Guest host Dianne Millard of Rambling Ranger has asked us to get wild for this challenge. On her blog she says “I’m talking about Mother Nature untouched and untrammeled, allowed to get on with her work without human help or hindrance.” Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska meets all of those criteria. It’s the wildest place I’ve ever been.
The landscapes in Denali are breathtaking whether seen from land or from the air.
We were always looking out for wildlife. Except for a couple of moose, most of the wildlife was too far from us to get a good close up picture.
For this challenge Tina has asked us to demonstrate how we use editing to improve an image. This was a fun challenge that took me out of my comfort zone. Usually, I crop the photo and I’m done. For this challenge I experimented with a few other editing techniques using Photoshop Elements.
The camellias are blooming and I’ve been trying to get a perfect shot of them. To focus on the flower I cropped this original into a square and applied the Watercolor effect. The finished image below shows the details of the flower and the rain drops on the petals.
On the left is the original of a Great White Egret in the salt marsh. I wanted a close up of the Egret so I cropped it before adding the Rough Pastels effect.
This last image was taken in Denali National Park in Alaska on a cloudy, overcast day. I replaced the dull sky with a brilliant blue sky to add more color and enhance the image.
For this challenge Ann-Christine has asked us “where or what is our hideaway”. Her description of hideaway says “A Hideaway, is a place to which a person can retreat for safety, privacy, relaxation, to seek seclusion or refuge.”
When I am at home I can hideaway for a few moments by getting out in nature or by reading a book. But for me, a true hideaway is a wilderness area far away from civilization, somewhere with no robo calls, internet, or other interruptions.
Three of my favorite destinations immediately came to mind – the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in south Georgia, Denali National Park in Alaska, and Everglades National Park in Florida. Although these are three unique protected wilderness areas, what they have in common is that they are miles away from civilization and the wildlife is free to roam.
Of these three areas, the closest to my home is the Okefenokee Swamp. When we get to the end of the 17 mile road from the main highway and arrive at Stephen C. Foster State Park I feel like I am in another world. This image and the one at the top were both taken in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near Fargo, Georgia.
To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.
There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth; remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them.
This week, our guest host Xenia of Tranature has chosen Sanctuary for our challenge. She reminds us that “Sanctuary can be found and created in a garden, a park, a field of wild flowers and by the sea …… watching wildlife, listening to birdsong …… along the forest trails and in the mountains.” She has asked us to show where we find it or how we create our calm and healing.
America’s National Parks and Wildlife Refuges are national treasures and wonderful places to find sanctuary.
Closer to home, I can find my sanctuary watching the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean on one of Georgia’s barrier islands (image at the top of the page), walking on the beach, or watching the birds and butterflies in my backyard butterfly garden.
Our plan for the day was to ride the bus up to the Polychrome Overlook and take a hike. When we awoke to a steady rain we decided to wait to see if it would clear up. The rain continued all day so we took a couple of short hikes around the campground instead.
Morning walk near our campsite
We took a walk out to the Teklanika River in the rain
The stream runs along the edge of the campground
Wildflowers growing in the middle of the riverbed
The rain finally let up a little later in the afternoon so we spent the rest of the day relaxing by the campfire.
Henry and Blondie enjoying the fire
Now this is the kind of view I like out our back window