Oct 312010

I got skunked this morning.

Too many hunters.

No decent shots of birds.

Not one to give up easy I went for a little drive.  Known sightings of Quail. These little buggers are impossible to shoot.  Birds with some kind of “high-per” personality.    Wound up like a 10 day clock.  Shorts in a wad.  High on something!  Only once before has their presence cracked the sensor of my camera.  I’m not doing the Zoo thing.  I want the “wild” birds.

Found them.

It turned into a test of composition, light and setting.  Like a quail portrait session.  Back home at the computer it was revealed.  Three different looks.  If you follow my blog you will be able to tell which is my favorite.  Even without my comments.

My LEAST favorite.  Too clutter y.

quail in

This one would be my favorite if the weeds on either side didn’t obstruct the other birds….

quail in crowd

My favorite today.

No clutter.  Contrast is to my liking.  Composition Ok.  And Fairly sharp!

quail in rock

 Posted by at 3:48 PM
Oct 282010

Been a crazy week!

Probably the least time with camera to eye in years.

Headed to the pond late tonight.  Photo withdrawal had to be conquered.  Only a few minutes with my feathered friends.  But at least I feel a little better tonight.

on golden pond1

on golden pond2

 Posted by at 11:10 PM
Oct 172010

I found the real “Duck Club!”

Yesterday when I arrived at Layton park I was dumb founded by the incredibly large number of waterfowl on the river in the park.  Hunting season retreat.  No hunters here.  Just park visitors.  Mostly Mallards and Geese.  And a couple of Wood Ducks.  Something hunters and wood duck carvers continually trying to get their hands on.  At one point they were hunted to small numbers.  At Layton only 4 of hundreds.

Man are they beautiful.  Fake looking.  These photographs are not enhanced in any way.  Just cropped to my liking.  The response from my family was “astonishment”.

Wood Duck 2

Wood Duck 1

Wood duck drink

It was so crowded that the geese flying in could only crash land………………………..

Goose Crash Land

 Posted by at 9:21 PM
Oct 132010

Ouray  National Wildlife Refuge

The Refuge lies between Vernal and Roosevelt.

The tanks are in the ground.  Issues are mostly resolved.  Don’t want to drive home late.  Word on the street in Roosevelt is that there is a congregation of Sandhill Cranes at Ouray NWR.  So……

Sandhill Crane 1

These guys are noisy!!!  Beautiful in flight.  And a blast to watch play.

sandhill crane 2

sandhill crane 3

There was literally thousands of Cranes there tonight.  Just before the sun went down they started dancing.

Sandhill Crane 4

sandhill cane 5

While enjoying the display in front of me with the cranes a beautiful Blue Bird passed by…….

blue bird

 Posted by at 10:45 PM
Oct 122010

Last week I was in Yerington, Nevada.

The nowhere capital of the world.  They may get a new store.

Not far from Yerington is a wildlife refuge. Always looking for these.  It was very late.  I had an hour and half drive back to Reno.  Had to stop.  The birds were calling.  In this case “a” bird was calling.  One that has been in front of me a lot as of late.  The Cormorant.

Often the Cormorant will leave the safety of water to perch and dry off.  I was there to witness this.  Really humorous!  But by the look I got from the Cormorant you would think he was undressed to dry. …..

Comorant Stare

 Posted by at 11:47 PM
Oct 102010

Almost daily my travels in Yellowstone include a BEAR traffic jam!

This particular day was no exception.  A cinnamon  black bear was walking near the road.  People stop their cars to see the bear.  It’s kinda what Yellowstone is famous for.  Nowadays the park is overcrowded.  When a bear is sighted the cars back waaaaaay up.

I had an idea.  Park where the traffic was stopped.  About a quarter mile from the bear.  Possibly… and I mean possibly I could anticipate where the bear was headed and cut him off.  At least 100 yards away.  It’s the rule in Yellowstone – 100 yards minimum from a bear!

Looking up the road through my long lens there was a ton of rule breakers.  No ranger in site (yet).  One man looked as close as 15 or 20 feet from the bear.

Can you say C R A Z Y?

Before long the bear was headed in the opposite direction of the road.  Then he was out of site.  About as fast as the traffic jamb appeared it disappeared.  I was alone….hopefully with the bear (at 100 yards minimum).  Guessed on his route.  Checked the bear maze, camera gear and headed out.  About the time the road was out of view I was following a trail.  It had a lot of elk prints.  With the dry fall and new growth this trail was probably used by all the wild.

There he was. About 150 yards ahead on the same trail.

Camera, lens and tripod UP!  Beautiful animal.  Looked to be quit young.  Still a wild bear.  Fired a lot of shots of him…..heading at me.  What’s the minimum focusing distance of  Nikon 600mm f/4 VR II lens?    To be exact….15.7′   About the distance the bear was from me as he passed.  Only one glance at me.  Me?  I was protected by my tripod and a can of maze!   Kinda like a one iron for protection from a lightning bolt.  Way to close.  It happened fast.  He was incredible.  Obviously not threatened by me.    I wish it was the same for me about him.

Can you say C R A Z Y ?

Ok so my wife will read this.  I will be grounded again.

Cineman black bear

 Posted by at 9:40 PM
Oct 072010

I love photographing birds.

They are everywhere.  In Yellowstone while waiting and watching for “that” shot-birds want in on the photography.  They appear and leave quickly.  The trigger hand has to always be ready.

This fella is what most lovingly call “Camp Robber”……

camp robber tree

A little harder to find but always draws a crowd………

Bald Eagle

I spent some time with this Swan.  Drew a crowd.  A beautiful animal and fun to watch………

trumpeter swan

They are definitely everywhere.  I see one on everyone of my trips. Regardless of state from Wyoming to Arizona. They are there.  Hunting, resting, stealing and posing for me………the RED TAIL Hawk!!!!!

Hawk Mouth Open

A little story with this shot.  It was late and getting dark.  Shooting a bull elk in the trees.  With two other photographers that were shooting Canons.  As the light decreased we were announcing to each other our ISO’s as we shot.  “1200” then “1800 ISO”.  Soon the canon guys said “out of high ISO”. The Nikon guy (that would be me) had plenty of ISO left.  I shot this photograph at 8000 ISO!!!!!   The Canon guys had put their cameras down just when the hawk passed by.  One of them said he could not have got the shot.  Unless he wanted to show a lot of movement (blurry).  Frankly I was thrilled with the shot.  As we all looked at the screen on my camera one of them said “I need to get a Nikon”…………8000 ISO WOW!

Hawk Pass By

 Posted by at 12:12 PM