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.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution!

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.

Badlands National Park

Eroded valley at sunrise.
Badlands Sunrise – P5
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021

When you drive through Badlands National Park, on one side of the road is prairie grassland. The other side is a wide, highly eroded valley. You are riding on the edge, the dividing line. Both sides were intriguing. The prairie was green but transitioning to golden brown, flat to the horizon. The valley is flat and desolate occupied only by scrub except where water flows through. Where the prairie meets the valley, the transition zone consists of beautifully eroded sediment layered in gray and rose-colored bands. The rock is crumbly, almost like dried mud. It is the results of how nature sculpted these erosional features that make the park interesting and beautiful.

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Colorful river valley at sunrise.
Badlands Sunrise – P3
Yellow Mounds Area, Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Eroded mountains at sunset.
Badlands Sunset – P1
Notch Trailhead, Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Eroded valley at mid-day.
Badlands from Sheep Mountain Overlook – P1
Sheep Mountain Overlook, Badlands National Park, SD; JUL2021
Colorful, eroded valley at sunrise.
Badlands Sunrise – P1
Yellow Mounds Area, Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Eroded mountains at sunset.
Badlands Sunset – P3
Notch Trailhead, Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Grassy edge of prarie transitioning to eroded valley.
Badlands Sunrise – P7
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.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

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.

 

A Favorite Spot

Sunrise Over the Foothills
Scott RD, Folsom, CA; JUL 2020

I am sharing 4 images from one of my favorite local spots to photograph. I am drawn to the spot, just outside Folsom, CA, because it is an oak dotted rangeland typical of this area of California.

One of the images is a black and white version of another in the set. I thought it looked very dramatic in black and white.

Please click on caption to se image at higher resolution.

Sierra Foothills with Cloud Covered Skies
Scott Rd, Folsom, CA. AUG 2014
Thunderclouds over the Sierra bring rain but not to the drought ridden foothills of 2014.
Sierra Foothills with Cloud Covered Skies
Scott Rd, Folsom, CA. AUG 2014

Thunderclouds over the Sierra bring rain but not to the drought ridden foothills of 2014.
Moonrise over the Sierra Foothills
Scott Rd, Folsom, CA, JAN 2015

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.

Far-flung Seascapes

Wildflowers on the Rhode Island Coast
Sacheust NWR, Newport, RI ; SEP 2019

Today I am sharing some seascapes from a few places across the globe – Georgia, Rhode Island, Washington and South Africa.

Note: Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution;

Sunrise on the Indian Ocean
Mboyti River Lodge, Lusukisiki, South Africa; AUG 2016
Dune on Cumberland Island
Cumberland Island, GA; MAY 2008
Goldenrod at Sunrise
Sacheust NWR, Newport, RI; SEP 2019
A Sunrise on Sequim Bay
Sequim Bay, WA; AUG 2015
Sunset Over Knysna Lagoon
Knysna, South Africa; AUG 2016

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.

Grand Canyon Monsoon – Part 2

Sunset Over Grand Canyon – P2;
Rim Trail Between Mojave and Hopi Points,
South Rim, Grand Canyon National; Park; AUG 2019

This is the remaining images from the Grand Canyon that I plan to share at this time. Again, I hope you enjoy these images from this amazing place.

Note: Please click on caption to images at higher resolution.

Lightning Over Grand Canyon – P1A;
South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ; AUG 2019
Rainbow Over Grand Canyon;
Imperial Point, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ; JUL 2019
Sunset Over Grand Canyon;
Rim Trail Between Mojave and Hopi Points, South Rim,
Grand Canyon National; Park; AUG 2019
Sunset From Imperial Point – P1;
Imperial Point, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ; JUL 2019
Lightning Over Grand Canyon – P3A;
Mojave Point, South Rim,
Grand Canyon National; Park; AUG 2019

These and other images are available to purchase on my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Grand Canyon Monsoon – Part 1

Lightning Over Grand Canyon;
South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ; AUG 2019

I recently had the privilege to photograph the Grand Canyon during the monsoon season of Southwestern North America. It was a marvelous time to visit this national wonder. We were treated to dark and stormy skies, lightning, rainbows and vivid sunrises and sunsets.

I generally don’t think of the southwestern US as having a monsoon season, after all, it is largely desert. I think of torrential rains in places like India and the eastern coast of Africa. But, the monsoon season in southwestern North America is very real. The term monsoon refers to the seasonal wind shift that brings in warm, humid air. Those winds cause most of the rainfall received by the desert southwest each year – all 1” to 8” of it; sometimes more and sometimes less. It can be responsible for torrential downbursts that cause flash flooding and lightning induced wildfires.

The southwestern North American monsoon season generally starts in early July and runs through September.

In this post, I am sharing a few of the images I took while at the Grand Canyon. I’ll share a few more later this week.


Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Sunrise From Imperial Point;
Point Imperial, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ; AUG 2019
Milky Way From Cape Royal; Cape Royal
North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ; AUG 2019
Sunset Over Grand Canyon – P1
Mojave Point, South Rim, Grand Canyon National; Park; AUG 2019

Sunrise From Imperial Point – P1
Point Imperial, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ; AUG 2019

These and other images are available to purchase on my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

A Trip to Joshua Tree National Park

Milky Way Over The Arch at Joshua Tree National Park;
Joshua Tree National Park; MAY 2019;

A Trip to Joshua Tree National Park

On a recent road trip, we spent a day at Joshua Tree National Park near Twentynine Palms, CA. The trip was, in part, motivated by a chance to photograph the Milky Way over the park. It was our first trip to Joshua Tree NP and we really did not know what to expect other than it was a desert landscape with Joshua Trees. It was indeed a desert landscape typical of the American Southwest. It has beautiful eroding, rolling hills covered by talus – piles of rocks eroded from the hillside. There were large, weathered boulders throughout the park that people used for climbing. We learned that it is a very popular rock-climbing location.

