Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Flight Path

Taking Flight (9349)

Sometimes the unexpected is, well, unexpected.  Sometimes unwelcome, sometimes not.  This time it seemed like a good thing.

We were out in Canyonlands NP trying to get a good view of some threatening weather.  While not an unusual occurrence in a place like Webster, NY (where life, they say, is worth living), it is very unusual here.  Mostly you just get deep blue skies and some puffy little cumulus clouds at best.  Yesterday was different.  It was cool, there was lightning and thunder, and sometimes even rain.  Which is something they badly need in Utah.

In any case, I was standing (actually, sitting, I think) above the Green River basin watching an approaching squall line when this raven decided to fly up from below the edge of the cliff.  Spooked the heck out of me.  But I did manage to trip the shutter.  A good “catch”, in my opinion.

Probably a good thing I was sitting, too.  The bottom of this canyon is about 2,000 feet below.  And the cliff is fairly steep.  Falling over it would not be pleasant and most certainly fatal.  No barriers here, though.  If you want to take the plunge you’re free to do so.

In case you’re wondering, the area actually got very little rain out of this.  A lot of bark but no bite.  So the Green River and the Colorado River will continue to drop.  Not a good thing, after all.


5 Responses to “Flight Path”

  1. John - Visual Notebook

    A good catch indeed! I had a similar occurrence while mountain biking the Kokopelli trail several years ago. Taking a break I was resting on a rock wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into when a bird in the distance drifted closer … and closer. I realized it was a bald eagle. He glided along, beautiful against the blue sky. And his course took him within ten or fifteen feet of my position. I could literally see him look over at me. Incredible experience. And my camera stayed buried in my bag. D’oh!

    • Paul Maxim

      Interesting you should say that, John. While we were driving through the mountains today on our way to Colorado Springs we saw a large bird circling over a small lake. His spirals took him a little ways out over the road and he passed right over the top of us. My wife and I looked at each other and both yelled, “that’s an eagle!” I’d never seen a wild one that close before. Photography, of course, was impossible (hard to do at 70 mph).

      Not for nothing, but I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs seems a little nasty. Lots and lots of traffic……..

  2. Tom Dills

    That’s a great shot, Paul, and a good story. Usually when I come across something like that, my camera is set with mirror lockup on and a 1/2 second exposure! Or like John, the camera is in my bag, or in the trunk of the car!

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Tom. That’s usually the case with me as well (maybe 99 % of the time?). Fortunately, I wasn’t using a tripod here and therefore no mirror lockup. I figure if you can’t get decent sharpness (handheld) with exposures near 1/1000 of a second you might be wasting your time with photography! Not to mention the fact that it was a bit breezy, too………


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