Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Six Mile Canyon



Nevada's Hills of Gold


A drive along Six Mile Canyon on a nice fall day is a voyage back into the past to where the first mining in Nevada started.
 


The paved Six Mile Canyon road is off Highway 50, just before Dayton and winds through colorful green lichen covered rock formations with tall cottonwood trees along the way, to terminate in Virginia City.



Today, there is only a remnant of the stream that once flowed through the canyon where in 1859 the miners Peter O'Riley and Patrick McLaughlin  enlarged to create more water for their gold panning and discovered a black, crumbly rock laced with gold.  When the news spread about the strike, Henry Comstock, e.g. the Comstock Lode also claimed rights, so to avoid any disputes they all became partners.



As the word spread, more gold prospectors began to come and in a few years Virginia City and the other Comstock boomtowns led to the establishment of Nevada's statehood in 1864.




The stone and concrete ruins are all that remains of Butters Mill, a large cyanide operation that was in production in 1902.





Sugarloaf towers against the rolling hills that are lined with sagebrush and piƱon pine. Located within the Flowery Range, it is a volcanic plug with an elevation around 6,581 feet, 2005.8888 meters.




For additional information:
http://nevada-history.org/mines.html


Photographs Make Great Gifts


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/





Sunday, October 23, 2011

White Cabbage Butterfly

Fairy Dancers in the Yard

 
Late in October when the days are still warm, I notice a large number of butterflies at Walker Lake. This fall, I have been watching small white butterflies dance around my yard.  One morning when I happened to be walking by my hedge, I saw one of them land on a leaf. 



I quickly set my Nikon D90 with the 150 mm 2.8 macro lens on the tripod and slowly approached the butterfly.  I was afraid that the butterfly would fly off as I moved in for a closer shot. 

However, the butterfly was content to stay where it was and this became an exercise in patience for me.  To be this close to a willing subject made me determined to wait it out while I closely observed through the view finder and snapped the shutter at any activity.

After over an hour with sweat rolling down my aching back, the butterfly appeared to be cleaning its antenna and then decided it was time to take flight. 



Upon processing my RAW photos and getting out my butterfly book, I determined my friend to be a white cabbage butterfly with a bad reputation because when it is a caterpillar, it dines on our garden veggies.  


The adult white cabbage butterfly's wingspan measures around 1.25 to 2 inches or 32–47 mm.

For additional reading:
http://insects.about.com/od/butterfliesmoths/a/7-Fascinating-Facts-About-Painted-Lady-Butterflies.htm

Photographs Make Great Gifts


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/





Monday, October 17, 2011

Great Horned Owl Rescue


Care for the Wild Ones


Sometimes, I think wildlife photographers are led in the path of animals in order to preserve a rare moment and share that beauty with others.  Last week when I was coming back from my early morning walk, I noticed what I thought was a large tan cat sitting under the ramp of my neighbor’s front deck. When I came closer, to my surprise, I discovered that it was a great horned owl.  A little later, my neighbor came out with her dog and I noticed that the owl hadn’t flown off and was just walking around. 



It was determined that this owl had an injured wing and could not fly.  The owl needed medical attention and the Wild Animal Infirmary for Nevada was located in Carson City, a two hours drive from here.  I went in to start making phone calls and was informed that the owl would have to be transported to the Klaich Veterinary Hospital in Reno where it could be examined by a bird specialist. With birds and children, the sooner the injuries are treated, the better. 

To catch the owl, a blanket was gently draped over its head and body, then it was carefully lifted and placed in a large dog carrier.   To make the 2 hour drive, the owl would need to be secured in a snug, dark box where it could not move and receive further injury.  Once the box was adapted with air holes, the owl was carefully coaxed from the dog carrier to the box.  So far, everything was going as planned.  



After arriving back home that night, the call came in that the owl had to be euthanized.  The injuries to the wing were so severe and over the course of time, infection had set in.  It was very sad and disheartening news to hear that this once healthy beautiful female bird could not be rehabilitated.  So often with the birds of prey, the injuries will heal and the birds can be set back out to their freedom and usually in the area from which they came.   

