Dec 082010


Lots of birds.

Smart ones at that.  They know where the no hunting areas are.  Uplands.  In the middle of town in a field  of cut corn.   Quit a site when they take off and head out!!!

 Posted by at 4:20 PM
Dec 072010

Blue Heron in weedssmall

My time at the Farmington Wildlife Refuge continues…..

Right now the hunting season is still open.  The refuge has random check points for the hunters.  I guess to keep them honest but more importantly so the DWR has an idea of the “harvest” each year.  The hunters have been going out there for generations.  In fact the refuge is really the culmination of hunters groups efforts.

The photographer population is growing dramatically.   Especially when  HUNDREDS of Bald Eagles arrive.  The refuge is well known in several states for the photo opportunities of Bald Eagles.  A big attraction.  Just a few years ago the photographers were thin if not rare.  Now the single dirt road may have a line of cars.

Some photographers have made a name for themselves.  Not in a good vain.  My son and I spoke with a DWR employee that through our discussion mentioned that the hunters are respectful of each other and the area.   Few problems from what he was saying.  When I asked about photo opportunities his blood pressure began to rise.  “Photographers are a pain”  I mentioned that a photographer had won an international contest with a photo that he took at the refuge.  “Do you mean……”  He knew the photographer by name.

” A pain in the ass” he proclaimed.  He noted that photographers want the whole place to themselves.  This one particular photographer even goes as far as to put up signs he has produced.  Instructing other guests of the refuge as to how to act in presence.  It was clear that his arrogance was unbecoming of him.  The DWR employee stopped just short of saying that he wished photographers were not allowed in the refuge.


If you follow my blog you know I live out there (at least on sunday mornings and short stints after work).  I have expressed my frustration with photographers that are not considerate of others.  I have never said anything to other guests or posted signs.  (though sometimes I wish I could)  When a photographer invests a minimum of 20k in photography gear shouldn’t they have the advantage?  NO.  We already have the advantage with the reach of our lenses.  Mine being the longest Nikon at 600mm.  Photographers must be willing to do what the hunters do. Get up early. Dress appropriately.  Walk sometimes great distances. Find an area away from the traffic area and most populated areas by guests.  That’s where the real opportunities are.

The arrogant photographer that the DWR employee was talking about shoots from his car and a blind set up by the road side.  Is he really expecting every guest to accommodate him when he is making no more effort than any other guest?

I shot the photograph above from my car.  No blind.  Roadside.  Cartography.  It’s one of my favorites.  Bottom line?  I did not notice any other guests.  Though they were all around me.  The shot was made with a 600mm lens and a 2x converter.  Net 1200mm.  Really I was the only one that saw the Heron.

 Posted by at 6:29 PM
Dec 052010


Sunday Morning


My first sighting of the annual EAGLE migration to FBBR!!!!


The very low light, fog and my 600mm attached to a 2x converter required a monster ISO to stop this Red Tail Hawk flying right at me.    24,000 to be exact!    Not real happy with the noise.  I will definitely be looking for the same shot in bright sun.

 Posted by at 9:32 PM
Dec 012010


I am in Meridian Idaho.  Land of the Geese missing homeland.

Tonight right in front of the hotel was a few acres of agricultural land.  It was filled with geese.  This valley not too long ago was uplands for geese.  They still come by on their routes.  Not much land left for them to rest and eat.  As we approached the Hotel we noticed thousands of geese circling specific areas.  Circling areas that must have been an acre or two of raw land.  Flying over houses, businesses and schools. What used to be home.  Had to get a shot of a few of them……

 Posted by at 11:19 PM
Nov 282010

Barn near Soda SpringsIt is definitely WINTER!

Snowing all day today.  Did not even get out this morning for the early bird shots.  Oh well.  Dug deep into my memory for that one spring shot that still to this day brings back the true smells, temps, and aura of spring.

Near Soda Springs Idaho.

This is an 8 image compiled HDR image using the new NIK software HDR Efex pro.   Holy cow is it incredible.  Little or no ghosting.  Almost negative hot spots.  and an awesome color balance.  ( I drop the awesome word now and then to stay hip) Are we just down right blessed, lucky, fortunate or just in the right place to live with all the cool digital advances?  Imagine just 10 years ago doing what we are with digital photography.  The photo above of the barn really exemplifies how simple we have it in the digital dark room.  I would almost argue that maybe the talent factor is not as needed nowadays.  I mean – look at my stuff.  I was born with two right hands, little or no talent, and now have one bad eye.  Thanks digital world inventors and visionaries.

 Posted by at 5:19 PM
Nov 262010

Blue Heron looking at Camera

The Blue Heron is …..Funny?

I never ever get tired of recording this bird.  When they will allow.  Today as I was leaving the refuge this one caught my attention.

Blue Heron Profile

I watched him for about an hour.  It appeared the Heron was trying to catch a mouse.

Blue Heron in Reeds

Eventually I had to leave.  Even tangled in the reeds this Heron pushed on……

 Posted by at 10:45 PM
Nov 252010

It has been a few days since my last post.

A few days of that early winter flew!

Traveling to the max.

Never have left my camera back.  Though the posts thinned out the camera has been working.  A great photographer I know says that your photography skills will never increase while you are in front of the computer.  Good advice!  Last Sunday morning was spent at the wildlife refuge. I was sick….not too sick to watch the fowl.

kestral preen

The Kestral.  It’s beauty, tiny structure and fierce attitude amaze me.

Kestral Bow Spread

There is always the predictable stretch while preening.

Egret close

Just after entering the refuge this egret was waiting for me.  Always a beauty!

Egret take off

Not much better than a Backlit Egret!

Northern Shovler

I don’t know how many Northern Shovelers are left this hunting season….this one at least as of last Sunday!


I found a few shots I took this fall of the ever proud and “cocky” pheasant.  Man they think they are tough.

pheasant crow2

The last few weeks have been nuts.  Until the end of the year time is limited.  That being said I plan to always carry my hobby wherever I go.  It is a stress reliever.  A mood booster.  And a chance to clear my head.  I am fortunate to still have one working eye.  An understanding family.  Incredible co-workers.  And a little bottle of Xanax in case of emergencies…… :D

 Posted by at 8:09 PM
Nov 072010

It’s a woodpecker.

The Northern Flicker is another beautiful bird that travels in our area.  I had to look in my trusty bird Field Guide to discover the name of and learn some biology about this guy. This morning almost turned out to be without pixels.  Until I spotted this Flicker.  Bright red markings on his throat.  Kinda handsome.


Almost like a base jumper when he took off a split second of flight was without using his wings.  Maybe a dare devil flicker!


When  the wings spread….yikes.  What a beauty!


My first record of this beautiful woodpecker the Northern Flicker.  Hope to get more!!!!!


 Posted by at 5:49 PM