I could have left the photo go, it was dark. My exposure was off.
I didn’t do that.
I pulled out the colors that were there to my eye when I pressed the shutter. I wanted that sunlight reflecting off the lake surface, glittering like so many diamonds.
It’s Autumn here. The leaves are starting to turn, The air beginning to chill. We saw five deer on the trails today.
The seasons turn, and the world becomes more beautiful.
If this looks like another recent photograph, it is close but different.
From our time in the desert of White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. We spent an overnight, having backpacked a couple miles into the desert to camp amid the dunes and under the stars. I took over 700 photographs between sunset and after sunrise the next morning. If a few frames look a like, they should. We didn’t stray too far from our tent.
The massive dune of white gypsum sand is at the bottom of this frame. Clouds are lit up by the orange glow of Las Cruces, New Mexico in the far lower left of the image.
Rising from the center of the dune is the Great Rift, or center bulge of the spiral galaxy that we are part of, known as The Milky Way. It dominated the skies, competing for attention with the clouds that kept obscuring parts of the night stars.
This image is the reason I went to the trouble of hiking into the desert to camp overnight. The night sky is pretty dark in this part of the country. There are darker places in this country, where the dark sky is not dimmed by the reflected city lights. One day, I hope to get to more of these “Dark Sky” places.
There are countless stars in this one galaxy that we’re part of. Our sun is but one of those stars. There are countless galaxies in the known universe, each one full of more countless stars.
The wonder of it all, the immensity of the universe comes to mind when I look up and see the stars.
The sky was dramatic.
I had my camera with me, with the ultra-wide Sigma 10-20mm on it.
How could I help but grab some of the light.
I rolled down my window, slowed to a stop as I was leaving the grocery store, and here you are. A little crop, a swizzle here and there in Lightroom and a nice image to behold.
The combination of Cumulus and Cirrus clouds against the deep blue sky brought drama to my eyes.
Bonus: I love the arrows.
Zoos are fascinating and horrible, all at the same time. There’s good work at conservation, species saving research, and such. The joy of seeing an animal that you’d never likely see up close without there being a zoo. That’s all good. Putting myself on the other side of the barriers, I’d find it horrible to be cooped up.
Zoos have improved the habitats where their precious guests reside. This Snow Leopard had a large compound to roam instead of the cramped cages that I can recall of decades past. It’s still not the same as being in the wild.
Como Park Zoo is a decent and good zoo, from what I could tell with my uninformed eye. The animals seem content, with the exception of one of the Polar Bears, who seemed to be recovering from some medical procedure and did not like being in quarantine one bit, and another cat that was restless and pacing like the bear.
This feline might be dreaming of the savanna’s of the mountains of Central Asia, but it was looking very content as it took a catnap.
Karen and I have come to appreciate the special beauty and tranquility that a Japanese garden brings to us. We first were introduced to this type of garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri.
On our recent outing to Como Park and Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota, we discovered, to our delight, that there was a Japanese garden that is part of the facility. After our tour of the zoo and the main parts of the conservatory, we made our way through a Bonsai collection to the Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden.
It is a compact garden with ponds, stone bridges, stone lanterns, Koi fish, paths and lush greenery. Tucked into one corner of the garden is a tea house. They offer tea ceremony sittings a couple times a month, when the tea-master is in residence. We were given a special tour of the area surrounding the tea house and a primer on the ceremony by a very wonderful docent, Debbi.
Debbi was kind enough to point out the best views for taking in the garden, delighting in showing us the planned reflections and that the island in the pond is in the shape of a turtle. She also took this photograph, having placed us in this specific spot, in order to capture our reflection.
Kudos to the Como Park & Conservatory management and benefactors for keeping up such a delightful oasis of peace in the midst of the city. Thank you also to Debbi, for this wonderful memory of our tour.
There’s more than one way to look at something. A different perspective is a good thing.
We went to Como Park in St. Paul, Minnesota today. A childhood memory of a visit by Karen prompted the return visit, decades having passed since last here. There’s a zoo and a botanical garden in one part of the park, sitting together with one entrance.
We toured the zoo first, these birds being our first sight. I got a few pictures of the beautiful Flamingo birds with their long beaks and pink feathers, standing tall above the other birds on thin legs.
We saw many other specie of animals, including Tarantula, Polar Bear, Bison and Orangutan, then made our way back to the entrance, to head to the botanical garden. As we neared the entrance. I saw this view of the pond where the birds were and stopped short.
The framing by the green leaves, and the rippled reflections in the water thrilled me, and I quickly fired off a few frames to try to capture the moment. Not bad, but not nearly as good as being there. It’s a fond memory that I’ll access when I look at this image down the road a piece.
There’s always more than one way to see a thing.