Saturday, February 18, 2012

Photography, No Rest for the Wicked

Yesterday I happened to drive through the small town of Fromberg, Montana and turned down a side street.  A beautiful photo presented itself to me, so I took advantage of it and I'll share it with you here.  Two lonely feral cats, one keeping watch while the other sleeps. Enjoy:)

No Rest for the Wicked
No Rest for the Wicked - Fromberg, MT - February 17, 2011

Friday, February 17, 2012

Photography, Lift Off

In the distance the Beartooths Mountains can be seen.  Have been quite busy lately and the blog's pace will be slowing down a tad! I've also included a cool video I found.  Enjoy:)

Lift Off - February 2012 - Near Billings, Montana

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Photography, Walk The Line

Yesterday I went out and did some serious hiking for a few hours.  I decided to try something a little different with my photography.  I used my shoes as a subject for a few of my pictures.  Now situating the shoes while trying not to leave any footprints in the snow was quite a challenge.  Especially considering the snow on the ground and the temperature, but the outcome was satisfactory, so it was worth the half hour of freezing feet!  I really like the way one of them turned out, and after a little editing I believe it's time to share it!

The hiking took place at Zimmerman Park, which I have posted about before.  It is in West Billings up on the rims and is accessible from Zimmerman Trail.  I'm also going to include a video that I found quite entertaining! Enjoy:)

Walk The Line
The Beartooth Mountains are off in the distance.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Travel, Badlands National Park

The summer before last me and my friend went on an amazing roadtrip spanning two weeks and nearly every state west of Michigan. We saw the Grand Canyon, the Seattle Space Needle, Yellowstone National Park, the Redwoods, etc.  One of my favorite things from the trip was Badlands National Park near Wall, South Dakota.  We visited on a very hot day in August, it was definitely hotter than 80 out.  We drove my little 2002 Volkswagen Golf TDI through the park and stopped for picture and hiking opportunities whenever something grabbed our interest.  The park is a vast collection of clay and rock formations that never seem to repeat.

Of course being inquisitive and adventurous we weren't okay with just staying on the beaten path where all the other tourists were.  We walked out onto some pretty intense peaks, and we surely would've fallen to a very unpleasant death.  But it was worth because we both survived and have great memories and pictures of the park.

One fun fact about the park is the current reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, which is the most endangered land mammal in the United States and North America.  They are really adorable creatures and I urge anyone interested to research what can be done to assist their survival.  Most of them were killed due to prairie dog extermination on prairies and farmland.

Below you'll find some pictures from our trip to Badlands National Park, hopefully it puts this park on your list of things to see.  It certainly is in the middle of no where, but I do recommend stopping at Wall Drug in addition to the Badlands.  Enjoy:)

Me testing fate in Badlands National Park
My friend Jake testing fate on a rock formation in Badlands National Park

Me at Badlands National Park  - August 2010

Rock formations in Badlands National Park - August 2010

View of Badlands National Park in August 2010

Badlands National Park - August 2010

Monday, February 6, 2012

Photography, Watch Your Step

Thought I would share a little picture I just uploaded to my Flickr.  Watch Your Step.  Enjoy:)

Watch Your Step
Watch Your Step - Taken in Custer National Forest near Red Lodge, Montana

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Travel, Lolo National Forest

I found out quite the interesting fact the other day.  In Lolo National Forest (West of Missoula, Montana) there is a lake called Rainy Lake.  This lake has been around for awhile, but it won't be along for very much longer.  The lake is actually named Rainy Lake because it is in a Northern-Arid climate zone, where it doesn't rain.  The lake is estimated to dry up by the year 2014.  I suggest you go and see it before this treasure disappears!  Now one asks themselves how does a lake form if there is no rain?  The answer: melting glacier.

Luckily this lake is one of many treasures within Lolo National Forest.  It is home to several species of beautiful animals such as bighorn sheep and mountain goats.  It is also home to black bear and grizzly bear along with wolves and elk.  It is a truly beautiful forest and is over 2 million acres.  These 2 million acres also include 4 built in wilderness areas.  It is truly a wonderful place to get in touch with nature.

To conclude I will include some pictures of this beautiful forest! Enjoy:)

Hoodoo Lake from the stateline trail in the Lolo National Forest in Montana
Lolo National Forest

Packer Meadow Sunset
Meadow in Lolo National Forest

River bend in Lolo National Forest

Friday, February 3, 2012

Photography, Gallatin National Forest

Yesterday I journeyed over to Bozeman, Montana and headed a bit south into the Gallatin National Forest.  I took one picture that I really love, it truly stands out to me.  I spent quite a bit of time editing it in a few different manners, I hope you find some joy in the finished products.  Enjoy:)

I Could Use a Hand
This is the final version that I uploaded to Flickr.  Titled, "I Could Use a Hand"

Unedited, as photographed

Kaleidoscope of the Ages

Cold and Iced

Fades to White

White Out

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Travel, Winter in Yellowstone

Well, thinking I was going to drive to Yellowstone today wasn't the brightest idea I've had.  Luckily a friend told me that you can't just drive in, even in this "half-winter" we've been having.  You are required to utilize rubber and steel track snowmobiles, or snow-coaches.  Therefore, my Prius was not going to be able to make it...unfortunately.

