Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Photographing the 2016 Supermoon




The moon shines bright over Walker Lake


Catching a big moon rising over the mountains at Walker Lake is always a special thrill and what can be more exciting when it is a Supermoon.  

When I learned of the Supermoon that was to be in November, 2016 I kept checking the weather and hoping for a clear night with calm wind.  Sure enough, the weather was just about perfect and I only needed a lightweight jacket. 

The moon was forecast to rise at 5:21 PST, so I arrived early to my favorite viewing spot and got all set up with my heavy Bogen tripod as level as possible on the rocky mountainside.  

The sun had already set but was casting enough light to give subtle color to the thin clouds.  While I was waiting for the moon to rise, I took an exposure of the Gillis Mountains creating interesting reflections on the still water with a shutter speed of 1/40 second at f/5.6. 


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Approximately 17:43, 5:43 PST, the supermoon began to peek over the Gillis Mountains to the east of Walker Lake; I adjusted my shutter speed up to 1/60 second. 


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I decided to photograph with my Nikon 80-200mm 2.8 zoom lens so that I could crop in on the moon and then zoom out for a wider angle view.  On Manual Mode, I bracketed the exposures so that the highlights in the moon would not be overexposed.  I then adjusted the mountains and water to appear lighter with post-processing in Lightroom. Once the moon was up over the mountains, I increased my shutter speed to 1/200 second to adjust for the brightness of the moon.  


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The moon gained just enough elevation to begin its glow on the calm lake water.  



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Ascending a little higher and the moon glow streamed across the water.  


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One final shot on this November 13th night and I exposed for 1/400 second as the moon rose behind clouds. 


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I returned for a second try on the following night of November 14th however the moon came up later at 18:39, 6:39 PST and the sky was growing dark.  Without the additional light falling on the landscape from dusk, I had to decide whether to expose for the bright moon or the dark foreground.  I exposed for the bright moon at 1/400 seconds and allowed the landscape to go dark.  


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The best time for moonscape photography is to catch the moon when it rises and the sky is light enough to show the details in the landscape.  I follow Intellicast.com not only for weather updates but also to keep informed on times for sunrises, sunsets and the phases of the moon.   


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So until the next exciting photo event, when I strive to outwit, outplay, and outlast what nature sends, subscribe to my blog and follow my photo-explorations to see where my adventures will go.  


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With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.





No images on this blog are within Public Domain. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween Countdown, Thirteen Spooky Places for Photo-exploring




Hanging Trees, Ghost Towns and Spooky Tales


To celebrate my favorite holiday, Halloween, I thought what could be more fun than to give a tour of the spookiest places that I have done photography.

  To begin our 13 Spookiest places, I take you to Spooky Rock, Nevada.  Spooky Rock (its actual name) is an out-cropping of rocks that was naturally formed from volcanic flows which cooled with grimacing looking faces.  Located out in the desert, far from civilization, it sure sets the imagination to wandering, especially after sundown.


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Number 12 on our list, the ranch house at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, Nevada seems a peaceful place to visit during the day. But beware on those long, dark winter nights when drawers rattle and doors slam and no body is there except for a lonely ranger.  This working cattle ranch was once owned by the famed German actress Vera Krupp of Krupp diamond fame and they say she still protects her legacy from unwanted intruders.  


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Spooky tales Number 11:  Goldfield was Nevada’s largest town after gold was discovered in 1902 with mines that produced more than $86 million in revenue.  Over time, the town slowly dwindled and in 1923 was almost completely destroyed by a fire.  One of the remaining buildings, the Goldfield High School was built in 1907 and still houses many spirits including a young girl that can be seen peeking out the windows from the upper floors.


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Stokes Castle in Austin, Nevada is Number 10 on our countdown.  It was built as a summer home for Anson Phelps Stokes in 1897; who was a mine developer, railroad czar, and banker. A careful look up to the three story windows and you might catch some spirits of the numerous workers who labored to build this massive tower that was constructed form pieces of native granite that weighed more that a thousand pounds each.  


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Spooky tales Number 9:  On a full moon night at Rhyolite Ghost Town, Nevada you can walk with the spirits of this once prosperous mining town.  As with most towns of the old west there are tales of violence and deception over the lure of gold--like with the prospector who was poisoned by the local barber for his gold nuggets.   


