My favorite place is exactly where I am at the moment. I think my favorite photos fall in that category too.

This week, Sarah of the Lens-Artists community, tasks us with taking a closer look at our favorite photos, with an emphasis on quality. Is that even possible? I have thousands of photos from all over the world and I am notorious for keeping them just in case I want them someday.

I decided to narrow the challenge by asking myself some questions: Is the photo greeting card worthy? Is it art? Is the photo unique? Does the photo generate questions or curiosity?

With that in mind I opted to search my Yellowstone album. Most of you know, by now, we lived there for two years. To say I have thousands of photos is an understatement. And yet, I admit, I do have favorites. I was reminded of that when scrolling through the album, knowing I have used most of these photos before.

I grabbed three. OK, four. The featured photo of the elk asks:

Can your really pull this off?

Yellowstone Favorites:

  1. Mountain Bluebirds/ Hellroaring Creek Trail:

I spent months trying to capture the mountain bluebirds in a photo, and for months I was convinced they were toying with me. Ironically, a hike down to Hellroaring Creek took us through their love nest. The flock of about 25 or 30 birds was a dream for me. Clearly, they had other priorities.

I picked this photo for more than the memory. The brilliant blue stands out against the gray background. I love the expressions of the smitten birds. And, with their choice to make make their home in this field of dead trees, it is symbolic of life.

2. Biscuit Basin, Mystic Falls, Fairy Creek:

If there is one hike to put on your list at Yellowstone, it is Mystic Falls. It brings you to Yellowstone in it’s most spectacular showing. There are hot springs, geysers, rivers, a waterfall, overlooks, all with opportunity of wildlife up close and personal. At one time this hike was listed as one of the top ten in the country.

I picked this photo for the color, the season, and the unique bloom of flowers in the hot spring. I remember thinking there was snow in the background, and instead it is the minerals bringing the landscape personality. It is surreal to view what beauty is present in nature . The dead tree?

Sure full of life, isn’t it?

3. Cowboy Cookout at Pleasant Valley:

The Cowboy Cookout is accessed two ways, on a stagecoach ride, or horseback. Here you are treated to a steak dinner over an open fire, with live entertainment. Don’t miss it.

I picked this photo as a favorite because of the quiet presence of the wrangler. I love that his eyes are shaded. He was just far enough away from the noise, and I wondered if he felt like he was working, or if he could fall into the elements like I do.

Wind Kisses, Donna