Friday, September 30, 2011

It Caught My Eye

Today is a no photography day as I have to catch up on some long overdue domestic chores that have been started to pile up. Mainly clean the carpets and make phone calls. On Tuesday while returning from the blind the American flag that hangs in front of our house at various times of the year really grabbed my attention as I was walking past it. It was backlit by the sun and the colors really stood out. Naturally I had to stop and create. I took a few images with my telephoto before I realized this calls for a wider angle. I went inside changed lenses and came back out. I took a few from below that I really like. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

God's love and blessings to you,


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Behind the Scenes

Here is an image of a DouglasTree Squirrel that I created this morning. Those of you that have followed my blog for any length of time know that I love photographing small mammals. So what's behind the image? Didn't you just go out and find a squirrel and photograph it? What did it take to make this image?

Surprisingly there is a lot that had to happen before I could push the shutter button to take the picture. The first thing was that I created an environment over the years around my house with bird and squirrel feeders that was squirrel friendly. Next I found an old downed snag (rotting tree) and from it I made a knothole feeder for the squirrels to use. It's basically a thin piece of the tree with a knothole in it. I attached a coffee can full of sunflower seed to the back side of it. After putting up the feeder I had to wait a few days for the squirrels to start using it. I built a photography blind (you can also buy one) and set up my camera in the blind and prefocused on the knothole on the feeder. The next part was the easiest. I sat in the blind and waited an hour and a half for the squirrel to come use the feeder. All in all I made about seventy images of the squirrel going in and out of the feeder. After edtiting I came up with six that were what I call keepers. I selected this one as my favorite as it portrays the personality of a Douglas Tree Squirrel the best.Now you know probably more than you needed to know what was behind the image. A coffee can right?

God's precious love to all,


I'm Hiding

This morning I went off in pursuit of Blacktail Deer. I found a few but they were either on private property or they were just in unphotogenic locations like under someone's deck! I did find one Blacktail Jackrabbit up on a hillside. I took a few images of it and then I decided to move closer. It was really cute because it put it's ears down getting ready to run. It looked like it was thinking. "If I just put my ears down maybe he won''t see me?"

God's love and joy to all,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Few Wild Turkeys and a Bandtail

I got off to a late start today so I didn't see too much in the way of wildlife. I found a small flock of turkeys working there way down a hillside. When I arrived at home I spent a short time in the photography blind and I photographed one Bandtailed Pigeon. Sure beats working inside on such a beautiful day .

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Of Biblical Proportions

Oh, all right it’s not quite that big but it does have to do with the bible… I love it when my brain goes into overdrive with an idea. Usually it’s at some inopportune time so I need to write it down to make sure I don’t forget it. In this case it was at one in the morning as I was getting ready for bed. I knew it was fruitless to lie there as the ideas kept coming to my head and I wouldn’t be able to remember them all. I dragged myself out of my cozy bed into the office. I pulled out my photo idea book and wrote them all down. I came up with a whole variety of images I wanted to do of the bible for PhotoMission a Christian stock agency I submit images to. Here are a few images as some of the others are pretty complex and are going to take me awhile to complete.

God’s love and blessings to everyone,


Monday, September 26, 2011

Chasing Blacktails Again

This morning after dropping Annika off at school I was out chasing the Blacktail Deer again. I had a little better luck today as a couple of them were still out even though it was after eight o'clock. They are starting to go into rut and so the batchelor groups are starting to split up a bit.

God' light and love to all,


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Playing With Peppers

Today I added some peppers to my collection of fruits and vegetables.It can be fun to play with veggies.

God's blessings to all,


Friday, September 23, 2011

They Remind Me of Teddy Bears

Those of you that have been following my blog for a while know that I am a push over for small furry critters. I like to photograph small mammals. For example I much prefer to photograph Pika than Elk. This morning I photographed some nice Blacktail Deer. When I got home I went out to the photoblind with the intention of getting some images of a Chickaree AKA Douglas Tree Squirrel. Luckily there was one at the feeder and as long as I was perfectly still it would let me photograph it. If it sensed any movement at all from the photoblind it jumped off the feeder and ran to a nearby fir tree to complain. I had to give it five minutes or so before it would come back. It was the cutest darn thing. It reminded me of a teddy bear.

God's love and blessings to all,


One More Blacktail

This morning I was able to catch one of the bigger Blacktail Deer out in the open. There is a group of four bucks that I have been trying to catch for almost two weeks now. They feed out in the open until sunrise and then saunter off into the woods to laze the day away. Today I arrived to find the last buck standing in a clearing. So here is the result.

