Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Idaho Bounty

I love the richness of colors and textures in this dead wood shot. I'm still too lazy to adjust my camera to get the best of close-up macro shots. I guess I have to learn all about ISO settings and aperture control, eh?

Despite all that California smoke that found its way into eastern Idaho, there were plenty of days of perfect lighting conditions. This kind of wilderness is certainly no worse than the Amazon Rainforest or Denali National Park. Just different. Different is GOOD!

On my Sunday hike, I was atop some cliffs along the ridge I was climbing, setting up shots when I heard a commotion and rockfall beneath the cliffs. I looked down but couldn't see through the tree canopy. While there are lots of wildlife in this area, including wolves, I figured it was a mule deer or maybe even a bear. I continued shooting for a few minutes until I heard another sound nearby. I looked up and saw this guy looking back at me so, I turned into the sun and couldn't see much at all through the camera. The first shot was underexposed as he was running away so I quickly made a squeaky noise and that caught his attention, somehow. I locked in a different exposure and snapped the shutter, not really seeing what I was shooting. This picture below was cropped out of a bigger picture.

Wildflowers were blooming through the Challis National Forest. Brilliant mosaics of yellow, blue, red and white dominated most of the landscapes, at least for a week or so. Cactus flowers seemed to be the most rare so, when I found these two perfect blooms, I had to capture them.

Not everyday in Idaho was perfect. That morning, I had to get a flat tire fixed on the truck I was using. It happens quite a bit on the angular rocks of Idaho's dirt roads. So I go out to survey some aspen stands and I get 30 miles from town only to get another flat tire on the same tire. Now, only an idiot goes on those terrible "roads" with only 4 good tires. On the way back to town, this thunderstorm forms and provides me with such dramatic landscapes.

This pic below is looking eastward towards the Little Lost River Range, with 11,000 foot Bell Mountain as the most distant peak.

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Blogger James said...

This probably won't be as long or deep as other posts (I plan on posting as many as I can haha =P ) but I'd like to talk about the picture with the buck.

The timing is absolutely perfect. I love the little pose he strikes with one leg up a little. It makes me think of horses prancing, and it's just as elegant.

Looking at this picture, all I can think of is how majestic nature is. He looks so proud and powerful, like a king surveying his kingdom.

On a philosophical note, I like the contrast between the seemingly dead tree branches, the mountain cliffs, and the thriving buck. It makes me think of how everything rises and falls (maybe some people panicking over the stock market should look at this picture). The trees die and fall down, and the grass grows over it through the medium of the lifeless rock (and soil), and the buck eats the grass, then dies, and trees grow from his remains, and the cycle goes on. Just like in Lion King, with the circle of life.

And that reminds me of my place in it all, and I think, maybe I'll be the next majestic buck, striking a pose for the next generation of photographers. Or maybe I'll be the grass, or the tree, or whatever.

But I'll be something, and, even if distantly, or just barely, I'll be everything. A little bit of me will be the grass, and some will be the buck, and some the tree, and the minerals in my body will return to the earth, and I'll be one with nature.

I'm not Buddhist, but these pictures to me are snapshots of Nirvana. For a moment, dwelling on them, I'm one with the universe. And I'm content with whatever the day may bring.


4:28 PM  

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