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Remaining Snows of Kilimanjaro

Greetings all,

Just returned from trekking to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Thought for sure I’d take along the ashes of our rescue dog Trapper (likely 14 years old by now and who has slowed down quite a bit since January) but he’s still hanging on and we love him for it. [Some of you might recall when I trekked to Base Camp Mount Everest in October 2012 (see November 5, 2012 blog) I carried Andy’s ashes who had passed a few months earlier; had a nice ceremony for him when we arrived at Base Camp.] So this time no dog ashes (Trapper was at home with Susan and the twins) but still did the trek in his honor. And it was beautiful! It was also the most challenging trek of my life – especially the long descent to High Camp. After five days hiking (beginning at 6,000 feet) we began our final push for the summit at midnight and steadily climbed over 4,000 feet in a calm but cold (5-10 degrees) starry night, reaching Uhuru Peak at 8:45am June 13th.  Sunrise (around 6:45am) was breathtaking but no photos since my camera (insulated and snug) was in my backpack. There is a Swahili phrase “pole pole” which translates “slowly slowly” and that is the secret to a successful summit. So nearly nine hours after beginning our climb we stood on the roof of Africa (highest peak on the continent at 19,341 feet) but it would take until 6pm (another nine hours) until we arrived at our final camp – and THAT WAS A LONG, SLOW, ROCKY, SCREE COVERED, DUSTY, HIKE DOWN! Complete physical and mental exhaustion! But I did summit successfully and with no high altitude symptoms (no headache, no nausea, no trouble breathing the thin air). I felt GREAT at the summit!! And managed to spend an hour taking photos. Attached are a few images from the summit and the remaining snows of Kilimanjaro. Small tinga tinga painting purchased in Tanzania in 20o9. Two of Kilimanjaro’s peaks are depicted: Kibo on the left (elevation 19, 341 feet) and Mawenzi on the right (elevation 16, 893 feet)

Kibo (Mount Kilimanjaro) viewed from High Camp – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Kibo (Mount Kilimanjaro) viewed from High Camp – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Crater of Mount Kilimanjaro looking northwest with summit (Uhuru Peak) barely visible upper left – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Trail to summit (Uhuru Peak), crater visible on right – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Trail from summit (Uhuru Peak), southern ice field visible on right – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Final push to Uhuru Peak – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Celebrating with companions, Uhuru Peak – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak (top of Africa) looking northwest toward northern ice field (near top of image) and Furtwangler Glacier in the foreground – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak looking northwest toward northern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking north into crater – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking toward northern ice field above the crater – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking east toward Mawenzi Peak (16, 893 feet) – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak looking southeast toward Mawenzi Peak and southern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking southeast toward southern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak, closeup southern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking southwest toward southern ice field and Mount Meru (elevation 14, 968 feet, 43 miles away) – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking southwest toward southern ice field and Mount Meru – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking south toward southern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

View from Uhuru Peak  looking south toward southern ice field – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Summit Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru Peak) – Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Snow (2017)

Greetings all,

I’ve been thinking a great deal about snow recently. Funny after 35 years living with lots of snow each winter (actually sometimes from September to May) I’ve begun to appreciate snow differently. Perhaps that’s due to spending more time actually “in” snow this winter – teaching skiing part-time at Winter Park Resort in Colorado and exploring Yellowstone National Park in February for a week. In the past during a snowy blizzard I generally stayed comfortably indoors but this winter I spent many days outside during stormy conditions: traveling from place to place, teaching skiing, or attempting to take photos. I’m no longer surprised the Inuit (Eskimo) have a hundred words for snow http://ontology.buffalo.edu/smith/varia/snow.html; ski instructors have lots of words for various snow conditions too. (A list provided by Mike Dole includes corduroy, crud, crust, powder, packed powder, slush, snow grains, snow pellets, etc. https://www.thoughtco.com/types-of-snow-3010035.) More than ever, I’m attracted to the calm beauty of snow after a storm (when it blankets a landscape) and the animals who endure it — together providing breathtaking drama and charm. Below are a few photos.

