Category Archives: nature

Wildlife Photography

Fauna in the U.S.A.

My “serious” photography adventures have me lugging a couple of cameras and a few lenses into the wild outdoors.

A long lens lets me capture four footed or slow moving animals in the field easily if I remember to be patient.

I’ve found that capturing flying birds with a camera are one of the most challenging endeavors. Fast moving birds are difficult to track with a long lens and using a shorter lens produces smaller subjects in the image.

I’ve thrown away countless images of wildlife that were blurry, poorly exposed, badly composed, etc. Below are a few that I’ve kept over the years.

Yellowstone Geysers

A Virtual Tour of the Park

I have to admit that I’m addicted to our country’s national parks. Over the years I’ve visited many of the parks all over, from the east to the west and from the north to the south.

In particular I’ve trekked the 1300 miles from my home in Grand Rapids, Michigan to western Wyoming – home to Yellowstone National Park – at least a dozen times. Yellowstone is one of my favorite destinations.

The souvenirs that I take from Yellowstone are strictly the photographs and videos that I capture.

For those of you who might want to experience a few of the varied and amazing thermal features found in Yellowstone, I’ve posted them below.

PLease note that each geyser is on a separate page in order to minimize web page delay.

PAGES

  1. Black Pool Geyser
  2. Blue Mud Steam Vent
  3. Canary Spring
  4. Chinese Spring
  5. Lakeshore Geyser
  6. Minute Geyser
  7. Old Faithful Geyser
  8. Palette Spring
  9. Steamboat Spring – eruption
  10. Steamboat Spring – calmer
  11. Upper Yellowstone Falls
  12. Vixen Geyser
  13. Water Runoff Firehole River

Enjoy!


Black Pool -This is a large aqua colored feature along the Yellowstone Lake in the West Thumb basin (Sep 2021)

A Tunnel Over The Highway

Black Mesa, Arizona

I have been driving back and forth annually along US 160 on my way to/from the Phoenix area for at least twenty years.

As an avid photographer, one of my favorite scenic locations is Monument Valley Navajo Trial Park located near in Kayenta, AZ. Not far from Kayenta I would pass by an unusual structure that crosses over the highway.

I was curious about this tunnel-like bridge in the area known as Black Mesa and did a search to see if I could find out the purpose of the structure. Here’s a little history about the two photographs below known as the Kayenta Mine.

Peabody Mining

Going back to 1964, Peabody Western Coal contracted with the Navajo and Hopi Tribes for the mineral rights on the mesa and use of its large underground aquifer. The company constructed two coal strip mines – one higher up on the mesa and a second in Kayenta.

The two operations regularly pumped 3 million gallons of water from the aquifer daily to wash and then transport a slurry of coal. Peabody constructed a 275-mile pipeline that carried the coal slurry to Laughlin, NV to generate electricity.

The coal mined in Kayenta was transported on a long conveyor belt (I called it an elevated tunnel) to a large silo. This coal was later shipped by train to the Navajo Generation Station in nearby Page, AZ.


The elevated conveyor carries coal across US Highway 160

The coal is stored in this silo awaiting transport by train to Page, AZ

Controversey Over Water Usage

The two tribes soon claimed that the use of so much water from the aquifer was causing a decline in the amount potable water for their personal, farming and livestock operations. Additionally, this volume of water was not in keeping with the tribes’ cultural and religious need for clean water.

By the end of the 1990s, opposition to Peabody’s strip mining of the mesa had taken hold and the Black Mesa Mine’s last day of operation was December 2008.

Operations at the Kayenta Mine ended in late 2019 as the Navajo Generation Station closed.

The overhead conveyor and silo are no longer in use but the Navajos and Hopis in Black Mesa are hoping for environmental mitigation to their sacred lands.

For more information about Black Mesa click here.