This weekend, we’ve had great weather — 75° in early November. I’ll take that! With the great weather, Becky decided we all needed to get out and enjoy the surprisingly mild weather. She was right.
With the doors off the Jeep, and the roof down, we all piled into the Jeep and started driving. We took a quick spin through Route 66 State Park, visiting the museum and letting Sio learn about Times Beach from the museum caretaker and Becky. We learned that the bridge connecting the park to the museum is about to be torn down, rather than be repaired. That’s a shame really. It’d be a great path across the river to link cyclists and pedestrians to the gift shop on the other side. Without the bridge, the two halves of the park will be completely separated, with only two separate exits from the interstate connecting them. Bummer.
One we were through with Route 66, we drove to Lone Elk State Park. We’ve had great luck there in the past seeing both elk and bison. This was the first time we’d been to the park so late in the day — about two hours before sunset. As it ends up, we had terrific views of the bison munching away, and elk both lounging and wandering around.
When I bought the Jeep last year, I wanted to be able to have nature really close to me by being able to take the doors and roof off. Today was the first time I’d really gotten that chance… and it was glorious. I felt like I was walking right alongside the elk and bison — they were so close you could touch them, and so near you could smell them. It was such a great experience, and I believe I’ll try to hit up the park late in the day again.
Of course, once the warm weather wears off in a few days, I imagine the behavior of the critters may be different. But that’s fine — I can run without the doors or roof down to at least 40°!
This morning, we awoke to a bit of a winter wonderland. Overnight, there’d been a quiet snow, only about an inch, but it sat so pretty on the surfaces of everything. With that view, I thought I needed to get out and shoot, so we headed south to Lone Elk SP.
However, the further south we got, the more the snow disappeared. What we didn’t know was that we were on the southern edge of the snow, which meant Lone Elk didn’t get much more than a dusting. That was disappointing.
The bison were out though, which made up for it. We came across about a dozen head just inside their area of the park, slowly grazing in the snowy grass. That’s when I was pounded over the head — I definitely need to get some work with dark objects against bright backgrounds, as those shots seem to reek pretty badly for me. (See the photos below.)
Ideally, one of Moose’s expeditions into the snows of Yellowstone or Yosemite would be the best place to learn these tricks — the best of all environments, no rushing to beat the melt of the snow, and folks around me that can help me learn this kind of shooting. In The Lou, it’s a real crap shoot about when a snow might come, and frequently, I’ve gotta work around work, or rush to beat the melt. A little focus could do this kid some good!
This week marks the beginning of a new feature here on the site. Each week, I’ll bring to light an image that is now available through my sales site on Yessy.
This week’s image is Memories of Fall. I travelled to Lone Elk State Park in autumn to take a look at the bison and elk herds that roam the hillsides of the park, and found a hill of trees next to the lake, all displaying magnificent fall colors. For some reason, the little grove of trees at lake’s edge grabbed my imagination, and I decided to set them off by taking the color away from the rest of the image. To me, the simple image reminded me of an old black and white image that had been hand-tinted to restore the color to the grove.
Memories of Fall is available in a variety of sizes. Please visit my sales gallery on Zenfolio if you are interested in purchasing Memories of Fall.