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Coyote Alert On Lookout

Coyote Alert On Lookout
Coyote Alert On Lookout

Coyote Alert On Lookout

This Game Trail Camera Capture at 4 AM one night recently has Wiley up to get a better look. I’m diggin the stars in the sky behind which are a big bonus in the Black and White sensitive Infrared Camera capture. This night was moonless at that time as such, it was really dark. Flash goes the IR LED’s.

I drove my new truck out to this spot where I left this camera set just so in early November. This camera is about as far out there as I’d like to go even with the new rig. It’s seamless in it’s ability to handle the roads. Grass prairie however, driving over chunky/icy/crusted patchy snow is not fun in any vehicle. It’s funny the faster I go, the smoother the ride. Right up until you find that pit fall lolol.

A long time sitting/watching, this camera contained lots of blurry deer photos, a fox, a raccoon, another burry coyote but I knew sooner or later something would stop for the fallen log. This was specifically placed this where I did knowing that this fallen log across the established game trail would cause somebody to pause or even walk on it. I love it when it works the way it is supposed to lol.

I run a network of 29 game trail cameras all year long but I don’t check them as much in the winter. Getting to them is an issue lolol. They keep on recording though if I set them up correctly. You have to avoid putting them where wind moving things will set them off. The only thing you really can control with Game Trail Cameras is where you put them.

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

Title: Coyote Alert On Lookout

Coyote Alert On Lookout

This Game Trail Camera Capture at 4 AM one night recently has Wiley up to get a better look. I’m diggin the stars in the sky behind which are a big bonus in the Black and White sensitive Infrared Camera capture. This night was moonless at that time as such, it was really dark. Flash goes the IR LED’s.

I drove my new truck out to this spot where I left this camera set just so in early November. This camera is about as far out there as I’d like to go even with the new rig. It’s seamless in it’s ability to handle the roads. Grass prairie however, driving over chunky/icy/crusted patchy snow is not fun in any vehicle. It’s funny the faster I go, the smoother the ride. Right up until you find that pit fall lolol.

A long time sitting/watching, this camera contained lots of blurry deer photos, a fox, a raccoon, another burry coyote but I knew sooner or later something would stop for the fallen log. I specifically placed this where I did knowing that this fallen log across the established game trail would cause somebody to pause or even walk on it. Love it when it works the way it is supposed to lol.

I run a network of 29 game trail cameras all year long but I don’t check them as much in the winter. Getting to them is an issue lolol. They keep on recording though if I set them up correctly. You have to avoid putting them where wind moving things will set them off. The only thing you really can control with Game Trail Cameras is where you put them.

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

Title: Coyote Alert On Lookout

Title: Coyote Alert On Lookout

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White Windmill Winter Wonderland

White Windmill Winter Wonderland
White Windmill Winter Wonderland

White Windmill Winter Wonderland

Windmill Wednesday: Windmill Junkies Unite 🤘 I’m aware of your addiction so I am working diligently to support your habit. Please don’t let your mother know you look at stuff like this….. 😜

Here “Sneaky Pete” took the full force of a sticky winter snow. He was operating blind with the cover of his sail covered. All the while spinning in the wind overnight.

Mustings on Mid-Winter:

As I type this there is a 5 degree windchill after the current coldest day of the year. It has NOT been a cold year so far here in “Little Siberia”. That “Moniker” was handed down to us. Thee previous owners of the ranch had generations of observations. . They were describing the tendency of this high ridgeline dry ranch. It always has more snow than the surrounding lower ground. Based on 20 years of observation living here, I would whole heartedly agree with their name and statement. It is colder and wetter up here than the surrounding ground in the winter. In the summer it’s a crap shoot as precipitation is usually from spotty mesocyclones moving over. Somebody gets the rain, others don’t. But in the winter, snow systems are usually pretty broadly spread around the region.

Winter ends in May up here. This year it pushed into late late may. Every season has been offset later this year by the current Solar Minimum.. We are just about dead center of the sunspot cycle low. Turn down the furnace and it get’s colder. Go figure 🤔📷

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

Title: White Windmill Winter Wonderland

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Perspective V Notch Landscape

Perspective V Notch Landscape
Perspective V Notch Landscape

Perspective V Notch Landscape (Winter Wednesday all day)

Perspectives from the viewpoint of a field mouse is what I was after here. I always look at a scene and zoom in to that mouse view in my mind. These little areas of zen seem to just appear in front of me. Wyotana backcountry is rife with old ground, ground not disturbed by humans. Lots of it by the hundreds of square miles. This is several miles off the nearest county road.

Wonderful backcountry captures happen because of paying dues. You have to be there with a camera in your hand to get some of those moments in space and time. They are fleeting, you often only have moments to capture them before the light changes. The more you carry a camera (s) around, the more cool captures your going to get. 📷 I’m always looking for visual tunnels….

This shows the icy backcountry snow getting a crust on it with a few above freezing days. These followed by subzero nights. The crust actually makes it harder to get around because your wheels are always trying to climb on top of that crust. Your basically in 4 holes all the time coincident with your wheels. Plus the snow becomes like ball bearings…. It’s about time for a big snow though. January is a busy snow month historically. The biggest of course are in the spring when all the biggest snows are. Usually LATE spring around late April or early May have have memorable storms historically.

