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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Metadata

File Name: IMG_1103_r.tif
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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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 – 2019 – JBRish.com



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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Metadata

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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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 – 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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See more photography posts HERE and visit Jeff’s Instagram site 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 Video: Tag Responsibly or Don’t Tag


To Tag or Not to Tag. That may be the Question.

Photo Via Petapixel

If you follow my posts on this blog, you probably noticed that I do a fair amount of hiking. We generally visit two national parks or national park-like areas each year. At each location we spend between one or two weeks.

Prior to our trip, we plan the trails and vistas we would like to see. There are often sights that are iconic and of course we like to visit them and take some photographs for our collection. Often, however, we are way off the beaten path when we see some stunning and perhaps more pristine areas.

I have often discussed the idea of keeping these areas as natural as possible with as little human impact as feasible. After all, this is the home of the native flora and fauna.

The negative aspects of tagging photographs with exact geographic locations has been debated for a number of years. The video below – created by Jackson Hole, Wyoming – highlights the seriousness of this problem.

Personally, I don’t use specific tags with my photographs. I may include a general location such as the name of the National Park, City or State, but that is all.

What are your thoughts.


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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 — You Looking at Me?



Whenever we hit the trails, I try to keep my eyes wide open as I actively scan the surroundings. There is so much to see if we just look. Every once in a while, I notice that I am not the only one looking around to see what is nearby.

While hiking to Fairy Falls in Yellowstone National Park, this little fellow seemed to be interested in what we were doing on the path early in the day.

Is that squirrel smiling?

 

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Metadata

File Name: DSC_3513.NEF
Capture time: 7:48 AM
Capture date: Sept 6, 2018
Exposure: 1/40 sec @ f/11
Focal Length: 55mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18.0 – 55.0mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom

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See more photography posts HERE and visit Jeff’s Instagram site 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 — Cabins in the Snow



We were staying at the John Muir Lodge while hiking in Kings Canyon, California and among the redwoods. We checked the temperatures prior to making these arrangements, but there was an unusual cold snap and we were greeted by a late spring snow.

Although we live in Phoenix, AZ where it rarely snows or sleets, we carry an ice scraper because we often visit Flagstaff where it does snow; quite a bit. We were one of the few who were prepared for this eventuality.

This picture is more reminiscent of a winter scene than that of late spring and with the weather patterns across the United States changing, I thought I would share it!

 

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Metadata

File Name: kings_cnyn_1651.NEF
Capture time: 8:04 AM
Capture date: Jun 12, 2018
Exposure: 1/160 sec @ f/6.3
Focal Length: 22mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18.0 – 55.0mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom

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See more photography posts HERE and visit Jeff’s Instagram site 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 — Male Elk on a Hill



We were up early and exciting about taking a hike along the Beaver Ponds Trail at Yellowstone National Park. As we began the moderate incline to start the hike, a male elk was standing watch with a doe a bit farther down the side of the hill.

As we waited a moment before proceeding, the elk sensed our presence and took a look over his shoulder. I quickly snapped a photograph with my least capable, but longest telephoto camera to grab this shot.

Looking at him in this photograph, viewers can tell that this adolescent male was very confident and proud. Shortly after capturing this picture we were called back by park rangers and headed for another access to the trail. After all, this is their home!

 

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Metadata

File Name: IMG_1061.CR2
Capture time: 8:16 AM
Capture date: Sept 14, 2018
Exposure: 1/200 sec @ f/8.6
Focal Length: 215mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Lens: 4.3-215mm
Edited in Lightroom

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See more photography posts HERE and visit Jeff’s Instagram site 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 — White Peacock Butterfly (Anartia jatrophae)



As readers of JBRish might recall, I volunteer at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) in Phoenix, AZ. It is the second most visited tourist attraction in the state after the Grand Canyon. After all, what can compete with the Grand Canyon?

The DBG recently constructed a new and much improved butterfly pavilion which houses two different butterfly exhibits each year. One focuses on the Monarch butterfly while the other shows a variety of butterflies.

The picture above was taken during a recent visit to the DBG and the butterfly exhibit. These are beautiful and dainty creatures. It is always breathtaking to see so many of them up close among a captivating floral setting.

 

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Metadata

File Name: XT2A1876_r.tif
Capture time: 11:18 AM
Capture date: Oct. 6, 2018
Exposure: 1/320 sec @ f/5.6
Focal Length: 55mm
ISO: 200
Camera: Fuji X-T2
Lens: XF18-55mm, F2.8-4 R LM OIS
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



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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See more photography posts HERE and visit Jeff’s Instagram site 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



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