Extension Agent combines love of travel, photography

September 20, 2004|JENNIFER BRUMMETT

Donna Clore says she got her penchant for traveling from her father and her love of beauty from her mother. Combined, those sensibilities keep Clore traveling on hiking and photography vacations as well as watercolor workshops.

"I get my sense of adventure - my love of traveling and exploring - from my father, who loved to travel and go and be out in nature as much as he could," says Clore, the Boyle County extension agent for family and consumer sciences. "He took (my five sisters and me) with him many places. We grew up learning how fascinating it was to go to new places.

"That is combined with my mother's sense of appreciation for beauty and art. She writes poetry almost every day. I've gotten the best from both parents."

Some of the fruits of her May photography adventure to the Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks can be seen through September in a photography exhibit at the Boyle County Public Library. Yellowstone National Park mostly is in Wyoming, with some parts in Montana and Idaho. Grand Teton National Park is in northwestern Wyoming. The two parks are close together, Clore says, and the travelers crossed the Continental Divide to get to the parks.


The Grand Tetons are young mountains, part of the Rockies, she adds.

"They're pointed because they have not been flattened by time and erosion," Clore explains. "They (both parks) are great places to go."

Clore points to different photographs in the exhibit and describes the adventure that goes with it or information about the two national parks. One photo is of Mount Moran in the Grand Teton Mountains range.

"It is a picture taken at Oxbow Bend, looking in the direction of Mount Moran," Clore explains. "I like the shot - you see photographs of this shot in a lot of brochures.

"I was out before sunrise and went to this spot every morning. The sun came out for two minutes on one morning - the sun just came and touched the mountains briefly and was gone."

She points to the reflection of the mountain in a nearby body of water, which was a goal for the picture.

"I got what I wanted in that shot," Clore notes. "Only two of us got that shot. You look at it and you know it's in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming."

Another picture shows chunks of ice in the Yellowstone River.

"We hiked to get to a trail to the falls," she explains. "We were on top of the falls, where it started, and there was ice on either side of the falls. There was some mist coming up. ... I wanted the photograph to be abstract."

A sunset at Signal Mountain is shown in another photograph.

"You can see the vastness of the land. I barely made it there by sunset, and I was shooting out at the Teton range. It was awesome - I could barely breathe."

A different kind of trip

Clore says the May trip was different for her from other trips.

"I usually do landscapes, flowers close up, people or food," she explains. "I've never been anywhere with huge wildlife, like in this park."

She points to a picture of two moose.

"The moose loved the willows. This was taken in Willow Flats. They ate right before sunrise, so I'd plan to be where the willows were and take pictures.

"All of the big animals were unique - the bison, elk, moose, longhorns and antelopes. And there were red-tail hawks, eagles, trumpeter swans and pelicans. You need long lenses to shoot (the wildlife). One morning, I spent two hours shooting the pelicans."

Moving quickly as well as the long lenses are necessary for taking pictures of wildlife, Clore says. "They're dangerous. Tourists are killed every year by them. There are warning signs posted in the parks about them."

Because it was spring, the animals often were seen with their new babies.

"I have a great shot of a moose with her newborn," Clore says. "The animals were getting real active again. The bears love it - they come out and feed on the newborns. I saw five bears - cinnamon, grizzly and black. But I did not get good pictures of the bears - I wouldn't get close enough to them.

"The animals made this trip very different, very exciting and very challenging."

One of the interesting aspects about Grand Teton is that it is a national elk refuge, Clore notes. "It is one of one, or one of two, in the world," she explains. "More than 3,000 elk winter there. ... The elk had velvet antlers. They were just starting to grow in the spring. They shed those off in the winter. It was neat to see those velvet antlers."

Weather worked against the photographers most days. It was either raining or snowing, and Clore says she kept her down coat, rain gear and umbrella with her all the time.

"You hope to come home with just a few good shots, especially when you're fighting the weather," she notes. "In photography, you have to plan ahead. You have to know where, what time and cross your fingers about the weather.

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