July 1, 2015

Photo of the Week - Moose's Dirty Look

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

If you ever have a chance to photograph a wild moose and you see this look – head for the hills! The Tetons photo tour group came upon this beautiful creature not long after a jerky teenager had tormented it. So we were wary of its temperament, and we attempted to keep a respectful distance, as dictated by park regulations. I knew that the moose was not in a happy mood when I saw his direct attention through my camera’s viewfinder.

Wasting no time, I scrambled for cover behind the tour vehicle, and another photographer was pushing me from behind. I almost fell down in a ditch in the process. Oh yes, a heart attack was imminent too. The bull moose charged. However, it ran toward the back area of the tour vehicle while I was huddled near the front. Whew. Ah, the joys of wildlife photography!

But hey, I got some good photos of Bullwinkle, like the one above! Hahaha…

June 24, 2015

Photo of the Week - Sunrise at Oxbow Bend

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Photographers from around the world visit Oxbow Bend, a scenic overlook of the Snake River. Mount Moran commands center stage of the mountain landscape at this famed location. To possibly capture a sunrise shot here, serious photographers leave the comfort of their motels in Jackson about an hour before sunrise. Unfortunately, the weather usually doesn’t cooperate for a beautiful sunrise shot. The conditions have to be just right. 

I was one of a couple of photographers who braved 30-degree temperatures and dressed out in winter jackets and gloves to ward off the early spring chill. We were holding vigil and gambling that a beautiful sunrise would materialize. God was smiling down on us one morning and rewarded our efforts. For good measure, there was even a tender, wispy ribbon of a cloud that draped across the mountain range. The brilliant color show only lasted a few short minutes, and then a cloud cover extinguished the rays from the rising sun. If you weren’t set up with your camera and tripod and had all of your settings ready to go, the time would have been too short. It happened that fast.

And, it was glorious! It had to be one of the most beautiful sunrise scenes I have ever witnessed in my life. That early alarm clock setting was worth it a million times over!

June 21, 2015

Rise Above the Earth at the Tetons

I have a double photo treat for you today! This scene was certainly a delight for me as I gazed out from the patio area of Jackson Lake Lodge, after finishing up a lunch break on the May photo tour.

Most weather days on the trip were overcast, and we were always trying to hop from area to another so that we could avoid a rain shower. However, we were grateful for the stormy weather because the sky was decorated with great cloud texture.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Photographs of dramatic skies and mountain scenery also beg for a classic black and white treatment too. So here is another version.

Which one is your favorite? Color or black and white? (P.S. Don't forget to click on each image to see it bigger!)

June 17, 2015

Photo of the Week - Mountain Landscape Layers

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Life is pulling in me in a lot of different directions right now, and the task of post-processing of my Wyoming images keeps getting pushed down on the priority list. But in-between today’s arguments with the billing office of University of Tennessee Medical Center for non-payment of some of Jim’s radiation treatments in October 2013, I was able to edit a photo for feature posting this week. This landscape is one of many beautiful scenes around the old homestead where the 1953 movie “Shane” was filmed.

And yes, it appears that I won the argument with hospital. They were sending a collection agency after me for nonpayment of about $1000. Until today, I got absolutely no warning or any prior notice that there was an outstanding medical bill. The letter from the collection agency was totally out of the blue. Gee thanks, guys. The hospital claimed that the insurance policy (Medicare supplement) had denied payment twice. Well, based on my discussions with the insurance company, the claim had never been submitted at all! I’m now told by the hospital that it was a computer error. And, the bill is in the process of getting properly submitted for insurance payment. 

A couple of hours got wasted this afternoon, wrestling with this issue. However, it was worth it to save myself $1000 that I didn’t owe. And, I was proud of myself that I was able to get through all of the phone calls without crying. It was a first.  

June 12, 2015

A Study in Brokenness

This is a heavy post. Fair warning. If it gets too deep or troubling, merely click on out and go search for a fluffy blog topic. No hard feelings. My long-time blogging friends know that I have a helpful spirit. Sometimes, I succeed. Other times, my efforts fall flat. It’s like target practicing. Hits and misses.

If there is only one hit out there in blogland with this post, then my mission is accomplished…

It’s no secret that I am broken. Broken in heart. Broken in spirit. And I have been struggling to put the pieces back together. Some pieces stick when I glue them back. Some fall off, taunting me, and shattering some more. This chapter of my life values stubbornness tenacity as a virtue!