Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mount Grant, Nevada

 One of Nevada's Tallest Peaks



Towering as a back drop to Walker Lake on the southwestern side, Mount Grant stands at an elevation of 11,270' (3435.096 m) and is one of the 25 tallest peaks in Nevada.
 

Located in west-central Nevada, the picturesque Mount Grant is the highest point on the Wassuk Range.  After 9/11, access to the public was restricted and Mount Grant has been used predominately for military operations. 
  

Standing above piƱon treeline, the higher elevations of Mount Grant are covered in snow during the winter months and support various high altitude conifers.
During the short summers, native grass and wildflowers thrive in the various micro-climates along the slopes and in the meadows. 




With its abundant water sources, Mount Grant is home to a number of wildlife including the Desert Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer, Cougar and Black Bear.  



On a clear day at Mount Grant, you can see for approximately 130 miles.  However the weather can be subject to violent and fast changes with systems moving in from the east, north and west.  Strong winds, reaching gale force are as common as the clear blue skies.

Walker Lake lies on the lee side of Mount Grant and covers approximately 50.3 mi² (130 km²). Walker Lake is a natural high desert lake, fed by the Walker River and was once a remnant of the prehistoric Lake Lahontan that covered most of the western U.S. during the Ice Age. 

The summit of Mount Grant is a sharp ridge of 3rd. Class talus, stretching for several hundred meters.

Mount Grant with its natural streams, cottonwoods, plentiful vegetation and wildlife is a sacred area to the Walker River Paiute Tribe.    


 For additional information:


No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






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.
 
 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
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Bird of Paradise Bush


Caesalpinia Gilliesii


My favorite shrub that brings color and wildlife to my yard in summer is an unusual tropical plant commonly known as the bird of paradise bush or technically the Caesalpinia gilliesii.  I am particularly fond of this plant not only for the color and softness it brings to the high desert, but also for its drought-tolerance.





A member of the legume family, the Caesalpinia gilliesii originates from Argentina and Uruguay.  Also known as the desert bird of paradise, yellow bird of paradise and barba de chivo, it is not related to the tropical bird  of paradise genus Sterlitzia.





During the hot, dry summers, a small amount of water will keep the flowers  in bloom and the shrub will continue to grow, possible reaching from 3-4  meters tall.  Extending from the yellow flowers are the long red stamens  that give the bird of paradise bush its unique appeal.





The seed pods will ripen in the fall where the dry seeds will pop out with a  loud sound and fly for great distance.  If one lands in the soft soil, a new  plant will start to grow.  This plant is very prolific and to keep it from  growing all over my yard, I transplant the young shoots to small containers where I can share them with friends.




The seed pods and seeds are very toxic, producing severe vomiting and  abdominal distress, however it is noted that the plant is used as a medicine  to cure fever, coughs and sores by indigenous people of the Amazon  Rainforest.




The delicate leaf patterns remind me of the mimosa tree and the faint sweet fragrance smells so nice in the summer air.  Hummingbirds, bees and  butterflies are attracted to the nectar, but not deer, the bird of paradise  bush is resistant to deer.





For additional information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesalpinia_gilliesii





No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






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.
 
 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.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Friday, August 12, 2011

Perseid Meteor Showers

 


 Catch a Falling Star Over Walker Lake


The week of August 8th, the Perseid meteor show is due to peak between August 12th and 13th, becoming more spectacular in the early morning hours before dawn.  The greatest difficulty with this spectacular meteor show is the light from a Waxing Gibbous or nearly full moon and of course favorable meteorological conditions  with clear skies and calm winds. 




I chose to take my chances with the meteors on the morning of August 11th. because the moon was due to set around 3am.  I arose at 2:35am and when I went outside, the sky was very light even though the moon had already dropped behind the mountains to the west.  Just as I was setting up my camera, I saw several brilliant star trails streak across the northeastern sky. 

To try and photo the meteors, I selected my wide angle Nikon 24mm 2.8 lens.  Using a cable release on the Nikon D90, I set the program on manual and the shutter on bulb so that I could control the speed.  From past experience, I can get a 10-20 second exposure with the D90 without too much digital noise.  For these night photos, I set the aperture at f/8 and the ISO was on 200.  I also used my heaviest Bogan tripod to prevent as much camera as possible.

  


Around 3:35am, the sky to the northeast began to darken and I was all set up, ready for action.  The radius point where the meteors will originate is in the constellation Perseus, just below the Cassiopeia's W in the Northeast sky. However in the early dawn, I noticed shooting stars in all directions of the sky.  The problem is being able to catch the meteor trail during a 10-20 second shutter opening.  



I did manage to capture one nice meteor trail to the east just before dawn. 

 Once the eastern sky began to lighten with dawn quickly approaching, I could not resist to take more photos in the starlit sky.


 


 With dawn's light accenting Walker Lake, I walked to get a closer image of the early morning light.


 


For more information:
http://stardate.org/nightsky/meteors






No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






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.
 
 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.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sacred Datura

American Desert Thorn Apple
One of the most beautiful fragrant white trumpet-shaped desert wildflowers   also has a dark and deadly side. The Sacred Datura is an exotic  looking plant that grows from  Nevada to northern Mexico in lose sand and on dry wash banks. It can reach up to 5' (1.5 m) in height and circumstance.



The sweet smelling Sacred Datura’s sinister side comes from the narcotic and  lethal effects produced by its extracts.  Its narcotic properties have been  used in religious ceremonies by southwestern Native Americans since recorded  history.  However the hallucinogenic effects of the Datura are known to be  stronger than Peyote, Psyillicibin, or LSD and can cause permanent  psychosis.


 Unfortunately all parts of the Datura contain dangerous levels of poison if  ingested by animals or humans.  In some areas it is prohibited to buy, sell  or cultivate Datura plants.

The corollas or flowers protrude 6" (15 cm) from the foliage on a flared  trumpet, opening in the late afternoon, they bloom during the night or on cloudy days. At the end of the flare, five slender teeth form a spiral on the rim.




 The 11/2" (3.8 cm) prickly fruit which also gives the Datura one of its  common names, the Thorn Apple, has many slender spines that when dry will cause painful punctures to the skin.  In the fall the dry Throne Apple will  open, expelling numerous seeds.
 




Regardless of the Datura's dark and deadly side, it is a most beautiful  pollinating plant, often used in  xeriscapes.  I have several growing in my  yard that attract nocturnal visitors like the sphinx or hawk moths.






No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






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.
 
 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.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/