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Wild Horses, The Snowy Range & Rocky Mountain National Park - August 2013

Wild Horses, The Snowy Range & Rocky Mountain National Park - August 2013

My trip to photograph wild horses was several years in planning; I first learned about the possibility about three years ago in discussions with Mark Rasmussen of LightChase Photography Tours and was probably one of the first to sign up for the tour which also included a short enroute stop in Rocky Mountain National Park and a similarly brief visit to the Snowy Range in Medicine Bow National Forest northwest of Laramie, Wyoming at the end of the tour.

Photographing wildlife is a big challenge for me; it just doesn't come naturally because I seem to be challenged to actually get a moving object in sharp focus. So, in preparation, I practiced on moving cars, running dogs and anything that moved. The local police didn't understand why I was photographing cars at an intersection but that's another story.

Photographing the horses was more than just getting them in focus; it was first finding them then getting close, but not too close, so as not to alter their natural behaviors nor impede their travels. Or, scare them away. And, their travels are all about survival. Traveling constantly to feed and go to the few waterholes in the region, their daily journeys are survival in the purest tems. The region was the plateau just north of Green River, Wyoming. Within that huge plateau are two WMA's (Wild Horse Management Areas) named the White Mountain WMA and Little Colorado WMA. The White Mountain WMA has a population of about 265 horses and the Little Colorado has about 200. Most of our search was done in the White Mountain WMA with some small incursions into the Little Colorado. The horses are scattered in small groups over hundreds of square miles and the hunt for food is for low growing grasses (similar to "Buffalo Grass" found on the Great Plains) dispersed in a sea of sage (Wyoming has 13 species of sage!). The waterholes are few, miles apart and quite small.

Within the gallery I've tried to show small realities of the very harsh life of the wild horses of Wyoming - grazing, playing, fighting, dusting, nursing, breeding and just surviving. I'll show you new colts, old stallions, battle-scarred stallions, alpha stallions, alpha mares, "Bad Boys", outcasts and challengers and maybe even a mule deer or two as we covered hundreds of miles of dirt roads, tracks and trails in Wyoming. It was dusty, it was uncomfortable and it was tiring but it was worth it - well worth it.

There are a lot of camps about how wild horses should be handled. Certainly the BLM has a point of view, our excellent guide, Rich Nobler, has one and I'm sure ranchers and locals have one as well as do various wild horse advocacy groups. I'm not well enough informed to promote nor advocate. I just enjoyed. I hope you do, as well. Thanks for looking.

Colorado

Colorado

I was born, raised and educated in Colorado and it'll always be "home".

Colorado is a state of superlatives but none more so than the natural beauty found in all corners of the state - from the grass prairies and wheat fields on the high plains of eastern Colorado where I grew up, to the "fourteeners" of the mighty Rockies. Here are just some small glimpses for you to view and, hopefully, enjoy. The images in this album always help me "reconnect" with home.









"Critters" -  ALBUM IN PROGRESS

"Critters" - ALBUM IN PROGRESS

"Critters" features images of the wildlife I've been fortunate enough to see and photograph in my photo travels. You'll see a few elk (I have over 1,000 elk images in my library), bison, pronghorn, black bears, grizzlies, wolves, coyotes, bighorn sheep and more. No, not all 1,000 elk shots are included - just a handful of memorable ones.






Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

There are not as many photos here as I had planned and hoped for. I had great expectations of brilliant sunrises and glorious sunsets on the beach. Alas, there was a convergence of unfavorable weather and very poor photographic execution on my part that yielded very few acceptable photos. The rain forest shots turned out to be as boring as a family vacation slideshow. Maybe next year.


Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone, the first national park, has it all - geysers, waterfalls, canyons, terraced springs, thermal pools, mudpots, wild rivers, lush valleys, and wildlife - so much wildlife that Yellowstone is often referred to as "The American Serengeti". Bison, elk, deer, moose, wolves, coyotes, black bear, and of course "griz" live here. I've been to Yellowstone many times and see it differently every time. And, I'll go back many more times because you simply can never see it all.

Pika Peek-a-boo
American Basin Pika
Look Closely +
Icelandic Horses +
In Horseshoe Park
Mom and "The Kids"

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