God's light and love to all,


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two Types of Blacktails

This morning I was able to photograph two types of blacktails. I was finally lucky enough to get close enough to photograph a Blacktail Jackrabbit. I have been seeing them in an open meadow but every time I would stop they would take off into the woods. Today thankfully one of them held long enough for me to get in a couple of frames. So today you get two types of blacktails.

Have a beautiful day and God bless,


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Busy Tuesday

Today was like the military. Hurry up and wait. I took my Mom to Ukiah for a medical appointment today. I didn't have to leave until eight- thirty so I thought, "Why not take create some images after I drop Jay off at school". Is there some kind of pattern going on here??? So I found some reflections at Lake Emily and then I found a couple of little deer. All the big deer I found were in the forest with houses and fences for backgrounds. You have to work with what you are dealt.

After dropping off my Mom in Ukiah I puttered around and decided to go up to the junior college to see what I could find. They have a huge solar array and there are usually a lot of Acorn Woodpeckers flying about. I wasn't dissappointed in either category. By then the lighting was gone and I went back to wait for my Mom. She was supposed to be done around noon. I ended up falling asleep in the waiting room. She was finally ready at one- thirty.
A busy but productive first part of the day.

God's precious love to all,

Monday, September 19, 2011

One of Those Squirrely Days

Today was one of those days with a lot to do and not a lot of time for photography. I squeezed in a little over an hour in the blind this morning after the good light was almost gone and not many birds were coming in to feed. One of my favorites the kings of personality the squirrels were out in abundance. You have to photograph what's there. So here are a few Western Gray Squirrels.

God's precious love to everyone,


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cross Country Meet

This year my son Jay is on the Cross Country Team at school. I'm really proud of him as he has been holding his own while learning this sometimes grueling sport. He has only been in two meets to date and he has beaten many of his competitiors and lost to others. Photographing this sport isn't easy. It's a lot like photographing the peloton in bike racing. You see them at the start and you see them at the finish. That is unless you are on a course where you can see them pass you by.Today's meet was a huge invitational in Santa Rosa at Spring Lake Park. There were numerous races in a variety of classes from Middle School to High School and Alumni races. I was immediately drawn to the thunder of the start. How could I convey the rush of sixty to a hundred runners pushing from the starting line to a trail that was less than six feet wide? It was an amazing sight. The pounding of feet and all the brilliant colors of the runners rushing by while vying for positions on the trail. I finally settled on creating images of what fascinated me the most. I worked on mages of their moving legs and feet . Here is the end result. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
God's love and blessings to all,


Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Bit of Whimsy

This morning I was up bright and early. Mostly because I had to drop off Jay at six -thirty for early morning Cross Country practice. When I returned home after doing some deer photogrphy I decided to set up an old knothole feeder next to my photo blind. I sat there for about an hour getting some beautiful Bandtail Pigeon images. But this is what really caught my eye. I just had to create an image of it. I loved the lighting and the little curve and all the textures. Here is the result. I think it's pretty cool.Those of you that follow my photoblog will probably have little difficulty in figuring out what it is. So what is it? If you are unsure check out the labels below for the answer. No cheating!

Have a beautiful day and God's blessings to you,


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Magical Mystery Tour Bus

Sometimes it's just fun to play with your camera. We were following this bus up Sherwood Road and I loved how reflective the back side of the bus was. I set my camera to a long shutter speed to give it that psychadelic look and took numerous exposures of the back of the bus as we went along. This one was my favorite.

God's love and blessings to all,


Pick Me! Pick Me!

Sometimes in the travels through out my day I come across images that aren't neccesarily beautiful to some people. These are the common everyday stock images that you find illustrating articles in all kinds of industrial and trade magazines. These images just jump out at me and yell for me to stop and be creative and record what is there. It's a good thing to do too because sometimes these images are used as stock imagery. I have had images of wood decks and piles of broken appliances used before. You just never know what kinds of images someone might need.

While driving Annika to school the other morning (I do that a lot don't I? ) this cell tower was peeking up out of the fog just begging to be photographed. After dropping her off I found a spot on the side of the road where I could get a good view of it. It will make a great illustration for a cell tower company or an article on communication. Ah, more work to submit. It's a good thing.

A Little Black Tailed Deer

This morning after I dropped off Annika I decided to hunt down some Blacktail Deer to photograph. I went to all my usual places and didn't find anything. Well that's not completely true as I did find a beautiful doe and her still spotted fawn. The only problem was is that they were feeding in front of a large solid wooden fence. Not exactly a very photogenic setting. The lighting was starting to go when just a bit further down I spotted this little forked horn feeding on a hillside. He was in the worst possible light in that he was in the shade with bright lighting behind him. So I did the best I could and metered for the shade letting the background blow out. I loved the expression of concern on his face as he was looking to the east where some dogs were barking.