I'm going to share some pictures of Yellowstone in winter, and a video as a way to supplement my urge to visit.  Enjoy:)

Yellowstone Winter
Yellowstone Lake in the Winter

Yellowstone,  Winter
Beautiful Winter shot in Yellowstone

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Animals, Great Horned Owl

Today we begin February and I thought it'd be an appropriate time to share one of my favorite pictures.  Great Horned Owls sure look wise. Enjoy:)

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl in Montana

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Travel, Bryce Canyon National Park

One of many National Parks in the beautiful state of Utah, Bryce Canyon has always held a certain affinity in my eyes as one of the most underrated National Parks in the United States.  It has many treasures and a plethora of photography opportunities.

It is located just west of Tropic, Utah and is pretty much in between Canyonlands National Park and Zion National Park.  According to Kevin on a Google Maps review, "Bryce canyon is a smaller park but is beautiful nonetheless. There are magnificent rock formations and pastel colors throughout the park. The north part of camp is available by reservation 2 days in advance only, but the south part of the camp is first come first serve. We highly recommend the navajo loop trail in combination with others if you'd want a longer hike or the fairyland loop trail. Sunset view is a must. If you are debating whether or not to come to bryce canyon on your road trip do it because we like this park even better than the grand canyon and others."

So as you can see it has hiking opportunities, rock formations, beautiful colors, camping spaces and a lot of exploration opportunities.  I typically enjoy forested parks much better, but this one grabs me because of the sheer beauty within.  Planet Earth is so beautiful, we should all treat it with a bit more care.

I've included a picture and video below, but I cannot wait to visit Bryce Canyon National Park soon!  Enjoy:) 

Bryce point sunrise #1, Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park in December 2011


Monday, January 30, 2012

Photography, Fiddler Creek Road, Montana

This weekend I went went on a little adventure down near the Rosebud area on Fiddler Creek Road in South/Central Montana in the Beartooth Mountains.  I took a few pictures and think they're worth sharing.  Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!  Enjoy:)

Horse spotted with the Beartooths in the background near Fiddler Creek Road

Beartooths in the mirror

I love the set-up of this picture.  Some deer spotted up West Rosebud Road

Beartooth Mountains down the road
View of the Beartooths from hill

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Travel, Smithers, British Columbia, Canada

Last night I saw the movie "The Grey" and was taken aback by the beauty of the location at which they filmed.  I won't give away anything about the movie, but I will tell you a little bit about where the majority of the movie takes place.

The majority of the scenes include beautiful backgrounds of trees, mountains, rivers, etc, all creating a beautiful setting for the movie.

Smithers, British Columbia, is where the movie was filmed.  I had to look it up as the beauty kept me intrigued throughout the whole movie.  There isn't much to say about Smithers except that it is home to several Hockey players, and has a population of 5000+.  This being said, the real beauty is not inside the actually city, but the areas surrounding it.  Just take a look at some of the pictures below, and a trailer to "The Grey."  Enjoy:)

Smithers welcome
Welcome to Smithers in Winter!

River near Smithers, BC

Welcome to Smithers in Summer!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Travel, Redwood National Park

Today has been a great day so far.  First my classes were cancelled for reasons I do not care to know! And then I came home and got almost all of my homework finished.  Now I have the whole Friday to enjoy.  Should continue to be a great day! Hope all is well for you as well!

To add on to my series last week about lesser-known places I think more people should visit, I am going to outline the Redwood National Park and the reasons why it should be on the top of your list of places to visit.  I toured the Park in August of 2010 and it is by far one of my favorite places to explore.  The sheer magnitude of the trees around you is breathtaking, and when you look up at the canopy and witness what seems to be miles and miles of vegetation there are simply no words to describe it.  It is a euphoric and delightful experience that you all need to experience.

Me climbing a large Redwood

Looking up toward the canopy!

Beautiful forest view

Me and my car driving through a Redwood!
The following video is a very funny video about being "Hooked on Humboldt" which is the county home to Redwood National Park.  I certainly had a few laughs from it, I hope you do to! Enjoy :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Travel, Big Timber Falls

My latest post ellaborated on the Crazy Mountains and the small town/city of Big Timber.  This one will focus on the Big Timber Falls near that area.

I would love to go see them, but considering the time of year, and the weather, that might not be possible.  The falls are part of the Big Timber Creek system.  Just hiking along the creek would provide a plethora of photography opportunities. There may be a nice day to slip in and I'll jump on the opportunity, but until then I'm just left dreaming.
Map of the Big Timber Falls location

Big Timber Canyon Falls
The Big Timber Falls

 Below is a video of the falls.  Enjoy :)


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Travel, Big Timber, Montana

This past weekend I took a drive over to Big Timber, Montana.  The drive was beautiful as you drive past the Beartooth Mountains to the south and then the Crazy Mountains to the north going west on Interstate 90.  I wanted to drive up into the Crazies a bit but the problem with that was the Avalanche Warnings and closed access.
Interesting enough, Big Timber is home to the very famous former NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw and also the famous broadcaster Brett Munsburger.  I took a few pictures and wanted to take more, but didn't quite have time.  Enjoy:)
Crazy Mountains as seen from Interstate 90 West

Crazy Mountains and Yellowstone River
Bozeman Trail

Crazy Mountains from Big Timber

Big Timber and Crazy Mountains in background

Monday, January 23, 2012

Animals, Dalmatians and Cats!

