As the fog became thicker last Sunday, I knew these images were meant to be in b&w. 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.
There’s nothing I’d want to take a picture of in my neighborhood, but I can see this mountain clearly from my windows. For this week’s Daily Post Challenge of Local, I present to you a place I know by heart.
I was out here last week on a trail I have taken several times before. Back to the bristlecone pines, the ancient forest. As another dry year passes, and more people venture into the area, I am thankful there have been no major fires here. It seems there are no “helpful” fires any more – the kind that sustain a forest – just large devastating ones. In a normal winter, there will be snow lingering on this trail into May. I am hoping for a normal or above normal winter, but that doesn’t seem very likely….again. In the meantime, I try to get out to my local hangouts whenever I can.
Bristlecone Pines. The ancient forest. These majestic trees can live to be 5000 years old, and only grow at the highest elevations just below tree line. This particular group is from the Spring Mountains, near Las Vegas, Nevada, at an elevation just over 10,000 feet. Many of these can be twisted with stunted growth, usually on an exposed ridge where the dominant winds have a long term effect upon them. The overall straightness and height of this group made me stop for a photo.
This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week. You can see the work of other’s on her site, as well as instructions on joining the challenge.
Since I primarily take photographs of nature, my detail shots are mostly in the form of plant life. Even if I lived somewhere besides the desert, I think I would still be fascinated with cacti. Sometimes they’re shaped bizarrely, sometimes perfectly symmetrical. And when you move in close (but not too close) they provide elaborate details. Most would be vulnerable to damage from insects, birds, and animals if it weren’t for the defense mechanisms – all those thorns.
While many of you live in climates where flowers thrive, we are provided with only a limited showing of those. Even in the driest of years, when the rest of the desert is stingy with blossoms, the cactus bloom.
Trees are the other guaranteed bloomers around here, such as this redbud from nearby Red Rock Canyon.
In bloom or not, trees can be fascinating subjects, such as this one from Hawaii with a very entangled root system, or this detail of a bristlecone pine tree.
When I think of detailed shots, the first thing that comes to mind are close-up or macro images. But sometimes, there are landscapes that have so much going on, that it’s hard to not just look for all the details. This one is from Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada.
For this week’s challenge, I thought it would be easy to come across many photos fitting the category. Emphasizing the foreground in landscape photography is one of the standard rules. Moving in close doesn’t necessarily equate to showing what’s beneath your feet, however.
The featured image, taken in Yosemite National Park, is a location where everything was below my feet. I had a great vantage point where three creeks came together, providing a different perspective on tumbling water.
At Bryce Canyon National Park, I usually prefer to hike down amongst the formations, but this has been a favorite from the rims. I have often been asked where I was standing to get this one. Since then, I think erosion has made this spot off limits.
Not far from Bryce, in the Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, I encountered these sandstone discs embedded in the ground, on edge. This repetitive pattern was under my feet for some distance.
The Painted Desert was a well chosen name, which becomes more obvious when you see it after a rain. These patterns were in a wash where the water was still standing in limited pockets. A polarizer was used to remove the glare and allowed the color come through.
Getting down close to the ground was the best way to get photos of these little goslings, seen on one of my trips to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Most people are in disbelief when you tell them there is a great hiking trail right next to Interstate 10, which is arguably the most boring drive in the US. Picacho Peak rises about 1500 feet above the surrounding desert, and on the back side there’s a stretch with very little earth beneath your feet. Posts, cables and planks assist hikers in this steep section. Thrillseekers expecting something along the lines of Spain’s El Caminito del Rey will be disappointed.
I know some people are big on taking foot-selfie’s wherever they go, but this is the only one I have. From under one of Valley of Fire State Park’s largest arches, where I brought my friend and accomplished hiker, Dave.
After the arch, Dave and I explored the large sandstone mass in the middle of the park, which I refer to as the park’s summit. Along the way, we came across some interesting potholes and pools. This one went down a short distance, then ejected from the small side canyon in the shaded area, upper left. Nothing under his feet there, and as we walked this area, we could hear some areas that had a hollow sound underneath.
Another great place to check out what’s beneath your feet is Mount Charleston, just west of Las Vegas. The red flowers are called Indian Paintbrush, and this is a squirrel’s perspective on them.
Also on the mountain you will come across both of Nevada’s state trees. This one, the bristlecone pine, is characterized by distinct coloring and patterns, and can live to be 5000 years old.
At the base of Mount Charleston, there are thousands of joshua trees. I wasn’t quite sure what was lurking under all that snow, however. Rocks? Bushes? Frozen bunnies?