Welcome to my blog. The purpose of this blog is to allow a two way conversation with my website viewers. I will be updating the blog to cover my field trips and also post other topics of interest. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions that you might have either through the blog or contact me by E-mail at Treline@aol.com.
Thanks for viewing,
I was going through my slides selecting images for an artist friend in Wyoming. I came upon a selection of images of Bighorn Sheep which I haven't viewed in years. During editing it brought back a lot of memories. Twenty five to thirty years ago on any given day I could drive within 40 minutes and find a group of Bighorns to photograph.
Along Fall River road going into Rocky Mountain National Park a large group of around 135 sheep resided there. I would climb up the mountain side and sit on a rock and would be surrounded by them. They never seemed to mind that I was there and would approach within a close proximity. It was a great time observing there behavioral patterns and learning more about them, the view across the valley was spectacular. They would browse over the slopes and nibble on mountain plants and scan the valley below. At times they would lay down and chew their cuds and fall asleep close by.
One day I'll always remember I was climbing up the mountain side in the Fall during the rut. I was boosting myself up over a large rock outcropping when a ram chasing a ewe came to a skidding halt throwing fragments of rock just three feet or so from my chest We were looking eye to eye before he turned and took off. Wow! you talk about a rush I could feel my heart pounding through my chest.
A sad thing happened in the early 1990's. It was in the winter and I went up to photograph the sheep in snowy conditions. To my amazement several of the sheep were coughing. I contacted a ranger friend and he said it was a sign of pneumonia setting in. The following spring the herd had been reduced from pneumonia deaths from 100+ to around 35-40. This is a reason why Bighorns are caught and relocated from healthy herds and moved to other vacant sheep habitats in Colorado. That way when a disease hits a herd it doesn't wipe out the entire Bighorn population.
Lifespan: Males (Rams) 9-12 years Females (Ewes) 10-14 years
Weight: Males 127-316 Females 75-188 pounds
Length: Males 5-6 feet Females are smaller
Horn size: Males 30" length 15" in circumference Females: Short horns with little curvature.
Average male horn weight 30 lbs.
Mating season: Nov/Dec The males butt heads to establish dominance and mating rights. They clash at about
20 MPH and sound as if a rifle is discharged. Its an amazing thing to witness.
Spring is certainly upon us. It seems as if each season passes quicker. Soon we will be preparing for our annual trip to Grand Teton National Park. Sightings have already been reported of Grizzly bears coming out of hibernation. So far weather conditions seem to indicate it may be a good wildflower season this year.
Included are a few images of Bighorn Sheep. Hope you enjoy them.
I KNOW ITS DISTRACTING BUT I HAD TO PLACE A COPYRIGHT STAMP ON ALL MY IMAGES DUE TO THEFT. I HAD INDICATIONS THAT MY IMAGES WERE BEING PICKED OFF MY WEBSITE AND USED FOR COMMERCIAL AND PRIVATE USE. I NEEDED TO RESPOND QUICKLY AND I WILL WORK AT MAKING THE COPYRIGHT STAMP LESS INTRUSIVE IN THE FUTURE. MY APOLOGIES BUT THATS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN TODAY.
DURING THE WINTER MONTHS I SPEND TIME COPYING, RESTORING AND PLACING MY SLIDE COLLECTION ON HARD DRIVES. SOME OF THESE SLIDES ARE 40 YEARS OLD AND EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE STORED IN ARCHIVAL FOLDERS AND CONTAINERS THEY STILL HAD MOLD SPOTS ETC. ON THEM. I HAVE BEEN WORKING THIS PROJECT FOR EIGHT YEARS AND STILL HAVE THOUSANDS TO GO.
LATELY WE HAVE HAD SOME BEAUTIFUL SUNRISES HERE IN THE WEST. ALSO I HAVE NOTICED FLOCKS OF WATERFOWL MIGRATING INTO THE AREA. SO WHEN I CAME UPON THESE SLIDES THE OTHER DAY I SET THEM ASIDE TO POST THEM HERE ON THE BLOG. IT ALWAYS AMAZES ME WHEN THESE LARGE GROUPS OF BIRDS TAKE OFF AND LAND HOW THEY DON'T KNOCK EACH OTHER OUT OF THE AIR.
