Rhinoceros resort, restore, restart

Extirpated from the wild in most of Africa,  I had the good fortune to see black rhinoceroses on a private preserve in Zimbabwe last year.

Finding them after dark, a spotlight illuminated a calf scampering about behind its placidly eating mother. Her horns were cut off to deter poaching and the animals are under 24-hour armed guard.

The black rhino population dropped from an estimate of several hundred thousand in the early 1900s to 2,410 by the late 1990s. The primary cause for this decline is poaching. Several subspecies are extinct.

These photos are fuzzy and full of nighttime darkness and shadows. At first, I was disappointed by them. A year later, they seem to appropriately suit their state in the world.

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Wary of the light and strangers, a rhino calf hides behind its mother.
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The mama rhino has been dehorned as a measure of protection against poaching. Her dehorned shadow is visible on her calf’s side as it moves behind her.
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Rhino back, fade to black. What will the world be without rhinos?

Summer blues

Oregon Crater Lake
The summer blues of Crater Lake and Wizard Island

Hart Mountain – spring delights

For too many years Hart Mountain was out of my line of travel and added just enough extra time and miles to the trip at hand that I by-passed it. This spring I made the effort to go there, just there, and was well rewarded. It is a long slog from anywhere, the roads can be quagmires, the dust invasive, the heat crushing, and the mosquitoes draining. May it always remain this way.

 

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Swallowtail and balsamroot
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Sky drama
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Looked down upon by a northern harrier
Subtle layers of color and texture
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Sagebrush landscape
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Bumblebee with balsamroot

The commercial strip v. the National Monuments – a request for stay of execution

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
On the executioner’s block: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

 

It is already true that one can be dropped on any commercial strip in the USA and have no idea where they are. Each is so much the same, so not unique, that Chattanooga and Bakersfield look much the same. We have eradicated the prairies, slaughtered the forests, and filled the wetlands, must we also quash the individuality of the national monuments and make them conform to the ideals of capitalism, consumerism, and corporate expansion? What of calm, contentment, and courage to step outside of the box, to appreciate the subtle realm of time, space, and light that is not under our control? Where will we go for peace when we have used up all that is wild?

You have seen my photos over the last year. Many of those photos were taken in national monuments (including the two on this page). If you enjoyed my meager attempts at conveying the intensity of these landscapes, you will enjoy this (free ebook) photographic journey through the national monuments by exquisite landscape photographers

http://landalmostlost.com/

And, I hope you will send comments in support of retaining the national monuments.

 https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

Stay the executions.

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

 

Mid-Summer’s morning among the Painted Hills

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At the edge of the Painted Hills, Red Hill sits among spring grasses.

Spring reflections on Emigrant Lake

Spring arrived on Emigrant Lake recently. The lake is calm and beautiful and rowers are again plying its waters. Larkspurs and biscuitroot are blooming. The oaks are pushing leaves. The Siskiyous create a misty, almost-mythical backdrop.

Ashland, Oregon, spring
Morning row on Emigrant Lake.
Siskiyou Mountains, spring, clouds
Reflections on Emigrant Lake.
Siskiyou Mountains, Ashland, Oregon
Inundated island of oaks in Emigrant Lake.
Emigrant Lake, Siskiyou Mountains, Ashland, Oregon
Yellow-rumped warbler in spring oaks.
yellow-rumped warbler, Siskiyou Mountains, Ashland, Oregon
Topsy-turvy. Can’t.quite.reach.

Three landscapes and a soaking shed

A wild winter ride to iconic Central Oregon hot springs offered these landscapes. The road to Summer Lake is a beautiful stretch of little-used highway along the western edge of the Great Basin. Sagebrush gives way to alkali lakes, winds rip across the open flat, and clouds create another dimension of life above the high desert.

Central Oregon, hot springs
An unsettled day in the high desert.
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Silver Lake, Oregon, snow from the west meets billowing clouds from the east.
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Snow seems to be falling from Summer Lake up to the clouds.
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Between the land and sky of Central Oregon lies Silver Lake.
central Oregon, hot springs
Summer Lake Hot Springs soaking shed

Winter daydreams of light and texture

 

winter daydreams of light in sagebrush country
The Great Basin, Nevada

The Painted Hills in winter, an unfinished canvas

At first glance, covering the brilliant colors of the Painted Hills with snow seems an affront. Slowly, though, you realize the colors are more vivid and the landscape patterns surreal; it is a study in negative space. The intensity of the snow and depth of the shadows create an otherworldly effect that makes this fabulous place more so.

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Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice!

All the best and brightest for 2017!

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Spring trees after morning rain. Beartown State Forest, Massachusetts
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Yampa River valley, cottonwoods, snow, and afternoon light. Colorado
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Fern aliens. How can so many shades of green live in one place? Mount Baker, Washington
Sea alien – A.K.A. anemone. Deception Pass State Park, Washington
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Paintbrush in lichen-laden sagebrush. Steens Mountain, Oregon
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
The road through Candy Land
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Fall color against red rock. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
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Super moon set. Canyonlands National Park, Utah
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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
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Kalahari Milky Way. Botswana
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Zebra-belly nap face. Moremi National Park, Botswana
Moremi National Park, Botswana
Personal grooming is important in maintaining superiority.
Elephant knees and toenails and a little one tucked under the trunk. Chobe, Botswana
Lilac-breasted roller. Moremi National Park, Botswana
Paradise Found, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe