Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting

Sunset in Bloomington Bush Lake

This was the sunset shot i took at Bush Lake, Bloomington, which is close to my house. It is part of this week’s challenge: Reflecting.

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Posted in Minnesota, Nature, Photography, Sunset, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Danger of Flash Flood in Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon in Utah

There are canyons and there are slot canyons. If Grand Canyon is one of the most popular and extraordinary canyons in the world, then Antelope Canyon, which is a slot canyon, is one of the most photographed geological formations in the world. Definition of slot canyon mentions “slot canyon is a narrow canyon formed by the wear of water rushing through the rock“. Slot canyons can be significantly deeper than they are wide. Known for its beautiful color and texture, Antelope canyon, to me, seems to be sculpted by nature only for the shutterbugs and cameras. When the rays of sun fall inside this slot canyon, this place turns into a magical wonderland in photographs.

If you search for the photographs of Antelope Canyon on internet, they will leave you mesmerized and in awe. In case, you are searching about this place for the first time, it will be irresistible for you to not gather more information about this slot canyon. There are two parts of Antelope Canyon, located in the state of Arizona in USA – Upper and Lower Canyon. Upper Canyon is the most famous and visited one. It is just 200 meters in length, about 37 meters in depth and is so narrow that at certain spots, only a couple of people can pass at one time. Such dimensions of Antelope Canyon not only make it unique but also makes it dangerous when weather is not permissible. During rain, within minutes, this beautiful place can witness flash floods. It is possible that thunderstorms and rain might have occurred miles away from Antelope, upstream of the canyon but the water can funnel inside the canyon with tremendous force carrying debris, rocks, sand and other stuffs. In the past, there have been few deaths inside the canyon due to flash floods. When planning for a visit to Antelope Canyon, it is always advisable to check the weather reports and any forecast of flash flood, and never ignore the instructions of your guide. Else this dangerous beauty may not give you a second chance.

However, when we went to Antelope Canyon, there was no danger of flash flood. It was a beautiful spring weather, and the Antelope Canyon was as adventurous, exciting and magnificent as we had read and imagined, and we were certainly not disappointed. Above shot for this week’s post – danger – is from the inside of Upper Antelope Canyon which i had clicked. In my next posts, i will write more details of our lifetime experience to Antelope Canyon, and how to plan a visit. Till then, enjoy this shot, and shoot if you have any question.

Posted in Arizona, Nature, Photography, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

My Wanderlust for America’s Famed Southwest on a Roadtrip

Wilson Arch, Utah

Few years back, when i started reading and watching about the national parks of USA, i was awestruck by the beauty of the arid, hot and desolate landscape of Southwest region of USA. Despite being a desert where vegetation is so limited and population sparse, America’s Southwest is one of the geographically most diverse and dramatic places in USA, and probably on earth. Miles of nothingness except the red rocks or canyons or elevation (mesas and buttes, too) make this region very beautiful for travelers and photographers alike. Not to forget conditions can get hostile within hours here, if proper care is not taken.

In April of this year, we went on a over week-long road-trip to America’s Southwest covering national parks in the states of Nevada & California, Arizona and Utah. Our itinerary included Death Valley National Park, Grand Canyon National Park – South Rim, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park. If you see our trip map below, you will find that these places can be explored as part of a complete loop with around 2000 miles of driving and with Las Vegas as the airport for flying in and out. Though we spent some quality time in these parks, i have a wanderlust to come to these parks again next year or later this year, because these parks are so inspiring, adventurous and lot fun to photograph. In my future posts, i will share details of how i planned for this trip (with our 20-months old daughter), about our experiences and more photographs from our road-trip and parks.

Southwest Trip Map

Shot at the top of this post is of Wilson Arch located 25 miles south of Moab in Utah. We were travelling on highway US 191 North from Monument Valley in Arizona to Arches National Park in Utah. Before entering Moab, which is like the base for visiting Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, you will find this arch on your right hand side. We made a brief stopover at this huge formation, formed by the erosive forces of nature, before visiting the famed arches of Arches National Park. It is worth mentioning here that around 2000 known arches, both small and large, exist in the park.

Posted in Arizona, Nature, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, USA, Utah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

Green

This is my contribution for this week’s photo challenge: Green

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Split Rock Lighthouse Atop Cliff

Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota

Split Rock Lighthouse is one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks in Minnesota. Located at an hour’s drive from Duluth and 3.5 hrs drive from Minneapolis on the scenic North Shore drive of highway 61, this lighthouse sits atop a cliff on the Lake Superior (more entries for this week’s challenge are here). Built in 1910 after the loss of 29 ships on the Lake Superior, the beacon of this lighthouse is lit up on November 10th of every year for few hours to commemorate the sinking of ship Edmund Fitzgerald. This is a wonderful opportunity to photograph the lighthouse with its beacon lit up on the Lake Superior. Even though i have made a couple of trips to the lighthouse, i am waiting for November 10th, when i will be able to make another photographic trip to capture in its full glory. Above photograph was shot during the fall color trip of 2016, when the colors of changing leaves add to the beauty of the iconic landmark.