Pine Creek School – Livingston, Montana

Palette Spring, Mammoth Hot Springs – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Bison in snow, near Madison River – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Trumpeter swan in snow, Madison River – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Will Creek – Willow Creek Pass, Colorado

Parkview Mountain (12, 301 feet) – Willow Creek Pass, Colorado

Parkview Mountain (12, 301 feet) – Willow Creek Pass, Colorado

Skier, Mary Jane Mountain with Parry Peak (13,397 feet) in background – Winter park Resort, Colorado

Electric Peak (10, 968 feet) – Gallatin Range, Montana

West Fork trail, Old Faithful Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

West Fork trail, Old Faithful Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Firehole River, Old Faithful Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Bison in snow, near Madison River – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone in Winter (2017)

Greetings all,

Just returned from a week in the Park. Though I’ve spent over 100 days enjoying and exploring Yellowstone National Park, until now I’ve never experienced it in the heart of winter. (The prime catalyst for the trip was a 70th Birthday present and a reunion of pals who last traveled together in 1969.) Now, I highly recommend visiting Yellowstone in winter! For numerous reasons Yellowstone is a very special place when hugged by snow: less people and iconic winter subjects. Beautiful! Below are a few photos.

1-5diih4965fireholetrailynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrtWest Fork trail, Old Faithful Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

2-1dxb5344bisonfireholerynpfeb175-7x7-5300cpyrtBison, Firehole River – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

3-1dxb5499trumpterswansynpfeb177-5x2300cpyrtTrumpeter swans, Firehole River – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

4-5diih4504gibbonfallsynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrtGibbon Falls – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

5-5diih5323brinkuperfallsynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrtYellowstone River near the brink of the Upper Falls, entering Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

6-5diih4621bisoncastlegeyserynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrtBison near Castle Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

7-5diih4549oldfaithfulynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrtOld Faithful Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

8-5diih4628bisoncastlegeyserynpfeb177-5x4-5300cpyrtBison crossing near Castle Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

9-5diih4635bisoncrestedpoolynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrtBison near Crested Pool, Upper Geyser Basin – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

10-5diih4258bisonynp2177-5x5-8300cpyrtBison, Lamar Valley – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

11-5diih5417fireholefallsynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrtFirehole Falls, Firehole Canyon – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

12-1dxb5607lowerfallsynpfeb177-5x4-8300cpyrtLower Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

13-1dxb5410trumpterswansynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrtTrumpeter swans, Madison River – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

14-1dxb5172coyoteynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrtCoyote, near Mammoth Hot Springs – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

15-1dxb5175coyoteynpfeb177-5x5-7300cpyrtCoyote, near Mammoth Hot Springs – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

16-1dxb5553baldeagleynpfeb177-5x2-6300cpyrtCommon raven and juvenile Bald eagle, near Madison River – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

17-1dxb5594bobbysockstreesynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrtBobby socks trees, thermal area near Lower Geyser Basin – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

18-5diih4150palettespringmammothhsfeb177-5x5300cpyrtPalette Spring, Mammoth Hot Springs – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

19-5diih4535snowcoachesynpfeb177-5x5300cpyrt

Snowcoaches – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

20-5diih4119guysgateynp217b7-5x5300cpyrtMichael, Frank & Paul, Roosevelt Arch – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Best Wishes for 2017

Belated best wishes everyone for a 2017 full of fond memories! Also hope 2016 treated you well. Susan, the kids (our three Springer Spaniels), and me weathered the year fairly well. Among the highlights, Susan and I returned to Tanzania; spent more time exploring Rocky Mountain National Park; returned to Yellowstone; sold a few photos; visited family and friends in the S.F Bay Area; and I began teaching skiing part time at Winter Park in Colorado. Low lights included the election and a tooth implant — unsure which was worse. This coming year, travel plans include Fall trips to the SF Bay Area, to Ann Arbor (to visit friends and see the Blue [Michigan] play) and to New York for an early Thanksgiving with the Bruno Family; a return trip to Kenya (and an opportunity to trek to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Also plan a winter trip to Yellowstone in February. Susan still enjoys her work, we’re playing tennis again and continue to run so we’re feeling fairly healthy … hope the same for you. Again Happy New Year and keep in touch. Below are some of my favorite photos for 2016 (also began designing collages and triptychs).

