Date Rape

This is a story from a college, anytime, anywhere.
It happens all the time, but no one seems to care-

 He entered the room that Saturday night;
almost got knocked over by two drunks starting a fight.
He ascended the stairs, up to the third floor.
He went to the room he’d been in many times before.
He pushed his way in, as usual there was a crowd;
People dancing, spilling beer, the music turned up loud.
He made it to the keg, asked the bartender to fill his cup.
He drank about an hour, then turned his mind to hooking up.
He was checking out the dancers when out of the corner of his eye,
he saw her in the corner, as most freshman – shy.

 As he walked towards her, she didn’t know what to do.
She wasn’t really drunk, but she had a few.

He introduced himself and her face turned red.
She had watched him all fall long, while he never turned his head.
They talked for a while, and drank a few more beers.
A new keg arrived, welcomed by students cheers.
He said he was going to his room, and invited her along.
He was popular and seemed so nice “sure, what could go wrong”

 Now he can’t remember, and she can never forget
what happened the night that he and she met.

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April 20th – ghosts from the past

Upon awaking Saturday, I decided to run out the dryhead while I saw what the weather was going to do.  It ended up remaining the same most of the day, with clouds and clear sky intermixed, until I left at around 5 with a heavier rain.  It also looked like the rain, or snow, was more consistent higher up the mountain. My first wildlife on the range was actually some of the bighorn sheep. Image I saw Issaquah and Hawk again, but no Kemmerer with them this morning.  Fiero was nearby. Image Image Image As I came back through, the greeters had made it to work a little late. Image Image Image

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Not only does it make them beautiful, but the feather patterns make birds very camouflaged.

Still unsure of the weather, I decided to go to the Sykes’ coulee overlook.  I am glad I did because on the way  I could see a lone horse out a little ways.  It was Inniq, taking after his father in his remote desert ways. Image

I did not see anyone across the coulee, so I made my way for BT.  I could see Cloud on one of the arms, and Cappucino to my left.  Looking waaaay over to Sykes I could see Bolder’s group.  I wanted to hike over so much, but with some rain spitting and a forecast of rain for Saturday and then snow Sunday I didn’t want to get stuck up BT.  I don’t know about the Pryors, but I am able to finish this post right now because our 2-hour delay just turned into a snow day with the 8-10 inches down and 2-3 more coming. Since periods of sun kept taunting me, I held on to hope that the clouds would break and decided to hang around a little.  I hiked a little in a new area for me to get some views and pass time.  While scrambling up a little rock ledge, I lifted Malaki because I wasn’t sure he would get up on his own ( although he did a few times later).  I was scanning the area when he jumped back down.  I was annoyed because I thought I would have to go back down and get him.  As I went to reprimand him, I noticed what he was interested in, so I owe his doggy diligence to the discovery. Image We searched but could not find anything else.  I suppose a coyote could have carried it from some where else, or the rest was hidden.  While I saw many other bones on the trip, they were bleached and stripped clean,  making them feel “ok” because they were more a reminder from years past.  Seeing hair still on the leg gave it a more tangible feel.  I know tangible implies touch, but you know what I mean.

UPDATE:  While I noticed the cloven hoof , I never thought of anything but a horse because I was on the range.  As Sandy pointed out, it can’t be a horse because they aren’t cloven.  It is probably a calf leg carried on to the range by a coyote.  I wonder if the pelvis Lori and I found Friday wasn’t the same, based on size.

In searching for more remains, ventured out to a stretch I had only viewed from afar.  I ended up discovering another piece of the Pryors’ history.  It wasn’t as exciting as the old mine in the bottom of the canyon, but it reveals some of the Pryor activity from decades ago.

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I wonder if this needs left as historic, or can be removed to eliminate the nails and rusty metal.

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Since I wasn’t carrying water maybe I should enjoy a drink…

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… or couple dozen

While I did not see any horses on this little excursion, I was able to explore an area that is probably overlooked. I like having a few “secret” spots that I can escape to if it is crowded in the main areas. While I could see Gringo’s and still see Cloud’s, I decided to leave the horses I had seen with Lori Friday alone and went back to the dryhead.  Not much had changed except I found Kemmerer again near Fiero.  I was on my way out thinking that maybe I would run down to McCullough’s to look for foals when I noticed a lone horse in the Bad Pass guzzler area.  I almost “ignored” him, but decided it wasn’t too far out to check one last time.

