Dignity, 50′ high statue near I 90, Chamberlain, SD
Image © jeanclarkphotography, email for use
As you approach the Missouri River in South Dakota you see this 5-‘ statue titled Dignity near I 90.
I recently met up with some friends at a COE campground right on the Missouri River near Ft. Thompson in SD. Lovely campground with electric hookups at each site. Normally that wouldn’t be a selling point with me but the temperatures were abnormally high and being able to run the AC made the stay much more pleasant.
We traveled over to Chamberlain to explore the town. The Atka Lakota Museum and Center was very interesting and educational.
Later one afternoon the camp host came around warning us that a severe thunderstorm was headed towards the area. Everyone prepared by putting everything away, and watched the storm approach with
impressive lightning and thunder. After it passed we went out to see if anyone had been affected. The setting sun was lighting up some clouds across the river. None were but I realized that the storm was SE of us and the lightning was still pretty impressive. Needless to say I got out the tripod and camera and spent quite a while with a front row seat so to speak.
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A full moon May 21, and a new site to try photographing it from had a friend and I out for the event.
I got a few and have put one in here, but for me it was another case of “just didn’t get what really pleased me”. But site was ideal, moon rising over a lake with a good place for us to have the tripods. It should work out nicely in the future, with luck there will be some colorful clouds, too.
We were about done with the moon, it was rising fast and getting very bright which meant a lot of contrast between it and the dark sky. As I was putting my gear away I happened to look west where the sun had set and noticed some low dark clouds with some lightning behind them. We quickly decided to move to a boat launch on the Gulf to see if we could get some lightning images. When we got there we found the storm was quite a ways north, which was fine, but there didn’t seem to be much action. Since it was a nice night, enough wind to keep away the bugs but not too cool we decided to get our gear out and see if anything developed. Good thing we did! We watched quite a show for over an hour, then it stopped as if someone had flipped a switch.
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Our trip was cut short and I’m sorry to have ended the posts rather abruptly. We got home OK and I’ve helped Donna get some great mods done on her Casita.
Milky Way at Shell Mound, Lower Suwannee NWR
Fortunately we’ve had a couple of decent nights out, the first was an extremely clear night a good friend an I went to Shell Mound. It was about the best view of the Milky Way we’ve ever had.
We watched as a storm grew over Cedar Key and caught some of the lightning.
Milky Way and storm over Cedar Key, FL
Even the north end of the Milky Way was clear.
A couple of night later I went to Yankeetown with friends. The Perseid Meteor Shower was supposed to peak and we were hoping to
Storm over Withlacoochee Bay, FL
photograph a few. There was a big storm north of where we stopped and we got to see some very interesting cloud formations lit up by the lightning.
Very late the storm subsided and the clouds cleared a bit. The next morning I discovered I had captured a meteor after all.
A spectacular thunderstorm raged around us one afternoon as we headed to the visitor center. Donna went inside and I stayed in the truck trying to capture some of the lightning. It was an experiment on my part and I only got a couple of images but it was great practice! You can see the huge crack in the windshield that started as a rock chip and spread to over 2′ wide. Now the truck has a new windshield.
The Tetons, need I say more?
We were fortunate to find this bull moose on the Gros Ventre very close to the campground. We watched him for an hour and eventually got some nice images.
We explored the old cabin and general store at Menor’s Ferry, saw some very old carriages, too.
Maude Nable’s log house
The National Museum of Wildlife Art is just outside Jackson and is well worth a visit. The Life size or larger bronzes outside are amazing. The bronzes small and large inside and the art (paintings and sculptures) inside are a pleasure to see.
Bronze outside the National Museum of Wildlife Art. This collection is well worth a visit!
Any visitor to Jackson is sure to remember the 4 large arches on the town square (one at each corner). We went into town Saturday morning and were lucky to find a crew rebuilding one of the arches with all fresh elk antlers. They were picked up in the spring (I think it is a Boy Scout project).
Arch of elk antlers in Jackson, WY. There is an arch of antlers at each corner of the square in town. Was interesting to see them rebuilding one with fresh antlers. As they age they turn white.
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The adventure has begun. I decided to stop at Badlands NP on the way to Alaska. Back in 2012 I visited here for a few days and since I’ve started doing night photography I thought this area would provide some impressive foregrounds for the Milky Way. Unfortunately Mother Nature isn’t up on the game plan. The last 2 nights were cloudy, so I made the best of it and got some nice images of lightning over the area.
At Pinnacles Overlook
Storm clouds and lightning over the Badlands.
There has been some sunshine and the Big Horn sheep have been in their usual location so I tried using my new-to-me telephoto and am pleased with the results. The young ones are fun to watch as they romp around. They romp with abandon for a while then crash and sleep.They’re also very curious and at one point got so close I couldn’t focus the lens, right about then one of the ewes came along and shooed them away.
A visit to the area isn’t complete unless you stop by Wall Drug in Wall, SD. It may have started out as one store but it has expanded over the years, now occupying many square feet, and carrying a large variety of items. As much fun as shopping is looking at the many displays.
Very intricate stained glass window above one of the entrances to Wall Drug.
Patience paid off and Sunday night I was able to photograph the Milky Way over some of the peaks in the park.
Milky Way over the Badlands, after moon set
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Night Photography is both interesting and challenging. Soon after I got home from the trip out west a good friend and I went out to try to capture the 4th of July fireworks.It was a good thing we went to the local ones on the 3rd because the ones on the 4th were rained out.
July 3rd, 2013
Summer Storm over the Gulf
We’ve found a “local” spot that except for a large power plant is relatively dark, making for some nice night images. This one includes a storm over the Gulf and the Milky Way in all its glory. Sure makes the storm look insignificant.
We couldn’t pass up the chance to try to capture some meteors during the recent Perseids meteor shower. After 4 late nights and many hours we did get a few but I suspect viewing was much better further north in the States. Star trails are a new adventure for me and this one includes 2 meteors.
August Perseids Meteor
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