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

Title: Perspective V Notch Landscape

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Wyoming Windmill Winter Wonderland

Wyoming Windmill Winter Wonderland
Wyoming Windmill Winter Wonderland

Wyoming Windmill Winter Wonderland : Last post for Windmill Wednesday Theme Day, number 6 of 6 Windmills posted around social media, Facebook and the internet. Hope you Enjoyed my theme day 🙂 Windmill Junkies are all not overdosed for a while …..

When the winter really moves in, the game changes. The familiar ground becomes blanketed with the diffuse white. It’s MUCH harder to get around. When the drifts get much over 2 foot tall, , it get’s interesting. When they get 20 foot across, that’s a problem. A big issue are low areas that collect deep snow. You can loose a pickup in those areas till spring lolol.

January is a month that has a tendency to have long periods of cold weather. A front moves down from Alaska through Montana and we are frozen like Siberia . We do see -30 some winters and -20 virtually every winter. I clean about 1 mile of driveway. Fortunately we haven’t had any snows that exceed my skid steers ability to push through. Historically they have had some big storms up here. I was told of a 15 foot drift in our current front yard. Hopefully those storms will avoid us for decades.

I am currently testing the abilities of my new ford f-150 pickup (Raptor). It doesn’t seem to care about snow yet but there is only about 6 inches of snow at the moment after the melt off a few weeks ago. I can drive anywhere at the moment except I won’t go to stupid spots where snow gets deep very quickly and is in shade so it doesn’t melt. Snow can get VERY deep there. At any rate, I’m getting around better now.

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

Title: Wyoming Windmill Winter Wonderland

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Windmill’s Green Spring Morning

Windmill's Green Spring Morning
Windmill's Green Spring Morning

Windmill’s Green Spring Morning

I needed to finish this image as I sort of need the dose of green. Image 5 of 6 for Windmill Wednesday. All Windmills All day 🙂

Windmill Junkies Unite: 🤘

The red gravel country road winds around our homestead. It USED to run right through our current compound but the country decided to run the road around the house thus all the curves up here. (Thank GOD) I’ve seen days without tracks in the snow on our road. Most winters, we get stranded by the drifts up here. Only oil trucks and a few local ranchers travel this road surrounded entirely by our ranch for 3 miles across 2 states.

With the green season above, there are three seasons up here. White season or simply “the snowy time”. Brown Season hereby defined as ground with no snow. And green season, when there is no snow and just a little brown. Last year was a VERY rare long green season when AUGUST had green grass. Almost unheard of up here in the borderlands. This was certainly the most wet year in my 20 year memory on this ground.

I consider winters here easy. I spent a decade in Jackson Hole Wyoming dealing with 6 feet of snow flat every year in the back yard. We do get some good snows with WINDS here on the border. Jackson Hole is not overly windy. We have WAY more drifting than Jackson did. I used to snow blow a foot of powder snow a couple of times a month. Snow seldom drifted like it does here.. Jackson Wins the snow amounts hands down over here in the borderlands. We win here with the amount of wind. Jackson is Colder of course.

I’ve lived 30 years in Wyoming this year. I first came here as a student of geology 40 years ago in 1980.

Location: Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.

Title: Windmill’s Green Spring Morning

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AERMOTOR Windmill Doublet

AERMOTOR Windmill Doublet
AERMOTOR Windmill Doublet

AERMOTOR Windmill Doublet

Aermotor windmills account for the bulk of windmills out there. The company started way back in the 1888 with 24 sold the first year. Over 20000 of the beasties sold in 1892. The company still exists. They also sold a LOT of steel fire “look out towers” for fire watch and being a lightning target lololol.

Reconstructing past lives and events grabs your minds eye coming upon and old homestea. The comings and goings of old homesteads spark my imagination. There was a homestead about 1/4 mile from this location. They had their own hand dug well 35 feet deep and 4 feet wide about 200 feet from their house down in a deep gully.. I filled it in when I moved here. It was an “attractive nuisance”.

Most settlers had to use the water at their windmill. I suspect an outhouse long since gone somewhere nearby downward of the prevailing wind. This land has had cattle or sheep on it for 100 years and slightly more. That’s 5 generations of cowboys that stayed the night or the summer in this treeless pasture. Being the only source of water for several miles around, the cowboys drank here too.

This is very big country open back country. Many square miles of grass are attached to any particular ranch. This is a steel windmill which is more expensive than building the wood towers was. Wells were positioned centered in the pasture. This made it accessible to the entire area. A lot depended on the ground water geology to make the shallow wells work long term. (luck mostly early on).

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.

Title: AERMOTOR Windmill Doublet

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Windmill Blue on Blue

Windmill Blue on Blue
Windmill Blue on Blue

Windmill Blue on Blue

Image number 2 of Windmill Wednesday Theme day all day. 9AM edition:

All you junkies out there might be having a little withdrawal. So don’t overdose on those windmills. …

I thought I’d throw this in as a post. Here “Sneaky Pete” the windmill has jumped over the setting sun with ian unsual blue sky. Sneaky is intent to keep it under his control. Little does he know that the wise old sun will just sneak out the back door as he’s done before again and again lolol.

