Just a few more…
This photo really was a mistake I almost threw away. When I looked at the original all I saw was camera flare. To make things worse I noticed a black dot where it shouldn’t have been. But curiosity got the better of me and I expanded the photo to see what the black dot was.
It was our friend a honeybee. You know, those rapidly vanishing insects that pollinate our crops. Sadly Bayer and other companies that make neonic insecticides don’t care their product is killing massive amounts of bees.
Oh, and that bright spot isn’t the sun. It’s actually lens flare. Enjoy my oddball photo.
Quick… think of a place with mountains, cool breezes, aspen trees, streams and fern lined trails. Where a hike leads you to grand vistas where you can see for miles and watch clouds gather and burst forth into afternoon summer thunderstorms.
Did you think of southern Arizona? I didn’t think so. However a place like this exists high in the Santa Catalina Mountains that tower over Tucson. As you drive 40 miles up the mountain the temperatures cool as you gain elevation. While Tucson swelters in the desert heat, it’s a refreshing 35 degrees cooler at the end of your drive.
It’s hard to fathom that a mere few miles away Tucson is in the 100’s while it’s only in the 70’s where you are. In Arizona elevation makes a huge difference and you are 6,000 feet higher in the Catalina’s. Hiking may be a bit more difficult due to the thin air but you don’t mind. You’ve escaped the heat at least for a while. And it’s kind of fun making your way through chest high ferns instead of side-stepping cactus.
I have always been a summer person. I look forward to spring because that means summer is just around the corner. Except for the leaves bursting with color, I’ve never been much of a fan of fall because that means winter is next. Here in Chile it is fall which means that dreaded season is next. So I drug out some pictures from spring in Glacier National Park.
Last summer we saw many amazing places and lots of wildlife. Some were expected and others were a complete surprise. The first surprise was spotting a young bighorn sheep in Zion National Park. In Rocky Mountain NP we saw elk. Driving in Wyoming I had to stop the car to get pictures of a herd of antelope.
In Yellowstone we were hiking on a trail and had to walk by that big bison. Being that close did make me a little nervous. After all, he was definitely a wild animal. Further north in Glacier NP is where we saw the adorable young mountain goat sticking close to mom. On the same hike to Hidden Lake we saw the furry little marmot. Legend has that they will eat anything they can sink their teeth into.
It wasn’t until we got to Canada’s Glacier Waterton NP when we finally saw bear. It’s hard to tell from the photo whether this is a brown bear or a grizzly. A brown bear’s nose is fairly straight and a grizzly bear has a more rounded nose. It’s hard to tell from the photo which it is and I stuck to using my telephoto lens instead of getting closer. And finally we saw caribou near Jasper Alberta. They are huge!
I am always happy when I can photograph animals in the wild and feel fortunate when I spot them. When asked why I’m an environmentalist who wants to save habitats, these photos are my answer. One of my favorite presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, recognized that states cannot be trusted to save the land and protect it from commercial exploitation. I abhor what’s going on in the West with a few people who feel the federal government has no right to protect land for future generations.
Here’s a close-up of those desert blossoms.