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February 2018

WPC: Out Of This World

I think flying over the desert provides the best out of this world perspectives, and I wrote about that previously.  For this week’s challenge, I couldn’t help but think of my muse, Valley Of Fire State Park.  I love to explore here for all its intricate, often other-worldy details.

The wall of caves (above) would be mildly interesting, but then there’s all those smaller holes worn in behind them.  Then you have the layers of sandstone with all those colors bleeding through, all combining to make this a very strange place.  I call this one “psychedelic sandstone”.

Valley Of Fire, Nevada, cave, red rock

In some of the caves you can crawl inside, where textures and patterns all come to life when the sunlight comes bouncing in.

Valley Of Fire, Nevada, red rock, sandstone, gottatakemorepix

One of the most unique features I’ve ever seen here is this rib of sandstone, appearing as a leg with a pointed shoe.  For obvious reasons, I call this one “walking sandstone”.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Birds

Although I spend a fair amount of time photographing nature, it’s not very often I encounter wildlife, especially birds that are close enough to photograph.

While in Calgary, Canada, I encountered many geese with their young goslings in late spring along the Bow River (above).

Last summer, I ventured into the forests of Oregon.  I think I got a little too close to the nest of this guy, as he became quite vocal.

bird, tree, Oregon, Steve Bruno

During one of my trips to Seattle, I met this beggar.

bird, gull, Seattle, Pacific Ocean, Steve Bruno

No tree is an island, but this one came close, and provided a nice resting spot for these white birds near Hilo, Hawaii.

birds, Hawaii, gottatakemorepix

While in Texas last spring, I was able to witness this beautiful heron at the end of the day.

heron, Texas, gottatakemorepix

In the unlikeliest of places, on several visits, I have seen ducks in this side canyon of a major hiking trail in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada.  The water stays year round, but the largest pool is not that big, and the canyon walls are not tall enough to provide constant shade in the 100 degree temps of summer.

ducks, Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, Steve Bruno

Monochrome Madness: MM 197

Water is the planet’s most precious resource, especially here in the desert.  Last month we finally had a day of rain that put an end to a string of 116 days without measurable rain at the official weather gauge in Las Vegas.  The previous rainfall was a trace…..enough to wet the pavement, but not enough for the insects or birds to get a drink.  Go back another five days to when there were numbers on the rain gauge.  That’s 121 days.  One third of a year.  At a time of year that is supposed to be the wettest.  Similar stats have taken place throughout the southwest.

As each month draws to a close, it seems the news people tell us how it was the hottest (January, February, March, etc.) on record, or at least a top five.  In 2017, the temperature never dropped below freezing, which has never happened here before.  The doubters of global warming will tell you it’s because we are adding more concrete, thus raising temperatures where the official readings are taken.  I assure you, no one is building near our airport.  Even more remote places are showing elevated average readings.

The photo above is from a previous winter, and is from a lesser-known part of Red Rock Canyon, west of Las Vegas.  It’s probably a good thing that there is not a marked trail to get here.  This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week.  To see what other photographers have contributed, or instructions to join in, please visit Leanne’s website.

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