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Moon Tree Surfing

Moon Tree Surfing
Moon Tree Surfing

Moon Tree Surfing

I call this Moon/Tree Surfing. Actually it’s me riding the moons “Shadow line” on the opposite parallel ridge. The higher ridge between me and the moon gives me a 500 yard distant foreground with the moon somewhat further behind that. I will drive along these ridges looking for places where the moon thinks he’s not being seen. Unsuspecting…. So I catch him carefully resting on the local vegetation as here. He’s just lifting off as he saw me. He certainly doesn’t need some high plains paparazzi posting his photo in the “Post” sitting down on the job. I me he has a strict schedule to keep and many things rely on the Moon’s time keeper.

From a strictly technical viewpoint, I get to do this kind of daylight illuminated foreground and the moon behind only once a month on average.. Some months the window is closed entirely by weather. Clouds do a good job obscuring what I know is going on behind them. Fortunately this was a very clear evening of July 3rd. The moon appeared full for two sunsets (3rd and 4th) plus a sunrise between. It was definitely a weekend to photograph the moon if you have the gear and the inclination. The air has been clear lately to boot making the “Seeing” on the moon’s surface good enough maybe to get out my big lenses from storage. Humm… 🤔

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming / Montana borderlands (Wyotana)

Title: Moon Tree Surfing

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2020 Pronghorn Gold Rush

2020 Pronghorn Gold Rush
2020 Pronghorn Gold Rush

2020 Pronghorn Gold Rush

Good Saturday Morning

The Pronghorn Pirates herd heard … there was a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow. So off they ran in the rain. Its no wonder that I never found any treasure when I navigated to these spots in the past. These guys easily beat me to it. Laughing all the way no doubt. It’s no wonder they are all jumpy creatures Pronghorn all. They have something to hide. Like the location of all that loot they have collectively been finding over the generations. Here I caught them in the act of getting there first. They would be long gone by the time I get there in my slow Ford F150 Rapor. After all, they are the fastest land animal in North America. (The Pronghorn not the Raptor… ) I wonder how with all that gold’s weight on board though?. Such quandaries of life. 😜

Musings on Landscape Photography:

Composing such images are a fly by the seat of your pants operation out in the backcountry. By necessity really. Only seconds to adjust to events reactionary of the animals behavior. Sometimes you can get animals to cooperate in the composition like this and other I get to move my position to properly compose the image. Then one just lines up the shot and leave to the next random event. Here the Pronghorn did the lining up for me. Seeing where they were going, I just had to wait for the right moment lolol. It’s a lot easier when local wildlife do line up with the domestic ducks I actually try to train daily. Actually I think “Sneaky Pete” had something to do with this…. I never know what that guy is up to. 🤔 👀

Faintest Rainbow ever. If you zoom up on the full resolution copy we use print on archival paper from, you can see rain streaks in the air. Social Media sized files of my images are not meant to be high resolution. I keep the high resolution images with no signature on file.

Be Safe all.

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming / Montana borderlands (Wyotana)

Title: 2020 Pronghorn Gold Rush

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Flower Moon May 2020

Flower Moon May 2020
Flower Moon May 2020

Flower Moon May 2020

Black and White… Handheld rested truck window, 1200 mm Zeiss/Sony optic/ Sony Alpha 7R4 camera body. This is a single image not a mosaic of the moon as I occasionally do with much higher magnification optics. 18 x 18inches. no sharpening applied thus no resultant artifacts seen so often in other forum posts. As it came off the chip with very minor shadows/highlights contrasting.

Science musings:

NONE of the earth’s current selection of climates would be happening without the moon. Remember the earth has NO climate, it has ALL climates. Anybody that talks about the “earth’s climate” is full of hooey to begin the discussion. (say’s the old paleontologist). ⚒⚒⚒

(Morning citizen scientist assignment, please google “moon formation”).