This image is just a snippit of the continuing adventures of the “Pete” Brothers for you their loyal followers. (You know who you are😜 ) Don’t let your mother know you look at things like this… Just saying 😜😀

I hope I’m not the only one to see the dragon coming out of an American flag in the clouds highlighted by the overly bright scene. I never know what colors I’m going to get pointing a camera into the bright. Anything I can do the filter out the light is a good thing. I don’t use filters on my lens as they have a bad habit of ghosting images on my captures. So I use natural and man-made objects to filter some of that light out of the balance.

Personally the highlights on the metal of the tower makes the image for me. However, it has other hero’s in there if you blow this up full screen. All my images are built on the full screen to be seen on same.

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

Title: Windmill Blue on Blue

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Windmill Watching the Fire

Windmill Watching the Fire
Windmill Watching the Fire

Windmill Watching the Fire

My 3rd of 6 images posted today for Windmill Wednesday (Thematic today, all windmills, all day.) Posted elsewhere on FB and other social media that is 😀.

Windmill Junkies Unite: 🤘🤘📸 Don’t let your mother know you look at stuff like this…. 👀

WOW, I see a lot of lit up twilight skies. This was a good one…A real color scheme as I experienced the scene. My photographic technique is to properly expose the highlights and worry about the shadow details later. I wasn’t so concerned with the landscape on this capture. The skies gradient from yellow to red in amazing to experience live thusly stealing my total attention. Taken by a 60mm lens, this give the appearance of “SLIGHTLY” zoomed in. Resulting that the Big Horns do not look quite that large as they are in real life/naked eye. Those “hills” on the far right frame are 130 miles from the camera. They are also 13,000 feet tall ranking aside some of the highest mountains in Wyoming. .

The Big Horn Mountains are sticking up on the landscape 130 miles distant from “Sneaky Pete” the Windmill. Sneaky “randomly” photobombs my landscapes. He and his big Brother “Re Pete” are both living here on ranch. Of course they are hard core publicity seekers often managing to zip into my frames. In full disclosure I have no control over their actions. The only place I can get away from them is in the timber where they can’t follow 😜😜😜📷. (This is a years long narrative if your new to my world) Satire and all that.

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

Title: Windmill Watching the Fire

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Windmill Riding the Storm Out

Windmill Riding the Storm Out
Windmill Riding the Storm Out

Windmill Riding the Storm Out

Windmill Junkies Unite: but don’t let your mothers know you look at stuff like this 🤘🤘.

This 100 year old AERMOTOR Windmill has been providing water to cattle in this remote part of our ranch. It’s several miles to the nearest power line from here. About a decade ago we ran a water pipeline about two miles from one of our wells to this site. We used the existing tanks of course. The windmill was working last time we used it. It needs a new drive rod connecting the motor to the pump head. Undoubtedly, the leathers replaced in the pump, a little grease….. It would run no question in my mind.

6 months out of season when I post this Jan 8th but remember today is Windmill Wednesday. I’m going to have windmills every post all day today. There will only be one or two in some forums and other places on the internet will have all 6… . This is entry number 1 for the morning at 6 AM (ish). I’m going to start doing SOME thematic days as they CAN occur (meaning I have 6 images of the same type like Windmills).

I do miss the big storms that roll by in the summer. I don’t miss so much the ones that roll over us lolol. Rain is rain though. I’d rather not have it as 5 inch softball sized hail though. I just got a new truck lololol. We actually had to have every roof on the ranch replaced in 2008. We do get some rough storms.

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

Title: Windmill Riding the Storm Out

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Christmas Crown Sky Cathedral

Christmas Crown Sky Cathedral
Christmas Crown Sky Cathedral

Christmas Crown Sky Cathedral

6 months ago during the summer solstice of 2019, a BIG 100 mile across mesocyclone moved over us right at sunset. Of course “Sneaky Pete” the Windmill jumped into the photo as he is a terrible attention hog. I have no control over his actions. Windmill Wednesday AND Christmas Wednesday. , Windmill Junkies Unite 🤘

Satire:

I do understand through a third party that “Sneaky Pete” the Windmill wishes all of his fans a very very Merry Christmas. He has this insecurity problem where he wants to solve through fame and fortune acquired via his exposure in pictures. So he rushes into my images. His brother “Re-Pete” I’m sure also has Christmas wishes but he couldn’t be present at this photo taking session. He was over the hill out at his hangout during this storm.. Hard to get a family together portrait of the two brothers. They can’t move easily through the timber. I suspect they haven’t seen each other for a long time. I’ll have to see if I can arrange a digital family reunion someday…. 😜

I’m not sure what his New Year resolution. I’m pretty sure it has to involve photobombing more and injecting himself into my landscapes.

My new years resolution is to catch more skies like this and finally get all these images I’ve got stored away up on my web gallery. That will take a “while”. I consider it job security.

From all of us at the Bliss DInosaur Ranch, all of it’s creatures mythical and otherwise , Merry Christmas and a Happy/Safe New Year. 2020 is going to be an interesting year to be alive.

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

Title: Christmas Crown Sky Cathedral

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Perspective: Deer Hair Sunset

Perspective: Deer Hair Sunset
Perspective: Deer Hair Sunset

Perspective: Deer Hair Sunset

(Bowing my head and holding my hat over my heart) Here lies the last mortal remains of a predated backcountry deer. Just some simple tufts of hair spread about. I actually looked around quite a bit and for some distance in that area. Found one partial lower leg (calf) with hoof. It was hundreds of yards away from these scatterings of deer hide. I said a few words about the circle of nature and moved on knowing that nature is cruel. It is the renewal, the rebirth that is beautiful.

