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Eagles and Hawks

My challenge for a number of years has been to capture a fantastic photo of an eagle or hawk.  My eye has gotten where I can spot them quickly, mostly when driving down the road.  Often times I don’t bother stopping because of several reasons such as a bad angle, by the time I came up close they flew off, traffic is such that it’s not safe to stop, etc…

My regular job that I work at has started up again, which requires me to drive about an hour up a canyon to where I work and an hour back.  This gives me plenty of opportunity to see these magnificant birds.  Only problem the opportunity to capture them hasn’t worked out.

On my way home, I tried by having my camera out and ready, but still no success.  These creatures are smart, once you slow down or stop they know something is up, and they will fly away faster than you can pull the camera out.

Yesterday I was coming home from a job and saw the most amazing thing.  Only problem is, that I didn’t bring my camera.  Total bummer, for it would have been perfect.  There was a dead rabbit on the back road.  I see lots of ravens, and as I came closer-slowing down-I noticed that there was an eagle in the center of the road,  eating the rabbit.  The ravens flew off, but the eagle was so busy eating that he didn’t pay much attention to me.

So I  drove extremely slow towards where this eagle was eating off the rabbit on the roadway.    I was able to get within 6 to 9 feet of it.  The bad thing is, I didn’t have my camera with me.  I would have been able to take some fabulous pictures of it, with how close I was and the angle, etc.

Instead, I watched it and observed it for nearly 15 minutes.  Fortunately for me their was no traffic on the road, and the eagle was so busy eating that it didn’t fly away when I moved into its zone.  It was interesting to watch it so closely as it devoured the meal.  It would use its beak to tear the rabbit fur off, then peel into the flesh and eat it.  The strength in it’s beak was something else.  Then to see it’s feet cling to the kill to steady it while it tugged at it with it’s beak was fascinating.

So much for the perfect picture…this is like the third time to have a opportunity like this, and miss it because I didn’t have my camera with me.  You’d think I’d learn.  Maybe someday.

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A Sad Day…

Monday December 21, 2009.  Why?  Well we had to put our loyal dog down.  She was suffering.  She had served our family well for over 13 years.  I found two pictures of her so far.  When I find more I’ll make more scrapbook pages to go with this one that I did up in dedication to her.

The print on this page may be to small for you to read so here is what it says:

She was our watch dog.  She loved watching over the place and warning us of anything that was close by.  She was born April 15, 1996.

We got her when she was about  six weeks old.  We Got her from the Park County Fair from the Kawano’s.  We paid about $50 for her.  The kids picked her out because of the one dark spot over her eye that looked like a patch.

As a Australian Border Collie she had natural instincs that we loved.  Here is a collection of online descriptions for this breed that fits her personality:  Australian border collie shepherds are intelligent active dogs.  It is an intelligent working dog, possessing strong herding and guarding instincts. They have a strong instinctive desire to work closely and intensely with a human handler.  Loyal companions, these dogs are the happiest when having an ability to work all day.

When she was a young pup my cousin was over visiting.  Anyhow his kids and our kids were out jumping on the trampoline.  A snake (bullsnake) came into the yard and started hissing at the kids.  This young pup kept those kids from going up to the snake by growling and barking at the kids.  If they started to go forward she’d growl at them.  I remember being amazed that a young dog would sense danger and also protect the kids from it.

There is only one time that she didn’t stand guard. Again she was a young pup.  There was a mountain lion out back.  She made a run to the house with her tail between her legs…leaving me behind.

I had to nurse her back to health a couple of times.  When she was quite young she got Parvovirus.  I was able to nurse her back to health and save her life.  Another time she had flees so I put a flee collar on.  Bad mistake, she went “crazy”.  It caused her to act real odd and she was attacking weird things.  Then the fall of 2008 she again got very sick.  So I nursed her back to health.

A while ago…I noticed that her neck was larger than normal.  The vet suggested that it could be cancer and we needed to watch it.  Well since about August I noticed that Snip was loosing weight, that she was moving like an old person, and she just seemed weaker.  Recently she would look at me for a long time with those eyes it seemed to say she needed love.  Then she started to throw-up and it had dried blood and blood clots in it.  She became so weak we had to carry her.  So we decided that it would be best to have her put down so she didn’t need to suffer anymore.  She’s been to good to our family.  She was put down on Monday December 21, 2009.  We will certainly miss her presence!

She was in kidney failure and full of what we guess was cancer.