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Coming in at No.  8:   High above the desert in central Nevada at 10,520' elevation stands Corey Peak.  Almost a scene from “The Twilight Zone” stands an abandoned shack with towers and strange looking objects.  I am left with an eerie feeling and hope I don’t see any small grey figures.   
  

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At No. 7,  around 1867 Marietta Nevada was a major source for salt and borax.  It became established as a town in 1877 and over time the 150 residents saw their share of violence.  Robbery was almost an everyday occurrence and in just one week, the horse stage was held up 4 times!   Today, Marietta is mostly a ghost town with only a few living residents.  If walls could talk, and they sometimes do, you will be hearing of the trials and tribulations on a windy Halloween night.    


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Bodie Ghost Town is No. 6 on the Spooky countdown.  During the Californiathe gold rush Bodie was a thriving town with 600 to 800 buildings and a population of over 10,000 residents. Along with the merchants and professional businesses, Bodie also had a dark side with its numerous saloons, gambling halls and brothels.  Many a spirit still roams the abandoned buildings and are known to protect the town against pilferers. Take only photos and leave only footprints or you might come face to face with the “Bodie Curse”.  


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No 5 is  Pipers Opera House in Virginia City, Nevada.  Virginia City grew with the discovery of the Comstock Lode of silver in 1859.  Pipers Opera House is still open for events today and if you look toward the back of the stage, you might just catch a glimpse of the bearded man who stands enjoying the performance. 
 

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No 4,  In 1849 emigrants bound for California's gold fields strayed into the 120-mile long basin of the driest and hottest area of North America.   After a two-month long ordeal of hunger and thirst one of the few survivors looked down from a mountain top and decried, “Good-bye Death Valley!”  Thus Death Valley became the name of the most extreme weather location in North America with less than 2 inches of annual rainfall, temperatures reaching as high as 134°F and the lowest elevation on the continent of 282 feet below sea level.  As harsh and extreme as Death Valley is, it can also be enjoyed for its natural beauty.  However, take nothing for granted in Death Valley because death may come from just any careless move.  


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No 3,  Gold was discovered in the Aurora area in 1860, one year before the Territory of Nevada was formed. The township of Aurora became established and so did its reputation for being one of the wildest towns in the west. As many as 27 people were killed in one year, and it was a well-documented fact that the notorious Daly Gang made Aurora their home. Today, not much remains of Aurora except for the cemetery which is still maintained with a peaceful view during the day.  However, at night you might just be in for more sights than the stars coming out.  


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No 2,  A rock arch is about all that remains of Delamar, one of Nevada’s once prosperous mining towns.  At one time, Delamar was producing millions of dollars in gold. However it soon became known as the “Widowmaker”. The mines were embedded in quartzite and a fine dust was produced when the material was crushed which gave the workers a fatal lung condition:  Silicosis.  As I wandered through these deserted ruins on a beautiful spring day, I just happened to encounter  the overwhelming fragrance of rose perfume; maybe one of the widows was still searching for her lost love.

   
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And No. 1 on our countdown goes to the Hanging Tree which still stands today in Pioche, Nevada. In the 1860’s Pioche was a notorious gold and silver mining camp with a reputation much worse than Tombstone or Dodge City, where the only law was by way of the gun. Wait under the tree on a full moon night, if you dare.  And you’ll sure get a chill down your back from the lost souls in the “baddest” of the old west!   


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With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.



http://www.bonnierannald.com





No images on this blog are within Public Domain and are available for free download. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Monday, October 10, 2016

Grizzled Skipper on Autumn Flowers




A butterfly or moth, it's a Skipper!



With summer winding down and autumn slowly moving in, what could be more heart warming than finding a new species of butterfly on the late blooming flowers?

While I was observing a number of smaller butterflies fluttering on the Mexican sunflowers and Russian sage, I happened to notice one with different markings on its wings.  I managed to get several exposures of the butterfly before it darted off, out of sight.  


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My butterfly identification book listed this as a Skipper, the Grizzled skipper, in the family Hesperiidae of the Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies).   The Grizzled skipper has a black and white checkerboard pattern on its 1.1-1.3 inch (29-33 mm) wings.


