Northern Gannets of Cape St. Mary’s in Newfoundland are graceful flyers. It’s no wonder their flight is so elegant and effortless. They are pelagic birds meaning they spend most of their lives flying over the open seas, no matter the weather, coming to shore only for a few brief months in the summer to raise their young. Then it’s back to sea for eight months where they soar gracefully over the water. When we watched them at Bird Rock at Cape St. Mary’s, it seemed as if they took every opportunity to take flight. It’s impossible to tell the size of this bird from this photograph. These huge birds have a wingspan of more than six feet and their body is almost three feet long.
The week I spent in Nevada’s Great Basin with Desert Bighorn Sheep this past September made me realize that Bighorn Sheep are my favorite four-legged animals to photograph. Their tan coats blend into the rugged steep habitat in which they exist making it a challenge to find them standing or laying still among the crags and crevices. But once located, their behavior is a sight to behold and fun to photograph. They climb and descend without a stumble. Watching a band of Bighorn Sheep leaping nimbly from foot hold to foot hold as they come down a sheer cliff on their way to forage for food and water inspires awe. The arching curl of the ram’s horns makes an elegant display of strength and power. During the rut, the rams clash for dominance and the pick of the ewes for their harems. The sound of those huge horns crashing together echoes and reverberates through the mountains. Watching the young sheep cavorting gleefully for the sheer joy of it brings a smile. The young rams learn skills they’ll need as they mature.
This ram looks down cautiously. We spotted him from the highway. He was heading down the mountain toward a large water source across the road.
Nikon D5, 500mm PF.
It was Halloween morning and we stopped at Horseshoe Bend on the Yellowstone River to enjoy the sunrise. We were on our way to the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park from Livingston, MT where we spent the week at the undeniably haunted Murray Hotel there. My haunting experience was relatively minor compared to some of my friends who experienced ghosties and ghoulies and long leggety beasties and things that went bump in the night. I had only an inexplicably dim beam of light that appeared intermittently in a bathroom which had no light sources near where the beam originated. The beauty of the morning sunrise made up for any sleeplessness caused by the odd goings-on at the Murray.
A small group of Bison foraged in the sagebrush off one of the roads in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park in late October. A few inches of snow covered the ground making the grasses they eat a bit more difficult to access. This young calf made the most of it as evidenced by the snow and icicles dripping from its chin. It seemed very curious about us and looked directly into my lens. Nikon D5, Nikkor 500mm PF.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I’m grateful for my wonderful family, my dear friends, and especially the gorgeous world around me that offers me endless opportunities to share its incredible beauty.
El Capitan—Yosemite National Park—November 28, 2018, one year ago, today.
Smith Rock in central Oregon’s high desert juts high above the Crooked River and has been a lure for rock climbers of all abilities for the past thirty years. We watched two climbers ascend to a narrow ledge on the sheer face of the rock.
During a visit to Montana in July, we came across lots of old buildings, many in the middle of nowhere, that were abandoned and falling down. The buildings leaned every which way and you couldn’t step inside them because they were strewn with rotting timbers, floor boards, and parts of roofs. It was not possible to find a straight side on one of them This is one such building. Plants grow through what once was a porch. Panes are gone from window casings. Doors are rotted away. But these old cabins were charming and mysterious. Who once lived here? Why did they leave?
At Cape Saint Mary’s in Newfoundland, we watched Northern Gannets soaring above the waves in a seemingly endless ballet in the air. At times, we wondered if they did it for the sheer joy of soaring over the Atlantic. The steep cliffs, the crashing waves, the blue waters—what beauty to behold beneath their wings.
Northern Gannets in Newfoundland nest and roost on small crowded rock ledges that jut from cliffs and sea stacks in the Atlantic Ocean. This Northern Gannet seems to be quite pleased to be settled down on its little piece of the rock. It appears to be prime real estate with no other birds crowding close.
This past April, Moose Peterson invited me to join him and his wife Sharon at a fly-in for antique aircraft being held at an airfield near my home. I had never done any aviation photography and the experience was invigorating. I can see how easy it is to get hooked on aviation photography. The airfield had recently added a grass landing strip so the experience felt all the more authentic as the brightly colored biplanes and other flying antiques landed and took off on the grassy strip. I was able to photograph these airplanes as I stood just a few feet away from them on the edge of the airstrip. What a thrill. This is a 1944 Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing biplane.