Tag Archives: winter

Winter In Glacier National Park – A Preview

Afternoon At Lake McDonald

An afternoon view from the south end of Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana.

Call this post a preview of my MLK-weekend trip to Montana and Glacier National Park.  I’ll have a longer, different version published in February in the National Parks Traveler.

In a roundabout way, I owe this 3-day jaunt (not counting the day to get there and the day to return to TX) to my company taking away a “floating holiday” (to be used at each employee’s discretion).  I always used those floating holidays  in conjunction with a planned vacation.  In return, the company gave to us what the masses apparently wanted:  Martin Luther King Day.

Hey, I have absolutely nothing against MLK day.  A holiday is a holiday.  But I much preferred that floating holiday to use as I wished, versus a “fixed” holiday.  So, I decided in an I’ll-show-them sort of way to take a long weekend and head on out someplace away from Texas (all of my vacations are taken away from this state in which I’d rather not be).  I’d been hankering for some winter weather, instead of the humid 78-degree weather here in SE Texas (I want my winters to look and feel like winter, dammit).  To that end, I flew to Montana and snow shoed in Glacier National Park.

It was heaven on earth, despite the sub-zero temps.

Frost On The Tripod

-4 degrees F and frost on the tripod.

Icy Color

Colorful icicles off the side of Hwy 2 just before entering Hungry Horse, on the way to the park.

Icicles

Some very long icicles at the West Glacier entrance to the park.  I look like a bright pink beluga whale but I’m definitely warm.

Moonset On Lake McDonald

Moon set during the pre-dawn hours at Lake McDonald.  It was silent except for the ice cracking and the distant hooting of an owl.

Icy Morning

The look of sub-zero at Lake McDonald.

Sunrise Over Lake McDonald II

A frosty sunrise at Lake McDonald.  The mountains were still in hiding that morning.

Little BirdiesDeer In The RoadSnow Path Along The Shorelinen6a1458_snow-path-through-the-tall-trees

Scenes while snow shoeing near Lake McDonald Lodge in the park.  The lodge was as far as the Going-To-The-Sun Road was open.

Lake McDonald Afternoon Reflection IILake McDonald Winter Reflections

Late afternoon brought out the mountains, along with some clear skies and lake reflections.

So, thank you, Company, for the MLK Day, because if you had not taken away a floating holiday and given us this day off instead, I doubt I would have given second thought to a deep-winter photography trip to Glacier National Park.  And that would have been a shame.

Evening Blues And Pinks

Good night, Glacier National Park.  See you in September 2017.

 

 

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Filed under 5DSR, Canon, Glacier National Park MT, Photography, Uncategorized

3 Days In Winter in Big Bend National Park

Moonlight Over The Window

I’m published – got a sweet 4-page article in the National Parks Traveler Winter Essential Parks Guide.  Click on the photo to go to the article.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Big Bend, Big Bend National Park, Seasons, Texas, weather, winter

Photography in the National Parks: Winter Essentials

Hello Everybody!  Just a quick post to let you know that the National Parks Traveler site has published my latest article.  It’s titled “Winter Essentials” and deals with photography in the national parks during the winter (duh).  If you are interested, check it out.

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Filed under Equipment, Landscape, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, Travel and Photography, weather, winter

February in Arches National Park, Utah

The Walk To Park Avenue_U9A8035

The path toward Park Avenue

Ever since returning from my vacation in Arches NP, I’ve been swamped with day-job work as well as updating my Facebook photography page, uploading images to my photo website, working on a contract for a wedding and another one for a possible bellydance portfolio photo shoot, as well as writing a new article for the “Photography In the Parks” column on the National Parks Traveler website (which will show up in early March).  So forgive me for such a long absence.

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When I visited Arches National Park in 2012, it was only for about 3 days.  Not much time to actually take time to explore the park.  So as soon as I returned to Texas, I began planning an early 2013 re-visit to Arches for a longer period of time.

Here are a few thoughts for you photographers:

  • February is an awesome time to visit the park, if you can handle the cold temperatures. There are absolutely NO crowds – not even tour buses. That means you can explore popular spots like Balanced Rock, the Windows section, and Delicate Arch without having to clone people out of your images.  At times, I was the only person there (Balanced Rock and Delicate Arch) and it was an incredible feeling. Plus, it might snow in February like it did for me when I was there.

Becky and Balanced Rock

Becky and Balanced Rock

On Top Of The World

Delicate Arch All To Myself!