iphone0929trapper12-30-167-5x5-5300cpyrtTrapper (frequent c0-pilot) still doing well – Laramie, Wyoming

5diih4000rustysorrel12-26-167-5x4-1300cpyrtThe twins (Rusty & Sorrel) just turned 10 years old – Laramie, Wyoming

iphone0894wpskiinstructors12-29-167-5x4-4300cpyrtTeaching skiing part-time at Winter Park (early morning lift) – Winter Park Resort, Colorado

majesticparkscollage7-5x5-2300labelbd3 Majestic Natural Treasures (recent collage)

eastafricawilflifecollage7-5x5-4300labelbdThe Richness of East African Wildlife (recent collage)

wyowildlifecollage7-5x4-8300bdWyoming Tough (recent triptych)3.5DII*h1085YngSeaTurtles(7.5x2.4,150cpyrt)Sea turtle crossing beach to reach Indian Ocean, Mnemba Island – Zanzibar, Tanzania

2.1DXb0617LeopardKlein's'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Leopard – Klein’s Camp, Tanzania1DXb0741LeopardCubsKlein's'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Leopard cubs playing – Klein’s Camp, Tanzania

1DXb0730LeopardsKlein's'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Leopard and cub – Klein’s Camp, Tanzania

3.1DXb3093LionsGrumeti'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Male lion, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

2.1DXb2984LionCubGrumeti'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Lion cub, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

13.1DXb4112RedFoxYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Red fox, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

7.5DII*h2161GarterSnakeYNPAug'16(7.5x2,300cpyrt)Wandering Garter snake, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Southern Rim – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

5.5DII*h2231BrinkLowerFallsYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Lower Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

3.1DXb4047OspreyYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Ospery, Northern Range  – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

19-1dxb4946bullelkrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtBull elk bugling – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

5diic3857longspktrailrrrdsept157-5x5300cpyrtLong’s Peak – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

8-5diih2462bierstadtlkhikermnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtBierstadt Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Trekking Opportunity – Kilimanjaro

5db6993kilimanjaro09b7-5x2-7300cpyrtMount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania

Greetings all,

Next June I plan to trek Mt. Kilimanjaro with Azizi and his company Trek2Kili; hope some of you will join me. Over the past ten years I’ve visited northern Tanzania five times and each time mesmerized by the sheer presence of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Though generally hidden by clouds (Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, 19,344’) and seldom seen (by me anyway) from ground level I have glimpsed its snowcapped peaks a few times from an airplane. And the summit is beautiful! So when visiting Tanzania this past June I discussed with Tanzanian friends Peter and Vicky the possibility of trekking Kilimanjaro next summer (2017). They connected me to Azizi and Trek2Kili (http://www.trek2kili.com/).

The dates are June 7 to 15, the route is Machame (there are a few different routes to the summit of Kilimanjaro but this may be the best) and the cost is $2,950 per person. Below is a listing of what’s included in the trekking package (oxygen cylinder included) and the 7 days 6 nights itinerary. For any of you who include Trekking to the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on your BUCKET LIST, now may be the time!

Cheers

Michael

 

The trekking package includes the following:

 

*Government taxes

*Emergency evacuation Cover with Amref

*Adequate and appropriate number of guides, porters, and cooks for your group

*Transfers to and from Kilimanjaro International Airport (2 transfers)

*All park fees, camping fees, rescue fees, and team fees +18%VAT

*Transfers to and from the route gate(s) (2 transfers)

*Sleeping mattress pad(s), dining tent(s), sleeping tent(s), and crew’s equipment

*2 nights at the 4**** Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel in Moshi on a Half board  basis (1 before trekking & 1 after trekking)

*All guides, porters, and cooks wages

*Food and drinking water

*Private Portable toilet for the trek

*Complimentary oxygen cylinder

 

MACHAME ROUTE 7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS + 2 NIGHTS @ THE HOTEL IN MOSHI

Day 1: Upon arrival you will be met by our representative at Kilimanjaro Airport and transferred at Bristol cottage in Moshi for overnight. Bed & breakfast. Meet your climbing guide for briefing and final gear check.

