Spring Fever

Once again, I have Spring Fever. That’s my excuse for the lack of a blog post last week. With the improving weather I can’t wait to get out and about.

 This weekend was wonderful weather to be out in and I enjoyed the little time I had outside. Sunday I dove into some planning for the year and that got me so wound up that I eventually had to quit.

 It started out simple enough: June 21, 2014. Also known as Summer Solstice.

 I was not able to get out to Swan Falls to photograph the Winter Solstice as originally planned. Even if I had been able to, the overcast skies of last December wouldn’t have let me photograph anything. See this blog post  and you’ll see how I planned to go to Swan Falls to capture the Winter Solstice sunrise. Failing that, I kept thinking about the upcoming Summer Solstice. So, last weekend I sat down and worked it out.

 Earlier I had been looking at Haines, Oregon, in Google Earth and FlashEarth to see if I wanted to do any location photography there in July. From there I moseyed about, looking at pictures people had posted in various areas I wanted to visit. One picture in particular caught my eye, though at the time I didn’t think of the potential for the Summer Solstice.

 Eventually I decided to check on the Summer Solstice possibilities I had in mind, so I fired up The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) and started checking out sites.

 Swan Falls is out, the angles are wrong for what I want. That makes sense, since the Solistices are at opposing ends of the sun’s analemma. If it were the Equinoxes, then both should be possible from the same site the same way. I could use my regular astrophotography site, Sands Basin Overlook, but that is so…mundane. Although if I could set up to capture the sunrise breaking through the solitary tree in that direction, it might be interesting.

 I started thinking of other places that might work. Leslie Gulch? What about up above Blue Lake?

 Then into mind popped that one picture posted as being from down in the canyon at Three Forks. I hadn’t noticed the direction, there wasn’t anything, no shadows or the like, to leverage to tell in which direction the camera was aimed, but I wondered if I could replicate it in the desired direction anyway? The photo was looking down the canyon, in the distance was a curve of one of the rivers. There, the canyon walls came together, as they will when one passes behind the other as the canyon curves. But according to the picture, there was a noticable v-shaped notch where they didn’t quite meet up properly. I wondered…could I?

 I pointed TPE to Three Forks. A little working of the various lines and position markers…it looks possible! I tried a couple other places, but it looks like I’m going to be scouting out the Three Forks site in the April-May time frame. The data is in my field notebook and I’ll report on that when it happens. I’ve already got feelers out to see who might want to go with me then.

 Since I was looking up places to go I decided to send an email to a friend about a place I’d mentioned when we had lunch last week. I couldn’t remember the name of the place then, or now, so I went searching in some of my books. In one book on Owyhee post offices I found it: an old stage stop, post office, and family residence known as Wickahoney. With the name found, I fired up my topographic maps so I could send him the co-ordinates.

 With the maps still up, I decided to see how to get there. Ah! It’s just a little ways off from the highway to Grasmere on a nice dirt road! Easy enough to get to, with a gravel pit by the highway to indicate if I’d gone too far.

 But…

 Where does this road go as it proceeds past the remains of Wickahoney?

 Naturally I started following the road to see if maybe it’d link up with another main road, letting me drive a loop instead of in and back out the same way. As I followed the road past one of several branches I saw a little way up one branch a little square mark for a building and the word “Ruins”. Whoa! I gotta go there and see what’s there! Ok, making note of that and the co-ordinates. Now to continue on….

What’s this? “White Ruins”? An old farmstead or…? Oh, boy! More stuff to check out!

 Further along that road is a notation ‘Petroglyphs’! Oh, man! I defintiely got to do this some weekend! But for now, I absolutely must shut down the map program, this is driving me insane, seeing all these items to go see and photograph and discover. And not being able to go right now.

 Idaho weather, hurry up and stabilize, will ya! Idaho’s calling and my camera and me want to go exploring the back country!

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