Read how I got this photo of this female Bighorn below in this article.
Today was our last trip into Yellowstone, at least for this year.
Our plan was to go over to Tower Falls and hike down to the base and then go over to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Along the way, I thought we’d check out Norris Geyser Basin.
Once we got to Norris, we decided to take the Back Basin Trail, which is a 1.5 mile loop. The air temperature was just above freezing, but I was comfortable in a sweatshirt. The steam rising from all of the springs in the cold air was really pretty, though it obscured the the details of individual pools, springs, geysers, and mud pots. There was several spots where I was able to compose some really great landscape shots that had clouds in a blue sky with white steam rising against backgrounds of either green forest, a stark landscape of dead soil, or both. There several good shots of gnarled remnants of trees killed by the thermal activity. It was a good photographic hike.
After we left Norris, we headed toward the Canyon Village junction. Along the way, I saw the road to Virginia Cascades, which we had not been on. It’s a relatively short 1-way road that parallels the main road, with views, of course, of Virginia Cascade. Shortly after we got on the road, I went to take a photo of some fall color, I believe, and noticed a message on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. It said that the camera didn’t have a memory card in it.
Needless to say, it upset me more than just a little bit. None of the great images that I had snapped in Norris Geyser Basin had been captured. The camera works just like always — sounds just like always — whether there is a card in it or not, and there isn’t any message that pops up in the viewfinder warning that the card isn’t in the camera — though I’d probably ignore it if it did. I’m generally looking at composition and focus and don’t pay any attention to any of the other indicators in the viewfinder unless I’m operating in other than full automatic. I always use the camera’s viewfinder and seldom look at the LCD screen, so didn’t see the warning message until I had snapped quite a few nonexistent photos.
It’s not like this hasn’t happened to me before. A whole evening’s shoot in North Platte’s Cody Park was lost last month and back in the 80’s I shot an entire roll of film in the Ozarks before discovering the film had not engaged on the camera’s sprockets.
Karen suggested that we go back to the campground to get the card — which was still plugged into the card reader for downloading. However, that would have been a 50 mile round trip and I had another camera that had a small SD card — 256 mb — that I could use. So we continued on.
However, the day’s frustrations weren’t over.
At Tower Falls, our anticipated hike to the base of the falls was cut short when the trail ended in a barrier. It was closed due to erosion. If we had known that, we would have not driven the 14 or so miles from Canyon to Tower over narrow winding mountain roads. Oh, well.
Since we were that far and had more time than we thought we would have, we decided to drive out a ways on the road to Cooke City. Along the way, the battery in the larger camera died.
So I moved the 256mb card back over to the camera it had been in originally — which is what I used to shoot the picture of the female bighorn sheep stepping over the edge.
She was actually stepping off of a rock wall along the road and I was sitting in the drivers seat of my truck, but that shot made my day when I saw it on the computer — even after the batteries in the second camera died and I thought I had lost all of the pictures when they wouldn’t open on my computer.
When in difficulty — reboot.