Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pink Snow

Now that we're home again, I am going to continue culling my catalog of photographs to share my favorites and tell their tales.

Also, Matt has been helping me start up a "store" if anyone would like to check out some of the things you can make with these pictures. You may have already noticed the link on this blog I added recently. It's a great site that pays the artist (me) a wee commission. My favorites are the shoes & the ties... If you'd like me to upload a particular photo there that I haven't gotten to yet, give me a shout. Thanks for your support!

The Photograph

The Story
For a few years there, we made an annual Labor Day pilgrimage to Yosemite backpacking with friends. This photo is from our first, and still, most memorable trip going 8 miles straight up from Tualame Meadows to Vogelsang High Sierra camp. Wandering above 10,000 feet, on a day trek up Vogelsang Peak we came upon untouched primordial looking pink snow. Quite literally, pink hued snow clinging to the sunbathed rocks in September. We speculated on what freak combination of natural events created this Wonka-esque scene, and ended up agreeing that the safest course of action would be a pink snow ball fight. So, quickly desecrating months of serenity, cupping hands around cold pink globs, we hurled them at each other, into the bright sky, and out across the mountain as far as our arms could manage.

Later, two of our crew talked with some rangers while dinning at the High Sierra restaurant telling them about our unique discovery. Turns out pink is the warning color of a particularly deadly toxic mold that grows on old snow. They hoped we were smart enough to stay clear... I'm not sure if the snow ball fight came up after that, but we didn't have anymore pink snowball fights, and I lived to tell the tale.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Elephants Can't Jump

Third country on our African adventure: Botswana.

The Photograph

The Story
I rode an elephant once as a kid. I think it might have been at the Cincinnati Zoo. Since then, I've seen elephants from time to time, other zoos, other fairs. And yet, my heart sped and my breath caught when I laid eyes on my first up close free roaming elephant in Botswana's Chobe National Park. Stately, sedate and graceful, elephantine society fascinates. That such enormous creatures can be so gentle makes it easy to forget the power they hold. The resounding sound of two young bulls knocking tusks in playful challenge brings that fact back immediately. As does the way my heart suddenly jumped to my throat at seeing two bulls charge between two small safari trucks loaded with friends. They meant no harm, only wanting a clear path from the river to the trees. But had the wanted more, what recourse would there be? From solitary bulls to playful calves, every movement a testament to the wonder that is African Safari. Of some 70,000 elephants who make Chobe home, we may have seen a hundred. Somehow I don't think I'd ever tire of watching their stately movements, and mischievous interactions.