Al's Photography Blog

Al's Photography Blog
Pikes Peak As Seen From Our House

Friday, July 30, 2010

Yellowstone Buffalo

I hope you're not bored with Yellowstone yet because I've got a lot more photos to post from that trip. Although I sometimes see buffalo here in Colorado, it's much more impressive to see them in the wild in Yellowstone. So here are some for this week's Scenic Sunday post.
Scenic Sunday

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Windsock

I recently climbed a local mountain, Mount Herman (elevation 9,063 feet, or 2,825 meters). It's a popular place for paragliders, but there weren't any this time, although I have some photos from a couple of years ago that I'll post before too long. This week's Skywatch Friday post was taken at the top, where someone has installed a good windsock to aid those adventurous souls.
To answer a couple of recent questions:

1. I'm not an expert on Yellowstone, but I believe it's buildups of various minerals (including sulfur, which is quite noticeable in the air) that causes the incredible colors in the pools and hot springs.

2. The green light from my first night shot in the July 21 post is from a house about a mile away. I don't know what causes the color.

3. A while back someone had asked if my little dog Socks actually walks on the hikes, or whether I carry him or put him in my backpack. Usually he walks the whole way, even on long hikes (he's hiked more than 6 miles with me and been ready to play when we get back home). On occasion he has to be picked up over the biggest steps, but he's very sure-footed even on steep terrain.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My World Tuesday - Animal Sculptures

It's time to visit My World Tuesday again and see many interesting things from around our small world. Here are a couple more sculptures from downtown Colorado Springs. This first one is called Double Eagle and it's by Jim McCain. I really like the curves on this one and how the two eagles fit together.
The second is Bison “Bison Americanus” by Richard Jagoda. It's a very interesting contrast with the huge animal full of holes making it much lighter.
I need to go back downtown and spend more time walking around, there's lots more to see.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Scenic Sunday - Black Sand Basin (Yellowstone)

A short drive from the Old Faithful area takes you to Black Sand Basin, which contains a couple of pools and geysers. Emerald Pool was spectacular, the photo doesn't do it justice.
Rainbow Pool was huge with lots of steam.
And Cliff Geyser had lots of small and medium eruptions.
Many of the pools have water temperatures near boiling. Since the ground in these areas can be thin, they have built boardwalks for people to walk on safely.
Scenic Sunday

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Night At Our House

Our house is located between Denver and Colorado Springs, the two largest cities in Colorado. On a clear night it's still dark enough to see the Milky Way but the lights from the cities are definitely encroaching. When the clouds are out the lights of Denver to the north are clearly visible reflecting off them. (The streaks of light are headlights from a nearby road.)
Here's another nighttime shot, looking towards a distant thunderstorm. If you look carefully you can see a little lightning in the cloud. This is a nine minute exposure so the circular movement of the brighter stars is quite visible.
Finally here's a recent cloud shot, not too impressive but I thought it was pretty.
Lots more skies from around the world can be found at the Skywatch Friday meme.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My World Tuesday - Gnarled Trees

Here's a post I talked about a while back, and here it finally is. Our local park, Fox Run Park, has some fields and pavilions in one section. But much of its 400 acres is left in its natural forested state, and some of the trees are very interesting. This first one actually grows down before circling back up.
 The second one has a trunk that splits in two, and from that point up it looks like two trees!
Sometimes the trees make a circle just above the ground, like these two. I wonder if something was on top when the seeds started to grow?
And sometimes the branches grow into the strangest shapes. The first one was almost certainly hit by lightning, and one of the branches then became the main trunk.
This park is a regular part of my world (and Socks' world too), and to see other people's worlds, visit the My World Tuesday site.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Scenic Sunday - Grand Tetons

For this week's Scenic Sunday post, here's a taste of the Grand Teton National Park, which we visited on the way back from Yellowstone.
Scenic Sunday

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Fire In The Sky

Happy Birthday Skywatch Friday - this great meme turns 3 this week, so be sure and visit. They're asking for people's best photos to celebrate. If you want to see what I think is my best Skywatch photo, view my lightning strike here. For this week, here's something new. It's a picture I took a week ago at sunset where the sky simply caught on fire near the Sun. This is how it came out of the camera, no filters were used and no processing was done on the file.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My World Tuesday - Walking the Dog

Visit the My World Tuesday site for lots more worlds.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Scenic Sunday - Old Faithful

The classic scenic sight at Yellowstone is Old Faithful. We saw it go off twice, from different positions. These first two shots are from the main seating area, close to the geyser.
These next two are 90 minutes later from Geyser Hill, looking at Old Faithful from the opposite direction.
Geyser Hill will be a post of its own sometime in the future. Old Faithful was impressive, but there's so much more to the park than that.
Scenic Sunday

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Lamar Valley in Yellowstone

From our trip to Yellowstone last week, here's a skyward shot of the Lamar Valley with mountains all around.
Skywatch Friday has lots more shots looking upwards so visit it soon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My World Tuesday - Large Animals

This week's My World Tuesday contains the last couple of photographs from my Royal Gorge visit. The  park has a few assorted animals on the South Rim of the bridge, and here are a couple of them. I believe they are bighorn sheep and bison.
Other people's worlds can be seen on the My World Tuesday meme.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Scenic Sunday - Road to Yellowstone

Here are the first of many scenic shots from our Yellowstone trip. These are from the trip on the way to the park. We drove from our house to the park, about a 10-hour trip. Much of the trip is in very open country, but as you get closer to the park the terrain becomes much more interesting. These first two are from Wind River Canyon, through which the road travels.
Much closer to the park is the Buffalo Bill Reservoir.
Some old water control equipment was on display in the parking lot. I have no idea what this thing does but it certainly looked interesting!
I have tons of photos from Yellowstone, which is probably the most scenic place I've ever seen, so stay tuned over the next few weeks.
Scenic Sunday

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Moonrise Over Yellowstone Lake

If I haven't visited your blog in the last week after you've left a comment on mine, I apologize. I've been at Yellowstone, where there's no Internet and usually no cell phone service. But I've come back with a ton of photos for the blog, which I'll be posting over the next few weeks or months - Yellowstone is beyond description. I'll get back to blog visits this weekend after I've recovered from all the driving.

First up is a Skywatch post from our first night there, at Yellowstone Lake. The moonrise was simply stunning, as a full moon came up over distant mountains.
For more skies of the world, visit the Skywatch Friday page.
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