The moon is our planets protector. It’s moving mass around the earth keeps the earths rotation stable. Maintaining the earths 3D relationship to the sun means stability. Stability means life can develop. Too much variability is a problem…

Research reveals that less than 10 percent of terrestrial planets may have a satellite large enough to provide the stability life needs to develop. (This is a big deal and where some genuine magic occurs)

The Mass and resultant gravity is necessary to stabilize the Tilt of our planet like a stable slow motion gyroscope. (Tilt relative to the “Ecliptic” (another good look up). Most scientists will agree with me to say Earth’s “obliquity”, as this tilt is known, is important to remain stable. Changes in Obliquity have huge repercussions from the resultant environmental reactions. IT does wander over time BTW but a long time…🤔👀

Should Earth’s obliquity wander over hundreds of thousands of years, it would cause environmental chaos by creating a climate too variable for complex life to develop in relative peace. Imagine obliquity such that the South Pole is all daylight 100 percent of the time and the North Pole in 100 percent night sky all year.

Our lunar neighbor has literally made it possible for you to read this as a sequence of events set up in the flow of Space and Time. 🤔📸

Location: A little over Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana (Wyotana) plus pretty much every where else 😜

Title: Flower Moon May 2020

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Moon Sign

Moon Sign
Moon Sign

Moon Sign

Right Turn “Clyde” series…. (Lot’s of detail in that dark )

This was less than easy to do. Handheld long lens rested on the Ford Raptor’s open door, (Clever Girl herself) with the 48 inch Rigid LED light bar lighting up the reflective sign. The trick of course is to get back far enough to get both objects in the infinite focal length. Then you still have to place enough light on the sign…. Now I handicapped myself by sticking with the truck. I could have walked back another 100 yards with a monopod and still have the same light on the sign.. I’m not always tolerant of windy/cold and this was a windy/cold night. Taken about an hour and 20 minutes AFTER sunset, the only real sources of light was the 98 percent April (Pink) Moon and my headlight. That is a dark night sky behind.

There were stars but even this crazy high dynamic range camera couldn’t sense/see them. The clouds right around the moon that were lit up, made it into the cameras data stream. Getting any detail around a moon of such wispy clouds scantily covering a moon is not something I’m able to accomplish some nights. Very very iffy that process. I’m thinking an average cell phone is not going to capture this.

This April 2020’s moon was every present for 4 photo-sessions in a row. I can’t remember a full moon interval where I’ve gotten to work it so much. The April supermoon, our orbiting partner was as close as it gets this year to the earth for this.

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.

Title: Moon Sign

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April Pink Moon Setting

April Pink Moon Setting
April Pink Moon Setting

April Pink Moon Setting

This Timeline was the first of 2 essentially Full MoonSets over sunlit ground. I also worked a single full moon rise while the horizon was lit by the sun in the opposite sky. Here just the peaks are lit up. . Having clear windows for 3 of these in a month is a very rare occurrence. I consider myself lucky to get one peek a month. 📷📷

Following the moon down… The as the horizon climbs, the moon will slide down and right into the notch between those two hills. I have already published that image of just a little of the top of the moon remaining above that notch centered. I followed it all the way down until it was gone. Knowing where to be and when is a somewhat important part of my planning for an evening like this. I wanted the moon setting in that notch.

I had to find a high place with a view that lined up with the setting moons expected compass direction on the horizon. The Compass corrected of course for polar wandering.. The current resultant Magnetic declination is 8 degrees 44 minutes East current at my location. 👀🤔🤘 You can google the actual magnetic declination for your location. Many good compasses have an adjustment. Those that don’t, you have to add this mentally. Other wise your going to be 8.5 degrees off your nav’s.

What a beautiful supermoon.

Because the orbit of the moon around the earth is not perpendicular with the ground, the moon appears to be sliding to the right and down ward. It is indeed moving, revolving around the earth. We are rotating but it’s orbit is inclined. Don’t forget it’s the western horizon that is mostly doing the rising here lol. Two relative motions on going at the same time. Sort of hard to get a handle on it.

