The color, warmth and peace of fall was abundant this year. Perhaps I just paid closer attention. I’m grateful for the beauty that surrounds me everyday. Enjoy a slideshow of the season through my eyes, all taken around our home here in Minnesota!
When we weren’t in national parks on our summer road trip (see Part I here), we were driving hundreds of miles under the big sky Montana is known for. I love being under this sky. It’s wide and deep and welcoming. It feels like mother nature opens her arms and invites you in… to adventure, fresh air, and peace. The light rays seem to reach a little farther, storm clouds move like gentle waves often passing near but not overhead, and at sunset it feels like the last light of day is pulling you toward the horizon until it’s gone. I love this place for its skies and so, so much more.
Here are a few of those moments I captured in the middle of our trip as we visited, rested and regrouped with family outside of Bozeman before packing up again and heading North to Glacier.
We’ve made a tradition of traveling as a family each summer. Without any discussion, it has evolved into a bit of a National Parks checklist (complete with me making the boys take a photo by every entrance sign! haha… They’re starting to get used to it! ;-) Over the last few summers we visited Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain. This year was one of the parks on my travel bucket list. Glacier. When our trip morphed into a driving trip, we realized we could visit Teddy Roosevelt National Park too, since one portion of the park is right along the Interstate as we near the Montana border.
The spectacular landscape of Teddy Roosevelt is quite a treat after driving 6 hours across North Dakota. It changes abruptly and dramatically. We spent just a couple hours that first evening on the road exploring the area, driving part of the loop in the park, giggling at the zillions of prairie dogs running around, spotting wild horses, buffalo and a lone antelope. We found some great scrambles with amazing views and a great trail and overlook to watch the sun set.
Viewpoints a collaborative blog circle with some wonderful friends of mine who also passionately shoot landscapes and the natural beauty of our world. Follow the circle to see the incredible scenes captured by Kristen during her summer travels by clicking here.
In this month’s Viewpoints, I’m sharing a frequent view from home this time of year which is a late day summer storm. Hot, humid days repeatedly give birth to thunderstorms that build and move from NW to SE across the state, often passing through our area in the late afternoon and evening hours. The sky was pretty fascinating to watch on this recent night as a strong cell passed just to the North right at sunset. While the color and light in the sky changed rapidly, a light breeze kept the mosquitos away and some loons calling gave a song to this oh-so-typical Minnesota summer lake scene.
Once you’re hooked on aurora “hunting,” it’s almost instinct to check up on space weather like you do the local weather. I was tuned in to the chance of the Northern Lights showing when we headed North to Mille Lacs Lake with family for our annual Memorial Weekend gathering. However, the forecast for clear skies was pretty poor and it quickly slipped my mind as pop-up thunderstorms moved over much of the day. We grilled, fished and played a lot of cards. Mille Bournes anyone? Well, when the last of us standing long after dark started to shut things down, I quick checked the skies and my favorite FB “Aurora” group for any news… and the message was “get outside NOW!”
My only view North was from the end of the dock, looking back over the shore. So I grabbed my gear, ran to the end, carefully got set-up and this was one of my first shots…
I turned out over the lake and even found the Milky Way…
What a surprise this show was, and I was so relieved that I hadn’t missed it. <3
I love this monthly circle and sharing the work of my wonderful friends across the country. Please follow along to see Kathy’s Viewpoint of the Blue Ridge Parkway at sunset…
There is such joy and peace in shooting the ocean, I will take every chance I get. The warm, salty air. The breeze. The sand in my toes. I find myself photographing unique flowers and plants I come across, vegetation that is nothing like Minnesota’s, the osprey who are often nearby, and other wildlife I find, but I’m most drawn to the water. Here are some of the moments and things I found while seeking to capture the beauty of this time and place.
I left the house seeking what I thought might be a nice sunset. A strong thunderstorm was just moving past, and sunset was still a half hour away. I went further down the shoreline than usual to gain a better view of the sunset. I didn’t know the system would continue to build behind it, almost stalling over the lake, where it swirled and churned. I ended up shooting lightening and some seriously ominous clouds for over an hour, watching downpours in the distance without a drop on my head. The last light of day lit up the showers falling on the horizon, then the sky changed from purple to blue and black. By the time I got home, and just in time, it was pouring again.
Capturing lightening isn’t easy. My first 45 minutes of effort went without a single capture. After a handful of huge strikes lit up the sky BETWEEN my shutter closing on one exposure and opening up for another, I figured luck just wasn’t going to fall my way on this night. I stuck it out a little while longer anyway. It was ridiculously frustrating, addictive and ultimately… rewarding. In the end, I had a few to take home.