Close far perspectives are becoming a regular part of what I consider “working” with just about ever scene I look at these days. A really wide angle lens (10-12mm) along with high f-stop numbers in manual mode are necessary to do this kind of work. Knowing exactly what is in focus is best so knowing the characteristics of your lens is a good thing. I buy wide angle lenses based on their ability to focus really close to the lens but having a higher f-stop than f2-2 is highly desirable.

Reminder: Photographic Musings (memorize this)

(F-stop) is your aperture size. The size of the “pupil” inside your lens. Big pupils (low fstop numbers) lets in a lot of light but your depth of focus is thin and shallow. (the eye is in focus but your ears are not). With a high F-stop number, you get a very deep field of focus/depth of field. The whole face and the trees behind the face are all in focus. This is because a high f-stop number makes a very small pin hole for a “pupil” in your lens. F-stop is one of three settings you adjust in Manual mode. It is a double edged sword, deeper focus field comes from having a small aperture “pupil” which means less light. Light is what your balancing here. The other two settings compensate for what your doing with f -stop in this case.

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

Perspective: Deer Hair Sunset

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Overlook to the Mud Hills

Overlook to the Mud Hills
Overlook to the Mud Hills

Overlook to the Mud Hills

I am literally standing on the Montana/Wyoming border taking this shot. This is a favorite overlook of mine. A view to the north of the Mud Hills which is the first range north of my ranch across the Ranch Creek Drainage. We call this place the “treed” pasture as it’s about 2 square miles of mixed pine trees and grassy hills and gullies.

A land of many uses:

Cattle grazing during the summer pasture is a major use here obviously. Cattle can’t be pastured around pine trees in the winter as they will eat the needles. Those needles contain turpentine which will cause the pregnant cows to spontaneously abort. Several hundred cow/calf pair hang out around here for a month or two during Late May through Early July. We move cattle out of here in early July to facilitate the Wyoming Tactical Rifle Championship courses 3 and 4 use.

This ground has been home to a nationally ranked Team Tactical Rifle Championship for 18 years. Almost 4 miles of groomed rifle courses in 16 shooting stations exposing 150 fixed reactive steel Targets out to 1200 yards. This location is the last (or first) station on course 3 lolol. Snipers nest with literally thousands of precision rifle shots at those reactive steel targets down range.

There are a few dozen locations (I’ve found so far) within this “Pasture” that has Hell Creek/Lance Formation that contain dinosaurian (and others) fossils. I found my first dinosaur tooth in this pasture 18 years ago. I knew they were here, I just didn’t know where. You do have to look though occasionally I stumble on dinosaur bones laying in the grass like any other stone in the middle of the prairie. I have found several fossil locations that way. You can’t find them if you can’t see them lolol.

We even have had a nationally released 4×4 video in 2008 filmed here. Peterson’s 4 Wheel Drive and Off Road Magazine filmed part of their “Ultimate Adventure” video series here that year. It’s out there if you want to watch several high end jeeps flip over trying to climb out of some of the soft sandstone lined gullies.

As I say, a land of many uses…

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

Title: Overlook to the Mud Hills

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Lone Tree on Veiled Sun

Lone Tree on Veiled Sun
Lone Tree on Veiled Sun

Lone Tree on Veiled Sun. When I get a heavily veiled sun, I’m all about getting it behind and in focus with terrestrial objects. It’s always a good thing when this particular tree lines up with astronomic objects (sun moon). The Lone Tree on a Ridge is about 1/4 miles out in this capture. The sun is a little further behind.

Photographic Musings:

The clouds were very thick and obscuring with the sun blinking in and out from behind the veil. I am as always, reactive to the light with only a bit of premonition to guide me to the next spot from here. Half the game of photography is knowing when you got the shot and it’s time to move on. Otherwise you spend too much time at the site and miss other opportunities. I move pretty rapidly from interesting situation/alignments of the sun or the moon by driving along parallel ridges. I work the “Shadow” line by driving it and “seeing” what develops as I move. The cool stuff to photograph as in “I know it when I see it”.

There are times I see things that are virtually impossible to capture. A fully lit sun behind this tree is a common occurrence but without neutral density glass filters in front of the camera, even these Sony Super Cameras , this would be impossible. The tree limbs would be totally washed out. I never use glass filters or even do I use a pretty much standard UV haze filter. I find they get in the way of the image more than “fixing ” what they do. A UV filter does protect your lens glass from scratches though and is probably worth it for what you would do mostly. I point cameras at the sun a lot and glass infront of the lens has been an issue in the past for me. Just saying….

Disclaimer:

Don’t point a DSLR camera into the sun. It can blind you if you look into the eyepiece and it will probably burn a spot in your digital image chip in the camera. I use a full frame mirrorless Sony Alpha 7R 2’s ,3’s and 4’s which I routinely point at the sun. Resultant… no apparent damage to the cameras over several years of this.

If your buying gear soon….

