Saturday, October 25, 2014

Webs Of Dew









These are spider web shots are are really tough to come by here where I live in New Mexico. Mostly because we don't get heavy dew like they do in Northern California along the coastline. This was worth stopping the car for, throwing it in reverse to capture nature's finest weavers. Mind you, I do have a fear of spiders, but none were readily seen on these dew-laden webs (perhaps they stepped out for a bit to wait for the sun to dry up the dew?). If you look closely at the dew drops, you will see shadows within them. 



My dear friend and fellow travel companion/photographer, Linda Laitner, was stealthy and took a picture of me taking a picture. We both wear gear that is conducive to getting down on the ground to shoot because, let's face it, sometimes you just have to or you don't get the shot. It's odd to see what I look like when totally immersed in doing something I love to do.


And, not far from the webs of dew was the Pacific ocean-teeming with life and activity. I caught the shadow of a cormorant as it flew over the flotsam and jetsam.

Join us as a group of us (yes-there are many of us!) from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ariolimax Columbianus: AKA-the Banana Slug






Maybe you've never heard of a banana slug? Second largest slug in the world and most of them reside in the Pacific Northwest. They are usually yellow with brown spots (hence, the name), but they can also be brown, green or even almost black. I think I kind of heard of banana slugs before visiting the Redwoods area, but I don't remember the context and it seemed like such a fleeting conversation. Fast forward to the day we hiked the trail of the giant Redwoods-they only allow 50 car passes a day to this area and the information area that you get the permits for this also had a gift shop. Of course, I had to browse and buy a few things-and as I was at the cash register waiting to pay, there was a plastic yellow slug sitting there. So, I asked, "Is that a banana slug?" and the answer was, "yes" (as though I should know, but I didn't). And, I laughed and said, "Oh, that's why they're called banana slugs!" As I had never seen a picture of them. I just thought banana slugs were called that because they lived in banana trees-not knowing that they are predominantly in the Pacific Northwest where there is nary a banana tree. So, now I know. And, now you know!

A few hours later, at the bottom of the trail of the giant redwoods, in the dappled light of the afternoon I see a gleam of yellow from under a fern frond. Lo, and behold! A banana slug!! It's a, "Be still my heart" kind of moment as I got up close to take these. Granted, this one seems like a young one, but don't you think they're kind of cool looking? So yellow and all. 

Look closely and I think you can see what must be its eyes. And a smile. Of course there's a smile-that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

In the meantime:

Join us as a group of us (yes-there are many of us!) from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Look Up! Look Down!






Hmmmm...maybe this one should be called the double cross shadow.

Sometimes I just photograph a whole bunch of leaves for as they present themselves in a myriad of ways! Witness the three images being posted today. These are all from my trip to the Northern California area to see the Redwood trees last month. I always take a lot of pictures, but this time, I'm determined to do a better job of sharing and not hoarding them.




A fern leaf acting as a 'safety net' for other leaves, cushioning, if not stopping their fall to the forest floor.


A trio that have found a permanent place to land.

Who knows? Maybe I'll have some of you looking down at the ground more often to notice the leaves that fall and how they present themselves. Would love to hear some reports back when you do!

In the meantime:

Join us as a group of us (yes-there are many of us!) from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!



Saturday, October 04, 2014

The Creatures Of the Redwood Forests

The 'official' shadow shot for today...



Yes, indeed, yes indeed! I am continuing with more photos from my trip to the Redwoods country in September. Last week, I featured the trees themselves, for the most part. 

This week, it is all about the creatures of the redwoods forest! There were so many of them-especially down on the valley floor. I kept imagining how spooky it would be to spend the night there. And wondered if those 'creatures' came to life when the sun went down for the day. I think I would be too terrified with my imagination running wild to get any sleep. Plus, all the creaky noises the trees make-something that sounds wonderful during the day, but at night? Could be a whole different story!






























Tell me what you see in these so called 'creatures of the Redwood forest'! Am I the only one who sees them? That can't be so!


