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Tag Archives: grass

grizzly cub standing

Why do bears stand on their hind legs?  Because they can!

It’s a great way to see more–and to smell more–than they can at ground level.  Especially when you’re a tiny cub playing in tall grass.

As you can see, the grass is higher than the cub’s hindquarters, which means that when it’s on all fours, all it can see is…grass.  And all the photographer can see is…grass.

This cub and its sibling had some epic wrestling matches while mom was grazing.  Sometimes we were able to get a good view, and other times all we saw was the occasional paw sticking up out of the grass.

So we loved it when one cub or the other–or ideally both together–would stand up to take a breather and/or to relocate their mom, who was a fairly mobile grazer.

The cubs–like human children–also loved to climb UP on things, like logs or rocks.  That gave them an even better vantage point than standing up on the ground.  And of course gave us photographers some delightful photo ops.

Over the next few days, I’ll post some images of cubs being cubs.

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playing cubs

Since grizzly bear cubs don’t eat anywhere near as much as their mothers do, they have plenty of time to goof off while the sow is foraging.  All the play I witnessed between these two cubs was gentle wrestling interspersed with an occasional soft nip.  Often they would be rolling together in the tall grass, and all we would see was an occasional paw sticking up.  But the patient photographer who remained ready to shoot would periodically be rewarding by one or both cubs coming up for air, as in this shot.

Grizzly Cub Grazing

This grizzly cub was grazing with its mother and sibling in a large meadow.  They were leisurely wandering about and feeding on sedge and other grasses.  The cub sat down to chew a mouthful of grass, and looked at me as if to say “Don’t bother me.  Can’t you see I’m eating?”

Mea culpa!

Sow and cub grazing

A grizzly sow and her cub graze together in a sedge meadow.  Cubs will stay with their mothers and nurse for two or even three years, but they also eat what she eats.

hen and chick

Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate it.  I hope everyone has a great day.

cow and palms

This is a pretty typical scene in the Vinales region of Cuba:  a cow grazing in a field.  It’s not typical to see a cow with only one horn, however.  A unicow?

I wish I knew the back story and could tell you why this cow is the one-horned wonder.  I think she’s kind of sweet, despite her asymmetry…or maybe because of it.

Having only one horn makes her stand out from the herd.  Thus, I suppose you could say that she’s out standing in her field!

grasses

The early morning rays of the sun backlit these grasses beautifully.  Can you guess what state this image was taken in?

Sometimes when you’re out for a drive in the country, a photograph just seems to present itself.  That was the case on this particular day when I was driving the back roads of the Palouse region in eastern Washington.

This image was taken right from the side of the road.  The fence provided a nice foreground, and repeats twice more in the background.  The barn is framed by the fences and the road.  The hills repeat a number of times as you look towards the horizon.  The fences, road and hills form an interesting “Z” pattern that draws you from the foreground through the image, to the barn, and on past it into the distant hills.

Many people would be happy with this image.  And I’m one of them.  However, in my book, it’s not a “10.”

What would I change, if I could?

  • the lighting (I was glad the rain stopped–nay, overjoyed–but golden light, or storm light, would’ve been ideal.  The lighting, though not mid-day harsh, is a tad flat.)
  • the sky (Blue’s nice–better than white–but also bland and boring.  Some puffy white cumulus, or even dark storm clouds, would add interest.)
  • delete the utility pole, and maybe the small outbuilding to the left of the barn as well (Do you want a documentary image, or an artistic one?)
  • use a smaller aperture for greater depth of field (This was shot at f 8, and while the fence is sharp, the barn is a bit fuzzy for my taste.)

I know I’m being picky here, but that’s how one becomes a better photographer, by always striving for perfection.  The lighting and sky were what I had to work with.  Short of waiting several hours for sunset (and chancing more rain), it had to do.  Same with the sky. It was what it was.

I can always edit out the utility pole and the outbuilding if I decide they really bug me.  And as for the aperture, too late.  Mental note to keep it in mind next time.

I give this an “8.”

As I was chasing some lovely late afternoon light around the Palouse looking for something interesting to shoot, I passed a cemetery.  That is to say, I almost passed a cemetery.  I have a strange compulsion to drive into just about every cemetery I pass.  They’re one of my favorite places to shoot, and most of the time I have the place to myself.

This particular day was no exception.  The entire day was dark and rainy until perhaps an hour or two before sundown.  I was driving around trying to find a cool place to shoot sunset, and nothing was jumping out at me.  All the barns in the area were nondescript.  Same with the houses.  Even the hills in this area weren’t really talking to me.  For three full days I’d been waiting for good light, and shooting lovely things in the rain.  Now the light was right and I was stumped for a subject.

So as I was driving around the cemetery, which was on top of a hill, I came upon this view which (pardon the pun) stopped me dead in my tracks.  The evening light was making all the headstones cast wonderful long shadows.  The clouds were doing some post-storm interesting stuff in the sky.  And the way the road split and wrapped around the top of the hill in sensuous curves, almost as if it was embracing the land…

I normally shoot in cemeteries with a 100-200 mm lens, and don’t really think of them as a location for landscape photography, but I took this image with an 18 mm lens and made a mental note to myself to do more landscape photography in cemeteries in the future.

This is a “typical” view of the countryside in southeastern Washington state, in the region known as the Palouse, in the late Spring.   Nothing but green as far as the eye can see.  But look closer:  there’s light green and medium green and dark green and yellow-green and grey-green and bright green and dull green and…

I could go on, but you get the idea.  The beauty is in the simplicity of the landscape, and the subtle color gradations of what at first appears to be just one color, but actually turns out to be thousands.