Mirrorless Cameras: I’m not blind now because I look through the a Mirrorless cameras eyepiece which has a video screen behind the glass so no direct path of light to blind you. Newer mirrorless cameras do this video thing. Older Designed DSLR’s don’t show you your image until AFTER YOU CLICK. Mirrorless Cameras show you your settings changes live on screen and you get what you see when you click not after. If your shopping for cameras, I would tell you to buy mirrorless. Particularly if you work outside with cameras. Studio it’s not critical either way.

Location: Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.

Title: Lone Tree on Veiled Sun

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Perspective “Brace Yourself”

Perspective "Brace Yourself"
Perspective "Brace Yourself"

Perspective “Brace Yourself” looks cold….It was indeed quite chily when I took this. -2F with a good breeze is chilly in my book.. Taken a few miles into the backcountry off the main gravel road.. Traveling ranch Two track trails to the spot.. There was 1/8th inch of ice on virtually everything, . Ground under the snow, grass, barbed wire and posts all were laden with a coating of the storms warmer beginnings..

This was a good snow because I was actually noticing I was driving through deeper snow up on the ridges. Most snows so far this winter have been relatively minor in their effect on my travels… No blowing snow off the ridges in this snowy iteration. It wasn’t a particular windy storm. Thus there are no drifts to deal with, however, there is deeper snow on the ridge line which CAN build up if there is a crust. This makes it more difficult later (sadly). . It seems 5 inches of flat snow with ice under it starts getting problematic climbing steep backcountry hills.😜. I have slid backwards down many a long hill in the snowy backcountry…. denied access!!! 😫

So as the Winter progresses, the cold brings to mind a late November from 2000 that was -30 for well over a week straight. I mean all day for a week at -30F degrees was a long week here on the ranch. As I recall, I was driving back and forth from Jackson Hole to my Ranch north of Gillette (almost 500 miles) during that week . I definitely respect November weather in Wyoming.

I will plow the main two track up to this ridge this winter. It’s a several mile job with a skidsteer with tire chains. That takes a while if it drifts over and I will eventually be locked off the ridge by drifts working across my previously plowed paths.

I love lots of angles in photos. This one qualifies plus the close focus. 📸

Location: Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands

Title: Perspective “Brace Yourself”

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Windmill Wednesday with “Sneaky Pete”

Windmill Wednesday with "Sneaky Pete"
Windmill Wednesday with "Sneaky Pete"

Windmill Wednesday with “Sneaky Pete” is a capture from last week that just made it through my workflow. Twilight Sky Shows after sunset are often better than the sunsets themselves.

This sky was impressively big at the 30 foot tall Windmill named “Sneaky Pete” (long term narrative if your new to “Sneaky Pete”. ). He has a habit of photobombing my land/skyscapes. I have no control over his actions as he has a mind of his own. Fortunately his size gives some perspective to this huge twilight sky that night. Some good comes out of his mischief. 😝

“Sneaky Pete” is the younger of two Windmills we have here on the Bliss Dinosaur Ranch. The older windmill is “Re Pete”. He hangs out about 3 miles out in the backcountry. More images from him as I rework my porfoiio to current standards.

Windmills in the past were the only source of water up here. We used that older windmill as recently as 2007. We’d have to change the leathers and grease stuff up. One has to climb up a 35 foot tower to do that…. We have a water pipeline now to that spot…. Working windmills are becoming rare even in this remote backcountry were easy to fix solar wells are taking over the jobs. A mile of electric wire costs MANY thousands of dollars. (maybe 60 or 70). A solar penel and pump are just a few thousand (2 or 3). Windmills need a lot of attention. Solar panels take next to nothings to keep running. Technology wins every time. 😁

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands

Title: Windmill Wednesday with “Sneaky Pete”

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“Belt of Venus” NE Wyoming

"Belt of Venus" NE Wyoming
"Belt of Venus" NE Wyoming

Here I have posted a very well developed “Belt of Venus” . NE Wyoming version. Lots of Ice in the air…..Backshow from the sun that just went down over my shoulder.

This is the view from the Pass at RockyPoint Wyoming showing the 4 volcanic necks. The debris from them being eroded (sediments) are draping off them making an apron of debris to the relatively hard peaks. The Devil’s Tower (left) is the best known volcanic neck in this complex

. The other three peaks were emplace around the same time as the towers rocks were cooling in the deeply buried neck of an ancient volcano.

“Belt of Venus” NE Wyoming

The Missouri Buttes AKA the Three sisters are in fact 4 buttes. Hard to see all 4 unless your on the top of Devils Tower though or in a plane. Two of the buttes rise slightly lower topographically than the Tower, while the remaining two are actually higher. Devil’s Tower was formed from the same type of rock type as the Missouri Buttes. Rocks there are classified as “phonolite porphyry” by geologists.

There is some agreement among geologist (rare thing lol) that these volcanic necks were from the same intrusion of magma. That event created the hard magmatic origin rocks that obviously later resisted erosion better than the surrounding sediments. Thus they stick out of the surrounding landscape that washed away.

Erosional Remnants:

Geologists think magmatic injection, lead to these erosional remnants (mountains). All these peaks rocks were formed during closely related volcanic timelines it appears. Although some columnar jointing is evident in the Little Missouri Buttes, they lack the distinctive appearance and magnificent grandeur of Devils Tower which cooled over a longer period of time allow the giant columnar crystals of Dark Porphyry. These eroded exposed volcanic necks dominate the landscape with their presence here in the NorthEastern Corner of the state. This is almost entirely in Crook County but I’m standing in Campbell County Wyoming.