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The Grizzled skipper may be called a butterfly; however they are in the superfamily Hesperioidea with the moth-like Hdeyloidea.  Butterflies are in the superfamily Papilionoidea from the genus Papilio meaning butterfly.  

The visual difference between the skipper and butterfly lies with the larger, moth-like body of the skipper, its smaller wings and hook-like antenna tip. 


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Skippers are named for their fast, darting flight; and there are more than 3500 species across the globe. 


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I will continue to watch my flowering plants for more Grizzled skippers that might be passing through.   What a treat to be there with my camera and catch this fascinating moth-like creature.  


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Subscribe to and follow my blog to see where my next photo-adventure will take me.  There are so many wonders in nature to explore!

For additional reading:
 

With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.




No images on this blog are within Public Domain and are available for free download. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Monday, October 3, 2016

Golden Aspens of Green Creek Road


 
 A day exploring autumn in California's gold
 
 
What do you do when your photo-exploring plans must be changed due to weather conditions or a wildfire that has highway traffic diverted?   Well sometimes that change of plans might just take you on a fantastic path to discover hills of aspen trees in stunning shades of autumn colors. 
 
 
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Thus was the case when I decided to head in a different direction and try out a new road that I had been curious about.  Between Virginia Lake and Bridgeport, California lies a dirt passage at an elevation of 7,400 feet, 2255m, named Green Creek Road.  To my surprise, the Green Creek Road was both wide and well maintained for a back country byway. 
 
 
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Driving just a few miles, I began to notice rolling hills accented with yellow aspens. 
 
 
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A short distance ahead and a large stand of aspens stretched across the road.  I was getting excited with this new adventure that I just happened upon.  
 
 
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The road continued on straight through the stands of aspens and suddenly it was like being surrounded by nature in all her splendor.  I could hardly believe where I was being lead for this photo-adventure.  
 
 
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I came to a much narrower turn-off on the left and the GPS indicated it was the Dunderberg Meadow Road, it was going to take me to even more aspen groves.  
 
 
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After four-wheeling over bumps and dips, the trail narrowed through aspens that were showing a much older growth. 
 
    
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 The feeling of autumn was definitely in the air and I was enjoying the quiet,  peacefulness that only nature can give.  
 
 
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I could have lingered here for hours watching the golden leaves drift down in the gentle breeze. 
 
 
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The sun’s rays were growing long with deepening shadows.  It was time to begin my departure from this  garden of autumn serenity. 
 
 
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Maybe next year if my timing is right, I’ll make a return visit to linger even longer in the peaceful comfort surrounded by these aspen groves.  
 

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Subscribe to and follow my blog to see where my next photo-adventure will be.  When I follow my heart, nature reveals her most intimate moments for me to share. 
 
 
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With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.





No images on this blog are within Public Domain and are available for free download. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sylvan Hairstreak Butterfly



A small butterfly with an accent of orange
 


One morning in late August I was attempting to photograph a dragonfly at the fish pond when I noticed small bluish butterflies on the mint flowers.  When the tiny butterfly came into focus with my Nikon 150mm macro lens, I discovered that it had an interesting orange accent on the lower edge of its wing. 


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After I finished taking more photos, I rushed to my butterfly book and determined that this was a Sylvan Hairstreak, Satyrium sylvinus, one of the smallest butterflies in North America with a wing span of 1 to 1 3/8 inches (2.5 - 3.5 cm).   


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Sylvan Hairstreaks are a Gossamer-wing butterfly which means that their delicate wings have the appearance of gauze with bright colors that reflect the sun when they are in flight.  The male Sylvan Hairstreak’s wing has a blue sheen with gray-brown or reddish on the upperside; while the female’s wing has more of a yellowish tinge with pale gray to white underside.  


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The Hairstreak name comes from the hair like tail that extends from the hind wing.



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Since their eggs are laid on the stems of a host plant, I will be carefully looking at the mint growing at the pond for any turban-shaped eggs or oval-shaped larva.  After winter’s hibernation, the caterpillars feed on the leaves of the host plant so I will also be on the watch for these caterpillars. 


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 If by luck I do see the eggs or caterpillars, I will add a part two to this blog post.  



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To read more about the Sylvan Hairstreak:


Subscribe to and follow my blog to see where my next photo-adventure will be, there is so much in nature to explore!

With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.


No images on this blog are within Public Domain and are available for free download. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.