Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mothers day trip to Valley of Fire and Ice

Mother's Day we took the family to the Valley of Fire and Ice near the badlands in western NM.  It's a lava field filled with cinder cones, calderas, full volcanoes, lava tubes, etc.  I'm working on an insanely huge 24,000 pixel wide mosaic of inside of one of the volcanoes that we climbed into.  I took a quick snapshot of what it will look like (it's not processed yet, and this is a very small version so ignore the mismatched panels - below).  In one of the lava tubes is an Ice Cave - and the ice starts only 20 ft away from direct sunlight.  It's been there tens of thousands of years and is naturally cooled.  The ice inside the lava tube is somewhere around 30 ft thick and growing.  Literally, you can be in 100 degree temps and walk 20 ft and be in 30 degree temps.  Pretty neat anomaly if you ask me.  I also caught a shot of the Moon rising over one of the pine trees out in the lava field from inside of one of the lava tubes - image below as well.  And last but not least, I found a tree on one of the trails that had been nailed by lightning and burnt to a crisp.  The top was jagged and charred.  The Sun was quite high so I took advantage of my point of view and aligned the Sun with the top of the tree and came out with a pretty crazy effect.  The tree looks like a torch!  Be sure to blow this one up to maximum size to see the full effect.  Oh and, there wasn't a cloud in the sky when I shot this one which makes the shot all the more crazy.

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