It was taken from the Puente Nuevo bridge which is the largest of a number of bridges spanning the gorge of the Guadalevín River that meanders through Ronda. I was hoping to capture the beauty and uniqueness of this spot and I think I managed to do so fairly well.

 

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Metadata

File Name: ronda_spain_PuentoNuevo_DSC_3082.jpg
Capture time: 9:36 AM
Capture date: May 16, 2018
Exposure: 1/320 sec @ f/9.0
Focal Length: 22mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18.0 – 55.12mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: From the Shore to the Falls


Adventures in Oregon: From the Shore to the Falls

Our maps and notes were showing the wear and tear of daily folding, unfolding and occasional markings incurred through our journey. Indeed our coastal exploration of Oregon was nearing the end.

One of the last points of interest we highlighted at the southern leg of our trip was the marine viewing area near Cape Arago State Park with views of Shell Island and Simpson Reef.


Shell Island

We were told by locals that we would be able to view wildlife at this viewpoint and a closer look revealed colonies of seals and sea lions on nearby Shell Island.


Seals basking on Shell Island

The water near Simpson Reef was a bit more shallow and appeared to be a tropical color.


More tropical-like waters near Simpson Reef

Read more about Simpson’s Reef and Shell Island via this brochure.

Our day began to take on a theme of land and sea as we were motivated to hike and explore the Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area farther inland. With maps and cell phone access, we figured it should not be hard to find.

There were some quirky twists and turns which led us temporarily astray, but perseverance and a trip down a bumpy road that was hard packed led us to our desired destination; the parking area near the trailhead to the falls. We chatted a bit with a couple familiar with the hikes and gained some advice about which trails to consider.

We thought that the view of the Golden Falls would be better if we headed there first to capture the best light. It was after 3PM and the sun was beginning to cast shade on the gorge. The flow of water was not dramatic, but steady and picture-worthy.


Approaching Golden Falls

My assumption is that the yellowish color of the rocks along with the tones cast by the sun inspired the name of the Golden Falls.


A closer view of Golden Falls

Our last adventure this day was the hike to the Sliver Falls.


Silver Falls

This proved less dramatic than the Golden Falls, but we wanted to complete the circuit and appreciated nature’s offerings along the way.


Another view of Silver Falls

This was a full day so we were glad to find our lodging for the evening as we prepared for our long drive inland to our final destination; Crater Lake National Park.


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove in Lincoln City

Adventures in Oregon: Cape Foulweather & Drift Creek Falls

Adventures in Oregon: Newport to Yachats

Adventures in Oregon: Heceta Head & Sand Dunes

Adventures in Oregon: State Parks: Umpqua to Shore Acres

 

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Photography: My Shot – Yaquina Head Lighthouse

While hiking down the coast of Oregon, we enjoyed visiting a number of lighthouses along the picturesque coastline. A challenge photographers face when they arrive at such an area is that many other people want to enjoy the same view and that is a good thing!

The issue is how to capture a picture with as few distracting elements as possible. There have been several times when I have been at a prominent place in a national park where the scene was spectacular, but in the field of view there was a couple having lunch or a snack wearing bright orange or luminescent green garments.

Obviously this can be addressed by waiting for the people to move or fix it in post processing. In the picture below, there were a number of people, cars, RVs, etc.(middle right) that would prove problematic for the composition for reasons mentioned above. Rather than work on each piece in Photoshop, I decided to use a toned, black and white image (duotone) to maintain the focus on the distant lighthouse.

I hope it works as I thought it would!


Yaquina Head Lightouhse & Naural Area, Newport

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Metadata

File Name: oregon_coast_XT2A0212.RAF
Capture time: Sept. 11, 2017
Exposure: 1/30 sec @ f/13
Focal Length: 28.9mm
ISO: 200
Camera: Fuji X-T2
Lens: XF18-55mm, F2.8-4 R LM OIS

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com