It feels like Spring is around the corner with the bluebird days and warmer temps but I wouldn’t count winter out yet. Anyone who has lived in Montana for more than a year knows that we can get snow storms until June but I think the days of negative double digits are over. People aren’t the only ones right enjoying the long days of sunshine. All of the furry critters out there are spending their days warming themselves in the sun. This Mountain Cottontail spent the morning lounging in the warm morning sun after spending a good time cleaning its paws and face. Unfortunately, it was pretty bright out at the time and the range of light between the dark green background and those dead grasses in the foreground meant I had to underexpose to avoid a lot of bad highlights. This meant losing a lot of the detail in the fur along the rabbit’s back. Still, a lesson was learned and a morning of fun still had.
A good friend called me over one day to tell me about a new visitor he had at his ranch. Well, it’s not exactly a new visitor, this particular Meadowlark has strangely been hanging around all winter despite having some of the coldest temperatures in recent years. Naturally, he’s become one of the family. Of course, when I heard about him I had to see him for myself. Well, he’s become pretty accustomed to the ranch and meal worms so he tends to follow Mike around as he works his cattle. The Meadowlark wasn’t as used to me but it was a cold day so we put some worms out and waited. After a while, he finally approved of me and the 600f/4 on the tripod so he came close enough so I could get a couple of photographs.
As I mentioned last week I was enjoying using the Nikon Z6II and 24-120z lens while working with some patches of ice on the Madison River. Well, the ice wasn’t my only subject I was working on the river that day. Now I’ve seen lots of waterfowl on the water when I go out but I’ve never seen this many Goldeneye in the Beartrap Canyon before. It was a very warm almost spring day in February so maybe that’s why but I wasn’t complaining since they were somewhat cooperative. Being in a heavily trafficked area this flock of ducks was pretty workable from the bank but as you can tell I only had one lens so I made lemonade out of lemons and use the light in the background to be as much of the story as the ducks are as opposed to trying to get closeups of the Goldeneye. It’s like a wildlife landscape piece all rolled into one.
Well hello, world! It certainly has been a while since I posted anything, don’t worry I’m not dead or retired. As the saying goes life gets in the way of life but with time and effort, you always get back to what you’re good at. Except for writing blog posts, that still challenges me. Well truthfully I have been quite busy working with several aviation nonprofits here in Bozeman and at some point, I share some of that with all of you. For now, here are some photos of frozen and nonfrozen water.
I do enjoy photographing bodies of water in the wintertime. On sunny days you can have a lot of fun with ice because the light from the sun glistening off of the water combined with the light on the ice makes some great contrast. Ice itself is very bright and the contrast against dark water is a no-brainer. Fast pockets of water are naturally a good spot for black-and-white opportunities but combined with ice it can be even better. I was using the Nikon Z6II with the 24-120z lens and boy it was easy and fun at the river this day.
Every year I talk about this day because it is one that must be remembered. Eighty-one years ago Pearl Harbor was attacked and in those few hours, the fate of many was decided. It set this country on a course that could not be altered and for four years we fought for freedom. Today is a special day to honor and remember what happened on December 7th. Of all the historic events from WWII, this certainly is one that most people recall. The photographs from that day are eerie to look at now especially if you’ve ever visited the islands and seen what it’s like today.
The rusted mast of one of the USS Arizona’s stacks is all that can be seen above water. It’s a far cry different than the image seen of the ship taken on that fateful day. Under the water’s surface still lies the remains of the crew submerged inside the ship, another reminder of what’s not to be forgotten.
Today is Veterans Day. A day that everyone should be thankful for those that helped make this country what it is and the sacrifice they gave. I’ve had the great fortune over the years to have met and talked with many vets, while most of them fought in WWII they all had the same message. “That was our job, it needed to be done, but I’m glad it ended.” A soldier lives a different kind of life, one that most of us can’t understand. If you see a vet today make sure you say thanks. It’s the least you can do for them considering what they have done for us.
We live in a unique country that provides us with many freedoms. As you enjoy time with friends, family, BBQs, drinking, and relaxing, stop and remember that today was not an easy-fought victory. Happy 4th everybody.
Today we honor the many sacrifices that were made seventy-seven years ago, when on May 8th, 1945 VE Day, Victory Europe was declared. The end of WWII in Europe had begun with the German surrender and while the war continued on in the Pacific and peace was not entirely secured yet in Europe, the end was in sight. Today is an important day to remember that hard-fought victory and the many sacrifices that were made.
WWII changed the lives of everyone. It was the second time in the same century that the world was engaged in conflict and sadly it was not the last time that nations were fighting each other. Kids and adults had to fight to secure peace. It was not an easy victory, it took time and many lives. As we go through these uncertain times now, let us not forget the past and most certainly not repeat it.
Seven years ago, I had the privilege to document the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover, in which 52 aircraft flew over the nation’s capital in honor of the 70th anniversary of VE Day. Over 800 veterans and 30,000 people were in attendance at the national mall. The Texas Flying Legends Museum brought eight aircraft in support of the flyover. This is what it was like for them.