(Data is approximate. Distance: 64km / 39 miles in 7 days. Elevation Gain: 4,891m / 16,044’ Elevation Loss: 5,020m / 16,444’)

Day 2: Start: Machame Gate 1830m/6,000’. End: Machame Hut 3000m/9,900’. Elev gain: 1200m/3900’. Time: 6 hours on average. Distance about 10km (6 miles).
We travel by a Van from the Bristol cottage in Moshi to the Machame trailhead, winding through coffee fields and small forests of ferns and flowers. After registering with the park service, we meet our porters from the different Tribe, indigenous to the slopes of Kilimanjaro. They are an integral part of our African journey and become friends and provide insight into their culture and society. Our climb begins on the edge of a rain forest (elevation 5,800’). Below the watchful eyes of the monkeys, we trek seven hours to the Machame Camp (10,000’) and set camp for the night.

Day 3: Start: Machame Hut 3000m/9,900’. End: Shira Hut 3800m/12,500’. Elev gain: 800m, 2,600’. Time: 4–6 hours, average distance about 8km (5 miles). 
Leave the Machame Hut, cross a small valley and begin our ascent. The environment changes from heath forest to moor lands. These moor lands are littered with two species of giant groundsel, Senecios and Lobelia. Halfway up the trail we meet a river gorge and ascend across the Shira Plateau (12,300’). We sleep at Shira Camp.

Day 4: Start: Shira Hut 3800m/12,500’. End: Barranco Hut 3900m/12,900’. Elev gain: 2,100’. Elev loss: 520m/1700’. Time: 6-9 hours, average distance about 10km (6 miles) * Day includes critical acclimatization gain and loss. (*Lava Tower option: additional 600’ gain/loss.)
Today we climb to 14,800’ while crossing a ridge and view the plains far below. Here we eat lunch and admire the ancient glacier ice of the Breach Wall before dropping to our 12,800’ campsite at Great Barranco.

Day 5: Start: Barranco Hut 3900m/12,900’. End: Karanga Valley 4055m/13,300’. Elev gain: 400m/1,300’ Elev loss: 300m/1,000’. Time: 4 – 5 hours, average distance about 5km (3 miles).
 We climb up and over the Great Barranco, topping out at about 14,500’ before dropping to our camp at the Karanga River at about 13,000’. This completes another day of acclimatization as we pass below the famous Breach Wall, the largest ice and rock face in Africa. (The Breach Wall climbing route, known as ‘The Icicle’, was first climbed in the early 1970’s by Reinhold Messner.) Daytime temperatures can reach (80°F), while evening temperatures often drop below freezing.

Day 6: Start: Karanga Valley 4055m/13,300’. End: Kosovo Camp 4,760m/15,600’. Elev gain: 700m/2,300’. Time: 5 hours, distance about 5km (3 miles). From the Karanga River we climb about 4 hours to our Base camp Barafu (15,000’). As we wind through beautiful and rarely traveled regions, we enter a high desert zone, littered with volcanic boulders. Looking south we view the desert plains as the pinnacles of Mawenzi Peak tower before us. At Barafu we prepare for the summit attempt. We spend our time packing and preparing for the early morning, 12:00am departure.

Day 7: Base camp to Summit Start: Barafu camp 4,600m Summit: Uhuru Peak 5896m/ 19,344’. Elev gain: 1136m/3886’. Time: 8-10 hours, distance about 7km (4 miles)
Summit Day! Awake at midnight and prepare gear for the ascent. We climb wearing headlamps until the predawn light is reflected off the African plains. Following a distinct ridge we approach the crater’s rim, then traverse northwest along the rim to the main summit, Uhuru Peak (19,340’). From here we view the Bismarck Towers, rock pinnacles along the rim and the hanging Rebman Glaciers. As the sun rises over Africa, we are privy to a panorama of incredible views. To the north stands the second highest mountain on the continent, Mt. Kenya (5199m/17,056’), with its unique twin summits. The southern exposure reveals the sprawling plains of Tanzania and East Africa and Mawenzi Peak

