I was driving along the road into a nature preserve when I came upon these vultures perched upon a dead oak. It struck me as such an odd sight, almost scary, and I had to stop and take a photo. While there another gentlemen came along and stopped next to me to take a look. Apparently he watches these carrions closely and said that something wasn’t right because normally they are further up the road inside the preserve. He thought perhaps someone was lighting fireworks and caused the flock to move here. Anyway, the only thing scary about this photo is that presumably these poor birds were a bit unsettled and scared themselves. Seems things are always what they seem.
Near Queenstown New Zealand is Lake Hayes which has homes and cottages around its perimeter. Most had kayaks or rowboats laying along the shore. As you can see I was here in the autumn when the leaves were changing and carpeting the ground. Off in the distance to the South is the Remarkables, a mountain range that had already started collecting snow. We were here midday and it was fairly warm without much of a breeze, thus providing a glassy surface to the lake. These still waters are more common first thing in the morning, but in this case we had a rare occurrence in the afternoon.
Its now autumn in the northern hemisphere but I’ve not yet gotten out for some fall pictures. Nevertheless I took this about a year ago in Gorges State Park North Carolina. This is in the Blue Ridge Mountains and I think it’s one of the best places to go for fall colors. I was hiking up stream along a trail towards a much larger waterfall. The trail was short but strenuous and so I kept leaving the trail to look upstream towards the big waterfalls that would mean I was finally there. It was almost as if I had a voice in my head saying “are we there yet?” over and over again. When I finally did reach the falls it felt like the effort was well worth it.
This is one of many boardwalks at Myakka River State Park. Along it you can view mostly birds but maybe the odd alligator as well. Just like everywhere else Florida is experiencing growth and urban sprawl and so places like this state park are protected sanctuaries for local and migratory wildlife. I posted something similar to this recently from the same location. I like how the palms frame the path as it leads out into the swamp. A simple composition of the Florida landscape without the beach.
This is just off Upper Red Rock Loop Road in Sedona. I was here for a few days and found myself on this road several times, either surveying the scenery or checking out the local parks. Cactus is everywhere and I especially liked how the morning sun creates a warm backlit glow. Of course the scenery of the surrounding mountains is everywhere and it’s what makes Sedona such an amazing place to visit.
I took this in Avon which is just outside Hartford CT. It was late December so there was a chill in the air as I arrived before dawn to walk around the pond. This was just after sunrise about halfway around. The best part of being here early is the stillness of the water and the reflections that result. I finished the hike and headed to the airport to return home to Florida for the holidays.
I made up this rule (more of an idea actually) that I try to have at least three of the four elements in a landscape photo at the same time. If these clouds look a little funny it’s because I added a background of water. So by cheating a little (hey, they’re my rules so I can break them) I got my three elements; thus, the title of this photo.
This road is on the backside of a mountain near Arrowtown in New Zealand. Apparently this is one of the most dangerous roads in New Zealand, at least according to the warning sign at the entrance. Adventure companies bring clients by jeep down this road for all types of activities including bungee jumping, white water rafting and extreme mountain biking. I couldn’t get over how vertical everything seemed. The mountains around us were thousands of feet up and the ravines a thousand or more feet below. Lets just say I was glad to be walking and not on some adventure bus barreling down this road.
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Late one afternoon we hung around a residential area which was surrounded by mountains on all sides. The sun sank and cast a red glow on the nearby mountains and the day passed from one phase to the other. At this time of transition the light can play tricks with your eyes. Such is the magic of New Zealand.
Off the highway near Banff is a lookout above Peyto Lake and any of you who have been here in summer know why I titled this shot “Times Square”. I did a bad thing. I climbed over the lookout and went to a rock on a ledge to compose this shot. If I could widen the angle on this shot just two degrees, you’d see another twenty people that did the same thing. Doesn’t make it right. After I captured this I climbed back onto the platform and pushed my way past the four hundred other people standing on the platform or waiting for a chance to stand on the platform. But I digress, because the real point of this shot is beauty we have on this Earth. Let’s try and preserve it, eh?