Park County Fair

Recently I had a request for some pictures taken at the Park County Fair.  Anyhow it brought back some wonderful memories of this past summer.  The memories of the time spent with those that share the same interest as I.

In this case it was being owners of goats and parents of children.  Most parents of 4-H children is trying to help their kids to learn the value of something like caring for animals and the responsibilities it goes with it.

I enjoy visiting with the youth and parents that share the goat barn with us.  They are a great group of people in Park County. One of these young ladies happened to be holding and loving her baby goat alot.  It was the sweetest thing to watch the two together.  So naturally I had to take pictures.  So here is some pictures of her with her little baby goat.

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I3_5730_07252009_CC_5x5_500Here she is letting a little girl pet it.  Of course this was very popular with the kids coming through the barn.

I2_6710_07242009_CC_5x5_500Here she is showing a goat at the Goat Show.

I2_6737_07242009_CC_5x5_500 Here is another one with her showing her goat at the Goat Show.

SM_GrandmaAppleOrchard-sketchtemplate0015_GoatsFair_5x5_500Here is all the pictures put into a Digital Scrapbook page.

Yellowstone Rescue

As I was driving home from work on Friday September 25th at about 2:30PM I noticed alot of haze or smoke in the sky.  It has been a hot week so I knew by the look that there was a fire somewhere around in the region.  I figured it was around Billings, MT because I knew they had been having fires around there from lightning strikes.

Earlier in the week I was thinking how wonderful it was to get all the way through August with no smoke filled skies from forest fires burning around in the western region.  It has been so nice to have clear skies and fresh air.

As I was driving home, my cell phone rings and so I let it go to voice mail.  When I got close to my home on the dirt road leading towards my house I listened to the phone message.  It was from my husband informing me that Ryan’s car broke down in Yellowstone Park. That about the time I parked in the driveway.  So I walked into the house into my husband Steve’s office to learn more of the situation.

He looked at me and said he’s been on the phone for about an hour trying to figure out the best way to get Ryan help.  Steve said that Ryan’s car broke down about 5 miles east of Old Faithful.  So he was checking into the cost of having it towed, etc.  He found out to have it towed in Yellowstone you have to use the parks approved towing company.  He found out that it would cost over five hundred dollars to have it towed from where he was to just the East Entrance of Yellowstone.  Then it’d have to be towed from there into Cody which is about another seventy five miles away.

Steve then called UHaul and found we could rent a trailer that hauls cars for under fifty dollars.  Being that our main breadwinner is unemployed we couldn’t afford the towing for over five hundred dollars so we decided on this option.

So we hurried and did chores because we knew we’d be getting home around midnight.  Grabbed some water, some snacks, and of course my camera’s and took off for town to pick up the Uhaul trailer.

We had just got our 1993 Chevy Suburban fixed after it sat for a good part of the summer because it wouldn’t start.  This suburban has taken us to many places around the USA, Canada, and Alaska so needless to say it has 315,000 original miles on it.  So considering all that, we are reluctant to take it very far or trust it to long hauls.

Yet the other newer Suburban needs a new transmission that costs around two thousand dollars.  So we aren’t using it for many long drives now, certainly not for pulling a trailer on steep grades.  You can read about that story here. It was cheaper to fix the older suburban and use it.

After picking up the uhaul trailer we begin our Yellowstone Rescue, with little clue to what awaited us.

As we were traveling we all wondered whether Ryan had popped the question to Bri.  See his plan was to ask her to marry him.  He had stewed for some time how to make it a memorable event.  She had spent the week with us and he was on his way to take her home.  He planned some tricky things to trick her but the break down was not part of that plan.

I guess they had someone give them a ride to the Old Faithful Lodge.  It was a really good thing because they didn’t have cell reception and little did any of us know how long the wait would be.  Ryan did make good on the time and did ask her to marry him inspite of the upset in the plan.  His plan was to ask her at Old Faithful and so that part worked out.  They do have their own story about that part.

Little did any of us know the extent of how memorable this event will be for them.  Yep, introducing her to Murphy’s law at Old Faithful.  A sign that they should always remain faithful to each other no matter what comes into their lives (even Murphy’s law).

Anyhow as we are waiting in line at the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park we noticed that most of the cars would leave the pay booth, turn around and leave the park.  I thought that was odd but we didn’t think much more than that.  Well when it was our turn we found out the reason.  They closed the road (Fishing Bridge to West Thumb) that would take us to Old Faithful.  The other route was closed because of road construction (Norris to Madison).

