"Mountain Lion"
This photograph is from my "Best of" Collection and so far, is my favorite mountain lion image.

First, let me say that mountain lions are incredibly difficult to find in the wild.  Most images, including this one, are taken in captivity.  There are many reasons they are difficult to photograph in the wild, but the biggest reason is the fact that they are so secretive and they are often most active in the evening hours.  Having said that, it by no means takes anything away from this amazing cat.

Mountain lions or cougars have an intimidating look.  They are by nature a dangerous wild animal and should never be approached in a wild setting.  Being and obligate carnivore, it must feed on animals to survive  and that makes them a danger to humans.  Although they are a dangerous animal, they would much rather have a tasty deer than attack a human.     

I think this image looked best as a black and white.  The stark contrast really brings out the eyes, mouth and texture in the fur. The grain in the image helps reinforce the raw, wildness of the cat.  The eyes are fully engaging the viewer and forcing us to almost see his thoughts.  What an amazing animal!

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"Elk in Fog"
This photograph is from my Smoky Mountain Elk Collection and so far, is my favorite elk photograph.  

It was a cool September morning in the Great Smoky Mountains.  The kind of morning where I can here every twig snap and every leaf crinkle as I walk along the mountain paths and roads. 

Along one of the meadows, a large bull is making his way up the valley through forest and field.  He is a beautiful elk with well sharpened antlers and one strip of greenery hanging from where he was thrashing earlier that morning.  Only 50 yards away, another bull eyes him carefully and keeps his distance.

It is such amazing time of year as each bull tries to secure his own harem for breeding season.  Sometimes there are clashes between bulls, but I am least guaranteed to see great poses and showdowns each autumn.  In the end this bull was not the strongest or at least most aggressive bull that day, but he was such a great looking animal.

I can't wait to see what is in store for me next year as I explore the Great Smoky Mountains!


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"Love is in the Air"
This photograph is from the Hummingbird Collection and is another one of my favorites.  The soft pinks in this image, provided by the pink flowers used for the background, symbolize love and friendship and compliment the cute little hummingbird.  

Furthermore, think this is the perfect image to celebrate February 14, 2020.  I do not know, but perhaps we have gone too far with Valentine's day, and it has just become yet another holiday.  However, there is still a romantic part of me that hopes this is not true, and I believe the intent of the holiday is still present.    

The history of Valentine's day is one that has slipped into mythology.  Some claim it was a priest who would marry couples despide an edict from Claudius forbidding young men to marry.  Other people claim it is a pagan holiday.

Whatever your belief is for this holiday, I believe the spirit of what most consider the holiday of love is well presented with this hummingbird.  I wish all of you a wonderful Valentine's day.  We are only on earth for a short period of time.  Give someone a hug and tell them you love them!

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