PFTA: Squirreled Away

Back in 2005 when i was working at the Grand Canyon South Rim,  I would walk to and from work when the weather was good.  Sometimes I would run into some wildlife.  While walking home one afternoon, I came across an Abert Squirrel.  They are distantly related to the famed Kaibab Squirrel on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  At one time they were the same species; however, being separated by the Grand Canyon for thousands of years, they have evolved into unique species.  This little guy was playful and didn’t mind posing for his cameo.

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Enjoy,

Kelly

PFTA: Grand Canyon Storm

This is an image from the Photo From The Archives series.  I took this in the early winter of 2004 when I was working at the Grand Canyon South Rim.  If memory serves, this was taken at Yaki Point during a snow storm that was slamming the North Rim.  IMG_0635.jpg

Enjoy,

Kelly

Finally Friday: Abert Squirrel

I found this little guy at the Grand Canyon South Rim when I worked there a few years ago.  I would often walk to work and walk home through the forests.  I saw this cutie scampering around the trail for several days, and I was able to get some closeups of him, which I hear, were pretty rare.  These squirrels are related to the famous Kaibab Squirrel, and from what I was told, they were the same species before the Canyon split.  After centuries of separation, they have evolved into two seperate species.  Anyway, here’s Mr. Abert Squirrel, Esq.

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Enjoy,

Kelly

A Daunting Task

Have you ever done something that seems impossible?  Does your current situation feel overwhelming?  Have you ever thought, “I could never accomplish that!”  Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I climb this mountain?” The answer: “ONE STEP AT A TIME!”

Well, I was going through my archives tonight just poking around, and found this gem.  I was living at the Grand Canyon at the time, and decided to go hiking into the Canyon with a friend.  It was an easy five miles down to Plateau Point.  The view was spectacular.  However, this was in November when the days are extremely short.  The hike back to Indian Gardens wasn’t too bad, but then I looked up and saw this:

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I thought: “How in the world am I going to get back up this?”  One step at a time.  Needless to say, we made it back to the top well after dark, and assisted a few unfortunate people who didn’t have flashlights, food or water.  One of them was very upset because her friends had left her because she was too slow and wasn’t sure they were waiting for her at the top.  It was a tough situation to be in.

Gallery Updates

On the advice from a fellow blogger, I organized my galleries to be subject specific.  There is a new gallery for Bryce Canyon National Park (I realize I need to post more photos of this beautiful place), Grand Canyon National Park, and of course, my beloved Zion National Park.  I also posted galleries for flowers and birds, with a gallery for Ancient Art, Arizona, and Other Animals in the works.

Enjoy the images! Remember, they are all available for purchase.  Contact me for details.

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Grand Canyon Revisited

On Tuesday, I was able to take a day trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  It was absolutely amazing!  It’s over 8000 feet above sea level there, it was a nice 74 degrees, breezy, and sunny.  The first destination was Point Imperial.  While there, I was able to get some shots of Mt. Hayden.CRW_1360

After lunch, we went for a walk through the forest towards the park boundary.  Along the way, were some great views of the Canyon, and off in the distance, you can just see Navajo Mountain.

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Along the trail, there were Ponderosa Pines, Quaking Aspens, and all kinds of shrubbery.  Speaking of Quaking Aspen,  they are currently changing colors!  They are absolutely gorgeous!  Take a look:

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Frequently the trail meandered through glades of these trees, and it was very peaceful to be there and enjoy nature.  The smell of decaying leaves, which is the smell of fall, was relaxing and brought to mind thoughts of cooler weather, tranquility, and joy.

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On the way back to the parking lot, this was the view of the fall colors:

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It was an awesome view!  Just to see acres upon acres of fall colors was just absolutely refreshing!  The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying the view of the Canyon from the North Rim Lodge while enjoying a good book and just soaking up the sun.

Weekly’s Photo Challenge: Movement

I’m participating in LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s Challenge is: Movement!

 

THE biggest mover and shaker in the Desert Southwest is: Wind!  Wind is accountable for a lot of damage and destruction.  However, that being said, it also gives opportunity for interesting photography.  Take this image for example:

_RW_2801These are the famous dirt devils that are actually miniature tornados.  I found this while exploring the desert in Arizona.

 

Here is another dust storm in Arizona.

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Of course, wind is responsible for creating sand dunes and shaping them.  At the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah, which by the way are the only sand dunes located on the Colorado Plateau.

CRW_0070 If you look close at the top of the sand dune, you will see dust and sand being blown around by the wind.  Incidentally, every time I have been here, it has always been windy!  Here is a close up of the dune.

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Wind isn’t the only destructive force in nature.  Water also falls into that category.   Here is the Virgin River in  an extreme flood stage, well over 3000 cubic feet per second; which has the ability to rip grown cottonwood trees right out of the ground and also carry boulders the size of SUV’s down stream.

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Water can also be lots of fun.  Here for example are a couple of swimmers in the Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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In the ocean, you will find all kinds of creatures that call those watery depths home.  Here are a couple of dolphins having some fun.

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And here:

 

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Now for some real fun!  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stand on Yavapai Point in the Grand Canyon, at 11:00pm, in January, during a full moon, and take really long exposures?  Well, from personal experience, it’s a blast!  What’s really fun is taking 15 second exposures and jumping around in front of the camera.  This is the end result:

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I was with a friend while taking these images, and yes, I’m in the photo.  Can you see me?  This is probably how ghost images are taken.  I had so much fun that night!

 

 

Wild Weekly’s Photo Contest: Clouds

I’m participating in the online adventure travel and outdoor photography magazine Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: Clouds!

Do you remember as a kid looking at clouds to imagine the shapes and objects you could find there?

Here is a dragon!CRW_0034

Clouds also means lighting storms.

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You normally see clouds in the sky, but sometimes clouds do strange things. For example, have you ever seen clouds below the rim of the Grand Canyon? At sunset, during the winter? Doesn’t happen very often.

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Sometimes storms can build very quickly, especially here in the desert. Here is West Temple in Zion National Park.

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Now, here is the same mountain ten minutes later:

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A couple of minutes later it gets even thicker:

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Within ten to fifteen minutes, it looks like this:

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Finally it cleared up about twenty minutes later.

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Looking at this storm was an awesome experience, since it has been a long time since I’ve seen a storm like this. What I found out later is that the town of Virgin, Utah was flooded out and some friends lost their homes from this flood.

Wild Weekly’s Photo Contest – People in Nature

 

I’m participating in the online adventure travel and photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: People in Nature!

I normally don’t take photos of people in Nature, since I like to sell my photography at my website, (for privacy reasons, and model releases are not easy to get sometimes) but sometimes I find an awesome view, and people just make it that much better.  I could only find a couple of photos with people in them, like the one I posted last week, which by the way, THANKS for the Honorable Mention as well!

Here is my other entry into this field of People in Nature:

_RW_2761This is John Ford‘s Point in Monument Valley, Utah.  On this day, there happen to be a Navajo on horseback, which made it more spectacular.  This was the place that the ending of the movie Code Talkers was filmed.

 

Here are a couple of tourists I found at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.

 

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Wow, isn’t that amazing?? This is what I call sitting on the edge!

 

IMG_0490Talk about enjoying the view!  And what a view it is!!!