October 26, 2013

Small Birds.

Couple of weeks ago I put up a new feeding place down in Rivelin valley in a oak forest, and this morning I took the bike down to it to fill it up but also to take pics of the birds that might come by to eat. Which turned out to be good because it was full of activity there.I filled up with the nuts and seeds, and then hid myself in a hiding place that I built of some logs and fern leaves. From it it's approx 4m to an old tree where I usually throw in sunflower seeds and nuts in the holes and then I also put up sticks where birds can sit.
So far I have seen Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit. I also heard a Robin and Green Woodpecker. I just hope that the Woodpecker find its way to my feeding place, but also a Jay which is one of my favorite birds.Feels good to come back with photography again after few weeks of mostly editing pictures. I've been out many times but the weather has been miserable and rainy so not pics were taken.
Until next time....


Great Tit/Talgoxe

Blue Tit/Blåmes

Blue Tit


October 22, 2013

Road Trip in U.S, Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP

So we are down to the last blog post in the ‘Road trip in the U.S.’ series.

So, from Zion we were to go whole the way up to Yellowstone. A short trip
of 11h, as you can imagine there is some sarcasm in that comment. During
the 11h going north the surrounding really changed drastically, to ‘proper’
forests with deciduous trees, pines and fir.
The final goal of this trip was Yellowstone, but actually just before
entering it there is another rather large National Park called Grand Teton.
More or less going into each other to be honest.
If I have not said this enough times, but wow what amazing place it is.
Just wonderful views with high mountains in the background.
We were staying in a lodge just outside Yellowstone boarders and to be
honest it was very good with a warm bed as the temperature dropped below
zero :)
Following morning after a quick breakfast we were off for a full day of
just exploring Yellowstone.
Many photo stop along the way, hoards of bison, elks, coyotes, various
deer, birds and bears which we saw on our last day while driving out from
the NP.
But we were not there only for the animals, Yellowstone is also famous for
its volcanic activity such as huge geysers and other features that were
bubbling and hissing. Some of them are smelling rather bad.
Yellowstone is classed as a super volcano and last time it erupted was
about 600,000 years and actually according to the calculations next one
should happen any day :) What they have noticed is that there is more and
more activity, but it still can be more than 100,000 years before next
This is the first national park in the world, and huge. In the middle of it
is the caldera, 70km long and 30km wide that has its own Grand Canyon :)
The days there were spend sightseeing, and there is just not enough time to
cover it all.
One of few hikes we did was around Grand Prismatic Spring that is the third
largest in the world. Amazing colors, as you can see in the picture below,
but to get an overview we needed to walk a bit.
This is one of those places that one dream of visiting due to all nature
films, and I would gladly spend few months here taking pictures and
Just a week after we got back it had been a snowstorm in the area and came
almost 90cm. 90% of the park is closed during the winter months so that the
animals can get some rest.

During the two weeks there, we travelled for 6000km and it took 72h :) A
lot, but totally worth it!
Grand Prismatic Spring

Bull Elk

Grizzly Bear
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Prismatic Spring

The Grand Teton and Bison

Frosty Morning

Mammoth Hot Spring

Mammoth Hot Spring


Bull elk

Upper Falls of Yellowstone River

The Roaring mountain

One of the big flat areas in Yeloowstone, bison in the middle

Grand Teton, 4.199 m

October 19, 2013

Road Trip in U.S, Zion National Park

Leaving Antelope it took us 3 - 4hrs to reach Zion National Park. Somewhere in the middle between them the shapes and colors of the rocks and mountains started to change. Before the red color was only visible down the canyons, but now it was everywhere. Fantastic! 
Another thing that changed was the hight of the mountains, the crooked pines and bushes. It was like landing on another planet. Breathtaking!
Before coming to the park we already had an plan of what was to be done, and we only had three days to manage it in.
After entering the park we settled down at the camp site and just explored the closest surrounding. Took a walk into the village for a float, did some laundry and went into some outdoor shops. Following morning was a bit more intense, the plan was to hike the 'Angels landing'. Early in the morning we took the shuttle bus to the starting point and from there we had a hike of only 6km to do, but it was on a narrow ledge and with 1400 m drop on each side. Not something for the weak hearted :)) There is a chain which you hold on to, but people have made mistakes and fallen :/ You still have to let the chain go when by passing others. Once on the top the view is amazing, and I know I use it a lot but Breathtaking! We just sat there for a while and enjoyed the views with company of the chipmunks :) A Lot of them.
The walk down is actually tougher for the knees, but you do feel a bit more comftable with the hight (not sure it was a good thing as you also loose some of the attention with it) 

The evening it self was spent documenting the sunset and when the sun was gone, the landscape using the moon light. With long time exposure you get bright landscape but stars in the sky. The adventure for following day was a hike called The Narrows, walking in the river bed of the river Virgin and follow it upstream by wading. In some places rather deep water. This is No. 5 on the National Geographic list of hikes in the U.S. The river is surrounded by 700m high sandstone cliffs, which makes you feel small on the bottom. Feels even a bit scary as you never know if there will be something falling down. The light down here can be fantastic, especially in the morning or evenings when the sun shines on the red sandstone peaks above and reflected down into the bottom of canyon. I had hoped that the autumn colors had come this far north, but apparently we were two months to early. I have seen pictures on Google what it can look like down there when its autumn. The combination of the red color of the mountains and the trees, and the gray/blue waters is fantastic, but what to do next time ;) The whole hike of the Narrows is 26km, but it then requires permit for the upper part. Like so many other canyons, this has flash flood. In this case it is slightly more monitored and the rangers put up information about the weather and possible flash floods just before entering.Our hike took about 10km return and took 8h, so you can imagine how 'easy' the hike is.
Next, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.

