Change the Vision

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I love Fall.  The colors are stunning.  Though I do find it difficult to capture.

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This season, I decided to challenge myself and shoot ‘out of the box’.   It appears experts are always looking for something new and different.  It doesn’t even matter what the field.  Something edgy that hasn’t been done before often ‘wins’ over tried-and-true.

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I’m happy to learn techniques, composition, and style that I can apply and repeat.  But I suppose that one could argue that such a philosophy can yield predictability and common-place results.

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I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.  That’s for the eye of the beholder… and the end user to decide.

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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/

 

First Snow

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We had already scheduled a trip to check out how fall colors were coming along when we got 6″ of fresh heavy snow.  The cold snap helped the colors along, bringing out brilliant reds in the maples, and golden yellows among the oaks.

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The ground was covered with a blanket of fallen color on the fresh white snow.  It was a thing of beauty to walk among nature and all her glory.

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We even found these fresh bear tracks leading through the forest, who surely must have been enjoying the cool weather and the awesome environment we were witnessing.

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For more Fall Color photos check out my blog here…  https://kritterspaw.com/2018/10/20/snowfall/

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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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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!

 

Happy Snow

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While the East coast is getting hit with repeated snow storms, Arizona is getting left out of the action.  Now I know most people don’t think of AZ as getting snow… but for Northern Arizona it is part of our seasons, and one we count on to get precipitation to keep our trees healthy and our forests free from wildfires.  For a  normal winter (October – March, or so) we would expect to see maybe 6′ – 10′ of snow.  While that may not be a lot for some Eastern states, it’s about right for us.  Thus far this winter, we have seen none.

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That is until this past weekend.  I’m happy to report we finally got some snow!  Woohoo.  We probably got about 8″ at our home.  Having been house bound, we opted to go to the rim to check out their snow and maybe get some pix.

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The rim probably got around a foot of snow.  It was beautiful.

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There is something special about new fallen fresh snow, clinging to the trees and their trunks.  It is a magical sight.  I never used to like snow – too cold.  But I have developed an appreciation for it’s beauty.

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… and it always tends to bring out the animals.  We were lucky to see a number of elk – all of whom where quite surprised to see our Jeep slogging through the deep snow.

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Rim Trees

It seems like forever since we have been to the Rim, the Mogollon Rim, that is.  I used to post photos from the Rim all the time, but life has been busy and we just haven’t taken the time.

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But last night was a great exception, and reminded us that we have to go out more often.  Put the shovel down and just GO!

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We camped at an awesome spot off of Milk Ranch Road.  The overlook was absolutely surreal.  I even managed to get a few star pix.

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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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Rim Pix

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We have been trying to capture the Mogollon Rim.  While it is a drop dead gorgeous landscape, it is so vast it is hard to capture.  But we’re determined to build a collection of photos that do it justice.  So be prepared… this is not the first, nor will it be the last post on this topic.

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spirecPSi.JPGIt has so very many faces, both in terms of blue blue skies… and storm clouds on the horizon.  It’s got gnarly trees and craggy ridge lines.  It has endless personalities with tons of character.

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For us, it’s our all time FAVORITE place to have dinner.  I don’t know what it is, but we’ll pack up a dinner and head out to the rim… and the food always tastes better.  The scenery is surreal and of course, the company always fantastic.

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And when we’re lucky… we even get visitors (of the furry kind).  Last week we saw a bear.  Too far away to photo, but a bear nonetheless.  For us… that was a thrill.

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May Day Snow

When I wrote about Snow showers in my kritterspaw blog (here),  I thought it was our last snow storm of the year.  Phoenix, 2 hours south has already seen 90F days.  Well, in the week since then Phoenix has seen 100F days, the calendar has rolled over to May, and we got another snow storm.  Much to the delight of our visiting San Diego friends, we were treated with a magical day on the rim of light snow, fog, and cool weather conditions.  The weather made for interesting photos and a great day.

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We managed to grab an opening in the snow fall to stop for a glorious picnic as we watched the snow melt off the trees like pouring rain.

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As the fog rolled in, the weather just got more mysterious, and along with it the photographic opportunities.

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While you couldn’t see the rim well, it brought an otherworldly eeriness to our outing.

It truly was a magical day.  So glad we were able to enjoy it, and share it with friends.