Blog

Jan. 19, 2020

This is the raw version of the shot on the wildflower page. The direction of the leaves gives a hint of how much wind there was.
You can see the number one technique for managing wind. It's so easy to reach out and grab. My other favorite is a split stick. There's almost always a dead branch around. You can break them off to the right length, and split one end. Use that to pinch the stem, and jam the other end in the ground. But fingers and sticks have their limits. You don't want either in the picture. By the time you're far enough down the stem, there's still a lot of wiggle room. Managing the wind is the toughest part of taking a close pictures of flowers. And always carry a pocket knife if you're going to be splitting sticks.

Jan. 18, 2020

If you're in the vicinity of Great Sand Dunes Park, don't just think, "Sand dunes. Boring." That's what I did the first few times. After all, I've been to Arabia! Once again my daughter saved me from my ego when she insisted. It is a great place! At Great Sand Dunes, a persistent wind has piles sand up against the mountains. The effect is incredibly scenic, and an amazing ecology. Also, a very hard place to take flower pictures. Closeups in wind are almost impossible. The best strategy may be to take more distant shots with as many pixels as possible, then crop the results. That's what I did with veiny dock. Erecting wind barriers is time consuming, unwieldy, and not entirely effective.

Jan. 17, 2020

This shot was in the same folder as yesterday's glacier. I couldn't resist revisiting it.

Jan. 16, 2020

I took this shot from about the spot where today's cinquefoil was growing. That swatch of snow is what's left of St. Mary's Glacier. By now it is probably gone. When I first saw it around 1968, it was much more extensive, and genuinely qualified as a glacier. Skiers hiked in to enjoy it year round. The wildflowers in the area were fantastic. Now both have dwindled to the point that the hike in is hardly worth it. I could see no ski tracks this trip.
But there are many great possibilities for flowers in our western mountains. If you don't want to get down in the bogs, go up!

Jan. 15, 2020

One of my early favorite shots, on film, was of an arethusa. It wasn't as close as this, and showed a sprig of bog rosemary that added interest. It has no doubt been favored by me because I know I was laying belly down in the bog when I shot it. I was also a mile into the woods and had to walk out wet. Is that an extra mile? Whatever, don't hold back. And to those of snide remarks, yes! I CAN still get up once I'm down there. So far so good. And leave your wallet in the car! Saves trying to find a dry spot for it in the middle of a bog.