Readers’ wildlife photos

December 11, 2020 • 8:00 am

It’s time for my weekly importuning for wildlife photos, as I go through them at an astounding rate (at least 7 contributors per week), and can always use more. Though I have about a week’s supply, that’s not good enough to allay my anxieties, so send in your good photos. Thanks!

Today’s contributor is James Blilie, who sent landscape pics. I’ve indented his captions. Click photos to enlarge them.

Here is another batch of landscape photos for your consideration in no particular order:

A photo looking south from the top of Granite Mtn., Central Washington Cascade Range.  Sept. 1990. Scanned Kodachrome 64.  Probably Tokina ATX 70-200 f/2.8 lens (a superb lens for the time).

Mount Adams, Washington, 12,281 ft., from the north, with Whitebark Pines (Pinus albicaulis).  (Cascade Range). Scanned Kodak Tri-X Pan film.  Aug. 1987.

Climbers on the east right of Mt. Desperation, Olympic Mountains, Washington.  July 1989.  Scanned Kodachrome 64.  Pentax M 20mm f/4 lens.

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah.  April 1996. Scanned Kodachrome 64.  Probably Tokina ATX 70-200 f/2.8 lens.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota.  July 2013. Pentax K-5, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC Lens at 10mm (crop factor 1.5)

Climbers descending from Mount Curtis GilbertGoat Rocks Wilderness (Cascade Range).  Oct. 1986. Scanned Kodachrome 64.  Pentax M 20mm f/4 lens.

Fern detail on solidified lava, Kilauea crater.  Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  Nov. 1990. Scanned Kodachrome 64.

Gravestone detail.  Greenwood Cemetery, New Orleans, LA, April 2018. Lumix 7-14mm f/4 ASPH lens.  Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II camera (crop factor = 2.0)

Sugar Maples, Shawano County, WI. October 2016. Lumix 7-14mm f/4 ASPH lens, at 7mm.  Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II camera (crop factor = 2.0)

Looking east down the Ingraham Glacier on Mt. Rainier at sunrise (Cascade Range).  February 1987.

The standard climbing route is up the “cleaver” (rock ridge) to the left in the photo. This was mid-winter so we chose to climb straight up the Ingraham Glacier.  We summited later that morning about 9am.  This was my second (winter ascent) climb of Mt. Rainier. I was lucky to attempt Rainier twice and summit both times.  (The other was July 1984.) Weather is everything on Mt. Rainier, especially winter ascents. Scanned Kodachrome 64.  Pentax M 20mm f/4 lens.

View from the Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, UT, with juniper snag (probably Juniperus osteosperma).  April 1986. Scanned Kodachrome 64.  Pentax A 20mm f/2.8 lens.

View of the moon and Mt. Rainier from the Cascadian Couloir on Mt. Stuart, Washington Cascade Range. July 1984.

I had only been living in Seattle a few weeks when I climbed Mt. Stuart via this easiest route. Steepness of the snow up the very long snow couloir climbing route is not exaggerated in this photo. Scanned Kodachrome 64.  Pentax M 20mm f/4 lens.

23 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

      1. Dear Mr. Blilie,

        Do you scan your own slides?

        If you use a scanning service, can you tell us which one it is?

        I’ve never yet found a slide-scanning service that does a very good job. Even highly touted ones have turned my razor-sharp K25s to mush.

        Would be grateful for your advice.

        1. Hi Tom, Sorry for the delay, I was off the ‘puter all weekend.

          I scan my own slides (well pretty much past tense now — I went on a big blitz in 2011-2013 and did all my slides, B&W negatives, and all my Dad’s slides and color prints (from negatives).

          I use an Epson V500 Perfection* scanner at, usually either 2400 dpi or 4800 dpi. It goes to 12,000 dpi; but at 6400 dpi, you’ve got three pixels per grain of KR 64, so there’s no much point going beyond that. I found that 2400 was a good compromise: Detailed enough for almost any use, including printing to 13X19 inches, but much faster than 4800.

          It took me about 2.5 years of plugging away for 15-45 minutes to get through all that work. About 15K (?) scans.

          This is a little out of date; but the scanning and printing stuff is still accurate:

          Oh, and get yourself a good dust brush for films. You need to brush every slide or negative and the bottom glass every scan and the top glass every tenth scan or so.

          (* The latest model is V600 I think.)

  1. The wonderfully photographed arch in Arches National Park, Utah immediately brought to mind Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’:

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert.

      1. Wonderful photos of wonderful adventures! My knee hurts from just bush-walking and from admiring your pictures. Getting a new knee in late January! Maybe more bush walking, but no mountain climbing…

  2. Great photos, James.

    I think that New Orleans gravestone makes an appearance in Easy Rider, in the scene where Hopper and Fonda and their dates drop acid in the cemetery:

  3. Great photos, James, hinting at some great climbs. The Cascades range has a lot of awesome hikes. I followed in some of your footsteps in the 90s when I lived in Seattle.

  4. Just saw all those pics, every one of which is terrific. They make me regret my old age somewhat, and things I failed to do when I could have with enough training.

    Do you ever still use the crampons and ice axe that the steep snow slope especially called for?

    I took the ferry to Haines Alaska, from Bellingham, in your neck of the woods in those days, and visited Seattle, but never did anything else. We fooled around in Garibaldi Park and similar however, and I’m wondering whether you ever went up over the border for serious mountaineering in western B.C.?

    1. Hi Paul,

      I no longer climb, aside from easy scrambling — no ropes. I haven’t roped up since 1996. No crampons, no ice-axes. I still have my ice-climbing hardware (and my rock rack and a few ropes) but those days are in my past. I will probably use my ice hammers for decorations in my retirement woodshop!

      When I was a wild youth, my goal was to climb Mt. Rainier on my 65th birthday. However, age does things to one. At 35 years old, I was climbing on a wonderful peak, mid-week, perfect day, with two good friends. I was leading on the crux pitch (if one could call it that: not very hard, in 5.2-5.4 range; but a long way from the car; its three rope-lengths of rock climbing to the summit of the peak), looking around me in the sunshine; and the thought that went through my head was: “Yeah, I’ve done this before.” That was it. No more big thrill.

      I knew I was done with roped climbing at that moment.

      After about 15 years of non-stop mountaineering, rock- and ice-climbing, backcountry skiing, white water kayaking, I knew I was done with dangerous stuff. The thrill was gone. But the fear was still there.

      1. I grew up here (Minnesota), in the flat lands. My parents took us (road trip) to Glacier NP in Montana when I was 12. The trip changed my life. I knew I was going to live in the West, in the mountains. And I did.

    2. Oh, and I did make it up to Garibaldi Park a few times for skiing. We skied into the Elfin Lakes Shelter and then spanned out from there. Magic.

      But, never any mountaineering in the Coast Range. I also never rock-climbed at Squamish, though I had intended to many times. The WA Cascades were just so handy! I never had enough free time. If you stand in Seattle, where you can see the Olympic Range and the Cascades, every prominent peak that you notice in either range? I climbed it. Many years I did >200,000 vertical feet of total climbing: on weekends.

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