So our only real option was to drive up to the North Entrance, into Montana, up to Livingston across to Bozeman and then head down into Idaho and to the West Entrance.  That just made our midnight tip into an all night long trip.  Here we thought we’d be home by midnight.  Now we were looking at about 8:00AM or 9:00AM.  Sad thing is that I had work at 8:00AM.

Well, we needed to rescue Ryan and Bri so we continued to travel onward through the park.  We did stop at two places where they had road blocks to see if things had changed and we could go the shorter route.  One ranger told us the road had a fire burning across it and that it would most likely remain closed till Saturday night late.

Here I’ve been wanting to go to Yellowstone to take pictures.  Every fall I do it about the first week of October.  It’s a perfect time to capture some great pictures.  I ruled it out this year because of costs and car problems.  Now here we were and yet we were fighting time.  So I really couldn’t stop for things and compose wonderful pictures.  There certainly was the opportunity.  We stopped maybe twice for me to do a little.

We got to Old Faithful about midnight.  Then we had troubles locating Ryan and Bri from the instructions they gave us.  We finally connected and took off to the broken down car. On the way they reported hearing that the road opened about 7:00PM that night.  That means that they opened it like ten minutes to a half hour after we asked.  Needless to say we weren’t happy about that.  That would have saved us many hours, many miles, money, and worry about our own suburban breaking down from a longer trip than planned.

Thankfully we had some flashlights.  Our next problem was getting the car up onto the trailer.  There was no hoist to pull the dead car up the ramp onto the trailer.  So we tried several different things.

One is that we pushed the car back up the slight incline to see if it would get enough momentum to go up onto the trailer.  Well it almost went off the ramp.  Not a good idea.  So we put our 14 year old in the car giving him instructions of driving carefully up the ramp and yet not going off the front so using the brakes, etc.

Then Ryan, Bri, Steve, Neal, and I pushed the car up the ramp and onto the trailer.  We tried keeping everyone on the sides so if it went back it didn’t run over someone.  Thankfully we got it up on the trailer with no problems except the effort of pushing.  Got it all hooked up and ready for the trip home.

We decided to risk going home the shorter route and see if it was indeed open.  It was! Yippie!!  Our trip will be a bit shorter.  We really didn’t know what to expect.  Of course it was dark but we couldn’t see any evidence that the fire burned across the road like we were told.  We figured we’d see red hot glowing spots.  None.  However we did see and smell lots of gagging smoke.  There were areas that was so thick you couldn’t see very far ahead.  Maybe a two car lengths ahead.

It was a spooky feeling.  What if we broke down in the dead of night?  It wasn’t a pleasant thought for sure.  It also made us feel grateful that Ryan and Bri’s car didn’t break down in that area.  They may have been forced to be towed out.  We also felt lucky that we didn’t use the tow because they would have been stuck by the road closer and ticking up the time.  They charged by miles and time.

We made it home safely at about 4:00AM on Saturday September 26th.  I slept about about 2 1/2 hours and then got up to go work.  Boy was I tired.

Below is the few pictures I did get while on the drive.  Some of them aren’t very good because I didn’t get to compose the pictures…some were snapped as we drove.  Not the best way to take a picture.

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This is one of the first views that greeted us as we came off Sylvan pass and got to see Lake Yellowstone in one of the scenic pullouts.  We did stop so I could compose this picture.  It’s looking across Yellowstone Lake to the Lake Village area where the fire is burning.  The fire is called, “Arnica Fire”

I3_2748_09252009_SS_4x8_500Here is another shot that I composed from the same scenic pullout as above.  If you want to learn more about this fire then visit the Yellowstone park web site here.

I3_2757_09252009_SS_4x8_500This was taken from a scenic pullout along the route (I think it was in the Bear Lake Area) between Norris and Mammoth.  It’s looking southwards towards where the fire is burning.  Taken just before dark.

I3_2756_09252009_SS_4x8_500This is taken from the same rest stop as above except looking westward towards the setting sun.

I2_0115_09252009_SS_4x8_500This picture is taken from the suburban as it’s moving slowly enough for me to grab a quick picture.  This is taken as you come down into the Hayden valley area.

I2_0129_09252009_SS_4x8_500This was taken just before the Obsidian Cliff Area after leaving the Beaver Lake area scenic pullout.  There was a traffic jam with tons of pro photographers with all their fancy equipment set up to capture this herd of elk.  I had to be satisfied with taking this out of the suburban window as we moved in and around the traffic jam.