HOPE YOU ENJOY THESE,
I HAVE BEEN ASKED MANY TIMES WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I USE FOR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY SO HERE'S THE STORY. I USE CANON EQUIPMENT FOR LENSES AND BODIES. MY TRIPODS ARE MADE BY WIMBERLY AND FEISOL. I USE A COMBINATION OF LENSES FOR WILDLIFE SHOOTING. I AM CURRENTLY USING A CANON 500 F/4 IS VERSION 1 AND CANON 70-200 F/2.8 IS VERSION ll. THE 500 IS USED FOR DISTANCE IMAGES AND THE 70-200 IS USED IF I WANT TO PLACE MORE OF THE SURROUNDING AREA INTO THE PICTURE OR AS THE ANIMAL GETS CLOSER. FOR BODIES I AM USING A CANON EOS 1 MARK IV AND CANON 7D FOR A BACKUP. BOTH OF THESE BODIES ARE A COUPLE OF GENERATIONS BEHIND THE LATEST MODEL BUT WORK GREAT FOR ME.
ANOTHER QUESTION ASKED IS WHY CANON AND NOT NIKON. REALLY ITS JUST PERSONAL PREFERENCE. THE DECIDING FACTOR FOR ME WAS SERVICE. I HAVE BEEN WITH CANON FOR 26 YEARS AND THEY HAVE TREATED ME GREAT IN THE CUSTOMER SERVICE ARENA. I ALSO LIKED THEIR LOANER PROGRAM. IF I WAS THINKING OF PURCHASING A LENS THEY WOULD LEND ME ONE TO TRY OUT WITH NO COST OTHER THAN RETURN SHIPPING. OF COURSE TO USE THIS PROGRAM YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE CANON PROFESSIONAL SERVICES.
IF YOUR SERIOUSLY THINKING OF GETTING INTO WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY AND DON'T WANT TO SPEND $8000 OR MORE ON A LENS I WOULD SUGGEST PURCHASING A CANON 500 F/4 IS VERSION 1. YES THE VERSION ll IS LIGHTER (1.5LBS) AND SOMEWHAT QUICKER ON THE DRAW THAN THE VERSION I BUT TO ME ITS NOT WORTH ANOTHER $4,000 DOLLARS. OF COURSE IF BUDGET IS NOT A CONCERN GO FOR THE LATEST AND GREATEST AND PURCHASE A CANON 600 F/4 IS VERSION II.
THE VERSION I MUST BE PURCHASED SECOND HAND SINCE THEY ARE OUT OF PRODUCTION BUT STILL SERVICED BY CANON. ONE OF THE BEST PLACES I'VE SEEN FOR PURCHASING ONE IS A SITE CALLED FREDMIRANDA.COM. THE LENSES GO QUICKLY WHEN ADVERTISED. THEY ARE RUNNING AROUND 4,000. CHECK OUT THE PERSONS RATING BEFORE BUYING. I HAVE BOUGHT SEVERAL PIECES OF EQUIPMENT OFF THIS SITE AND HAVE NEVER BEEN DISSAPOINTED.
THERE ARE MANY OTHER LENSES AND COMBINATIONS THAT CAN BE USED FOR WILDLIFE SHOOTING IF YOUR ON A STRICT BUDGET. THE PERFORMANCE WILL NOT BE AS GOOD AS A PRIME LENS IN MY OPINION BUT WILL DO THE JOB CONSIDERING WERE YOU PLAN TO GO WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY.
HOPEFULLY THIS WILL ANSWER SOME OF YOUR QUESTIONS.
If your interested in photographing ancient Native American ruins the four corners area of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona is a great place to start. Mesa Verde in Colorado was the first place I visited about 30 years ago. Mesa Verde is a National Park and was established on June 29, 1906. It was discovered in the late 1800"s and much of it was plundered before archeologist could come in and review it. The area was inhabited by the Anazasi Indians or what is now called Ancestral Puebloans. It is felt that they inhabited the area for more than 700 years.(550A.D. to 1300 A.D.) Currently Mesa Verde has over 4,700 archaeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best-preserved dwellings of there kind. Two other sites I would recommend is Hovenweep and Betatakin.