God's light and love to all,


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Part Three of Three

Steller's Jay (cyanocitta stelleri)

This is the last installment of the three part series. Those of you that have been following it already know that it will be covering the Steller's Jay. The Steller's Jay is one of North Americas most beautiful and striking birds due to it's dramatic blue color. They are often overlooked as such because they are very common and well they can be pretty obnoxious at times. They have a raspy call and they are pretty well known to be noisy and kind of a pest scavenging around campgrounds. In my backyard feeders I have come to know them as the Backyard Bullies. They typically come to the feeder in a gang and try to keep everyone away when they feed.

In appearance as I have already stated they are a beautiful blue. Their body is all blue darkening into a head and shoulders that is almost a blue black. Their head is cowned with a dark crest. The Pacific version where I live has a neon blue thin stripes running up the side of the forhead into the crest. As you go further east towards the interior this is usually more white.The bills and feet are dark gray to black.The tail and wings are also blue with blue black barring. Size wise they are eleven and a half inches tall with a nineteen inch wingspan. Alltogether a very handsome bird.

Their range is widespread over much of the western part of North America. It extends from the southern part of the panhandle of Alaska south through the intermountain region of the Rocky Mountains extending all the way to Nicaragua in South America.They are found all along the cost of North America from Alaska down to the lower part of Cental California.

They are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of food. I have watched them attempting to kill birds smaller than themselves. They eat seeds,acorns,frogs,lizards,insects,berries and fruit. A pretty varied diet.

They make a messy nest made up of sticks,twigs and leaves lined with grass and other soft materials. There is pair every year that nests above my Mom's porchlight! They lay two to six eggs that hatch out insixteen days. The young leave the nest in about eighteen days.

A pretty gregarious bird that adapts well to living around humans. They are not a species of concern either probably because of that adaptible behavior. They easliy take to bird feeders and robbing people of their food and scraps at campgrounds.

I hope you enjoyed this little mini series.

God's love and blessings to everyone,


Monday, September 12, 2011

Part Two of Three

Band tail Pigeon (Columbia flavirostris)

Here in part two I’m going to be covering Band Tailed Pigeons. I had a fantastic time photographing Bandtails for two sessions in the blind. I was even lucky enough to capture and image of a banded one. Not bad for "Bandtail Pigeons".Bandtails are extremely nervous and will take flight at the slightest movement. They are extremely cautious and take a long, long time to come down to the feeder. They will tentatively come down one at a time nervously pecking at the grain. But once they feel safe it becomes an all out party with birds tumbling on top of and over one another with a lot of pecking and squabbling. Suddenly something will set them off in an explosive thunderous sound of wings. O.K. I will admit that sometimes I do know what sets them to flight. I may move my hand too quickly while focusing or recomposing or I may move my hand accidentally too close to the blinds camera port.

I guess the main point I’m trying to make here is that these aren’t city pigeons. They may resemble the common everyday rock pigeons of the cities but they are far from it. They are a truly wild pigeon. Bandtails are North Americas largest and only native pigeon.

So what do they look like? Bandtails are soft gray brown like a Rock Dove (introduced), but are more aerodynamic being longer and sleeker. Bandtails backs are gray, with a lighter gray banded tail tip. When landing these tail tips really stand out. The bill and feet really make a statement as they are a bright orange yellow. The eyes are black with a thin, red, fleshy eye ring around the outside of it. Though this can only be seen when you are really close up or with a pair of binos or a spotting scope or in my case a telephoto lens. Adults have a white collar at the nape (back) of the neck with an iridescent green patch underneath it. In the right light it really stands out! The breasts and bellies are washed in a pinkish-mauve. Adult males and females look alike; juveniles are an overall gray. Size wise they are large (as noted before) They are fourteen and a half inches tall with a wingspan of two feet.

Bandtails are found from Northern Britsh Columbia south through the mountains of Southern California. They are found eastward to Colorado, Arizona and Utah and south into Central Mexico. In fall and spring they do migrate though there are some local populations that seem to stay put in some warmer regions along the coast in California. They seem to prefer mountainous, coniferous forested (areas like where I live)

Diet wise I know Bandtails love acorns as I have watched them demolish the acorns off an oak tree. They also eat berries,seeds and grain.

Nesting wise they make a flimsy platform nest of twigs and line it with pine needles. They lay 1 or 2 eggs that hatch out in18 to 20 days. The young fledge in 25 to 27 days.

The good news is that Bandtails aren’t a species of concern though populations are currently on a downward trend.

God’s love and blessings to all,