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.

Title “Belt of Venus” NE Wyoming

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Triceratops Pelvis With Tendons

Triceratops Pelvis With Tendons
Triceratops Pelvis With Tendons

Pelvis, Tendons for the tail of a Triceratops “In Situ” (In Place)

This Triceratops Pelvis with Tendons (ossified tendons) adjacent just left from the ligature supporting those massive heavy tails. Here is shown exposed from one of our “digs” up here. This animal was around 20 percent there with 80 percent missing as it were. More still of this animal may be at the site. It’s probably about 1 inch below or deeper into the hill than where we stopped digging. 🤣

Tools and Location:

Tools of the trade are brushes, Wood Awls, Superglue and of course shovels and wheelbarrows. Named the Triceratops “Doug” after the rancher that gave me permission to hunt on his ground (this is about 1/2 mile off my ranch so this was legally his fossil). The land owner owns the fossil unless you have been told otherwise as is the law with fossil remains generally. Very close to the Montana Wyoming border, this is Lance/HellCreek Formation. This is a dinosaur bone from the end of the rule of dinosaurs. Uppermost Cretaceous with perhaps 200 feet of Hell Creek/Lance Fm above this before everything when BOOM. Hell Creek/Lance is about 700 feet thick sandstone/shale sequence. It’s all river/lake sedimentation.

I first started this excavation in 2006 when I found a partial brow horn from a triceratops walking this hillside. . It was all by itself down hill from the side about 30 meters. It even a little right of the final location for this Triceratops carcass. This threw me off for a day or so finding the actual fossil bearing sediment. (It was a big hillside). Fossils laying on the surface came from somewhere. Usually either right where they initially found are OR somewhere up hill of which this one was steep and big. It could have come from ANYWHERE up slope. (That Discovery piece is a wonderful fossil too). The site was finished 3 years ago now soon after this was removed. .

Remember it is illegal to collect vertebrate fossils from State, Federal or Tribal Land. Only private deeded land is OK to collect from/on. You want written permission from Tribal land management and only state authorized digging can occur on state ground. BLM is a tougher nut to crack so generally if you find a vertebrate bone of any significance on a piece of federal/state ground, leave it there. Don’t neglect a report it to the local field office of the BLM. (not that “Brontosaurus Lives Don’t Matter” but I refer here to the Bureau of Land Management lolol). It’s best to have fossil agreements in writing. Just my 2 cents. I point you to the BLM website for more specific instruction on the law as I’m not a lawyer.

Location: Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.

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Coyote Breakfast: Morning Sip

Coyote Breakfast: Morning Sip
Coyote Breakfast: Morning Sip

A Coyote Breakfast: Morning Sip

Perfectly colored for the grass this time of year, this Coyote Breakfast: Morning Sip of Water …. That along with a pee over in the corner is what a Coyote’s breakfast usually consists of lolol.

These guys are mostly mouse hunters. Unfortunately, they do kill livestock babies, (calves lambs other wise known as a bad thing). They keep a Llama breeding industry thriving to keep them away and they keep a LOT of Coyote Hunters occupied (which is also a good thing). Generally ranchers try to eradicate them if they are hanging about. Ranch cats are always under threat of coyote’s.

Value of a Good Electric Fence:

This guy is a mile from my homestead which is surrounded by a very effective electric fence system primarily to keep deer out. It usually keeps everything else out too. There aren’t a lot of gaps in that electric fence larger than about 1/2 a foot lolol. It took me a year to get it right and about 3 months of solid work but I have a little 10 acre island of mostly wild critter free zone.

Living in the backcountry of Wyoming/Montana, we deal with it’s other night creatures besides coyotes too. Skunks, raccoons and porcupines run about and do occasionally get inside my electric fence. As a system to keep out most things, it’s very effective but the very small do get in but they do learn to keep their tails down and not up where it hits that fence lololol. All my cat’s know that game with the low electric fence wire. Keep that tail down or get knocked down lol. The dogs however don’t react well to porcupines and skunks. Fortunately we’ve been pretty lucky only pulling a few quills out of noses. There has also been a few baths in peroxide and tomato juice and I have my share of skunk stories from living up here.

Fortunately we’ve never had a coyote penetrate our fenceline. I’ve seen them right outside the perimeter before. I didn’t see it but a lion was spotted outside the wire. A few bobcats…. I know many other things hang out but we haven’t noted them. I have plaster casts of Wolf footprints (positively ID’s by a wildlife biologist) from about a 1000 yards from my fenceline at my com tower. I’ve seen bear scat out at my dinosaur dig site and there have been other bear reports locally. You never know what your keeping out with a good electric fence.

Location: Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.