Once you get the bug you might want to venture out and discover some of the less known ruins on your own. Who knows you might discover one that hasn't yet been identified. I have hiked through several of the canyon area's in Utah. The red sandstone dwellings blend into there surroundings and you can walk by them without seeing them if your not carefully scanning the cliffs. Along with many of these dwellings are ancient artwork called Petroglyphs its such a thrill to discover them. Usually you are alone and with nature as you venture back into these areas. Just sit and listen calling on your imagination as to what must have been going on back in ancient times.
If interested in going out on your own Google cliff dwellings or Anazasi ruins to get a start and go from there. If you decide to go out on your own please be respectful of the area and be prepared with a day pack and the necessities required for hiking. These ruins are very fragile so please step lightly and use good judgment. Please make sure that you don't remove anything from these ancient sites.
Have a great trip and be careful out there.
We missed our annual Fall trip to GTNP so we decided at the last moment to go for a four day weekend. We have never been in the park in November but saw a window of clear weather and took off. The upside of the trip was our lodging was half price and many of the restaurants were BOGO. The downside was several of our favorite restaurants were closed between the Fall and ski season to do repairs etc.
The weather was beautiful in the 60's with clear blue skies and no precipitation. The downside no clouds for scenic shooting. The Moose were out in the sage flats and stayed out for a good part of the morning. We counted 17 bulls in one morning so the moose shooting was great. We also saw elk, buffalo, mule deer and several species of smaller animals and birds. We took a quick trip up to Yellowstone but the wildlife viewing was not that great. We missed the Grizzly sightings by two days which was a bummer but over all it was a great trip. How can you go wrong in such a beautiful place.
I've had a few inquiries about the Fall color in Colorado. The local news just reported snow and high winds tonight in some of the prime areas of color. This can make for some great photography as storms break up and allow various light conditions that can be exceptional. Don't forget to take your polarizer with you. I will be heading up to Peak to Peak highway and Rocky Mountain National Park within the next couple of days and will give you an updated report. For reports around the state go to exporingexposure.com/Colorado-fall-color-resources or google Colorado Fall Color Report.
Enjoy your time and stay safe.
I recently added a group of images titled "Arches National Park". Arches is one of my favorite parks to photograph . It was designated a National Monument in 1929 and a National Park in 1971. It consist of 76,359 acres of monoliths, arches, stone bridges, large sandstone pipe organs shaped by eons of weathering and erosion. Most of the formations are made of soft sandstone which erodes by wind and water. It is continually changing and at least 43 of these formations have fallen since 1977. In order to qualify as an arch it must be at least three feet in one direction. Last count I saw published was 2,000 qualified arches the greatest concentration in the United States.
The Icon of the park is Delicate Arch looping 65 feet out of an orange out cropping. The hike is somewhat strenuous but given enough time its well worth it. For photography purposes the best time to be there is sunset. if the light cooperates its a breath taking sight. Other note worthy arches and formations are Courthouse, Three Gossips, Park Avenue, Turret, Tower of Babel, Landscape, Balanced rock, the Windows section, Skyline Arch, Devils Garden, and many others. If your fortunate enough to be there right after a rain storm the light is usually fantastic.
Arches is located in Utah and the town of Moab is the gateway town. Moab has changed over the years since I have been going there. Its much busier and has become more tourist oriented. Still a great town to visit. There are many other places to visit when in the area. Canyon Lands, Dead Horse Point State Park, canyons with Anasazi ruins and other points of interest.
If you visit and plan to camp there are several areas you can camp in including the Park itself. Last I knew the Park camping was on a first come basis but I would call and check that out. The Park is open 365 days a year but can be mighty hot during the summer months. My favorite months to go are March-April and October-November. Its a great hiking park remember to take water and be careful as the sandstone can be slippery.