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Since I was already out there, I made my way to one of my favorite look-outs that I hadn’t tried this trip.  I could see Inniq still, and his path made it seem like he was heading to the guzzler.  Way in the distance in a little gap of the hill I could see another black/bay horse.  I was pretty sure it was Cecelia, and the decision I had to make was whether I would hike from where I was or up from a different location.  Since rain was still a concern, I decided to hike to the FJ and drive to the other spot which would be easy to leave, even if it rained.

While at the FJ, Inniq popped around the corner and made his way by me.

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Then it was off to see his parents and Mato.  They were the last band I saw before heading home, but I took more pictures of them than anyone else.  While they did not mind me around, they are such a secretive little band and probably one of the lesser known set of horses on the range.  Their environment is so different from the other horses, too.  Prepare to be inundated with Mato and family photos.Image

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Mommy, that strange man keeps looking at us.

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A side trail that Malaki and I went up. There is still some more range to explore at the top in the future, although I am not sure that horses would use it.

ImageI mentioned the difference between the leg I found before and old remains.  While observing SB, Cecelia and Mato I found 2 old remains inside the range (and 1 out).  While it does pique my interest as to who they were, it is different because they are ghosts from some by-gone time, not a present reality.

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Sitting Bull and skull 1

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Sitting Bull and skull 2

A few lessons from the second picture with the skull. 1) Always carry the wide angle lens, even if it feels like it will be a pain. 2)  when you go to lay on the ground to take a picture, check for prickly pear first.

I am not sure when I will get back tot he range again, but probably not until May 10th.  Of course, there are probably some subjects close to home I should focus on, like one of the heron rookeries in the area.

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Pryor range April 19

While I had planned to run out to the Pryors to check for foals on the 19th anyway, when Kaycee cancelled the Saturday track meet on Thursday it gave me more time to explore.  I made arrangements to meet Lori at the bottom of BT Friday morning.  I checked the area around lower sykes  where I camp and scanned out to Turkey Flats before heading to meet her.

While we did see a lot of horses, there wasn’t too much “news” for the day.  Lori has already covered the morning on Sandy’s blog, here: http://wildinthepryors.com/2013/04/20/loris-trip-up-burnt-timber-with-shawn-part-one/

I may not do a thorough band-by-band summary like I sometimes do, but between her report and mine you will see who we got pictures of or know who we saw.

While this was a trip up with a friend, I don’t think I have mentioned yet that Sandy has me listed on her permit to do tours of the horses.  Sandy still has an open trip or two for anyone interested, or I could take some one up if a different time fit their schedule.  If any one was interested in a guided tour of the horses or the range either contact myself or Sandy.

There were a few things on this trip that stuck out to me as support of why we can give a great trip to the horses.  One is that while I can’t always find every horse I want ( I checked every where and still didn’t find Garcia), I have spent enough time on the range over the past 2 years that I know their patterns and hang outs pretty well, and how to get there.  Sometimes you can see a horse far off, but with the canyons, fingers and the way the road winds around it can be hard to tell where to hike to and from if you don’t know the area. Other times it is better to know where they are moving and let them come to you in an easier location.  Later in the summer it isn’t too hard to find the majority up on the top, but even when up there there are a few hidden spots such as the red mud hole that make for more intimate, and colorful, photo opportunities .    With every new discovery, such as the mineral feed on the last trip, new locations are being revealed.  Even knowing the range as well as I do, the Saturday post will show that there is still a lot out there to discover.  I think it would take a full week to really take in all of the horses, mining sites and have some time to find some cool rocks, too.

Some pictures for a break:

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Cappucino’s – The first and last group we saw up BT

From Cheyenne Flats I could see some horses over on Sykes.  At one time I didn’t think i could ever get their names straight.  While I can still make mistakes, I can see tiny color blobs and tell who some of them are now, such as this grouping of Horizon, Fiesta and Juniper.  On Saturday I could see Bolder’s on a different arm from a little further, and don’t think their was a foal with him.

