Brilliant Fall Foliage

Are you still waiting for the green foliage to change to its seasonal fall colors? The main factor that triggers the color change is the increasing length of the night, which causes chlorophyll production in the leaf to stop. We found some brilliant fall color in Grand Teton National Park in late September.

This location in Grand Teton National Park included the green, yellow and red foliage against a bright blue September sky.

I was curious about what types of trees turn yellow and what types turn red, so I turned to the Forest Service of the USDA for some answers.

Oaks: red, brown, or russet

– Hickories: golden bronze

– Aspen and yellow-poplar: golden yellow

– Dogwood: purplish red

– Beech: light tan

– Sourwood and black tupelo: crimson

The color of maples leaves differ species by species:

– Red maple: brilliant scarlet

– Sugar maple: orange-red

– Black maple: glowing yellow

The Best Part of Wildlife Photography

I think the most exciting aspect of Wildlife Photography is the chance to observe wild animals in their habitat, doing what they like to do. You can learn a lot from watching their behavior, and in doing that, I feel like a privileged secret observer. While we always keep a respectful distance in order not to distract or interfere with the animal, we whisper to each other, and our excitement is palpable.

Early one morning in Grand Teton National Park, we spotted a bull elk in the field, and his silhouette in the bright morning sun was striking.

Bull elk in Grand Teton National Park with morning light and fall colors.
A photograph of this bull elk in his habitat tells the story of his life in the wild. Grand Teton National Park, September 2021.
Bull elk running after his “girl,” an elk cow, during mating season in Grand Teton National Park.

At one point, we observed the interaction of the bull, the cow and the calf elk, and then they ran out of our line of sight. While close-up photographs are satisfying and show us exactly what the animal looks like, these experiences are exciting, and the photographs share a story. Autumn is a busy time in Grand Teton National Park for the elk, as well as the moose and bears.

Thank you, America

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans! What a beautiful holiday that brings families together to give thanks. I feel very thankful for my family, my wide and wonderful network of great friends and for this beautiful country where we live in peace and prosperity. Certainly we must pray for peace and prosperity for all people around the world today.

I want to share with you this scene we discovered on a vibrant autumnal afternoon in western New York. My family enjoyed our first visit to Letchworth State Park at the height of fall foliage. How fortunate we were to arrive at this waterfall in the late afternoon.

Most of the time I plan my photo shoots: time of year, time of day. This visit to Letchworth State Park in western New York was serendipitous. Good karma circling back to me during a visit to in-laws.

Full Moon Photography

For the next full moon on Saturday September 14, I will be alongside Lake Louise in Canada. Lucky me! I have never been to the Canadian Rockies before, and I won’t have access to a car, so it’s pretty hard to plan ahead for this photo opportunity. But I will pack my tripod and check the PhotoPills app for the timing of moon rise and moon set while I am there.

Last year, I was lucky to be in Grand Teton National Park for the Full Moon on a photography workshop. I had lots of moral support in the frosty early morning while I photographed the moon set against the amazing foreground of Mount Moran.

As the sun rose behind us in the East, the moon set in the West in Grand Teton National Park.

Here’s hoping I will manage to make some good images at Lake Louise!

Where the Buffalo Roam

This herd of bison can often be spotted near the state road 191 in Grand Teton National Park several miles north of the Jackson Hole Airport. I made sure to take my husband there to see them, since he was raised as a Buffalo Bills football fan.

In this image, you see the bison from a safe distance, since it would not be safe to approach the herd on foot. (My mother would be happy to hear me say this.)

#bison, #buffalo, #grandtetonnationalpark, #jacksonhole, #jacksonholeairport, #wildlife, #landscape, #sony
I was able to shoot this photo with my Sony aIIr7 and the 100-400m lens handheld at ISO 1600, f/5.6 and at 1/500 second. I hoped the fast shutter speed would eliminate blur from camera shake as well as movement of the bison. 

There are an estimated 500 head of bison in Grand Teton National Park, and many more north of here in Yellowstone National Park. Spotting wildlife  — bear, moose, bison, coyote — is a big part of what makes American national parks an exciting destination.

Autumn In Pennsylvania

My daughters who have moved to California are feeling nostalgic about Autumn in the Northeast. Even Pennsylvania residents are feeling a bit nostalgic about autumn colors, as the leaves have been very late turning yellow and red this year.

On the hunt for autumnal scenes, I made a day trip into Ohiopyle State Park in the Laurel Highlands. This split rail fence set in a zig-zag pattern caught my eye on the property of Kentuck Knob, a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Chalkhill, PA.

#franklloydwright, #fall, #autumn, #fence, #laurelhighlands, #ohiopyle, #nature
The zig-zag lines of this split rail fence draws the eye into this autumnal scene. Kentuck Knob in Chalkhill, PA

 

 

A More Colorful Time

Today Nature is giving us bare trees and gray skies in the Pittsburgh region. I’m thinking back on a more colorful day at Sewickley Heights Park. I captured a photo of the foliage lining Tortilla Flats. Today I made a painting out of it with Topaz Impression. Does this painting make you feel a bit brighter inside?

#topaz, #foliage, #sewickley, #fall, #autumn, #pennsylvania
Foliage at Sewickley Heights Park. Memories of a brighter day in Pennsylvania

“Pull over. I see a photo.”

You know when you are driving along, and you see a striking scene, and you think to yourself, “I really should pull over and get out and take that photo?” You say that because you know the scene will never present itself exactly that way again. Well, this time I had my camera with me, and I did pull over, get out and take the photo.

Driving past Allegheny Country Club on a crisp Fall afternoon, I was struck by the contrast between the sunlit clubhouse and the darker sky as well as the stark nearly leafless tree in the foreground. What do you like about this scene? The red tree? The combination of feelings in the image: both the warmth and hints of chill? Do you get the feeling that this day might be on the cusp of Autumn turning to Winter?

#Fall, #countryclub, #ACC, #sewickley, #trees, #warm, #chilly, #pennsylvania
Late Fall day at Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley Heights, Pennsylvania.