The Far Ridge is the “Red Hills” which has the Montana / Wyoming border sliding through right just off to the right of those peaks.

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands (Wyotana)

Title: April Pink Moon Setting

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Ford Raptor April Moon

Ford Raptor April Moon
Ford Raptor April Moon

Ford Raptor April Moon

I will take a photo of anything in Perspective with the moon. The Far Ridge is 40 miles out. My truck/office/photostudio is about 200 yards from the camera. I just love how telephoto lenses CRUSH perspective. This is the “Pink” moon in it’s true shade lol. I guess it was less embarrassed that it has been in past years and just went orange just for this sitting.

From here on down I worked this moon extensively. This April 2020’s Pink moon had a window to it’s rise and set every time near full illumination this month. I seldom get one chance a month let alone 3 terminator crossings in a row while full close to the horizon. This was a rare weather window. I’m about a week behind with most posts. I bring some images forward ahead of the line to finish the same day but not very many.

From my homestead, it’s about a 3 mile two track trip to get to this high point on a remote ridge in Wyotana. This was still 20 minutes before sunrise which would occur over my shoulder. You get a glimpse of that sunrise in the Ford Raptors aluminum wheel. So far this is an exemplary expedition vehicle for me. New in December I have 1200 miles on it with 800 of that being in the backcountry. It is literally a ranch truck that I’ve been known to take into town. I used to go into town about once a month. These days, I have gone into town more than that as I was delivering product from my day job. I work in an “essential” occupation according to Homeland Security… . Nuff Said on that.

Location: Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands (Wyotana)

Title: Ford Raptor April Moon

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Raptor Clever Girl

Raptor Clever Girl
Raptor Clever Girl

Raptor Clever Girl

(You might be my friend if you know the classical reference😜)

I had totally the wrong camera/lens in my hand at this moment. Generally I walk around the ridge line with two cameras but not the right one for this lol. I was working the light looking over my shoulder using a long distance, long lens. The other was a 10mm for wide perspectives. Thus…… 600 mm Telephoto from about 200 feet away. 28 inches long ….Both wrong lolol….
So now you know what I drive now into the back country. My office as it were, a pretty good photo studio in an of itself. . The first new pickup I’ve owned since 1999 and that had 6K miles on it when I got it “new”. I kept that truck still using the 3/4 ton Ford Superduty for heavy hauling. Raptors are not known for their towing capacity…. They are climbers ……

Some people have bad knees, or hips, I deal with a screwed up neck. It’s quite troublesome at times unfortunately. I’m sure many of you understand. It got way worse last summer. I suspect from 3500 miles last year and more before, of backcountry driving in vehicles that threw me around doing photography.

This might be the best riding commercially riding truck available. Bought this 2020 Ford Raptor Dec 31 at the local dealership. Special ordered took 3 months. I am approaching 900 miles on it since then. I have only driven 210 of that back and forth to Gillette. 700 miles all driven within 5 or so miles of my house. A few 20 miles trips to the Pass at Rocky point. The rest is on two track roads and hillsides to drive to the crest.
I only do this on my private deeded land. I would never leave a two track on ground not mine as your not necessarily going to get back home that do doing so. The two track roads generally go over safe ground here in sandstone country. Well set up for getting me unstuck this truck is.

The Reason it rides so well is the 14 inches of suspension travel on each wheel having very high end long arms under with computer controlled shocks. Basically it is Qualified to run the Baja 500 race stock (they put roll bars in it for that). I WON’T be jumping it but it can lol.


So what you have here is a dedicated backcountry expedition vehicle that actually seldom gets taken out of 4 wheel drive. My old vehicle, a jeep Grand Cherokee spent 90 percent of it’s time off road as well. The Raptor will too.

It was time to get a better ride :). This IS a better ride 🙂

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.

Title: Raptor Clever Girl