Painted Mustangs Anchorage

On our second day in Anchorage my granddaughter Livvie wanted to go horseback riding. I had never been on a horse in my sixty plus years and my wife had not been riding in years. I probably caused this request when I talked about my trip to Flattop Mountain in Chugach State Park and seeing the horses trail riding. Denise went on line and contacted Megan Scott at Painted Mustangs. Megan agreed to take us out in the Park the next afternoon . We arrived at the Park and were greeted by Megan and her sister leading our mounts. I was assigned to K and Megan was very patient as was K as I attempted to mount the horse. After a few attempts I managed to get into the saddle. Denise and Livvie got mounted and off we went onto the trails of Chugach. The views were spectacular and after a short period of instruction I became very comfortable with my horse. We had a great two and half hour trail ride up the mountain and then back down. It was a great experience and all of us agreed that it was one of the highlights of our trip. I can hardly wait to try riding again. Here are some of the images I captured and one that Megan took of our group. Megan can be contacted at Painted Mustangs.com.

Sunset in the Provincetown Dunes

After a great tour through the Dunes to the Race Point Light, I decided to try the Sunset Dune Tour that was offered by Art’s. We arrived in plenty of time and found that we had a lot of company. There were seven GMC eight passenger Suburbans all loaded to experience the magic of the Dunes. I brought all my equipment, lenses and tripod and loaded it all in the rear of the truck. I carried my Nikon around my neck to shoot as we made our journey. Dennis was our driver, he was an old Dunes had and had actually lived for a while in one of the infamous shacks. Dennis explained the ecosystem of the Dunes which had been created after the Pilgrims had clear cut all the trees. The result of not having anything to hold the soil in place created the shifting sand dunes. The grasses were planted by the Town of Provincetown and the U.S Forest Service to help control the erosion that was taking place. The Forest Service manages the National Seashore that encompasses the Dunes. Access to these areas are strictly controlled and regulated. As you can see from the following images the trees and plants still exist.
They are lower to the ground to better cope with the winds and available water supplies.
There are fourteen shacks that are located in the Dunes. One is privately owned and the rest are under the control of the Forest Rangers. They have no running water, electricity or indoor toilets. Yet there is a waiting list to rent them. It is a strange group of nomads that exist in this sandy playground. Every time I travel to the Dunes I enjoy it more. Here are some shots I took. It was the night of the Blue Moon and the Sunset was spectacular. Seals were traveling by in groups of between and twenty and fifty pups. It was just an amazing experience.

Backyard Nature Images

During the last week I took some time off to relax. I explored the backyard and captured a turtle laying her eggs. I went down to Sneech Pond and found the new goslings trying to cross the road. Lastly I travelled to the Blackstone River Bike Path in town and found a nesting Blue Heron. The images are from these travels.