The desert was in bloom with ocotillo, cholla, desert senna, Mojave mound cactus and many other plants. But, the signature plant of the park is the Joshua Tree. The Joshua tree is a large tree like plant with hard spiky leaves. Despite looking like both a tree and a cactus, it is neither. It is a plant in the Yucca family (Yucca brevifolia). The oldest one in the park is about 350 years old. Because it is not a tree, it doesn’t have the woody structure to bear all of its weight, so, when branches get to big, they bend and fall to the ground. We missed seeing them in bloom on this trip, but they were developing their seed pods. I like them so much; I’d like to have one in my backyard but they only grow in the Mojave Desert between 4,000 and 5,000 feet in altitude.

Our night sky photo shoot was spectacular. The Milky Way didn’t rise until after midnight. It was a pleasantly warm evening and we had to scramble over some boulders, in the dark, to get to a ledge on another large boulder. That location was picked because The Arch was directly in front of us and our goal was to shoot the Milky Way over The Arch. I hadn’t done a night sky shoot in a very long time, so it was great to knock the rust off my skills. The only disappointment in the shoot was light pollution. When you look at the Milky Way image, you’ll see the sky has a greenish cast along the horizon. That cast is the light rom the Palm Springs and Indio areas of Southern California. Indio is 25 miles from the park.

I want to give a shout out to Casey Kiernan of Joshua Tree Workshops for guiding us in a great night sky workshop and fun time.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Joshua Trees (Yucca brevifolia) at Joshua Tree National Park – P2;
Joshua Tree National Park; MAY 2019
Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis);
Joshua Tree National Park; MAY 2019;
Teddybear Cholla Cactus (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) in Bloom;
Joshua Tree National Park; MAY 2019;
Joshua Trees (Yucca brevifolia) at Joshua Tree National Park – P3;
Joshua Tree National Park; MAY 2019
Ash-throated Flycatcher
(Myiarchus cinerascens) on Creosote Bush, (Larrea tridentata)
Joshua Tree National Park; MAY 2019;
Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia) at Joshua Tree National Park – P1;
Joshua Tree National Park; MAY 2019
Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia) with Seed Pods;
Joshua Tree National Park; MAY 2019
Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia) Yucca and Pinion Pine at Joshua Tree National Park – P4; Joshua Tree National Park; MAY 2019

These and other images are available to purchase on my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Sunset through Storm Clouds

Sunset Through Storm Clouds
Between Sexton Mountain Pass and Grants Pass on I-5 in Oregon; DEC 2018

The drive between Redding, CA and Roseburg, OR. on Interstate 5, takes you through some beautiful mountain scenery. Between Redding and the Oregon border, Mt Lassen and Mt Shasta, 2 Cascade volcanoes can be seen. The mountains of California and Oregon’s coastal range line both sides of the highway. Because the area is so close to the Pacific ocean, the area is often blanketed in a layer of stratus clouds and fog. But, don’t think of it as dismal. In the morning and evening, the sun often pushes through the clouds casting spotlights, replete with crepuscular rays, that play on the ridge tops and valleys creating magical landscapes.  

Returning from Seattle, we saw many such vignettes.  One spot made me break the rules and pull off to photograph it. Fortunately, this spot gave us room to get off safely. I hope you’ll agree this image was worth it.

Regards,

Larry

Note: To see image at higher resolution, please click on caption.

Note: This and other images are available to purchase on my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry@earthwatcher.us.

Bryce Canyon

The Ancient City
The Ancient City

Bryce Canyon, in Utah, is stunningly beautiful; especially at sunrise and sunset. It should be on your bucket list. You can enjoy it any time of day but, I recommend being there in the morning, before the sun creeps over the distant mountains and as the sun sets in the evening. The colors saturate, the whites appear almost translucent at hose times and it will take your breath away. If you can, walk the trails that take you below the base and look at the hoodoos face on.

As I looked over the landscape, my thoughts turned to the ancient cities from fantasy and action adventures. Perhaps drawing from Petra in southern Jordan. I can imagine temples and palaces constructed from the hoodoos. I see “impregnable” walls being breached by the barbarians outside. It’s a fun connection.

For me, the process of how the land became to look as it does, enhances its beauty. In this case, water channels away the softer soil, forming the hoodoos. The freeze-thaw cycle sculpts the hoodoos by breaking off chunks. The wind helps sculpt too, but, to a lesser degree. What is left are acres of an orange and cream landscape filled with spectacular hoodoos and the erosional hills and valleys at their base.

I can’t wait to go back. Only this time, I am going to allow a day to hike and see what other treasures I uncover. I wonder what it would like in snow.

Note: Please click on caption to see higher resolution images.

Sunrise at Inspiration Point
Sunrise at Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon - P4
Bryce Canyon – P4

Castle on a Hill
Castle on a Hill

Bryce Canyon - P3
Bryce Canyon – P3

Bryce Canyon - P2
Bryce Canyon – P2

Bryce Canyon - P5
Bryce Canyon – P5

Bryce Canyon - P7
Bryce Canyon – P7

Bryce Canyon - P10
Bryce Canyon – P10

These and other images are available to purchase at my website www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry@earthwatcher.us