This Time Last Year

Lewis and Clark Bridge on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky
Lewis and Clark Bridge on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky

Man, does time fly by?

It was about this time last year when I was visiting my mother and photographing Thoroughbred horses near Midway, Ky. Near the end of my trip, I arranged to meet my older brother in downtown Louisville.

It was a perfect weather day, the city was preparing for the Kentucky Derby as they do each year. Spring was in full swing. I decided to drive downtown along an old familiar route, River Road and photograph all the bridges across the Ohio River from Madison, Indiana to New Albany Indiana.

This particular bridge is the Lewis and Clark Bridge on the Ohio River in near the city of Prospect at a place called Transylvania Beach. This bridge is fairly new. Back in the day I spent many hours on the Ohio River. It was our recreational zone of choice for house boating and water skiing and other odd things.

Remnants of the old boat docks still protrude from the banks of the Ohio as this stretch of Kentucky shore-line was once filled with private boats and docks. Those days are mostly gone now. Floods, fuel costs, and other factors have conspired to change the culture. There was never a bridge here when I frequented the Harrods Creek/Ohio River channels, so seeing this sitting on top of my memory is sorta like having your old home torn down and in it’s place is a parking lot.

As for the other bridges, I managed to get everything done while I traveled along River Road to meet my brother for lunch. We finished up the last bridge together, tromping around in the thickets along the banks of the Ohio River in New Albany, Indiana. It was like we were 12 years old again.

Interestingly, this photo is pretty popular with my stock agencies. I made the right choice to go for them them.

That’s A Different Story

Bull moose in a lake. Northern Colorado
Bull Moose – Northern Colorado

I suppose I’m a traditional type of person in that I find emotional comfort in certain traditions.

For internet purposes, I practice the tradition of “Moose Monday.”

I’m not quite certain of the origins of “Moose Monday” as it’s been observed by quite a few people I associate with. I’m I the reason? I don’t think so, but I may have contributed to the delinquency of others.

The Moose Collective. I think the first guy other than me who I recall using the phrase was Matt Dirkson and he too appears to have this insatiable appetite for photographing wild moose but we aren’t alone. Birds of a feather so to speak, it was inevitable that we collide and join a growing a photographic tradition of naming specific photographic themes for days of the week. Some days are better than others, literally.

Still, no one person gets credit for anything organizational in a collective. It’s more symbiotic than organized. We have “Moose Mommas” in the group too, so it isn’t a guy thing, I know that much.

These things aren’t just limited to Moose either. Us moose people in the collective are sort of a sub-collective. There are many sub-collectives in photography and we all appear to be traditional people from what I can see. Many of us are obcessed with our traditional ways, so we find our collectives and carry on.

To add to the confusions, I’ve picked up a nick-name as well.”The Moose Whisperer.” I’m not certain of the origin of that name, as I’ve heard it used many times over the years describing me but that’s a different story.

 

Until I’m Gone

Photograph of a misty fog over a lake in Colorado
Dawn in the Rocky Mountains

A much needed dose of peace and tranquility.

Some mornings you wake up and the world’s conflicts are thrust upon you.

I’m cognizant of the fact that I’m far more fortunate than many to be able to experience peace and beauty in my life.

This photograph is a reminder that not everything in this world revolves around politics and war.

May you enjoy peace and tranquility in your life.

I hope I can keep it this way until I’m gone.

Daydreaming of The San Juan Mountains

Panoramic photo of the San Juan Mountains in Colorado
San Juan Mountains – Colorado

After three weeks of website work, I’m taking Friday off. My mind is burnt and I’m daydreaming about getting into the mountains.

Today’s photo was taken near Ridgway, Colorado a few years back.

I’ve visited this location many times over the years. It’s a grand view and the variation in weather, sky and autumn color from year to year always makes for a new and interesting scene.

I’ll be working in the San Juans this Autumn and taking bookings for private photo tours. Check out my main website for more information.

Wednesday’s Photograph

Sunset on the windows section of arches national park
Arches National Park, Utah

I’m still holed up in my office working on Internet stuff but this warm weather is calling me to get outside.

I’ve started a new project helping a blind friend build a website and that to me seems more important at the moment than more photos of Blue Heron.  I have photos of Blue Heron.

I’ll be patient until spring is in full swing.

 

Vintage Lenses

Landscape Photography by Gary Gray
Merrimac and Monitor Butte Near Moab, Utah

I’ve been playing with a vintage Nikon lens on the D810.

The Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8 D

An older lens built in the day for use on their film bodies, this lens can be found dirt cheap on eBay for between $200-300. 20 years ago, this was a professional grade lens and it was commonly used by photojournalists. Production ran from December 1987 through 1992.

Today, it’s been relegated to the odd collectors item.

You can read more about this lens here.

Today’s photo was taken with this lens using a Nikon D800.

The quality holds up too.

I’ve been contemplating selling it, but for what it costs I’m not sure I want to let it go.

