September 04, 2015

National Parks vacationing and photography

Yours truly, almost to the 14,060 Mt. Bierstadt summit
I am glad indeed to have gotten some real vacation time last month. For people who don't know, such vacations often center around hiking and nature photography at National Parks and other scenic spots, primarily in our western states.

Obviously, the hiking includes things like that at left. Bierstadt is by consensus Colorado's easiest 14er. But, it is a 14er, I'd not done a full week's vacation, especially one of heavy hiking, in four years, I was in the neighborhood, and so, though I'd hiked it before, I did again.

Sagittarius, Milky Way, Scorpius, Saturn.
I spent most of the vacation at Rocky Mountain National Park.

While there, in addition to the daytime photography, I did astrophotography like this, with a faster, less noisy DSLR than my last vacation. (I also saw a couple of great meteors from the Perseid shower.) Full photo EXIF file detail is with each picture; the full Rocky 2015 album has other stuff, of course! That includes multiple pictures of marmots, my best pika photos ever, a black bear and other items.

That wasn't the only place with great night skies, though the altitude as well as relatively dry air was a great combination.

Buck Canyon Overlook, Canyonlands National Park
The first major portion of the trip was at Canyonlands National Park. It, like Death Valley and somewhat like Texas' Big Bend is, for me, a very "existential" spot and thus, a place I always try to hit when I'm in the Four Corners. Photos like the one at left show why. The full album is here. And, individual photos can be clicked to enlarge, and to lead to their spot in the various albums from my vacation. I have a number of other expansive redrocks shots like this, as well as a bit of wildlife and night photography, in that folder.

Ravens at Chaco
I actually started at what is called a National Historic Park, while also part of the National Park Service — Chaco Canyon. Although going back to about 850 CE, this stark site has lessons for today.

The multiple, combinatorial reasons why the Anasazi likely eventually deserted it, even its oldest, centuries old villages, as shown in this album, were many. As we can best tell today, they included resource overuse and climate change, are warnings for today, as well as anti-romantic admonitions that "pristine societies" never really existed. The photo at right riffs on ravens, in cultures around the world, being an iconic, often a totemic, animal.

The centennial of the National Park Service is next year. However, as I noted two weeks ago, the official federal government/NPS celebration is already showing itself to be a neoliberal, corporate driving, "branding" spectacular.

NOTE: I have computer wallpaper versions of a couple of the photos posted here and of others in my albums. Ask if you're interested.


PDiddie said...

Excellent photos.

Gadfly said...

You and other visitors, thanks. Feel free to share the links; that's part of why I post them!

Old Gator said...

I've heard that the horned toads are disappearing.

Prolly not a great idea to walk around barefoot, then.