Sieur de Monts

Scene from a forest with the sun highlighting a path through the forest as well as some ferns.
Sunrise in the Forest; Sieur de Monts
Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021

Sieur de Monts was a wonderful, unexpected part of Acadia National Park in Maine. There is botanical garden and a lovely forest with trails. We walked the trails a little while after sunrise; after the sun had some time to filter and highlight parts of the forest. It was quiet and peaceful as a forest should be.

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A stand of birch tree trunks highlighted by sunlight.
Sunrise in the Forest; Sieur de Monts
Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021
Sun highlighting a very sculptural tree root lying vertically.
Natural Sculpture, Sieur de Monts,
Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021
Birch tree trunks, one with a large fungus attached, as well as some ferns.
Fungus as Decoration
Sieur de Monts, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021
Sun highlighting birch trees with their white bark contrasted by green and red leaves.
Early Morning Sun Filtering Through the Forest
Sieur de Monts, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021
Early morning sun focusing on a birch tree that is shedding and re-growing bark.
Birch Shedding and Regrowing Bark
Sieur de Monts, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021
A large, orb style, spider web, highlighted by the sun and attached to a birch tree trunk.
Spider Orb Web on a Birch Tree
Sieur de Monts, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Acadia National Park

Photograph of a sunrise, with fog, at a tree lined, rocky cliff over the Atlantic Ocean at Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
Sunrise on the Atlantic
Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021

We recently visited Acadia National Park. Overall, I liked the park, but the area had more of the feel of a beach resort than a national park. It is served by Bar Harbor ME, a typical tourist resort town.

The Park Loop Road is a beautiful ride but much of the coastline is obscured by forest. There are several trails and if I ever go again, I need to explore those because I think I missed some scenic views. The weather wasn’t cooperative.

Cadillac Mountain is the go-to place for sunrise; the first place where the sun shines on the United States in the morning. I didn’t prepare well enough. I learned, several weeks ahead of time that reservations are required for any time of day to drive onto Cadillac Mountain. For sunrise, they open 20% of the 3:30AM slots several weeks ahead then open the remaining slots 48 hours in advance. I had a reservation in my sights but didn’t press pay fast enough so I lost it. I took all of 15 seconds but was too slow. I settled for sunset. It was quite nice but not spectacular, again the overcast skies. I did my sunrise on the Park Loop road.

Acadia has 4 units, Northeast which contains the Park Loop Road and Cadillac Mountain, the Southwest Unit which contains the lighthouse, Schoodic Peninsula which provides a drive along the coastline and Isle Au Haute which is available by ferry. Our trip was a good survey trip. We allowed 2 ½ days which wasn’t enough.

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Photograph of sunrise over Jordan Pond at Acadia National Park. Includes pond, forest, and rocks.
Golden Hour at Jordan Pond
Jordon Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021
Photograph of an American Bullfrog perched on a pink granite boulder.
American Bullfrog on Pink Granite
Jordon Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021
Photograph of a sunset over an inlet from the Atlantic Ocean. Includes storm clouds glowing orange from the setting sun and reflected in the water. From Acadia National Park, Maine, USA.
Sunset from Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park; JUL 2021
Photograph of a foggy sunrise over a pond, meadow forest, and hillside. From Acadia National Park.
A Pond in the Early Morning
Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; JUL 2021
Photograph of a sunset over an inlet from the Atlantic Ocean. Includes storm clouds glowing orange from the setting sun and reflected in the water. From Acadia National Park, Maine, USA.
Sunset from Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park; JUL 2021

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Bighorn Sheep

Three female and one juvenile Bighorn Sheep grazing against a backdrop eroded hills and valley.
Bighorn Sheep
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021

One of the interesting sites at Badlands National Park were the Bighorn sheep. It was especially fun to watch because they had babies.

Bighorn sheep are not native to Badlands National Park. Twenty-two were introduced in 1964 from the Pike’s Peak area in Colorado. The population is now estimated to be over 250. There are no natural predators to the Bighorn at Badlands National Park.

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Three female and 2 juvenile bighorn sheep traversing a rugged trail.
Bighorn Sheep on the Trail
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Ram (Male) Bighorn Sheep descending a cliff side.
Bighorn Sheep Ram
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Two female and 3 juvenile Bighorn Sheep resting on a grassy hillside.
Bighorn Sheep
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Juvenile Bighorn Sheep nursing from mother.
Bighorn Sheep Nursing
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Two female and one juvenile Bighorn Sheep resting on rocky hillside.
Bighorn Sheep
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Closeup view of the ears from a group of juvenile bighorn sheep grazing alongside each other.
Bighorn Sheep
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

Devils Tower

Image of Devils Tower at sunset. From Devils Tower National Monument. Devils Tower was orange from the light of the sun. It was surrounded by green trees and grass. The sky transitioned from blue to orange as it merged with the horizon line of trees.
Sun Setting on Devil’s Tower
Joyner Ridge Trailhead, Devils Tower National Monument, SD; JUN 2021

We just returned home from a very long road trip; a trip that took us from California to Maine and back. One of the places we visited was Devils Tower National Monument. I wanted to visit because it is an iconic feature and I hoped to capture a sunrise and night sky shots. Like most of our trip we were in big sky country where the skies are not cloudy all day. That was unfortunate because high clouds would have set the sky ablaze with color at sunrise and sunset. So, I did my best with that I had.

Devils Tower is a small park. The visitors center sits at the end of the only road, and it is a short ride. There is a trail around the monument from the visitor’s center, but it was closed for construction.