After Summit descent. Start: Uhuru Peak 5896m/19,344’. End: Millenium Camp 4000m /13,000’. Mweka Camp 3100m/10,200’. Elev loss: 1869m–2,796m (6,133’–9,170’). Time: 6-9 hours, distance about 13km (8 miles). After enjoying the view from the top, we descend to Barafu pack camp, and begin our traverse down the Mweka route on the southern side of the mountain.

Day 8 Start: Mweka Camp 3100m/10,200’. End: Mweka Gate 1800m/5,580’. Elev loss: 1300m/5,900’. Time: 4-5 hours, distance about 7km (4 miles). The sunrises are exquisite as we awaken below the towering mountain. We descend through the lush green landscape of the Mweka route into the thickest jungle we have yet encountered. The environment becomes primordial, with 20 foot-tall fern trees creating a prehistoric atmosphere. After reaching the Mweka Gate we drive to the hotel in Moshi for overnight.

Day 9: Transfer airport or start your Safari. Hotel check out time is 10am
End of climb.

Rocky Mountain High (October 2016)

Greetings all,

Though an entrance is located only 110 miles away from Laramie (approximately a two and a half hour drive) for years I have avoided Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Given its proximity to Colorado’s Front Range the primary reason for this was the anticipation I would confront hoards of people. (Stretching from Pueblo to Fort Collins the Front Range now is home to over 4 ½ million people.) Though my reasoning holds, and crowds can be overwhelming, I can no longer ignore this majestic place – arguably the very heart of the Rocky Mountains. Though just a bit smaller than Grand Teton National Park in acres (415 square miles to 480 square miles) it seems nearly every meadow, lake, glacier and peak (including Long’s Peak, the very sentinel of the Park) can be explored; RMNP has an extensive web of hiking trails. There is good reason this stunning place is home to an extremely popular National Park — within it the very essence of the Rocky Mountains resides. This past year I visited RMNP four times (all visits taking place in Fall) but fully expect to return more often to experience and savor its awesome natural beauty. Below are a few photos.

a-1dxb4974bullelkrmnpsept16h7-5x5300cpyrtBull elk – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado1-5diih3215dreamlkhikermnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtEmerald Lake trail – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

2-5diic3915arrowheadlkgorerangesept157-5x5300cpyrtArrowhead Lake, Gore Range – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

3-5diic3974hallettpkrmnp157-5x5300cpyrtHallett Peak & Tyndall Glacier – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

4-5diic3951fallcolorsrmnpsept157-5x5300cpyrtFall colors – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

5-5diih3138deerrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtYoung Mule deer – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

6-5diih2503bearlkrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtBear Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

7-5diih2773bearlksept167-5x5300cpyrtBear Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

8-5diih2462bierstadtlkhikermnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtBierstadt Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

9-5diih2530nymphlkrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtNymph Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

10-5diic3807longspktrailrrrdsept157-5x5300cpyrtLong’s Peak – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

11-5diih2969glaciercrkrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtGlacier Creek – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

14-5diih3030squirrelrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtGolden-mantled ground squirrel – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

15-5diih2545stellerjayrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtSteller’s jay – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

16-5diih3167dreamlkrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtGlacier Creek – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

17-5diih2916albertafallsrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtAlberta Falls- Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado5diih3169dreamlkrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtd Dream Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

5diic3857longspktrailrrrdsept157-5x5300cpyrtLong’s Peak – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

5diih3004millslkrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtMills Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

18-1dxb4891bullelkrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtBull elk – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

19-1dxb4946bullelkrmnpsept167-5x5300cpyrtBull elk bugling – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

20-elkbuglingcollage7-5x5300cpyrtBull elk bugling – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

A Few Days in the Park (August 2016)

