Yellowstone cutthroats are such beautiful fish! It’s great to see them again in some of their natural habitats. For many years they were either gone or very scarce and while the West Slope Cutthroat is still trying to come back in some places the Yellowstone Cuttie seems to be doing okay. For those that have spent a lot of time fishing for this species then you know how delicate they can be and short handling time is essential. A couple of quick picks and then away they go.
Summer storms can materialize really fast and can be dangerous to get caught in them without warning. This past weekend I was out on the local rivers and sure enough, an afternoon thunderhead popped up out of nowhere. To be honest I was thankful that it appeared because the skies were really boring before they did. The one cloud added a nice bit of a pop to an otherwise simplistic landscape.
It’s June in Montana which means that the Salmon Flies are starting to make their way across the state in what turns into one of the biggest fish-feeding frenzies of the whole summer. These giant prehistoric bugs look like something that you would never want to come across but in fact, they are not only harmless, they are very docile. In all my years of fishing in the state, I’ve never had an issue with them except when the face gets covered by too many. While I don’t normally photograph insects these things are so cool and are part of such unique biodiversity in the state’s rivers that you just have to stop and grab a click. Over the next month they will continue to move south and as they do the fish will turn on and off like a light bulb, with the fishing gorging themselves. The opportunities with the camera and the line can be endless during this time.
It’s that time of the year again when the afternoon thunderstorms come rolling in at 2 pm and last for a few hours. The Gallatin Mountains get covered with these black streaks as the rain and hail come down. It’s really fun to watch these systems pass through the valley and then disappear over to the east. The best part is that tiny sliver of light that pops up on the western horizon letting in just enough to light up the underbelly of the clouds before disappearing entirely. With the Z50 and 16-50mm there wasn’t much needed to make a good capture of this previous afternoon.
Today marks one of the largest military achievements in modern history. 77 years ago Operation Overlord, the allied plan to establish a foothold in occupied Europe, began. Thousands of naval ships launched one of the largest amphibious assaults on the beaches of Normandy, France. For months leading up to the invasion, disinformation was leaked out about the upcoming invasion to fool the German army to think the allies would be landing in Calais. A complex series of fake vehicles made of rubber were even made to fool aerial reconnaissance and German Spies. Britain was the staging ground for it all and it was one packed island before it was over.
Along with the men who went ashore on the landing, crafts were the Paratroopers that landed behind enemy lines in a joint effort to meet up with those on the ground and catch the Germans in between. It was a massively complex Operation with many variables that could go wrong. Without the efforts of D-Day, the events and longevity of WWII could have been much different.
Today is not just about BBQs, no work, or socializing with friends. Today everyone should give thanks to the ones that are not here anymore, who gave their lives to help make this country what it is today. A lot has happened over the last few years but we must remember that we do live in a great country with many freedoms.
I blog about this every year because every year I enjoy it. Spring thunderstorms are so cool and so much fun to watch. Great big dramatic clouds and that little bit of light that comes through really makes the drive and the time spent hunting for that right landscape worth it. I am blessed to be in an area where there are so many possibilities for great landscapes and I always feel bad when I don’t take advantage of them more.
Springtime is such a fun time of the year. The dark dreariness of winter is coming to an end and new life has begun again. More sunshine, more colors, and more opportunities are bound. With the excitement and opportunities that come with spring, responsibility is also important. It’s to get sucked in with everything and forget to be mindful of the fragile state some of nature is in. Nesting birds, newborn critters, fields of wildflowers, are just a few examples but it’s important that if you are going to go photograph them then you do your homework and know what is safe for the subject.
As I write this it’s actually snowing but that will quickly pass and go back to rain. Spring has finally arrived for certain in Montana and with it comes the ever-changing weather from the sun, to rain back to snow followed by sun. You can’t ever predict it because you just can’t. The great thing is it’s green and beautiful and with all the rolling storms that come through the skies are often filled with these great puffy clouds that make landscapes so appealing.
Mothers come in all shapes, sizes, and species but the one thing they have in common is their love for their kids. Today we say thanks to them.