Devils Tower is not a solid wall cliff face. It is a beautiful example of columnar joining; something that is typical of volcanic magma that has cooled slowly. In the case of Devils Tower, geologists believe it is an intrusion; i.e. magma pushed up and intruded between other rock. It cooled underground and formed the beautiful columns that make up its rock face. At the bottom of the tower is a boulder field made up of broken pieces from the columns above.

As we explored, we found the dirt road to the Joyner Ridge Trailhead and followed it. There we took a short hike up a knoll and sat on a bench to watch the sun set. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of calm and spirituality I felt up there. I am always awed by the beauty of nature but this was different and more. I often find peace hiking on trails but, again, this was more. Many Native American tribal groups hold Devils Tower as a sacred place for prayer and communing with the spirits. It was a blessing to be there.

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A close up of the rock columns that form Devils Tower.
Some of the Devils Tower Columns
Joyner Ridge Trailhead, Devil’s Tower National Monument, SD; JUN 2021
A close up of the rock face of Devils Tower. The Tower shown predominantly yellow. A small plant was growing to the bottom left of the image while a raven crossed the in front of the Tower in the upper right of the image.
Life at Devil’s Tower; Joyner Ridge Trailhead
Devil’s Tower National Monument, SD; JUN 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

Acorn Woodpeckers

Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

Acorn Woodpeckers are the most common woodpecker species that we see in the Sacramento, CA area. They are very active, industrious, and highly social birds. They live in family groups in a single nesting cavity, they manage a large acorn granary stored in holes they drill in dead trees, and they are very territorial.

One of the California Naturalists at Effie Yeaw Nature Center, wrote a short, interesting article about them. The article was published in “The Acorn” summer newsletter from Effie Yeaw Nature Center. (2021acornsummer.pdf (capitoltechsolutions.com)). It is a fascinating read sure to increase your appreciation of the interesting birds.

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Acorn Woodpeckers
Female is on left, Male on Right. Note the white band above the male’s beak.
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Acorn Woodpecker and European Starling; River Bend Park
American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021
The cavity is a Starling nest. The Acorn Woodpecker came to investigate the nest. It was chased away by the Starling.
Images and discussion of the Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Sierra Nevada Mountains in the Early Morning

Sierra Nevada Mountains at Daybreak; Big Pine, Death Valley Road, Big Pine, CA; APR 2021

I’m sharing a few more pictures from our trip to the Eastern Sierra last April. Four of the images were taken at the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA. (Alabama Hills National Scenic Area | Bureau of Land Management (blm.gov), @TheAlabamaHillsNationalScenicArea). The other is from Big Pine Death Valley Road.

I hope to go back to the Alabama Hills this fall because there are so many wonderful small vignettes to capture, and I am curious to see it at sunset as well as when some monsoons rains are falling over the Sierra as the backdrop.

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Early morning image of the Sierra Nevada mountains from the Alabama Hills
First Light on the Sierra; Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA; APR 2021
Image of a bolder field from the back of Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills
Mobius Arch from the Backside; Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA; APR 2021
Image of Mt Whitney at sunrise from the Alabama Hills
Sunrise on Mt Whitney; Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA; APR 2021
Image of a shade tree along a path in a desert area of the Alabama Hills
Lone Tree along a Desert Path; Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA; APR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

Young Birds

Female Mallard Duck with Ducklings
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021

I am sharing pictures of some of this year’s crop of baby birds.

Please note that the young Mallards from several weeks apart may be the same family. The images were all taken in the vicinity of the nest site where I first found them.

Also, concerning the image of the Female Mallard Duck with Ducklings: Common Mergansers are diving ducks; they swim fully submerged when foraging for food. This mother was watching 2 ducklings. One was swimming with its head submerged. I watched the mother push this duckling’s head under the water. I wonder if I observed a foraging lesson.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

Female Common Merganser with Duckling
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021
Common Merganser Duckling
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021
Male and Female Mallard with Ducklings
Common Merganser; Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; APR 2021
Juvenile Great Horned Owls; River Bend Park
American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021
Juvenile Great Horned Owls
River Bend Park, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

Great Blue Herons Grow Up

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021

I am fortunate that a pair of Great Blue Herons chose to nest near one of my favorite walking/photography trails. I was only able to visit them 3 times this spring. So, this series of images consists of 3 sets taken approximately a month apart. In the second set, one of the adults is on the nest and the other is behind the tree branches. In the third set, the chicks are too big and the adult can’t get on the nest with them so it is behind the tree branches.

There are 2 chicks. In the second set of images, the second chick was apparently napping and never lifted its head despite my waiting for nearly an hour.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution!

Great Blue Heron on Nest
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021
Adult and Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; APR 2021
Adult and Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; APR 2021
Adult and Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; APR 2021
Juvenile Great Blue Herons
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

The Nerd Jumps Into Action

Red-tailed Hawk (The Nerd)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021

When I saw this Red-tailed Hawk I immediately thought of a stodgy, nerdy, middle-aged human male just hanging around. It made me chuckle. But, very quickly, it showed me its true nature as it jumped into action.

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Red-tailed Hawk (The Nerd Jumps Into Action)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021
Red-tailed Hawk (The Nerd Jumps Into Action)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

Some Birds from Red Rock Canyon State Park

Sagebrush Sparrow
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021

Last week I shared some scenes from Red Rock Canon State Park near Cantil, CA. Today, I am sharing images of birds that I saw while hiking along the Red Cliffs Trail.

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House Finch on a Joshua Tree
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Brewer’s Sparrow
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Brewer’s Sparrow
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Common Raven
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.