For several years now when I have visited the State Fair of Texas, one of the vendors I have enjoyed stopping by and visiting with and looking at his wonderful photography has been Kelsey Cain. He travels extensively to capture amazing images of nature, predominantly from the western U.S. Wolves, cougars and mustangs are just some of his subjects. Kelsey is very personable and has been gracious to share some insights into the flow of his year, from his travels to the production of new prints.
While many of his subjects are large and dangerous, one small critter that is fun to see in his images is the pika. Tiny furballs that live at very high elevations, pikas don't hibernate so they make the most of the summer growing season and gather bundles of grasses, flowers and other vegetation that they stash away as hay for the winter. I learned to appreciate Kelsey's pika images even more when I was lucky enough to spot at least one that came and went from a rocky outcrop on Grand Mesa in western Colorado. The little critters are shy and very quick. We saw one bring back a bundle of greens twice but neither shot was what I was hoping for to add to my photographic art offerings. I am sharing one of them in this post however so you can get a feel for their habitat. I could have hung out there for hours in hopes of getting some better shots but I didn't think that would be fair to ask of the rest of the group that had driven up to the top of the mesa to explore it. I also might have missed the marmots that I did get some shots of that have been added to my body of work.
So this year when I visited Kelsey's booth, I appreciated his pika photos even more than before. Kelsey offers framed larger prints as well as smaller matted ones. He had a matted print of my favorite, a pika perched on a rock with a bundle of ferns in its mouth that I had to take home with me. I have finally found a frame that complements the image and my room as you can see in the second image in this post. Stop by Kelsey's booth next time you are at the TX State Fair.