Angels Landing on the left picture taken from Zion Valley

The Ridge on Angels Landing

The view from top of the Angels Landing


The view from top of the Angels Landing

The Narrows

The Narrows

The Narrows

The Narrows

Zion Valley in sunset

Zion Valley in sunset

October 16, 2013

Road Trip in U.S, Upper Antelope Canyon

And so the journey continues to Page and Antelope Canyon, which took approx. 3 - 4hrs from Grand Canyon.
A guided tour, only possibility when entering Upper Antelope Canyon, was booked at 12 o'clock so we were on the road rather early. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means "the place where water runs through rocks." Between 11 to 13 it's the prime time to be in the canyon as it's deep and narrow. At this time of year also only time of day when light beams can reach into it.
The tour we took was dedicated to photographers and lasted 2½ h. That is also the only group that can use tripod. You may ask your self why, and there are two reasons. First, as it take 'long' time to put up a tripod and if you are in the canyon short time and moving with the group there is not much time to put it up. Second, that in this group the guides actually clear the sections of the canyon for couple of min so that photographers get a chance to take a shot lower down in the canyon.
Sounds good in theory, but in reality it's very crowded with probably 200-300 people at any point in the canyon. It also got frustrating by the fast pace of the group, it takes time to compose a picture, use long-time-exposure and at the same time not have somebody back into your tripod.
The canyon itself is 30m deep, has its narrowest point at about 1m and its widest about 5m, try to push 200-300 people through that :)) Even with our group of 8 people, there was no room for everyone to put up their tripods. I usually ended up behind everybody sick of fight to get a shot :))Eventhough I sound very frustrated, it was fun and for sure an experience. It still is a holy place for indians who also were the only guides.
We visited so called Upper Antelope, and there is a lower Canyon, but not as nice but for sure more spacious :)) This is saved for next trip.As you might have heard, it's not safe to go into these kinds of canyons in the desert. Many people have died due to flash floods that happen without warning. Imagine all that rain pass through these narrow canyons. Just since June they had 13 flash floods in that area!

Next post, probably the most amazing place on this trip; Zion NP.

October 13, 2013

Road Trip in the U.S, Grand Canyon

It will take a while to post the whole USA trip :))
From Las Vegas, early morning, the road took us to Grand Canyon and its North rim.  We arrived just in time to put up the tent and explore the area before sunset. For the best pictures we chose North Rim and Kaibab plateau as there is less touristy and it is higher than the South Rim. Also because its more foresty and there is a special squirrel, Kaibab squirrel, only found here.We arrived to a rainy Grand Canyon , which I was hoping for after seeing the pictures on internet of a rainy Grand Canyon. I did want to get one of those photos :) Unfortunately , there was no thunder . We went quickly to a place called Point Imperial, also highest point with its 2683m, from which has a great view of the canyon. We stayed here for a while and just enjoyed the wonderful view, it is difficult to describe in words how overwhelming it is to stand right at the edge and look out over everything.After a while it stopped raining, so before the sunset we explored the area around the campsite. I did not think it would be so hard to breathe in this 2600m , but I really struggled. Anyhow, when it was time for the sunset we went back to Point Imperial to try to photograph it. The plan was to go to Cape Royal, but the road was closed for the season. So the sun was unfortunately setting behind us at Point Imperial.
While walking around at Point Imperial , we saw coyotes and turkeys, and actually the nature was just amazingly beautyful and full of sparkling colors. Happy with the day and the evening, we left the place and returned to the tent. By the morning the temp sank to around zero :) Experienced campers as we are, it didnt bother us ;)
Next post, off we go to Antelope Canyon.

Point Imperial

Point Imperial

Kaibab Squirrel

Point Imperial

Bright Angel point

Bright Angel Point

Point Imperial

Point Imperial

October 11, 2013

'Quick' visit of Berlin

Last weekend I was for the first time in Berlin, with very low expectation on actually liking the city but was very much positivly surprised.
Only the inner city contains beautiful monuments, historical buildings and sites, museums etc. So much to visit and see. The aim was to visit the top ten recommended and actually made it (the feet were a bit sore) To be honest, only to visit the 'Neues museum' where they have the bust of Nefertiti is worth going to Berlin, amazing collection of Egyptian artifacts.
The whole of Berlin is a mixture of new and old from all different decades, amazing mix that absolutly gives that extra to the city. A closer look at Berlin's old buildings there are marks of grenades, cracks after bombs and at some thousands of bullet holes.
Another thing I very much liked about Germany in general, was the food :) and of course the beer. Not only had a 'Eisbein' (boiled shank) but also their country dish 'Curry würst' :)) So much like UK.
Recommend the city for sure!
Next post, back to USA and this time we are in Grand Canyon.

Brandenburger Tor

Victory Column

Ampel man

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europa

Oberbaum Bridge

Berlin Wall

Neues Museum

Berlin Cathedral

The Pretzel guy

Parliament House
Checkpoint Charlie