Photo of the Month of March, 2013

Spring time in the Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley. I saw a lot of wolves, bison and big horn sheep this trip. While I got a lot of those photos, the image of the bison in the snow while they wandered through the valley seemed so real western. I wanted the mountains and the snow in the background.

This is only one photo of many that were the epitome of western art. If I could paint, I would be working on a photo of a bison in the snow.

Photo of the Month of February, 2013

The first warm day and we were off. We headed to Butte, MT to see what we could see, but along the way we stopped for a huge cinnamon roll from Wheat Montana Farms, Inc. in Three Forks, MT.  It was the size of a hubcap!

Then we stopped at this state park that has ringing rocks. Pipestone State Park is located along Interstate 90 by Whitehall, MT. The rocks will chime when they are hit with a hammer or anything that can make them ring. They are a geological rarity and there is only one other place like this, and that is in Pennsylvania.

They sound a bit like a pan being hit with a spoon. They have a short sound with no real reverberation. Maybe I will need to go back and take some sheet music with me. I am sure that I could bang out a tune or two.

Photo of the Month of January, 2013

They say it is because of the dust and dirt in the atmosphere that causes the sunsets to be so brilliant.

The refraction of the light hits the particles and bounces back the brilliant reds, oranges and yellows that can be seen in this sunset. The upper atmosphere was windy as you can see from the distortion of the clouds. The layer of darker purple was a darker area of the coming storm. We were getting ready to have a winter snow storm. Boy, did we get a snow storm!

Photo of the Month of December, 2012

The first really great snow of 2012 gave birth to this gorgeous snowy wonderland at the end of the driveway.

It was a photographer’s dream as the snow filled trees, fields and mountain tops with white powder. I took off and went up to the east side of the Bridgers and took tons of photos of the snow as it blew off the tops of Ross Peak, Sacajawea and Hardscrabble.

They were skiing in Bridger Bowl, and I got caught in a white whirlwind of snow as it blew from the tops of the pine trees. It was magic!

Photo of the Month of November, 2012

One late afternoon, this wild sky exploded all around me.

The fantastic colors, cloud formations and setting sun caused me to drop what I was doing and grab my camera in absolute awe. I kept snapping for 15 minutes, turning around and around and getting all these magnificent shots. There were no bad shots in my camera.

This is one of the cloud formations that took my breath away.

Photo of the Month of October, 2012

The Full Hunter’s Moon is a time to prepare for winter.

I captured this full moon rising over the pond with a great weathered barn in the distance. The mallards are gathered at the cattail marsh before they begin picking on each other and pairing up.

A Hunter’s Moon comes from the Native American tribes who found it easy to find game after all the harvests were in and the leaves were falling from the trees. The game was fattened for the winter and very easy to see as they moved about in their winter preparations.

In addition, the Hunter’s Moon is also known as the Blood Moon, Harvest Moon or the Sanguine Moon.

Because this moon was so close to winter, this moon is given greater significance due to the winter festivals and the preparation for winter.

Howl at the moon and enjoy the reflection in the pond.

Photo of the Month of September, 2012

This month it was tough to choose. Since we had gone on vacation for the first part of the month, there were so many photos from Yosemite, the Sierra Nevadas, northern California and parts of Idaho, that choosing a photo for this month was hard.

I decided upon this barren landscape of an area that maybe many do not know anything about. This is from Craters of the Moon National Park in Idaho. Over 600 miles of flowing lava covered the Idaho landscape. This lava was from beneath the earth and worked its way out through cracks and fissures rather than an exploding cone like Mt. St. Helen’s. This lava flow is iridescent and is an amazing sight.

Photo of the Month of August, 2012

Bear 101.

Not as in how to deal with bears 101, but this is bear 101. She is the 101st grizzly tagged in Yellowstone and lived quite nicely amongst the tourists, rangers and other wildlife in Yellowstone for 20 years. Until someone made a large mistake and 101 learned about garbage, pet food and other foods unhealthy for bears. She also made a mistake and taught her cubs how to forage in the town, which is usually a death sentence for a grizzly.

Instead, she is housed at the Wolf and Grizzly Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. Her cubs are in a good home and both are no longer in danger of being killed for being a danger to humans. 101 had a hard time adjusting to captivity, but the center is very good at taking care of their animals. Since bears naturally forage and hunt for their food, the daily feeding at the center consists of kids working with park workers to hide food throughout the enclosure. This requires the bears to turn over logs, hunt through brush and move rocks to find food. She is magnificent and beautiful and very dangerous.

Photo of the Month of July, 2012

Bald Eagles

These two were on display at Wildlife Prairie Park in Peoria, Illinois when I traveled back for a week of family fun. I dubbed them George and Martha because for some reason they reminded me of the Washingtons. I do not know why they did, but I stand by decision to give them the nickname.

I can see why these magnificent birds are our national bird and other than the fact that turkey is a delightful holiday treat, I see no reason for Franklin’s nomination for the turkey as the national symbol.