Dry, brown and gold leaves crunched noisily under my feet as I slowly walked the bird viewing path up Garden Creek at the Audubon Center on the edge of Casper, Wyoming. The air was cool. The sky blue with no clouds. It was a beautiful Fall morning. The mountain stream, Garden Creek, was running clear and cold. I was encircled by brown, snarled Cottonwood tree trunks with golden-yellow leaves. Honey blond grass swished as I walked by. Red Wild Rose berries invited me to photograph their brilliance. Light was pouring through the leaves as they shimmered and shined and even appeared to glow in the morning light. The side and back lighting was amazing. As a photographer I appreciated the early morning light shining into my face this October morning. A photographer should not be afraid to shoot into the light. I was inspired to take many photographs, most of which were not very good. But the sidelight was so inspiring, I couldn’t help myself. Thankfully I’m only showing a few here.
After following Garden Creek for some distance, time was running out as I had plans to drive to Garden Creek Falls. Walking there was too far, and I’d need to cross private land so a short drive was necessary. As I traipsed back to my car, not really paying much attention, I heard crashing noise to my left. I looked up and standing before me was a doe Mule Deer. The crashing noise came from another deer which I never saw. I must have spooked one out. This doe, however, wasn’t ready to flee. She seemed almost as curious of me as I was of her. I’d been in this area on other days and seen deer, but this lady was as close as I had ever been to one here. I wasn’t ready with my camera, which is a no-no for a photographer. Fortunately, she hung around long enough for me to get a picture.
I paid more attention on the way back but didn’t see any more wildlife. I did notice Garden Creek with its crystal clear water, rocks, and Fall leaves. Zooming in close with my lens, I set my camera to stop action and took pictures of the water as it cheerfully proceeded on its journey to eventually join with the North Platte River.
Arriving back to my car, I stowed the camera safely away and drove to Garden Creek Falls. I made the short trek up the trail to the Falls hoping to find the Falls bathed in light but should have known better. This time of year the Falls are in the shadow of Casper Mountain and would remain that way until Spring. I decided to shoot some pictures anyway and figured on using my HDR program when I returned home. The HDR program would help to “see” into the shadows better. HDR photography is something I’ll have to delve into more on a future post.
It was a good thing I grabbed the opportunity to photograph Garden Creek when I did. A couple of Days later Casper was hit by an early Fall snow storm and freeze. All those beautiful Fall leaves were frozen and turned brown, but at least I was able to enjoy a satisfying hike along Garden Creek before the storm hit and enjoy the beautiful side lite and back lite Cottonwoods and other foliage.
See more of my photography at http://SamSherman.imagekind.com/