December 28 - Wilson's Creek Battlefield

A vacation is a nice time to get out and see a little bit of nature - even if it's only to a not-so-wild place like Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. I'm always intrigued by colors in prairie grass and shrubs. I've accentuated these colors a little in order to emphasize the point.

After the sun came out, I headed home, but caught this tree with its roots growing over a small drainage area. I liked the way the dappled light illuminated parts of the moss.

December 17 - Springfield Lights

The goal was to go out and take pictures of Christmas lights with a few members of the camera club. But the evening soon turned out to be not as much about the lights as it was about night photography (due mainly to our inability to find really interesting Christmas lights).

This photo was from our first stop at small cul-de-sac of whose existence I was previously unaware. I was fascinated by the sky - it's always interesting at night- though the interesting clouds were rendered indistinct by the long exposure required to capture this subject.

December 2 - James River

It was a pretty cold morning a couple of Saturdays ago when I went down to the James River near my home. Temps had been in the single digits that morning, and frost and ice was everywhere, along with some snow left over from a couple of days earlier.

November 4 - Oklahoma City Memorial

Since we were going through Oklahoma City on the way home, we decided to stop along the way to visit the Oklahoma City Memorial. The memrial itself was beautifully conceived and constructed. A very nice place to visit if you're in the area.

November 2 - Arches National Park

On our last day in Arches, we dropped by Landscape Arch in the morning and Park Avenue in the afternoon and stayed there until dark. Finding some interesting sunrise light, we decided to shoot the sunset near the road.

Landscape arch (and the surrounding arches) were a lot of fun to see and I'll probably post a few pictures of those later on. Towards the end of the day, we were in an area called Park Avenue that has a lot of huge monuments.

November 1 - Colorado River, Fisher Towers

As we drove into Moab under sunset conditions, we saw several places to which we just had to return. The views of Fisher Towers and the La Sal Mountains were just spectacular. To recapture some of those beautiful moments on the drive down Hwy 128 was our goal.

After driving around for a while, we ended up at the Dewey Bridge, and nearby was a small area of grasses against a small cliff that seemed oddly cold (elsewhere, it was nearly 60 degrees). I didn't realize just how cold it was, though, until I looked down and saw that the dew was still frozen solid and was showing no sign of melting. I spent half an hour trying to get the camera just right for this shot.

One of the many views of the Colorado River.

Here are three different versions of a pretty popular shot that contains the Colorado River, the Fisher Towers, and the La Sal Mountains.

In this shot, we bushwhackedalong the river bank for a little ways to try and get a slightly different angle. We were only a few feet from the river, but I didn't include it in this shot.

November 1 - Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch - Canyonlands National Park
Mesa Arch is pretty well known, and we were there right as it was getting light enough to see - in fact, some used flashlights for the short walk into the arch. While it's more well known for the light that hits it after the sun is up a little further, I kind of enjoy photographing it when the sun is still behind the hills.

This is the more familiar "lit from beneath" picture. It was a windy and cold morning, and I think everyone welcomed the sun when it finally rose high enough to bring some warmth.

October 31 - Arches National Park

Courthouse Monuments
We started the day before dawn at the Courthouse Monuments - a collection of quite a few prominent sandstone... well, monuments. There had been a significant amount of rain the week before we arrived, and fortunately a few puddles remained.

Fiery Furnace
This was the hilight of the trip as far as some were concerned. Fiery Furnace is a pretty wild area full of vertical fins, huge boulders and sandy washes. Because of the delicate environment in this trail-free region, an orientation is required in order to enter.

Every corner we turned opened a new and fascinating world - each distinct from the previous. Whether or not I took any pictures, I had a great time scrambling through the rocks and tight places.

This sandstone is incredibly grippy (as long as it's not wet). In places we were walking on some very steep angles that you would have thought impossible (and would have been on other surfaces).

Balanced Rock
Out of the Fiery Furnace, we just had time to drive over to one of the Balanced Rock overlooks for the sunset. The La Sal Mountains are visible behind the red sandstone formations. It was a nice way to end the day.

October 30 - Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch is one of the most famous arches in the state of Utah - it's even on their license plate. There is a view of the arch you can get from the road, but the best view is if you hike up to see it. The trail up to see it is really quite fantastic - the arch is revealed only in the final feet of the trail.

The La Sal Mountains are clearly visible behind the arch, and were pretty spectacular since they had just recently received some fresh snow.

I was so concentrated on getting my tripod in just the right position for this "starburst" shot that I completely failed to notice the jet trail. I kind of like how it appears to be traveling directly into the sun.

Right before the sun dips down behind the distant mountains and leaves the arch in shadow, there are some really nice subtle colors to be seen.

October 30 - Window Arch

We arrived in Moab on Sunday at dusk. We drove through the small town of Cicso on the way to Moab and followed the Colorado River into town. It was a beautifuy trip and a great introduction to the area.

Monday, we got up early and hiked the short trail to Turet and Window Arches. If you scramble on the other side of the North Window and up the side of the rock a little bit, you get this nice view through the North Window of Turet Arch.

Here's a yucca plant on the way out.

Not too far away is Double Arch. I'll probably post another picture later, but this is one that was taken laying on the ground and looking up through one of the arches.

October 28 - Monument Rocks, Kansas

This is the first of a series of posts that I'll put up over the next few days (weeks?) to show some of the pictures I took on the camera club's supertrip to Moab. Monument Rocks was just a stop along the way on the first day of travel, but I had a great time watching the rocks as the sun started slipping down behind the horizon.

October 21 - Busiek State Forest

As part of a "Day of Nature Photography" hosted by Art Daniels at the Nature Center, I traveled to Busiek today to take a few pictures. While the conditions weren't great, there were some nice macro opportunities, and the foliage was just fantastic in places.

The sky was cloudy when we arrived, but the sun poked through for a brief moment and lit this hill with just a little bit of light.

Berries from a Wahoo tree.

One of the numerous and really tiny mites in the area - I think it's a Red Velvet Mite. They're about the size of a grain of rice.

And a little more foliage from Springfield Lake on the way back home.

October 12 - James River Leaves

I went for a short drive down to the James River this evening - just an excuse to get out of the house, really. While the trees around this area are still a long way from being colorful, the underbrush is putting on a nice display. Their leaves, which are already falling, sometimes continue their journey on the graceful current of the James River. Here are a few that are resting for a spell before heading further downstream.


September 20 - More Zoo Photos

Time is flying by this month, and I've only been out once with my camera since the zoo trip and didn't get anything worth posting. But I did process a few more zoo pictures - two more portraits of some very interesting animals.

September 9 - Dickerson Park Zoo

I spent the morning with the Southwest Missouri Camera Club in the Dickerson Park Zoo. The director, Mike Crocker, let us in a little early for a few pictures behind the scenes. Many thanks to Mike for letting us in for the photos.

This giant turtle is always easy to photograph since they don't move around very fast.

This alligator was pretty still - and we hoped he stayed that way!

I had quite a bit of fun playing around with this photo of a mother and child elephant. Click on the image for a larger view.