The Top of Texas



I'm back online, and siting in a motel in Van Horn Texas. Came home with some great images from Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and glad to say the camping was fine as it was quite mild overnight. So here's a selection.......Salt Basin Dunes was a real bonus as I had no knowledge of it but the ranger gave us the key to let ourselves in, it was a 100mile roundtrip but well with the effort......plenty more to show this is the first I just picked one out...then the super clear air here in Texas made for some great star shooting, this is from in the campground showing the moon and the brightest star here is actually Venus.........and the last one is the beacon on the top of Guadalupe Paek which we climbed today, all 8749 feet and its the highest spot in Texas, but we're pretty exhausted tonite as its also in the low 30's temperatures. Tomorrow we're off to Big Bend National Park........

The Petrified Forest

We're off to Guadalupe Mountans National Park in Texas today and as we are camping I won't get a chance to post, so here's an extra from the Forest in Arizona.

Now this is big........

....and we're not even in Texas yet, thats tomorrow! This is the Morenci Mine in Arizona - copper and gold.......its the biggest thing I've ever seen! This is just a small section of it, it just went on for miles.

No. 39 - Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona


Today we hit the road and headed west into Arizona, about 230 miles to our 39th USA National Park. Quite warm today and not a cloud  to be seen. Heres a couple of images that might give you some idea. Yes, that tree in the first one is petrified - amazing when yu see them up close.

Albuquerque at last




That was a long trip....35 hours or so....but we got here fine. Heres a few images so far......bus down to the airport had a fantastic sunrise but not a lot you can do when you're not driving!..then window sunset on the way across the Pacific.......then the best of this lot......Dance of the Planets 2 out the window north of New Zealand, thats Venus and Jupiter flanking the new crescent moon (very difficutl to shoot this one out the window looking backwards!)...and lastly leaving San Francisco (on a jetplane!). The good stuff starts tomorrow(actually today, its 1.22am here)....off to Petrified Forest National Parl, Arizona.

Last one.....

....Sunday evening at the jetty, Lake Wendouree. Next stop.....Albuquerque, NewMexico!

The Band of Hope

Here's an extra image from Saturday....down in Sebastopol is the remnants of the Band of Hope gold mine from the 1870's. It was the great skies that tempted me to make a visit, and I really like the atmosphere the sepia tone has created in this. Another part of the ongoing Balla-Relics project.

Almost time......

....to head off on our next trip. We leave on Monday, first stop Albuquerque, New Mexico, then after 9 days in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, we head over to Florida for a couple of weeks....with a side trip to the US Virgin Islands for 3 days...so look for some exciting images over the next few weeks. Six more USA National Parks to visit, will take our total to 44! 

So a couple of quick jetty images from Lake Wendouree on Saturday night. Plans were to get the sun setting directly down the jetty, but the clouds didn't co-operate, but one last chance to get this image tonite before we hit the road Monday morning.

Big Skies at Burrumbeet







Friday was the coldest day we've had since last Winter, and it felt like that out at Lake Burrumbeet. Some great skies constantly changing with the strong winds blowing the clouds through. Click on the two panoramas for a bigger look!

Lal Lal Estate




I visited Lal Lal Estate on Thursday evening, once again looking for signs of autumn. Not a lot to show just yet, but still some nice colour around......and the old stone homestead seemed well suited for a sepia colour portrait. 

A Lake Learmonth Sunset




Wednesday evening I scouted around the Learmonth area, seeing what the sky was going to do. First one here is looking up the hill from Hucker Road, then a series from Lake Learmonth for sunset. I really like the last one here, the blur of the reeds really conveys how windy it was (and cold!)

Cow in Clover



I think that title says it all.......out near Waubra on Tuesday afternoon, then a couple of stable images I came across.

Lake Light



A visit up to Lake Wendouree on Monday night once again brought me some very nice images..the late setting sun cast some lovely light up close on these 3.......I think that duck in the last one is going to have a pretty sore belly this morning!

Lake Burrumbeet Fogrise



On Sunday morning I was heading out to Raglan to visit a garden, and thought it would be a great chance to stop off at Lake Burrumbeet on the way. I was there well before sunrise to find a fog rolling across the lake, giving me a whole new range of images for one of my favourite spots. Here's a few......including some spider webs.

Warrenheip Wonders



On Saturday evening, after checking where the clouds were, I headed east just out of Ballarat towards Mt Warrenheip. I figured if I could get in under the clouds I might get some nice conditions...well, that idea certainly paid off! First here is some beautifully lit, late sun horses in front of Mt Warrenheip, then just up the road a bit 2 views looking back towards the west. Its a bit hard to see at this size but there was a nice sprinkling of sheep right on the horizon. These were taken 8 minutes apart, its interesting to see how the light and colour changes so quickly. And in the last image thats Mt Buninyong on the left.

Chrysanthemum

This is from Mt Boninyong last night - it seemed particularly suited to black and white.

A Taste of Autumn


On Friday I visited Mt Boninyong homestead to see if there were any signs of autumn - this Japanese maple was about all I could fine, its still too early to see any real colour, but I also caught this nice view at Durham Lead just on sunset. Once again, many thanks to the cows for standing still for the long shutter exposure!

The Rainbow Sky

Another from Thursdays great series. Without doubt one of the best rainbows I've ever experienced (and I've seen a lot of them!) Weatherboard Hill on the left, I was in Cockpit Lagoon Rd watching the sky and the clouds started to clear as the the rain started to fall - perfect rainbow conditions. You can't see it at this scale, but in that group of trees on the right hand side are 2 wedge tail eagles. You've gotta click on this for a larger look!

The Birds




No, not the Hitchcock film, but a selection from last nights outing.

The Start, the Middle, the End



Thursday here in Ballarat was still quite warm and humid and with the promise of thundery conditions later in the day, I headed west about 5pm and spent 3 hours driving around the Windermere, Mt Misery, Weatherboard, Learmonth area. A number of times I was ready to head for home, but then something else would catch my eye, the conditions were constantly changing, and I don't think I've ever seen so many rainbows! So this is just a start, trust me I have plenty more stunning images to post, including wedge tail eagles, white hawks - an amazing day! This set starts with a shearing shed at Windermere, then some lovely light looking across to Weatherboard Hill from Cockpit Lagoon Road, and my last stop was this silo once again at Windermere, just off the main highway.

Extraordinary.......

Extraordinary....... that's the only word I can use to describe Tuesdays sunrise. I was up early looking for the forecast fog on my way ...