Night Photography

Traffic Trails in YosemiteHalf Dome at NightRed Light and Stars Half Dome, Leaves, and Stars Lights and StarsI tried my hand at night photography and discovered something I already knew–that I LOVE night photography. I ended up getting these amazing photos of stars, and sure there is some noise from the high ISO and they’re a little bit fuzzy, but I am incredibly pleased with them as a start.

I can’t wait to learn more and get good at taking pictures of the stars!

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Mono Lake

Mono LakeA few weeks ago, we drove over to Mono Lake, a massive salty lake on the eastern border of Yosemite. I had seen the lake from afar before, and I knew it would be pretty, but I was still surprised by the beauty of this place. Around sunset, the sky was a bright hazy glow and the water had become a milky white. It was a stunning sight paired with the distant mountains and the dramatic tufa towers on the shores of the lake.

Tufa at Mono LakeAccording to the Mono Lake Committee website:

Tufa is essentially common limestone. What is uncommon about this limestone is the way it forms. Typically, underwater springs rich in calcium (the stuff in your bones) mix with lakewater rich in carbonates (the stuff in baking soda). As the calcium comes in contact with carbonates in the lake, a chemical reaction occurs resulting in calcium carbonate–limestone. The calcium carbonate precipitates (settles out of solution as a solid) around the spring, and over the course of decades to centuries, a tufa tower will grow. Tufa towers grow exclusively underwater, and some grow to heights of over 30 feet. The reason visitors see so much tufa around Mono Lake today is because the lake level fell dramatically after water diversions began in 1941.

Interesting!

Mono Lake Seagull Mono Lake Tufa Mono Lake Sunset

Yosemite Super Moon

Half Dome Yosemite Super MoonIt’s been ages since I’ve posted because I made the crazy decision to move to California and spend the summer living and working in Yosemite National Park.

That said, I figure it’s time to start sharing photos from my time here.

These are a few of the photos I took during the brilliant super moon last night in Yosemite. It was beautiful!  Trees in Super Moon LightMan Super MoonSuper Moon and Trees

Patagonia

Perito Moreno Glacier

On Sunday, I got back from an amazing two-week vacation to Argentina. The first stop on our trip was Patagonia to see the natural beauty of the country’s southernmost region. We camped for six nights in total, hiked many, many miles, and saw some of the most glorious views imaginable: massive blue glaciers, soaring peaks, and even the endangered huemul, a deer-like creature native to Patagonia, of which there are only 350 to 600 left in the world.

Jim at Perito Moreno Glacier Jeanne at Perito Moreno GlacierUs In Patagonia Patagonian Countryside Mount Fitz Roy Piedras Blancas Our Camp

Glaciar Grande The Endangered HuemulEmpanada de Cordero Leaving Patagonia

Day 365: The Woods

Winter FieldYesterday, Jim and I went on a hike in Ryerson Woods, a beautiful nature preserve on the Des Plaines River. We just discovered this place for the first time this weekend, and I’m pretty excited about it because there is a 4-mile trail in the preserve. It’s hard to find hiking trails that long near Chicago.

Water Jim in TreeI made Jim take a picture standing in this dead tree. He didn’t really want to do it for some reason. Scared of squirrels, perhaps?

PathHiking BootsThese are my new hiking boots. They’re not that cute, but they fit well. Thanks New Balance for making shoes in wide width! You’re the best!

Jim on PathThe DamMeJim took this picture of me sitting on a tree stump that was once chewed up by a beaver. I think it’s a good picture.

Here are the other nature-y photo posts I’ve done this year:

Day 358: Camper

CamperMy Dad is very hard to find gifts for, I guess because he doesn’t ever really want anything. Sometimes he needs new sweaters or a new baseball cap, but I’m not sure he really cares about getting those kinds of gifts. I’m not sure why. I love presents. Socks, scarves, books, candy bars–I don’t really care. Unlike my Dad, I just think presents are fun.

Anyways, because I really didn’t know what to get for my Dad, I decided to make him a painting. See, I made him a teeny tiny painting of a house several years ago, and he still has it hanging on the wall, so I figured a painting is a gift he might actually enjoy getting.

The little artwork I made for him this year is supposed to be our camper during a trip we took as a family many years ago to Mackinac in Michigan. We stayed at this cute little campground on the water and camped right on the beach. It was pretty.

I gave him the painting on Christmas and I think he liked it. He said something like, “Well, that doesn’t exactly look like our camper, but this must be us in Mackinac!” and then smiled brightly. It was nice.

Day 354: Torres del Paine

Torres del PaineOn Wednesday, I made this little drawing of Torres del Paine in Patagonia. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but Jim and I booked our tickets for a trip to South America in February. We’ll be spending 10 nights in Patagonia and three nights in Buenos Aires.  We’re so excited!

Jim thought it was weird that I drew these mountains since we probably won’t be seeing them when we’re in Patagonia. Instead we’ll be doing our hiking on Fitz Roy and then also doing some day trips to Perito Moreno Glacier and the Viedma Glacier. I can’t wait!