Country Style Tobogganing

Captured this family frolicking in the snow last week in Lancaster counties farm country.They basically took a piece of aluminum roof material and hooked it up to one of the horses and off they went. I like both images but the one where the dog is actually biting the woman’s sleeve might get my vote of the two but it is not able to be cropped tight because of the horse.

Industrious Kids

As anyone who follows my blog knows, I have not been posting much lately. It is hard to explain but right now I just feel so old and worn out and basically overwhelmed with trying to keep everything in order. I am a perfectionist, so that means my house, yard, etc, needs to look nice and well-kept and I am the one everyone is relying on to get it done. Lately the physical stamina it takes has waned a little,especially since I had 5 stents put in last summer and I get overwhelmed thinking about everyone that relies on me. Now you might wonder what on earth was all that about? Well its just a little insight into why not many photos are happening for me right now. We had what I consider to be one of the prettiest snow storms this week and the trees were covered in cotton candy like fashion for well over a day. All that time I usually would have been running ragged trying to capture it, but this time I just sat at home thinking that is really pretty, yet I could not find the enthusiasm to go shoot. The above photo was taken while I was working and I happened to spot this scene on the back roads.

It is a group of one room school kids who seemed to be having a snowman building competition. There were at least 6 snowmen, and all were tall and each had a group working to outdo the others. I love this image because I not only captured a unique moment but I got to see some genuine ingenuity by young children. First the group on the right had to make a second giant snowball so they could then place a chair on it to give the young lad a platform to hand snowballs to the leader. Thankfully I still get a rush when I spot things like this and capture special moments. As Bette Davis famously said,” old age is not for sissies”, and I already feel like its going to be a problem for me but we are all in the same boat I guess. like that is any relief. When I was young I had all the time in the world, and in the blink of an eye, I see my own demise on the horizon. Sometimes I think there is a link between creativity and depression, and when I see people like Thomas Kincade or Robin Williams who both killed themselves, I see similarities in how I feel when my creativity is low and my very essence seems to be lost. You look at gifted people like that and wonder how is it possible they don’t see themselves as gifted or blessed, but the drive to create can also be a burden at times. Hopefully future posts will be a little lighter reading than this one was.

The Bells

This is another image from the past that I always loved. It is Maroon Bells in Colorado, which I believe is the most photographed spot out there and the mountains look like bells if you really look. Anyway the sky was very dramatic this morning and the sunlight came out for a short time to really enhance the shot. My biggest memory of this shot, besides its obvious beauty was almost seeing two young people killed by a flying boulder. As I was shooting, I heard these two teenagers making their way across the slope on the near left in this shot and I did not pay much attention to them. All of a sudden,I  heard a popping sound echo across the valley and you could not tell what it was at first, but I noticed the two teens were looking up the slope and starting to take off running. Well it turns out a boulder the size of a small car was hurtling down the mountain and at one point the two just stopped moving because they had no idea what track this thing was taking.In the end the rock was moving at an incredible rate and it actually went right between both of them before it crashed into the water. I forget how far apart they were but it wasn’t more than maybe a couple car lengths. the following is off the net concerning this place.

The Maroon Bells boast some of the most scenic hiking in the country, and many people complete the route safely every year—but it’s not to be taken for granted. The 12-mile round-trip hike to the summit of the South Ridge is fraught with loose rock fields, steep paths, gullies, and plenty of places to get lost. Oh yeah, and there’s the mercurial weather.

The trail is relatively easy until you get above 11,000 feet on its east slope. From there, the climb gets rougher the higher you get. The Maroon Bells got their deadly reputation after eight people died in five separate incidents, earning them the nickname “The Deadly Bells.” A U.S. Forest Service sign on the trail sums it up: “The beautiful Maroon Bells … have claimed many lives in the past few years. They are not extreme technical climbs, but they are unbelievably deceptive. The rock is down sloping, rotten, loose, and unstable. It kills without warning. The snowfields are treacherous, poorly consolidated, and no place for a novice climber. … Expert climbers who did not know the proper routes have died on these peaks.”

Teton Sunrise

Since I am not shooting much right now, I may share some images from my past trips. This was taken in the Tetons at dawn and one memory I have from this spot is leaving my expensive Gitzo tripod sitting behind my car and then driving off and after going 5-10 miles looking in the back seat to realize my error. I drove 100 mph to get back here which scared the daylights out of my friend but it was still sitting there. Hard to shoot 8 second exposures without a tripod.

Early Spring Snow

It has been a while since I posted anything but when I feel overwhelmed, my desire to shoot takes a back seat. This shot is nothing great but I stopped the other day because the sun was partially illuminating the scene. Hopefully I can find the enthusiasm to get out again but not just yet.