Friday, April 3, 2015

March 2015

Northern Lights on March 1st - showing despite strong moonlight!
March of 2015 turned out to be a doozy!  The month started with a nice display of northern lights on a cold, moonlit night and then ended with finding a beautiful patch of wild pasqueflowers in the Vermillion River hills.  Also, on St. Patrick's Day morning I awoke unexpectedly in the wee hours to see one of the stronger displays of Aurora I have ever seen.  One of those photos made CBS evening news and another was used in online articles of the Washington Post and Smithsonian Magazine.  I created a time-lapse of the display that KSFY News played on the evening news as well as posted to their website.  It can be found HERE.  Thanks for checking in and feel free to share with friends.

Late winter light at Eden Church in Pipestone County, MN

Around 45 minutes of star trails and a pair of passing headlights provided heavenly light for this image of abandoned Concordia Pioneer Church in rural Roberts County, SD

St. Patrick's Day Aurora over West Church near Chester, SD

More St. Patrick's Day Northern Lights

More St. Patrick's Day Northern Lights

Sunset on the first day of Spring at Buffalo Slough.

Another shot of the Buffalo Slough sunset.  This area is just a bit south of Chester, SD

First pasqueflowers of the year in rural McCook County, SD

A natural bouquet

Evening light on Pasques

Sunday, March 29, 2015

California Wildflowers

Macro detail of the inside of a blossom.
It was spring wildflower season in the Bay area as well as the lower elevations of Yosemite National Park when I visited.  If you know me at all, you know I find it hard to resist searching for and shooting wildflowers in the spring time.  Here are some of what I found in my travels.  I don't know the proper names for many of the flowers since they don't grow in South Dakota, but I do know that the California Poppy is the orange/yellow one.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for visiting!

Found along Red Hill Road outside of Chinese Camp, CA.

Found along Red Hill Road outside of Chinese Camp, CA.

Found along Red Hill Road outside of Chinese Camp, CA.

Found along Red Hill Road outside of Chinese Camp, CA.

Found along Hite Cove Trail on the edge of Yosemite NP.

I believe these are Indian Paintbrush.

Roadside flowers east of Groveland, CA.

Roadside lupine east of Groveland, CA.

Found on Highway 49 between Coulterville and Bear Valley, CA.

Found at Point Reyes National Seashore.

California Poppy along Highway 1 (Shoreline Highway) north of Stinson Beach.

Yosemite in Black and White

Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View.
I couldn't help but think of Ansel Adams while visiting Yosemite for the first time.  So I decided to deliberately shoot and compose some images for black and white processing to honor his genius.  One of Adams more famous shots is of a moonrise over Half Dome.  I felt pretty fortunate to get a half moon rising over Bridal Veil falls, the whole time thinking of Adams image.  I also was very intrigued by the wind and its effects on the tall waterfalls.  Watching the force of gravity and wind whip the water back and forth was mesmerizing.  I put on a telephoto lens to try to capture this phenomena, but the photos don't really do it justice.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in.  

Wind and water from Upper Yellowstone Falls.

Half moon over Bridal Veil Falls.

Half Moon over Bridal Veil Falls #2.

Bridal Veil Falls detail.

Bridal Veil Falls detail #2.

Half Dome.

California Spring Vistas

The Golden Gate Bridge just before dawn.
I was able to mark a couple items off the old bucket list at the end of March 2015.  I flew into San Francisco to see the sights of the Bay area as well as Yosemite National Park.  This is the first of three posts sharing some of the scenery I was able to view.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by!

Sunrise over the bay.  The skyline of San Francisco is on the right.

My first view of Yosemite valley from Tunnel view.

The following day was hazy so it made for interesting light around sunset.

Sunset colors behind El Capitan.

Evening light over Upper Yellowstone Falls.

The last light on Half Dome reflected in the Merced River.

Elk grazing at Point Reyes National Seashore.

What do seals dream of?  A kiss from a rose?!?

Elephant seals taking it easy at Point Reyes National Seashore.

Interesting road at Point Reyes National Seashore.

Flowers along coastal Highway 1.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February 2015

A Bald Eagle watching over the highway on the northeast edge of Newton Hills State Park
Here are February's best for 2015.  It has been a good winter for birds of prey.  I saw and photographed my first ever Northern Saw-whet Owl this month.  Cool little guy but really hard to find.  I actually found the three different mice it caught hanging in various branches for later meals before I actually found the the owl.  I've never seen that before either.  Anyway, as always click on a file for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by!

Sunset at Lake Campbell Lutheran of rural Brookings County

Northern Saw-whet Owl

I retreated to get a different shot through the branches and he got sleepy

Winter sunset over Lake Alvin near Harrisburg, SD

Bergen Church sunset of rural Clay County

Mirrored sunset on the Mighty Missouri at Myron Grove in Clay County, for this month's column over at I wrote about reflection photography:

Sunset over Falls Park in Downtown Sioux Falls

The sunset clouds reflected in melt water

Falls Park evening

Another view of Falls Park on a colorful evening

Trinity Lutheran of rural Lincoln County at sunset