Join us as a group of us (yes-there are many of us!) from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Epic Journey to the Redwoods National Park



Fern Shadow at the Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



Raspberry leaf shadow near Humboldt Lagoons State Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



Linda Laitner on the trail of the Ancients @ Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



Fallen redwoods on the Trail of the ancients @ Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



Fallen and split on the Trail of the ancients @ Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio



Fallen and split (other side) on the Trail of the ancients @ Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio


Indeed, it was an epic journey-traveling last week to the Eureka area to photograph the redwoods and all the beauty that belongs to the wilderness of Northern California. You see, 10 years ago, when I turned 50 years old, I decided to celebrate it by going somewhere on my own in lieu of a big party (or any sized party for that matter!). Instead, I did an art retreat at Hacienda Mosaico in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was a life-changing decision for me as I had never traveled alone like that-let alone to another country. I absolutely loved it-I was taken care of of instead of taking care of others. I got to do art 24/7. Albuquerque artist, Juliana Coles headed up this special retreat called, Visual Journaling.

I know the math is easy for you on this one-fast forward ten years and I am about to turn 60 later on in October (I figure if I keep saying that number, it won't be such a shock or big deal when it happens as 30 and 40 were). I started planning and thinking a year ago what it was that I wanted to do to mark this new decade for me and then I realized that I had never seen the redwoods or even came close to it. I asked my good friend and fellow intrepid photographer, Linda Laitner if she would be interested in joining me. She is a worldly traveler and oddly enough, had never seen the redwoods or been to that area of California. We've done many trips together, so there was no 'unknown' as to how we'd get along. For her, it was a no-brainer decision with a resounding 'yes'! My husband had seen the redwoods when he was younger and for him, traveling with me when I have a camera in hand is no fun for him.

These images are from our first day out when we did the trail of the ancients-hiking down into a valley where the tallest trees live. Mind you, even standing at the bottom of the tree and looking up, you cannot see the top of the
tree-in fact, all you can see is the bottom third of it.

When we finally made it to the bottom of the trail (a little over a mile but it took us forever since we both were enthralled with recording everything in front of us with our cameras). I had stopped to switch out lenses to a wide angle lens and Linda and I typically do not stay completely together, but somehow manage to do things on our own without getting too separated. After I changed out lenses and got some shots in, I continued forward to catch up to her, but then got interrupted by seeing a man and a woman packing up their climbing gear. They looked like they just got down from a tree, so I stopped to talk to them-you know, like-"did you get all the way to the top?" in which the young man answered, 'no' and explained that the line he left from last year got broken by a neighboring tree that fell and broke the line he left from last year and he did not bring a bow with him to shoot a new line up so that they could not continue the climb to the top. Come to find out, they are both tree botanists from nearby Humboldt University and that he had been climbing  this particular tree since 1995. And that tree had grown 8 feet since then-presently at 374 feet, it went from being the 4th tallest tree in the world to the 3rd tallest tree in the world. Of course, in the midst of this conversation, I had to ask if they had permission to climb (not knowing if I should be seeking out authorities-which were nowhere to be found anyway). This particular tree had a name-the National Geographic tree. Back in the '60's when National Geographic was out there to photograph the tall trees, they realized how special and unique these trees were and raised the level the public level of awareness to the point of the area becoming a National Park and protected from the encroaching and damaging logging practices.  I'm sure that had it not been for National Geographic, it would've been all lost to the logging industry. In fact, should you visit these redwoods, know that what exists today is only about 3% of what used to be. Kind of staggering.

Later on, I Googled tree botanists from Humboldt and found out that the people I were talking too were-um, maybe rock stars in the research of redwoods. And featured on National Geographic TV. In fact, this person only gets to climb this tree once a year and I had the privilege of stumbling into him and his wife on that very day. Wow. What are the odds? They were so polite to answer my questions-little did they know that I was practicing restraint like you wouldn't believe. I had a slew of 'nerdy' questions I wanted to ask them (including their names). But, I didn't.



The National Geographic Tree © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio

Steve Sillet and his wife, Marie Antoine at the bottom of the National Geographic tree, Redwoods National Park © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio

Join us as a group of us (yes-there are many of us!) from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!

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