Lighthouse is nestled in the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park of Minnesota. Though i have never been inside the lighthouse, i have captured it from the shores of Lake Superior, from where you can capture this picturesque view.

Best Time to Photograph: Any day of the year is a good time to visit the lighthouse. November 10th is a special day to photograph it with its beacon lit up. Sunrise and sunset is another beautiful time of the day to shoot the lighthouse. During winter, you can capture the grand view of the lighthouse, with its cliff and the lake covered in snow. Full moon night could be another memorable night when you can compose an interesting postcard shot of the lighthouse. Few of the viewpoints from where you can photograph the lighthouse are mentioned here.

Admission Fees: If you are interested to get inside the lighthouse, it costs $10 for adults. Kids below 4 years enter for free. However, if you only want to photograph the lighthouse from the shores of Lake Superior, you just need to pay $5 for entering the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. I have bought the annual pass of Minnesota State Parks costing $25 and it allows me unlimited access to all the parks in the state.

To plan your trip, visit the official site for more information.

Posted in Events, Minnesota, Nature, Photography, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wish

Bodh Gaya

During my visit to Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment sitting under the peepal tree, I shot this Buddhist monk with his folded hands, praying to the Lord. This photo is part of this week’s challenge: Wish.

Posted in Art & Culture, India, Indian Temples, Life, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

It’s a Spring Party… Let’s Groove 🎶🌻🌷⚘🌺🍉🍔🍗🍿🍦🍻💃

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on a cooking pot and twisted tales:
Thank you for coming to my Spring party. I love Spring. It’s a beautiful season with a lot of refreshing promises of budding life and blooms. A season of rebirth. Do make…

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Great River Bluffs State Park, Minnesota

Great River Bluffs State Park, Minnesota

The Road Taken in the Park

Great River Bluffs State Park is one of the beautiful parks in the state of Minnesota, providing breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and the valley. Located 150 miles south east of Minneapolis, this state park can be reached within 2.5 hours of driving from Minneapolis. It lies on the scenic route of Great River Road Scenic Byway of Minnesota which runs parallel to the river Mississippi. As one says the best part of the travel is the journey or the road taken, you can actually experience this if you are driving on the Great River Road enroute to the State Park. Apart from the journey, the destination – Great River Bluffs State park – is equally rewarding for nature lovers and photographers.

One can see the layers of sedimentary and dolomite rocks deposited millions of years back on the bluffs in this park. Unlike most parts of Minnesota, which were covered by glaciers, the area where park is located was interestingly never part of any glacier. This is the unique history of this place.

Great River Bluffs State Park, Minnesota

Mississippi River Valley Overlook

What to do: There are several overlooks in this park, and all of them give scenic vistas of the Mississippi River and the valley. It is an excellent place to do landscape photography. Not to be missed are the shots of variety of plants and wildlife. Bald eagles  can be spotted in this park during the winter. One can do camping in the park and also has picnic tables and benches, from where one can leisurely enjoy the beauty of the valley down below. There are hiking trails of 6.5 miles for nature lovers. Cross-country skiing is also available for the most adventurous souls in winter.

When to Visit: This park is open throughout the year and any day is a good day to visit it. Fall season is especially a good time to visit to enjoy the changing colors of leaves on the bluffs and the river valley. I had clicked these shots during fall season last year.

Great River Bluffs State Park, Minnesota

Scenic Overlook

Entrance Fees: $5 per vehicle. However i would highly recommend to buy an annual pass of Minnesota State Park, which costs $25 and is good for unlimited visits to Minnesota state park for the entire year. For me, this has been a real cost saver as i have visited several state parks since i bought the pass, and have already recovered the cost of this pass after my fifth visit to any of the state’s parks.

Let me know if you have visited this park or any of the Minnesota State parks.

Posted in Fall Season, Minnesota, Nature, Photography, Sunset, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Road to Yellowstone National Park

Bison in Yellowstone National Park

I had visited Yellowstone National Park on an unplanned road trip in the summer of 2016. This is one of the shots from that road trip, where i saw a herd of bison crossing the park road. Traffic had to stop, as is the norm in any national parks in USA when animals cross the road, and the visitors were excited to flash their cameras at these animals. I was fortunate enough to capture this single bison, away from the herd, and without any traffic or visitor in my shot. Yellowstone is famous for wildlife, including bison, fox and grizzly bear.

This shot is part of this week’s photo challenge: The Road Taken.

Posted in Life, Nature, Photography, Travel, USA, Wyoming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Good Match in Willow River State Park, Wisconsin

Willow River State Park Wisconsin

Waterfall and long exposure techniques are considered good match for shooting beautiful landscape photos of falling water. I took this shot of the waterfall in the Willow River State Park in the Wisconsin state of USA. Another long exposure shot of waterfall – Gooseberry Falls here.

Posted in Nature, Photography, Travel, USA, Wisconsin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments