I'm very behind in my image editing this year! I spent some time at Lake Superior, MN, in August of this year, We had a great thick fog while we were there that excited and inspired me. Hope you enjoy them too.
One thing I've noticed about myself... I love triptychs! I've noticed over and over again in my work that I'll have three photographs that go very well together... almost like I planned it... Well... I don't think I've ever specifically planned a triptych, I just take photos in a series that go together and often I'll end up with three that would look amazing framed together on a wall. I even have a few different triptychs hanging in my house - cheetahs in the living room, abstracts in the bedroom, and three from my migration series in my office. I'm definitely wanting to put this "Pacific Dawn" trio somewhere - just have to find the wall space!
Have a fantastic Monday, and thanks for stopping by!
While in the Ketchikan area of Alaska, we took a float plane tour of the Misty Fjord Wilderness area. This was my second time on a float plane, so I wasn't nearly as nervous as the first time - I knew the take off and landing weren't as scary as my brain had originally thought it would be. The Misty Fjord Wilderness area of Alaska is an awe-inspiring place. Mountains tower into low clouds which can be a little bit nerve-wracking as you hope that you won't have a mountain suddenly appear right in front of your plane! Fjords of the Pacific Ocean run through the mountains and at the highest areas there was still a lot of snow even at the end of May. The snow melting on the tops of the mountains produces these majestic waterfalls that fall into the Pacific Ocean. This area is not accessible by car, and can only be accessed by boat or plane. Our pilot landed us out in the wilderness on the water and allowed us to step out of the plane onto the floats if we were brave enough. This photograph was taken while standing on the floats of the plane, and lets just say that the floats don't feel very stable out there on the water, unless you hang on to the side of the plane. Since stable pictures require two hands on the camera, I did have to balance to take this photo - but the sensation that I was about to fall into the freezing cold water kept me close enough to grab the plane if necessary!
I recently went on vacation, and vacations for me mean - photography. I always prefer to choose someplace that is exotic and photogenic. My idea of photogenic might not always be the same as others. I imagine a lot of people prefer sandy beaches and sunsets, and while I love both of those, they don't inspire me the same way that more "exotic" places do. My idea of exotic is usually something a little surreal. Like 300 meter tall apricot sand dunes in the Namib desert, or icebergs in Alaska, and maybe some day the South Pole. I do admit that photographs of icebergs and sand dunes may not be everybody's cup of tea - but it inspires me.
The photo above was taken from the balcony of my suite on Carnival Spirit - on my Alaska cruise. When I saw that glowing iceberg trapped above the low tide water line, I knew I had to photograph it. The sun filtering through the trees and down onto the green Pacific Ocean water added to image. I love this image as it seems almost like a magical land with jewels as big as icebergs waiting to be discovered.
Sometimes I think I'm a magnet for "adventures". And by "adventures" I mean the kind that make interesting stories later. Here's a few of the more memorable adventures from my recent trips:
The bat in the bed
This happened to me a few years ago on a trip to Kruger National Park. It had been a long day and I was feeling a little tired so I just plopped down on my bed upon arriving in the chalet. A while later I was removing the bedspread from the bed and there was a friendly bat right under the bedspread in the bed. The bat seemed to be OK even though I'm sure he didn't enjoy sharing the bed with a human. He was released safely outside. I, however, now I always check under the covers before crawling into bed.
The python in the rafters
This was in Botswana. We were staying at the lovely Nata Lodge. Strangely enough they had been playing the movie "Anaconda" in the lodge area that evening - and I'd avoided looking at the TV as I didn't want to have "snakes on the brain" and jump at everything that moved. Upon retiring to our chalet for the evening we did some reading which included the Lodge's pamphlet of what animals you might see at the Lodge. Boomslangs(poisonous tree snake) were on the list as well as cobras I believe - but honestly I don't remember if they had pythons on the list. I should have recognized the signs that my night was going to get interesting...
After reading for a while, I walked to the dresser to grab a glass of water and while drinking the water I happened to glance in the mirror. Above and behind me there was a decent sized python looking at me from the rafters. I did remain rather calm and sent my husband to find the Lodge's manager. I stayed to keep an eye on the python as I didn't want her sneaking into my luggage! The manager showed up with a rifle and several men(they thought it might be the boomslang). The snake found a nice cosy place to wedge itself into and refused to leave. I didn't want them to shoot it and I didn't want to sleep in the same room as the python so our only other option was a new chalet. The lovely folks at Nata Lodge did oblige me with a new chalet(it was actually an upgrade) - but just as we started moving our stuff it starts storming! So we were making a mad dash through a storm, with suitcases in the middle of the African night. It did make for a fun story the next morning, and the manager did tease me a bit at breakfast for not wanting to stay with the snake. Now I always check the rafters in my room before relaxing for the evening!
The sneaky jackal
This incident was the most recent. During our last visit to Africa we were in Namibia. We spent three nights at the amazing Desert Homestead. I did just love it there - it was so beautiful. One night I was sitting out on our small patio in the dark - enjoying the peace and quiet and the gorgeous night sky. For some reason my mind started drifting to the subject of snakes - specifically that aforementioned python from the rafters... As I was lost in thought I heard a rock that was kicked right behind me in the pitch darkness. I'm sure some rational part of my brain realized that snakes can't kick rocks as they don't have feet - but at that moment I didn't behave rationally. I jumped out the chair and screamed - a loud scream on such a perfectly quiet night! As I turned around I saw it was just a black-backed jackal that had been curious and had been sneaking up behind me until that rock gave him away. He was only a couple feet away. I believe my scream scared the jackal at least as much as he had scared me - the poor thing yelped and didn't stop running until he was out of sight!
I don't know why these weird things seem to happen to me - I know lots of people who don't have such events happen to them. Every time I plan a trip to Africa I can't help but wonder what's in store for me next...
Jackals were abundant in Etosha National Park. We honestly lost count of how many we saw. They were even in the camp at night - especially outside the restaurant(hoping for handout - I suspect). In fact one ran within a few feet of our table one night.
However, as soon as you arrive in Etosha you see warning that the jackals might have rabies - so seeing them run past your table in the dark is a little less fun when you're not sure if they might have rabies.
The Lilac Breasted Roller was also abundant in Etosha. I'd been wanted to photograph these colorful birds ever since a missed opportunity at Kruger National Park several years ago.
We left Etosha at around noon on our way to the Waterburg Plateau area. We were staying the night in Frans Indongo Lodge. The lodge was a lovely place and they do offer game drives on their property. They have quite a large selection of antelopes but they are all extremely skittish of the game drive vehicles - which I did find a little disturbing. I was able to photograph a vulture with it's nest which is something I'd never seen before and that was pretty cool.
At this point our trip was mostly coming to an end - we only had one full day in Namibia left and then we were heading out of the country on the Trans-Kalahari Highway. Going through Botswana and down into South Africa. But we had one more amazing stop left on our journey, and hopefully I'll get that written up soon.