Migratory birds, including great horned owls are protected from removal, hunting and commercial trade under the Migratory Bird Act.  It is illegal to harm the birds, their nests, the eggs and their feathers.  If you should ever come upon an injured bird of prey, please do not approach the bird unless you have been trained to do so.  Furthermore, if you do not have a raptor rehabilitation center in your area, it is best to call your state or countries wildlife agency to arrange transport of the injured bird. 

While the owl was in the dog carrier, I carefully took some photos of its beautiful face and eyes. I feel that I ask permission of the animal for photos when the animal remains still and we make eye contact.  Though the owl did not survive its injuries, its beauty will be preserved in the photos so that we may all be brought closer to the wonders of our natural environment.



 Photographs Make Great Gifts



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/






Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Ubiquitous Contrail

 Tic Tac Tow Across the Clear Blue Sky


One of my pet peeves with shooting landscape photography is contrails.  I was always told by my mentors that clouds enhance the sky creating interest and drama, but contrails do not belong in nature scenes unless they are part of the theme.  Over the years before Photoshop, I've tried to dodge or hide contrails.  Often, I stood patiently waiting for a contrail to dissipate and then tried to snap the shutter before the next one appeared.  

On days where there is moisture in the air and airplanes are flying at cruise altitude, above 26,000 feet (8 km) where the air is very cold, contrails will be produced from ice particles coming off the aircraft exhaust.
 


Around the second week in September, I noticed some of the most beautiful contrails glowing over the Gillis Range at sunrise. 
I rushed out with my D90 and the 35-70 2.8 lens to catch the scene.  Just as I was getting set up, the contrails of 2 jets flying from the west appeared overhead and it seemed that the planes were approaching at  almost the same time, coming together at an angle.  


 This was a rare occasion for me and I am still not a fan of having contrails streak across the sky in landscape photos. However, I do love to watch the contrails form from the aircraft, especially when the sun light accents them  at night.




 For more information:


http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/science/contrail.php?wfo=fgz



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/





Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Mantis and Sphinx Moth

 The Arms of Death



Late one September afternoon when dusk was fast approaching, I was out in my yard and as I walked by the large desert willow tree, I heard a loud vibration of wings. I looked up on a higher branch that was covered in flowers and saw a sphinx moth frantically fluttering its wings.  When I took a closer look, I discovered that the moth was caught in the clutches of a preying mantis.  I found this quite amazing since the mantis was out-sized by the sphinx moth.




The sphinx moth, Sphingidae, is in the family of moths, Lepidoptera and is also known as hawk or hummingbird moths.   This moth can have a wingspan up to 3 inches (75mm) and is one of the fastest flying insects, reaching speeds of 30 mph, 50 km/h.  The body size of the moth and mantis are about equal at around 21/2 to 31/2 inches (65-90mm).





Wanting to catch this rare event with my camera, I quickly rushed in and changed to my Nikon 150mm 2.8 macro lens, ever aware of the fading light.  I set the D90 on Aperture priority at f/8 for depth of field and raised the ISO to 800 and fired the flash.  My shutter speed was indicating 1/60 second and I was afraid that it was not fast enough to freeze the wings and give me a sharp image.  Darkness was quickly replacing all light so I opened the aperture to f/5.6 and increased the ISO to 1600, at the same time fearful for digital noise that might ruin the photo. I guess when a photographer becomes desperate to get a photo they will go to any lengths. As a last resort, I had the light from my LED flashlight shining on the scene while I continued to fire the flash on my D90.




After processing the RAW images in Lightroom, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and lack of digital noise from the higher ISO.


 


 To some, this may be a less than desirable scene to watch and take photos of a preying mantis eating a beautiful moth.  And yes, I had to overcome the tremendous desire to take the fluttering moth from death’s grip.  However as a wildlife and nature photographer, this is one occasion where I have to think with my logical brain and not my heart.  Nature has its balance and I am just an observer, I must always adhere to the principles of taking only photos and leaving only memories. 




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/