Last Wednesday morning, May the sixth, there was a high-cloud layer that was supposed to clear in the Wind River Canyon, where I live. Springtime finally fell into the canyon after the normal cold and snowy April. It's green down in the canyon now, even if you can still see dashes of snow on the western rim; it was 53 degrees.
I slid on my wellies and grabbed a camera that could capture images of the early wildflowers that bloom in the Wind River Canyon. Two of those I knew would be showing their colors this early are favorites of mine. I buttoned up my trusty fave flannel shirt and headed up the mountainside, an early morning mountain breeze caressing my face.
These types of photo sessions in the canyon are very strenuous; everything you would want to photograph is uphill! Knowing where these wildflowers grow and bloom doesn't make it any easier.
Making my way up the trail to a place where no trail exists, I headed higher; the incline is at least 45 degrees! With a camera and large lens, this kind of hike in the canyon is difficult at it's very best, but it always clears my head and makes me smile at myself. After an exhilarating climb I spotted my quarry....Shooting Stars in bloom!!
With the incredible resolution of the new Canon M6 Mark II, what I was after was a macro closeup of the perfect Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) wildflower. As I was crawling around shooting pictures I spotted the perfect specimen, now lit by the warming sunshine. My next early wildflower favorite is rarely seen in Wyoming, it's name alone explains why; the Foothill Death Camas (Toxicoscordion paniculatum). All parts of this plant are poisonous; they are beautiful, but deadly. I was lucky to find a perfect blooming specimen, after crawling (hiking?) across the mountain; it was ideal. One quick question comes immediately to mind; does the ant have immunity from the poison, or does he have a death wish? Do not touch these wildflowers if you see them; fair warning....
As I was imaging wildflowers I spotted a specimen that I knew was not on my website HogbatsPhotography.com----Mountain Bluebells! And a perfect grouping that had just opened up this morning. Here in the Wind River Canyon they grow close to the ground, which in this case was on the side of a mountain! Time for the "belly-roll imaging crawl." Could be a new dance move, but it isn't. These glorious wildflowers are slightly longer than one inch, and it is unusual to see them in such perfect shape. I snapped off a few frames with the silent, single-shot electronic shutter; best with subjects that don't move....much.
I struggled down the canyon-side to the main trail and finally to the cabin. Thirsty, hungry and in some pain, I was glad to sit down to a sandwich; God, I had a great time! Wish you were here....
All photographs were captured with the new and magical Canon EOS M6 Mark 2; it is truly a 21st century marvel of a camera; I highly recommend it.
Software: Canon Digital Photo Professional 4 (for the RAW files), Topaz Labs AI Sharpen, and of course Lightroom.
All images and stories are true and produced by Michael John Balog (me) - resident of the Wind River Canyon and are protected by copyright.
For amazing pictures of the hummingbirds, Bighorn Sheep and wild birds of the Wind River Canyon here in Wyoming, safely visit Hogbats Photography. Seemingly non-profit................
Be smart, be safe please.