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Crescent Moon in Twilight

Crescent Moon in Twilight
Crescent Moon in Twilight

Alpenglow with the Crescent Moon in

Very clear Skies, Alpenglow below with a Crescent Moon in Twilight. This Crescent a few days ago was a 5 percent illuminated disc. It will be a new moon tonight if we see it. Winter weather is occurring as I type this and next week look cold…. (Your reading this about 6 days after I typed it). This image was actually taken in my driveway which ended up just about the last image I took that day. I locked the front gate behind me as I go into our homesteads electric fence deer resistant perimeter for the night. I have to close the gate though as they will go across the cattle gates without a gate in the way. Title: Crescent Moon in Twilight

That night there was so much ice in the air , it produced one of the finest Alpenglow displays I’ve seen in quite a while. This was way to the left of the main show to the west. The camera her was almost straight south by south west. The real show was in the west but the moon wasn’t so..🌙lick…

This was later in Civil Twilight just before the boundary time 28 minutes (ish) after sunset to Nautical Twilight. 28 (ish) minutes later than that Astronomic Twilight starts (so do you know the difference?) It’s a good google if you don’t. Night starts the second the sun goes down and ends with the tip of the sunrise in the morning. Remember it’s not the sun that moves, it’s the horizon that is rising or falling across the face of the sun that your watching. Things are as they actually are, not the way you think they are or the way you have told they are 🤔🙏

Location: Bliss DInosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands

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Tasting the Air

Tasting the Air
Tasting the Air

This image from last spring shows a favorite buck of mine named “Goal Post” tasting the air. Usually when they lick their nose they are getting some taste information to augment their keen sense of smell in the big snout. Humans are stinky and noisy for sure lol.

“Goal Post” is known to me as a deer with his left brow tine absent in the growth. I instantly recognized him this spring and he was as tolerant of me this year as last… This is very early in his horn growth and he is actually a 4×5 as those horns finally developed. His sidekick “Slow Boat” was nearby in this image lol. They are like peas and carrots those two deer are. I have some AMAZING images from working those two. I can usually work very close to them.

No mistake though, they are wild bucks. They would flee in a heart beat if I stepped outside my rig.

Catching this behavior is usually luck or just really good timing because it happens really fast as you can see by the slightly blurred tongue and this was a 1/400th sec image lolol.

I’ve know quite a few of these deer since they were fawns and photographed most of them every year several times. I know many of them by name based on ear notches or horns (which doesn’ help in the winter at all lol.

Remember I’m mixing and matching seasons all winter reworking those images finished to current standards. I’ll mix a few in a day from the past with the rest current. I’m posting 6 a day at the moment every day.

Writing my narratives takes as much time as the rest of the phototaking process sometimes lololol.

Location: Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.

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Moon Rise over Trail Creek Road

Moon Rise over Trail Creek Road
Moon Rise over Trail Creek Road

One the way back to the ranch from Gillette (a 140 mile round trip), I saw this Moon Rise over Trail Creek Road. The Sun had just set behind me and all this red light was even reflecting off the road sign turning a dark blue sky into a dark redish purple “Belt of Venus” which is the long red wavelengths bouncing off the ice in the air. This gave the whole scene a rediish colorcast which here is as it was then.

This is the hunters moon which was just above a wispy cloud layer lighting it up. There were plenty of hunters packing up for the day on Trail Creek so the moon was living up to it’s name. Red Colorcast this deep isn’t that common in my experience.

Geologic Musings: Some of you know I’ve been a geologist (MS) as one of my professional careers I’ve had in my travels… I’m very much into Geobiology and sedimentology. This area in this image is a well dissescted sandstone/shale geologic sequence (Tullock or Fort Union Formation Tertiary) with most of this grassy areas bedrock being younger than the dinosaurs. My ranch way up on those ridges on the upper left of the photo has the older Cretaceous Dinosaur Bearing sediments. Down in the river valley you get some quartz cobbles where the rivers concentrate them. . It’s pretty rare to find cobbles up on the far ridges and when you do they are always affiliated with dinosaur fossils……

These stones are called “gastroliths” or stomach stones. The dinosaurs carried them from where they picked them up hundreds of miles away from where they were finally deposited when the dinosaur died…. Rivers that deposited the Cretaceous dinosaur bearing sands sand were only competent to carry sand only, they couldn’t carry cobbles very well lolol. Too heavy for the current velocity. I actually look for sand with rounded mud clasts (balls of mud) the size of the bones I’m looking for to search for fossils. I bet you think I look for fossils first. Actually I look at the sediment and it’s characteristics before I start looking about.

Location: Trail Creek Road, 1 mile south of Montana near the Little Powder River, Campbell County Wyoming.

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Pumping Crude

Pumping Crude
Pumping Crude

Pumping Crude is exactly what this Pump Jack was doing. This is the overground driving system for a reciprocating pump thousands of feet below ground in the Powder River Basin.
At the foot of the 13000 feet high Big Horn Mountain Chain.. the whole area is underlain by coal, oil and natural gas deposits.

The Powder River Basin is the tectonic bathtub adjacent to the aforementioned Big Horn Mountain uplift. It is the literally the trough of the sediment wave where the mountains are the crest of the wave of bent Earths crust resultant from huge forces compressing formerly flat sediment into literally a wave form. The sediments washing off the high side of the wave quickly filled in the basin adjacent with sand, gravel and cobbles. The low areas were coal swamp heaven and are loaded with fresh water fossils, crocs, alligators, freshwater fish of all kinds, amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles and a host of invertebrates/shell fish.

The “Powder River Basin” supplies coal that accounts for 30 percent of the electricity generated in the US and is a good low sulfur coal. Good to export to China to keep them from using their nasty sulfurous coal. This part of the country has a huge hydrocarbon infrastructure. BIG coal mines, lots of natural gas and thousands of these pump jacks spread about.

