Revisiting The Southwest

We made a quick trip to the Southwest to revisit some locations in Utah and Arizona. On my first trip to Canyonlands National Park several years ago, there was only one day with the sky clear enough to photograph Mesa Arch. If the rising sun is not blocked by clouds, the light reflects off the wall beneath the arch lighting up the bottom side.

On my previous trip, I did not know that getting there 90 minutes before sunrise was not early enough to get one of the few good spots to capture the sunburst from and we missed out. This time we arrived at 4:30am for the 7am sunrise and although we were the second to arrive we got a good spot. I can finally check this one off the list!

The close-up image shows the formation in the distance known as Washer Woman, as it resembles a woman leaning over a rock as if she is washing clothes. I suppose to be politically correct there will be a movement to rename the formation to Washer Person. Uhg!

With the main mission accomplished, we headed down to Sedona, Arizona. This is truly the land of the red rocks. My primary goal here was to photograph the formation know as Cathedral Rocks and capture its reflection in Oak Creek. There was enough breeze to keep moving the water and blurring the reflection, driving me nuts. Finally, just before we lost the setting sun to the cloud bank on the horizon the breeze gave us a short reprieve, just long enough to get a decent reflection. Yay! Mission number two accomplished.

Weather prevented us from our third goal but the landscape isn’t going anywhere so we’ll get that one next time.

Utah, Canyonlands, National Park, mesa arch, sunrise
Mesa Sunrise : Prints Available
Utah, Canyonlands, National Park, mesa arch, washer woman
The Washer Woman : Prints Available
Arizona, Sedona, Red Rock, Cathedral Rock, Reflection, Oak Creek
Cathedral Reflections : Prints Available

Winter In The Tetons

I really enjoy the beauty of a fresh snowfall and I had always wanted to spend some time photographing the Grand Tetons during winter. So, a trip in February seemed just the ticket. I had been there before in February for other reasons and had experienced beautiful weather.

Well, this time Mother Nature was not so kind. Over a 9 day period there was only one day you could even see the Tetons. I made the most of it, getting a nice image in the morning with the Snake River. I scurried around to several other locations that morning trying to get something else decent but the sky was getting more overcast so no luck.

Then, just after noon, it began to clear again. I decided to put on my snowshoes and hike the mile out to Mormon Row where several historical barns and other structures are located. This was the longest distance I had ever traveled on snowshoes but it proved worthwhile. I had about an hour to get some images before the sky started to lose its beautiful blue color and go overcast again. That was on day two and it was the last time I saw the mountains during the nine days here.

I made a couple of side trips and gathered information that I can use down the road so I still grade the trip as a success. I may have to come back in June when all is lush and green with better skies.

Wyoming, Tetons, Grand Tetons
Teton Winter : Prints Available
Wyoming, Tetons, Grand Tetons
Arrival Of Winter : Prints Available

Canadian Rockies Winter

After photographing the Canadian Rockies a few years ago in the summer, we knew we had to come back for the winter. After learning of the bubbles frozen in ice layers at Abraham Lake, Jason and I could wait no longer. The plan was to spend four days at the lake and 5 days at the southern end of the mountains between Canmore and Lake Louise.

The plants in the shallow areas at the south end of Abraham Lake release methane gas. These gas bubbles are first trapped by the top layer of ice and then by layers of ice that form repeatedly below the top, resulting in the look of multiple bubbles vertically rising and frozen in time. The fun is searching the large shallow areas for cool formations of bubbles and cracks in the ice. The mountains in the background really make it work.

The Canadian Rockies are magnificent in any season. Most of the iconic areas to photograph in the summer are not accessible in the winter so it becomes a real hunt down a variety of roads to figure out where is the best place to be at various times of day. We had a lot to learn and made a few mistakes but, in the end, did well for the limited time we were there. We only had it snow one night about an inch, not enough to impact the trees as I would have liked. The weather was otherwise great, with temps in the 20-30F range.
As a fun note, I purchased snowshoes prior to this trip to allow us to get to areas away from the road. Wow! What a difference. I didn’t know it could be that much easier to walk in deep snow.

Canada, Mountain, Winter, Storm
Storm On The Peak : Prints Available
Alberta, Canada, Canadian, Rockies, Mountain, Winter
Canadian Winter : Prints Available
Alberta, Canada, Canadian, Rockies, Mountain, Winter
Morning Shadows : Prints Available
Alberta, Canada, Ice, Abraham Lake, Ice Bubbles
Frozen In Time : Prints Available
Alberta, Canada, Ice, Abraham Lake, Ice Bubbles
Cracks In The Ice : Prints Available
Aberta, Canada, , Banff, Mount Rundle, Sunset, Mountain, Snow
Rundle Sunset : Prints Available