Discovering Bandelier National Monument

Fog Over Frijoles Canyon

During my trip to the southwestern United States this past fall, one of my destinations was Chaco Culture National Historic Park, or more commonly known as, Chaco Canyon. Turning off the highway overrun these days with traffic for the oil and gas industry, I began the winding journey down the back roads to Chaco Canyon, only to find 15 miles in that the campground was full. An amazing thing about Chaco Canyon is that it’s in the middle of nowhere. A downside to Chaco Canyon is that it’s in the middle of nowhere. The nearest lodging, assuming I wanted to go that route, was over two hours away and I wasn’t quite sure just how far back the oil industry was destroying our beautiful BLM lands, so camping anywhere nearby was out of the question. I pulled out my atlas and found two national monuments still in northwestern New Mexico, but neither of them terribly close, either being a good bet for camping though.
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Categorized: Article, Landscape, New Mexico, Travel Logs, Wildlife
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Southern WY Along 191 and Dinosaur National Monument

Juniper Log and southern Wyoming sunrise
Juniper log resting below a fiery sunrise near Highway 191 in southern Wyoming

I’m currently catching up my connected life in Moab, Utah where I’m having a delicious sandwich at Pantele’s Desert Deli (thanks for the recommendation, Bret!), downloading photos, and going through emails. Thus far, the trip has been great! My only regret is not getting a quick interview from a guy named Steven that I met in Dinosaur National Monument when he told me about someone going door-to-door in Grand Juction, Colorado offering to pay residents to put up shielded lighting and having the vast majority of them refuse, even though it came out of his pocket and would cost them nothing. Lesson learned. Thanks for the great conversation regardless, Steven and Bill!

Night sky above dead juniper tree
Stars and night sky spin above dead juniper tree, southern Wyoming

After a late start on Tuesday, I found myself driving south along Highway 191 in southern Utah, a spectacular high desert region blanketed with juniper trees with the occasional bare spot exposing millions of years of erosion along ancient seabeds in the form of badlands.
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Categorized: Landscape, Travel Logs
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Photographing a Rainy Morning in Jackson Hole

Returning Horses
Horses returning to the Moosehead Ranch under a rainbow, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

This past summer, much of my inspiration shifted from the Jackson Hole valley floor to much higher elevations found up in the mountains. While the higher elevations had always been significant motivation for me, this past season saw that motivation become much more pronounced, weening my inspiration away from the roadsides. In addition, there’s also my upcoming TEDxJacksonHole talk and completing my short film on light pollution, both of which demanded a large chunk of my time, forcing me to drastically reduce my work with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. However, though my days are limited at the moment, I had a recent trip with exceptional opportunities found throughout the valley with a delightful pair of other photographers.

We were off well before sunrise in a downpour that showed no signs of letting up.
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Categorized: Abstract, JH Wildlife Safaris, Landscape, Panorama, Wildlife
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Fall Colors Near Shadow Mountain

A large autumn aspen grove below stormy weather, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Mike Cavaroc)
A large autumn aspen grove below stormy weather, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

With several projects going on right now, I was able to find time to take a little afternoon escape into some fall colors of Jackson Hole. I headed over to the Shadow Mountain area, along the eastern boundary of Grand Teton National Park, and began hiking around the game trails to guide me through the meadows and aspen groves.

Abstract autumn aspen tree trunks and leaves, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Mike Cavaroc)
Abstract autumn aspen tree trunks and leaves, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

I had hoped to hike up part of Shadow Mountain as well, where even more bright colors were waiting, no doubt with tremendous views below, but I found the few hours I had to play at the base plenty to satisfy my craving to get outdoors. Since it had been almost three weeks since I last hiked, it was a welcome break from sitting at the computer and running around town.
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Categorized: Hikes and Backpacks, Wyoming
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Resolving Conflicts by Understanding Right vs Truth

A snow storm drops snow on aspen trees still clinging to fall color late in autumn along Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Snow on Fall Aspen Trees

Lately, I have been exploring the concept of rightness versus truth. Everyone has the right to believe in what they want to believe in regardless of anyone else’s expectations or beliefs. It is their birthright that no one can take away. Issues arise, however, when those beliefs interact with someone else’s beliefs. The more one person insists that their beliefs are right, the more the other side defends their beliefs until neither side will even listen to one word the other has to say, no matter how true it may be in their experience. This leaves both sides oblivious to the fact that in their defense and anger, they have completely overlooked an underlying truth that will ease both parties. It’s a truth that both will feel resonance with once the guards are lowered and all the options are then available to explore.
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Categorized: Article
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The 12 Best Photos from 2011

January
Pilgrim Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming rests under glowing sunset clouds. (Mike Cavaroc)
Pilgrim Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming rests under glowing sunset clouds.

I found myself rather unproductive in early 2011 in terms of stills. With the recent purchase of a 7D and getting it up to working order, as well as discovering time-lapse photography, my still photography became a bit stagnant. As a result, most of my work was in the form of a time-lapse and before finding a good balance of time-lapse, video and still, I even wondered if I would move entirely into video. Eventually the balance did work itself out and once I had my 7D back and functioning properly the following spring, it was full-steam ahead in every direction!

I discovered this image during that time after forgetting about it. I was looking back through a day in January where I hadn’t shot very much at all, but saw potential in a nice sunset above Pilgrim Mountain.
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Categorized: Article, Landscape, Panorama, Video, Wildlife
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