This was my first experience in the remote regions of the Kofa Wilderness Refuge in Arizona. During my visit, I was the only person in the park. You could see for miles in all directions. As my first day drew to an end, an eerie calm resonated through the desert as night approached. I have never been anywhere so quiet in my life. Alone, and lost in my thoughts I remember sitting in the back of my car with the hatch wide open, just looking at the vast landscape and enjoying watching the remaining sunlight slowly disappear behind the horizon. Of the few times I have visited the deserts of the American Southwest, it is the silence that I enjoy the most.
Every now and then, I head out in the early morning to search for owls along the Grand Valley Road north of Cochrane. This Great Grey Owl was the first of many I found that morning. I was able to observe it hunting for nearly half an hour before it silently slipped away into the forest. In that time, it was able to successfully capture three voles out of five attempts. In this photo, the owl has spotted a vole and has locked its eyes on the target while waiting for the right moment to dive down on it. The attempt that followed seconds later was one of the failed attacks.
Oregon, one of my favourite places to travel for photography. But man, that sand! So much sand! It gets everywhere! With the relentless wind the sand seems to find its way into every nook and cranny. Every beach I visited along the coast had a completely different feel to it. The only consistency was the unique ripple patterns scattered across the surface. Formed by the coastal winds, the heavier darker grains of sand tend to get trapped in the troughs of each ripple. The result is a wavering contrast in the sand that ebbs and flows around the contours of the beach. By the time my trip was over, the inside of my car looked just like the beach. Even with the sand filled shoes, car, gear bag, I will keep coming back to this amazing state as often as I can.