POTD: Cottonwoods in Black and White #2

Cottonwoods in Black and White #2
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Montana
2022

It was a very easy decision to photograph these burned trees in black and white, as they were in fact just that.

POTD: Cottonwoods in Black and White #1

Cottonwoods in Black and While #1
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Montana
2022

I’ve driven by this grove of burned cottonwood trees many times over the last few years. My eyes are attracted to them every time but it was only on my most recent trip there that I took the time to photograph them. It was easy enough to do this time as I was camped right next to them.

POTD: Torso

Torso
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Montana
2022

Does anyone else see a torso bust in this image? Google male torso sculpture and you’ll see what I mean, like this one for example:

Apollo (Heroic Male Torso Sculpture)–Bronze
Nick Bibby
(photograph by Steve Russell)

POTD: Death Grin

Death Grin
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Montana
2022

I was bushwhacking down a canyon trying to work my way the the Bighorn Reservoir when I came across this bighorn sheep skull. There are approximately 150 bighorn sheep in the area and one evening we had about a dozen of them grazing right next to our campervan. This one has not done any grazing in a while. A complete skull of a bighorn ram is a rare find I think so my first thought was to carry it out and take it home. But I did not do that for two reasons. First it’s not allowed to collect bones, skulls, or horns in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation area. The other good reason for not taking it with me I discovered when I picked it up to reposition it to photograph–the darn thing was heavy! A pair of horns alone can weigh up to 30 pounds, and then there is the skull itself which has a very thick and dense forehead reason so that rams can do what rams do (ram each other) without suffering a fractured skull.

POTD: Along the Lane

Along the Lane
Lockhart Ranch, Montana
2022

A view along the lane leading to the Lockhart Ranch. I guess it’s past time I mentioned that the Lockhart Ranch is an historical property now maintained for public viewing in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. The ranches namesake, Caroline Lockhart, was among other things a successful writer of western novels, some of which have been made into movies. She was a very opinionated person who pulled no punches, e.g., she once referred to novelist Zane Grey as “that tooth-pulling ass!”

POTD: Vernacular Squared

Vernacular Squared
Lockhart Ranch, Montana
2022

Log structures are the quintessential western vernacular architecture: constrained by and built of what material can be had locally, out of expedience and necessity. Adding flat rocks to the equation, well that just takes the vernacular style to the next level (to use a well-worn and overused popular current phrase).

POTD: Cabin Construct

Cabin Construct
Lockhart Ranch, Montana
2022

It takes a lot of work to hand-hew logs for cabin construction, so the work is minimized. Only the ends of the logs on the sidewalls are squared off; just what is needed to form a tight joint. The smaller logs forming the ceiling (as well as the base for a sod-roof) don’t need squaring off at all, except when using one that is of a significantly larger diameter than the others.

POTD: Aging Crescent

Aging Crescent
Lockhart Ranch, Montana
2022

The Cresent wrench was the first adjustable wrench in America, introduced in 1907. Given its condition, it looks like this one could have been a first-edition issue.

POTD: Wired

Wired
Lockhart Ranch, Montana
2022

Like open sun-light doors, aged wire fencing is another subject I don’t seem to tire of photographing. In this case the fencing closed off an opening to an otherwise windowless shed, whose interior provided the dark background.