Thursday, September 30, 2010

Heading to Wyoming!

My cancer treatment is finished, I am getting my strength back, and after spending over nine months cooped up in the house, it's time for a road trip!  First heading to the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Range just outside of Cody for a couple of days, then to Yellowstone to spend some time with the bears!

Usually when we head over the Big Horns we are in a hurry and don't have time to stop and enjoy the scenery.  This time, I had as much time as I wanted to take, so I played tourist and enjoyed a leisurely drive over Highway 14 from Sheridan to Shell, which is absolutely beautiful this time of year!

Some horses relaxing on a beautiful fall day!

It was late afternoon when I reached the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Range, so I figured I would just head in and do a little bit of exploring and then camp where ever I happened to be when it got dark.  For anyone who has never been to McCullough Peaks, I highly recommend a Jeep or short wheel-based SUV, NOT a one-ton crew cab 4x4!  I can't count the number of times I had to back up (sometimes for a LONG ways to find a place wide enough to turn around) because the little 2-track I would be following would come to a washout that was too steep for my truck, but a shorter vehicle would handle it with no problem!  I have been telling my husband for a year now that I "need" a Jeep...maybe this will convince him!  This place is definitely the "Badlands of Wyoming", very rugged, and very beautiful!  I had been exploring for a couple of hours when I found a small band of horses and stopped to take some pictures.

 The stallion was curious, but he wasn't too worried as long as I kept my distance.

This mare is seeking some reassurance from the band stallion.  
After she figured out everything was okay, she brought all of her girls to say hello!

A group of lovely ladies coming to say hello!

As the sun started to set, these two little guys still weren't too sure about me! 

It was starting to get dark, so I figured this was as good of place as any to camp.  I started heating some water for some soup, and these two little colts kept circling my camp and getting closer each time...very curious yet not quite as brave as the big horses!

As it started getting darker, the coyotes started howling.  
That sent the babies scurrying back to the herd!

Moonrise over the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Range

The sunset was incredible! 

My camp guard...the stallion keeping watch above my camp

I fell asleep listening to the coyotes serenade to me and the wild horses grazing just outside my camp, counting my blessings and being thankful for the incredible day, and looking forward to what tomorrow would bring!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall in the Black Hills

I decided to head out this morning and capture some of the beautiful fall colors that take over the Black Hills this time of year.  I started with a drive up to Mount Roosevelt, where the aspen and the ferns along with the brilliant blue sky made for some wonderful contrast!

From there I headed to the Iron Creek Trail, which is one of my favorite areas to hike.  Since I had my dog, we didn't spend any time photographing along the road in Spearfish Canyon, but we did spend quite a bit of time in Iron Creek!

The colors should be reaching their peak just in time for the first Black Hills Photo Shootout this weekend, and there should be some fantastic photo opportunities for all of the participants!  This will be my first photo workshop, and I am really looking forward to having a fun weekend and meeting so many other photographers!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Muskrats in the Rain!

I have been so busy with senior and family portraits lately, I have been having a wildlife withdrawal! Although it was a little wet and cold this morning, I had to take a break from picture editing and venture out with the big lens.  I called up a friend who I know also has an affinity for cute, furry little critters, and we headed out to hopefully find a muskrat family out playing in the rain!

Not doing much playing, must have been breakfast time!

Hiding...someone had to show up with their dog to see what we were taking pictures of...

I will be heading to Wyoming next week to spend several days in Yellowstone National Park and the Tetons, so I should be able to get my wildlife fix!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Are You Ready For Some Football?!?

It was an exciting night of football at Lyle Hare Stadium as the Spearfish Spartans played their first home game, hosting Rapid City Central.  The fans came out in force to support the teams, and the boys played hard and put on a terrific game!  Although the Spartans lost their lead and fell to the Cobblers in the last eight minutes of the game, they were a force to be reckoned with the entire game, and the future is looking good for what has been a struggling team!  If you are looking for an exciting way to spend Friday night with the family, Friday, September 17, the Spartans will host Sioux Falls Roosevelt at Lyle Hare Stadium!

More images can be viewed and purchased at Thompson Photography.