Greetings all,

Just returned from a few days in Yellowstone. As many of you know I find spending time in Yellowstone National Park totally revitalizing, no matter the weather, number of visitors or road conditions. But the past few days the park also experienced numerous fires; one fire “Buffalo Plateau” burned just a few miles to the northwest of where I stayed (Roosevelt Lodge near Tower Junction). Added to the smoke of the fires the weather was generally overcast and windy … not the best conditions for taking photographs. And, added to that, the wolves appeared absent in the Lamar Valley – though it seems there were numerous wolf sightings in the Hayden Valley. Yet, the park continues to surprise and satisfy. Below are a few photos.1.1DXb4066BuffaloYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Buffalo (American Bison), Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

2.5DII*h1998BuffaloFireYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Buffalo Plateau Fire, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

3.1DXb4047OspreyYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Osprey, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

4.5DII*h2247FawnYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Fawn Mule deer, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Southern Rim – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

5.5DII*h2231BrinkLowerFallsYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Lower Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

6.5DII*h2232BrinkLowerFallsYNPAug'16(b7.5x5,300cpyrt)Brink Lower Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

7.5DII*h2161GarterSnakeYNPAug'16(7.5x2,300cpyrt)Wandering Garter snake, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Southern Rim – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

8.5DII*h2176GarterSnakeYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Wandering Garter snake, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Southern Rim – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

9.1DXb4344BluebirdYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Mountain bluebird, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

10.1DXb4491PronghornYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Pronghorn, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

11.1DXb4493PronghornYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Pronghorn, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

12.1DXb4109RedFoxYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300vpyrt)Red fox, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

13.1DXb4112RedFoxYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Red fox, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

14.1DXb4146RedFoxYNPAug'16(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Red fox, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

15.FoxMousing(7.5x5,300cpyrt)Red fox mousing, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Three Cats and Sea Turtles

The opportunity to experience wildlife abundance and diversity attracts increasing numbers of visitors to East Africa – for Susan and I this was our fourth trip to East Africa together (I’ve also visited 3 other times). The other attraction (for me anyway) is generally not knowing in advance which wildlife you’ll actually be fortunate enough to observe for an extended period of time and up close. This time, the highlights of our wildlife viewing were three cats (leopards, lions and cheetahs) and sea turtles. While visiting the northeastern Serengeti (in Tanzania) we observed a leopard and two cubs relaxing and playing for nearly 90 minutes. In the western Serengeti we observed a cheetah with a recent kill wait to eat until her four cubs could join her, and a pride of lions lounging about until the lone lioness decided to hunt a zebra. One evening at sunset on Mnemba Island (off the northeast coast of Zanzibar) we watched over a hundred baby sea turtles emerge from their nest on the sand and crawl out to sea; early the next morning we saw a female sea turtle (her shell nearly 5 feet in length) using her hind flippers dig and then cover a large hole where she deposited likely another 100 eggs in a secluded section of beach. Fascinating! Below are a few photos from our recent trip to Tanzania.

1.1DXb0517LeopardTreeKlein's'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Leopard – Klein’s Camp, Tanzania

2.1DXb0617LeopardKlein's'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Leopard – Klein’s Camp, Tanzania

1DXb0741LeopardCubsKlein's'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Leopard cubs playing – Klein’s Camp, Tanzania

1DXb0730LeopardsKlein's'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Leopard and cub – Klein’s Camp, Tanzania

5.1DXb0764LeopardsKlein's'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Leopard and cubs – Klein’s Camp, Tanzania

1.1DXb1767CheetahsGrumeti'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Cheetah calling cubs, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

2.1DXb1796CheetahsGrumeti'16(7.5x3.5,150cpyrt)Cheetah with dead gazelle calling cubs, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

3.1DXb1833CheetahsGrumeti'16(7.5x3.9,150cpyrt)Cheetah cubs, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

4.1DXb1879CheetahsGrumeti'16(7.5x3.6,150cpyrt)Cheetah cubs, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

5.1DXb1910CheetahsGrumeti'16(7.5x4.5,150cpyrt)Cheetah and cubs eating, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

1.1DXb3001LionsGrumeti'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Lioness and cubs, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

2.1DXb2984LionCubGrumeti'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Lion cub, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

