A Walk in the Woods

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Sometimes life gets busy.  These days, that seems like all the time!

It’s at those times it is more important than ever, to get out and smell the roses, or in our case, the pine trees, wander through the woods, and take in the nature that abounds around us.

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For us, that means getting out to the Rim.  We took the time to indulge in a relaxing afternoon awestruck by the beauty of nature which brings abundant ferns back to an area that still shows signs of a charred earth.

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We should never get so busy as to not take notice of the beauty around us.

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You can check out more forest and woods pix here…. https://kritterspaw.com/2019/08/04/relaxing-in-the-woods/

 

Two Bucks

You’ve heard of giving your two cents worth… well, here are my two bucks worth!

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Sorry… just couldn’t help myself.  Ha!

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This one buck, we call ‘Slash’ had what looked like a deep cut, slash, ripped into his back.  The other buck seemed to be lovingly watching over him.  It checked out to the right… and to the left, before alerting Slash to proceed in that direction.  Slash’s caretaker would rub along his healing cut, and nose him repeatedly.  Maybe they are brothers.. or just good friends.  We should all have such a great friend to help get us through our difficult times, particularly in the wild, where it can get quite ‘dicey’ with lots of predators out there!

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Morning Light

We often head out to the rim for morning animal shots.  It makes for a beautiful drive, and awesome scenery.  If we’re lucky we see animals… and even luckier if I get a good shot.

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This particular morning we saw NO animals… but we did get some moody light, that made for some interesting shots.

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The rain and dew provided cool back light opportunities.

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I just loved the way the light streamed in between the trees.  It created such a picturesque scene as we drove through our forest.

Elusive Elk

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We go to the Mogollon Rim often just to look for animals.  Our elk have been very elusive lately.  On our most recent trip we saw a large herd of probably 100 elk.

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But with all our multiple sightings, they were very camera shy and spooky… and by spooky I don’t mean scary, I mean scared. They ran at the mere sound of us, and just wouldn’t stay still for a shutter release.

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I keep telling ’em… I’ll make you famous :).   But they don’t listen.

No worries… I’m persistent.  I’ll be back!

 

Leave room to Run

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While I like the action in this photo, as this buck was spooked.  It is not a great photo because it is too constrained.  It is instead, a perfect example for what not to do.  I have left no room for the buck to run.  Since I cut off the action, the viewer is left to wonder what spooked him… or where he is going.  It lacks that sense of place.

 

A better photo that shows a sense of place, and includes the subject (my buck) and his environment – the forest and trees.  One where the subject is looking at you, and it’s eyes sharp are a bonus.  Having the subject well lit, and not in the shadows help to draw the eye to your subject…. albeit often hard to get everything to line up, particularly when working in the wild.

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Buzzard Point

I have lived in Arizona most of my adult life.  While I was born in Phoenix, I have moved around quite a bit… but settled into AZ when I went to college, and never left.  I now live outside the big city, away from the traffic and the crazies.  The biggest drama I have these days is the elk eating my tulips… or the deer pooping in my drive way… Or where to go for our outings.

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We just got back from exploring some of the back roads outside of Flagstaff in the Woody Mountain Road (FR 213) region.  This area has some amazing overlooks that just continue to amaze me with their stunning beauty.  As long as I have lived in Arizona, I never tire of it’s wonderful vistas, stunning ridges, and deep canyons.

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This particular trip took us to Forest Road (FR) 792 outside of Flagstaff, and in particular Buzzard Ridge Point.  The end of the road yields this stunning overlook that just takes your breath away…. simply amazing.

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Where there’s smoke there are pix

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I am finally taking heed of all that I have been reading, learning, and experiencing in taking all these pix.  Go when inclement weather rules.

For years I thought anything but a blue sky was a disaster.  Now, a blue sky makes me cringe.  I am finally starting to get it… ‘hey, it’s raining… let’s go take pix’.  ‘It’s snowing out, let’s go take pix.’.  Crazy, right?!  Those interesting, moody skies, make for … wait for it…  interesting, moody shots.

Case in point, we are being inundated with smoke in our neighborhood thanks to the Forest Service.  Their ‘prescribed burns’ are meant to help keep the fires at bay.  I’m all for that… and can put up with some smokey air now and again to assure that our fire risk is abated.  And as long as we’re getting smoke… let’s get pix.

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I had thought the smoke would diffuse the light and allow me to bring out my fall colors by isolating my subject.  So we left early in the morning to see what we could capture.  The fall colors were unaffected by the burns… but the early low sun streaming through the trees made for some interesting shots.

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Gray skies build character

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When we lived in Phoenix I just don’t recall those gorgeous sunsets and amazing skies.  Surely we had them, but with the backdrop of asphalt and buildings, it just wasn’t the same.  A forest, craggy trees, moldy rocks, and deep canyons make for great foregrounds for those cool skies.

Storms bring entire new meaning up north where we get rains from July to September (if we’re lucky) that bring rain and stormy clouds, fog, lightening, and fantastic character.  Bring ’em on!

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Milk Ranch Road

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Last I blogged, I spoke about the Mogollon Rim and it’s many faces.  We continue to explore it’s personalities and strive to find new places to capture it’s essence.  This week’s trip took us to Milk Ranch Rd, which is kinda on-the-rim-off-the-rim.  You still get those great views, but not the great winds (if you’ve been to Mogollon Rim you know what I mean, it’s always windy).

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We found a great spot and stayed overnight to get sunset and sunrise shots.    The sun casts shadows across the canyons creating dark lines, making it ever challenging to capture.  But I’m up for the continued challenge.

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Unfortunately, on this particularly trip I forgot my tripod.  Pretty humorous that was an issue for me, as I have never been a tripod shooter.  It always seemed such a pain.  Now that I have embraced it, I can’t live without it.  I can set up the tripod and take those low light photographs (sunrise, sunset, stars) while maximizing my aperture to let lots of light in but still keeping my ISO low to avoid noise.  Star photos were a bit dicey though taken on a sweatshirt.  The glow of our fire cast a orange hue on the pine trees above.

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