I3_2774_09252009_SS_4x8_500Mammoth is always full of elk in the fall.  It’s incredible how they take over the little town.  People have to really be careful walking around so as not to get charged by a bull elk.  This one was causing a stir.  A park police was following it around the best he could to make sure people stayed safe.  This was shot out of the suburban window as we waited at a stop sign.  It’s not a good picture because I had to use the flash, etc.  Yet it does show how incredible this bull elk is.

Moonrock Equine Show

For the last number of years I’ve been going to Worland to get pictures of the Moonrock Equine Show. It takes place the first weekend in June. It is an awesome place to be if you want to watch some fantastic jumping. This year they couldn’t jump out at the “Moonrock’ place because of the rain. So they held it in the arena. Because of the rain and some others reasons I ended up photographing the events from the stadium. Of course, that presents challenges in capturing good pictures. Yet I did the best I could, considering.

I was reminded of an incident that took place because of an order that was just made the other day. It was so memorable that I had to share it here.

A horse came to a jump that had a little pool of water in it. It didn’t know quite what to do. It jumped clear over it and so high and of course it’s legs sprung right up close to it’s body to make sure nothing could get it. It was too funny and cute to watch. Now the owner and trainer both know the potential this horse has because of the incident.

Below is part of the sequence of this jump. The pictures aren’t the best because it took place at the far corner of the arena and with cropping, the picture is so pixellated…so they are not the best pictures, but they did capture the event.

In fact, if the owner of the horse or trainer read this, they might not mind sharing their side of the story.

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Photo’s from the Big Horn Mountains

Thought I’d share some pictures I was able to get while camping with the family in the Big Horn Mountains.

Alone

Alone

As we were driving down this dirt road on the Big Horns I saw this dead tree with the evening sky in the background.  I had to stop and get a picture of it because of the way it looked.

Bucking Mule Falls Overlook

Bucking Mule Falls Overlook

We hiked the “Bucking Mule Falls” trail and went to the overlook.  It was worth the 2.5 to 3 mile hike into this spot.  It was like looking at the Grand Canyon.   The cliffs just from this overlook was enough to make you shake.  It was impressive.  This picture doesn’t even capture the it all.

Wild Flower of the Big Horn Mountains

Wild Flower of the Big Horn Mountains

The wild flowers were abundant in the area.  Of course I had fun trying to take pictures of many of them along the trail.   I love photographing them but don’t know the names of them.

Butterfly from the Big Horn Mountain

Butterfly from the Big Horn Mountain

It can be challenging taking pictures of butterflies and moths because they don’t stick around long enough in one spot.  So one has to find the thing in the lens, then focus on it, set the settings correctly and then snap the picture.  So this little one really cooperated because it stuck around for a number of shots.

Moose from the Big Horn Mountains

Moose from the Big Horn Mountains

I’m fasinated with Moose.  Not sure why.  They just seem to be a strange looking animal and can be pretty temperamental.  I captured this one just off the dirt road we were driving on.  So it’s shot from the safety of my vehicle.  She is looking at her youngster.  Then their was like a yearling there too.  I wondered if it was last years baby or something.  Anyhow I choose to share this picture because of the way she’s standing and looking with the lighting across her back.

Rock formations in the Big Horn Mountains

Rock formations in the Big Horn Mountains

This picture was taken from the long drive on “Sheep Mountain” road.  We did alot of climbing (in the suburban) to the top to this area.  It was fasinating to see all the different rock formations, caverns, sink holes, and the views that we got to see.  Here is a sample of one of those rock formations.

Mother Deer Feeding fawn on the Big Horn Mountains

Mother Deer Feeding fawn on the Big Horn Mountains

This picture isn’t very clear as it was getting to be dusk and I was trying to hurry to get the shot before they moved.  But I love it because of the baby suckling from mom and how she’s tenderly looking on.

Pictures to share…

I was looking though my digital pictures on my hard drive looking for some pictures I needed. Instead of finding what I was looking for I came across these and thought I’d share them with you. Enjoy. Should you want to purchase one just contact me.

Moose

Moose

Rushing Water

Rushing Water

Nightfull on the North Fork

Nightfull on the North Fork

Tunnel Light

Tunnel Light

Beautiful Flowers

Beautiful Flowers