Today I am going to be a little off topic, but I figured it was for an important reason.

The car door slams shut and once again Chance was off with his owners on hopefully another adventure.  Chance, a ten year old Dalmatian, wagged his tail proudly as the car crawled along the road.  A few minutes later the car stopped and his owner opened the door and Chance hopped out.  It had been some time since they went out to the woods to play.  He loved the way the wind felt on his face when he had nothing but woods to run through, and the smells of the forest intrigued him like none other.  After a few moments his owner commanded Chance to sit, and surprisingly got back into the vehicle.  This was a new kind of game Chance thought.  But he wagged and sat down patiently to see what the game was all about.  Soon the car drove off and Chance felt a little lost.  Was he supposed to follow?  But he'd been told to sit. 

The truth is, the owners of Chance abandoned him, leaving him in a forest to fend for himself.  As Chance had aged he had accumulated a few medical conditions, and the family no longer wanted to put their financial efforts into a ten year old dog.  As sad as it is, this happens to dogs all of the country daily.  Fortunately there are places out there to help.  I know from experience how loyal, smart and caring Dalmatians are, and I can't even imagine leaving my little Rojo in the forest because I didn't want to deal with the financial burden of poor health.  In my opinion, when you adopt an animal, you are making a commitment not only to the pet, but to yourself.

The Dalmatian Rescue of Puget Sound has been doing great things for Dalmatians in the Pacific Northwest as of late.  They have housing and loving homes available until the dogs can be adopted.  They also receive medical care, and if the dogs are elderly, they can stay there for the long term.  I urge you to check out their website, and even voting for them on the Animal Rescue site where they are competed for grants in the Shelter Challenge.  You can vote for them by searching Dalmatian in the state of WA :)

For those of you who don't have a spot in your heart for dalmatians, or dogs in general, I have been a volunteer at Crash's Landing Cat Rescue and Placement and they could use help as well. You can also vote for Crash's Landing on the Animal Rescue web page by searching Crash's Landing in the state of MI. 

I've included some pictures of dalmatians and cats! Enjoy :)

Ford! Is available for adoption at the Dalmatian Rescue of Puget Sound

Radar! Is available for adoption at Crash's Landing

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Travel, Wood Buffalo National Park

One place I really want to visit is the Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada.  I am not a Canadian, born and raised in Michigan, but it has always had a certain allure.  It seems like its a bit more wild and free than some of the National Parks here in the United States.

The Wood Buffalo National Park is larger than many European Nations, it is home to three distinctly different ecosystems, and of course Wood Buffalo.  I have included a video that has inspired me to really make an effort to visit this wondrous place.  I hope it inspires you to do the same, or at least get out there and find something beautiful.  Enjoy:)

Pine Lake, Wood Buffalo Ntl Park
Pine Lake, Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories of Canada

Friday, January 20, 2012

Travel, Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula

I am going to start a series once a week about lesser-known travel areas and tourist spots for you to adventure and explore.  These locations will be full of hiking trails, photography opportunities and wildlife.  The first place I am going to elaborate on is the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. 

The Porcupine Mountains or the "Porkies" are located towards the western border of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  Inside of Ontanagon and Gogebic counties there is a wondrous and mostly untouched paradise of hardwood forests.  There is an abundance of maples, birch and hemlock trees that create a stunning portfolio of green in the summer months, and a kaleidoscopic scenery of color in the autumn months.

Wildlife:  The aptly named Porkies are home to a variety of animal species, one of which is the, yep you guessed it, porcupine.  In my experience I have seen two porcupines in the wild, both of which were in Montana.  One thing that surprised me when I was reading up on porcupines is that they often are found in trees, now in my mind I had a preconceived notion that porcupines never got off of the ground.  In fact, they are very sophisticated climbers, and have been spotted near the canopies of many of the trees found here in the Porkies.

In addition to the ambitious porcupine, the Porkies are home to animals such as moose, which can be found near swampy areas and near rivers.  Moose are excellent swimmers and have a hunkering for aquatic plants.  They also take little dips in order to keep flies off of them.

This leads me to another point, the Porkies may have an extreme amount of black flies depending on when you visit.  Bug spray is advised.

There are several other animals that can be found in the Porkies.  The following are all found in this area: deer, fox, wolves, coyote, lynx, bobcat, black bear, beaver, and others.

Pictures: Although my words may entice you to visit, it would be nonsensical not to include some beautiful photography of the Porkies.  I love the contrast in the following two pictures that shows the differences from summer to fall. Enjoy:)

Porcupine Mountains 2008_14683
Lake of the Clouds in the Summer
"lake of the Clouds" Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park
Lake of the Clouds in the Fall
A River Runs Through It, my New Years Resolution version
A beautiful shot of the Big Carp River