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Zoomed in shot of Horizon’s

While seeing how far we could go up BT before hitting mud or snow, right about when we were about to turn around, we ran across some older boys, Santa Fe and Two Boots.

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While watching them we heard a horse whinny some where, but had to guess from where since there were trees and it was windy.  After a quick lunch we did a short hike and found Mescalero’s group nearby.

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Of most interest in April: roundness of mares

Since we had seen some horses on a ridge beneath CF from down below, I ran down a ridge and ended up seeing Galaxy’s band across from me.

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We then decided to head down and hike out to BTCG, where we could see Cloud’s group from up top.  We ended up seeing Grijalla’s first (Kohl and QC with him), Cloud’s and Teton’s in the open, and Gringo’s in the trees.

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Mica is turning out stunning. He’s got the Feldspar blaze but his biotite is flaking away to muscovite (rock nerdness)

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ImageOn our way back to the car we decided to detour by the mineral feed to see if Galaxy’s group had been heading down.  On the way we found a pelvis.  We couldn’t find anything else around.

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We didn’t find Galaxy, but we found Doc at the feed.

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After dropping Lori off at her vehicle, I decided to head out to the park before dinner.  I didn’t see anyone until Bachelor Flats.  Oh, I know it is supposed to be Mustang Flats, but I don’t know that I have seen anyone there except bachelors since last fall.  Issaquah was across from the new interpretive walk, and further back was Hawk and Kemmerer.

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Since there was a threat of rain, I decided to camp at Horseshoe band and then decide where it looked safe to go in the morning.

Pangaea

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Considering the immense size of the world,
it seems improbable that we should meet,
much less connect with each other.
Yet we did,
and we became one.
A land unto ourselves.
Not separate from the rest,
because there was no world outside of us.
Pangaea – entire Earth

We drifted apart so slow,
it is understandable we did not notice.
3-6 inches per year.
Our size dwarfing these small distances.

But the seemingly insignificant spans
added to each other year after year,
until a rift formed between us
and we split-             apart.
You, Laurasia, making your way north.

I, Gondwana, moved to the south…

Since our break-up, we have both gone to pieces.
When we do cross paths,
the encounter produces eruptions and earthquakes.

Experts say it is possible we may come back together,
(in maybe 250 million years or so)
which leaves me to wonder:
what life will remain in either of us
by the time we do?

The balloon

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With every breath you breathe,
internal molecules vibrate faster,
average kinetic energy rises.
You fill me and I grow,
becoming something greater,
expanding to my limit,
testing the tensile strength of my being,
so full of excited atoms I could burst.
Decreased density sends me soaring.

 When you let go,
I lose my direction .
An amorphous mass,
laying lifeless on the floor.
I have nothing left inside.

 My volume is up to you.
I can neither magnify myself,
nor stop deflation,
Unless you tie the knot 

Put your lips against me,
usher forth your breath of life
and fill me again.

 

Fall, Oh, my deer

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The leaves change,
fall
air is crisp,
brisk
hiking through aspen,
sage
eyes scan for
movement
in the brush
senses sharpen, on
edge
forward into the
clear
shot is presented
cautiously
centers the cross
hairs
stand on end
life
hangs in balance
unknown
strange scent on
air
frosts with expiration
quick
footsteps move forward
pursue
one more deer.

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March 30th – The shot vs the experience

Everyone has a camera today. It is hard to go anywhere without seeing a handful of semi-professional or better cameras.  Many people that do not have a dslr have cameras on their phones that produce pictures much better than some of my first film or slide shots could match.  Technology has moved the ability of capturing a great shot from a select few with the equipment to the masses.  This is fairly evident by just a quick search on the internet or entries in even small local contests.  It is true that often the great shot you see may be the only good shot that individual captures in their life; but that doesn’t change the fact that often as a photographer you are not getting a shot any different than hundreds or more are each year.  Often, in places like Yellowstone, this is extremely obvious as you stand next to a multitude of people getting the exact same or often better shots if they have superior equipment and everything else is equal.

