Quick Squamish Trip (Connor Stefanison)

Last weekend, my dad, Jess Findlay, and myself went up to the Squamish River to do some fishing and photography. Our main target for the day was to get some shots of American Dippers. The Dippers were overall pretty skittish, yet we managed to get some shots. We also found some Black Bear, Cougar, and Grizzly tracks, which are common to see on the river shore during the salmon runs. The Grizzly tracks are especially rare in Squamish, as they’ve only been reported in the area for a few years now. The last time I saw some grizz tracks up there was 2 years ago. Overall we caught a lots of Chum Salmon and had a pretty decent day of photography.

This weekend, I’m off to the sunshine coast in search of Roosevelt Elk, and to do some Coho Fishing. Updates soon.

http://connorstefanison.zenfolio.com/

Canopy Walkway

Tree Fern Photographed from Canopy Walkway

Bromeliad seen from Canopy Walkway

I’m stranded in Cusco for at least one extra day and possibly two because of some major landslides on the road I need to travel on to reach my next sites (Villa Carmen and the Queros-Wachiperi Community). I ran around for the past two days trying to prepare for the trip by purchasing tons of granola bars and peanut butter and catching up on email. For now, here are some images of the canopy walkway at Wayqecha – I believe it is the first ever cloud forest canopy walkway.

Canopy Walkway

Bill Campbell on Canopy Walkway

Orchids: Slideshow! (Gabby)

Music for this video is by Sayanka Inka.

Birds of Wayqecha

Baby hummingbird and egg

Great Thrush

Hummingbird in rain

Female Swallow-tailed Nightjar

Machu Picchu (Gabby)

 

First Rays on Machu Picchu

Alpaca in front of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Even if you’ve never been to Peru, you’ve probably heard of Machu Picchu. It was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer, in 1911. His journal of discovery is recounted in his book “Lost City of the Incas,” which I would highly recommend as both a historical guide and amusing personal history. Machu Picchu is a few hours outside of Cusco by train and is next to the town Aguas Calientes – a town that I belive has only sprung up as a result of tourism.

My good friend and colleague Bill Campbell is currently visiting me in Peru, so I decided to make the trek out to Machu Picchu again. We took the IncaRail train out to Aguas Calientes for a stay of two nights. Despite the fact that Machu Picchu is the only attraction, it is necessary to stay overnight to get the fully experience by hiking Wayna Picchu. Wayna Picchu is a peak adjacent to Machu Picchu that gives you the full view from a few hundred meters above the ancient city. Wayna Picchu is also home to a few ruins and causes one to marvel at the sheer physical strength of the Incas in carrying rocks straight up a mountain for a good 1000 feet.  In any case, only 400 people per day get to climb Wayna Picchu because of the small stone staircase that leads to the top. In order to be one of the lucky few, you have to get up at around 3:30am and stand at the bus stop until the first bus departs at 5:30am. I heard more than one Peruvian mutter “crazy gringos” under their breath as they sold us overpriced coffee.

The long wait and early hours are certainly worthwhile because climbing off the first or second bus gets you sweet light and views of the ruins without hoardes of tourists. After taking some of the shots below, we hiked Wayna Picchu at 7am and huffed and puffed our way up the 100 flight staircase until we reached the top. Sitting on the ancient ruins at the top gives you an almost 360 degree view of the surrounding peaks. It made me think that spending a whole life tucked away in the remote mountains wouldn’t be that bad.

TrekNature

TrekNature is an online community of nature photographers from around the world. Users can post their photos to the galleries (organized by continent, then country) and receive feedback. There are also forums where users can exchange tips and techniques, and members can post photos for comments and critique before uploading to the gallery. TrekNature is a truly global internet community; it has 15,567 members from 159 countries according to its “Members” page. If the ads and layout on TrekNature bother you, check out TrekEarth, its parent website which has a slightly neater layout and photographs that capture world cultures as well as natural life.

“In Divine Trance” by Franco Joseph, taken in Chennai, India

www.treknature.com

www.trekearth.com

NBPS Flickr Contest (Image by Bertie Gregory)

Awesome picture Bertie!

The upward angle was a great decision here because you were able to clean up the background of the photo. Be careful when using your flash though; you want to make it seem as if you weren’t using one. Try to diffuse the light next time, I like to keep an index card with me for just such occasions.

Keep up the great work!

- Adrianne

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