February, 2010

Arco via INL

Yesterday I took a trip to the Idaho National Laboratory to photograph a building they’re demolishing. I arrived a little early so I quickly (like 65 mph) photographed three dormant volcanoes along the highway in the area.

East Butte, Middle Butte, and Big Southern Butte, Idaho 2010

I then took a detour home through Arco, ID. Arco is a small farming community whose two claims to fame are:
1. It is “The first city in the world to be lit by nuclear power”
2. Its proximity to Craters of the Moon National Monumnet.

It’s a cool little town. I made a few quick photographs of the hand-decrorated signs and building in the city.

Mountain Mural, Arco, ID 2010

Wrap Around Mural, Arco, ID 2010

Arco Christian Mural, Arco, ID 2010

Hand-Painted Bluebird, Arco, ID 2010

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Bowlero

Susan’s brother Andy and his wife Kat were in town this weekend. We all went down to Idaho Falls to have dinner with them and then we all went bowling at Bowlero, a sweet bowling alley in Idaho Falls. We had a good time and I liked the light in the bowling alley. I did more photographing than bowling.

Bowlero Cafe, Bowlero Bowling Alley, Idaho Falls, ID 2010

Bowling Balls, Bowlero Bowling Alley, Idaho Falls, ID 2010

Ceiling Fan, Bowlero Bowling Alley, Idaho Falls, ID 2010

Susan

Kevin

Ethan

Jacob

Andy, Jacob, and Kat

Ethan, Kevin, and Jacob, Bowlero Bowling Alley, Idaho Falls, ID 2010

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Howe

I spent a good portion of Monday driving around Howe birding and photographing birds. This area is known for its large concentration of hawks in winter (particularly Rough-legged Hawks) and it didn’t disappoint.


Rough-legged Hawk (Male), Howe, ID 2010


Rough-legged Hawk (Female), Mud Lake, ID 2010


Rough-legged Hawk, (showing nicitating membrane) Mud Lake, ID 2010

On the way home I also photographed a couple of cooperative Horned Larks



Horned Larks, Mud Lake, ID 2010

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Saturday Birding

On Saturday, Steve and I decided to drive over to Teton Valley to look for Great Gray Owls. They often come down from the mountains to hunt voles in the valley in winter. There really haven’t been many reported this year, but we decided to give it a shot.

Kevin had a basketball game in the morning, so we all went to watch his team get slaughtered, but it’s not about winning right? Anyway, he did a good job and the game was entertaining. I then drove up to see if I could find a Lapland Longspur amongst the hundreds of Horned Larks on the bench. It took a while, but I did finally found one as well as a Snow Bunting.

I met Steve and we drove over to Teton Valley. Since the owls don’t usually come out until dusk we drove around town looking for other birds. We both needed a Black Rosy-Finch for the year, so we drove around neighborhoods with feeders and eventually located two birds mixed in with a few more Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches. We then drove around looking for other birds. We found a Merlin, several eagles and hawks and other common stuff. We also found an obliging Porcupine.

As dusk approached we started driving along the wooded creeks in the valley hoping to stumble across Great Gray Owls. The problem was that the fog rolled in and visibility was horrible. We did find a few Great Horned Owls, but we never could locate a Great Gray. It was a fun night and I may try again before spring.


Snowmobile Tracks and Power Lines, Walker, ID 2010



Rosy Finches,  Driggs, ID 2010



Porcupine, Driggs, ID 2010

Fog, Tetonia, ID 2010

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Landscapes Mentioned in Previous Post

In my previous post I mentioned that “In the late afternoon I took my favorite winter drive up in the farm fields SE of Rexburg. The light was spectacular. I made a few photographs of the landscape and of Horned Larks”.

Here are the some of the landscapes:

Potato Cellars, Walker, ID 2010


Snow and Sky at Sunset (with crusty snow from snowplow in foreground), Walker, ID 2010


Snow and Sky at Sunset (without crusty snow from snowplow in foreground), Walker, ID 2010


Snow and Sky at Sunset (with Power Poles), Walker, ID 2010

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Bald Eagles and Horned Larks

Sick of bird photographs yet?

We had a sunny day today and it was warm (for Rexburg), a pretty unusual combination around here in early February. It was really a gorgeous day. Jon and I tried to fish, we got skunked, but it was still fun. There were 6-8 Bald Eagles in the area and I managed to get pretty decent photographs of four of them.


Bald Eagles in the Shade, Burton, ID 2010



Bald Eagles in the Sun, Burton, ID 2010

In the late afternoon I took my favorite winter drive up in the farm fields SE of Rexburg. The light was spectacular. I made a few photographs of the landscape and of Horned Larks, maybe my favorite bird.


Two Horned Larks (profile view), Walker, ID 2010



Horned Lark (front view), Walker, ID 2010

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White Winter Drive

I’m not a huge fan of winter, but I do like to drive the through the sparse landscape of the agricultural fields on the southeast edge of Rexburg. It’s so weird to be in a place that is white (really white) from horizon to horizon. The only things that break up the monotony of the big white space are the occasional irrigation pivots, the road (which is sometimes snow-covered and also white), the occasional potato cellar (corrugated vinyl structures that are white), power lines, farm trucks (I’d say 75% of those are white), a few scattered farm homes, and flocks of Horned Larks.

I’ve decided photographing that sparse winter landscape is difficult though. I can’t make my photographs bright enough without technical issues ruining the images (I’ll save you the technical photo geek specifics). There are too many subtle differences in the light values for digital capture or film to render. Maybe I should paint them, although I don’t know how to paint. For now, I’ll just enjoy the experience of being in the place and I’ll still try to make photographs that work.


Snowy Field and Power Poles, Walker, ID 2010


Potato Cellar, Walker, ID 2010


Horned Lark, Walker, ID 2010

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