Friday, October 31, 2008

dreaming of winter

dreaming of winter, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I decided to do a little hiking in an area I've not trekked to this summer. I headed out to Desolation Lake and beyond. Desolation Lake is a few miles in from Big Cottonwood Canyon and is also accessed by going out of bounds at the Canyon's Ski Resort in Park City. I went beyond by hiking up to the ridge and along the Wasatch Crest Trail. The image posted here is of Upper Bear Trap Fork, the back side of Desolation Lake.

Many open slopes draw skiers to the back country. However without proper training or a good head on the shoulders the back country can become the last country - aka resulting in death by burial in snow or demise if recovered in time. The slope surrounding Upper Bear Trap and Desolation Lake slide often in January and February.

I chose to re-familiarize myself with these slopes so that when snow does begin to fall, I will remember what is or isn't holding the snow to the slope.

For more information on Avalanche Dangers or forecasting see:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

about a but

It's a fact of life the older you get life transitions from weddings to christenings to funerals. Today is one of the later days. I went to a funeral. I'd rather go to weddings & christenings then funerals. Thankfully, today is not like the last few funerals I went to - that of a young person. I can't say today's was any better either because this was for an elderly (I hate that word). Today's was for one gentleman who impacted my life when I was a young man. I can't say elderly because to me he wasn't and how can you be when you're one that lore is written of? When one sits down to read the journals of the mountain men & trappers all one can do is picture you?

I've titled this about a but. A mentor, a Scout Leader, a buckskin wearing mountain man, all that was spoken of him did not include the but. There were no 'he was but...' or 'his but...' If there was a but on the other side of but was not a negative. There was a positive. There were many an example of how this gentleman treated others - always better then himself. There were examples of how he sacrificed so he could be with his beloved. There were examples of how he went without so others could be comfortable. There were pages of Scouting Lore that would be different had he not been there. The story of his family of his giving, giving, and giving. He lived the example all should follow.

There could have been a but. That but also most came to be... This but almost happened. BUT he died not knowing Christ - that is the but one does not want to hear. Of all the buts that could have been & are in life this is the but that changes everything. I am so glad his family loved him so much that thou they had the living example of Christ in their lives they stilled shared Christ with him. I am so glad that he accepted Christ. Thou not living a religious life, he exemplified the life to live - that of selflessness. No mater how 'good' one is there is no life perfect enough to gain access to heaven without having the life of Christ living inside. I am so glad the but ends 'but after all this good he did he accepted Christ and is alive though not with us.'

I know for this family, this time is hard, many traveled great distances just to be at his side. I know that the stories told are treasured. I know that the best condolences one can offer is a story or a listening ear. A book of pictures may not say much (troop history). A post card from a far - may not say anything. Faces unknown and yet touched, give not a clue. When all is strung together the thread of love revealed the but of not knowing Christ would shatter it all. The thread of life that ran is his life is the exemplary life, a finger print of Christ in everything he did, yet not recognized by him until the end. With all the threads in life end and the last needle of the tapestry pulled through, the finally picture seen without Christ it all unravels. I am so glad this family man, this Scout Leader, this selfless one finished his days with us knowing Christ.

I must pose this to those who read this entry: Is there a 'but' in your life? Is there stuff that would change the story told about you? I know not how to phrase the next. Do I dare say is a life lived for good and accepting Christ better then a life accepting Christ and then lived? Do I dare when does one accept Christ, after the party is over or before it begins? Do I dare ask, what's holding you back from accepting Christ? Will others one day say of you - he accepted Christ but (the blank) or will they say of you - he knew Christ and lived out his walk.

For the one who showed me how to live at peace in the outdoors (even a night without a sleeping bag or fire), for the one who taught me how to respect the outdoors, for the one who showed me what selflessness is. I thank his family for sharing Christ so that we may say and he knew Christ in the end and now lives.

*family & names purposely with held

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Morning Mist Elk

Morning Mist Elk, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

This is the kind of image everyone needs to get of elk or other wild life in Yellowstone. For me it was the cold that got me up and being up I decided to go for a walk down by the Madison River. This is as close to these animals as I wanted to be while we were on the same side of the river.

hoofs and antlers

_IGP8202, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

This is one of those pictures that you don't want to take on your trip to Yellowstone NP. The Park Rangers warn many a person daily to keep away from the wild life. The Park's literature too tells one to keep a safe distance of no less then 25 yards for most large animals and 100 at least for bears. It also says to give plenty of space to Elk during the Rut (mating season).

I did.

My story goes... one crisp morning before I started my coffee while camping at the Madison Junction Campground I chose to go for a walk along the river's side. I saw a few fly fishermen and pondered if they'd seen the elk herd in the area. As I came around the crest of a river bend I saw them in the field across the way, on the other side of the river. I took a few frames and walked over to a couple of photographers near by. We chatted a moment and moved up the river to get a better shot.

One of the cows (female elk) went rogue and crossed the river about a hundred yards from the bridge. I moved up river to get a picture of the elk fording the water. Still plenty of room for safety, 300 yards or so. The bull (male elk) forded the river to chase her back into his harem. Again, I had plenty of space though the photographers maybe one or three near where they crossed backed up 25 yard or plenty more.

She turned down river. My way. While she trotted, I ran (ran!) along with several others up hill to the trees. Three of us hid behind a big tree as she passed. He came after her. He paused long enough to look at us and shake his head. That big old tree became like a twig & I sucked up to it.

He charged on bent on getting his girl back. This is the image I caught shooting from the hip as he came around but a few yards (I don't recall exactly how far, the EXIF reveals I shot at 80mm zoom). Those two to three hundred yards of safety were eaten up mighty fast in those few seconds of chase.

The next images, after I button hooked it around that twig of a big tree is of the photographer 25 yards behind me with a nervous look on his face. He abandoned his camera on a tripod a moment later. It'd be half an hour before he could retrieve his gear.

The moral of this image.
1) Any distant distance is not safe during the rut.
2) I don't exactly have a point and shoot as many tourist do. If you do and you want a picture of what you see - ask some one with one of those big lens'd cameras on a tripod if they'd send you an image or two. The will if you're cool about it.
3) keep shooting regardless the focus.

If you were there that morning please send me an image or two of the treed three.

Mom, if you read this. This is my only encounter with wild life of this kind - ever! I stay out of and keep out of any harms way. Trust me. Just 'cus an image shows up like this doesn't mean I seek 'em. I'm a story teller & this one is illustrated.

Old Faithful at night under the stars

Many a year ago when I was but a youthful young man, I worked in the far fetched land of Yellowstone National Park. I longed to hike and to relax in the beauty of this rare and wonder filled landscape of exotic and toxic beauty though scared by the wild fires of 88 a scant 2 years before. I spent many a night laying on my back after a day of work or play on the board walk surrounding the geyser known as Old Faithful.

This image though it needs digital noise washing shows the geyser as I'd seen it many a time. I chose this one for you can see the Big Dipper Consolation ready to catch the water cast upwards into the sky. This is towards the end of this geyser's cycle and is lighted by a long exposure and a few flashes of those who do not realize night pixs don't work to well with flashes...