Every now and then a photographer needs a day like I did on Saturday the 30th to remind them of the difference between getting a great shot and having a great experience.  I did not get any photos that I would consider great or especially interesting on the day.  Perhaps from years of living in Wyoming, the large number of elk that I saw moving along the North Fork of the Shoshone throughout the morning were enjoyable, but nothing special.  The first group was seen when it was still on the darker side for photography purposes.  All of the other groups consisted of cows with a few spikes mixed in, but none of the monster bulls that people love so much.

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I found the bighorn sheep on one of the edges that I have seen them many times before.  I did get a shot or two that was ok, but not quite as crisp as I would like of some jumping throughout the day.  I think bighorns are a beautiful animal, so I did watch them for extended periods of time and snap some close-ups of the different bands I saw near Rex Hale and Fishhawk.

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Missing the sharpness I wanted for the shot

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Probably my best “shot” of the day

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Probably the least “pretty” bighorn I have seen, but unique

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I thought this one was coughing because what it ate early on, but unfortunately it has mucus. Hopefully not pneumonia.

It was not that I did not enjoy observing the animals, but if you are looking for “the shot” as a photographer it would be a disappointing day.  Once the bighorn sheep came down from the ledges there were a few cars that came by where people were able to snap photos right next to the road in the few minutes that they were there that will be just as good as most of the ones I posted.

If you are in photography for the shot only, it will become more of a chore than an enjoyable hobby or profession.  Those that truly enjoy photography do want to get good photographs, but the focus is not only on the shot, but the experience.  I have experienced times where it becomes a little disheartening missing a shot, seeing so many people at an area or watching some one happen to drive by at just the right time and get that equal shot with no time put in that I spent hours waiting for.  Especially in Yellowstone where a lot of people seem to drive through and snap a quick picture before moving on to the next “checklist” shot.

That is where I may not have a much better shot than they do, but I have a much richer experience.  I can recall an entire day I spent with a few other dedicated photographers watching wolves, mostly sleeping, around an elk they had trapped in the Lamar River.  They were far enough out I was never going to get a great shot with my lens.  What I did gain though was an understanding that I never had before of both the patience involved in many of the wolf kill stand-offs, and how smart they were to let the elk panic while they were resting.  On another occasion I was able to observe a mother black bear and 2 cubs play for an hour or 2 from a parking area as dozens of cars drove by without even noticing before one did and the traffic jam began.

Saturday evening reminded me of the experience and refreshed me.  In the afternoon, Malaki and I decided to hike up a valley that had a trail, but I believe it was only a game trail.  When the trail dropped into the creek/stream in the bottom, we decided to stay higher and travel up the hill.  We came across some elk that did not notice us for a while.

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While I know I could have obtained better shots of elk driving back and forth on the road and finding the moving herds, this was my favorite shot of the day.  We were out in nature, alone and a part of it versus being passerby observers.  There is something different about  a hard hike and unexpected encounters that feels more fulfilling.

Malaki and I worked slowly up the steep volcanic slopes to see if there was anything else on the top or if we could move further back the canyon from there. Finding the way from the top not easily passable, we half-slid back down the hillside.  Along the way I was lucky enough to happen across what seems to be an agate that was neat.  This one is much different than another rock I believe is an agate I found in the pryors.  The scientist in me can’t wait to find a place to cut them and see what they look like inside.

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Possible agate from the North Fork Shoshone

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Possible Pryor agate with what looks like red bands and some yellow (which is easier to see on the back)

Upon reaching the bottom, we turned up the stream and hiked up the canyon a ways.  We did not see anything “special” or get any pictures but it was fun crossing the creek back and forth to be on the walkable side while taking in the pretty red and green rocks in it. We went up quite a ways before heading back to the FJ to head home with a few stops for bison and a McCullough horse.

While a great shot is one objective of photography, probably more so if it is your profession and not a hobby like it is for me, the experience is enriched much more when you take time to slow down and observe what is going on.  Sometimes it is the days where you don’t get anything but ordinary shots that help to refresh and remind you that you are lucky to be able to just be there and witness nature.

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