3.1DXb3093LionsGrumeti'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Male lion, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

4.1DXb2940MaleLionGrumeti'16(7.5x3.8,150cpyrt)Male lion stretching, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

5.1DXb3107LionsGrumeti'16(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Lioness hunting, western Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

1.5DII*h1063YngSeaTurtles(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Sea turtle leaving nest, Mnemba Island – Zanzibar, Tanzania

2.5DII*h1072YngSeaTurtles(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Sea turtles crossing beach to reach Indian Ocean, Mnemba Island – Zanzibar, Tanzania

3.5DII*h1085YngSeaTurtles(7.5x2.4,150cpyrt)Sea turtle crossing beach to reach Indian Ocean, Mnemba Island – Zanzibar, Tanzania

4.5DII*h1102YngSeaTurtles(7.5x5,150cpyrt)Sea turtle about to reach Indian Ocean, Mnemba Island – Zanzibar, Tanzania

5.5DII*h1094YngSeaTurtles(7.5x3.7,150cpyrt)Sea turtle entering Indian Ocean, Mnemba Island – Zanzibar, Tanzania

Enigmatic Temples of Angkor

AngkorReceptionAnnouncement(3.5x2,300bd)

Greetings all,

I’m displaying a few photos from Angkor, Cambodia at Artisans’ Gallery.  For those living in or near Laramie I hope you’ll visit the gallery sometime during the next month and attend a reception Saturday, June 18th from 3-4 pm.  Angkor is one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever experienced; Susan and I plan to return in 2018.

AngkorCollage(7.5x5.4,300labelbd)

2ndAngkorCollage1-20,(7.5x5,300bd)

2ndAngkorCollage21-40(7.5x5,300bd)

2ndAngkorCollage41-60(7.5x5,300bd)

2ndAngkorCollage61-80(7.5x5,300bd)

A Few Days in the Park (May 2016)

Greetings all,

Just returned from a few days in Yellowstone. As some know, May in Yellowstone National Park can be wet (rain & snow); though landscapes can sparkle and wildlife viewing can reward. Photography can be a challenge but a bit of luck and lots of patience sometimes provides wonderful opportunities. Below are a few photos.

1.5DIIc5970MammothTerraceYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Canary Spring, Mammoth Hot Springs – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

2.5DIIc5976MammothTerraceYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Upper Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

3.5DIIc5772BrinkLowerFallsYNP'16(7.5x5,300rbdcpywrt)Brink of Lower Falls, Canyon Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

4.5DIIc5806CanyonYNP'16(7.5x5,300rbdcpywr)Yellowstone River, Canyon Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

5.5DIIc5927MtWashburnYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)North Slope, Mount Washburn – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

6.5DIIc5879SodaButteRLamarYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Lamar River, Lamar Valley – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

7.5DIIc5902RainbowLamarYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Lamar Valley after morning rain – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

8.5DIIc5817BisonYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Bison, Lamar Valley – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

9.1DX6908BisonDustingYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Bison dusting, Lamar Valley – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

10.5DIIc5852DeerYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Mule deer, Northern Range – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

11.1DX7373ElkYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Bull elk, near Floating Island Lake – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

12.1DX7033BaldEagleYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300rbdcpywrt)Bald eagle, Lamar Valley – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

13.1DX7180AmCootYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)American coot, near Slough Creek – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

14.1DX7224B_GoldeneyeYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Barrow’s Goldeneye, Canyon Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

15.1DX7264TrumpSwanYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300rbdcpywrt)Trumpeter swan, near Roaring Mountain – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

16.1DX6677BlkBearFamilyYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Black bear and cubs, Tower Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

17.1DX6597BlkBearFamilyYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Black bear, Tower Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

18.1DX7596BlkBearCubMayYNP'16(7.5x5,300rbdcpywrt)Black bear cub, Tower Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

19.1DX7728PronghornYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300cpywrtbd)Male pronghorn, Tower Area – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

20.5DIIc5830BisonYNPMay'16(7.5x5,300bdcpywrt)Bison, Lamar Valley – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming