Monday, January 31, 2011

Playing With Marbles Again

Found a marble of one of the kids today while doing some clean up so I decided to crate an image of it that would help convey how special it is.They make marbles way so much cooler than when I was a kid. I recently watched a program that showed the last remaining marble company in the United States that was still mass producing marbles on a regular basis.

God's love and precious blessings to all,


Friday, January 28, 2011

Back to an Old Favorite

When I recently wrote about the most common critters that come to my feeders I missed an old favorite the Chickaree or Douglas Tree Squirrel. I was reminded of this fact when I was sitting in my photoblind this morning and I could hear one calling from the Redwood tree above my feeder. It was scolding away at something and after about ten minutes or so of that it finally came down to the feeder.

They are small but mighty. I have seen them fight off the big Western Gray Squirrels from the feeder many times. They definitely make their presence known. Along with Otters and Pikas they are up there as one of my favorite little mammals to photograph.

God's precious love and blessings to all,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Webs Spiders Weave

Normally we don't get too many spider webs in winter due to all the rain. We have had almost two weeks without any substantial rainfall. As such the spiders have been busy out in the fields. I drove by one field out in the valley this morning that was positively glittering with webs. Naturally I had to stop and investigate some of them.

God's love and blessings to all,


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Few More from the Backyard

Yesterday was a non photo day. I was searching out a new location to place a photo blind for photographing some Belted Kingfishers. I spent well over an hour tromping through the brush getting all scratched up only to find the location I had chosen wasn't going to work. The perch the Kingfishers had been using got blown over in the last storm we had. So I'm going to have to watch them for awhile more and find a new spot.

Today I spent a little more in the backyard with the Western Gray Squirrels and the Steller's Jays. A good time was had by all. They loved the sunflower seeds and I loved watching and photographing them.

God's love and blessings to all,


Monday, January 24, 2011

Four Common Critters

This morning I sat in one of my photo blinds in the back yard. It has been awhile since I have done this and as always it was a wonderful experience. Sitting in a blind is a unique experience. Because you have such a small viewing area (at least in my blinds) your hearing becomes very acute and you seem to notice all the sounds around you. The splashing of birds bathing in my garden pond,the rush of wings as birds come in to feed and the rustle of the branches as the squirrels travel through the trees.

Visually it's a treat as well as you get to experience being close up to creatures that have very little idea of your presence. Today my blind was set up next to one of my bird feeders while I photographed at another. So I had birds and squirrels coming and going about two feet away from me. I could look out the side viewing port and they were right there.

Today I photographed the usual cast of characters that are very common to my area and to my feeders. Steller's Jay, Dark Eyed Junco, Chestnut Backed Chickadee and Western Gray Squirrels.

Here is a little background as to where they are found.

Steller's Jays have an extensive range. They are found from southern Alaska down to Central America. Inland they can be found all the way down the chain of the rockies. They have adapted to a wide range of habitats and have a wide and ranging diet.

Dark Eyed Juncos are found over most of North America from Northern Mexico northward covering all of the continental United States and the majority of Canada and Alaska except for some areas close to the Arctic Ocean.

Chestnut-backed Chickadees are found from coastal Alaska southward through to central California along the coastal mountains. They are also found in the western ranges of the Rocky Mountains in southern British Columbia, southern Alberta, and in western Montana. Thier preferred habitat is coniferous forest.

Western Gray squirrels have the most luxurious tails. I had to start with that as I love their tails. They can be found from the coastal mountains near the Mexico border north along the Sierra Nevada Range and along the 
coast to the southern Cascades clear up into Central Washington state.

A great day in the blind.

God's love and blessings to all,


Friday, January 21, 2011


The natural world around us is beautiful place. We get to see gorgeous birds and animals. It's always amazing to me that we don't often see the other side of what really goes on out there in the world of nature. That beautiful hawk that we see up in the tree on the side of the road has to eat sometime. Those herons and egrets that we spy on the bays and lakes have to eat too. As do the bears, mountain lions and raccoons etc.. If you watch long enough or are observant enough you get to see them trying to get there meals too.
I was down in Ukiah last week at one of the big box stores loading my purchases into my cart when I heard a mad flutter of wings from the bushes about twenty feet behind my car. There was a Sharp Shin Hawk diving into the bushes trying to grab the terrified sparrows inside. He really ripped around the parking lot diving into bush after bush. It was amazing how fast it all occurred. To all of those predators much of the wildlife we see is food to them. It's prey!
Todays image is a turkey that fell prey to some predator and then the remains became food for the vultures to eat. Not the prettiest image but it tells a tale of our natural world.

God bless,


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Monochrome Morning

This morning it was foggy down in the valley. The sun was barely pushing through leaving the light very flat with little shadows. The sun itself was a white disk in the sky. I was trying to think of ways to use that to my advantage as I pulled in to the hardware store parking lot when it came to me. Trees! Silhouette the sun behind the trees for a simple composition. So I drove around looking for interesting tree branches to put up in front of the sun. While I was poking about I saw this crow up in a tree by an old abandoned industrial site.” That’s it!” I said to myself. I spun the truck around and parked across the street from it and just started creating some interesting compositions of the crow with the sun behind it. I really liked the simple, stark lighting.

God’s love and blessings to all,



Today I went on a photo safari/fishing trip to Clearlake with my friends Joe and Steve. This time I actually did some fishing! So you ask," How many fish did you catch?" Let's just say it was less than one. The weather was perfect with a little light cloud cover which helped the photography last longer than it would have without the clouds. Joe and Steve seemed to catch quite a few fish while I grabbed my camera and created some images of them doing it.

I fished for three or four hours before my rear end hurt so much I needed to do something different. I searched the slough near the boat launch and I was rewarded with being able to capture some images of Western Pond Turtles, American Coot and a male Ruddy Duck.

What a beautiful day the Lord hath made.

God’s precious love to all,


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


This evening I took one of the images from this morning that had a composition that I liked. I added a bit of creativity to it. First I enhanced the image to bring out the light and shadows more. Then I overlayed the image with a texture image of some blue peeling paint. I really like the end result.

God bless,


Little Lake Valley Morning

After dropping Annika off at school this morning I had plenty of time to do a grand valley tour before my scheduled morning work out. The fog,trees and sun offered a myriad of compositions of which I had to narrow down to less than a dozen.

God's love and blessings to everyone,


Monday, January 17, 2011

On Little Cat's Feet

Today was almost a no photography day if it hadn't been for the fog coming in on little cat's feet and an incredible sunset. I was busy with working around the house and my mind was occupied with other things today. The weather was incredible today with temperatures reaching into the high sixties and at one point seventy degrees today! The heat rose and sucked the cool marine layer in from the ocean and the fog was spilling over the ridge top by four o'clock this afternoon making for some great photography. Combine that with a beautifful sunset just put it over the top. Then the moon rose into the clouds to make the day totally complete.

God's love and blessings to all,


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Playing With Trains

Today Lenore and I were over in the Sacramento Valley on some business. I have never seen so many Tundra Swans. There were thousands of them in the Marysville area off of Highway 20. The lighting was terrible though. It was fog, fog and more fog. What a wonderful treat to get to see them.

On our return trip Lenore had to stop to make a 911 call about a possible drunk driver that was weaving all over the road in front of us. While she was making the call I stepped out to photograph a Union Pacific freight train that roared down the track in front of us. It's a humbling feeling to have thousands of tons of steel bearing down on you when you are standing near the track. I was well off of the track about twenty feet or so and it still gives you thought as to what might happen to you if the train derailed at that point!

God's love and blessings to all,