Turret Arch Vista

Snow Day in the Park!  Five inches of snow, actually.

  • As you are heading into the park, along the main paved road, everything on the left side of the road (the west side) is best photographed during the morning hours.

Salt Valley Sunrise

Salt Valley and the Devil’s Garden during Sunrise

  • Everything on the right side of the road (the east side) is best photographed during the afternoon and evening hours.

Balanced Rock In The Snow

Balanced Rock and the La Sal Mountains in the Afternoon

This is, of course, a general rule of thumb, not set in stone.

  • Visit a particular place more than once, at different times of the day. You will be surprised at how different your images look simply because of the time of day

La Sal Morning

The La Sal Mountain Viewpoint in the morning

Afternoon At The Same Scene

The La Sal Mountain Viewpoint in the afternoon

  • When you encounter one of those days during which you simply can’t get the landscape images you want, try concentrating a little more close-in; use your telephoto lens rather than your wide-angle lens.

One Little Tree CROP

One Little Tree in Park Avenue in the Afternoon (while everything else is totally in the shade at this time of day)

  • February is a bit of a sparse month for wildlife.  There are 50 Desert Bighorn Sheep living in this park, but I didn’t see a single one.  I did see 3 deer and a few ravens.  I did not see any reptiles, tarantulas, or scorpions.

Hello My Deers

Hello There, My Deers

February is a great month also for discounts on rental vehicles and deals on Moab hotel rooms.  It’s the slow time of year for them, so they LOVE having people visit in the winter (the Moab Brewery was practically empty the one time I went there for a yummy lunch of beer cheese soup and a Scorpion Pale Ale).  Make sure, though, you make your plane reservations and any other reservations ahead of time (I made my plane reservation to Grand Junction CO and car rental reservation 5 months ahead of time, then, when I arrived in Grand Junction, I actually upgraded to an SUV because Hertz offered me a sweet discount).

If you can’t find a room for a hotel you like on one website, either go to another website, or wait a few weeks and then try again.  I originally used Hotels.com to make a room reservation in Moab at a hotel other than the one I really wanted because Hotels.com couldn’t find a vacancy for that time period.  About three weeks prior to my departure date, I went onto the website of  my original hotel choice (Aarchway Inn) and found a room for a great deal (they actually put me in the very same room I’d stayed in before).  Perseverance pays off!

Yes, February is a great time to visit Arches National Park….and nearby Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park, as well.

I Made It - Again

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Filed under Arches National Park, National Parks, Photography, Travel, Utah

An 80-Degree Winter at Brazos Bend State Park

You wouldn’t think it’s winter down here in southeast Texas.   It’s been in the upper 70’s (Fahrenheit) for the past few days.  Foggy in the morning, sunny and bright by mid-morning lasting into the evening.  Yesterday, it was 80 degrees.

I get every other Friday off.  During those Fridays, I generally don’t like to go anywhere (except on vacation, that is).  However, I’d scheduled a bone density test for this particular Friday off, so I decided I’d take along my cameras and spend time after the appointment at a state park to which I’d never been.

Well, I’ve still never been to that state park, and probably won’t ever get there.  You see, Google Map’s directions are not always spot-on.  I managed to get lost and spent the remainder of the morning never finding the park. But, I did see a lot of new area around the outskirts of Houston which I’d never seen before.  I’ve read that seeing new places helps your brain’s neurons (or whatever) create new pathways, which in turn keeps you from getting age-related dementia too soon.  So I guess the morning wasn’t a total waste.

By the time I finally found a highway that would take me home, I decided I might as well drive out to familiar ground instead of going back to my apartment.  So I found myself showing the park ranger my annual Texas State Park pass and I spent a few hours at 40-Acre Lake in Brazos Bend State Park.

H5T1290_Ibis

H5T1377_Turtles Reflection

H5T1418_Great Egret - Vertical

H5T1467_Leading Lines

H5T1549_Friday Afternoon Fishing

The weather was unbelievable.  For  a winter’s day, people were out in shorts and t-shirts.  There still wasn’t much bird life, but the American alligators were sunning themselves in numbers.

H5T1385_Sunning

H5T1403_Alligator Face

Becky was out sunning herself too.  Oh, and I was also testing my new Giga Pro T II wireless remote by Hahnel.

U9A7631_Becky at Brazos Bend

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Filed under Brazos Bend State Park, nature, Parks, Photography, Texas, wildlife