Readers’ wildlife photos

January 15, 2021 • 8:00 am

Please send in your wildlife photos; they are coming in very slowly and, as usual, I’m nervous.

Today we have some European and American landscape photos by James Blilie. His captions are indented, and you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

Fountain detail, Chatsworth House. UK, 2015.  If you get the chance, don’t miss Chatsworth House! Many scenes from the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice were filmed at Chatsworth House.

Mountain reflections.  This was taken out the window of our car as we drove along next to a wide river.  No place to pull over.  Norway, 2012.

View of the Cinque Terre.  Italy, 1999.  Scanned Kodachrome 64.

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Chateauneuf du Pape, France, 1997.  Scanned Kodachrome 64. Some vineyards in the Rhone Valley are just heaps of (large) pebbles.  Makes good wine!

Vineyard, Gigondas, France.  1997.  One of my favorite places.  Scanned Kodachrome 64.

Climbers on the Kahiltna GlacierDenali (aka Mt. McKinley), Alaska.  1987.  Scanned Kodachrome 64.

Key West (Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park).  April 2019.

Short depth-of-field view of a lavender (Lavandula sp.) field.  Vaucluse, France, 2010.

View of Mount Adams Washington (12,280 feet), at sunset, from the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. 1990.  Scanned Kodachrome 64.

View of a Plane Tree (Platanus sp.) tunnel in rural Provence, France, 2018.  I love the Plane Trees in Provence.

Window, Seguret, Vaucluse, France, 2010.  One of the most beautiful villages in France.

Wahclella Falls.  Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon.  Summer 2006.

25 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Looks like great Denali weather. Did you attempt the summit?

    Just 4 years ago we took the bus in and back from the park headquarters with our Norwegian ‘family’, saw plenty of grizzlies, but the mountain was never less than ⅔ under cloud.

    But wall-to-wall sunshine in Banff-Jasper for 5 days in September on the way back east, as well as all sun from Bellingham up to Haines on the ferry, so we cannot complain. My nephew says we are the only people he knows who drive 5,000 km. to pick somebody up at the airport (Vancouver).

    1. Hi Peter,

      Yes, we were there to climb the mountain. We had perfect weather (as you can see!) for the first few days, until we got to 11,000 ft (3300 m), when storms began. They never relented. We heard once we were back in Talkeetna, “worst weather since the 1960s!” This was May 1987. We ran into Jon Krakauer on the mountain several times. We was attempting a solo ascent. He wrote about it in Outside Magazine. Only one party of 4 summitted while we were at 14K (over a week), and they all got frostbitten.

      We made it to the 14,000 foot camp (4200 m) but no further (West Buttress route). I climbed partway up the headwall above the 14K camp in high winds, just to tag an altitude record for me at the time, 15,000 feet. The highest I’d been previously was 14,410 ft (4370 m) – the summit of Mt. Rainier. I had done a winter ascent of Rainier the previous February. We were on the mountain for about 3 weeks. It never went above 0°F (-18°C) the entire time we were up there.

      The West Buttress route is not particularly technical (though the “headwall”: is very steep and has fixed ropes; plenty of ways to die up there), the mountain is very high and altitude and the weather make it a serious challenge. My three weeks up there cured me of the idea of expedition climbing!

      Since, I went to 17,700 ft (on a trail, 5416 m, Thorung La) in Nepal and 16,350 feet to the top of the easy, subsidiary summit of Mt. Kenya (Point Lenana).

      I had hoped to one day climb Aconcagua (highest point in S. America, 22,838 ft (6961 m) and Kilimanjaro (highest point in Africa, 19,341 ft (5895 m) but my leg joints are pretty well played out. Kili might be possible if it weren’t for the fact that you can only climb guided, by their rules, and they generally make you ascend way too fast for my old bones (and cardio-vascular system). Both are basically “walk-ups”, which is about my speed these days.

      1. I have boxes and boxes of Kodachrome 64 slides. What’s your technique and equipment for scanning? And what’s your final format?

