Weekly Photo Challenge: Ooh, Shiny!

“Hey, look! A plastic castle!”

No thank you. Plastic? Yuck. Man made? Not interested. 

My favorite diversions, distractions, and delightful detours are definitely of the flowers-and-butterflies variety.

Polygonia comma

Gray treefrog

Blue vervain

But to tell you the truth, these things are not merely beautiful bagatelles. These are the elements of a grand eco-system, the intrinsic parts of a working Universe. And so I am trying to be that disciplined, working person that focuses on protecting these habitats. They are not my distraction, then, they are my day plan. 

Ooh, Shiny!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental

“Explore the classical elements of earth, air, water, and fire. How do you capture something invisible like air, or the movement of water? Or, more personally, is there a place you go to feel connected to the earth?”

Air, water and fire form a double rainbow touching Earth. 

Sitting on the ground beside a lake, the campfire behind him dancing in the air. 

Connected to the earth, from head to toe. 

Elemental

Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures

Nature loves to combine textures with remarkable contrast.  

Spine-prickly and petal-soft:

Cold, smooth, and rough: 

Fuzzy and rigid: 

 

Smooth, rough and bumpy:

Wet slippery, dry and grainy: 

 

Everywhere you look, Nature feels wonderful.  

Textures

Weekly Photo Challenge: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Do you see something….unusual…in this photo?  

Blue ‘Shroom, I saw you standing alone….
It’s a lactarius indigo edible mushroom. The latex or milk that oozes from it turns from blue or blue/gray to green when it is cut open. I’ve only seen this one. 

And what’s wrong with this picture? 

Boys in shorts, green grass and blooming flowers, and…snow on the ground? 
Okay, I’m kidding. That’s not snow. It’s flower petals from the tree overhead. 

 

What about these? Anything ODD about this place? 

Yeah. It’s all weird. I don’t get humans. I’m sticking to Nature Photography. 😉  

Unusual

Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage

Here is a gallery collage of photos from my recent series, An American Adventure. In a two-week road trip, I visited eight National Parks and Monuments in Colorado, Utah, and South Dakota. If you would like to see the entire collection of 17 blog posts, click on the banner headline An American Adventure. 

Collage

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delta

Δ Delta

“This week, share a photograph that signifies transitions and change to you… Explore the ways in which a single photograph can express time, while only showing us a small portion of any given moment.”

Time and change symbolized in a static, 2-dimensional image — not an easy trick. However, all around us there are clues to the way that Nature has changed things over time.  How about:
1) The resting place of the bleached pelvic bone of an elk who once wandered this tall grass prairie in South Dakota

2) The abstract art of calcite deposits left in a cave long after limestone has dissolved  

 3) The fossilized bones of dinosaurs that roamed the Earth some 150 million years ago, exhibited for present day tourists to see and touch

4) These stately forms of sandstone, layered and eroded over time 

5) The moment in time when light, air, water and Earth meet in a colorful conjunction, only to disappear in the next movement of the elements

Of these five examples, which one speaks to you of the joy in change and movement? 

Delta

An American Adventure: Part Fifteen

Medicine Bow National Forest

Where to now?

With Memorial Day over and the commitment to be back at the office in one week, we faced a point of decision. Steve felt that we had missed the chance to go deeply into a single Place and was willing to drive straight home to Wisconsin. I wanted to see some sights along the way and avoid spending a night napping in the passenger seat or in a truck stop. We reached a compromise and decided to head toward the Black Hills for a few more days of exploring. 

Heading northeast from Vernal, Utah on Highway 191, we found ourselves traveling the Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway.  Two state parks are along this road, and then the Ashley National Forest and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Where the land isn’t protected, mining operations have stripped off the top of the mountains. The sight of those huge scars made me shake. Along the way, we realized we were on the “Drive Through the Ages Geological Tour”. This section of road traverses the Morrison Formation. Roadside signs name the various geological features and approximate their age. It was like having a review of the Geology 101 talk we heard at Dinosaur National Monument by going down the symmetrically opposite side of that bell curve.

The Flaming Gorge Recreational Area was created by damming up the Green River that flowed by our campsite the previous night. I have so many questions about how this man-made alteration affects the land, why it was proposed and built, who benefits and who loses. I have questions about others in the west as well: Glen Canyon dam, Hoover dam, and the rest along the Colorado River. Coming over the top of the Uinta Mountains, all I could say when I saw these structures through my cracked windshield was, “Dam!” 

We headed on to Interstate 90 going east through Wyoming and crossed the Continental Divide again…twice. At this lower elevation, it splits into two lines on the road map, and it seems there is a dry basin area in the middle. In eastern Wyoming, we camped in Medicine Bow National Forest for the night. It was quite close to the Interstate, convenient but noisy. Rain was falling as we pitched the tent. I scrambled inside, but emerged shortly because I had forgotten something in the car. I’m so glad I did not miss this sight!At the end of the day, no matter what humans have done, built or destroyed, there is still Air, Water, Sun and Earth. I am glad. And I am humbled. This is the Medicine Bow.