I can always hope for a rainbow

As is true of most of the Eastern United States right now, the weather has turned cold and ugly.  I was really ready for warm weather and it was looking like we were headed that way and now this.  Oh well, maybe it’s like the weather we had on our trip to St Augustine.  Even on the days that looked bleakest, you could find good things like this rainbow.

I know the weather will turn back quickly and it won’t be too long before I’m complaining that it is too hot.  Hopefully, I will be able to get beyond the things that seem bad and will be able to find the bright spots wherever they may be.  So, even though it is still technically winter, I guess I need to just keep my sweaters ready to go and try not to freeze when I venture out this morning.

Hope your day is bright and sunny or at least that you can think sunny thoughts!

Rainbow at St Augustine Beach
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
86mm @ f9 –  1/250 sec – ISO 400

My Favorite things…

I know, the song from Sound of Music says Raindrops on Roses but, I think Daffodils are just as nice.  This is a macro shot of one of the 20 million daffodil bulbs that have been planted at Gibbs Gardens.  Many of these are blooming right now.  It is quite early for this but Atlanta has had a mild winter with rain and warm weather over the past month or so.

I am very glad to think that winter has left us now but one of the things about Atlanta weather is, the only constant is change.  I suppose it really doesn’t matter right now.  It’s time to enjoy the beauty of Spring and not worry about cold snaps that may or may not happen.  In any event, it’s a great time to go out and see the beautiful flowers.  They are closed on Monday so don’t try it tomorrow but I recommend that you plan the trip soon!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1/5 sec – ISO 320

Early Daffodils

Normally, Gibbs Gardens does not open until March but they opened early this year because we have had warm weather and plentiful rain this year and the daffodils are in bloom earlier than normal.  I was a little hesitant to go out on the first weekend for fear that the gardens would be packed but the weather kept that from happening.  It was cool and rainy so the crowd was pretty small.

Tomorrow is supposed to be temperatures in the 70’s so I imagine it will be much busier then.  Glad we went out today!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/16 –  1/20 sec – ISO 320

Desert Storm

It was looking very ominous but we made it to our destination

Don’t let a little rain stop you

This is one of my favorite memories of Arches National Park in Utah.  We took that “short” walk to see the famous Delicate Arch on an evening where we were being chased by a storm.  It was one of those, probably won’t get another chance type of moments.  How could we pass up this opportunity?  When I look back, it was a bit of a miracle that we got there at all.

Bad Information and Determination

It all started out with bad information.  I swear that I read somewhere that the hike to Delicate Arch was an easy half-mile walk.  Anybody that has been here can tell you it is a difficult, steep climb of about 1.5 miles (each way).  Joyce was sure it was going to start raining at any moment but I was convinced that we could make it there and back easily.  I kept walking and walking till I got to a narrow curve that looked like it was going nowhere.

I turned back thinking that Joyce had stayed put back down the slope only to find that she wasn’t far behind.  We convinced each other that we had come this far so, may as well keep going.  It was worth the effort to see this most famous spot in the park.

Unfortunately, quite a few others had the same idea and it was pretty crowded by the arch.

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Delicate Arch is surrounded by tourists even on stormy evenings

Rewards in spite of it all

In spite of the ugly-looking weather that was trailing us, we got to one of the must-see places in the state of Utah and ended up with a beautiful sunset on the way back down.  Well, that and aching legs!  Still, it was worth the risk and we ended up not getting rained on during our trek.

Sometimes, I guess you just have to go for it and hope for the best.

Daily Prompt: Storm

Dry Mesa Wash at the approach to Delicate Arch
Arches National Park
Moab, Utah, USA

Nikon D7000
NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
62mm at f/5.3 – 1/13 second – ISO 400

#landscape #photography #nature #travel #ArchesNationalPark #clouds #desert #Moab #Utah #NationalPark #NationalParksService #USNPS

Don’t Rain on my Elephant Parade

It is kind of strange that this amazing formation in Arches National Park known as the Parade of Elephants, is somehow second-sister to the Windows arches just south of it.  This image was taken at the head of the trail leading from the parking area at Windows and leading down to see the parade up close.  Use your imagination a little and you can see how the great bulk and graceful curves within this formation make you think of elephants.

On top of this being an impressive group, there are many unique and interesting individual formations within the parade.  My favorite was the Double Arch.  This formation is the result of two different forms of erosion.  Part of the double arch was formed like most or the other arches you see in the park, from below.  The second arch was formed from above, by what is known as a pot-hole arch.

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Double Arch on a Rainy Day

We almost skipped going into the Windows section since (as you can see) it was raining and overcast. I actually was planning to go to the end of the road to see the Devils Garden section but, something convinced us to make this stop.  I am so glad we did!  If I had gotten nothing other than the double arch picture shown above, I would have considered this a successful photographic trip.  It’s strange how things work out if you have a little trust and patience.

RMNP_May 09 2016_0594
More detail from the Parade of Elephants