Naturally Speaking

Today’s post comes from my recent trip to Ha Ha Tonka State Park, on the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Along the Natural Bridge hiking trail, this naturally-formed bridge was formed a long time ago, in the rocky terrain of the park. Here are a few images I captured of the Natural Bridge.

As you approach the bridge, from the parking lot:

Natural Bridge

And on the backside of the bridge:

Natural Bridge

It is from this backside, where we found our Halloween spooky face:

Ha Ha Tonka Scary Face

Next, I’ll share some interesting water images that I captured along the Niangua Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks (still within the park).

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400 and ISO 800 (with changing light availability under the tree canopy)
  • Aperture f/8 and f/16
  • Shutter 1/45 sec.

 

 

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Have a Spooktacular Day!

This Halloween post features an image I captured in Ha Ha Tonka State Park a week ago. While hiking one of the trails, we came across the Natural Bridge, a rock bridge that you pass through, on the trail (I’ll post more on the Natural Bridge, later). While checking out the amazing rock formations, this “scary face”, crooked teeth and all,  seemingly watched over our every move!

Ha Ha Tonka Scary Face

I’ve also added some previously published images that have a flair for Halloween in them … enjoy!

Spider Web in the fall colors

Dragonfly covered with early morning frost

Dragonfly covered with early morning frost

Full Moon over a Cass County farm

Super Moon over farm silo

Coming up … more Ha Ha Tonka State Park images, as well as a report on the three Black Swallowtail Chrysalises (Chrysali ?).

Have a Spooktacular Day!

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Insect Photography, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Part 1

This past week, I went on a spur-of-the-moment photo trip to Missouri’s Ozarks. With fall colors quickly approaching, I traveled to the Camdenton, Missouri area to search for some fall color images. My time was spent at one of Missouri’s best parks (in my opinion) … Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

Unfortunately, the fall colors were not as vivid or bold as I had hoped. But plenty of photo ops existed and I had a ton of fun hiking and shooting! And I was fortunate to have a new friend from the area, Bobbie, accompany me and give me a great tour of the area.

In this first of several posts, I’m featuring some images from the bluffs in the park, overlooking the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. Along the bluffs, ruins of an old castle still stand:

Castle Ruins at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, MO

This castle was a private retreat that Robert M. Snyder, a wealthy businessman, had started building in 1905. After his death, his sons completed the castle in 1922. Later on, fire from a chimney gutted the castle, leaving only the ruins.

And a bit further uphill from this site, are the ruins of the old water station. Water was pumped to a tank inside this structure, then gravity-fed to the castle, as water was needed:

Water Tower ruins at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, MO

For me, the best view of the area exists from near the castle, looking over the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks:

Lake of the Ozarks overview, from Ha Ha Tonka State Park castle ruins

As you can see, fall colors were appearing throughout the landscape, but a few days off from peak colors. Regardless, the following day was spent along the water below, photographing the area’s landscape.

In the next post, I’ll celebrate Halloween by featuring some more geographic wonders of the bluff area, including a scary, rock face!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/500 sec. to 1/1000 sec.

 

 

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Fun Friday: Fall’s Peak Colors

Today’s post includes a couple of images I captured yesterday, after returning from a last-minute trip to Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks for some fall photography … more on that later.

A few days earlier, when I left for my photo trip, the leaves around my rural Missouri home were making some big changes. But when I returned home yesterday, two maples that sit on the south side of my home, immediately behind my butterfly garden, were in blazing colors!

Fall Colors at my rural Missouri home

Fall Colors at my rural Missouri home

And the fall colors in my butterfly garden include a mum, a dwarf burning bush and lots of small, purple asters.

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love getting out and finding things to shoot in the fall colors, rather it be wildlife or landscapes!