        Nice pictures!

        1. Between 2009 and 2012, I scanned all of my old slides and all of my Dad’s slides and all of my B&W negatives (that I thought worth scanning — I still have all the originals). About 16,000 scans. At least.

          I am now in the process of scanning all my Dad’s old family prints (in lieu of scanning the B&W negatives — retirement project). Lots of work!

          1. Thanks for the info. Scanning slides sounds like a good long-term project now that I am an official Gentleman of Leisure. (Then I could move on to digitizing LPs.)

        2. After trying several pieces of hardware, Dad resorted to commercial scanning. Batches of about a thousand, under a “low priority” agreement with the company. 40,000-odd slides later he’s now got the indexing of them to deal with.
          When this bloody war-on-viruses is over, I have to take a multi-terabyte device down there to cover off-site backup. Currently any meteor landing of more than 10m diameter could take out all the copies ; we’d like to put a factor of 10 on that.
          The company is in the London area, I think. It has taken 4 or 5 years since he gave up on trying to do the job himself.

          1. Hi GI-Aidan, how much does it cost? I couldn’t bring myself to submit my precious originals to a commercial outfit. I’ve had too many originals come back with thumb prints on them — even from very reputable outfits. 🙁

            There was value in going through all the images myself and culling them on the fly. I had a light table setup next to the scanner. I would spread out the slide or negatives and select the ones to scan.

            I would go down to my office every day and spend 20-60 minutes every night scanning. Took ages.

            You put your finger on one great reasons for scanning: Backups! I have many backups in multiple locations. 🙂 I was always terrified of having my originals damaged by water or fire or mold or getting lost. No more.

            The Epson V500/V600 scanner does up to 12,000 dpi scanning. At 6400 dpi, it gives about 9 pixels per grain of Kodachrome 64 film (serious over-sampling). most of my scans were done at 2200 dpi. Good enough for almost any use. For my most special images, I scanned them at 4800 dpi and over-cropped (black all around the edges to retain every scrap of the original image. In Lightroom, I can create virtual copies and crop as needed.

            The other beauty of scanning in the images: The light is only distorted by one lens, period. Just the lens on the camera for the original exposure. After that, it’s dots laid down either by a printer or a laser. Magic.

            Happiness is having all your important images digitized and thoroughly backed up. 🙂

            1. I’ll have to ask Dad for the images, but the volume is important. You’ll get a different price for a box of 40 needed on Friday than for 1 box of a thousand to be done “as and when the equipment is set up” with ten more boxes lined up to go.

            2. Hi JB, Dad didn’t send me the prices, but did send me the contact details. Though not their website address. I’m sure you can find it. It sounds a small company, so the given name may be the person Dad dealt with, or everyone from MD (CEO) to 2nd assistant duster.
              For what it’s worth – and it might be worth something, even with import/ export/ customs guff.
              “The company was Pixave:-
              Lesley Harris
              6 Guernsey Lane
              West Sussex
              PO22 6BU

              Prices are probably out of date now anyway, and they have various options for DPI etc.
              They were the cheapest I could find when I started, by a good margin, and I got on well with them. They have a website.”

      2. It showed up for me. Thanks, and sorry the weather ended up so bad. Just thin oxygen would be tough enough!

  2. Nice virtual trip to many beautiful places, and some astounding photography. I’m sure they all evoke special memories for you. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Some vineyards in the Rhone Valley are just heaps of (large) pebbles.

    I have seen that technique described as a “stone mulch”. The point is that the stones allow rainfall to penetrate to the soil at “high” flow rates, while sufficiently reducing soil surface temperatures and wind speeds that evaporation of soil moisture is considerably reduced. Net result : more of the moisture goes through the plant and less goes back into the atmosphere directly.

    1. Click on “research interests” at top right to get an email. Be sure that pictures are good ones (comparable quality to what is on the site), captioned, and all species identified with common name and Latin binomial (if you know the species).

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