All the other hydrocarbons are all ultimately resultant from those swamps. Gas and volatile fluids moved away from the coal as diagenesis of the sediments proceeded with those fluids moving to the eventual trap. This well was bored into such a trap. All tenorable oil deposits require a source for the petroleum and a pathway to the trap .
This all happened AFTER the dinosaur died about 66 million years ago.

Just a little Geologic musing for the day…

Location: Eastern Sheridan County Wyoming

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Big Horn Mountains in Autumn (on a Tuesday This Year)

Big Horn Mountains in Autumn (on a Tuesday This Year)
Big Horn Mountains in Autumn (on a Tuesday This Year)

This wide 3:1 Aspect Ratio Panorama of the Big Horn Mountains on the day of Autumn 2019. Autumn was on a Tuesday this year.

This is a long telephoto composite of 3 very high resolution images stitched together in the digital darkroom seamlessly as the scene actually was. This image is the “state of my art”. It’s high resolution to 60 x 20 inches lol.

There is no sign of mans impact in this image except for the few fence posts you can see. This was captured on a road trip to Sheridan I took last week. It was 119 miles of backcountry gravel roads and two lane Wyoming highways over about 3 hours. Not that I stopped to take a photo now and then or anything….. It was a classic Wyoming, it’s hard to get from here to there trip.

Cool backroad Wyoming burbs of Ucross, Spotted Horse, Clearmont, Recluse and Leiter are the “Big Towns” along the way. WONDERFUL drive on 14/16 going into Sheridan from the east if you ever get a chance to go that way.

Location: Sheridan County Wyoming.

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Twilight Alpenglow Over the Big Horn Mountains

Twilight Alpenglow Over the Big Horn Mountains
Twilight Alpenglow over the Big Horn Mountains

“Twilight Alpenglow over the Big Horn Mountains” was taken well into Nautical Twilight. (Do you know your 3 twilights and when they occur?) Bear in mind I consider anything sky in the morning BEFORE the sun crosses the horizon still to be at Night and in the evening, once the sun slips behind the horizon, it’s night too…. Lenticular Clouds in Silhouette are always fun. I bet they were impressive from the other side of the hill at sunset. They typically form over bumps in the terrain.

This sky started out Bright Orange at sunset with the same clouds but slowly faded to the longer wave length light red…finally to black with no stars because enough overcast to preclude/veil stars in the frame. This 5 second time exposure highlights cloud shadows and the still glowing atmospheric ice over the Mountains. (Alpenglow is caused by the scattering of the color of light that makes it through hundreds of miles of low angle atmosphere. Typically a deep winter thing every night but I see it every month up here).
Those 13000 feet high “hills” are 130 miles from my camera which is sitting on a 4000 foot in elevation ridge almost 2 full Wyoming counties east of the Big Horns.

Photographers notes. Unless your really steady (on xanax or something), you need a tripod for any exposure longer than about 1/15th second exposure and that’s if your really good…. No star tracking required here so just a tripod will do.

Gear.. Sony Alpha 7R4, Canon 800mm Telephoto (Vintage plus mixed cam/lens brands which actually works fine with the right Metabones adaptor between thank you). Tripod. Also a Big Tall Hill top in Montana looking across the border into Wyoming.

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

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Reflections Off an Old Friend

Reflections Off an Old Friend
Reflections Off and Old Friend

THe morning I took “Reflections Off an Old Friend”, I didn’t know at the time I was going to trade it My Grand Cherokee off off this year. (Sad as I like that car but onward)…

This image represents one of the best mornings I’ve seen up on that high point in the many times I’ve been there.

Location: Trail Creek Pass to Rockypoint Wyoming, Campbell Country…

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Post Pounder From Hell

Post Pounder From Hell
Post Pounder From Hell

Post Pounder From Hell

Best example of Hoar Frost I’ve ever seen. 1.5 – 2 inch needles. Captured here at the homestead

This used to be just a 30 pound pipe with handles. Now it’s a prickly pipe. The borderlands always have surprises for me to photograph.

Driving T-posts for fence use is their purpose around the ranch. It was upright on my ATV on a freezing fog night that covered ANYTHING that disrupted air flow. There is a natural funnel between the building on tI have many images from that morning but I believe this to be the best.

I spent hours walking around with a few cameras that morning. Hoar frost usually only deposits on sharp surfaces/points where turbulence changes the triple point.

Science Musings:

The triple point is where the combination of temperature and pressure is such that something like ice can be in any of its 3 states. Ice, Water, Water Vapor co-exist at the “triple point. (Great google word for the day). Ice can change at the tiple point right to gas in a process called sublimation. Condensation is where water vapor collects into droplets of Liquid Water, Evaporation is liquid water changing to gas. Each phase change takes

I won’t get into the math of this. IT is definitely a good science class all in and of itself. Science and the knowledge of it give you the ability to understand what is ongoing around you. The pursuit of knowing is key to actually see beyond just looking. Humans are generalists mostly. Good photographers, not so much. They see into the “zone” catching the little areas of zen in the common that others miss. Keep on Clicking folks.. 📸

Square Aspect.

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

Title: Post Pounder From Hell