In my coming posts, I will be posting some images on my fall color trip to the Lake of the Ozarks, particularly at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, a beautiful location to visit in the fall!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/8 (top image) and f/16 (bottom image)
  • Shutter 1/180 sec. (top image) and 1/90 sec. (bottom image)

 

 

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Fall Colors at My Rural MO Home

I went out this morning about a half-hour before sunrise and launched my drone to grab some aerial images of my rural Missouri home as the fall colors begin to invade:

Aerial View of my rural MO home in fall colors

I’ll try to grab more images as the color progresses!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone, with 8.8mm lens
  • ISO 100
  • Aperture f/2.8
  • Shutter 1/15 sec.
  • Just minor editing (will go back and spend more time on editing, later)
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A Late Visitor

As I left my house to pick up my mail at the road yesterday, I noted a beautiful Monarch butterfly that was very interested in a stand of aster wildflowers that are blooming in my rural Missouri butterfly garden. I went back inside and grabbed my camera and grabbed a few images of this regal butterfly:

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

Next up, an update on the Black Swallowtail chrysalises (chrysali?) that I’ve been nurturing in my kitchen.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm IS lens, shot from 125mm to 135mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/6.3
  • Shutter 1/500 sec. and 1/640 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Cabin in the Woods

The images in today’s post comes from a hike near the St. Mary Lake, on the east side of Glacier NP (Montana) in August.

Sitting at the edge of a wooded area, this old (and no longer used) ranger cabin sits:

Old Ranger Cabin

As you can see, lots of wildflowers (mainly Daisies) are growing around the cabin, along with assorted “weeds” and some tree saplings. A closer look at the daisies:

Daisies growing near old ranger cabin

And if you stand in front of the cabin, this is the view of the St. Mary Lake valley:

View from the Cabin

This would have been ideal weekend “getaway” spot! In this last image, there are lots of Fireweed wildflowers blooming, indicating that summer is about over and snow will soon replace all the color in the valley.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, shot from 125mm to 135mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/19 and f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/45 sec. to 1/250 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Aster Falls

When I was leaving Glacier NP (Montana) during my August photo trip, I could not drive through the park to exit on the west side. Two nights earlier, a storm came through and lightning started a fire inside the park, on the west side, causing the road to be closed and even evacuation of the Lake McDonald lodge there. Since I needed to travel down the east side of the park, I decided to leave early and stop for some photography in the southeast region of the park, an area I hadn’t previously visited.

One of the places that sounded interesting was the hike to Aster Falls. This hike was about 2.5 miles from the trailhead and ended (for me) at Aster Falls. This was a beautiful waterfall, tucked back into the trees and surrounded by yellow wildflowers. Very picturesque:

Aster Falls, Glacier NP (Montana)

Aster Falls, Glacier NP (Montana)

Aster Falls, Glacier NP (Montana)

Aster Falls, Glacier NP (Montana)

The lighting seemed to be ever changing here, making photography a bit challenging but such beautiful area!

Note: If you live in the Kansas City area, I will have a booth at the Lee’s Summit Art Festival this coming weekend, Friday Oct. 12 (4pm to 8pm), Saturday Oct. 13 (10am to 8pm), and Sunday Oct. 14 (11am to 4pm) … stop by and say “Hi”. I will have some paper and metal prints of my August trip to Glacier NP on display.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, at 135mm
  • Bogen 3221 Tripod with ballhead
  • ISO 100
  • Aperture f/22 and f/32
  • Shutter 1/4 sec. and 1/10 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Waterfalls, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Friday: Changes in My Nursery

As I mentioned in a post last week, I have collected several Black Swallowtail butterfly eggs and caterpillars. They are housed in a mesh, indoors “nursery” in my rural Missouri home. I had been waiting for the caterpillar to begin making it’s chrysalis. Well, I went to bed on Tuesday night and the caterpillar was very quiet, just holding on to a stick I had placed inside the mesh cage. When I got up at 6:00am Wednesday, it had already formed the chrysalis:

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Chrysalis

I was hoping to capture some time-lapse images of this process, but clearly missed it! No problem, I captured another couple of caterpillars from my butterfly garden and they are now busy, feeding on parsley inside the nursery:

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

I’m hoping to catch at least one of the 2 caterpillars as they begin forming the chrysalis, as well as catching the new butterfly emerging from the existing chrysalis! Time will tell :o)

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 180mm macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with ballhead
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/3.5 (chrysalis) and f/11 (caterpillar)
  • Shutter 1/10 sec. and 0.7 sec. (caterpillar)
  • Chrysallis image is a focus-stacked capture, using 5 images

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Butterfly Photography, focus stacking, Fun Friday post, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Common Toadflax

Today’s post features a pretty cool wildflower that I found blooming near St. Mary Lake in Glacier NP (Montana) in August. The Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) is a rather showy wildflower, with bright yellow and orange flowers:

Common Toadflax wildflower

Common Toadflax wildflower

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm IS lens, at 135mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/350 sec. and 1/250 sec.

 

 

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