Tuesday, February 24, 2015


One of my projects this year is photographing the granite outcroppings of the upper Minnesota River Valley. This rock is over 3 billion years old so the challenge will be using composition and light to make rock that is unchanging appear alive and interesting. I like the combination of ephemeral ice with the eternal rock in this image.

Technical:  Close up using a wide angle lens of a small water pool at Morton Outcrops.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Curious Raccoons

This family of raccoons has been active all winter. The camera trap was set up at the end of a log crossing Mound Creek at Cottonwood Prairie SNA. Food is a little scarce with the creek frozen over so they decided to check the camera for anything tasty.

Friday, February 20, 2015

American Dipper

This little gray bird also goes by the name water ouzel. I tried to find a definition of "ouzel" but it basically means little gray bird. I prefer the current name which is descriptive of its behavior.  The light was poor, especially with steam coming off the river. By the time the sun hit the river it was ready to move on.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hand of Man

A previous landowner went to considerable effort to create this rock man in the middle of an otherwise featureless prairie, a marked departure from "leave no trace" principles. The marks on the red rock platform are from the last glacier receding. Those marks will remain long after the rock man collapses. The land always survives.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Frozen Cactus

I could feel the pain of this cactus caught in the wrong place at the wrong time a few thousand years ago. Little did it know it was condemned to Minnesota winters while it's relatives would live in sunny Arizona year round. One of my projects this year is photographing scientific and natural areas of the upper Minnesota River Valley where prickly pear cactus is relatively common on the granite outcroppings.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Morning with Moose

I spent a beautiful morning with four moose in Yellowstone a couple weeks ago. The temperature was  a little chilly (about zero F) and the shutter button froze, something that has never happened before. A backup remote shutter release saved the day. Later I used  a blow dryer for a few minutes over the grip and there have been no problems since.  

Friday, February 13, 2015


This trail in the snow reminds me of one of my favorite quotations "Not all those who wander are lost." by J. R. R. Tolkien. This coyote was on a mission of survival in search of food.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Terrace Sunrise

This is one of my favorite sunrise locations. There has never been another person, other than my daughter, sharing the moment. Easy to get to, each morning is unique.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Lamar Valley Picnic

We snowshoed out to the valley floor for a winter picnic and this is an attempt to share the feeling of space we felt while eating our lunch.  For a sense of scale the road is at the bright line on the right. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Round Prairie Morning

One of my favorite places along the road into Cooke City is Round Prairie. It's a great location for several of the large mammals and also has a changing landscape character throughout the day. I rarely post more than one image but since these images were taken a couple minutes apart it seemed appropriate to make an exception. The trees are the same, only my location is has changed.

Note for next time: Bring a shovel to carve space into the snow on the road shoulder. Rangers strongly discourage taking photos while standing in the middle of a traffic lane. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Big Ears

We were busted! My wife and I were watching moose for about 2 hours when this guy became curious about an hour after sunset. We each had made escape plans but when talking it over discovered we had completely opposite escape routes. After working it out, hers was a better plan, we left when this bull became too curious. Shot taken from Canon C100 at ISO 5000, focal length 260.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Waiting for Sunrise

If the public only knew how much time is spent waiting for something to happen. I enjoy the wait, as long as I can feel my toes and fingers. While waiting for the sunrise over Lamar Valley I looked to the west for this alpenglow.