Rainy Moose Monday

Moose Photography in Colorado
Shiras Moose Cow – Northern Colorado

It is raining here in Denver this morning so I abandoned any thought of going to the tree in the lake. The weather should be improving this week.

Opportunities will improve.

Here’s a moose photo for Moose Monday. Taken on July 15th, 2015 during one of my scouting trips in North Park.  Canon EOS 7D 1/800, f/8, ISO 1000, 300mm.

Sunday Morning Deer Action

Wildlife photography by Gary Gray
Mule Deer Doe

Out to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR this morning.

There have been news reports of newborn bison at the Arsenal so my buddy Tim and I made a run through the arsenal this morning.

Lots of bison, lots of deer, not a lot of photography as the animals weren’t exactly in good light for most of the morning.  Still, we managed to spot three newborn bison calves. One looks like it was born in the past 24 hours as the mother was looking quite raw and low on strength.

Bison photograph by Gary Gray
Newborn Bison Calf

The placenta is still fresh and hanging from the calf and the mother is on her feet.  One of three calves we spotted.

Fleeting Moments

Wildlife Photography by Gary Gray

Today is Thursday. By 6:30 am, I’ve fed the dog, loaded the dishwasher and greeted the new sunrise on the porch. Everyone else is still sleeping. Fifteen minutes later, I’m sitting in my office holding my coffee mug, staring at the computer screen.

“What to write today?” I’m thinking. I sip more coffee. I think this same thought every day that begins in front of the computer.

I’ll start with a photograph. That usually gets the chocks removed from the wheels.  The fox activity in the neighborhood has been picking up, I’m thinking a fox photo might help direct my mind.

I find a photo of a Red Fox running across an open field near Red Feathers. In it’s mouth is a field mouse. A fleeting moment, out of the blue. I’m lucky to have witnessed it and even more lucky to have photographed it. The moment came and went in less than 30 seconds.

Sipping my coffee, I’m down to the last and it’s no longer warm.

“I have something to work with” I’m thinking. “Fleeting moments. Yeah, fleeting moments is a good theme.” My thoughts progress as I scoot away from my desk with coffee cup in hand.

As I walk downstairs, the front door comes in to view and I see the bottom half of my daughter-in-law’s car in the driveway. Trudy has been watching the kids this week but I wasn’t expecting them today.

“Oh, surprise. Always the last to find out.” I’m thinking as I open the front door to let her and my grand-daughter in.

As they enter the house, Trudy appears from the kitchen. Doobie runs to the door and tangles himself in the group trying to coax Ava into playing. The noise went from silent to a crescendo of confusion in less than 5 seconds.

I’m receiving fragments of the conversation at this point so I decide to proceed down the hall into the kitchen to refill my coffee mug. Doobie and Ava dart by me. Trudy and Chelsea are right behind me. The noise level hasn’t decreased.

“Do you have your wallet?” Trudy directs her attention to me. I’m in my sweats and my hair looks like I’ve slept in a wind-tunnel.

“Ahhh, no. It’s upstairs.” I reply.

“Chelsea needs ones.” Trudy says.

More sentence fragments enter my ears, thoughts are coagulating. Something about Chelsea needing three, one dollar bills for Noah at school this morning, which apparently wasn’t known about until Noah got to school.

No worries, three dollars should be possible. The school is a couple of blocks from our house, so coming here is a lot easier than driving to a bank machine and getting $20 and then trying to break it. School is starting.

I return to the kitchen with my wallet which contained a single dollar bill. I proudly pull it out and hand it to Chelsea.

“If you ever talk about me behind my back Chelsea, please tell them that I’m the kind of guy who would give you his last dollar.” I grinned like a hobo who just found a bottle of whiskey.

Trudy and Chelsea continue talking. More fragments assemble. Chelsea is embarrassed. Doobie is still running and jumping, tipping the trash bin, smacking his head. Ava is somewhere down there tangled up with Doobie.

Trudy takes the dollar bill from Chelsea and hands her a twenty.

“You didn’t have enough ones?” I ask. “I only have the one.”

Trudy stares at me for a second and hands me the dollar bill.

“Here, give it to Chelsea” Her hair is in worse shape than mine.

“I just did.” I say, wondering what just happened.

“Oh. Well, she probably won’t need it then.” She says

I place the single bill back into my wallet and move towards the coffee pot.

Fifteen minutes later.

Chelsea and Ava and Doobie are all about their business. Mom is downstairs getting her coffee. Trudy and I are sitting on the back porch enjoying the nice morning, waking up from our stupors.

“So, you take the dollar from Chelsea, give it to me and tell me to give it to her?” I said in a low, almost laughing tone.

“I don’t think my mind was working yet.” Trudy replies. She starts laughing and continues laughing.

“This may be the all time best blonde moment you’ve had.” I say.

She laughs harder. I laugh with her. The sun is up. The coffee is hot.

Fleeting Moments.