Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, were out until 4 a.m. in the morning recently shooting the Milky Way and moonlight on the rock formations in the Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. “Moonlight does diffuse the Milky Way, but the moonlight gave a very eerie feeling to the landscape and the surroundings. We were the only people out there at that time of night. Go figure … It was a fun experience though.”
On their recent Utah trip, Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, visited Goblin Valley State Park. Here is his description:
“Journey to this strange and colorful valley, which is unlike any other in Utah. The landscape, covered with sandstone goblins and formations, is often compared to Mars. Explore the geology, among the nooks and gnomes. Goblin Valley includes an area where soft sandstone has eroded into interesting shapes, somewhat resembling goblins. In some spots, the rock formations are close together and produce a maze-like playground ideal for family explorations. Many people think the park landscape has a surreal appearance. A Hollywood movie, “Galaxy Quest,” was filmed at Goblin Valley State Park because of its unearthly scenery.
On their recent Utah trip, Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, visited Canyons National Park, the site of famous Mesa Arch. Here is what he had to say about the experience:
“The Mesa Arch sunrise shot is one of the most sought after photographic images in Utah. Every morning at sunrise, if there are no clouds hiding the sun, the sun’s rays light up the upper inside of the arch in a bright red glow. The problem is there is only room for about 10 to 12 photographers with tripods at this spot, so you have to be there early to get a spot. I got there almost three hours before sunrise ( 3:00 am) and there were already six photographers there! They were shooting the Milky Way with the Arch while waiting for sunrise to occur. I joined them in shooting Milky Way images, and about 4:30 a.m. more people started showing up. so we all set up in a row waiting for sunrise. By the time sunrise came, there were around 80 photographers there trying to get in to get a capture. It was insane, but I held my ground and got the image I came for. I included a shot of the some of the crowd after I left my spot to show you the craziness. I also have a daytime image I took the day before when showing you what it looks like in daylight. Sheila came with me on that hike but couldn’t convince her to get up at 2 a.m. the next morning for the sunrise event!
On their recent Utah trip, Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, crossed over into Colorado near the town of Durango to see the ancient site of Mesa Verde.
“This was on my bucket list to see as I enjoy the history of past cultures. On our way, we did stop at Capital Reef National Park, where we viewed and photographed these petroglyphs carved into the canyon rock faces. I was in awe at how these Puebloans built a society and home under these cliffs.”
Here’s a bit of history about the cave dwellings:
In 1888 two cowboys, while tracking stray cattle in a snowstorm, spotted a cliff dwelling. By climbing down a makeshift ladder, they explored the network of rooms with stone tools, pottery and other artifacts They named it the Cliff Palace. The Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America and the most famous one at Mesa Verde. It has 150 rooms and 23 kivas. Kivas are rooms used for ritual and cultural purposes. It is estimated that around 100 people inhabited the Cliff Palace. One of the most remarkable structures in the Cliff Palace is the Square Tower House, which at 26 feet is the tallest building in Mesa Verde.
Mesa Verde was inhabited by ancestral Pueblo people from 600 A.D. to 1300 A.D. By the 13th century, their productive dry farming allowed the Mesa Verde population to grow perhaps as high as 5,000. Increased population and the 24-year regional drought placed the communities under stress. This is the possible reason why ancestral Pueblo people left Mesa Verde. The 21-square kilometers national park contains ruins of homes and villages built by these people.
On Memorial Day, flowers and flags are plentiful at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, located 6.5 miles south of Mandan on state Highway 1806 on a 35-acre tract of land in the southwest corner of Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. The cemetery, established by an act of the 1989 North Dakota Legislative Assembly, opened in July 1992.
After many attempts the past few years, Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner finally captured a dramatic display of the aurora borealis on the night of May 6.
The aurora borealis, or northern lights, are collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. When the electrons drop back to a lower energy state, they release a photon: light. This process creates the beautiful aurora or northern lights.
Here is what Dave had to say about the experience:
“It was a beautiful site to witness and photograph as they displayed rising pillars, swirling lines and the colors of green, yellow, purple and reddish pink. Some meteors also were shooting across the sky and were captured in some of the images. I used this pond and tree as foreground, with the tree giving a scale to the scene of this large sky display.”
Photographer Dave Bruner ventured out in the extreme cold (minus 25 degrees with a wind chill of minus 40) Saturday morning to try and capture some images of the sun dogs, as extreme cold is needed plus ice crystals in the air. It all came together as he was fortunate to capture this phenomenon in full detail. They formed the complete arc and halo with the two distinct sun dogs on each opposite side of the sun that also has this diamond shape. Dave has been trying for a number of winters to capture the complete image of the sun dogs, and although he froze his know what off, it was well worth it to him. He hopes you enjoy the images.