The mist over the water in this remote backcountry wetland was wafting slowly with the below freezing breeze above. This mid-spring Wyotana wetland capture was taken right as the sun cracked over the far ridge to the east shadowing this ground about 15 minutes longer than sunrise. Sunrise time depends on if the horizon is above you topographically or not lolol.
A snowy/frosty/blowy storm came through after a week of thawing weather melted most ice on local ponds. Rime Snow coated most exposed objects but the mist from the water definitely hoar frosted the far trees totally. Wind blowing that mist that refroze on the trees in the distance. I probably should have taken a walk over to those trees with a few good cameras but the aforementioned breeze with below freezing weather dissuaded me. Wind Chill cutting through the cracks in my cold armor is always a consideration in cold weather.
I see much wildlife in and around these lakes but they were no where to be seen this frosty morning. I suspect they were bedded down somewhere close by staying out of the cold breeze. Sheltered (lower) areas like this are an oasis from the blowing and drifting usually. The trees and topography “helping” with the natural wind break. A source of open water in places due to the spring fed nature of the lakes, many local animals winter over here.
Spring in Wyotana is a fleeting season. I think it was on a thursday last year. Winter usually lasts until May 15, then it’s green season. Green season is variable depending on the rains of course but Spring…. it’s usually about a day long. 🤔😜📷
Location: Near the Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands (Wyotana)
This capture was a scene that we as humans could not have looked into. Our eyes have MUCH more dynamic range than the best cameras. It was so bright it would blind you in short order. The camera however has the ability to shut off light significantly. By properly adjusting your 3 setting options in Manual Mode you can see images like this much more than I used to think.
Years ago I used to think this color in clouds was a rare phenomena. Now I know that I just never saw it because I never looked into the brightness. I believe that iridescent clouds as a phenomena is not that uncommon. We just can’t normally see it for all the glare plus our defensive glance away.
This was indeed a very bright scene. Again I emphasize if I don’t have color and detail in the shadows, the camera couldn’t see it. This is because of the cameras inability to see a great dynamic range as our eyes do. I’ll give the camera credit for the ability to look into the furnace like this. This was a perfect sky for this kind of light sculpting.
The wetlands here are holding this ice in reserve. As it warms in the spring, the water trapped with in will start working it’s way down the Mississippi River. The catfish and what ever else that is living under the foot thick ice here waits for the melt. Everything is on hold till green season.
This location is about a mile below a good sized oil field pumping 140 degree water out, treating it, holding it in ponds until it eventually freezes. With it having been below zero several times already, having an open body of water in the backcountry is an oasis. Particularly this time of year. (Imaged last week) A lot of wild birds stop by and over night here. Liquid water is always interesting to animals of all kinds in deep northern Wyoming / southern Montana winters. Numerous Geothermal ponds exist from deep oil wells in the areas surrounding my ranch but none directly on my place unfortunately.
I love geothermal pond areas for photographic trips in sub-zero weather as the steam generates huge hoar frost needles on virtually everything. The mists in the mornings can be amazing to watch the sunrise through. This is the kind of things I see driving backroads in the borderlands of Wyoming/Montana.
As I noticed this, it stopped me from 45 mph and I backed up a ways to set up for it. The speed limit up here is 45 on the county back roads. It only took a few seconds to get back to the proper position for this frame. . I rarely pass another vehicle when I drive around the backcountry. Maybe one car every three or four days of work. Mostly that would be a local rancher either going to town or tending cattle.
This exceptional Alpenglow/Reflection display in the “Reeds at Dawn” was early morning Oct 4th. It was purple earlier but as the sun got closer to the horizon it lit up more ice with yellow light , that changed to early volcanic gas induced lavender we’ve been experiencing to a yellow to orange gradient late in Civil Twilight. . What a wonderful color gradient morning that was.
Location: Down in the wetlands at the Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.
Yesterday morning in the Wetlands watching Sunrise directly on the Montana with Wyoming border north of Gillette Wyoming. It is 70 miles to the nearest 4 way 3 color stop light from this spot and several miles from the nearest county road. It’s a nice place to spend the dawn this time of year. With the mosquito population knocked down and a lot of the grass has been knocked down by the heavy wet snow blanket that fell Oct 1. It’s relatively easy to get around with low water in October in this wetland area.
This spot is literally 1/2 way between the Equator and the North Pole at precisely 45 degrees north latitude (the Montana/Wyoming border too).🤔 We are also about 120 miles from the geographic center of the North American continent. You couldn’t get much further from an Ocean than this spot….literally lol. No local “Red Lobster” . It’s a good thing I have all this Cretaceous Hell Creek/Lance Formation Dinosaur Bearing Sandstones all over the place covering the ranch to keep me feeling like I’m at the beach..digging a hole in 100 degree sand when I look for fossils in the summer sun… 🤣.
We pay taxes in both states. My son went to HS in Montana, our main residence is Wyoming technically by 1/2 mile. We actually have about 1/2 the ranch’s land in either state.
Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming and Montana on both sides of that border.
Good Sunday Morning from the Bliss DInosaur Ranch, “Sunrise through the Knot Hole Mask” is indeed ART…. I captured the actual left 1/2 of the image as an image through a piece of driftwood with a very sensitive wide angle lens/camera combo. Then I started working on it in the digital darkroom. No additional light but what came through the knot hole was used. :). Then I mirrored it left to right and carefully merged the two images.
Best Full Screen for sure lolol.
It’s Halloween Art so feel free to share as you wish. Enjoy.
Took this down at our wetlands a few mornings ago. The Alpenglow was magnificent the whole morning and the sky was totally clear. THe effect on this remote lake was spectacular. I have at least three images from that lake that morning that I consider worthy. :).
At any rate, I’m expecting about another month of relatively easy access to this location…after that…. anyones guess but I’m predicting a long hard winter…. 🙁 This is a 60 x 30 inch image at high resolution :). 2:1 aspect.
Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyotana borderlands, north of Gillette Wyoming
Down in the Wetlands is an image that I took a few years back now. I was waiting around for the sun to come out from this location. Sure enough, it did emerge as the clouds parted for about 30 seconds, and that was all.
I find that light is where and when it occurs. If no one is there to catch those photons, they are lost